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Welcome to Turkey. You’ll start in vibrant Istanbul, where a representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll be close to Taksim Square, which is famous for its Republic Monument, dining and shopping options. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a Welcome Reception and Dinner, where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers.
In the morning embark on a cruise along Bosphorus Strait, one of the world’s busiest waterways. Leisurely cruise past the quaint fishing villages that line its shores. Travel towards the old city and see the beautiful Ottoman palaces and fortresses, on the waterfront. Later, leave Istanbul for Bursa. A large city in northwest Turkey, it was the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire. There will be time in the afternoon to explore the city’s bazaars, silk markets and historic monuments. This evening, venture to a local restaurant for a tasty meal.
Begin your day of culture in Bursa with a visit to the Green Mosque, the Grand Mosque and the Mausoleum complex. Continue to the charming village of Cumalikizik, with its traditional wooden houses and very narrow cobblestone streets. Later you’ll head to Gordion, which was once the capital city of ancient Phrygia, as you make your way to Turkey’s modern capital, Ankara. Enjoy a relaxed evening at your hotel, the Hilton SA. Perhaps take a dip in its indoor pool or unwind in its jacuzzi or hammam.
A day for history enthusiasts, explore Turkey’s bustling cultural capital, Ankara. Sightseeing includes a visit to the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Later, head to Avanos in Cappadocia. Famed for its unique geological formation, Cappadocia is a scenic delight with golden hills and panoramic views.
With its striking golden, volcanic landscapes, underground city and otherworldly buildings, Cappadocia could never be called ordinary. At every turn you’ll be delighted with yet another geographical or architectural surprise. Today you’ll travel to the striking town of Göreme. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at the Uçhisar Kadineli Restaurant and get a taste of Anatolia’s regional flavours. This establishment provides employment for the women of the village and supports their financial freedom. Next, continue on to the Pasabag Valley and visit the underground city of Özkonak where you’ll have time to explore its tunnels and holes with your Travel Director. Later, join a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house. Explore this unique way of living, learning about local traditions and family life. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant, later you’ll witness a performance of Whirling Dervishes.
Start your day by learning more about traditional pottery making in Avanos. It’s then time to take a journey along the famous Silk Road to visit a 13th century caravanserai, a historic roadside inn where travellers would rest and recover after a day’s journey, most notably along the iconic road itself. Later, you’ll head to Turkey’s most religious city, Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire. Once here, visit the Mevlana Museum, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome, and see the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret.
You day begins with a scenic drive down the Taurus Mountains to Aspendos, an ancient city in Antalya. Known for having the best-preserved Roman theatre anywhere in the world, learn more as you explore it with your fellow travellers. Continue to your hotel for the next two nights and enjoy time to relax.
Start your day with a visit to Antalya's pretty Old Town, with its souvenir markets and sweeping sea views. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the leisure facilities at your hotel. Alternatively, explore Antalya at your own pace. Ask your Travel Director for recommendations on places to explore in the city, take a stroll around the harbour or perhaps take a boat trip off the coast.
Cross the soaring Taurus Mountains to see the remains of the ancient city of Hierapolis, a Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. Next to the ruins, you can see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. Later, head back to your hotel, the esteemed Doğa Thermal Health & Spa. Take full advantage of its indoor and outdoor thermal pools, steam room and its Turkish bath complex.
Today you’ll spend the day exploring pretty Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city. A vibrant destination on Turkey’s Aegean coast, it was founded by the Greeks and has been an important port since ancient times. Explore one of the world's finest archaeological sites, Ephesus. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and the huge Amphitheatre, before visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, a famous Catholic, situated above the Ephesus ruins. Then travel to the nearby town of Selçuk for an educational visit to the Archaeological Museum. Delve into the area’s history as you explore the museum’s exhibits, many of which have been retrieved from the nearby Ephesus excavation site.
Begin your day of legends with a trip to Pergamon. Once a powerful ancient Greek city, you’ll find the Asklepion temple here. A famous shrine and healing centre, it was built in honour of Asklepios, the god of medicine. Next, head to Homer’s city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan war and the backdrop to one of history’s most famous love stories, that of Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships. A replica of the mighty Trojan Horse, which helped the Greeks capture the city in 1200B.C., can be found beside the city’s walls. After some time exploring, continue your journey to Çanakkale, a gateway to the Gallipoli WWI battlefields.
Dawn and first light signals the commencement of the annual Dawn Service. Attend alongside Australian, New Zealand and other foreign dignitaries and military personnel to honour the fallen soldiers. After, return to your hotel for the rest of your day at leisure. Perhaps relax poolside with a cocktail and admire the beautiful surroundings or book in for one of the many treatments on offer at the hotel spa.
This morning, cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that, for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought, in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and pay your respects at the Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, return to Istanbul where you’ll spend the next two nights.
Today you’ll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning visit the historic Blue Mosque. Made up of domes and minarets, head inside and see its beautiful blue tiled interiors. See the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held, before exploring Hagia Sophia. Built in A.D. 537, it is famous for its domed roof. Visit the Topkapi Palace, perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the waterway. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. In the evening, join your fellow travellers and toast to your trip over a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends, as your trip comes to an end. A transfer will take you to the airport for your onward flights, or for those extending their stay in Istanbul, speak to your Travel Director for tips and tricks on where to head.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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