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Comprehensive tour by bus/coach
Informative, friendly and professional guide
Traveling with a knowledgeable guide and by air-conditioned coach, your 7-day tour takes you on a captivating round-trip to Turkey’s classic historical and cultural sights, starting and finishing in Istanbul. Your tour includes six nights of accommodation: with one night in Çanakkale, two nights in Kusadasi, one night in Pamukkale, and two nights in Cappadocia. All accommodation is centrally located for maximum convenience, and there’s ample free time to explore each town at your leisure in between excursions. Breakfast and dinner are included at each hotel and there is a break for lunch at your own expense on each day. See the Itinerary for details on each day of your tour.
Day 1: Istanbul — Gallipoli — Çanakkale ( D)Start your tour in the early morning with a pickup from your hotel in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district or at a central meeting point in Sultanahmet. Settle into your air-conditioned coach as you drive to the Gallipoli Peninsula, the scene of one of World War I’s deadliest campaigns.
In 1915, the Allies attacked Gallipoli to capture Constantinople, now Istanbul, in a bid to help struggling Russian forces. The failed mission is believed to have cost 100,000 lives and is commemorated by memorials at the major battle sites. Visit the Lone Pine Australian Memorial and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Cemetery and Memorial, and see Anzac Cove, the Nek and Johnston’s Jolly. In the evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel in nearby Çanakkale.
Overnight: 4-star Iris hotel in Çanakkale Day 2: Çanakkale —Troy — Kusadasi (B, D)After breakfast, head to the site of ancient Troy, famed as the location of the Trojan War in the 2nd century BC, as described in Greek mythology and in the epic poem, Iliad, by Homer. Take a fascinating guided tour of the UNESCO-listed remains and view the replica Trojan horse, as your guide reveals how the war was sparked by the love of the Trojan prince, Paris, for Zeus’ daughter, Helen.
After lunch (own expense), continue to Bergama Acropolis (Pergamum Acropolis), an ensemble of theaters, temples and palaces that once made up a thriving, ancient Greek capital. Afterward, arrive at your hotel in Kusadasi, your base for the next two nights, and unwind over dinner. Overnight: 4-star Tatlises hotel in Kusadasi Day 3: Kusadasi — Ephesus — Kusadasi (B, D)Following breakfast, make your way to Ephesus, probably Europe’s best-preserved Greco-Roman city. View the site of the now long-crumbled Temple of Artemis, and then walk around the partially rebuilt streets of Ephesus itself. Wonder at the extraordinary Library of Celsus and follow in the footsteps of the long-ago residents around the columned streets, shops and theater.
Enjoy a break for lunch (own expense) and join your guide for a visit to the former Greek village of Şirince, a charming 19th-century settlement of traditional houses that's famed for its wines. After a visit to a carpet-weaving workshop, return to your Kusadasi hotel.
Overnight: 4-star Tatlises hotel in Kusadasi Day 4: Kusadasi — Pamukkale and Hierapolis (B, D)After breakfast, visit one of Kusadasi’s renowned leather factories to see some of the area’s beautiful, handmade leather goods. Turkey is a leading producer of leatherware, and the factory showcases some of Kusadasi's finest leather products, such as bags, sandals and purses. Browse the finely sewn, handcrafted goods and perhaps buy some as souvenirs or gifts.
Following lunch (own expense), drive to Pamukkale to admire its cotton-candy-like, calcified rock terraces, dotted with milky turquoise pools. Wander over to the neighboring archaeological gem of Hierapolis, a UNESCO-listed cluster of ruins dating from the 2nd-century BC. Seize the chance to swim in the city's hot springs once used by toga-clad Romans. Waft through the reputedly therapeutic waters, taking care not to bump into the submerged Roman pillars that still stand in the pools.
Overnight: 5-star Colossae Thermal hotel in Pamukkale Day 5: Pamukkale — Silk Road — Konya — Cappadocia (B, D)Following breakfast at your hotel, relish the views as you trace a fascinating stretch of road that was once the ancient Silk Road, the aeons-old route once followed by caravan trails between Anatolia’s silk-making regions. Nowadays, the most prominent reminders of the caravans that passed along here are the kervansarays (caravan palaces) along the way. Visit one of the best preserved — Sultanhani Caravanserai — and stop in the town of Konya for lunch (own expense). Afterward, visit the town's Mevlana Museum, dedicated to the Muslim poet Mevla Celaddiini-Rum.
On arrival in Cappadocia, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner. Alternatively, choose to attend an optional folklore evening (own expense) featuring live belly dancing, folk music and unlimited drinks.
Overnight: 4-star Stone Concept hotel in Cappadocia Day 6: Cappadocia — Göreme Open-Air Museum — Underground City (B, D)After breakfast, enjoy a full day exploring the surreally beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia, dotted with bizarre fairy chimneys, strange rock formations and cave houses. Meet your guide and visit the awe-inspiring Göreme Open-Air Museum — a collection of rock churches and monasteries carved and decorated in Byzantine times.
After lunch (own expense) in Göreme, drive through a valley crowded with Cappadocia's famous fairy chimneys and other weird and wonderful rock pinnacles, cliffs and peaks. Then, explore Kaymaklı Underground City: descending into a maze of once-inhabited subterranean passages, chambers and cellars. Return to your Cappadocia hotel in the evening and enjoy dinner.
Overnight: 4-star Stone Concept hotel in Cappadocia Day 7: Cappadocia – Ankara – Istanbul (B)Check out of your hotel after breakfast, and board your coach to Ankara, Turkey’s vibrant capital. Enjoy lunch (own expense) in the city and head inside Anıtkabir — the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. Browse the interesting Atatürk memorabilia inside the museum to learn about this revered and all-powerful dictator.
Later, drive back to Istanbul where your tour concludes with a drop-off back at your Sultanahmet hotel or the original departure point in Sultanahmet.
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Six nights' accommodation at 4- or 5-star hotels
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, D=dinner)
Food and drinks, unless specified
Folklore evening in Cappadocia
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 2 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
Not wheelchair accessible
Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
There is no luggage restriction on this tour
Please advise any specific dietary requirements at time of booking
Your centrally located Sultanahmet hotel or central Sultanahmet
Returns to original departure point at approximately 7:30pm