Explore stunning Istanbul with its bazaars and mosques and wander around the battlefields of Gallipoli See Roman ruins in Pergamum and Ephesus, discover the beautiful Aegean Coast, the natural wonder of Pamukkale and the jewel in Turkey’s crown - Cappadocia, with its amazing underground cities and whimsical landscape.
Saturday. Welcome to Turkey and the start of your holiday. There's an included arrival transfer to our hotel before the afternoon is at leisure. Relax in the hotel or head out to explore the city. Istanbul is easy to get around on foot and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted about the city.
Enjoy a tour of the Old City, from where the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires were ruled. We’ll visit the stunning Blue Mosque, famed for its blue Iznik tiles. Discover the Hippodrome and Hagia Sofia, which was constructed as a Basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian. Finally, we explore the impressive Topkapi Palace, which was the main residence of the Ottoman sultans in the 15th century.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Istanbul – Gallipoli. Today we explore ANZAC Cove and the many memorials dotted across the WW1 battlefields. Our guided tour takes in sights including ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Bair Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. This morning we enjoy a short guided tour of Troy. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was brought to life by it’s rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed nine ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC. We enjoy a tour of the ruins and admire a replica of the Trojan wooden horse that, as legend goes, was filled with Aechaean soldiers who helped to sack Troy.
Driving further south we reach the ancient ruins of Pergamum, home to one of the steepest amphitheatres in the classical world. Pergamum was also famous for its Asclepion (medical centre). We continue to Kusadasi on the Aegean Coast via a leather manufacturing house.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast
Today, we explore legendary Ephesus - perhaps the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. Under Roman rule, Ephesus was a vast and prosperous city with a population nearing 250,000. It was an important centre of commerce and a popular destination for pilgrims who came to see the great Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders.
We have plenty of time to tour the marble ruins of Ephesus. Discover the famous Library of Celsus, the Stadium, the gymnasium of Vedius and the Great Theatre. We’ll see ancient public toilets, a brothel, fountains and various temples. There's also a visit to a carpet manufacturing house.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast
Kusadasi – Pamukkale. Driving east, we arrive at Pamukkale - home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castles, they're a natural phenomena and gift from 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 are known as travertines. Take a barefoot walk along the travertines or opt for a dip in the warm waters of the thermal pool, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns.
Our last stop of the day is the ruined spa town of Hierapolis, famed for the curative powers of its mineral springs. These were dammed to create communal baths.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast
Pamukkale - Cappadocia. On day 7 we drive to Cappadocia, stopping to visit some ancient caravanserais (roadside inns) such as Sultanhani. Tonight there's a fun optional evening of Turkish folklore.
On day 8 we enjoy a guided tour of Cappadocia - perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown. Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s most extraordinary national treasures. The utter improbability of the surreal landscape has to be seen to be believed with its ‘stuff of fables’ cave dwellings and phallic ‘fairy chimneys’ landscape. Whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock of Cappadocia.
A guided tour of the region takes us to the World Heritage listed Goreme Valley. See stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches, chapels and temples. Marvel at Zelve, with its phallic-like eroded landscape. Stopping on the outskirts of Goreme Village we have the opportunity to see Pigeon Valley, where centuries old pigeon houses are carved into the surrounding cliffs. Our tour also takes in the incredible Uchisar castle-mountain. Enjoy marvelous views of Cappadocia from the summit and explore the underground city of Kaymakli.
You'll also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, which specializes in historic jewellery designs that are unique to Turkey and crafted using local materials. For those not interested in shopping, there's time to relax and grab a drink from the local cafe. This evening, we enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Cappadocia | Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1
Monday. After breakfast our tour draws to a close. An onward departure transfer is included to Istanbul International Airport and is offered at 11am or 1:30pm today.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Ramada Old City, Istanbul
A member of the reputable Ramada chain, the Istanbul Old Town property is modern and comfortable with excellent amenities. Guestrooms are bright and spacious with contemporary amenities. Two restaurants are on offer and our personal favourite is the wonderful roof top restaurant, serving delicious local cuisine coupled with a magnificent view of the City and Sea. The perfect way to end the day. Located very close to the Historical part of the city with major Monuments are all walking distance.
Tusan Hotel, Canakkale
The family run Tusan Hotel offers modern facilities in a tranquil setting. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped and offer guests beautiful forest or sea views. The hotel benefits from a private beach and an indoor and outdoor restaurant. A refreshing pint of beer in the English Pub whilst challenging the bar staff to a game of pool is a great way to spend the evening. This accommodation sits within a beautiful pine forest looking across the Dardanelles with a private beach exclusively for guests.
Marina Hotel, Kusadasi
Marina hotel is a modern hotel with a sea view and balcony from nearly every spacious room. It has recently been renovated and features an indoor and outdoor pool and you may also use the facilities and beach of 5-Star Pine Bay.
Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel, Pamukkale
Set in landscaped gardens, the Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel has an envious location in Pamukkale. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated and offer a wonderful level of comfort, ensuring a good night's sleep. The on site thermal spa offers guests the chance to relax, revitalise and enjoy what this region is most famous for. Breakfast can be eaten outside on the terrace while dinner is often taken by the shimmering water of the pool.
Burcu Kaya Hotel, Cappadocia
The Burca Kaya building was modelled on ancient Seljuk architecture and carved into rocks. The rooms are simply furnished and decorated with neutral colours. The stone walls and rich wooden panelling give the accommodation a truly authentic feel, whilst still maintaining a high level of comfort. The swimming pool has views of the famous fairy chimneys and the restaurant uses locally produced fruit and vegetables. The hotel is located in Ortahisar, the centre of Cappadocia.
Recep is an awesome tour guide. Incredibly well informed and very interesting to listen to. He managed a whole busload of tourists with no apparent difficulty, even though we were a very disparate bunch. He was able to get on well with us all and make jokes, but was also able to get everyone to follow orders when required, too. Never got cross or even annoyed that we could see - so patient! Able to deal calmly with every hiccup that came along; level headed in a crisis. Loves his country. The perfect guide.”
Kemal was a lovely guide and the tour was well organised.”
Loved Turkey however I found the tour way too busy with bus travel...with only really 3 full days actually on the ground and all other days had at least 3 hours of bus travel with the last day from Capadoccia being almost 10 hours on the bus!
Other than that, our guide was great and had extensive hTistorical knowledge and Biblical knowledge but didn't really converse a lot during the bus travel - where I felt we could have learnt a lot more about the average life in Turkey (maybe watch a documentary or even old movies that showcase Turkey on the bus during the longer trips)...He spent a fare bit of time on his mobile phone or speaking to the driver in the native language.
The one thing that I definitely did not agree with (and when speaking with the others in the group they weren't happy about it either) was that he departed the group upon arrival at the hotel in Istanbul on the last night. You really need to include a farewell dinner that evening and he should be there...
The tour definitely gave me good insight to Turkey - especially how large it is! and I would love to go back but I would recommend to any of my clients looking at the 10 day that they actually do a longer tour or combine tours that don't have so much travel...
Thanks guys - really enjoyed myself. Jacy”
We very much enjoyed this tour. For a 10-day tour I think we hit most of the top sites. Turkey is advanced beyond my expectations. Our guide was the best. He was so knowledgeable about Turkey, the country, its history and people, the ancient history and biblical history. He answered all questions in detail. He was considerate in making frequent stops for refreshment and exercise.”
I feel that Turkey is one of the most impressive countries that I have toured as the places visited, accommodation, organization, food, general atmosphere, people friendliness shopping and infrastructure are of a very high standard without being very expensive. I can compare this to countries in all the different continents as I have been fortunate enough as a travel agent initially and then as a compulsive traveller to have visited many different places from the North to the South Pole and wild places like the Peruvian Amazon. Naci was an exceptional guide who coped very well with the tour group despite very varied ages nationalities and religions. He was very patient in answering questions, exceptionally knowledgeable in History and had a good sense of humour at all times. I was also very impressed with our driver (Achmet?) who had to travel long distances day and night in heavy traffic and driving rain. He was very polite and helpful at all times. As a single woman I walked extensively around Istanbul and felt very safe and non-threatened. ”
The tour was excellent and covered what I was after. The hotels were excellent. I was disappointed that on the information it said to bring tipping kitty and entrance fees in USD and when I arrived I was told by the guide it had to be in Turkish lira. I lost money exchanging it so was annoyed at this. Place change the information on the documentation.
The tour guide improved as the trip went on. He got very annoyed with us for the first few days, he walked very fast ahead of us and was annoyed when we were not keeping up as we were taking photos! He told us off like we were school children. There were times when I felt like he didn't want to be there. ”
Our tour guide was very informative , had a good sense of humour. Accommodation was excellent , clean and comfortable hotel rooms and most included wi-fi. Great variety of activities and optional extras.Thanks we had very memorable honeymoon!! We had an awesome time!!! ”
Excellent tour. Tour guide told us lots of interesting information relation to historical & modern day turkey. Tour guide was flexible when needed. ”
I submitted a feedback with 1 star, accidently, meant to put 5 star, feedback as written in previous form, ( sorry) ”
I had a fantastic tour of Turkey, A full on 10 days gave a real variety of what Turkey has to offer. The trip was made by Kemal, whose knowledge and enthusiasm were second to none. He guided us through the sights with expert knowledge, getting us from a to b with ease.Thanks”
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I loved this tour, its a fun filled tour and I met some great new friends, travelling solo.
Our tour guide Burhan was great and such a treat.”