From 30/03/2024 to 11/11/2024
Eat, swim, sunbake, repeat – that’s : 9.
Lunches Included: 2.
Hotel (5 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights),Multi-share guesthouse (2 nights).
Ferry,Local bus,Private Bus,Boat,Tram.
Age: min 18, max 29.
Group Size: 1 - 16.
Gallipoli - Battlefields Tour.
Ayvalik - Copmadam Visit (trashyteyze / Tara Hopkins).
Ephesus - Archaeological site visit.
Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park.
Kekova - Turkish Coast day sailing.
Antalya - Kaleici Walking Tour.
Itinerary / more information
1 - Istanbul Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul - the metropolis where the best bits of European and Middle Eastern culture meet and the perfect place to start your adventure. Take some time today to explore the capital city before you join up with your travel crew and group leader for an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. Until then, maybe get out into the city streets and wander around or go hunting for a real doner kebab and some authentic Turkish delight (which pairs nicely with a cup of Turkish coffee). If you come to Istanbul before the start of the tour, maybe consider taking a day trip to Princes' Islands. After the meeting tonight, your leader will take you on an orientation walk of the city, showing you all the best bits of Istanbul. After, why not head out for dinner with your group and get a taste of the fabulous local cuisine.
2 - Canakkale This morning, jump on a bus and ferry to the shores of Gallipoli - a significant peninsula for Australians and New Zealanders. A place of pilgrimage for many, it's hard to imagine the now calm waters and peaceful landscape as the site of such a brutal battle back in World War I. Take in the reverence and serenity of the area and hear the stories of heroism and mateship that shone through the tragedies of war. You'll spend tonight in Canakkale - a popular university town, so you won't have a hard time finding some way to spend your evening. Whether you're chilling on the shore of the Dardanelles with a drink or checking out a local band with some of your travel pals, there's plenty to do in this coastal city.
3 - Ayvalik Up for a little ancient history and mythical heroes? This morning you'll have the option to take an excursion out to the ruins of Troy - the famed walled city infiltrated by the Greeks after they hid in the enormous Trojan Horse. Explore the ancient walls, climb around the 4500-year-old ruins and look out across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the Dardanelles and the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Later, drive down the coast to Ayvalik, where your leader will take you on a walk to discover the town's fascinating mix of Greek and Turkish cultures. You'll also stop by for a visit with the ladies at Copmadam - a local social enterprise that employs local women who upcycle waste and produce gorgeous accessories and homewares. For lunch, snack on a local Ayvalik tost - think a Turkish-style toasted sandwich with all the trimmings.
4 - Ayvalik Today is yours to explore Ayvalik. On the edge of the Aegean Sea, there is no shortage of beautiful spots to hang out in your free time. Stroll through the cobblestone backstreets and check out the rows of terracotta-roofed houses and lively cafes. Kucukkoy is well worth checking out for its picturesque Greek stone houses, art galleries and to hunt down some delicious pastries. You could also head out to one of the many stunning beaches in the area (like Sar?msakl? and Badavut) or head out to Cunda Island, which is filled with Greek Orthodox churches. Tonight, you can join your group for an optional dinner while still on Cunda Island or head back to Ayvalik. Set around a harbour, what better way to kick off the evening than with a drink at a harbour-side bar looking out to the Aegean Islands?
5 - Selcuk This morning, take a local bus to the town of Selcuk. Once there, take an orientation walk to get your bearings. Later, you can head out to the nearby ruins of Ephesus and explore the streets once walked by Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. This is one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world. You'll be amazed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a medical institute, and Roman baths. The theatre is also well preserved, but it's the magnificent library that's perhaps the coolest structure. Nearby are the remains of the Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Chill out tonight in Selcuk, where you could try some Turkish meze and raki for dinner with some of your travel crew.
6 - Pamukkale Travel east inland to Pamukkale, which literally translates to 'cotton castle'. Here, spectacular natural hot springs with a high calcium content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, creating bright white terraces, or 'cotton'. Why not take a dip and snap some pics, it's been used as a spa since the second century BC, and its waters are said to have heaps of healing properties, so you'll be glowing on your feed. If you've got Cleopatra on the mind after yesterday's stories, take a walk in the ancient city of Hierapolis and enjoy a dip in what used to be her old pool, soaking in the transparent water-filled springs that were sculpted for her as a gift from Marc. You can also check out the other ruins of the city - Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, and the amphitheatre shouldn't be missed. If you're lucky, tonight you might catch an epic sunset from the acropolis!
7 - Kekova Today, make your way south to the coast of Turkiye and explore the whitewashed buildings of Kas before you head out to Kekova. Right on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, today you'll explore this area and its ruins as much as you like. You could be lazing by the beach and taking in the views out over the island, swimming in the clear turquoise waters, or making your way up to the ruins of Simena Castle, the ancient theatre, temples or the Lycian tombs. This area has been inhabited since the 4th century, so make sure to soak in some of the incredible history while you're here. As the sun sets, ask your leader for some local dinner recommendations, and look back up the hill towards the castle as it is brilliantly illuminated against the night sky.
8 - Southern Coast Sailing Island hopping in the Mediterranean is on a lot of people's bucket lists for a reason, and today you get to tick it off yours. Jump in a boat and sail along the Turkish coast for the day, discovering the mysterious sunken ruins of an ancient Lycian city, exploring rock tombs, swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean and enjoying cruising along this incredible coastline. After a day of swimming, soaking up the sun, eating delicious food and exploring ancient lost worlds, head back to Kekova and enjoy the rest of your day in this idyllic town.
9 - Antalya After breakfast, hop on a public bus to Antalya - the capital of the Turkish Mediterranean. It's hard to get a bad photo of Antalya with its charming cobblestone streets, historic Old City, vibrant marina and the Taurus Mountains framing the city. Head around town with your group leader, maybe jump on the old Nostalgic Tram or go to Konyaalti Beach for some more time chilling out beachside. If you are in the mood for some last-minute history, check out some of the best museums in the country, or get theatrical at Aspendos ancient city with a beautiful, intact theatre from Roman times. Tonight, why not stake out some food and shisha with your group - Antalya has a thriving nightlife scene, so use it to your advantage.
10 - Antalya Your adventure comes to an end today in the beautiful city of Antalya. Say your farewells to your new travel buddies and head off whenever you're ready. Not ready to leave yet? Check in with your leader for any hot tips to make the most of your extended stay.
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