This 13 day tour, starts from Istanbul, Turkey, and ends at Kuşadası, Turkey. Highlights include :- Aphrodisias (UNESCO Heritage site) - Bursa (UNESCO Heritage site)- Mausoleum of Halicarnassus - Silk Bazaar - Bodrum Castle - Ephesus (UNESCO Heritage site) - Site of the Temple of Artemis - Sultanhani Caravansary - Cappadocia - Kaymakli Underground City - Göreme (UNESCO Heritage site) - Göreme Open Air museum - Istanbul Old City (UNESCO Heritage site) - St. Sophia Museum - Topkapi Palace - Blue Mosque - Hippodrome - Pamukkale Calcium Travertines (UNESCO Heritage site) - Hierapolis
Welcome to Istanbul. You will transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is yours, free to explore Istanbul.
After breakfast, you enjoy a fully guided tour of the only city to span two continents, visiting the Blue Mosque, St Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome. Cruise between two continents on the stretch of water that separates Europe from Asia in the afternoon with an optional 'Half day Bosphorous cruise'.
After breakfast we drive towards the nation's capital, Ankara to visit Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Ataturk before continuing on to the surreal landscape of Cappadocia.
Marvel at the lunar landscape of Cappadocia today as we visit the Goreme Valley Open Air Museum and the fairy chimneys, and explore the many levels of an underground city. Photo opportunities are everywhere so have your cameras ready! Tonight, don't miss the optional Turkish folklore evening featuring folklore and belly dancers... a night you won't forget!
Heading towards Konya we will visit Sultanhani Caravansary, the largest in Anatolia, en route. Once in Konya we tour the Mevlana Museum, the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi and Alaeddin Mosque.
Today we drive towards to southern part of the country, the Medierranean coast and the city of Antalya. Here we will take a walking tour of the old town area of Antalya known as "Kaleiçi". Amongst other things we'll visit Hadrian's Gate, the Ancient Harbour and Suna-Inan Kiraç Kaleiçi Museum which even has a Greek Orthdox Church in its garden!
Today, we will visit Perge a famous antique site. Continue to famous theatre at Aspendos which is known for one of the best preserved theatres of Asia Minor, and is still used today. After Aspendos drive to Side is one of the best classical sites in Turkey with Temple of Apollo and ancient ruins.
We depart from Antalya in the morning and head for Pamukkale. Along the way, we visit a Kibyra. At this little-known ancient city you will have chance to see the well preserved stadium and bouleuterion. We continue on and upon arrival in Pamukkale visit the famous cotton castles and Heirapolis, including magnificently preserved necropolis, the main steet, gates, thermal baths, the Greco Roman theatre and the Basilica of St. Philippe. Swim in a theraputic bath of hot spring mineral waters.
Depart from Pamukkale towards Aphrodisias the ancient city dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty, Love and Fertility, also famous for its school of sculpture, we visit the stadium, which is the best preserved in Anatolia, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Tetrapylon, theatre, the Museum. Afterwards we continue on to Bodrum.
Today is a free day in Bodrum. Maybe visit Bodrum Castle which was built by the Knights of Rhodes in honour of St.Peter. Or the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was constructed as a funeral monument by Artemisia, Queen of Caria, after the death of her brother and husband Mausolos. It is here that the word 'Mausoleum' comes from. Or maybe just spend the day at one of the many beaches nearby.
Depart from your hotel in Bodrum in the morning. After a short drive your tour starts with the visit to Temple of Zeus at Euromos. After the fascinating temple you will have a short drive to Bafa Lake, with a small authentic boat you will enjoy the romantic view of the lake. Thereafter we will get to Didyma's Temple of Apollo with its very well-known oracles was one of the most sacred places of antiquity. Although looted and burnt many times it remains impressive. After the fascinating temple you will visit Miletus which has provided its alphabet to the rest of the classical world, was a great port and the hometown of several philosophers and sages. Last stop will be Priene which was one of the most active ports of the Ionian Federation. The city is the oldest example of geometric city planning. We continue on to Kusadasi.
Absorb 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 before continuing to the former Greek village of Sirince, famous for its fruit wines. Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and at the carpet village we learn how the carpets are made by hand and what determines their value.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight and our tour concludes.