Wonders of Turkey - Classic Group, Winter
From 12/10/2023 to 05/05/2024
Additional Included Highlights.
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
On departures with 8 or more guests, personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency.
We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
Complimentary transfers from/to Istanbul Airport are available on arrival and departure days, or with additional accommodation booked through Insight Vacations.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Welcome to Istanbul Welcome to Turkey. You'll start in vibrant Istanbul, where a representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Located in the heart of the city, you'll be close to Taksim Square, which is famous for its Republic Monument, dining and shopping options. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a Welcome Dinner, where you'll get to know your fellow travellers.
Day 2 - Gallipoli and Anzac Cove Marvel at breathtaking coastal views as you make your way along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to historic Gallipoli. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought in an in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, join your group as you head from Eceabat across the sea to Çanakkale. Home to famous archaeological site, Troy, this historic destination will be your home for the night.
Day 3 - Troy, Pergamon and Izmir Begin your day of legends with a trip to Homer's city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan War and the backdrop to one of history's most famous love stories, that of Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships. A replica of the mighty Trojan horse, which helped the Greeks capture the city in 1200 B.C., can be seen beside the city's walls. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience at Copmadam, a women's co-op turning recycled materials into unique items, and addressing women's employment issues. Continue on to Pergamon, once a powerful ancient Greek city, you'll find the Asklepion temple here. A famous shrine and healing centre, it was built in honour of Asklepios, the god of medicine. After some time exploring, continue your journey to the coastal city of Izmir.
Day 4 - Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi Relaxed Start Start your morning with a trip to the nearby town of Sel?uk. Home to the House of the Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis, you'll begin with an educational visit to the Archaeological Museum. Once here, delve into the area's history as you explore the museum's exhibits, many of which have been retrieved from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Later, explore the famous site itself. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and the huge Amphitheatre, before visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, situated above the Ephesus ruins.
Day 5 - The Pools of Pamukkale This morning, following the winding Maender River Valley, with its twists and turns, head to a local organic farm. Once here, you'll meet the agricultural director who will take you on a walking tour of the eco-friendly lands. You'll have the satisfying task of picking fruits and vegetables from his fields. Delight in a mouth-watering Farm-to-Table lunch, prepared with fresh produce from the farm. Continue to Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. See the ruins of the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis, founded in 190 B.C. You'll see the city's well-preserved theatre and its turquoise travertine pools. Later, head back to your hotel, the esteemed Do?a Thermal Health & Spa. Take full advantage of its indoor and outdoor thermal pools, steam room and its Turkish bath complex.
Day 6 - Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia Today, you'll travel to Konya. The home of the Whirling Dervish, this city offers tradition in abundance. Noteworthy buildings line its streets, with beautiful mosques and modern buildings providing a delightful contrast. Visit the Mevlana Tekke museum, with its recognisable turquoise dome. See the Karatay Madrasa, built in 1251, before moving on to the Ince Minaret, a 13th century madrasa. Continue your journey to Urgup, an historic town in the heart of Cappadocia. You will recognise this famous area from the bright balloons that decorate its sky and the striking golden, volcanic landscapes that surround it. Your abode for the night is the unique Alfina Cave Hotel Cappadocia, built in old cave dwellings. Get some rest here before your travels continue in the morning.
Day 7 - The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience Move on to G?reme, a striking town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings before moving on to the Pasabag Valley. Located on the road to Zelve, you'll find otherworldly earth pillars here, 'fairy chimneys' and troglodyte dwellings. Later, visit the underground city of ?zkonak, where you'll have time to explore its tunnels and caves with your Travel Director before joining a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house. You'll learn more about their unique way of living, local traditions and family life. Complementing the day's events, dinner tonight will be accompanied by a performance of Whirling Dervishes.
Day 8 - Ankara One for art lovers, this morning, you'll learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos. A town based in Cappadocia, it is famous for its earthenware pottery. On your way, stop off at one of the best-preserved Seljuk Caravanserais in Anatolia. Continue your journey to Ankara, where you'll visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atat?rk--Turkey's greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Perhaps relax in the spa and wellness centre at your hotel this evening.
Day 9 - To Istanbul It's time to head to Istanbul. A glorious fusion of east and west, this popular city offers something for everyone, with history, culture, modernity, delicious cuisine and of course, the friendliest of faces. Board a cruise along the Bosphorus. As you make your way from Emin?n? to the Black Sea, witness the area's beautiful Ottoman palaces and fortresses lining the waterfront. Your evening is at leisure, why not ask your Travel Director for suggestions on places to dine.
Day 10 - Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire Today you'll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning, visit the historic Blue Mosque with its tiled interiors. See the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held, before exploring Hagia Sophia. Built in A.D. 537, it is famous for its domed roof. Visit the Topkapi Palace, perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the waterway. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 11 - Farewell Istanbul It's time to say goodbye to your new friends, as your trip comes to an end. A transfer will take you to the airport for your onward flights, or for those extending their stay in Istanbul, speak to your Travel Director for tips and tricks on where to head. Choice Highlights Well-being : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests). : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches. : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols. : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues. : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day. Travel Director : "Not only does it have a land in two continents, but Istanbul is the only city in the world which was the capital of three empires: the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires." Top Rated Highlights : Enjoy the passing scenery as you travel past the Sea of Marmara, Peninusula of Gelibolu, Maeander River Valley and Urgup. Gallipoli: Pay your respects at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. Troy: Visit this ancient sight fabled to have been destroyed over love and view the huge reconstructed Trojan Horse. Izmir: Explore this city with your Travel Director. Ephesus: Visit the Archaeological museum housing many of the artifacts from Ephesus. Ephesus: Discover one of the world's finest ancient sites. Led by your Local Expert, walk the Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and Amphitheatre and visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Pamukkale: See the cascading Cotton Castle of milky white travertine pools and the ancient ruin of Hierapolis. Konya: Accompanied by your Local Expert, visit the beautiful Mevlana Tekke museum for an insight into the mystic Whirling Dervishes. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret. Konya: Visit a well preserved Seljuk Caravanserai. G?reme: With your Local Expert, explore the underground cities, rock-cut churches, fairy-tale chimneys and the Pasabag Valley. Avanos: Visit the narrow passages and interconnecting rooms of this Stone Age underground city dug out from the hills and built to block invaders and defend against attacks. Avanos: Learn about the ancient art of pottery making in Avanos. Ankara: Discover the mysterious Hittite civilisation and visit the mausoleum of Atat?rk. Istanbul: Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, where you'll pass Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. Istanbul: Visit the Blue Mosque and explore Hagia Sophia. With your Local Expert, gain an insight into the lives of the Ottoman Sultans during a private tour of the fabulous Topkapi Palace. Later, enjoy a relaxing cruise past Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. Visit the Hippodrome, see the Bosphorous and the Golden Horn. Then you are given a complete guide on how to haggle in the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul: With a Local Expert visit the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia museum and gain an insight into the lives of the Ottoman sultans at the fabulous Topkapi Palace. Authentic Dining Istanbul: Enjoy getting to know your fellow travellers as you savour a delicious Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant. Pamukkale: Head to a local organic farm where you will be treated to a farm-to-table lunch, made with the fresh local produce. Cappadocia: Discover the flavours of Cappadocia as you indulge in a regional dinner of colourful dishes, before watching a spectacular Sema performance of Whirling Dervishes at a 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai. Istanbul: Toast the culmination of your tour with a lively Celebration Dinner at a popular local restaurant. Dining Summary: 7 Dinner with Wine (DW), 10 Breakfast (B), and 1 Lunch (L) Make Travel Matter Ayvalik: Visit the vibrant Copmadam workshop which produces one-of-a-kind items made from recycled packaging, creating employment opportunities for local women. Insight Experiences Cappadocia: Join a Cappadocian local, who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house to learn more about their unique way of life.
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