Round Trip


TOUR OVERVIEW

This is a round trip departing from İstanbul,it continues towards the west coast through the world heritage sites such as Troy,Pergamon and Ephesus;seeing the famous turquoise coast of Mediterranean the route leads us to the magical wonders of Pamukkale and Cappadocia.The tour offers you a variety of cultural,historical and natural highlights of Turkey as well as off the beaten tracks.

This round trip can easly be tailored up to your wants and length of your stay or combined with other sightseeing,trekking and boat tours

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

İstanbul-See the capital of Empires

Troy-See the mythologic city of Homer

Ephesus-Explore the largest marble city

Dalyan-Cruise along the chanels where 'African Queen' was filmed

Kaş-Stroll around captivating old fishing town

Pamukkale-Admire unique white terraces

Cappadocia-Visit underground cities,see the magical atmosphere of 'Fairy chimneys'

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Arrival to İstanbul airport.Transfer to the hotel.

Meet our guide and driver at the airport.We drive to the hotel.Depending on the flight time we have an optional orientation walk around the historical peninsula.Stay at the hotel in İstanbul.

DAY 2 Visit Blue mosque,Hagia Sophia and Topkapı palace.

Today we discover major highlights around Sultan Ahmed Square.We start with Topkapı Palace.It was a residence and goverment quarter of Ottoman Sultans.Palace was built by Sultan Mehmet the Conquerer in 1478 and hosted 25 sultans in 400 years.With its functional simplicity and detailed tile decorations it represents Ottoman classic architecture.We see kitchens,council chamber,sultan's pavilions and treasury section there.Then we pass on to Blue mosque.Its official name is Sultan Ahmed Mosque as it was built during his reign but on account of more than 20.000 blue Iznik tiles, its known as Blue Mosque.Not only a mosque to pray but also it was a social complex of Ottomans consisting of Madrasah,hospice,kitchen and tomb of the founder.We have chance to visit the interior between praying times,it is an active mosque though.We have lunch in one of the Ottoman cusine restaurants in hostorical peninsula.We continue to Hagia Sophia.It was built in 537 AD by Emperor Justinianos and became a symbol of Byzantine Empire.As it was a great example of early Byzantine architecture,Hagia Sophia was taken as a model for many Ottoman mosques.It served as a Greek Ortodox church,Roman Catholic church and Mosque in 14 centuries.It remained as a largest church in the world until Giralda Cathedral was built in Seville.Historical peninsula of İstanbul was listed as a world heritage site in 1985.Then we have free time in the afternoon.Stay at the same hotel in İstanbul.

DAY 3 Drive to Çanakkale,visit battle fields of Galipoli(4hrs)

Today we drive to Dardanel to see the battlefields of Galipoli War.It was one of the compelling fronts of the first world war and has a significant importance for both sides.The war was a turning point of Turkish nation as Atatürk's success during the war led him to establish modern Turkey.The Gallipoli national park was listed in the preserved areas of United Nations in 1973.We visit the strategic spots during the war such as Anzac cove,Lone pine and Chunk bair.Then we pass on to the War Museum.It was recently renovated for the commomerations of the 100th year of the war. We then cross the strait on a ferry to asian part of Çanakkale. Overnight stay in Çanakkale.

DAY 4 Drive to Selçuk,visit Troy and Pergamon(4.5 hrs)

We have a short drive to Troy.The world famous city of Troy was first mentioned in the Homer's Iliad.He tells the story of a war between Greeks and Trojans.Having been spotted first by Heinrich Schliemann in 1871,Troy attracted the world's attention with its foundings.There are 9 cultural layers of civilisations from 3000 BC to 1200 AD. As Homer described '' Great Walls'' can still be seen at the site.We visit the remnants and enjoy the view of the strait.Troy has been the world heritage site since 1998.Then we drive to Pergamon.It was one of the most splendid cities of the Helenistic era.Founded by one of the generals of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC,Pergamon Kingdom reached it's zenith during Attalid dynasty.Shortly it became the rival of Alexandria and Athens.Library in Pergamon was the 2nd largest after Alexandria in the ancient period.Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt prohibited the export of papyrus so that Pergamese invented a new material called 'Parchment'.The site is situated at the top of a hill. Using a cable car we ascend to the acropolis to see the ruins such as temples,library and a theater.The Theatre of Pergamon is considered to be the steepest of the ancient period.Pergamon was listed as a world heritage site in 2014.We then drive to Selçuk for overnight stay.

DAY 5 Visit Ephesus and Temple of Artemis and Ephesus Museum.

Today we spend half of the day in Ephesus.It is one of the most visited sites of Turkey and listed as a world heritage site in 2015.Ephesus was the largest Greco-roman city of asia minor.Being one of the cities of Ionian League it bacame a cultural and trade center of Asia.It's fame spread out with the largest marble temple of Artemis which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.Artemis of Ephesus was a Greek form of the mother goddess which symbolize fertility in Anatolia.Ephesus was also a popular destination amongst the first christians.St Paul visited Ephesus in 52 AD but his speech in the grand theatre didn't attract much attention.One of the seven churches of Revelation was in Ephesus.It is thought that the gospel of John might have been written in Ephesus.The site has been under excavation for over 100 years.Only 15 percent of the city has been uncovered.We walk around the beautifully restored ruins,visit spectacular library,grand theatre,monumental fountains and well preserved roman houses.After lunch we visit the Temple of Artemis and Ephesus museum.Stay at the same pension in Selçuk.

DAY 6 Visit Afrodisias,drive to Pamukkale (3hrs)

We set off to Pamukkale.Today we visit an outstanding city of Afrodisias.Being one of the most important cities of Caria,Afrodisias surprises visitors with its well preserved ruins of antiquity.The earliest known settlements date back to Bronze Age.The cult of Ishtar(Mesopotamian goddess of fertility and love) was adobted here and it was transformed to Greek Aphrodite in Helenistic era.Afrodisias had a most efficent sclupture school in Mediterranean.The statues of god and goddess were carved in details with dominant facial expressions.Sclupture competitions were held in the stadium every year.Excavations were started in 1904 by Kenan Erim who devoted his life to the city and passed away just after he erected the Tetrapylon and was buried next to it.Grand stadium,tetrapylon,temple of Aphrodite and sebastion are the top highlights of the city.We stroll around the site then drive to Pamukkale.Overnight stay at the hotel in Pamukkale.

DAY 7 Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis,Drive to Dalyan.(3hrs)

After breakfast we have a short transfer to the white terraces of Pamukkale.Meaning 'Cotton Castle' in Turkish,Pamukkale is a magical wonder of the mother nature.It has been formed by hot springs which contain high amount of calcium bicarbonate.Leaving it's deposits behind,springs cascade down sclupting unique terraces.It seems like a frozen waterfall from distance.We take our shoes off and feel this therapeutic white mud.Then we visit Hierapolis.It is an extensive Greco-Roman city situated just above the white slopes.The Helenistic city was founded in the 2.century BC.After devastating earthquakes city lost its Greek character and rebuilt by Romans.On account of hot springs,the city became an healing center of Romans.After apostle Philip was martyred here,Hierapolis was converted to a pilgrimage spot by early christians.We visit major remnants of the city.Well preserved roman streets,largest necropolis and remarkable theatre,remind us glorious days of Hierapolis.Then drive to Dalyan.We follow the spectacular mountain road through the fields and pastoral landscapes.Stay at the hotel in Dalyan.

DAY 8 River boat trip to Caunos and Turtle beach,optional mud bath activity.

Dalyan is a popular town among Turkish and foreign visitors.It is situated on the east banks of the river which stretches between Köyceğiz Lake and Iztuzu lagoon.Today we board our riverboat and cruise to Caunos through the reeds where famous movie 'African Queen' was filmed.Caunos was a significant trade city exporting timber,salt,fruits and olive oil until it's harbour was silted up.It also suffered from malaria during Roman period which caused a big decrease from the city population.Theatre,temple and forum are the notable remains of the city.We meet our riverboat again and cruise to Iztuzu beach.It is 7 km long sandy beach which is one of the main nesting spots of Caretta Caretta loggerhead sea turtles.After a swim break at the beach we cruise back to Dalyan.We have an optional mud bath excurison to the other side of the river.It is a fun activitiy to relieve the tiredness of the day.Stay at the same hotel.

DAY 9 Visit Xantos and Saklıkent Gorge,Drive to Kaş.

Today we drive to Saklıkent Gorge.It is a 18km long canyon stretches to the slopes of Mt Akdağ.It is the best spot to cool off from the heat.As the water level decrease in summer we have chance to walk through the gigantic side walls.After a short walk we have lunch at one of the authentic restaurants by the river.Then we continue on to Xantos.Xantos was the first capital of Lycians and one of the leading cities of Lycian league.Lycians were one of the earliest civilizations of mediterranean who were fond of their independence.Thus they founded the first democratic union in the history called ''Lycian League''.Ancient writers such as Homer and Heredotus tell the stories of brave Lycian warriors.Xantians commited massive suicides in the history during Persian period in 545 BC and against Roman general Burutus in 42 BC.They set a fire to everything and throw themselves into.Today some remarkable remains of that glorious civilisation are situated on the east bank of Eşen river.Xantos was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1988.Drive to Kaş.Stay at the hotel in Kaş.

DAY 10 Free day in Kaş,Optional excurisons.

Today we have a free day in Kaş.It is a popular but unspoiled,charming old fishing town.White washed houses and narrow streets surrounded by bougainvillea create its unique authenticity.Kaş is a perfect base for all sorts of excursions and it offers you a variety of activities.You can join daily boat trip around sunken city,kayak along the turquoise bays or take a ferry to Greek island 'Kasterolizo' which is just 5 miles away.Kaş is considered as the best diving spot of the country.By joining one of scuba diving tours you can swim with shoal of ornate wrasse or sea turtles.Or you can have a relaxing day and enjoy your cocktail overlooking idylic mediterranean.Stay at the same hotel in Kaş.

DAY 11 Visit Olympos and Chimera,Drive to Antalya.

We drive to Çıralı today.Here,we have an optional hike up to eternal flames of Chimera.Having been in existence for 3 thousand years,its thought to be the first torch of Olympic games.Then we spend afternoon at Olympos.It was one of the six leading cities of Lycian League which is considered as the first democratic union.Owing to its location Olympos becomes a stronghold of pirates and is dismissed from the league.City is divided by Akçay river which was navigable for trade ships, remains are scattered both sides of the river.Olympos beach is one of the nesting spots of Caretta Caretta loggerhead sea turtles.After city exploration,we have a chance to dip into turquoise water then drive to Antalya.Overnight stay in Antalya.

DAY 12 Drive to Konya via Aspendos.

We head off to Konya today.We visit Aspendos en route.Aspendos was a prosperous trade city.Exporting salt,timber and wool and world famous horses.Aspendos reaches it's zenith in the Roman period.World's best preserved Roman theater is a prove of those glorious days.It was built by architect Zeno in 2.century A.D.Due to it's constant use it has been well maintained throughout the history.It hosts annual Opera festivals in the summer.Then we see the aquaducts and drive to Konya.Having been Anatolian Seljuk's capital Konya is full of interesting works from early Turkish-Islamic architecture.It is the birth place of Whriling Dervishes.Mevlevi order was founded by sufi mystic Mevlana Jelal ad-Din Rumi in 13.century.The followers of the order practise a formal ritual called 'Sema'.It represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through mind and love to the ''Perfect''.This ritual is combined with music and dance.It spread around the world during Ottoman era.It was listed as a Intengible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2008.We visit the Mevlana museum then check in our hotel.Stay at the hotel in Konya.

DAY 13 Visit Kaymaklı underground city and Sultanhanı Caravanserai,Drive to Cappadocia.

Today we drive to Sultanhanı Caravanserai first.Caravanserais were the resting shelters for the traders on the trade routes.They had facilities such as baths,accommodation lodges,shops and veterinaries.They were always built like castles to protect traders and their goods from bandits.Sultanhanı was built by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat 1 in 1229 AD.With open and enclosed courtyards it is the largest Caravanserai in Turkey.We then continue to Kaymaklı underground city.Underground cities are one of the top highlights of Cappadocia.They were the living quarters and shelters of the locals during war times throughout the history.Although the first inhabitants are thought to be Hittites,most of them were reformed and enlarged by early christian communities against pagan Romans and Arab-Sasanids raids.With long passages,labyrinth tunnels,chapels,vineries and a big number of storages,they are more like subterranean villages with the capacity of thousands.Kaymaklı underground city is one of the largest in the region consisting of 4 floors open to public.It was listed as a World Heritage site in 1985.Then we drive to Urgüp for 2 nights stay.

DAY 14 Visit Göreme Open Air museum,Uchisar castle,Avanos and Paşabağları.

Optional hot air balloon ride in the morning.Cappadocia is one of the best hot air balloon ride spots in the world.Early in the morning dozens of balloons take off and form a stunning skyline in the region.As it is the best way to witness the picturesque formations entirely,it has become the most popular activity and highlight of the region.

Today we see the major highlights of Cappadocia.We start with Uçhisar Castle.It is a naturally formed rock structure with full of caves used as dwellings,storages and stalls.As it is the highest spot of central Cappadocia,It was always a strategic point during war times.We walk up to the top of the castle.Then we carry on to Göreme Open Air Museum.Here, we see the best preserved churches of the region.Cappadocia was inhabited by early christians in the 4th century from Caesera(Kayseri).They formed a Monastic life which was flourished and expanded in the 7th century.Monasteries,chapels and cathedrals were carved in to the rocks.Göreme open air museum hosts the best of them that dates back to 11.-12. century AD.It was listed as the World Heritage in 1985.Then we drive to pottery makers town Avanos.It is divided by Red River which is the longest river of the country.With the old Greek houses and charming river side,it is one of the most characteristic town of Cappadocia. Beside tourism and agriculture,pottery making has been dominating the economy of the town for 4000 years.We cross the river on a wobbly bridge and have lunch in the town.Then visit one of the atelier to see the process of the pottery making.Afternoon we drive to Paşabağı.It is also called monks valley as the fairy chimneys(monolith rock formations) were inhabited by hermits,St Simeon's life style was adopted here.We stroll around unique three headed fairy chimneys then pass on to Dervent Valley.It is widely known as imagination valley.Here,valley slopes and hilltops have been formed distinctively as a result of the strong erosion by the wind and floods.Then we return to Hotel.Stay at the same hotel.

DAY 15 Drive to Ankara,visit Anatolian civilization museum and Mousoleum of Atatürk.

Today we drive to Ankara.We visit the museum of Anatolian civilizations.Incredible artifacts from all over the country are exhibited in the 15. century Ottoman Bazaar complex.Items are represented in chronological order starting from Palaeolithic age to Classical period.The museum was selected as the best museum of Europe in 1997.Then we continue on to Mousoleum of Atatürk.Atatürk(father of Turks) is the founder of Turkish Republic and the first president of the country.The magnificent tomb was built in 1953.It covers 750.000 sm consisting of museum,towers and hall o honour.The mousoleum complex represents early Seljuk and Ottoman architecture.We then check in our hotel.Stay at he hotel in Ankara.

DAY 16 Drive to İstanbul, optional Bosphorus cruise tour.

Today we drive to İstanbul.Afternoon we have an optional Bosphorus cruise tour. İstanbul has a flourishing skyline and Bosphorus cruise is the best way to experience it.We cruise along both European and Asian shores 2 hours.Then we pass on to restaurant for the farewell dinner and return to the hotel.

DAY 17 Tour ends.

Tour ends.Transfer to İstanbul Airport.

TRIP INFORMATION

Includes

Breakfast,transfers form/to airport,entreances fees written in the itinerary,licenced tour guide,air conditioned bus,passenger insurance,porters at the hotel(if available)

Excludes

Travel insurance,gratitudes for tour staff,personal expenses,meals,optional excursions

Season

Fours Seasons.

Tour Staff

Tour guide and driver.

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