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Welcome to Turkey! Upon arrival group pick-up from the airport and tour the heart of the Old City from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled, we’ll view some amazing sights. See the Blue Mosque (opening subject to prayer times) which faces the Hagia Sofia and is famed for its blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets and the ruinous Hippodrome – now a small park of sorts and once scene of chariot races and political activities in Byzantine times. Also enjoy a visit to Topkapi Palace - residence of the sultans and Hagia Sofia Museum - constructed as a Basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian.
Early this morning, we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli on the Gallipoli Peninsular. Where we walk in the footsteps of the ANZAC’s with visits to the battlefields and trenches, ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly and various other sites.
Travelling south today our first stop is legendary Troy, for a guided tour. We travel on to the ancient ruins of Pergamum and enjoy a guided tour of the site. Home to one of the steepest, vertigo-inducing amphitheatres in the classical world. We then continue to Kusadasi on the Aegean Coast.
Today, we tour the incredible Roman ruins of Ephesus. Undoubtedly the most well preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what Roman life must have been like. In the 1st century BC, Ephesus was the second largest city in the world! It revelled in prosperity from commerce and visiting pilgrims, who came to see its great Temple of Artemis (completed in 550 BC) - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Driving east, we arrive at Pamukkale - home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castles, they are a natural phenomena and gift of Mother Nature. Pamukkale was formed when warm, calcium rich mineral water cascaded over the cliff edge, cooling and depositing in the process. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs, known as travertines. Take a barefoot walk along the traverines or opt for a dip in the warm waters of the Pamukkale Thermal pool, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns.
On our drive to Cappadocia, we visit some ancient caravanserais such as Sultanhani caravanserai. Cappadocia is perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown. Tonight enjoy a fun Turkish evening out with belly dancing and included snacks.
A guided tour of the region takes us to the World – Heritage listed site of the Göreme Valley where you’ll see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches, chapels and temples and Zelve with its phallic-like eroded landscape. 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. This evening enjoy a gala dinner in a cave restaurant.
Sadly your final day with us with your group departure transfer to Kayseri airport.
The Gallipoli and ANZAC Campaign - With the intention of capturing and securing the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, thus...