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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 travellers.
Enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour including a visit to see parts of the Topkapi Palace Museum, the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Visit the Hippodrome, once the centre of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Visit the Blue Mosque 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.
This morning, enjoy free time in the city or consider an Optional Experience Bosphorus cruise and visit to Hagia Sophia. This excursion enjoys views of the strait that separates Asia and Europe and a visit to the church 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.
Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai featuring artefacts including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artefacts 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.
This morning, travel to Pasabagi and the Red Valley and later stop at a regional rug production centre. 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 the region. Afterwards, continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high-quality earthenware. This evening dinner will be served at your hotel.
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.
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.
Today, travel to Selçuk and tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural centre of the ancient world and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore 2,000-year-old marble streets, view a magnificent theatre, 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. Arrive later in Izmir.
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.
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 after this comprehensive trip through Turkey.
This morning bid a fond farewell to this wonderful city as your memorable holiday comes to an end. Transfers are available to the airport. Conditions apply.
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.
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.
Adult Price: $75
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.
Adult Price: $55
The “dance” of the Whirling Dervishes is called “Sema.” It is a part of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture and it represents a man’s spiritual journey, and it will be a highlight of your trip to Turkey. The performance of the Whirling Dervishes will be followed by a dinner at a local restaurant.
Adult Price: $40
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.
Adult Price: $30
Head to the Kordon where we take you to one of Izmir's favorite 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 are great options for those who don't like seafood too!
Adult Price: $50
The warm atmosphere of our local restaurant, serving tasty Turkish specialties, is sure to delight. Tonight, toast your new friendships over drinks and dine on a selection of dishes reflecting excellent examples of Turkish cuisine.
Adult Price: $55
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