Legends of Turkey
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey
Arrival transfer from Istanbul Airport to Sura Haghia Sophia Hotel.
Day 2: Istanbul [B,L]
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, we will start our full-day sightseeing of the major sites in Istanbul. Our first stop is Topkapi Palace, the largest and oldest of the remaining palaces where Ottoman Sultans used to live. Admire the gardens, kitchens, the treasury section as well as terraces overlooking the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Photo stop at the Fountain of Sultan Ahmet the III and explore Saint Sophia, the masterpiece of Byzantine Architecture dating back to the VI Century. After lunch, visit the Blue Mosque covered by more than 20,000 Iznik tiles and continue with the Roman Hippodrome where the char races used to take place. Discover the handcrafts of Anatolia and shop in the labyrinth tunnels of the Grand Bazaar. Overnight at Sura Haghia Sophia Hotel.
Day 3: Istanbul – Bandirma – Assos [B,L]
Take the fast ferry to the south shore of Marmara Sea. Arrive to Bandirma and proceed to Manyas Lake known with numerous bird species. Drive through the back roads and stop in the typical village of Golyaka. Continue to Gonen town famous with its hot thermal springs and lunch. In the afternoon, explore the mythological Ida Mountains and visit Bayramic town where the picturesque stone bridge dating back to the XVIII Century. Descend the Ida Mountain and visit Athena Temple in Assos. In late afternoon, arrive at Yesilyurt Village offering stunning views over the Aegean and the Lesbos Island. Overnight at Ongen Country Hotel overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Day 4: Assos – Troy – Gallipoli – Assos [B,L]
After breakfast, enjoy a day trip to Troy. Cross the Dardanelles Strait to explore Gallipoli; discover the ANZAC Cove and enjoy a simple lunch box near the site. Continue with the Lone Pine and Chnuk Bair. Return to Yesilyurt Village and overnight at Ongen Country Hotel.
Day 5: Assos – Pergamon [B,L,D]
Descend Ida Mountains to reach the Aegean Sea. Enjoy the scenery with Lesbos Island and arrive to ancient Pergamum, the city where parchment was invented. Visit the Acropolis offering breathtaking views over the valley and discover the remains of the most impressive hellenistic theater in asia minor. In the afternoon, attend a cultural lecture about handwoven carpets, the most important handicraft in Turkey. Continue to Sirince, dinner and and overnight in Nisanyan Evleri.
Day 6: Ephesus [B,L,D]
In the morning, visit the antique city with Hadrian Temple, Celsius Library, theater and the marble streets as well as the terrace houses reflecting the life of roman citizens. After lunch, climb up the Coressos Hill to visit the chapel believed to be the house where Mother Mary spent the last days of her life. Dinner and and overnight at Nisanyan Evleri.
Day 7: Sirince – Aphrodisias – Pamukkale [B,L,D]
Proceed to Karacasu to discover one of the most colorful street markets of the region. Explore the remains of Aphrodisias, the city dedicated to the goddess of love and home to a school of sculpture that was known throughout the ancient world. Sculptural reliefs still adorn many of the buildings. Explore its many Greco-Roman remains including a stadium, which once sat 30,000 people and the Temple of Aphrodite, which was later converted into a Christian basilica. Follow the scenic road up to Babadag driving through small mountain villages and arrive to Pamukkale, popularly known as the ‘cotton castle’. Here, immense tiers of white limestone cascading down a barren hillside you will enjoy the beauty of the terraces and visit the nearby Roman Theater and necropolis. Dinner and overnight at Doga Thermal Hotel.
Day 8: Pamukkale – Caunos – Fethiye [B,L]
Continue to Dalyan Laguna where you’ll enjoy a boat drive along this unspoilt site to admire the rock carved Lycian tombs. Short stop at Iztuzu Beach, the nesting ground of the loggerhead sea turtles; time permitting stop for a short swim. Drive to Fethiye, overnight at Marina Vista Hotel.
Day 9: Fethiye [B]
Full day to discover the region: stop at Telmessos to see the rock carved tombs and After a short walk, continue to Oludeniz, one of Turkey’s most famous beaches. Explore the quaint Greek museum village of Kayakoy. Overnight at Marina Vista Hotel.
Day 10: Fethiye – Demre – Antalya [B,L,D]
Photo stop at the stunning Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest canyon. Continue to Demre where lived an important personality of Christianity, St. Nicholas. Visit the Basilica where he was bishop and enjoy a boat trip to discover few remains of Simena immersed under the water after an earthquake during Antiquity. Arrive to Antalya and check-in to Dogan Boutique Hotel in the pedestrian area of the roman harbor by the Mediterranean. Dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Antalya [B]
Begin your Greco-Roman quest today by visiting Perge where a mere scrape of the shoe will reveal mosaic walkways through the Ancient Agora. Its extensive ruins include a stadium that once echoed to the roar of 15,000 spectators. Photo stop at Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall where Duden River reaches the Mediterranean from an impressive height. Return to city center and walk through the narrow streets of the roman harbor where ottoman style houses and mansions under protection offer a historical atmosphere. Overnight at Dogan Boutique Hotel.
Day 12: Antalya – Konya – Cappadocia [B,L,D]
Drive through the Silk Road to Konya to visit the Whirling Dervishes Convent which is now the Mevlana Museum. After lunch, visit Sultanhan Caravanserai from XII Century and underground galleries of Saratli where the first Christians hid themselves from rivals. Continue to Cappadocia, dinner and overnight at Dere Suites Cave Hotel.
Day 13: Cappadocia [B,L,D]
Discover Goreme, one of the oldest settlements of the region; the Christians who were under attack had occupied this small town. Some of the earliest churches in this area date back to the VII Century A.D. The chimney-like rock formations that spread throughout Cappadocia’s rugged landscape are as fantastic as man’s accomplishments within its stone. Visit the Byzantine Churches carved into the cliffs and caves with colorful frescoes dating to the XII Century. Continue your exploration of this intriguing region with a visit to the hidden, monastic valley of Pasabagi and the ancient town of Uchisar. Dinner and overnight at Dere Suites Cave Hotel.
Day 14: Departure [B]
Transfer to Kayseri Airport for your onward flight to Istanbul.