8 Days Natural & Ancient Wonders of Turkey
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See historical highlights in Troy and Pergamon and admire the geological wonderland in Cappadocia on this memorable eight-day tour of some western and central Anatolia’s most impressive sights. Stroll beautifully arranged streets and visit fascinating ruins and museums, get closer to history and culture, indulge in delicious foods and enjoy panoramic views during this fascinating round-trip tour.
Troy: Travel back in time to the ancient Greece of Homer’s Odyssey while exploring the spellbinding ruins of Troy.
Pergamon: Explore the ruins of what was one of the great cities of antiquity.
Ephesus: Catch a glimpse of this beautiful ancient site and admire the well known House of the Virgin Mary.
Pamukkale: Check out the fascinating calcium terraces of Pamukkale and enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the world.
Cappadocia: The Ancient region in central Anatolia, situated on the rugged plateau north of the Taurus Mountains, in the centre of present-day Turkey boasts a lunar-landscape and early Christain churches carved out of volcanic rock.
Ankara: Stroll the beautiful streets of Turkey’s capital and visit the mausoleum of the founder of Turkey’s Republic, Ataturk.
- Fully escorted by English speaking tour guide on private basis
- Five nights accommodation in 4* hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
- One night in Istanbul in 4* hotel on room-only basis
- One night in Izmir in 4* hotel on room – only basis.
- Five breakfasts
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary: Troy, Ephesus, a pilgrimage visit to the House of the Virgin Mary, visit the famous ‘Cotton Castle’, Aphrodisias, Konya, Mausoleum of Mevlana, visit the citadel of Uchisar, Pigeon Valley, Avcilar Valley, Zelve Valley and the town of Avanos, the Open-air Museum of Goreme, half day tour in Ankara
- During transfers and tour based on newer air-conditioned vehicles
- All applicable government taxes and fees
- Meet & Greet on day 1.
- International and domestic flights
- Admission fees
- Optional excursions and activities.
- Day 5: Izmir – Ankara flight is not included and our recommendation is to book a flight prior to 7:00 hrs. Recommended flight number TK7001 ADB-ESB.
- Please note that local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice.
- Optional activity “Pre-night in Istanbul + Full Day Classical Istanbul Tour”: It consists of one extra previous night in Istanbul (client needs to arrive a day earlier the normal tour starts) with full day tour. Day 1 (This day corresponds with Day 1, arrival day in the original tour): The guide will meet you at the hotel reception at 09:00 in the morning. The tour begins with a visit to Topkapi Palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. Here you will see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed. After lunch we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful blue Iznik tiles. This is followed by a visit to the ancient Hippodrome where you will see the Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Afterwards we walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. At the end of the tour we will have time to see the Grand Bazaar (except Sundays).
What do I need to bring?
Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting religious or official buildings in Turkey. Shoes should be removed before entering a mosque or private house. Sun protection, sun glasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1 Istanbul:
- Superior hotel Category = Dosso Dossi Old Town or similar 4*
Day 2 Pergamum:
- Superior Hotel Category = La Bella Bergama Hotel or similar 3*
Day 3 Pamukkale:
- Superior Hotel Category = Pam Thermal Hotel or similar 4*
Day 4 Izmir:
- Superior Hotel Category = Ramada Plaza Izmir or similar 4*
Day 5 Konya:
- Superior Hotel Category = Selcuk Sems -1 Tebrizi or similar 4*
Day 6 Cappadocia:
- Superior Hotel Category = Maze of Cappadocia or similar 4*
Day 7 Ankara:
- Superior Hotel Category = Capital Plaza or similar 4*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL ISTANBUL
Arrive at Istanbul airport where a representative will meet and greet you before you are transferred to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, relaxing in the hotel or exploring the surroundings on your own.
Overnight in hotel in Istanbul.
Day 2 : ISTANBUL – TROY – PERGAMUM (555 KM – 8 HRS)
Your tour will start with an early morning departure from the hotel. You will drive along the European shore of the Marmara Sea. As you cross the Dardanelles by ferry, you will become a part of Homer’s legends, seeing the symbolic Trojan horse, the city walls, The Athena Temple and the Odeon. After the visit, you will follow the route taken by those who have escaped the fall of Troy, to the beautiful city of Pergamum.
Overnight in hotel in Pergamum on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 3 : PERGAMUM – EPHESUS – PAMUKKALE (380 KM – 5 HRS)
After a delicious breakfast, you will be transferred to the Selcuk area, to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia Minor. You may opt for lunch in a local restaurant, before paying a pilgrimage visit to the House of the Virgin Mary. This Christian and Muslim shrine is near Ephesus, and it is believed by many that the Virgin Mary was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there. After the tour of Ephesus, you will be driven to Pamukkale town. The thermal bath is always at your disposal. Lunch is not included.
Overnight in hotel in Pamukkale on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 4 : PAMUKKALE – APHRODISIAS – IZMIR (300 KM – 4 HRS)
Start your day with a delectable breakfast at the hotel, before continuing your unforgettable tour. White will be the dominating colour of the fourth day of your journey as you will visit the famous ‘Cotton Castle’ and witness the amazing level of mastery the skilled sculptors of Aphrodisias have demonstrated while creating marble statues. Pamukkale, meaning ‘Cotton Castle’, is a natural site created by hot springs and travertines forming terraces of rock pools from the minerals left by the flowing water. The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the travertines which are nearly 3,000 m long. This amazing sight can be seen from a long distance on a clear day. You will visit the rock pools, the ancient Hierapolis, Necropolis, the Roman Baths, and the amphitheatre. After an optional lunch, you will drive to another land of dreams, this time to Aphrodisias. This ancient city was an autonomous city during the times of the Roman Empire and was especially well known for its Temple dedicated to its protecting Goddess, Aphrodite. The high level of welfare in the city during the first and second centuries AD had brought the city to a unique position in architecture and the art of sculpting. Your tour of the ancient city will include the amphitheatre, Basilica, the Roman Baths, and the biggest stadium of the time. Aphrodisias museum with its magnificent statues will be visited as well. Following Aphrodisias, you will be driven to Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean Coast. Have the rest of day at leisure. We recommend a panoramic view of the city from the Kadifekale (Velvet Castle) and a large glass of local beer, which is best enjoyed at a seaside café on the Kordon while watching the sunset. Izmir is famous for its exceptional fish restaurants.
Overnight in hotel in Izmir.
Day 5 : IZMIR – ANKARA – KONYA (1 Hr by flight & 3 Hrs by land)
You will have an early morning flight to Ankara, followed by a relaxing drive to Konya. Expect a very special day, as you will visit Konya, the hometown of Jellaleddin Al Rumi, the great philosopher and the founder of the Whirling Dervishes’ order. His poems, teaching love, and good manners, have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages. He has been described as the “most popular poet in America” in 2007. The visit to Konya will not only be an unforgettable trip to where this genius lived, loved, preached, and died but it will also be a journey to the depths of your soul. You will visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana (with an opportunity to see practising Dervishes) as well as the 13th-century theological schools of Karatay and Ince Minare. The flight to Ankara is not included.
Overnight in hotel in Konya on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 6 : KONYA – CAPPADOCIA (240 Km – 3 Hrs)
After breakfast, you will travel by car to Cappadocia, the land of stone dwellings, rock chapels, and monasteries. You will first visit the citadel of Uchisar, Pigeon Valley, Avcilar Valley, Zelve Valley, and the town of Avanos, famous for its ceramics made from the local red clay. You may enjoy your optional lunch, either in a fish or meat restaurant with a selection of local Cappadocia wines. You will then visit the Open-air Museum of Goreme with its churches carved out of rock and one-of-a-kind frescoes, as well as the Karanlik Church, which has recently been restored and announced as one of the treasures of the world by UNESCO. After dinner, spoil yourself with an optional tour to a wine house or with a local folkloric performance. Lunch and the tours available after dinner are not included.
Overnight in hotel in Cappadocia on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 7 : CAPPADOCIA – ANKARA (290 Km – 4 Hrs)
A tasty breakfast will be served at the hotel before leaving for a tour of Pancarlik Valley, to see ridges of pink and white rock in a valley full of vineyards and fruit trees. Then, explore the Derinkuyu underground city, one of many in the region where early Christians would hide from invading armies. You will leave Cappadocia at noon and drive to Ankara via the famous Salt Lake, a vast ocean of white. The drive takes almost four hours, with optional lunch on the way, at the 13th Century Agzikarahan Caravanserai of Seljuks. Lunch is not included.
Overnight in hotel in Ankara on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 8 : DEPART ANKARA
Begin your day with a delightful breakfast at your hotel. Then, enjoy a half day tour in Ankara, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder and the first president of the Turkish Republic. Afterwards, you will be transferred to Ankara Esenboga Airport Airport to continue with your travel arrangements.