Christmas Turkey - 12 days

FROM USD $2,249

There’s no stuffing birds or entertaining aunts! Enjoy snowflakes on fairy chimneys, legendary sites at Ephesus, Troy and Aspendos, thermal springs at Pamukkale and Christmas Eve at St Nic’s!

Day 1: Welcome to Istanbul
18 December 2014. Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Remainder of the day and evening at leisure. Overnight - Istanbul
Day 2: Old City Sights
Enjoy a tour of old Istanbul. The only city to span two continents sits on the Bosphorus - the strait of water that divides the continents of Europe and Asia. Its illustrious past leaves a rich legacy of churches, mosques, palaces and museums, complemented by the behemoth Grand Bazaar and colourful street life.

Sultanahmet, the compact old city of Istanbul, is full of 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 and the Underground Cistern. Rest of day free. Tonight, we are free to explore or relax in our hotel. Overnight - Istanbul (B)
Christmas Turkey - 12 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A hat and medal on the shores of Anzac Cove in Gallipoli
Day 3: Gallipoli
Istanbul – Gallipoli/Canakkale. Today, we enjoy a visit to battle-scarred Gallipoli. On the 25th April 1915, under the guidance of the British Command, the combined forces of Australia and New Zealand, otherwise known as the ‘ANZACs’, mounted an assault at a beach in North-Western Turkey. The futile campaign, infamously known as Gallipoli, is poignantly etched in history due to the enormous loss of lives and the impossibly hopeless situation faced by these brave young soldiers, many of whom had left home for the first time, destined never to return. In the fierce struggle for Turkish territory, thousands perished as the odds were resolutely stacked against them. The Turks sustained terrible losses. Thousands of British, French and Indian Allied troops also died. As always in war, common men died, cruelly robbed of their potential because of actions and decisions of military leaders. Overnight - Canakkale (B, D)
Days 4 - 5: Troy & legendary Ephesus
Gallipoli - Kusadasi. Step back in time as we visit the legendary Roman ruins of Pergamum and Troy - inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy. On day 5, we explore ancient Ephesus. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts carefully restored elements including a Great Theatre, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis and the Library of Celsus. Stop by the ancient public toilets and public brothel! Afterward, we stop at a local leather manufacturer. Turkey produces some of the finest leather goods in the world and many are made here before branding in Italy. Overnight - Kusadasi (B:2, D:1)
A group in one of the thermal terraced pools in Pammukale
Day 6: Pamukkale
Kusadasi – Pammukale. Exploring the Roman Hierapolis and the cascading calcium mineral pools of Pamukkale perhaps opt for a dip in the thermal hot springs. Overnight - Pamukkale (B, D)
Day 7: Xmas Eve at St Nic's
Pammukale - Demre - Antalya. The legend of Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) began in Turkey! St Nicholas - a 4th century bishop gave anonymous gifts to dowryless village girls. He would drop bags of coins down the chimneys of their houses and this ‘gift from heaven’ would allow them to marry. We visit the church and tomb of St Nicholas in Demre before continuing to coastal Antalya for a top Xmas Eve dinner overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Overnight - Antalya (B, D)
Day 8: Christmas Day & Roman Ruins
Kemer - Konya. Merry Christmas! En route to Konya we tour the incredible Roman ruins of Perge and Aspendos. Overnight - Konya (B, D)
Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia in Turkey
Days 9 - 10: Cappadocia
Konya – Cappadocia. Day 9 we tour Konya and the Mevlana monastery before heading north east to Cappadocia. We stop en route at an ancient caravanserai and later take a short walk through the beautiful Ihlara Valley. In the evening, opt for a traditional Turkish dinner and folklore evening. On day 10, we explore the stunning Goreme Valley, fairy chimneys, amazing troglodyte villages, Uchisar Castle and Derinkuyu underground city.

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. 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. Dinner on day 10. Overnight - Cappadocia (B:2, D:1)
Day 11: The Nation's Capital
Cappadocia - Istanbul. Travelling via Ankara to Istanbul, we visit Anitkabir - the massive mausoleum of Mustafa Kamel Ataturk. Arriving into Istanbul late this evening. Overnight - Istanbul (B)
Ancient Hagia Sofia in the snow in Istanbul
Day 12: Istanbul
29th December 2014. After breakfast our tour concludes with an onward departure transfer to the airport. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas in Turkey! (B)

Commemorate the brave soldiers at ANZAC day in Gallipoli

Pay tribute to those that died at the tragic campaign of Gallipoli by paying your respects at ANZAC day, with like minded companions. Whether you are short on time, or would like to see Turkey or even Egypt, we have great packages to suit.

Click here for further information on our ANZAC day tours
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Istanbul / Ends in: Istanbul
  • Departs: 18th December 2014 & 2015
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:11, Lunch: 0, Dinner: 6
  • Hotel Rating: 4 - 5 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes
The On The Go Theatre
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