Explore the ancient lands of western Turkey and Central Anatolia on a 9-day tour from Istanbul. Visit the modern day capital of Ankara, the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, the ruins of Troy and Ephesus, the final home of the Virgin Mary, and more.
What to Expect
Discover the history of Turkey on a 9-day tour of the ruined cities of the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman houses of Antalya's Old City, and the modern day capital of Ankara.
Marvel at Greek-Roman remains at sites such as Troy, visit craft workshops to learn more about the pottery traditions of Central Anatolia, and taste the fruit wines of Sirince. The flexible tour includes a host of optional activities, including jeep safaris and scuba dives from Antalya, and day tours from the fairytale valleys of Cappadocia.
Day 1: Gallipoli (B)
Depart Istanbul early to cross the Dardanelles en route to Gallipoli. Here, you will visit the battlefields and war memorials of the Anzac Campaign, learning more about World War I in Turkey at the Gabatepe Museum, and visiting the Ariburnu Cemetery. See where the war started at Anzac Cove, and go to the Beach Cemetery, Shrapnel Valley, and Plugges Plateau. Continue to Canakkale for your overnight stay.
Those without passes to the Gallipoli sites, can enjoy some free time in Eceabat, wandering among the shops and cafés. There is also a ferry that you can catch to Canakkale to check into your hotel early if you prefer.
Day 2: Troy - Pergamon - Kusadasi (B)
Today, you will visit the ruined city of Troy, famous for the legend of the Trojan Horse and Helen of Troy. Continue to Pergamon for a tour of the magnificent Acropolis, temples and library of the former cultural political center. Bergamon is known for its jewelry, precious stones, and silver, and there will be a 30-minute break at a jewelry center en route to Kusadasi. Those without a pass to the ruins of Troy can enjoy some free time at a local restaurant, while those without a pass to Bergamon will have 2 hours free in the modern city center of Bergamon. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 3: Kusadasi - Ephesus - Sirince (B)
Explore one of the most famous archaeological sites of Turkey on a tour of the temples and marble streets of Ephesus. Visit the Temple of Artemis, Roman baths, and immaculate Celsus Library. You will also go to the House of the Virgin Mary, a tiny abode that is thought to be where she spent the last days of her life. After lunch, go to a carpet weaving center and tour the traditional village of Sirince to see houses that maintain the style of the Anatolian Greeks. Sirince is also known for producing some of the best wines in Turkey. Visit some of the vineyards to learn about the fruit wine production.
Next, visit a leather factory, where discount rates are offered on many of the items. Those that don’t want to take the Ephesus tour are free to spend the hotel, or can book from one of 20 optional day tours. Continue to Kusadasi for your overnight stay.
Day 4: Kusadasi - Pamukkale (B)
Depart Kusadasi after an early lunch, and drive to the calcium terraces of Pamukkale, known locally as “Cotton Castles.” You will also see the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient spa city built over the natural springs of Pamukkale. Transfer to your hotel in Pamukkale for your overnight stay.
Day 5: Pamukkale and Antalya Old City (B)
Today, you will explore the Old City of Antalya, arriving in time for a lunch break at around 13:30. Then, wander among the Ottoman era houses of the cobblestoned Kaleici district, see the historic Clock Tower and Hadrian’s Gate (Triple Gate). Transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 6: Antalya (Free Day) (B)
Today is free at leisure. Enjoy the sunshine, and take in views of the beach and crystal clear sea. Visit local markets, or choose from a range of optional day tours to Aqualand, the Greek-Roman ruins of Aspendos, Perga and Side, the scenic Duden Waterfalls, panoramic tours of the Termessos Karain Cave, village tours, and more. For those feeling a bit more adventurous, activities such as horse riding, jeep safaris, quad bike tours, scuba diving, white water rafting and paintball are all available. Alternatively, pamper yourself at a traditional Turkish Bath.
Day 7: Antalya - Konya - Cappadocia (B)
Depart after breakfast for Konya, site of the imposing green-tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, mystic founder of the Whirling Dervishes Sufi sect. Drive into the volcanic valleys of Cappadocia to check in to your hotel. Those that want to take the early morning hot air balloon flight should register upon arrival.
Day 8: Cappadocia (B)
Explore the curious rock formations and rock-cut houses of the Cappadocia region, carved from volcanic rock more than 10 million years ago. Popular with horse riders in ancient times, Katpatuka, as it was known to the Persians, is full of mystery and enchantment. Enjoy magnificen views from its highest point at Uchisar Castle, and see ancient frescoes at the Goreme Open Air Museum. See the abandoned village of Cavusin, before lunch in Avanos.
Next, learn about the region’s traditional pottery at a workshop where you can practice your own ceramics. Continue to the fairy chimneys of the Pasabagi Valley. Stop to admire the handwoven carpets and kilims of Anatolia, before exploring the Devrent Valley. Here, the rock formations resemble animals, which gives it its other name of “Imagination Valley.” Enjoy a glass or two of wine at a wine tasting in Urgup, before visiting the “Three Beauties,” 3 fairy chimneys that look like they are wearing hats! Those without a Capadocia pass have the option of purchasing one of 15 optional day tours, or chilling at the hotel.
Day 9: Cappadocia - Ankara - Istanbul (B)
Leave Cappadocia for the 4-hour drive to Ankara. Stop at Salt Lake en route to see the 2nd largest lake in Turkey. You will arrive in Ankara in time for lunch. Learn more about the founder of modern Turkey at the Ataturk Museum and Mausoleum. Continue towards Istanbul, arriving at approximately 19:00 for a hotel drop off.
- 1 night’s hotel accommodation in Canakkale
- 2 nights accommodation in Kusadasi
- 1 night’s accommodation in Pamukkale
- 2 nights accommodation in Antalya
- 2 nights accommodation in Cappadocia
- 8 breakfasts
- Guided tours of Gallipoli, Troy, the Acropolis of Pergamon, Sirince village, Pamukkale and Hierapolis, Antalya (Old City), Konya, Cappadocia, and Ankara
- Transportation by air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
- English-speaking guides
- All entrance fees as per itinerary
Cancel up to 1 day in advance for a full refund