Day 1: Istanbul
Saturday. Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul airport and 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. Overnight – Istanbul
The mosques of Istanbul, Turkey up close at sunset
Day 2: The Blue Mosque & Topkapi Palace
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 (B)
Turkey Discovered – 14 Days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli
Day 3: Gallipoli – WW1 battlefields
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 need safe cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy.
Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation, waterside. Overnight – Canakkale (B, D)
A lady standing by the beautiful coastline in Marmaris
Day 4: Troy & Coastal Kusadasi
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. At Troy (the inspiration for Homer’s Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy) we visit the Trojan Horse and ruins. We enjoy a guided tour of the ancient city that 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 (B, D)
The spectacular Library of Celsus at Ephesus in Turkey
Day 5: Ancient Ephesus & Greek Sirince
Kusadasi – Sirince. Today, we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans, was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000 and became the Roman Capital of Asia Minor. It revelled in it’s 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 afterward we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made before visiting the quaint Greek village of Sirince peached mountainside within a valley of vineyards and orchards. Overnight – Kusadasi (B, D)
Pamukalle’sbeautiful surounding scenery and cotton castles
Day 6: Cotton Castles of Pamukkale
Kusadasi – Pamukkale – Marmaris. Meandering through the sweeping plains and endless cotton farms we arrive at the ruins of Roman Hieropolis and the hot springs of Pamakkule. 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 – Marmaris (B, D)
Day 7: Turtle Beach & Fethiye
Marmaris – Koycegiz – Fethiye. Arriving at the lakeside town of Koycegiz, we embark upon a boat cruise to Turtle Beach and smother ourselves in mud at the local mud bath. We continue our journey to Fethiye, a charming port town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, fringed by the Taurus Mountains where we’ll spend the next two nights. Overnight – Fethiye (B, D)
Boats and Mosques Turkey
Day 8: Kayakoy & Oludeniz
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 (B)
Day 9: Saklikent Gorge
Fethiye – Antalya. Today we visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, take a walk through nature, or just relax and watch the world go by from the fig tree-shaded wooden platforms that overlook the river. Weaving our way through the Touros Mountains we arrive to Antalya visiting the Duden Waterfalls en route. Overnight – Antalya (B, D)
The famous Whirling Dervishes in Turkey
Day 10: Whirling Dervishes
Antalya – Cappadocia. Early morning departure for Konya, en route we 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. Overnight – Cappadocia (B, D)
Cappadocia’s famous fairy rock chimneys
Day 11: Underground Cities
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.
The crumbling legacy of persecuted Christians trying to escape the Muslim onslaught in 1st – 10th centuries AD by effectively heading underground is one of Turkey’s finest attractions.
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 century’s old pigeon houses are carved into the surrounding cliffs, the pigeon droppings that litter the area have been used as fertilizer on crops for generations. Here you will also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, specialising in historic jewellery designs unique to Turkey and using local materials and craftsmen. 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 (B)
Day 12: Safranbolu – Ottoman Royalty
Cappadocia – Ankara – Safranbolu. Opt for an early morning hot air balloon flight over lunar landscape. Via Ankara and the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk we arrive at 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. Overnight – Safranbolu (B, D)
UNESCO World Heritage listed – Safranbolu, Turkey
Day 13: The Grand Bazaar
Safranbolu – Istanbul. This morning we embark on a walking tour of the old town before returning to Istanbul with an afternoon visit to the Grand Bazaar.The remainder of the afternoon and evening offers free time. Overnight – Istanbul (B)
Day 14: Istanbul
Friday. We say goodbye to our new friends, our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport. (B)