Gifted with natural wonders like Göreme and the white terraces of Pamukkale, ancient Ephesus stands out as Turkey's finest gem.
Tour Operator: Insight Vacations
- An expert Insight multilingual Tour Director, at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges', expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
- Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom, plus refreshing lemon tea and cooling towels. It's business class comfort.
- Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
- Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
- Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
- Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
- Included airport transfers to and from your Insight Vacations hotel.
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
Day 1 - Welcome to Istanbul
Welcome to a land rich in archaeological sites, historic monuments and an enormous variety of spectacular scenery. On arrival at Istanbul Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. In the evening, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, and get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day 2 - Gallipoli, Anzac Cove and across the Dardanelles Strait to Çanakkale
Drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the Peninsula of Gelibolu, better known in the west as Gallipoli. Here are the battlefields where, for nine disastrous months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Dardanelles Strait. Visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. From Eceabat, a 30-minute sea crossing to Çanakkale takes you from one continent to another as you leave Europe for Asia.(BB / D)
Day 3 - Explore Homer’s Troy and on to Pergamon and the Port of Izmir
Drive to Homer's legendary city of Troy, where archaeological excavations have established nine levels of habitation, including the great city captured in 1200BC by means of the renowned Trojan Horse. A huge replica of this stands beside the city's ancient walls. Continue to Pergamon, the seat of an ancient kingdom. Visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world. Carry on to the cosmopolitan coastal city of Izmir, sited overlooking an inlet of the Aegean.(BB / D)
Day 4 - Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi
(Relaxed Start) Visit the Archaeological museum at Selçuk where many of the excavated artefacts of Ephesus are displayed. Explore Ephesus itself, one of the world's finest archaeological sites. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, the splendid façade of the Library of Celsus and see the huge Amphitheatre. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, spectacularly situated above the Ephesus ruins, and head to the lively coastal town of Kusadasi.(BB / D)
Day 5 - Along the Maeander River to the Pools of Pamukkale
(Relaxed Start) Follow the Maeander River Valley, (so full of twists and turns it gives us the word ‘meander') to Pamukkale, famous for its dazzling chalk-white array of fantastically shaped limestone terraces. See the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy your hotel's thermal pools.(BB / D)
Day 6 - Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia
Head to Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire and home to the mystic Whirling Dervish sect. Visit the Mevlana Tekke, a museum and national monument, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret before driving across fertile plains to Urgup, in the heart of Cappadocia. En route visit one of the best preserved Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia.(BB / D)
Day 7 - The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience
In the morning, enjoy an experience to Göreme, a region of volcanic landscapes and rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings, some of which you can see in the open-air museum. Continue to the Pasabag Valley where the scenery is dotted with mushroom shaped ‘fairy chimneys' and troglodyte dwellings. Explore the underground city of Ozkonak. After stopping at a Turkish Carpet center, visit a village house, home of a Cappadocian local for decades, and experience Turkish hospitality first-hand. Enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a cultural night at a 13th century Seljuk caravanserai, which consists of a spectacular ‘Sema' performance of Whirling Dervishes, followers of Sufism, which developed from devout followers of Islam.(BB / SE)
Day 8 - The Modern Day Capital of Ankara
Learn about pottery making in Avanos and drive to Ankara to visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader.(BB / D)
Day 9 - To Istanbul
Take a scenic drive through the countryside to Istanbul.(BB)
Day 10 - Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire
Visit the Blue Mosque with its beautiful tiles and the Hippodrome where Roman chariot races were held. Then visit Hagia Sophia, now a magnificent museum, before continuing to Topkapi Palace, a walled city perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Move on to the Grand Bazaar. Your Local Expert will give you a full explanation of the time-honoured ritual of bargaining! Finally, embark upon a cruise along the Bosphorus waterways. Travelling towards the old city from close to the Black Sea, the scenery complements the grandeur of the Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. In the evening, join a farewell Celebration Dinner at a colourful local restaurant.(BB / CD)
Day 11 - Farewell Istanbul
After breakfast, transfer to the airport.(BB)