This tour combines two days in Istanbul with seven days visiting the highlights of Western Turkey: Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon, Pamukkale, Ephesus, and Cappadocia. It runs the gamut from Roman, Greek and Byzantine ruins (Istanbul, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus) to modern history(Gallipoli) to unique geographical landscapes (Pamukkale and Canakkale).
Day 1 : Istanbul
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick-you up for a day discovering a few of the many wonders of Istanbul: the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. After lunch we will explore Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Istanbul – Two Continents Bosphorus Cruise
After breakfast at your hotel, we will start the day with a visit to the Spice Bazaar and the Rustem Pasha Mosque before embarking on a Bosphorus cruise. After the cruise, we’ll drive along the Asian shore of the Bosphorus to Camlica Hill with its panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus where we will have lunch. After lunch we’ll drive across the Bosphorus Bridge back to the European side, giving you the opportunity to step on the European and Asian continents within two minutes of each other! Our last stop will be a tour of Dolmabahce Palace. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 : Gallipoli
You will depart your hotel around 06:30am for Gallipoli. We will have breakfast en route and lunch at Eceabat. After the lunch we’ll head to the Gallipoli battlefield (Gelibolu National Park) to visit the Kabatepe war museum, Brighton beach, the Beach Cemetery (John Simpson’s grave), Ari Burnu (the planned ANZAK landing place), ANZAK Cove (actual landing place), Lone Pine Australian Memorial and cemetery, Shrapnel Valley, the Turkish Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (walk in the original ANZAK tunnels and trenches), the Nek cemetery and Walker’s Ridge, Chunuk-Bair New Zealander Memorial and cemetery. Overnight in Eceabat or Canakkale.
Day 4 : Troy and Pergamon to Selcuk
After breakfast at your hotel we will take a ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy, that much excavated site that has yielded pieces of history from 4,000BC to about 300AD. We will see 3700 year old city walls, houses from Troy I (3000 BC-2500BC), the Bouleuterium (the Senate Building), the Odeon (Concert Hall), sacrificial altars, the remains of cities from Troy I through Troy IX, current excavation sites, and, of course, the replica of the Trojan Horse. Following our tour of Troy, we will head to Pergamon where we will visit its Acropolis and the Asclepieum. After the tour of Pergamon we will head to Selcuk where we will spend the night. Overnight in Selcuk.
Day 5 : Pamukkale
After breakfast at your hotel, we will spend the day in Pamukkale and Hieropolis. Pamukkale, also known as the Cotton Castle, is famous for its healing thermal/mineral baths and beautiful snow-white petrified waterfalls. After lunch we’ll visit Hierapolis, an ancient city which includes a magnificently preserved Necropolis, the Main Street and Gates, the Thermal Baths, the Devil’s Hole, and the Theatre. After the tour we will take you back to your hotel in Selcuk where you will spend the night. Overnight in Selcuk.
Day 6 : Ephesus
After breakfast at your hotel, we will spend the day at Ephesus, one of the world’s finest examples of an ancient classical city. You’ll see the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Celsus Library, the House of the Virgin Mary where many speculate she spent the final years of her life. At the end of the day we will take you back to your hotel in Selcuk. Overnight in Selcuk.
Day 7 : Izmir to Cappadocia
After breakfast at your hotel, we will transfer you to Izmir airport for your flight to Kayseri. After arrival to Kayseri we will transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to relax or explore. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 8 : Cappadocia
After breakfast at your hotel, we’ll visit Dervent Valley with its unique fairy-chimneys; Paşabağ (Monk’s Valley) with its mushroom-shaped pinnacles; Avanos, a center of terra-cotta art, for a pottery demonstration and lunch. After lunch, we will visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, the largest concentration of rock-cut churches and monasteries in Cappadocia, many with excellent Byzantine frescoes of old and new testament scenes. Our last stop, before returning to the hotel, is the Uchisar rock castle for a panoramic view of of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 9 : Cappadocia
After breakfast at your hotel we’ll go to the Red Valley to explore its famous rock – cut churches and go for a 5km hike through the Gulludere Valley. We’ll visit the village of Cavusin, famous for its houses and churches of Christian clergymen. We’ll have lunch in Pigeon Valley. After lunch, we’ll visit Kaymakli, an underground city the goes 8 floors below ground. We’ll also visit the natural castles at Ortahisar. After the tour we will transfer you to Kayseri airport for your evening flight for Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul we will transfer you to your hotel.
Day 10 : Istanbul
Your tour ends after breakfast at your hotel.