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Turkey is considered one of the lesser-known jewels of Europe and the world! It's here where the east meets the west and Europe and Asia connect. You're invited to a tour comprised of hidden gems & must-see highlights. Visit the ancient sites of Troy, Hierapolis and Ephesus. Step back in time and encounter the solemn battlefields of Gallipoli. Enjoy the hot springs of the terraces in Pamukkale. Jump in a hot-air balloon and see the beauty of Cappadocia. Or simply wander the modern bazaars in Istanbul. Turkey will leave you changed & send you home with countless memories.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to Istanbul and your first day of this magical trip around Turkey! Get settled at the hotel and then the day is yours to wander through this vibrant city. Catch a tram to the Grand Bazaar and get lost in the bustling market. In the Bazaar there is an “alley” for gold, leather, bowls and even tea. Want to escape the crowd? Sip on some black tea as you sit on a rooftop terrace in the busy city. Enjoy the views and the call to prayer from the mosques in the background.
After breakfast we take you on a guided tour of Istanbul. Turkey is the only country to span over two continents! One side lies in Europe and the other, in Asia. On our tour we will see famous landmarks like the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya). Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome also provide a glimpse into the past.
Today we visit the WWI Battlefields of Gallipoli. This is one of the most emotionally-touching places in Turkey. The tour includes visits to the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair Memorials, ANZAC Cove, The Nek and Johnston’s Jolly. The 25th of April is commemorated in Turkey each year as ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) day.
This morning we take a step back in time as we visit Troy. This is the home of the famed Trojan Horse and the Trojan War. We also tour the magnificent acropolis of Pergamum. Its impressive temples and library made Pergamum a renowned cultural and political centre in its time.
Immerse yourself in history today with a guided tour of Ephesus and a visit to the site of the Temple of Artemis. Feel the mystical atmosphere of the ancient city and theatre. Then we move to the former Greek village of Sirince, meaning ‘pleasant’. According to legend, it used to be called ‘Çirkince’ (‘ugly’) by freed Greek slaves so that others wouldn’t follow them there. Our final stop is at a carpet village. Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey. We learn how the carpets are made by hand and what determines their value.
This morning we will enjoy a display of local handcrafted leather goods. Then we make our way to one of the tour highlights - the magnificent white calcium terraces, known as Travertines, in Pamukkale! Take a dip among ancient columns in the hot springs that were used in Roman times for their therapeutic powers. We also tour the ancient city of Hierapolis and see the theatre and museum.
Today we travel along the ancient Silk Road visiting Sultanhani Caravanserai. A caravanserai refers to a roadside inn where travelers used to rest. Follow in the footsteps of all the traders that came before! We also make a stop in Konya at the Mevlana museum along the way. This is home to the mausoleum of the famous poet, Rumi. Don’t miss out on the optional traditional Turkish folklore this evening!
Marvel at the lunar landscape of Cappadocia through the Goreme Valley Open Air Museum. The museum is the first place travelers visit when going to Cappadocia. This array of rock-cut churches are bound to leave travellers awestruck. Why not jump in a hot-air balloon and see the fairy chimneys from above? Alternatively you could explore the many levels of an underground city.
We make an early-morning departure to the nation’s capital, Ankara. Here, we visit Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the famed President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. In 1923, Ataturk declared Ankara as the capital city of modern Turkey. This bustling capital is famous for its performing arts. After exploring our last stop on our Highlights of Turkey tour we head back to Istanbul.
We enjoy our final Turkish breakfast together as our tour comes to an end. Remember to exchange details so you can swap all those photos and relive the magical memories!
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