Delve into the rich culture and history of Turkey on an intoxicating journey across this incredible land.
- Return flights fromGatwick with Turkish Airlines
- 11 nights in 4-star hotels
- 21 meals: 10 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
- Local Flavours : Coffee and Baklava tasting in the Grand Bazaar
- Travelsphere Tour Manager
- Specialist Local Guide
- Welcome drink
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
- Day 1 UK – Istanbul
- After flying to Istanbul we'll transfer you to your hotel. Enjoy your first dinner in Turkey, relax and get set for your exciting journey.
- Day 2 Istanbul
- Launch straight into action today on our Byzantine and Ottoman Relics tour where we explore Istanbul, the once capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. From Sultanahmet Square we'll explore the Hippodrome's stunning obelisks and intriguing history of chariot races. Prepare yourself for breathtaking sights as we visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
After savouring local flavours at a Turkish restaurant, we'll marvel over the priceless collections at the Topkapi Palace Museum. Once a Christian church then later a mosque, this is one of the largest buildings in the city. Sharpen your bargaining skills at the Grand Bazaar, the trading hub of the city where you can find everything from pots and carpets to fruit and spices. Taste baklava, a sweet pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and honey; and learn the secrets of Turkish coffee-making at Sark Kahvesi a famed coffee shop. Dance to your own tune in the city tonight or join our optional excursion to watch a traditional Turkish show.
- Day 3 Istanbul – Canakkale
- After a leisurely breakfast, feel free to explore at your own pace or join our scenic Bosporus Cruise. You'll admire the city skyline and views of historic monuments, while experiencing the novelty of a quick crossing from Europe to Asia. We'll also hop off the boat for a glimpse of local life on Istanbul's Asian side.
Settle in for a relaxing afternoon drive to Canakkale, with sweeping views of the Marmara Sea coastline. We'll stop at the famous WWI battlefields of Gallipoli, the large and poignant resting site of Australian, New Zealand, British and Turkish soldiers. We then cross the historic Dardanelles channel for dinner and leisure time at our hotel.
- Day 4 Canakkale – Kusadasi
- The myths and legends of Troy await this morning, so make sure you eat a hearty breakfast! The city of Homer's famous poem Iliad, which makes art of the real-life Trojan War, is an archaeological site that highlights more than 3,000 years of history and civilisation. Our journey continues through Ayvalik to Bergama and its impressive ruins. Explore the UNESCO-listed ancient city of Pergamon, an open-air museum with striking remains of the Acropolis and Asclepion.
- Day 5 Kusadasi
- Today's adventure begins at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus. One of the best-preserved ancient cities in the world, the excavation of Ephesus continues to this day, following a century of unearthing agoras, temples and churches. Get your camera ready for a shot of you and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
In the afternoon we'll visit a charming village known for its excellent wine production. Sirince sits at the top of a hill boasting vineyard and countryside views, with Greek heritage and plenty of gourmet food to feast on.
- Day 6 Kusadasi – Pamukkale
- We'll travel to Aphrodisias today to discover the beautifully preserved Greco-Roman settlement and museum. Dedicated to the goddess of love, Aphrodite, the temple here dates from the 3rd century BC. You'll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch before we travel to Pamukkale, celebrated for its startling white cliffs and mineral-rich thermal waters.
- Day 7 Pamukkale – Konya
- Next, we'll take an exciting tour of Hierapolis. The ruins of this ancient spa city include a Roman theatre, the agora and a huge Necropolis, home to more than 1,000 tombs. You may choose to swim in the hot spring pool at the hotel before we drive to Konya, which was once the capital of the Seljuk Empire. On the way, we'll pass the glistening lakes of Eirdir and Beyehir, surrounded by lush landscapes.
- Day 8 Konya – Cappadocia
- Konya is home to the Mausoleum of Mevlana, who was the founder of the sect of Whirling Dervishes, and it's our first stop after breakfast at the hotel today. We'll also admire the spectacular blue-tiled dome of Karatay Medrese, and visit the 13th century Caravanserai Sultanhani, once a popular stop for merchants along the ancient Silk Road trade route.
- Day 9 Cappadocia
- Awake amidst Cappadocia's other-worldly scenery for a full day of exploration ahead. Join us for a tour of Greme Valley with its fairytale rock formations and network of man-made caves that house churches, storehouses and living quarters.
The incredible Kaymakli Underground City was used by the earliest Christian settlers. Of its eight levels, four are open to the public and feature a maze of tunnels and rooms. At sunset, relish a glass of local wine with stunning views over Love Valley.
- Day 10 Cappadocia – Ankara
- Enjoy an early breakfast today before our drive to the bustling capital city of Ankara. In the afternoon, delve into history at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, to discover Turkey's ancient past. You'll find relics from Neolithic, Bronze Age, Hittite and Lydian periods, among a staggering array of artefacts. We'll also visit the Mausoleum of Atatrk, then enjoy an overnight stay with free time for relaxation or fun.
- Day 11 Ankara – Istanbul
- A bright and early start takes you back to Istanbul to explore at your own pace in the afternoon. Alternatively, enjoy an optional half-day excursion to Golden Horn, Chora Museum and Pierre Loti caf with pretty views over the Bosporus. Take advantage of free time in the evening for some last-minute shopping or sightseeing, then join us for a delicious farewell dinner together at the hotel.
- Day 12 Istanbul – UK
- Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before your airport transfer and flight home to the UK.