DAY 1: (FRI) ARRIVAL
Arrival at Istanbul Airport. Please look for your name after clearing customs. Meet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 2: (SAT) ISTANBUL – SULTANAHMET
You will meet your guide in the morning and s/he will brief you and the others in the group about the tour and answer any questions you may have.. Today we will visit the Saint Sophia (Hagia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church. See beautiful mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses. We continue to theBlue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets. We continue to the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. Then we will explore the Topkapi Palace. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures. Overnight in Istanbul. *This tour may be done completely as a walking tour. B.L.
DAY 3: (SUN) ISTANBUL – BURSA
We will depart Istanbul in the morning and cross the Marmara Sea by ferry. We continue to Bursa and may have lunch in the famous "Iskender Kebab" restaurant. We visit the Ulu (Great) Mosque, Green Mosque, Tombs of Osman and Orhan and the Muradiye Complex. Overnight in Bursa. B.L.D.
DAY 4: (MON) BURSA – CUMALIKIZIK – AIZANOI – KUTAHYA – AFYON
We will depart Bursa in the morning and visit the village of Cumalikizik. It is said that Osman Gazi, founder of the Ottoman Empire established seven villages for his seven sons nearly seven hundred years ago. This is one of the villages on the slopes of Ulu Mountain. The narrow streets have cobblestones and the ground floor of the houses have exterior stone walls reinforced by wooden beams. The upper floor is of timber and clay bricks. Free time in the village. We continue our journey into the interior of Anatolia to see Aizanoi and one of the most perfectly preserved Roman temples in Asia Minor. The temple of Zeus is impressive but also houses an ancient underground Shrine to the Mother Goddess. We will also see the ruins of a unique stadium and theater, which are joined together. We will continue into the village to see the ruins of the world’s first stock exchange, built in the 1st or 2nd century A.D. Here you see the maximum prices of commodities and livestock inscribed on stone slabs in the circular market building and the ancient Agora. We will visit Kutahya and see the old Quarter. Kutahya is a famous center of tile and ceramic making. Overnight in Afyon. B.L.D.
DAY 5: (TUE) AFYON – YAZILIKAYA (KINGDOM OF MIDAS) – PAMUKKALE
We will visit the impressive site of Yazilikaya (City of Midas) and the Temple of Cybele (Mother Goddess), with its mysterious Phrygian inscriptions. We will walk up the processional way, with its rock-cut figures to the acropolis of the ancient city, where there are two altars. We will also see the unfinished temple and staircases cut into the rock, which descends to a water cistern. The Phrygians emigrated from Thrace to Anatolia in 1200 B.C. Time permitting we may visit a central Anatolian village or other sites. Arrive in Pamukkale and overnight. B.L.D.
DAY 6: (WED) PAMUKKALE – APHRODISIAS – KUSADASI/SELCUK
In the morning visit the ancient site of Hierapolis (Pamukkale) with the Temple of Apollo and extensive Necropolis not to mention the famous calcium formations it is famous for. Today we will also visit the Greco-Roman site of Aphrodisias, which is still being excavated. Features the Temple of Aphrodite, two agoras and a huge intact stadium, the Baths of Hadrian and theater. As Aphrodisias was the site of a famous sculptural school you will be able to enjoy excellent examples of marble work. Continue to Kusadasi through the Meander Valley and overnight in Kusadasi or Selcuk. B.L.D.
DAY 7: (THU) EPHESUS – HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY – KUSADASI/SELCUK
Today we will visit the house of Virgin Mary, which is a major pilgrimage site, then Ephesus, with the Library of Celsius, Temple of Hadrian, agora and fantastic Greco-Roman theater. (Entry to the Terrace Houses is optional and extra) We will also visit the village of Sirince, Ephesus Museum, and remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was known as one of Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Overnight in Kusadasi or Selcuk. B.L.D.
DAY 8: (FRI) KUSADASI – PERGAMON – ASSOS
Today we will visit Pergamon, with its impressive theater and acropolis high atop the hill. It is renowned for the Zeus Temple. We will also visit the Asclepion, which was a famous center of healing in the ancient world. We will continue to Assos (Behramkale) and visit the ancient city of
Assos and Temple of Athena. You can see the Greek Island of Lesvos from here. Assos was the place where the first philosophy school of Aristotle was located. We will have free time in the village and then drive down to the small ancient harbor. Overnight in the ancient harbor of Assos. B.L.D.
DAY 9: (SAT) ASSOS – TROY – GALLIPOLI – ISTANBUL
Today we will make a special visit to Troy, the legendary city of Homer, which has nine principal levels of occupation covering a period of 3000 years. We continue to Canakkale, a nice seaside town where we will enjoy lunch (or Eceabat), then continue with a ferry across the famous Dardanelles Straight
which arrives near Kilitbahir Fortress. We drive to the windswept hills of this famous WWI battle site, which heralded the birth of the Turkish Nation, and also resulted in a great loss of life. Depending upon the group’s wishes we can see the Museum, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Allied and Turkish trenches and tunnels) The Nek and Chunuk Bair. We continue to Istanbul and overnight in Istanbul. B.L
DAY 10: (SUN) DEPARTURE
Transfer to airport for departure. (B)
All airport transfers
Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Water during meals (When guide is present)
Museum entry fees
Transportation in non-smoking minibus with English speaking guide and driver (in the case that the group size falls below 4 pax we reserve the right to conduct the tour by car with professional guide only)
OPTIONAL: We can arrange for pre or post tour accommodation or Turkish Night.
NOT INCLUDED: International flights, tourist visas, drinks, mini-bar, tips to guide and driver and items of a personal nature.
Moderate: Grand Naki Hotel, Ilkay Hotel, Niles Hotel, Nowy Efendi Hotel, Orient Express Hotel
Superior: Almina Hotel, Amber Hotel, Dersaadet Hotel, Dosso Dossi Old City, Hotellino Hotel, Recital Hotel, Zeynep Sultan Hotel
Boyuguzel Hotel, Safran Hotel, Ibis Hotel or similar
Anemon Afyon Hotel or similar
Hal-Tur, Lycus River Thermal Hotel, Pamuksu Hotel, Ayapam Boutique Hotel, Tripolis Hotel
Kusadasi or Selcuk:
Carina Hotel, Derici Hotel, Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel, Kalehan Hotel
Assos Kervansaray Hotel or Grand Assos Hotel or similar
*Similar hotels may be used if the featured hotels are not available at the time of booking and some Istanbul hotels require a supplement during certain periods – the final price of the tour depends upon your hotel choice in Istanbul, the price of the domestic flight and if you require any additional nights or tours in Istanbul.