Best of Turkey

From the legends of Troy to ancient Greek cities, your travels will reveal the places where history happened. On this in-depth Best of Turkey voyage, you’ll also venture into the Taurus Mountains for lunch with the Yazir community and relax on the shores of the Turkish Riviera.

Departure dates

From 12/05/2024 to 12/10/2024

What's included

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver.
Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted.
All porterage and restaurant gratuities.
All hotel tips, charges and local taxes.
Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals.
Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras.
Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing.
Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys).
Ferry across the Dardanelles from Eceabat to Canakkale.
Optional Experiences and free time.
On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilised.

Itinerary / more information

  • Day 1 Welcome to Istanbul Stand at the ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia, embarking on a journey of discovery through ancient lands and the marauding empires who fought to rule it. Arriving in vibrant Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a memorable Light Meal to kick off your epic adventure.
  • Day 2 Discover Colourful Istanbul Dive Into Culture Spend your day delving into a city where modern and ancient coexist effortlessly. Gain insights into the Ottoman Empire's power during your guided tour of the Topkapi Palace and see the 4th-century Egyptian obelisk. Visit Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome. See the exquisite Blue Mosque, said to rival even the Great Mosque in Mecca. Dive Into Culture this afternoon, with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Spend your afternoon haggling with passionate market vendors lining its labyrinthine lanes.
  • Day 3 Journey to Gallipoli and ?anakkale Pay tribute to the brave souls who lost their lives at Gallipoli - the national pride of two nations, the Turkish and Australians, were awakened at the site of the bloody WWI battlefields and are commemorated to this day. See Anzac Cove and the Dardanelles, and visit the cemeteries of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, the final resting place of many Allied soldiers. We continue to ?anakkale where we dine at our hotel tonight.
  • Day 4 Off to Troy, Pergamon and Izmir Explore the legends of Troy and see the symbolic replica of the famous Wooden Horse the Greeks used to break their siege of this ancient city. Visit the ancient Asclepion Medical Centre in the city of Pergamon before retiring in Izmir this evening where we'll dine at our hotel.
  • Day 5 Explore the Ruins of Ephesus Stroll through the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, past the amazingly intact fa?ade of the Library of Celcus and down to what was once its thriving port. During your visit to a Turkish carpet emporium, learn about the rich heritage and intricate artistry of carpet weaving. See the House of Virgin Mary at Mt. Koressos, then spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening you may consider joining an optional dinner at a local restaurant in Izmir and indulge in some of the local raki.
  • Day 6 Onwards to Pamukkale Leave the coastal city of Izmir behind as you journey inland to Pamukkale. Relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at your hotel before dinner.
  • Day 7 Venture to Hierapolis and Antalya Connect with Locals Tread in the footsteps of the ancients who sought relief and relaxation at the Roman health spa at Hierapolis, then admire the bubbling pools and delicate white cascades of water of Pamukkale's Cotton Castle Springs. Later, we travel through scenic countryside and join the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains, where we'll Connect With Locals and gain insights into their traditions at our Be My Guest lunch. Our stop for the next two nights is the Mediterranean retreat of Antalya. Enjoy some time on your own ambling through the winding lanes of its old city and admiring beautifully preserved Ottoman architecture. This evening, join your companions for a Regional Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 8 Enjoy Ancient Perge Enjoy a morning on your terms to soak up the enchanting seaside atmosphere of the Turkish Riviera, embarking on an optional yacht cruise or relaxing at the hotel pool. This afternoon, we travel to the Roman city of Perge to visit the impressive Antalya Archaeological Museum and see treasures spanning the centuries.
  • Day 9 On the Road to Aspendos and Konya Witness the world's best-preserved theatre of antiquity during your first stop in Aspendos this morning, before continuing to Konya, where we will gain insights into the mystical Whirling Dervish sect whose remains lie in the Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum. We continue to the Karatay Tile Museum, spellbound by its exquisitely Seljuk-tiled dome, before returning to our hotel where we'll dine tonight.
  • Day 10 Continue to Cappadocia Stays With Stories See a well-preserved 13th-century caravanserai, at which weary travellers used to rest. We journey to Cappadocia with its honey-coloured rocky spires providing an enchanting backdrop for our visit to the underground city of Saratli on the ancient Silk Road. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Experience at King's Valley eco farm. Local host Ali shares how he created an eco farm on the very spot where his grandfather's garden once stood, in an effort to preserve traditional farming and revive the local economy. Tonight we stay in one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories located with views of the valley and ancient Ortahisar rock castle.
  • Day 11 A Day to Explore Spectacular G?reme Dive Into Culture The other-worldly landscapes of Cappadocia take centre stage today as we explore its volcanic landscape dotted with caves and troglodyte dwellings. We visit the G?reme Open-Air Museum to admire the extraordinary rock-hewn churches and the fairy chimneys of Pa?aba?. Dive Into Culture to learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos. This evening, indulge in the flavours of traditional pottery kebabs during a Regional Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 12 Onwards to Ankara Arriving in the youthful capital of Turkey today, we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations and the final resting place of the country's beloved Atat?rk, the first president of the modern Turkish nation. This evening we dine at our hotel in Ankara.
  • Day 13 Return to Istanbul Returning to Istanbul, we enjoy the rest of the day on our own. Delve into the depths of the Basilica Cistern, savour the intoxicating smells of the Spice Market or ascend Galata Tower for exquisite views of east and west. Consider an optional cruise navigating the waters of the Bosphorus before meeting your Travel Director and fellow companions for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
  • Day 14 Farewell Istanbul Our epic journey into antiquity has come to an end as we bid Istanbul and newfound friends a fond farewell. Dining Summary
  • 10 - Dinner
  • 13 - Breakfast
  • 1 - Lunch Be My Guest Antalya: Enjoy a Be My Guest lunch with the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains near Antalya. Dive Into Culture Istanbul: Haggle for souvenirs at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and over 5,000 shops. : Learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos. MAKE TRAVEL MATTER(R) Nevsehir: Meet Ali, our local host and Cappadocian local, for a tour of his family-run farm. See the sport where his grandfather's garden once stood, taste freshly baked bread and fresh and dried fruits grown on pigeon natural fertilizer, the traditional farming method for producing a rich and nutritious harvest. This experience advances United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 11: Resilient Cities and Communities. Thanks to Ali's work to revive the traditional farming practices unique to this region of Cappadocia, the region has regained pride in their local traditions. It also advances United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12: Sustainable Production and Consumption. Using exclusively traditional farming practices, the farm is one of the few to be producing traditional and rare fruits, herbs and old grains, typical of the region. Must-see Highlights : Explore Istanbul with a Local Specialist : Visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Anzac Cove and the War Cemeteries at Gallipoli, the ancient ruins of Troy, the Asclepion Medical Centre at Pergamon, the ancient city at Ephesus, the Cotton Castle Springs in Pamukkale, the Archaeological Museum in Antalya, the home of the Whirling Dervishes at Konya, the underground city of Saratli, G?reme Open Air Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation at Ankara : View the Wooden Horse at Troy Trafalgar Difference Cappadocia: During construction a chapel was discovered which inspired the name; In ancient Rome, it was called 'Exedra', which means the meeting and discussion place of philosophers. The rooms are individual in design at Exedra Hotel hewn out of the surrounding rock and houses. Many handcrafted and antique pieces are on display throughout the hotel adding to the unique architecture that connects the buildings. Whats Included : An expert Travel Director and professional Driver : Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted : All porterage and restaurant gratuities : All hotel tips, charges and local taxes : Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals : Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras : Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing : Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys) : Ferry across the Dardanelles from Eceabat to Canakkale : Optional Experiences and free time : On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilised.
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