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05 Classical Anatolia

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15 Days
Istanbul
Max People : 25
Tour Details

Embark on a captivating 15-day journey through Turkey and Greece, where ancient civilizations, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultures converge. This meticulously crafted tour will take you on a remarkable adventure, from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, and from the historical sites of Ephesus to the Greek island charm of Rhodes.

Immerse yourself in the rich history, explore iconic landmarks, savor culinary delights, and bask in the beauty of natural wonders. Whether it’s admiring the architectural marvels of Istanbul, indulging in a Turkish bath experience, or marveling at the “cotton white” travertines of Pamukkale, this tour promises an unforgettable exploration of Turkey and Greece, leaving you with a deep appreciation for the region’s captivating heritage and the memories of a lifetime.

Arrive

Istanbul Airport (IST) / Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)

Overview

This 14-day tour takes you on a captivating journey through Turkey and Greece, immersing you in the rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes of the region.

Highlights:

  • Istanbul: Explore the old city and its iconic attractions like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. Experience the bustling Grand Bazaar and the vibrant streets of Beyoglu.
  • Ankara: Visit Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Atatürk, and delve into the Anatolian Civilizations Museum.
  • Cappadocia: Discover the surreal landscapes of Fairy Chimneys, the underground city, and the Göreme Open-Air Museum. Enjoy an optional hot air balloon tour for a breathtaking perspective.
  • Antalya: Take in the ancient cities of Perge and Side, and admire the well-preserved Aspendos theater. Experience the beauty of Kurşunlu Waterfall.
  • Marmaris: Enjoy the coastal charm of Marmaris and take optional tours to nearby destinations like Dalyan and Kounos or explore local villages.
  • Rhodes: Experience the Greek island life with a visit to Rhodes, exploring its historical sites and savoring Greek cuisine.
  • Pamukkale: Witness the unique “cotton white” travertines and ancient ruins of Hierapolis, and relax in thermal baths.
  • Ephesus: Explore the well-preserved ancient city of Ephesus and visit the Virgin Mary House. Conclude the tour in the picturesque village of Şirince.

At the end of the tour, participants will have gained:

  • A deep appreciation for the historical and cultural significance of Istanbul, Ankara, and Cappadocia.
  • Immersion in the natural beauty of Pamukkale and the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia.
  • Insights into the ancient civilizations through visits to Ephesus, Perge, and Side.
  • A taste of Greek island life with a visit to Rhodes.
  • Relaxation and rejuvenation in thermal baths.
  • A well-rounded experience of Turkish and Greek cultures, including culinary delights, traditional shopping experiences, and encounters with local traditions.
  • Lasting memories of exploring iconic landmarks, engaging with local communities, and witnessing the beauty of Turkey and Greece.
Itinerary

Day 1Istanbul

  • Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel.
  • In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at a traditional restaurant.

Day 2Istanbul; Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia & Topkapi Palace

  • Embark on a tour of Istanbul’s old city.
  • Visit the iconic symbols of Istanbul: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace, which showcase the architectural and imperial grandeur of the Byzantine and Ottoman eras.
  • Explore the Hippodrome of Constantinople, once a vibrant venue for chariot races, as well as the Basilica Cistern, a remarkable Roman-era water supply system.
  • Conclude the day with a boat tour along the Bosphorus, a perfect way to unwind.

Day 3Istanbul; Grand Bazaar, Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar & Galata Tower

  • Begin the day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı), one of the oldest and most vibrant shopping malls in the world, boasting 4,000 shops. Take delight in traditional shopping experiences.
  • Explore the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, another bustling marketplace in the Old City.
  • After a half-day exploring the Old City and enjoying lunch, head to the Beyoglu district. Marvel at the Galata Tower, an impressive Romanesque-style structure built in the 14th century, now serving as an exhibition center and museum.
  • Take a leisurely stroll from Galata Tower to İstiklal Street, the lively heart of Istanbul, providing a glimpse into the city’s vibrant 24-hour lifestyle.

Day 4Ankara; Anitkabir, Anatolian Civilizations Museum & Ankara Castle

  • Travel by comfortable bus from Istanbul to Ankara, approximately a 5-hour journey.
  • Arrive in Ankara around noon. Start your exploration with a visit to Anıtkabir, the Mausoleum and Museum of Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
  • Explore the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, housing thousands of artifacts from various civilizations, including the world’s oldest known map.
  • Conclude the day with a short tour of the old town near Ankara Castle. Overnight stay in Ankara.

Day 5Ankara & Cappadocia; Salt Lake, Goreme, Avanos

  • Depart from Ankara and travel to Cappadocia, making a short stop at the Salt Lake (Tuz Gölü) en route. If visiting between May and October, you may witness the largest flamingo breeding colony in the world.
  • Discover the surreal landscapes and rich history of Cappadocia, starting with a visit to the Göreme Open-Air Museum and Uçhisar.
  • In the evening, enjoy dinner followed by an optional Turkish night tour featuring traditional dance performances, accompanied by wine and nuts. Overnight stay in Avanos.

Day 6Cappadocia; Hot Baloon Tour & Underground City

  • Optional hot air balloon tour, offering a captivating perspective of Cappadocia’s historical sites and natural wonders from above.
  • Explore Fairy Chimneys, the Underground City, and the Illustrated Valley, immersing yourself in the unique wonders of Cappadocia.

Day 7Konya

  • Depart from Cappadocia in the early morning and travel approximately 3 hours to Konya.
  • Visit the Mevlana Museum, the resting place of Rumi. Explore the inspiring life and teachings of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, known for his Sufi stories, poetry, and profound personal experiences. If interested, consider visiting in December to witness the “Seb-i Arus Ceremony” commemorating Mevlana’s death.
  • Enjoy lunch in Konya and then embark on a 4.5-hour journey to Antalya, passing through the scenic Konya plain and Taurus Mountains. Gain insights into Turkish agriculture, different lifestyles, and the local flora and fauna.
  • Overnight stay in Antalya.

Day 8Antalya; Aspendos & Perge

  • Take an Antalya tour encompassing Aspendos, Side, and Perge.
  • Visit Perge, the capital of Pamphylia during the Hellenistic period.
  • Explore the well-preserved Aspendos theater, renowned as one of the world’s best-preserved ancient theaters, dating back to the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
  • Discover the ancient Greek city of Side, notable for its picturesque natural harbor and significant trade activities.
  • Refresh at the magnificent Kurşunlu Waterfall before returning to your hotel.

Day 9Marmaris

  • Travel from Antalya to Marmaris, a 5-hour journey through the scenic Taurus Mountains.
  • Enjoy a short walking tour of Marmaris in the evening, followed by a delightful dinner at a fish restaurant in the marina.

Day 10Dalyan Kaunos & Mud Bath

  • Explore on an optional tour Dalyan and Kaunos, a destination famous for its ancient city, rock tombs, thermal mud baths, and İztuzu Beach.
  • Alternatively, spend a leisurely day relaxing on the beach and indulging in shopping in Marmaris.

Day 11Rhodes

  • Embark on a ferry from Marmaris to Rhodes, the second-largest Greek island, with a one-hour travel time.
  • Begin your island and city tour upon arrival, immersing yourself in history and savoring Greek cuisine.
  • Enjoy leisure time during the day and participate in a traditional Greek night at a tavern in the evening.

Day 12Pamukkale

  • Return ferry journey from Rhodes to Marmaris at 9 am.
  • Travel directly to Pamukkale, approximately a 3-hour drive.
  • Explore the captivating landscapes of Pamukkale, known for its “cotton white” travertines formed by mineral-rich waters. Witness the petrified waterfalls, terraced basins, and ancient ruins of Hierapolis, a thermal spa established in the 2nd century B.C.
  • Pamukkale and Hierapolis are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Relax in the thermal baths at your hotel after a rewarding day.

Day 13Ephesus & Virgin Mary House

  • Travel approximately 3 hours from Pamukkale to Ephesus and the Virgin Mary House in the province of Izmir. Drive through the vast plains of the Aegean region, adorned with cotton, fig, and grape fields.
  • Explore Ephesus, one of the best-preserved ancient sites worldwide, featuring a library, theater, bath, and well-preserved streets.
  • Visit the nearby Virgin Mary House, a significant pilgrimage site for Christians.
  • Conclude the tour in Şirince, a charming Greek-Turkish village renowned for its houses, wine, and handicrafts.
  • Take an evening flight from Izmir Airport to Istanbul.

Day 14Free Day in Istanbul

  • Enjoy a free day in Istanbul to explore the city at your own pace.
  • For a memorable experience, consider a full Turkish Bath/Hammam tour, which can be arranged upon request.

Day 15Return

  • Return flight to your home. Enjoy your flight and see you next time. “Güle güle!”
Map

Price Includes & Options

Price Includes

  • Accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels
  • Transfers from/to airports
  • Transportation on a comfortable vehicle during tour with wi-fi equipment
  • Breakfasts & Dinners
  • Professional guiding service
  • Entrance fees for the museums & ruins

Optional Tours & Activities

  • Turkish night in Cappadocia (day 5)
  • Hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia (day 6)
  • Dalyan tour in Marmaris (day 10)
  • Turkish hammam (day 14)
Photos
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