Classics of Turkey Escorted Vacation

Turkey, an intoxicating blend of old and new, of East and West. Experience exciting Istanbul with a full-day tour and enough leisure time to discover its hidden charms. Marvel at the unusual rock formations of Cappadocia, the unique calcium cascades of Pamukkale, and the Roman ruins at Ephesus before stopping at Troy and Gallipoli.

ESCORTED VACATION – Guaranteed departures English only escorted coach tour with max. 40 participants. Scheduled departures - 11-day/10-night tour visiting Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamum, Troy, Canakkale & Gallipoli. Includes accommodation at superior first class & deluxe hotels with breakfast daily, 8 dinners, 1 lunch, arrival & departure transfers, touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach, and guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary.

Includes

  • Transfers per itinerary
  • Hotels per itinerary or similar
  • Meals per itinerary; (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
  • Sightseeing per itinerary
  • Airport taxes
  • ASTA TOP Tour operator travel funds protection program
  • Touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Professional tour director throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees per itinerary

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours
  • Customary tips and gratuities

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Istanbul – Arrival

You will be transferred to your hotel in Istanbul upon arrival. (Your arrival transfer is included only if you arrive on the actual day the tour commences. For customers arriving earlier an individual transfer can be organized at an additional cost.) The rest of the day is at leisure until you meet your tour director for a welcome briefing.

Day

2

Explore Istanbul

Today, enjoy a full-day tour of Istanbul including a visit to Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453 and 1852 (excluding harem). Visit the Hippodrome which was once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, and famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets. In the evening, consider joining an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. (B)

Day

3

Istanbul – Ankara

In the morning, consider joining an optional tour of St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, and now a museum and one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. Continue to along the Bosphorus, enjoying the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Its shores are lined with fine neighborhoods, Ottoman palaces, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels, parks and gardens, and restaurants and cafes. In the afternoon, depart for the capital city of Ankara. (B,D)

Day

4

Ankara – Cappadocia

In the morning, visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations with its Hittite treasures and artifacts from the world's oldest city. Continue with a visit of the Mausoleum of Ataturk, father of modern Turkey. Depart for Cappadocia, famous for it's "moon-like" landscapes. En route, visit a 13th century caravanserai. Pay a visit to the underground city of Saratli. Enjoy dinner at an authentic local restaurant. Later in the evening, consider seeing an optional Whirling Dervishes performance. (B,D)

Day

5

Explore Cappadocia

Consider an early morning optional hot air balloon tour. Experience floating through the volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast, visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among rock formations. It was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in that region. Continue to the town of Avanos, renowned for its high quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi and the Red Valley, and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave. (B,D)

Day

6

Cappadocia – Pamukkale

After breakfast, depart for Pamukkale. En route, visit the famous mausoleum of the Sufi philosopher Mevlana. (B,D)

Day

7

Pamukkale – Kusadasi

Today, tour Pamukkale which means "Cotton Castle", describing the white lime cascades formed by hot mineral springs. Visit the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Continue to Kusadasi. (B,D)

Day

8

Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House – Kusadasi

Today, tour the ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore the 2,000-year old marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium, and Hadrian's Temple. Take a short drive to see the Virgin Mary's stone cottage. Continue to a regional rug production center to have firsthand experience of this unique art form. (B,D)

Day

9

Pergamum – Troy – Canakkale

After breakfast, depart for Pergamum and visit the ancient medical center Asklepion. Enjoy lunch with locals in a traditional village. Then continue to Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War. Continue to Canakkale for an overnight. (B,L,D)

Deluxe & Superior: Kolin Hotel or similar hotels

Day

10

Gallipoli – Dardanelles – Istanbul

In the morning, depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWII. Visit Anzac Cove, the Lone Pine Cemetery, and Chunuk Bair. Then, cross the Dardanelles to Istanbul. Enjoy a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day

11

Istanbul – Return

You will be transferred to the Istanbul airport for your return flight home. (Your departure transfer is included only if you depart on the actual day the tour concludes. For customers departing later an individual transfer can be organized at an additional cost.) (B)