Exotic Destinations » Boutique Tours & Travel

Grand Tour of Turkey

HIGHLIGHTS

Istanbul - Old City & New City | Gallipoli | Ephesus | Bodrum | Pamukkale Thermal Pools | Antalya | Cappadocia

DURATION

15 Days / 14 Nights

DEPATURES

Group tour Departure Dates 2017 : 21 May; Sep 24 or Daily on Private Basis

PRICE FROM

$3864AUD per person (Group tour) based on twin share accommodation.

TOUR INCLUDES

  • Professional English speaking guide
  • Driver and transportation
  • Entrance fees as per program
  • Meals as indicated (B – Breakfast / L – Lunch / D – Dinner)
  • Local taxes & service surcharges

HOTELS

Superior Standard

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Experience all the best that Turkey has to offer, in a small group tour with a maximum of 20 passengers. Staying in the Unique, Boutique & Luxury hotels that Exotic Destinations is famous for, you will enjoy the comfort and hospitality of the Turkish people, as well as seeing some of the world’s most famous historical and archaeological sites, beautiful cities and towns, and stunning natural landscapes.

Sunday – Day 1 : Istanbul
Arrival into Istanbul, the only city in the world spanning two continents. After clearing Passport and Customs Controls, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel for a day at leisure.
Overnight Istanbul (Old City)

Monday – Day 2 : Istanbul (Walking Tour)
Enjoy this morning at leisure in Istanbul before your afternoon tour of Topkapi Palace.

Explore the spectacular palace (Harem section exclusive), seat of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands superb views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The palace is filled with treasures of the Sultans including the extravagant Treasury with its magnificent jewels and porcelains. At the conclusion of the trip optional visit to a handicraft center where an underground Byzantine Cistern in the studio is situated. Overnight Istanbul (Old City). B

Tuesday – Day 3: Istanbul-Gallipoli-Assos
Drive to visit Gallipoli, historically famous as the site of many battles – particularly involving the Allied Forces including Australians and New Zealanders during World War I. Visit Anzac Cove where the Allied Forces landed on 25 April 1915. Anzac Cove is marked by a Turkish monument with Ataturk’s poignant words uttered in 1934 for the Anzac troops:
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives…..you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours….. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.
Other places of interest to visit are the War Cemeteries (Beach Cemetery, Quinn’s Post, the Nek) and Anzac Memorials (Lone Pine, Conk Bair, and Hellespont). Cross the Dardanelles continue through to Troy to see a replica of the legendary wooden horse of Troy and the site with nine inhabitation levels covering a period of 3.000 years and where the legendary Trojan War in the book of Homeros of Smyrna took place, before arriving at the quaint port town of Assos where you will stay the night. B

Wednesday – Day 4: Assos-Pergamum-Sirince
This morning you will continue from Assos doewn the Aegean coast to Pergamum, once one of the richest and most powerful small kingdoms in Asia Minor to visit the hauntingly beautiful Asklepion – a famous health centre. Drive to the beautiful town of Sirince, in the hills above Ephesus.  B

Thursday – Day 5: Ephesus – Bodrum
Tour to Ephesus Antique City (Hillside Houses are excluded), which was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. Impressive structures you will see include the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, the Theatre and the Odeon; House of Virgin Mary where she is believed to have spent her last years. In 1961, Pope John XXII proclaimed the House of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus to be sacred; Basilica of St. John, who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel, and Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. After visiting a regional handicraft center, continue on to Bodrum and overnight. (B)

* Ephesus Museum in Selcuk was closed and no visits were possible when this tariff was released. Once opened, Church of St. John is to be replaced with the Museum.

Friday – Day 6: Bodrum
This morning enjoy a half day Bodrum city tour.  Visit the Bodrum Castle (except the main admission fee, all other sections are exclusive and need to be paid by the guests locally) which now houses the Underwater Archaeology Museum, then the Antique Theatre, and the remains of the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore the beautiful port town of Bodrum.  Overnight Bodrum. B

Saturday – Day 7: Bodrum -Aphrodisias- Pamukkale
This morning you will drive to Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite which was famous for its sculptors; visit the Museum, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Theatre, the Stadium, the Agora, the Hadrian Baths, the Odeon, and the Bishop’s Palace. Continue to PamukkaleCotton Castle“, the ancient Hierapolis famous for healing thermal/mineral baths and beautiful petrified waterfalls. Visit to the historical site including the magnificently preserved Necropolis, the Main Street and Gates, the Thermal Baths, the Apollo Temple with the Devil’s Hole and the masterpiece Theatre. Overnight Pamukkale at which you can also enjoy the thermal pool of your hotel. B,D

Sunday – Day 8: Pamukkale – Perge – Aspendos – Antalya
Drive to Antalya to visit Perge, with its well preserved theatre and stadium, the place where most of the statues that are on display in the Antalya Museum were unearthed, and then proceed to Aspendos, one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Anatolia. Overnight Antalya. B

Monday – Day 9:  Antalya
Free day at leisure to explore the old city of Antalya, with its great shopping and restaurants, especially around the marina area. B

Tuesday – Day 10: Antalya-Konya-Cappadocia
Drive to Cappadocia with visits to the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the tomb of the founder of the Mevlevi Order known with the Whirling Dervishes, in Konya and thereafter the 13th century Seljukian masterpiece Sultanhan Caravanserai. Overnight Cappadocia. B

Wednesday – Day 11: Cappadocia

Optional Hot Air Balloon Tour.  Pick up from the hotel roughly one hour before the sunrise (App. 05:00 o’clock) and transfer to the base.  After serving tea, coffee and cookies while waiting for the other participants proceed to the take-off field designated for that day. After a safety briefing delivered by the pilot, climb in to the baskets and take off. Rise to the altitudes of several hundred meters to have a good view of the area and drift through the valleys and canyons for some 60 minutes. On landing, have a traditional celebration party with champagne and cakes. Thereafter transfer back to the hotel.
Today is a full day touring the beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia.  Visit to Devrent Valley where various types of fairy chimneys are abundant. We will walk through this amazing valley. Thereafter visit Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) with multiple stems and caps, peculiar to this area. After visiting Pasabagi, drive to Avanos which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak river, the longest river of Turkey. Further to the time for lunch proceed to Goreme Open Air Museum (Dark Church is excluded; entrance requires additional admission fee) to visit the churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls (Please be advised that guides are not allowed to deliver speeches inside the churches and therefore the church visits may be carried out without the accompany of the guides). Thereafter time to take photos in the neighboring valleys and shopping facilities before going back to the hotel. Overnight Cappadocia. B

Optional Whirling Dervishes Show
Pick up from the hotel for a one-hour performance of Whirling Dervishes, an authentic ceremony in a mystic ambience. Transfer back to the hotel (No meals are supplied)

Thursday – Day 12: Cappadocia-Hattusas-Ankara
Drive to Hattusas.  Visit Yazilikaya to see the open air sanctuary and the capital with Lion’s Gate, Tunnel, King’s Gate, Citadel and the Grand Temple.  Continue on to Ankara and overnight. B

Friday – Day 13: Ankara – Istanbul
Visit the Antaolian Civilizations Museum at which numerous remnants from the Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians, and many other are on display; the Citadel of Ankara and the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the burial place of the national hero who founded the modern Republic of Turkey.  Proceed to the train station  to take the Speed Train to Istanbul, which would take you there in 3.5 hours.  On arrival transfer to the hotel in the Old City.  Overnight Istanbul.  B

Saturday – Day 14: Istanbul
Half day Istanbul Classics Tour.  Visit the Blue Mosque, famous for its mosaics of blue Iznik tiles and its six minarets.  Facing the Blue Mosque is St. Sophia, one of the great architectural marvels of the ancient world.  This church – turned mosque – and now a museum, takes the breath away with the sheer size of its interior and its magnificent dome.   Cross through the Hippodrome, the scene of Byzantine chariot races, athletic events, victory celebrations, and political activities of the old city where one can also see the Obelisk from Egypt, Serpent Column from Delphi, the Fountain of Wilhelm II and the Colossus.  B

This afternoon is free for you to further explore Istanbul.  Perhaps take in the atmospheric Yerebatan Underground Cistern, a short walk from the Aya Sofia, or head to back to the Grand Bazaar for some last minute souvenir shopping

Sunday – Day 15: Istanbul
Today you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your onward flights. B

Please contact your local travel agent or Contact us for more details.

 

 

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