Turkey Explored 2016 April 09 - September 17
 

Day 1 Istanbul, Turkey

We arrive in magical Istanbul and make our own way to the hotel for a meeting with our Trip Leader, followed by a welcome meal to meet our fellow travellers. (D)

 

Day 2 Istanbul to Ankara

Our city tour this morning takes in all of Istanbul’s main sights including Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Underground Cistern, and the Hippodrome. We then have free time to explore and perhaps shop! Tonight we board our overnight train bound for Ankara, Turkey’s capital city. (B)

 

Day 3 Ankara to Cappadocia

On arrival into Ankara we visit Anitkabir,the mausoleum of Kemel Ataturk - the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. From here it’s a coach trip to Goreme and our base for the Cappadocia region. Tonight we have a traditional dinner in a local family’s home. (B,D)

 

Day 4 Cappadocia

We explore the distinctive features of the region including the Devrent Valley with its unique fairy-chimneys. (B)

 

Day 5 Cappadocia to Konya

First up today we venture to the underground city of Derinkuyu, where the early Christians hid to avoid persecution from the Romans. Then the ancient trade stop of the Sultanhani Caravanserai before arriving in religiously conservative Konya, Turkey’s spiritual centre. An opportunity here to visit the Mevlana Whirling Dervish Museum. (B)

 

Day 6 Konya to Fethiye

Today our destination is Fethiye, known for its tombs carved into the rock cliffs dating back to the 4th century BC and referred to by the Turks as “a paradise God granted to the earth”. We stop en route at the breathtaking Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon. (B,D)

 

Day 7 Fethiye

Belonging to the stunning Turkish Riviera, Fethiye provides plenty of options for a day out. Relax on a cruise to the 12 Islands of Fethiye or spend the time chilling out on the beach. Apart from its climate and natural beauty it is hospitable and reasonably priced. The Museum is rich with artefacts and interesting displays for those interested in the history and culture of the area. Tonight we can check out the seafood markets with today’s fresh catch on offer! (B)

 

Day 8 Fethiye to Kusadasi via Pamukkale

From Fethiye we travel to the white calcium terraces of Pamukkale or Cotton Castle. Bathe in the hot spring waters – the thermal waters have been used for therapeutic treatments since the Roman period. We also take a tour of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis which was founded as a spa and became a healing centre. We reach Kusadasi in the early evening. (B,D) 

 

Day 9 Kusadasi

A full day to visit the Roman city of Ephesus. It is said that Ephesus is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. It was also a cult centre attracting thousands of pilgrims for traditional worship of the female, first Cybele, then Artemis and finally the Virgin Mary in the Christian period. In the afternoon we continue our trip by visiting the House of Virgin Mary. This place was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896 and since then has become a popular place of pilgrimage. (B)

 

Day 10 Kusadasi to Canakkale

We head to Bergama in the province of Izmir which is known for its gold, cotton and carpets. We stop at Pergamon, a former ancient Greek city containing a wealth of ancient ruins where we have the opportunity to go on a guided tour of the mighty Acropolis dating back to the 3rd Century B.C. Finally we visit historic Troy, home of the Trojan Horse and beautiful Helen. (B)

 

Day 11 Canakkale to Istanbul

We depart for Gallipoli early this morning and head towards the World War One battlefields for a guided tour of this now serene site. Our voyage of discovery includes the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine, the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair, ANZAC Cove and the Turkish Memorial. We then travel back to Istanbul, arriving in the evening. (B,D)

 

Day 12 Istanbul

Our trip ends after breakfast. (B)

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • 11 breakfasts (B), 5 dinners (D)
  • 10 nights 3* and 4* hotel accommodation
  • 1 night overnight train in multi-share cabins
  • Escorted services of an experienced English speaking guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities and sights.