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Wonders of Turkey

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
12 Days from $1,175 per person

East meets West in this Turkish extravaganza exploring the Byzantine and Ottoman past of Istanbul with its colorful street markets and beautiful Blue Mosque. You'll also visit the underground city of Sarhatli, Pamukkale's cotton fortresses and the ruins of Ephesus.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to Istanbul. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Relax after your journey. In the evening attend a trip briefing with your Travel Director and meet your fellow travelers.
    hotel:Ramada Plaza City Center
  3. Enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour including a visit to see parts of the Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453–1852. Visit the Hippodrome, once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Visit the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, and the world's largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets. Consider joining a delicious Turkish optional dinner where local cuisine is served along with traditional belly dancing entertainment.
    meal(s):BB
  4. This morning enjoy free time in the city or take an Optional Experience Bosphorus cruise to enjoy views of the strait that separates Asia and Europe, and visit Hagia Sophia. This church was built in the Byzantine capital during the 6th century and converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. Today it houses a museum and is known as one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. Early this afternoon depart for the capital city of Ankara for an overnight stay.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Vacation Inn Kavaklidere
  5. Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai holding artifacts dating back 7,500 years including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world. Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Perhaps take an Optional Experience this evening to see a Whirling Dervish performance with dinner.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Avrasya
  6. This morning visit Pasabagi and the Red Valley and later stop at a regional rug production center. This afternoon you may wish to take an Optional Experience to Göreme and Avanos. Göreme, a historical region of Turkey located among unique rock formations, 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. Afterwards continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high quality earthenware. This evening dinner will be served at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
  7. This morning visit the underground city of Sarhatli, one of the many underground settlements built for protection and religious reasons. Drive to Konya and visit the famous mausoleum of the Sufi philosopher Mevlana. This was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes. Later check into your hotel in Konya and enjoy dinner.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Hilton Garden Inn
  8. After breakfast leave Konya and travel to see the unique cotton fortress of Pamukkale with its white lime cascades formed by mineral springs. You will also get to see the ruins of the ancient Roman health spa of Hierapolis. This evening enjoy a relaxing dinner at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Richmond Thermal
  9. Today travel to Selçuk and tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore 2,000 year-old marble streets, view a magnificent theater, see the Library of Celsus, a gymnasium and finally Hadrian's Temple. Then take a short drive from Ephesus to visit St. Mary's stone cottage, where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to Izmir.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Doubletree By Hilton Alsansak
  10. Visit the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamon and continue to Troy with its famous wooden horse. This town is best known for being the setting of the Trojan War as well as a place where many cities are built on top of each other. Continue to Çanakkale for the night with dinner served at your hotel.
    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Buyuk Truva
  11. In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many WWI battles. Visit poignant Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair before returning to Istanbul. Enjoy a last night in Istanbul with your travel companions.
    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Ramada Plaza City Center
  12. This morning bid a fond farewell to this wonderful city as your memorable vacation comes to an end. Transfers are available to the airport. Conditions apply.
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Breakfast Daily Breakfast Daily
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

10 buffet breakfasts, 5 three course dinners.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Sightseeing includes the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar
  • Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilization and Ataturk's Mausoleum
  • Visit Pasabagi and the Red Valley and marvel at the underground city of Sarhatli
  • Visit the Mevlana Museum, home of the Whirling Dervishes
  • See the Cotton Castle springs and the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis
  • Visit the Great Theater, Library of Celsus, Gymnasium, Temple of Hadrian and House of the Virgin Mary
  • Visit the Asclepion Medical Center
  • Visit the ruins of the ancient city and see the Wooden Horse
  • See Anzac Cove, Lone Pine and Chunnuk Bair Cemeteries

Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Cappadocia

Goreme and Avanos Sightseeing

Adult Price: $30

First settled in the Roman period, Goreme is located among Cappadocia's famous rock formations.Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in this region. Then, you'll continue to the town of Avanos, renowned for its high-quality earthenware.

Whirling Dervishes Show

Adult Price: $30

The 'dance' of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema. It is part of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture and represents a man's spiritual journey, and will be a highlight of your trip to Turkey.

Istanbul

Istanbul Nightlife Experience

Adult Price: $80

You’ll enjoy a short drive through the illuminated streets of Istanbul before arriving at the famous Kervansaray Night Club. You’ll taste Turkish specialties while being entertained by musicians, belly and folk dancers, performing dances from different regions of Turkey. You’ll also get the chance to join in.

Hagia Sophia and Bosphorus Cruise

Adult Price: $55

This morning you'll visit Hagia Sophia, the 6th-century marvel that was formerly a basilica, then a mosque, and now a museum. Then, you'll continue with a cruise along the Bosphorus, the river that divides Istanbul and the continents of Asia and Europe. The 90-minute cruise will introduce you to the strategic importance of the river, the beauty of old Istanbul and the most picturesque parts of the present day city.

Istanbul Dinner

Adult Price: $60

The warm atmosphere of our local restaurant, serving tasty Turkish specialities, is sure to delight. Tonight, toast your new friendships over drinks, and dine on a selection of dishes reflecting excellent examples of Turkish cuisine.

Izmir

Izmir Seafood Dinner

Adult Price: $55

Head to the Kordon where we take you to one of Izmir's favourite seafood restaurants. Known for stunning views and for serving the best fish dishes in coastal Turkey, dine on a variety of seafood and meze delights with drinks. Don't worry there's great options for those who don't like seafood too!.

Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
27 Jun 17 8 Jul 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
11 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
triangle 25 Jul 17 5 Aug 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
8 Aug 17 19 Aug 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
22 Aug 17 2 Sep 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
triangle 5 Sep 17 16 Sep 17 checkmark $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
19 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
3 Oct 17 14 Oct 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
17 Oct 17 28 Oct 17 $1,250pp
$1,250 pp
asterisk 31 Oct 17 11 Nov 17 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 14 Nov 17 25 Nov 17 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 28 Nov 17 9 Dec 17 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 12 Dec 17 23 Dec 17 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 26 Dec 17 6 Jan 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 9 Jan 18 20 Jan 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 23 Jan 18 3 Feb 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 6 Feb 18 17 Feb 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 20 Feb 18 3 Mar 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 6 Mar 18 17 Mar 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp
asterisk 20 Mar 18 31 Mar 18 $1,175pp
$1,175 pp

Greek Island Explorer extension can be added to these departures.

Autumn, Winter, Spring: These departures are winter departures. Please note, these departures are subject to change in price, discount and hotel. Prices will be confirmed in May 2017.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $340.

Shared Rooming: Room Share is available on this trip.

Important Visa Information: Visas may be required for this trip.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Turkey must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Turkey.

  • The currency in Turkey is the Lira (₺). While it’s a good idea to bring some money with you when you travel, you can use your debit card or credit card to pay in most places and will usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Turkey. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. Mediterranean food is simple, delicious, and centered on a variety of fresh seafood, produce, cheeses and baked goods. Turkish specialties to try include Meze (a selection of starters), kebabs, in particular the Shish kebabs (pieces of meat such as lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled) and Doner kebab (lamb and beef roasted on a vertical spit which is then thinly sliced).  For dessert, try baklava, various milk puddings and of course Turkish delight. The national drink is Raki (an aniseed liqueur), which is commonly served throughout the meal either neat or with water. Turkish coffee is strong and served black.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping at restaurants is less common than in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate to leave 5-10 percent gratuity for good service.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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