Turkish Odyssey


    Explore the mix of history, culture & modernity in Istanbul and the capital city Ankara, remember at the impressive landing beaches of Gallipoli, feel the echos of famous myths and past empires as you marvel at ancient cities, Roman ruins and Ottoman artefacts, discover stunning landscapes of Cappadocia and explore the incredible Mediterranean coastline between Bodrum and Antalya.  15 days to capture the beauty & diversity of this coastal region of Turkey.

    Day 1: Istanbul
    Welcome to Turkey. On arrival at Istanbul International Airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel for the next two nights

    Day 2: Istanbul
    Enjoy a full day tour including a visit to Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the years 1453–1852 (excluding harem). Visit the Hippodrome, which was once the centre of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, 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.  Join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. (B)

    Day 3: Istanbul – Gallipoli – Canakkale
    Depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, then cross the Dardanelles to Canakkale for overnight. (B,D)

    Day 4: Troy – Pergamum – Izmir
    Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Have lunch with locals in a traditional village. Continue to Pergamum to visit the ancient Medical Centre in Asclepion. Overnight in Izmir. (B,L,D)

    Day 5: Ephesus & St. Mary’s House – Izmir
    Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural centre of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old marble streets, the theatre, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Later, take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production centre to have a first-hand experience of this unique art form. Overnight in Izmir. (B)

    Day 6: Pamukkale
    Drive through lush valleys to Pamukkale, the Cotton Fortress, with white lime cascades formed by hot mineral springs. Visit ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis and enjoy a swim in your hotel’s thermal pool. (B,D)

    Day 7: Pamukkale – Bodrum
    Morning visit to the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Then, drive to Bodrum where you will visit the Castle of St. Peter and the renowned Underwater Museum that was awarded the best Underwater Museum of the World in 2000s. Overnight in Bodrum. (B)

    Day 8: Bodrum- Fethiye
    After breakfast, late morning departure to foundations of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Afterwards, depart to Fethiye where you have the rest of the day at leisure to relax at your beach hotel. Dinner and overnight in Fethiye. (B,D)

    Day 9: Fethiye – Myra – Antalya
    Depart for Antalya. Visit en route the famous Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) in Demre and ancient sites of Myra. Continue to Antalya for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

    Day 10: Perge – Aspendos – Antalya
    This morning visit Perge and Aspendos.  Afternoon at leisure and dinner at local restaurant.  (B,D)

    Day 11: Antalya – Konya – Cappadocia
    Early morning departure for Konya visit mausoleum of the sufi philosopher Mevlana. Continue to Cappadocia, visiting en route a 13th Century Caravanserai and the underground city of Saratli. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (B,D)

    Day 12: Cappadocia
    Early Morning Optional Hot Air Balloon tour: Experience floating through volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise.

    A full day to discover the fantastic landscapes and history of Cappadocia. Visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among the rock formations, which 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, Red Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave.  Tonight, dinner in a special local restaurant, and later there is the option of attending a Whirling Dervishes performance. (B,D)

    Day 13: Cappadocia – Ankara
    Early morning departure to the capital city of Ankara. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the Ataturk Mausoleum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations home to artefacts up to 7500 years old, including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artefacts in the world. Dinner & overnight in Ankara. (B,D)

    Day 14: Ankara – Istanbul
    After breakfast depart for Istanbul.  Afternoon free at leisure and opportunity for some last minute shopping at the Spice Market. In the afternoon, join an optional half-day Bosphorus cruise to view the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Tonight farewell dinner at local restaurant. (B,D)

    Day 15: Istanbul
    After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight (B)

    TOUR INCLUSIONS:

    • Accommodation in Historical and Boutique Hotels listed above (or similar)
    • Meals as per itinerary
    • Professional licensed guides
    • Sightseeing
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Local taxes and charges
    • A/C transportation
    • Travel Notes

    TOUR EXCLUSIONS:

    • Optional tours
    • Customary tips to guide and drivers
    • Personal Expenses

    AK-2018

    Images courtesy of Innovative