This 14 day tour starts in Istanbul, Turkey and ends in 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'.
Today we will drive to Iznik which is famous for its handmade tiles and we'll also visit Iznik Lake. Then its on to Bursa which was the first capital of Ottoman Empire and visit Ulu Mosque and the Silk Bazaar before heading to Eskisehir.
After breakfast we drive towards the nation's capital, Ankara to visit Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Ataturk.
We will drive to Cappadocia visiting the Tuz Golu (Salt Lake), the second largest lake in Turkey, which provides life to the largest flamingo colony in the Middle East and North Africa combined, great photo opportunities. Once in Cappadocia and marvel at the lunar landscape with a fully guided tour of Goreme Valley, Goreme open-air museum, the fairy chimneys, Uchisar castle and more.
Today we visit and trek through the Pigeon and Love Valleys and explore the many levels of Kaymakli underground city. Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and at the carpet village we learn how the carpets are made by hand what determines their value. 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. Then we will visit mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. We will also visit Selimiye Mosque and Silli Aya Helena Church.
Drive towards to southern part of the country, the Medierranean coast and the city of Antalya. Along the way we we will visit famous theatre at Aspendos which is known for one of the best preserved theatres of Asia Minor and is still used today.
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 we will visit Bodrum Castle which was built by the Knights of Rhodes in honour of St.Peter. Onto 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. Lastly we visit the Antique Theatre which is situated on the hillside over looking Bodrum.
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.