26 September 2016
On this 10 day tour around Turkey you will see all the highlights of this fascinating country and experience so many of its historic and natural wonders. Beginning and ending in the wonderful city of Istanbul, where you will visit all the iconic landmarks, you travel to Cappadocia, with its remarkable landscapes, Konya, Pamukkale, the port city of Kusadasi, the architectural wonder of Ephesus, Pergamon and Canakkale. And along the way you will meet the friendly people who will make you so very welcome.
On arrival at Istanbul you will be met at the airport by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel in the city. Relax after the journey then go out and explore on your own seeing some of the many famous sights and meeting the friendly locals. Dinner is waiting back at your hotel after you have had a taste of this lively city.
After breakfast set off on a full day's sightseeing in Istanbul. Start with a visit to the Blue Mosque with its famous vivid blue tiles and six minarets. Then visit the Hippodrome and the nearby Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of world architecture. After lunch visit the Topkapi Palace which for more than 400 years was the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans and is now home to priceless collections of porcelain, jewellery and art. The tour ends with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4,000 shops.
After breakfast you'll check out of the hotel and head to the vibrant Egyptian Spice Market, built in 1664 as part of the adjacent Yeni Camii ("New Mosque"). The small shops here sell a fascinating range of fragrant spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, as well as jewellery and gifts. Afterwards, there's a chance to relax and watch the world go by as you cruise along the Bosphorus. Along the way you'll see Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, the Ottoman summer mansions, Ortaköy Mosque, Rumeli Fortress and the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the world's largest suspension bridges. After lunch you're off to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia.
Today's tour starts with a visit to the Underground City of Kaymakli, the place early Christians hid from persecutors. The houses in the village are built around the 100 tunnels of the underground city which are still used today as storage areas, stables, and cellars. After lunch visit the Open Air Museum in Goreme and admire the early Christian churches decorated with unique frescoes depicting various scenes from the Bible. Stop by Pigeon Valley near Uchisar and finally time for shopping. Overnight back in Cappadocia.
After an early breakfast you set off for Pamukkale, on the way stopping to visit the 13th century Sultanhan Caravanserai, a building that ranks as one of the Seljuk masterpieces. From here continue on to Konya where you visit the Mevlana Museum, a museum and monastery complex that is dedicated to the life and teachings of the Rumi, the 13th century founder of the Whirling Dervish mystical order. After lunch continue to Pamukkale where dinner is waiting at your hotel.
After breakfast at your hotel today you visit the well-kept ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. You will have the chance to explore the site’s Apollo Temple, Theatre and Necropolis. From here you continue on to Aprodisias, the city of the Goddess of Love to see the well preserved Theatre, Stadium, the Odeon and the Agora. After lunch drive to the port city of Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Today's visit to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus is one of the highlights of your tour. First stop is at the Basilica of St. John who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel. Once in the ancient Roman city itself you explore the Library of Celcius, Temple of Hadrian, the Theatre and Odeon. Then leave the ruins to drive the short distance to the House of the Virgin Mary, a site that includes a house and garden and the spot where she is believed to have spent her last years. Dinner tonight is back in your hotel in Kusadasi.
After breakfast today you leave Kusadasi and head for Canakkale, on the way stopping to visit Pergamon, the ancient healing centre of Asklepion and the Red Basilica. After lunch you continue to Troy where you can walk around its legendary walls and see the replica of the famous wooden Trojan Horse. You then drive on to Canakkale for dinner and overnight stay at a hotel.
Today you leave Canakkale and begin the drive back to Istanbul. This scenic journey takes you first to Gallipoli, the site of the incredible bloody battle played out here during World War I. It is here that you will cross the Dardanelles and then head straight to Istanbul. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant en route and dinner will be waiting at your hotel when you arrive back in the city.
Today your wonderful tour around Turkey, seeing all the highlights of this great country, comes to an end. Depending on your flights, you may have time for some more sightseeing and last minute shopping in the city before you are picked up at your hotel and driven to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home.
Standard fr £706pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated