Discover Turkish treasures on a trip that packs in Ottoman Istanbul, the ancient ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, historic Gallipoli and the Aegean, fine Mediterranean beaches, whirling dervishes, stunning Cappadocia and UNESCO listed Safranbolu. This is ultimate Turkey, in two amazing weeks!
Saturday. Welcome to Turkey! Arrive at Istanbul airport and there's an included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon offers free time for you to relax or explore. At 8 o clock this evening our tip filled welcome meeting takes place. A great opportunity to meet your tour guide and travelling companions before our exciting 14 day adventure gets under way.
Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents, resting on the shores of 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.
Today we embark on a classic guided tour of the city's highlights. Our first stop is Sultanahmet, the compact old city filled with 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 where we spend time exploring the grounds and various museums contained within the palace walls. Evening at leisure.
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 Bair 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. Roughly 3 feet deep, the system of trenches provided much needed cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy.
Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsula) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation, waterside.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. At Troy (the inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy) we see the replica Trojan Horse and enjoy a guided tour of the fabled ancient city, which dates back to 3000BC. En route to Kusadasi, we explore the ruins of Pergamum with it's impressive temples, library and medical facilities, which made it a famous cultural and political centre of it's time.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Sirince. Today we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Possibly the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans, was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. It became the Roman Capital of Asia Minor and revelled in prosperity from commerce and visiting pilgrims who came to see the great Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. 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.
Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and after our tour we stop to watch a demonstration before visiting the quaint Greek village of Sirince, which perches on the mountainside within a valley of vineyards and orchards.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi – Pamukkale. Meandering through the sweeping plains and endless cotton farms we arrive at the ruins of Roman Hierapolis and the hot springs of Pamukkale. Admire this surreal landscape created by frequent earthquakes in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin. Marvel at the crystalline marble, quartzites and stalagtites, which shimmer in the sunlight. There will be time to paddle our feet as you walk the terraces or opt for a dip in the thermal baths. Later we stop at a leather manufacturing house.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Pamukkale - Koycegiz - Fethiye. Arriving at the lakeside town of Koycegiz, we embark on a boat cruise to Turtle Beach. Opt to cover yourself in mud at the local mud bath before we continue our journey to Fethiye, a charming port town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. Fringed by the Taurus Mountains, this is where we'll spend the next two nights.
Overnight: Fethiye | Breakfast, Dinner
Fethiye - Kayakoy Greek village - Oludeniz - Fethiye. After breakfast today we explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy. This afternoon we drive to Oludeniz, a popular resort town which is home to the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Here you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a swim before travelling back to neighbouring Fethiye.
Overnight: Fethiye | Breakfast
Fethiye - Antalya. Today we visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon. Take a walk through the beautiful natural landscape or relax and watch the world go by from the fig tree-shaded wooden platforms that overlook the river. Weaving our way through the Taurus Mountains we arrive to Antalya visiting the Duden Waterfalls en route.
Please note: In 2020 the itinerary for day 9 will differ from the above, please see your trip notes for more information.
Overnight: Antalya | Breakfast, Dinner
Antalya – Cappadocia. Early this morning we depart for Konya, stopping en route to visit the ancient theatre of Aspendos. Arriving at Konya, we tour the monastery of the Mevlana whirling dervishes and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. A further stop is made along the Silk Road at the Seljuk - a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai (roadside inn).
Overnight: Cappadocia | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we tour the stunning Cappadocia region - an extraordinary national treasure. The utter improbability of the seemingly surreal landscapes have to be seen to be believed, where 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 includes the World Heritage Listed Goreme Valley to see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches and chapels, Kaymaki Underground City and Uchisar Castle. 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. Here you'll also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, specialising in historic jewellery designs unique to Turkey, and crafted using local materials. For those not interested in shopping, spend a little time relaxing and grab a drink from the local cafe. An optional Turkish dinner and folklore evening is available tonight.
Overnight: Cappadocia | Breakfast
Cappadocia – Safranbolu. Opt for an early morning hot air balloon flight over the incredible lunar landscape. Today we head to the World Heritage Listed town of Safranbolu. The town boasts many graceful Ottoman homes, once the residences of royalty and artisan work shops crafting traditional Turkish wares. Tonight we stay in an Ottoman mansion home.
Alternatively you can travel by flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul and spend the night at leisure in Istanbul.
Overnight: Safranbolu | Breakfast, Dinner
Friday. Today we say goodbye to our new friends and our tour concludes after breakfast. Complimentary departure transfers are offered to Istanbul International Airport at 9am and 1pm.
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.
Radisson Blu Pera, Istanbul
Set in the Pera district of Istanbul, this exclusive hotel is well-located within walking distance of most historic sites and public transport. Its luxurious guestrooms are comfortable and bohemian-style, offering city or estuary views alongside free WiFi and a complimentary tea and coffee set-up. On the top floor, you’ll find the Hamdi Restaurant, which serves traditional Turkish cuisine accompanied by spectacular views of the Golden Horn. Guests can also enjoy pastries and coffee at the Luna Lounge or take advantage of the 24-hour room service. To top it off, the hotel also offers a gym, sauna, indoor pool and Turkish bath, offering ample opportunities for some rest and relaxation.
Point Hotel Taksim, Istanbul
Well-located just a short walk from the nearest Metro station, this modern hotel is a great base for exploring the sights of Istanbul. Light and spacious guestrooms offer air conditioning and free high speed WiFi. There’s also a indoor pool, spa facilities and a fitness centre. Guests can enjoy a choice of eateries, including an authentic Japanese Restaurant and two café bars. However, this hotel’s highlight is the top-floor View Point Restaurant, which boasts delicious Turkish and world cuisine alongside sweeping views of the Bosporus Strait.
Kent Hotel, Istanbul
The charming Kent Hotel is a great example of contemporary design and a friendly atmosphere. Guest rooms are superbly equipped with modern facilities including Wi-Fi connectivity, state of the art technology and bright marbled bathrooms. Enjoying a delicious Turkish meal at the in house Calcedoine Restaurant after a hard days sightseeing is highly recommended. The hotel is also fantastically located within a 10-minute walk of the Grand Bazaar and Old Town in the Bayazit area in the European side of Istanbul.
Kolin Hotel, Canakkale
Looking out across the Dardanelles, the modern and bright Kolin Hotel offers well appointed rooms with hard wood flooring and tasteful decor. The hotel also boasts a luxury spa, wellness centre and a number of mouth watering restaurants all set within perfectly manicured lawns. Sipping a sundowner on the roof bar, overlooking the beautiful strait, is the perfect way to end the day. The hotel is located on the water’s edge a short drive from the town centre with beautiful views out to sea.
Charisma Hotel, Kusadasi
The Charisma is a modern and elegant hotel with spacious rooms. The rooms are equipped with jacuzzi, LCD screen television, split air conditioning, mini-bar, electronic safe box, hairdryer and free internet connection. Towering over the Aegean Sea's outstanding view, the Hotel is just 15 minutes by walk from Kuşadası's shopping and entertainment area.
Pamukkale Doga Thermal Hotel , Pamukkale
Complete with both indoor and outdoor pools, the Doga Thermal Hotel is a modern hotel with excellent amenities. Guest rooms are bright and spacious with wonderful en suite facilities. There is complimentary Wi-Fi offered throughout and a sumptuous buffet served for breakfast and dinner. The spa facilities on offer include sauna, Turkish bath, hot spring bath, massage treatments and a fittness centre.
Marina Boutique, Fethiye
Thanks to its delightful marina setting, the Marina Boutique offers picturesque views over the Bay of Fethiye. Its stylish guestrooms open out onto private balconies with sea views and feature marble bathrooms. They also provide free WiFi as well all the other modern amenities you’d need to enjoy your stay. The hotel is surrounded by Mediterranean gardens with a refreshing outdoor pool and bar. Guests can enjoy the daily breakfast buffet in the onsite restaurant, which serves delicious regional food from the Mugla Province. Set on the beautiful waterfront, you’re sure to take the option of outdoor dining so you can soak up the views with your meal.
Best Western Khan Hotel, Antalya
Modern and elegant, the Best Western Khan has good sized rooms with en suites and a range of modern amenities, and free transportation to Konyaaltı, one of the most beautiful beaches in Antalya. A breakfast buffet iserved in the hotel's restaurant on a daily basis and various Turkish delicacies can be found here as well. The hotel also has a pool and fitness centre. The hotel is located in the city centre, within easy walking distance of the Old Town and Marina.
Crowne Plaza Nevsehir, Cappadocia
Situated only 15 minutes from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site of Goreme, this modern hotel boasts an excellent location in Cappadocia. Its guestrooms are located in quiet zones to ensure you have a restful sleep and offer modern amenities including free WiFi so you can stay connected to friends and family back home. Guests can unwind in the indoor pool or book a revitalizing treatment at the onsite spa centre. A rich breakfast is served in the Gurme Restaurant, then for dinner head to the a la carte Manzara Roof Restaurant on the top floor for some delicious international cuisine.
İmren Lokum, Safranbolu
Situated in Safranbolu, Imren Lokum is styled after the traditional houses of the region. Surrounded by historical and natural beauty, this hotel offers its guests a comfortable stay in rooms equipped with modern amenities including free WiFi and 24-hour room service. A complimentary full breakfast with local specialties is served each morning and the restaurant also offers a lunch and dinner menu. In the evenings, guests can relax in the lounge bar or take a drink to the outdoor seating in the garden.
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I would like to say a personal thank you to both OTG and my guide Esra for making my travel experience to Turkey so smooth and beautiful. Esra’s knowledge on Art, Culture and History was impressive, combined with her selflessness and bubbly personality made our extensive travels which were sometimes overwhelming and tiring, fun and memorable. Esra is an incredibly kind and compassionate person who ensured we were happy and well and I am very lucky we crossed her path. I’ve learnt a lot about the Turkish heritage and it’s been a privilege to have seen so many ancient and underground cities. I’m already thinking about a next visit!!! Thank you ever so much.”