Cultural Tour of Turkey

Cultural Tour of Turkey Guaranteed departure Anatolian Tour programme,Starting in Istanbul on the Marmara Sea, the tour then moves to Cappadocia, home of one of the most incredible landscapes in the world. We then continue along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, with a few detours inland, visiting a number of classical and biblical sites including Ephesus, the ancient spa city of Hierapolis and Bergama. We will also visit some amazing places along the Lycian coast including the church of St. Nicholas, who was born near here in Turkey. Perfect for first time visitors to Turkey, this tour has the perfect balance of sightseeing, history and sun and sea time. This tour is a small group escorted tour, with a maximum of 16 guests on the tour. Departure Dates : 07 May, 26 May, 11 Aug, 31 Aug, 21 Sep

Departure: Istanbul

Duration:20 Days

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Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul airport and transfer to the hotel.
You can arrive at any time today as there are no planned activities until dinner at 7pm. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city, with an estimated population of around 17 million. You’ll be blown away by the beauty and grandeur of its architecture and history. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 7pm, before we go out to dinner. If there are any changes to this arrangement, there will be a sign posted near the hotel lift doors and at reception. Welcome Dinner & Night in Istanbul. (Dinner)

Day 2 After breakfast, we take a 10 minute walk down to the ferry terminal to catch the public ferry for a leisurely Bosphorous cruise which will take you under two major bridges that connect Europe to Asia. We disembark at the last stop for lunch and walk up a steep hill to see the ruins of a castle and enjoy the view over the Black Sea. Cruise back to Istanbul late afternoon. We visit the Spice Bazaar on our way back to the hotel where you will have time for a quick freshen up before dinner. Dinner and Night in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3  06:00 am departure from the hotel for our flight to Kayseri, and then a one hour drive from the airport to Cappadocia. We have brunch on arrival then visit Goreme Open Air Museum where you will be amazed by the churches cut into the rocks with their amazing frescoes. In the late afternoon we visit a carpet weaving centre to learn more about the art of Turkish handmade carpets. Check in to the hotel, then an early dinner. Night in Urgup. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4 OPTION : Before sunrise enjoy a fabulous 1 hour hot air balloon ride over the top of the amazing landscape of Cappadocia. Enjoy champagne on landing. Full day tour of Cappadocia, during which you will continue to be amazed by the landscape, particularly the cave houses dug by hand into the natural rock formations. A highlight of our day today will be a visit to Derinkuyu Underground City which was built by early Christians fleeing persecution. It extends 8 levels below the ground and is carved out of volcanic rock. This evening we enjoy dinner, local drinks and lively dance performances at a Turkish Nights Cultural Show. Night in Urgup. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5 Early start for Konya, stopping at Sultanhani, the largest caravanserai in the World. On arrival in Konya, we will have lunch and visit the Mevlâna Museum and Masoleum. Konya is the most religious city in Turkey and is best known for its devout followers of Sufism, which is a sect of Islam, often referred to as “whirling dervishes”. Unfortunately, followers perform in Konya only once a year, in December during a special festival. It’s best to dress conservatively in the town. Because the Mevlâna Museum is filled with religious relics, women will be asked to wear a scarf inside. Men should wear long trousers today. We continue on to the picturesque town of Eğirdir which is situated on an inland lake surrounded by mountains. We guarantee that you will be charmed by the beautiful setting. Dinner and night in Eğirdir. Total 7 hours drive today. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6 Depart for Çirali, stopping on for lunch on the way. Çirali is a laid back little village with a beautiful beach backed by mountains. This area is particularly famous for the Çimera (burning rock) which are spontaneous flames caused by burning methane, that burn from the crevices of the nearby hillside. In ancient times, these flames were understood to be landmarks by which sailrs could navigate. Before dinner we will visit the Çimera - make sure that you wear good walking shoes and take a torch. Dinner and Night in Çirali. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 7 Today you will have a free day to explore Çirali and the adjoining village of Olympos. Options include relaxing on the beach, visiting the ruins of Olympos, hiring a bike and riding or walking around the village. Night in Çirali. (Breakfast)

Day 8 Depart for Myra where it is believed the legend of St Nicholas began. After Myra, we have lunch then drive 45 minutes to embark on a boat cruise to visit the sunken city of Kekova where you pull alongside and look down through the crystal clear waters at the ruins below. Kaş where we will be staying the night, is a seaside town and very popular during the summer season for yachting and water activities. Night in Kaş. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 9 This morning we depart for the coastal towns of Fethiye / Öludeniz (the location for the film Blue Lagoon), visiting stunning Saklikent Gorge with its built-in waterfalls and spectacular scenery on the way. After lunch in Fethiye, we will visit beautiful Öludeniz beach where you can choose to relax on the beach, or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can try a tandem paraglide. Free afternoon. Night in Öludeniz. (Breakfast)

Day 10 After breakfast, we take a boat trip along the river in Dalyan, visiting turtle beach where the turtles come every year to lay their eggs, and some mud baths where you can relax in the warm mud and refresh your skin. We will also see the ruins of the Kaunos (tombs) on the Mediterranean coast. Night in Öludeniz. (Breakfast)

Day 11 This morning we drive to Adem’s family village of Ulukent, where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of Adem’s childhood, visiting his family home and enjoying some refreshments with his family. This will be a highlight of the trip. Dinner and night in Pamukkale . (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 12 Today we visit Pamukkale’s Travertines and ruins of the ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis. The World Heritage- listed white travertines stand as a monument to nature’s wonder. Hierapolis has a very large amphitheatre to wander through and the Cleopatra thermal pool allegedly cures almost every ailment known to mankind. After lunch we will visit the covered market in the nearby city of Denizli which is famous for its cotton products and textile industry. Dinner and night in Pamukkale . (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 13 After breakfast we embark on a 3 hour drive to Selçuk to visit the house of Virgin Mary where it is said she spent her last days. After lunch, we visit St John’s Basilica and Isa Bey Mosque. This afternoon we will also visit one of Turkey’s largest leather manufacturers. A 15 minute drive will take us to the port town of Kuşadasi, which is famous as a stopover port for the many cruise ships travelling the Aegean Sea. Night in Kuşadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 14 After breakfast we tour the ruins of Ephesus, which is the most visited historical site in Turkey. The ruins here have been well restored - the impressive facade of the library alone is worth the trip. Walking through the huge amphitheatre here will make you want to try out your singing skills - it is still used every year for live concerts and has a definite aura surrounding it. Night in Kuşadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 15 Early start to Bergama, ancient Pergamum, which was ruled by one of Alexander the Great’s generals and then by the Romans. The road up to the Acropolis winds 5km up around a hill that takes your breath away. There is also a Temple and library and a vertigo-inducing theatre which must have been very impressive in its time. After lunch, we continue to Assos where you will feel like you have gone back in time in this village of hand-built rock houses. You will be able to enjoy your evening meal overlooking the harbour while you watch the spectacular sunset. Dinner and night in Assos. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 16 Travel to Canakkale , which is across the Dardanelles from the Gallipoli battlefields. On the way, you’ll visit the city ruins of Troy, made famous in Homer’s tale of the war of Troy. Climb inside the replica wooden Trojan horse and wander through the city walls. Night in Canakkale. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 17 After breakfast, a tour over the Gallipoli battlefields will leave you feeling very emotional. Your tour includes: • Ari Burnu (First ANZAC landing place) • Kabatepe War Museum • Brighton Beach • Beach Cemetary (John Simpson’s Grave) • ANZAC Cove • Lone Pine Australian memorial • Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish & Allied trenches & tunnels) Afterwards we have a 5 hour drive back to Istanbul. Dinner and Night in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 18 Visit Topkapi Palace which was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost four centuries and is Istanbul’s premier must-see attraction. Enjoy a free afternoon of shopping in the Grand Bazaar. The world famous 15th century Grand Bazaar has 4500 shops guaranteed to surprise and amaze. Night in Istanbul. (Breakfast)

Day 19 Historical tour of Istanbul, including The Blue Mosque Haghia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, the Hippodrome and more. Farewell dinner. Night in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 20 Free morning for shopping. Transfer to airport. Fly home. (Breakfast)

19 nights in comfortable hotel
All entrance fees
19 breakfasts 13 lunches 12 dinners
3 boat tours (Bosphorous Cruise, Dalyan River & Sunken City of Kekova)
1 domestic flight to Cappadocia
Arrival and Departure Airport Transfers
if you arrive & depart on the tour start and finish days. (Transfers on other days will be subject to an additional charge)
Full transport in air-conditioned, non smoking bus
Turkish Registered Professional English Speaking tour guide
Turkish Cultural Night including Drinks

International Flight Tickets
Personal Expenses

2.270,00 EUR

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