HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKEY 14 NIGHT/15 DAY EXCLUSIVE TOUR
Day 1- Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul! You will be transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is yours free to explore at your own pace.
Day 2- Istanbul Old City
After your breakfast at the hotel, we will start a full day Istanbul tour including the most important highlights of the magical city such as, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome and Obelisks, Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Church), Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Underground Water Palace), Million Stone, Tomb of Sultan Mahmud, Cemberlitas (Column of Constantine) and the Grand bazaar.
Day 3- Gallipoli Battlefields
After breakfast drive to Canakkale – Eceabat. After having lunch in Eceabat visit in Gallipoli, Kabatepe War Museum, Brighton Beach, Anzac Cove, Ariburnu Cemetery, Anzac Commemoration Site, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly, the Nek and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial.
Overnight in Canakkale
Day 4- Troy, Acropolis of Pergamum
After breakfast, we start to explore the famous archaeological and mythological site of Troy, home of the “Trojan Horse” and “Helen of Troy” then proceed to The city of Pergamon in the north of the Aegean of West Anatolia with the frontiers to ancient Mysia, forms a significant part of the Aegean and Asia Minor history with Acropolis, one of the centre’s of Hellenistic and Roman ages.
Overnight in Kusadasi
Day 5- Ephesus, Kusadasi
Absorb yourself in history today with a guided tour of Ephesus Ancient City (including the Terrace Houses) and a visit to the site of the Temple of Artemis (one of the 7 wonders of the world). Feel the mystical atmosphere of the ancient city and theatre before continuing to the former Greek village of Sirince, famous for its fruit wines.
Day 6- Pamukkale, Hierapolis
After breakfast we drive 3hrs to Pamukkale. First stop will be Hierapolis Ancient City. Your guide will lead you from northern Necropolis (cemetery) of Hierapolis which is one of the biggest ancient cemeteries in Anatolia with 1.200 graves, to the southern Necropolis. On your way, you will learn the story of this sacred city and explore it's basilica, theatre, temple of Apollo, roman bath, St. Phillip Martyrium and other parts of the city. Among these archaeological treasures, the highlight of the excursion will be walking with bare-foot on the travertine terraces, which were formed by running warm water that contains calcium. The temperature of the water is about 35oC. You can see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis. After our open buffet lunch take a dip, amongst ancient columns, in the hot springs that were used in Roman times for their therapeutic powers.
Day 7- Aphrodisias, Fethiye
After breakfast, Today we drive south towards the Mediterranean coast, visiting the ancient site of Aphrodisias along the way. Aphrodisias was the capital of the province of Lydia. In ancient times, the attractive marble buildings of Aphrodisias no doubt shone out, as they do now, from amidst the rich vegetation of the Dandalaz valley with its almond and pomegranate trees.
Day 8- Fethiye
After breakfast, Today you have the option to relax on a day cruise around the 12 Islands of Fethiye or experience one of Turkey’s highlights on an optional day tour to Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon.
Day 9- Kayakoy, Antalya
After breakfast, Relaxing morning, before a late afternoon drive to the resort town of Antalya visiting the deserted Greek village of Kayakoy on the way.
Day 10- Perge, Aspendos, Side
After breakfast start your tour with Perge Ancient City. Perge was once the capital city of the Pamphylia region. During your visit, you will be able to see The Stadium, Roman Gate, Nymphaeum, Roman Bath, Hellenistic Gate, The Column Street and The State Agora. After these visits, you will have your lunch in a restaurant near Euromedon River. We will continue our tour with Aspendos Ancient Theatre. Aspendos is the best preserved and the most complete example of a Roman theatre in Turkey. The theatre was still in use for concerts, festivals and events until recently. Then, we will drive to Side Ancient City where you will see the splendid Agora, Theatre and Temples built in the 17th century B.C.
Day 11- Konya, Cappadocia
Breakfast, departure for Cappadocia, stopping en-route to visit Konya and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi with its accompanying museum. This afternoon we also stop to visit Sultanhani Caravansary, the largest in Anatolia.
Day 12- Cappadocia
Optional Sunrise 1hr Hot Air Balloon Flight over the ‘Land of Fairy Chimneys’
After breakfast we visit the beginning of Rose Valley for an easy one-hour hike through fairy chimneys, orchards and vineyards. At the end of the hike, we will have a quick stop at the picturesque old Cavusin cave village. Our next stop is the Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Your guide will explain the meanings of the frescoes in the cave churches, decorated with scenes of the Old and New Testaments dating back to the 10th century. The site has been used as a monastery since the first years of Christianity.
After lunch we make several photo stops along the way – including Urgup’s family fairy chimneys, Devrent’s animal-shaped rock formations and Monk’s Valley with the famous mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys as well as St. Simeon’s monk cell carved into the rock. Our day concludes in Avanos, a picturesque town on river that supplies clay for the 4000 year-old Avanos tradition of pottery.
Day 13- Ihlara Valley, Underground City
Our first stop for today is the amazing Kaymakli Underground City. Carved by the Hittites about 3500 years ago, this multi-level underground city was used by early Christians as a main shelter from marauding enemies during the 6th and 7th centuries. Kaymakli is one of the biggest underground cities in Cappadocia with 8 levels including stables, temples and wineries. After departing Kaymakli, we will drive further south to the magnificent verdant Ihlara Valley. We walk alongside the Melindiz River for about 1 hour which winds its way through the Ihlara gorge, stopping for lunch in a restaurant on the river in the village of Belisirma. After lunch, we continue to the Selime Monastery, the largest rock-cut monastery in Cappadocia with large cave cathedral and breathtaking views over the area.
Optional Evening Whirling Dervish Ceremony in the Ancient Caravansari
Day 14- Istanbul
After breakfast transfer to Nevsehir/Kayseri airport for flight to Istanbul
Upon arrival transfer to hotel in Istanbul
Afternoon at leisure (recommend Bosporus Dinner Boat Cruise)
Day 15- Istanbul
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.