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.
we have just returned from our 10 days unplugged tour of Turkey.
It was amazing! everything worked like clockwork and everyday was a new adventure.
Reggie was a superstar! His Knowledge of Turkey is astounding , he is warm, friendly and helpful.
Turkey is a beautiful country and I would recommend this tour to anyone.
we loved every minute and made lots of new friends.”
It was an unforgettable experience and the guide was outstanding. His knowledge of history and current facts and events was phenomenal.
We had a slight glitch with the Hotel in Kusadasi but Kemal compensated by taking us to Artemis Restaurant on the house.
For us oldies it might have been a bit rushed at times but I guess we had to get it all in in the time and cost allocated.
Thank you onthego!”
The tour overall was very good. However the printed flier did not mention that the hotel we stayed at in Istanbul at the end of the tour was not the same one that we stayed in at the start. This mattered to us as we had arranged for relatives to visit us in Istanbul at the end of our tour when we stayed on an extra 3 days. They had consequently booked in to the hotel Kent whereas we were booked in to the hotel Titanic. This would have caused us a few problems. Thankfully the local On the Go Tours staff sorted it out and arranged for us to have our added on 3 days back at the Kent. I do think, however, that it should be advised in the flier that there is a change of hotels at either end of the tour.
Our guide was magnificent. He had a vast fund of knowledge not just about the tour but about Turkey in general. He was at times refreshingly politically incorrect to a surprising degree. He discussed politics, religion and current affairs relevant to Turkey and its current neighbour. We did not always agree with him but really appreciated his frankness. As well he had a great sense of humour.
The organisation of the tour itself was very good. The persuasive emphasis on group punctuality was appreciated. As was the speedy check in at the hotels. The hotels, other than the one in Kusadasi, were all good. (We have already commented unfavourably on this hotel in the tour feedback form given to us at the end of the tour.) Whilst it was not On the Go Tours fault we felt that the food supplied in the evening at the hotels was not particularly adventurous or especially Turkish.
We certainly learnt a lot about Turkey, both present day as well as in the past which was very good. ”
Metin was amazing! His vast knowledge of the country and it's history was truly outstanding. As a guide he was extremely professional and ensured that everything from checking into hotels to arriving somewhere on time ran like clockwork. It seemed that nothing was ever too much trouble and he was always on hand to answer any questions.
He ensured that every single passenger was comfortable and enjoying their time in Turkey.
Please pass on my sincerest thanks to Metin for an absolutely incredible trip.
I will definitely be recommending "On the Go" tours to all of my customers. ”
Great experience. Loved the small group size and very knowledgeable guide, Ahmet. The trip was amazing. ”
Driver Mesut - excellent driver, well mannered, very friendly and well presented. Guide Mehmet - very informative, in control all the time, friendly and polite. ”
The driver Mesut - Excellent. The Guide Mehmet - very knowledge & experienced & passionate. Thank you. ”
Exciting trip and very informative. Beautiful country and rich with history. ”
Very enjoyable holiday, a great way to see & experience the sites & distance of Turkey. ”
Both the tour guide and driver can't be better. ”
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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.”