Istanbul. Today you will be taken on a full day tour of Istanbul. Istanbul has a rich history encompassing Ottoman, Christian and Muslim rulers, due to this it has an eclectic feel that no other city can match with its Middle East meets Europe atmosphere. Today you will see Topkapi Palace, once the seat of parliament for the Ottoman Empire and built in the 15th Century. Nearby is Aya Sofya, the great cathedral built by Emperor Justinian in 537 which was the largest church in Christendom for a thousand years. Then visit the roman Hippodrome with its various monuments including a 3500 year old Egyptian obelisk erected where it still stands today in 390 AD and the world famous Blue Mosque with its six minarets and over 20 000 blue Iznik tiles adorning the interior for which it derives its name. Tonight you have the option to enjoy a traditional Turkish dinner with Turkish entertainment, not to be missed.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Gallipoli – Canakkale. After breakfast you will drive to Gallipoli. The infamous site of the Gallipoli campaign of WWI where over 11 000 Anzacs lost their lives in the ill fated campaign to take the Dardanelles and open supply routes to Europe and Russia. You will have the opportunity to see Anzac Cove, Chunuk Bair, The Nek, Lone Pine, the 57th Regiment memorial and the war museum. Later you will cross the Dardanelles to Canakkale.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Troy – Pergamon – Kusadasi. Today you will journey to legendary Troy, made famous by the poet Homer. There is a reconstruction of the famous wooden horse used to smuggle troops into the city of Troy during the Trojan War. Later you will cross the mountain of Ida to arrive in Pergamon, one of Turkey’s oldest settlements having been inhabited since pre-historic times and through the Ionic, Roman and Byzantine periods. You can visit the ancient Acropolis and the Altar of Zeus, both incredible displays of ancient architecture, here also lie the remains of the ancient library, famed for being the birthplace of the modern book. Later you continue on to Kusadasi.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi – Ephesus - Kusadasi. Today you will get the chance to explore the extraordinary Ancient city of Ephesus, after Pompeii it is considered the largest and most well preserved ancient Roman city on the Mediterranean. After Sultanhamet in Istanbul the theatres, gymnasiums, fountains, buildings and temples of Ephesus are the most visited area in Turkey and upon seeing them with your own eyes you will be able to cast your mind back to the time of the Romans and Byzantines when this city flourished before finally falling into decline due to the abandonment of Artemis worship, Arab raiders and finally the silting up of the harbour. A highlight of the site is the House of Mother Mary where it is supposed she spent her last years living with St John. The area is also rich with local handicrafts and you will have the opportunity to see how they are made. After a good day of sightseeing you will return to Kusadasi for the night.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi – Pamukkale. After breakfast you will set out for the UNESCO world heritage listed Pamukkale and the magnificent Hierapolis. Situated near the travertine terraces, a hot spring rises from the earth, as it runs down the terraces and cools it forms a hard chalk, lime like substance that forms a solid waterfall. Seen at different times of the day startling colours can be seen as the sun travels its daily course. It is possible to take a therapeutic dip in the baths although this is now heavily restricted to a few baths due to hotels in the past siphoning off great amounts of the water for their own use resulting in necessary preservation of the area. The spring emerges from what was once the centre of the impressive ancient city of Hieropolis with its Roman theatre still used today during the International Pamukkale Song Festival and seating up to 7000, a little more comfortable than the ancients had it with a capacity of 10 000. After a full day of touring return to your hotel with its own thermal hot spring pool you can happily wile away the evening in.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Marmaris/Dalaman. You will be transferred to Marmaris/Fethiye for your onward ferry or to Dalaman airport for your onward flight. Today your tour arrangements draw to a close.