Turkish Odyssey


TOUR OVERVIEW

This is a western Turkey tour starts with major sites of İstanbul,it continues to southwest coast through the top must-see spots and it ends in Dalyan.It is a marvelous combination of the world famous historical sites and unique naturel wonders.The tour offers you a rich itinerary with 5 world heritage sites and it will definetly fulfill your holiday desires.

HIGHLIGHTS

İstanbul-Visit capital of Empires.

Troy-See the mythologic city of Homer

Ephesus-Discover the capital of Asia Minor,walk on 2000 years old marble streets.

Pamukkale-Admire the white terraces sclupted by nature

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

Gallipoli-See the game changer front of the first world war.

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 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 Gallipoli(4hrs)

Today we drive to Dardanel to see battle fields of Gallipoli 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 Alexandrıa 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,drive to Pamukkale(3hrs)

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 populer destination among the first christians.St Paul visited Ephesus in 52 AD but his speach 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.Then we drive to Pamukkale for overnight stay.

DAY 6 See Pamukkale and Hiearapolis,drive to Dalyan(3hrs)

We set off to 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 we drive to Dalyan.Stay 2 nights at the hotel.

DAY 7 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 of 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 8 Tour Ends.Drive to Airport(30mins)

Tour ends.We drive to Dalaman 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

Season

Fours Seasons.Best in spring and autumn.

Tour Staff

Tour guide and driver.

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