Turkey is a diverse country where East meets West and bridging the continents of Europe and Asia. Your magical journey through Turkey starts in Istanbul. Marvel at the main highlights including Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Discover a variety of other attractions that Turkey has to offer – the rock formations of Cappadocia, the unique calcium cascades of Pamukkale, the Roman ruins at Ephesus and much more!
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome briefing will be held.
Enjoy a full-day tour including a visit to Topkapi Palace Museum, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453–1852 (Excluding Harem). Visit the Hippodrome, which was once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets. Join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. Meals: B
This morning depart on an optional tour of St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, and now a museum and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Continue to cruise along Bosphorus cruise enjoying the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Its shores are lined with fine neighbourhoods, Ottoman palaces, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels and gardens, and restaurants. Depart for the capital city of Ankara for overnight. Meals: B, D
Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai holding artifacts from up to 7500 years old including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world. Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Drive to Cappadocia, touring a 13th-century caravanserai en route. Pay a visit to the underground city of Saratli, one of the many underground settlements built for protection and religious reasons. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and join an optional Whirling Dervishes performance. Overnight in Cappadocia. Meals: B, D
Consider an optional early morning hot air balloon tour and experience floating through volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among the rock formations, which was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in that region. Continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high-quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi, Red Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave. Meals: B, D
Drive to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. Meals: B, D
Visit the unique cotton fortress of Pamukkale, with its white lime cascades formed by mineral springs, and the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Proceed to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. Meals: B, D
Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000-year-old marble streets, a theatre, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production center to have a firsthand experience of this unique art form. Join an optional afternoon tour of Sirince. Meals: B, D
Visit the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamum and continue to a traditional local village for lunch with locals. Then continue to Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Continue to Canakkale for overnight. Meals: B, L, D
In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, and then drive to Istanbul. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Istanbul. Meals: B, D
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Meals: B