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Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon offers free time for you to relax or explore. At 8 o clock this evening our tip filled welcome meeting takes place. A great opportunity to meet your tour guide and travelling companions before our exciting 14 day adventure gets under way.
Today we embark on a classic guided tour of the city's highlights. Our first stop is Sultanahmet, the compact old city filled with parks, gardens and stunning sights. The Blue Mosque is famed for it’s blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets. The Hagia Sofia, constructed in the 6th century, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when it became a mosque. Just around the corner is the stunning Topkapi Palace where we spend time exploring the grounds and various museums contained within the Palace walls. Evening at leisure.
Early this morning, we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead. Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Blair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years. Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation.
At Troy (the inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy) we visit the Trojan Horse and ruins. We enjoy a guided tour of the ancient city that dates back to 3000BC! En route to Kusadasi, we explore the ruins of Pergamum with it's impressive temples, library and medical facilities which made it a famous cultural and political centre of it's time.
Today we explore ancient Ephesus. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts incredible excavated ruins including a Great Theatre, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis and the Library of Celsus. Stop by the ancient public toilets and public brothel!
Meandering through the sweeping plains and endless cotton farms we arrive at the ruins of Roman Hieropolis and the hot springs of Pamakkule. Admire this surreal landscape created by frequent earthquakes in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin. Marvel at the crystalline marble, quartzites and stalagtites, which shimmer in the sunlight. There will be time to paddle our feet as you walk the terraces or opt for a dip in the thermal baths. Later we stop at a leather manufacturing house.
Arriving at the lakeside town of Koycegiz, we embark upon a boat cruise to Turtle Beach and smother ourselves in mud at the local mud bath. We continue our journey to Fethiye, a charming port town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, fringed by the Taurus Mountains where we'll spend the next two nights.
After breakfast today we explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy. This afternoon we drive to Oludeniz, a popular resort town which is home to the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Here you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a swim before travelling back to neighbouring Fethiye.
Today we visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, take a walk through nature, or just relax and watch the world go by from the fig tree-shaded wooden platforms that overlook the river. Weaving our way through the Touros Mountains we arrive to Antalya visiting the Duden Waterfalls en route.
Early morning departure for Konya, en route we visit the ancient theatre of Aspendos. Arriving at Konya, we tour the monastery of the Mevlana whirling dervishes and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. A further stop is made along the Silk Road at the Seljuk - a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai.
A guided tour of the Cappadocia region includes the World Heritage Listed Goreme Valley to see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches and chapels, Kaymaki Underground City and Uchisar Castle. Stopping on the outskirts of Goreme Village we have the opportunity to see Pigeon Valley where century’s old pigeon houses are carved into the surrounding cliffs. Here you will also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, specialising in historic jewellery designs unique to Turkey and using local materials and craftsmen. For those not interested in shopping spend a little time relaxing and grab a drink from the local cafe. An optional Turkish dinner and folklore evening is available tonight.
Opt for an early morning hot air balloon flight over lunar landscape (book and paid locally). Via Ankara and the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk we arrive at the World Heritage Listed town of Safranbolu. The town boasts many graceful Ottoman homes, once the residences of royalty and artisan work shops crafting traditional Turkish wares. Tonight we stay in an Ottoman mansion home.
This morning we embark on a walking tour of the old town before returning to Istanbul with an afternoon visit to the Grand Bazaar.The remainder of the afternoon and evening offers free time.
We say goodbye to our new friends, our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport.
The earliest settle of Kusadasi dates back to the Leleges people in 3000BC and all through the ages, Kusadasi was ...