21 DAY/20 NIGHT TOUR

Day 1 ISTANBUL
Arrive. The tour group meets in the hotel for an introduction evening. (D) (B)
Day 2 ISTANBUL
Today we enjoy a sight seeing tour - guided by one of our local English-speaking tour guides. We visit the Hippodrome, the sporting and political centre of the old city; the Blue Mosque, renowned for its tiles and marble; Topkapi Palace, residence of the sultans for almost three centuries; fascinating St Sofia, which reigned as the greatest church in Christendom until 1453; and the underground Basilica Cistern. (B, L, D)
Day 3 ISTANBUL
This morning we wander through the 4000 shops at the famous Grand Bazaar, before heading to the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian food market). We continue on to the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, home of many 19th-century sultans. In the afternoon we enjoy a cruise down the Bosphorus, then the evening is spent looking out over Camlica Hills, the best viewpoint in Istanbul. (B)
Day 4 ISTANBUL/GALLIPOLI
After breakfast we depart for the Gallipoli Peninsula. We visit Kabatepe War Museum, Brighton Beach, Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Australian Memorial Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand Memorial and cemetery. We explore The Nek and the original war tunnels and trenches at Johnston Jolly, accompanied by a step-by-step recount of the Gallipoli war by our professional guide. (B, D)
Day 5 BERGAMA/IZMIR
Today our first stop is Homer’s Troy, where we see the ruins of nine cities built on top of each other and the famous Trojan Horse. Next, we stop at the ancient kingdom of Pergamon, where we visit the Acropolis, the Temple of Athena and the famous library, before viewing the Red Courtyard and the ruins of Asklepieon. Then we continue on to our hotel in Izmir. (B, D)
Day 6 IZMIR/EPHESUS/KUSADASI
This morning we set off for the ancient city of Ephesus where our walking tour includes The Great Theatre, which was built by the Romans between 41 and 117 AD and is still used today; Gymnasium of Vedus; the magnificent Library of Celsus; the Temple of Hadrian, guarded by a head of Medusa; the House of Virgin Mary; and the Basilica of St John. We spend the night at our hotel in Kusadasi. (B, D)
Day 7 KUSADASI/PAMUKKALE
After breakfast we visit Ephesus Museum before continuing to Pamukkale, famous for its chalk-white array of fantastically shaped limestone. On arrival, we visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, and then the rest of the day is yours to further explore the ruins, or relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at our hotel. (B, D)
Day 8 PAMUKKALE /MARMARIS
This morning we depart for Marmaris, a picturesque, old harbour town well known for its gorgeous landscape. We stop mid-journey to see the classical and well-preserved ruins of Afrodisias. This evening we stroll around the Marmaris Marina, and then you have a night of leisure. You might like to spend it admiring all the beautiful fish, or dining at one of the fine restaurants by the sea. (B, L)
Day 9 MARMARIS/FETHIYE
After breakfast we begin our trip towards Fethiye. We drive to Dalyan, a small fishing village and then travel by boat down the Dalyan river. There is time to experience the Mud Baths, see the Lycian King tombs and swim in the beautiful waters of Turtle Beach, before we continue late afternoon to our hotel in Fethiye (B, L)
Day 10 FETHIYE
Today we take you to one of the cleanest and most popular beaches in Turkey – Oludeniz – The Blue Lagoon. The day’s activities are your choice – we offer a boat trip, or you can sun bake or swim, or explore the beautiful scenery. Tonight we drop you in Fethiye City Centre for a night on the town. (B)
Day 11 FETHIYE/KAS
Our first stop today is Tlos, a town bathed in Lycian history. We stop for a break at Yaka Park, the gorgeous hillside restaurant, before continuing on to view the magnificent Saklikent Gorge, in the Akdaglar Mountains. This amazing gorge is one of the longest in Asia, and is too steep and narrow for the sun to shine in it. We take the panoramic coastal drive to our hotel at Kas. (B, L)
Day 12 KAS/ANTALYA
Today we depart for Antalya, stopping on the way in Demre – the town that began the famous legend of Santa Claus. Visit the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, home of the 4th- Century bishop. We visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum where we enjoy a lecture by the curator, before an evening of leisure. (B, D)
Day 13 ANTALYA
Early this morning we drive to Aspendos, and see what is considered the best preserved Roman Theatre anywhere. We experience what art-lovers of ancient times would have, before driving to the Hellenistic Roman city of Perge to visit the extensive ruins. We return for a night at our hotel in Antalya. (B, D)
Day 14 ANTALYA/ALANYA
We drive through the Taurus Mountains to reach Alanya - We stop en-route at Manavgat Waterfall for a break and then continue to see Damlatas Cave, which the Turkish people believe holds healing qualities. We enjoy the panoramic views from Alanya Castle before checking in to our hotel for the night. (B, D)
Day 15 ALANYA/CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast we travel to Konya, Turkey’s most religious city, and visit Mevlana Museum, and the tile and ceramic collection at the Karatay Madrasah. We stop at Sultan Hani to see a 13th-Century Caravanserai, en route to Cappadocia. We board the bus after lunch and then continue to Goreme, via the fortress in Uchisar to take in the panoramic views. (B, D)
Day 16 CAPPADOCIA
We visit the panoramic Valley of the Fairy Chimneys, where dwellings are carved out of volcanic rock, spectecular Ihlara Valley, and the nearby town of Urgup. We visit the fascinating Kaymakli Underground City, and tonight we are in for a treat! We are audience to a colourful Folklore Show. (B, D)
Day 17 CAPPADOCIA
An early morning delight awaits those who choose to take advantage of the landscape on an optional hot-air balloon ride. We stroll through the Zelve open-air museum and then onto Avanos, a charming town famous for its pottery, and handicrafts. Tonight is a free night for you to enjoy. (B)
Day 18 CAPPADOCIA/ANKARA
Today we drive to Ankara, the modern Turkish capital once named Angora, after its famous goat hair trade. We visit the world-renowned Anatolian Civilisations Museum, and go to the Mausoleum of Ataturk, to see the fascinating museum and the tomb of the greatest modern leader of the Turkish republic. (B, D)
Day 19 ANKARA/BURSA
We visit Gordion, where Alexander the Great cut the famous Gordion Knot, on our way to Bursa, home to modern Turkish culture. Once there we see the breathtaking Green Mosque and take time out for some shopping at the Silk Bazaar. Tonight is yours to enjoy the wonderful mineral baths, or other facilities in our hotel. (B, D)
Day 20 BURSA/ISTANBUL
We depart after breakfast and arrive in Istanbul after lunch. There is time to re-visit tourist sights or shop for more souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar in the afternoon. We meet in the evening for our tour group farewell dinner; a chance to say goodbye to your new friends. (B, D)
Day 21 ISTANBUL
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

 

3 weeks of pure Turkish delight.
Visit sites of both cultural and
natural significance with
time to relax along the way.
Accommodation class includes 4 star,
boutique and pensions,
all carefully selected.

 

INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICE

  • Variety of accommodation styles, including 13 nights 4 star, 4 nights in Ottoman Style Hotels in Istanbul, 3 nights traditional village pensions in Cappadocia.
  • Professional English-speaking guides.
  • Dining includes 20 traditional Turkish breakfasts, 4 lunches and 14 dinners.
  • Traditional Turkish evening in Cappadocia.
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure.
  • Air-conditioned transportation.
  • Luggage handling at all hotels.
  • Sightseeing in Istanbul, Ephesus, Perge, Pergamon and Cappadocia.
  • Full day Gallipoli tour.
  • Bosphorus, Oludeniz and Dalyan cruises.
  • Visits to four museums Ayasofia Museum, Antalya Civilization Museum, Mevlana Museum and Anatolia Civilization Museum.
  • Extensive tours of Dolmabahce and Topkapi Palaces, and Kaymakli Underground City.
  • All other admission fees and charges


     

    'EXPERIENCE THE REAL TURKEY'

    This 18 day tour is full of culture & fun,
    incorporating some places of
    interest not usually included in package programs.
    Accommodation classes include 4 star,
    Boutique and Pensions,
    all with character and fine service.

     

     

    18 DAY TOUR

    Day 1 Arrive ISTANBUL
    Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents. It is a magnificent city, full of history, beauty and a real blend of cultures. After transferring to the hotel and relaxing a little, we will wander down to the Hippodrome, the scene of ancient chariot races and the centre of Byzantine civic life. We will visit the elegant Sultanahmet Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque due to its magnificent interior decoration of Iznik Tiles. After this you will have free time to continue walking in this lovely area or to return to the hotel to relax. (B)
    Day 2 ISTANBUL
    Today we will visit the Great Palace of the Ottoman sultans (Topkapi Palace). Here you will appreciate the incredible wealth of the Ottoman sultans when they ruled 1/3 of the world - tour through the many courts and visit the fascinating Harem. Then on to the Aya Sofia Museum, a church built in the 4th century with its walls decorated with stunning byzantine mosaics. After this, a visit to the Underground Cistern, built in 532 a.d., introduces you to its magical qualities. (B)
    Day 3 ISTANBUL
    Today we will wander through the Egyptian Spice Bazaar. The sights and aromas in this bazaar are a unique sensation. We then relax on a Bosphorous Cruise and enjoy the magnificent buildings and scenery on the shores of both Europe and Asia. We also visit the labyrinth of streets and passages of the colourful Grand Bazaar. You will be given a short tour after which there is free time to wander around the 4000 shops if you wish. (B)
    Day 4 ISTANBUL - CANAKKALE
    We depart Istanbul early and drive south to the Gallipoli peninsula. We will have our own guide who specialises in the history of this area. We spend 5 hours touring the battlefields, cemeteries and monuments of this historic area before visiting a museum full of battle memorabilia. We cross the Dardenelles strait to Canakkale for overnight stay. (BD)
    Day 5 CANAKKALE-BURSA
    Depart from Canakkale and head east to Bursa. This is a very old and historically important city. It was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and has a special meaning to most Turks. We will visit the beautiful Green Mosque and Green Tomb - the best examples of Turkish-style architecture. We will also visit the famous Silk Bazaar of Bursa, the Silk cocoon trade is a popular industry for the local villagers. We can then relax in the thermal waters at the hotel.(BD)
    Day 6 BURSA- ABANT LAKE
    Depart Bursa for the lakeside town of Iznik, famous for the very ornate tiles that decorate many of Turkey's mosques. See tiles being produced before heading to today's destination - the beautiful Lake Abant, set in lovely alpine surroundings at an altitude of 1500 metres. This area is a cool haven in the summer for the locals from both Istanbul and Ankara. Before arriving at the hotel we will visit the Yayla (mountain plateau villages), where families migrate with their animals each summer for the high country pastures.(BD)
    Day 7 ABANT- SAFRANBOLU
    Today we travel a short distance north between Abant and Safranbolu,taking a 'step back in time' in this charming 'old world' town listed by UNESCO as an international cultural area for its unique architecture. In the afternoon we can wander through the narrow, twisting cobbled lanes amongst all the well preserved Ottoman homes, some of which are now boutique hotels or cafes.(BD)
    Day 8 SAFRANBOLU - ANKARA
    We depart the lovely Safranbolu and head south to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. It lies in the centre of Anatolia and it is the city of ministries, governments, armies and universities. After lunch we will visit the Anatolian Civilisations Museum, the second most important museum in Turkey after Topkapi Palace. This museum houses a marvelous collection of early Anatolian artifacts from the Paleolithic age to Roman works. From the museum we will see the view below of the city of Ankara as well as our next destination- the Mausoleum of Ataturk. It is an impressive mix of modern and ancient architecture and it dominates the city. The museum here holds a collection of memorabilia and personal effects of Ataturk recording the important moments in his life. (B)
    Day 9 ANKARA - CAPADOCCIA
    Passing south through the Anatolian plains we head to the well known area of Cappadocia. The unique scenery around this area is an unforgettable experience. The volcanic stone has been eroded over the years to leave the amazing formations that are present. The first Christian population of Anatolia then carved the stone to make houses and chapels. There are approximately 600 churches and chapels in this area, some adorned with meaningful frescos. This afternoon we will visit Uchisar, a dramatic volcanic rock castle full of windows providing superb views of the valleys below.(BD)
    Day 10 CAPADOCCIA
    We will continue our sightseeing in Cappadocia with a visit to the Goreme Open Air museum where there is a selection of the many fine fresco decorated chapels from the 11th and 12th centuries. The valley here is full of cave dwellings with tiny openings for windows and paths leading between them. Exploring them is a great experience. We also visit the beautiful valley of the 'Fairy Chimneys', strange cone shaped rocks formed due to centuries of erosion. Today is a photographer's dream day. Then to finish we visit a carpet weaving centre to learn a bit about the art of Turkish hand made carpets. This is a fantastic day, not easily forgotten.(BD)
    Day 11 CAPADOCCIA
    Another fantastic day seeing more of the sights in this popular part of Turkey. Highlights of today will be visiting an underground city called Derinkuyu. In times of peace the people of this area would live and farm above, however when they were being invaded by enemies they would retreat into these underground safe havens where they could survive for up to 6 months. The size and complexity of these multi-storied underground cities is amazing. We will then travel over to Soganli, another interesting valley filled with churches and monasteries. The last stop of the day will be the town of Avanos, famous for its pottery making, where we visit a workshop.(BD)
    There will be an early start for those who wish try hot air ballooning over this magnificant area. *[at an extra charge]*
    Day 12 CAPADOCCIA - EGIRDIR
    This morning we will head off early as we will be leaving the centre of Turkey and making our way back towards the west coast. On the way to Konya we will see caravanserais used in Selcuk times as resting places on the 13th century silk road. Lunch in Konya for before a visit to the Mevlana Museum to learn about the culture of the Whirling Dervishes. We will then continue to the ' lakes district' of Turkey, to Lake Egirdir where we will spend the night.(BD)
    Day 13 EGIRDIR -PAMUKKALE
    Today we drive further west to Pamukkale, one of the most unusual yet beautiful sights in the world. For thousands of years volcanic spring water has cascaded down the mountain side to form white calcium stone terraces. In previous years tourists were able to walk on the terraces and, unfortunately, some damage was sustained. However it is now a protected area and returning to its former beauty. We are going to visit an interesting and important Roman city called Hierapolis and swim in a thermal pool amongst Roman columns. We will have enough time here in Pamukkale to explore the terraces before heading to our hotel with its own thermal pool and other facilities.(BD)
    Day 14 PAMUKKALE - SELCUK
    We continue west today until we reach the coastline and the town of Selcuk. Our first stop is the last home of the Virgin Mary, a place of great importance in Christianity and now a place of pilgrimage for many of the world's Roman Catholics. We then visit Ephesus, once the eastern capital of the Roman Empire and the commercial centre of the ancient world. As you hear about the lifestyle of the people living here 1000's of years ago, you will soon appreciate that this will be one of the highlights of your trip. We conclude the day with a visit to the museum, which houses many of the findings from Ephesus. (BD)
    Day 15 SELCUK - FETHIYE
    This morning we will drive south through the picturesque Taurus Mountains until we reach the town of Fethiye. After lunch in the old town you will be given free time to wander around the quaint streets, do some shopping or wander along the water front. (BD)
    Day 16 FETHIYE
    Today we will relax on the crystal clear Turquoise waters of the Southern Turkish coast, aboard a traditional wooden boat. We will spend the day swimming, visiting ruins or just lying on deck relaxing whilst we tour around the islands and coves. It is a lovely day and a great way to truly appreciate this coast. (BLD)
    Day 17 FETHIYE
    This morning we will visit the ruined Greek village of Kaya. We walk through the deserted streets and visit two old churches before a drive through agricultural lands to the trout farm of Yaka Park for a delicious lunch. We continue on to the nearby Saklikent Gorge. The gorge is 18 km long with very steep walls and you will have time to walk into the gorge, through the icy waters and relax in the shade that it casts. Tonight we will enjoy some Turkish entertainment during dinner.(BLD)
    Day 18 FETHIYE - ISTANBUL
    Free time this morning to get packed or go for a walk down at the lovely Oludeniz lagoon. There will be time for those who would like to have a traditional Turkish bath *[at an additional cost]*. (B)