Glories of Turkey Escorted Vacation


From coastal Turkey to its hinterland, tour Istanbul, visit Gallipoli and Troy, have lunch with locals in Pergamum, and visit the Virgin Mary’s cottage in Ephesus. You will also see the “cotton fortress” of Pamukkale, Antalya, and the Artemis Temple at Perge. Aspendos, Konya, and Ankara are also visited.

ESCORTED VACATION – Guaranteed departures English only escorted coach tour with max. 34 participants. Scheduled departures - 15-day/14-night tour visiting Istanbul, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Canakkale, Troy, Pergamum, Izmir, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Bodrum, Antalya, Perge, Aspendos, Konya, Cappadocia & Ankara. Includes accommodation at superior first class & deluxe hotels with breakfast daily, 10 dinners, 1 lunch, arrival & departure transfers, touring by modern air-conditioned, business class seated 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
  • 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
  • Flights

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. Next, see St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century and converted to a mosque by the Ottomans. It is now a museum and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. 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

Gallipoli – Dardanelles – Canakkale

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 Canakkale. (B,D)

Deluxe & Superior: Kolin Hotel or similar hotels

Day

4

Troy – Pergamum – Izmir

Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War. Enjoy lunch with locals in a traditional village.  Then continue to Pergamum and visit the ancient medical center Asklepion. Arrive in Izmir in the evening. (B,L,D)

Day

5

Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House – Izmir

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. In the evening consider having an optional dinner at a local restaurant. (B)

Day

6

Izmir – Pamukkale

Drive through lush valleys to 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. Enjoy a swim in your hotel's thermal pool. (B,D)

Day

7

Pamukkale – Bodrum

After a morning at leisure, depart for Bodrum to visit the Castle of St. Peter and the renowned Underwater Museum. (B)

Deluxe & Superior: Doria Hotel or similar hotels

Day

8

Bodrum – (Kos)

Enjoy a day at leisure in Bodrum or consider joining an optional tour to the Greek Island of Kos. (B,D)

Deluxe & Superior: Doria Hotel or similar hotels

Day

9

Bodrum – Antalya

After breakfast, depart for Antalya. En route, visit the famous ancient city of Termessos. (B,D)

Deluxe & Superior: The Marmara or similar hotels

Day

10

Perge – Aspendos – Antalya

This morning, visit to the ancient Greek city of Perge, famous for its Temple of Artemis. Continue to Aspendos with its magnificently preserved 15,000-person theater. Return to Antalya and enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the Mediterranean Sea, an area known as the Turquoise Coast. (B,D)

Deluxe & Superior: The Marmara or similar hotels

Day

11

Antalya – Konya – Cappadocia

Early in the morning, depart for Konya to visit the mausoleum of the sufi philosopher Mevlana. Continue to Cappadocia, famous for it's "moon-like" landscapes. En route, visit a 13th century caravanserai and the famous underground city of Saratli. (B,D)

Day

12

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. Enjoy dinner at an authentic local restaurant. Later in the evening, consider seeing an optional Whirling Dervishes performance. (B,D)

Day

13

Cappadocia – Ankara

Early in the morning, depart for Ankara. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations with its Hittite treasures and artifacts from the world's oldest city. (B,D)

Deluxe & Superior: Hilton Ankara or similar hotels

Day

14

Ankara – Istanbul

After breakfast, depart for Istanbul. In the afternoon, consider joining an optional cruise along the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates Europe and Asia. Its shores are lined with fine neighborhoods, Ottoman palace, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels, parks and gardens, and restaurants and cafes. Make time for last-minute shopping at the Spice Market before a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day

15

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)