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Welcome to Turkey! Upon arrival we will pick the group up from the airport and transfer everyone to the hotel for the evening.
Early this morning we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. 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 Bair 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. Roughly 3 feet deep, the system of trenches provided much need safe cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy. Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel.
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 Izmir, 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. Overnight Kaya Thermal or similar.
Today, we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans, was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000 and became the Roman Capital of Asia Minor. We also visit the House of the Virgin Mary at Mt. Koressos en-route to Pamakkule.
Today we tour 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. Later we continue onto Antalya.
Today we visit the Archaeological Museum and the Roman cities of Perge and we visit the ancient theatre of Aspendos before returning to the hotel.
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.
Enroute to Cappadocia a stop is made along the Silk Road at the Seljuk - a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai. Overnight Dilek Kaya or similar.
Today we tour the stunning Cappadocia region - an extraordinary national treasure. A guided tour of the 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, the pigeon droppings that litter the area have been used as fertilizer on crops for generations. You can also learn about pottery making. Overnight Dilek Kaya or similar.
Travelling to the nation’s capital, we visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Ataturk - the father of modern Turkey. Overnight Moevenpick or similar.
Bursa, the original capital of the Ottoman Empire located on the north western slopes of Mount Uludag. The area is dotted with hot springs and during Roman times spas were built for the publics’ use, over the centuries Bursa became renowned as one of the most important spas of the Byzantine period. We visit the Ottoman complex and see the Grand Mosque and the Green Mausoleum, the tomb of Sultan Mehmet I.
Today we depart to the WW1 battlefields on Gallipoli Peninsular. This evening we take our places amongst the many at the Dawn Service site for the atmosphere charged ANZAC Eve vigil.
First light heralds a poignant bugle call and commencement of the Dawn Service. After the service and armed with your maps, you’ve a chance to independently explore many of the trenches and memorial sites as you head up to Lone Pine or Chunuk Bair for the Australian or New Zealand National services. Later this afternoon, we return to Istanbul, where upon our late evening arrival, we check into our hotel for a well-earned rest after such an emotion-filled day.
Embarking on a guided sightseeing tour of the old city, taking in the stunning Iznik tiled Blue Mosque, Hippodrome area, Topkapi Palace, the 6th century Hagia Sofia and more. This afternoon there is free time to relax or perhaps explore the mammoth Grand Bazaar and exotic Egyptian Spice Market independantly.
Sadly your last day with us with your group departure airport transfer.
Perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown, Cappadocia consists of whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses, all hewn from the ...