Kicking off in the powerhouse of the Ottoman empire - Istanbul, pay your respects at Gallipoli, get lost in the impressive Roman ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, witness the beautiful Aegean Coast and dip your toes in Pamukkale's beautiful cascading mineral pools.
Istanbul. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Istanbul's old city. Our tour includes visits to the stunning Blue Mosque famed for it’s blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets, the ruinous Hippodrome – now a small park of sorts and once scene of chariot races and political activities in Byzantine times, Hagia Sofia Museum - constructed as a Basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern – an ancient underground water tank - replete with carved and fluted Corinthian columns and a puzzling head of Medusa. Visitors walk on walkways suspended above the shallow water. It’s very cool and peaceful.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Istanbul – Gallipoli. Early this morning, we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead. Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Blair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years.
Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. Heading south, we enjoy a guided tour of Homer’s Troy, famed for the Trojan wooden horse and fabled Helen. Continuing to ancient Pergamum - the cultural and political capital of its time, before continuing onto coastal Kusadasi. Make the most of the hotel facilities this evening.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast
Today, we enjoy a guided tour at the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-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. Ephesus, under the Romans was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. It became the Roman capital of Asia Minor. We’ll have plenty of time to tour the marble ruins of Ephesus. Be sure to see the famous Library of Celcus, the gymnasium of Vedius and Stadium, the great theatre and stroll the streets in the ruins of this large Roman ruined city. It’s completely fascinating. We’ll see public toilets, a brothel, fountains and various temples. Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and afterward we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast
Kusadasi - Pamukkale. Today, after breakfast, we drive to Pamukkale visiting the region’s famed calcium rich 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. Today, some of the pools are closed. However, areas of the travertines can be walked upon, albeit in bare feet. We can however opt to enjoy a unique and very pleasant dip in the warm waters at the Pamukkale Thermal, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns in the centre of the ruined spa town of Hierapolis, which was a was a cure centre founded around 190 BC by the Romans. This evening we have some free time to relax and unwind.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast
Friday. This morning we make our way to Denizli airport for our flight to Istanbul. On arrival to Istanbul Airport we bid farewell to our group and representative and catch our onward flights.
Note: Please note your internal flight is currently arriving into the new Istanbul Airport airport at approx. 08:50am. Please ensure you book an international flight departing Istanbul after 1pm, allowing for flight delays. If you are departing via Sabiha airport you will need to make arrangements between airports and we recommend booking flights after 2:30pm Alternatively, you could choose to extend your stay by purchasing an additional night's hotel accommodation.
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.
Very knowledgeable and helpful guide, Mehmet. I would definitely recommend him to future travellers to Turkey. The bus driver, Messut, was pleasant and an excellent driver. ”
We enjoyed the whole trip because the guide gave lots of information. He has more knowledge about the history of the places we visited. Again we enjoyed the trip. The driver was nice and patient with the passengers. ”
Loved the tour ! It was well organised, we really had a fantastic time. ”
Recep is an outstanding guide in all aspects - knowledge of cities, culture, politics, religion. As well as making every moment entertaining. On this tour I didn't feel like a tourist which was so special. Also our driver was just beautiful. He wanted to help us much as possible & always greeted us with a smile. All hotel staff have been very friendly. ”
Turkey Surpassed all our expectations and your company played a major part in achieving this result. ”
Had a great time & Burhan was a great guide! Thanks so much! ”
Our guide was amazing - gave us great insight into all areas of Istanbul & Turkey. He was helpfull friendly and patient. ”
Overall a very enjoyable and educational experience. ”
I love Turkey. Every part of the trip was well organsed. Recep was an excellent tour guide with fantastic knowledge, he is an absolute asset to on the go. ”
A really enjoyable tour I wish I could stay for longer!! Very informative which is what I love about tour & makes such a difference when your guide is so knowledgable. Thanks for a great trip! ”
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Enjoyed the trip - it was intense with regards to the schedule.The guide was knowledgeable with her history and extremely flexible in dealing with changes and she gets high marks for effort for that. ”