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.
This morning we'll embark on a fascinating tour through the Old City of Istanbul, we'll visit stunning examples of architecture that hail from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires eras. 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 9am and 1pm today.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. The 'Twin Share' price is per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. The 'Solo Room' price is applicable to all solo travellers, or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room. Solo Rooms can also be booked by any other person wanting the comfort and privacy of their own room.
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 in the heart of the Old City, near the Basilica Cistern and walking distance from all of the major monuments.
Iris Hotel, Canakkale
The Iris is a modern, low rise hotel with spacious, comfortable rooms and a good size swimming pool. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi connection and has an enviable beach front location. You can enjoy a delicious meal at the outdoor restaurant with views across the ocean.
Carina Hotel, Kusadasi
With panoramic views across the turquoise waters of the Aegean sea, the Carina Hotel boasts bright, spacious room with a stylish antique decor. Within walking distance of the hotel are a number of beaches as well as the restaurant, bars and shops of Kusadasi. Enjoy a bite to eat at the restaurant or sip on a cocktail at the poolside bar.
Richmond Ephesus Resort Hotel, Kusadasi
With a beautiful sandy beach lining the shore between the hotel and the sea, the Richmond Ephesus Hotel is a perfect place to relax. Take a dip in one of the two pools or enjoy a delicious dinner and drink at one of the three restaurants. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with air conditioning throughout the hotel.
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.
fantastic tour - The guide was very knowledgeable, well organised tour. ”
The tour leader - Burhan - , Driver - Ibrahim , Coach and the actual tour content were great. I booked direct and that was also pretty good. Bolt on Ballooning was a fantastic experience. ”
Tour was fantastic and the guide was even better! Regie could tell us facts all day about all of our sites and could answer all questions without hesitation. He was also so fun and make sure everyone felt welcome and a part of the group! Would definitely recommend to anyone looking to travel! ”
I have been on many tours with a number of different companies and the Turkey Unplugged tour was hands down the most informative, relaxing and fun tour I have been on. This was 100% due to our tour guide Reggie. He is the best tour guide I’ve had. So knowledgeable, fun and patient with his adult tourist children. I would recommend this tour highly and try get the tour with Reggie!”
I decided to return to Turkey as my family had not been before, second time around and first time doing a trip with On The Go was such an amazing experience. I was unsure how the trip would be in winter but it was just as magical and a completely different experience then going in summer. I was so greatful to be able to do the hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, was definitely a highlight of the trip and everyone should consider doing it.
Reggie our guide was so much fun, extremely informative and an overall very professional guide and asset to the business! His passion for his country shines through his talks and he is a very approachable person social as well. I could recommend this tour to anyone as it is inviting for all. Adding to that, the food and drinks in Turkey is delicious and affordable. Will definitely go with On The Go again!”
I’d do it again! Wonderful tours. Well educated guides who did an outstanding job. The organization, implementation and actual tours went without a hitch. Lodging and food were excellent. Travel was very comfortable and spacious. The guides had us feeling like a lot of old friends in just a few days.....It was a great trip, our first organized trip, and I would most certainly do it with On the Go again.
The price, for what we got , was very reasonable. Travel was easy, hotels were very good, and food was also very good. Many buffets, so picky eaters had many choices. Airport transfers were smooth, as were all accommodation in and out of hotels. Well worth the extensive planning that went into this trip.”
Our tour guide HALUK UZUNOSMAN is excellent has extended knowledge of history regarding the places we visited. He has given us time to really look around and he looked after us in terms of language barrier and recommends local dish to try. Sites we visited are great. But would recommend to have 1 more day in Pamukkale and Cappadocia”
Hi! I've just returned from a wonderful trip from Turkey and wanted to express my thanks to Burhan, our guide and Fiko, our driver. Burhan's passion and enthusiasm for Turkey and its history shone through daily - I didn't realise how much history it had! I would recommend this tour to anyone that is looking to find out a bit more about Turkey, its history and its people.”
A very interesting and well organised tour which covered a lot of ground, with an excellent guide. The hotels were generally good - the quality of the meals provided was good although the buffet main course meat choices were sometimes limited and often there was no fish dish. Several extra dinners were provided and this was much appreciated.
Overall, the tour provided an insight into several facets of an amazing country.”
The tour was great, what made it great was Lale, nothing was an effort for her, even as to say I had an issue where I needed a dentist and she went out of her way to find one, she even took her time to take me there ! I’ve been on a few tours and I have to say she is one great tour guide !!! She is very valuable to your company and also she is very knowledgeable about this beautiful country. 10 out of 10 ”
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fantastic tour - The guide was very knowledgeable, well organised tour. ”