Fall in love with Turkey on this 10 night guided tour. See Ephesus, an ancient city built in the 10th Century B.C. with an amphitheater that once sat 24,000 people. Drive through the Maender River Valley to an organic farm, where you can walk the lush lands, then feast on fresh produce during a mouth-watering lunch. See the turquoise travertine pools in Pamukkale where ancient Romans used to soak — then dip into the spa at your hotel to indulge in its Turkish baths. Take a tour of a traditional cave house in Cappadocia with the local who lives there, then dine as you watch whirling dervishes dance nearby. Visit the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the resting place of the country’s first president, in Ankara. Travel to Istanbul, where you’ll see the infamous Blue Mosque before bargaining at the electric Grand Bazaar, which boasts more than 4,000 shops.
|March 16, 2023||from $2,916 CAD||Per Person|
|1||Thu Mar 16||Welcome to Istanbul|
|2||Fri Mar 17||Gallipoli and Anzac Cove|
|3||Sat Mar 18||Troy, Pergamon and Izmir|
|4||Sun Mar 19||Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi|
|5||Mon Mar 20||The Pools of Pamukkale|
|6||Tue Mar 21||Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia|
|7||Wed Mar 22||The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience|
|8||Thu Mar 23||Ankara|
|9||Fri Mar 24||To Istanbul|
|10||Sat Mar 25||Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire|
|11||Sun Mar 26||Farewell Istanbul|
Day 1 Welcome to Istanbul – Welcome to Turkey. You’ll start in vibrant Istanbul, where a representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll be close to Taksim Square, which is famous for its Republic Monument, dining and shopping options. Join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner, where you’ll get to know your fellow travelers.
Day 2 Gallipoli and Anzac Cove – Marvel at breathtaking coastal views as you make your way along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to historic Gallipoli. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought in an in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, join your group as you head from Eceabat across the sea to Çanakkale. Home to famous archaeological site, Troy, this historic destination will be your home for the night.
Day 3 Troy, Pergamon and Izmir – Begin your day of legends with a trip to Homer’s city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan War and the backdrop to one of history’s most famous love stories, that of Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships. A replica of the mighty Trojan horse, which helped the Greeks capture the city in 1200 B.C., can be seen beside the city’s walls. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at Copmadam, a women’s co-op turning recycled materials into unique items, and addressing women’s employment issues. Continue on to Pergamon, once a powerful ancient Greek city, you’ll find the Asklepion temple here. A famous shrine and healing center, it was built in honor of Asklepios, the god of medicine. After some time exploring, continue your journey to the coastal city of Izmir.
Day 4 Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi – Start your morning with a trip to the nearby town of Selçuk. Home to the House of the Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis, you’ll begin with an educational visit to the Archaeological Museum. Once here, delve into the area’s history as you explore the museum’s exhibits, many of which have been retrieved from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Later, explore the famous site itself. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and the huge Amphitheater, before visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, situated above the Ephesus ruins.
Day 5 The Pools of Pamukkale – This morning, following the winding Maender River Valley, with its twists and turns, head to a local organic farm. Once here, you’ll meet the agricultural director who will take you on a walking tour of the eco-friendly lands. You’ll have the satisfying task of picking fruits and vegetables from his fields. Delight in a mouth-watering Farm-to-Table lunch, prepared with fresh produce from the farm. Continue to Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. See the ruins of the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis, founded in 190 B.C. You’ll see the city’s well-preserved theater and its turquoise travertine pools. Later, head back to your hotel, the esteemed Doğa Thermal Health & Spa. Take full advantage of its indoor and outdoor thermal pools, steam room and its Turkish bath complex.
Day 6 Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia – Today, you’ll travel to Konya. The home of the Whirling Dervish, this city offers tradition in abundance. Noteworthy buildings line its streets, with beautiful mosques and modern buildings providing a delightful contrast. Visit the Mevlana Tekke museum, with its recognisable turquoise dome. See the Karatay Madrasa before moving on to another ornate 13th-century madrasa, the Ince Minaret. Continue your journey to Urgup, an historic town in the heart of Cappadocia. You will recognise this famous area from the bright balloons that decorate its sky and the striking golden, volcanic landscapes that surround it. Your abode for the night is the unique Alfina Cave Hotel Cappadocia, built in old cave dwellings. Get some rest here before your travels continue in the morning.
Day 7 The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience – Move on to Göreme, a striking town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings before moving on to the Pasabag Valley. Located on the road to Zelve, you’ll find otherworldly earth pillars here, ‘fairy chimneys’ and troglodyte dwellings. Later, visit the underground city of Özkonak, where you’ll have time to explore its tunnels and caves with your Travel Director before joining a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house. You’ll learn more about their unique way of living, local traditions and family life. Complementing the day’s events, dinner tonight will be accompanied by a performance of Whirling Dervishes.
Day 8 Ankara – One for art lovers, this morning, you’ll learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos. A town based in Cappadocia, it is famous for its earthenware pottery. On your way, stop off at one of the best-preserved Seljuk Caravanserais in Anatolia. Continue your journey to Ankara, where you’ll visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey’s greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Perhaps relax in the spa and wellness center at your hotel this evening.
Day 9 To Istanbul – It’s time to head to Istanbul. A glorious fusion of east and west, this popular city offers something for everyone, with history, culture, modernity, delicious cuisine and of course, the friendliest of faces. Board a cruise along the Bosphorus. As you make your way from Eminönü to the Black Sea, witness the area’s beautiful Ottoman palaces and fortresses lining the waterfront. Your evening is at leisure, why not ask your Travel Director for suggestions on places to dine.
Day 10 Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire – Today you’ll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning, visit the historic Blue Mosque with its tiled interiors. See the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held, before exploring Hagia Sophia. Built in A.D. 537, it is famous for its domed roof. Visit the Topkapi Palace, perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the waterway. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. In the evening, join your fellow travelers for a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 11 Farewell Istanbul – It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends, as your trip comes to an end.
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