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 at 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 – Marmaris [B,D]
Transfer to Marmaris, the afternoon free at your leisure! Dinner and overnight at Anemon Hotel.
Day 9: Departure [B]
Transfer to Marmaris Harbor for the fast ferry to Rhodes or to Dalaman Airport for your flight back to Istanbul.