TREASURES OF TURKEY
DAY 1 - ARRIVE
DAY 2 - ISTANBUL
DAY 3 - ISTANBUL - BURSA
Leave Istanbul by crossing the Bosphorus bridge to the Anatolian side on your way to discover the fertile lands of Turkey. Driving along the shores of the Sea of Marmara, we will arrive in BURSA, the first official capital city of the Ottoman Empire, which rises in the shades of Mount Olympus of ancient Mysia. Have lunch and visit the Green Mosque, the Green Tomb, the Great Mosque and the Silk Cacoon market. Stay overnight in Bursa
DAY 4 - BURSA - ANKARA
Set out for the capital of the Turkish Republic. After a lunch-stop on the way, head to the tumulus of King Midas in Gordion, the ancient capital city of Phrygian Kingdom, where Alexander the Great cut the proverbial knot. Stay overnight in Ankara.
DAY 5 - ANKARA - CAPPADOCIA
After a morning visit to the Mauseoleum of Atatürk, beloved national hero of Turkey, proceed to the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, which is among the leading museums of the world on account of its unique collection of prehistoric materials. In the afternoon drive to the volcanic plateau of Cappadocia enjoying the scenic Salt Lake. Make a short stop at the Caravansaray of Ağzıkarahan, an ancient roadhouse of silkroad merchants. Stay overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 6 - CAPPADOCIA
DAY 7 - CAPPADOCIA - KONYA
DAY 8 - KONYA - ANTALYA
DAY 9 - ANTALYA
DAY 10 - ANTALYA - PAMUKKALE
DAY 11 - PAMUKKALE - IZMIR
Contınue on to one of the best preserved archaeological sites in the world, EPHESUS, where St. Paul preached for three years. The Celsius library, the 3rd largest of antiquity, a theatre that used to hold 24,000 people, marble streets, and temples are the main sites not to be missed. Then visit the Virgin Mary’s House, where she is believed to have spent her last days. Stay overnight in Izmir.
DAY 12 - IZMIR - CANAKKALE
DAY 13 - CANAKKALE - ISTANBUL
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.
Upon arrival you will be greeted and accompanied to your hotel. In the evening you will attend a welcome cocktail and briefing of the tour led by your tour director.
Start your tour at the ancient arena of chariot races, the famous ROMAN HIPPODROME and BLUE MOSQUE. The magnificent HAGIA SOPHIA of the Emperor Justinian is the next stop. Then enjoy the exhibition halls of the TOPKAPI PALACE overlooking the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Following a lunch break, stroll through the labyrinth streets of the GRAND BAZAAR with its 4,400 tiny stores. Stay overnight in Istanbul.
Have an unforgettable full-day tour of Cappadocia starting with the open air museum of Göreme, a monastic complex consisting of hidden churches decorated with amazing frescoes and living quarters hewn out of volcanic ash. Then make photo stops at prominent valleys of Paşabağı, Avcılar etc. continued by the discovery of an underground city. Before returning to the hotel, take advantage of visiting a pottery workshop in Avanos. Stay overnight in Cappadocia.
In the morning have a cultural experience in a weaving workshop and get introduced to the finest tribal art of the Turks. Taking a lunch-break on the way, we will arrive in Konya, the ancient capital of the Seljuk Empire. In the afternoon visit the Mevlana museum, home of the mystic sect of Whirling Dervishes and Karatay Medrese, a theological school built by the Seljuks - where distinctive tiles of Seljuk art are displayed. Stay overnight in Konya.
Enjoy a leisurely day driving to Antalya through the Tauros Mountains, observing green forests and orchards of the Mediterranean region. After checking in to the hotel you may join an optional visit to the largest jewelry factory of Turkey. Stay overnight in Antalya.
Half of this day is allocated to discovering the treasures of ancient
Pamphilya. First we make our way to the Greco-Roman city of Perge, where a remarkably well preserved stadium, monumental city gates, a huge bath complex and an agora with its visible stores can be observed. The best preserved theatre in the world, ASPENDOS, is still used for concerts and operas and is the last attraction of this excursion. Return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon.
It is only a few hours drive to Pamukkale (Cotton Castles) where we will visit the spectacular travertine cascades shaped by hot thermal springs. Make a photo stop at the historical site of HIERAPOLIS, where St. Philip was martyred and was once the warden of the great temple of Apollo. Stay overnight in Pamukkale..
These last days get more exciting with visits to the Acropolis of Pergamon, where you will get to see the remnants of the Altar of Zeus, the Temple of Trajan and the 2nd largest library of the ancient world, as well as the Asclepion - a healing centre and spa dedicated to the god of medicine. At the end of the day, visit the legendary site of TROY to freshen up on Homer’s Illiad and the Trojan Wars. Stay overnight in Canakkale.
Cross the famous Dardanelles by an early morning ferry to visit the Gallipoli Campaign Battlefields and Memorials where 130,000 soldiers lost their lives in the beginning of the First World War. Then make your way back to Istanbul, driving along the European shore of the Sea of Marmara. In the evening have a chance to say good-bye to your fellow travelers and tour director through a farewell dinner. Stay overnight in Istanbul.