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Greece & TurkeyRegional Journey
Duration: 15 days Visiting: Turkey
Welcome to Istanbul.
Welcome to Turkey. You’ll start in vibrant Istanbul, where a representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel, the luxury CVK Park Bosphorus. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll be close to Taksim Square, which is famous for its Republic Monument, dining and shopping options. Join your Travel Director at 18.30 for a Welcome Reception and Dinner where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers.
Bosphorus Cruise and Bursa.
In the morning embark on a cruise along Bosphorus, one of the world’s busiest waterways. Leisurely cruise past the quaint fishing villages that line its shores. Travel towards the old city and see the beautiful Ottoman waterfront palaces and fortresses. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. Later, leave Istanbul for Bursa. A large city in northwest Turkey, it was the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire. There will be time in the afternoon to explore the city’s bazaars, silk markets and historic monuments.
Cumalikizik and Gordion.
Begin your day of culture with a visit to the glorious Green Mosque, Mausoleum complex and Grand Mosque in Bursa. Continue to the charming Cumalikizik village, with its traditional wooden houses and very narrow cobblestone streets. Later you’ll head to Gordion, which was once the capital city of ancient Phrygia, as you make your way to Turkey’s modern capital, Ankara. Enjoy a relaxed evening at your hotel, the Hilton SA. Perhaps take a dip in its indoor pool or unwind in its jacuzzi or hammam.
A day for history enthusiasts, explore Turkey’s bustling cultural capital, Ankara. Sightseeing includes a visit to the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Later, head to Avanos in Cappadocia. Famed for its unique geological formation, Cappadocia is an agreeable mix of golden hills and towering panoramic views. Complimenting the day’s events, dinner tonight will be at your hotel, where you’ll witness a performance of Whirling Dervishes.
The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience.
With its striking golden, volcanic landscapes, underground city and otherworldly buildings, Cappadocia could never be called ordinary. At every turn you’ll be delighted with yet another geographical or architectural surprise. Today you’ll travel to the striking town of Göreme. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings. You are treated to the unique flavours of Anatolia at Uçhisar Kadineli Restaurant, an establishment that provides employment for the women of the village and supports their financial freedom before moving on to the Pasabag Valley. Move on to the underground city of Özkonak where you’ll have time to explore its tunnels and holes with your Travel Director. Later, join a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house, where you’ll learn more about their unique way of life, local traditions and family life.
Start your day by learning more about traditional pottery making in Avanos. It’s then time to take a journey along the famous Silk Road, as you visit a 13th century caravanserai, a historic roadside inn where travellers would rest and recover after a day’s journey, most notably along the iconic road itself. Later, you’ll head to Turkey’s most religious city, Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire. Once here, visit the Mevlana Museum, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome, and see the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret. Your hotel for the night is the plush Hotel Dedeman, perhaps enjoy a nightcap at its bar and restaurant before resting up ahead of tomorrow’s journey.
Through the Taurus Mountains.
You day begins with a scenic drive down the Taurus Mountains to Aspendos an ancient city in Antalya. Known for having the best-preserved Roman theatre anywhere in the world, learn more as you explore it with your fellow travellers. Continue to your hotel for the next two nights and enjoy time to relax. Located by the Konyaalti Beach and close to the city centre, this luxury 5-star offers striking views of the Taurus Mountains and sea.
Antalya's Old Town.
Start your day with a visit to Antalya's pretty Old Town, with its souvenir markets and sweeping sea views. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the leisure facilities at your hotel. Alternatively, explore Antalya at your own pace. Ask your Travel Director for recommendations on places to explore in the city, take a stroll around the harbour or perhaps take a boat trip off the coast.
The Pools of Pamukkale.
Cross the soaring Taurus Mountains to see the remains of the ancient city of Hierapolis, a Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. Next to the ruins, you can see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. Later, head back to your hotel, the esteemed Doğa Thermal Health & Spa. Take full advantage of its indoor and outdoor thermal pools, steam room and its Turkish bath complex.
Start your morning with a trip to the Temple of Aphrodite, dedicated to the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Based in the ruins of the ancient city of Aphrodisias, it was the focal point of the city in its heyday. You’ll see the towering, fourteen columns of the temple that have been re-erected. Later, explore one of the world's finest archaeological sites, Ephesus. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and the huge Amphitheatre, before visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, a famous Catholic and Muslim shrine, situated above the Ephesus ruins. End your day in the quaint Aegean port of Izmir.
Today you’ll spend the day exploring pretty Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city. A vibrant destination on Turkey’s Aegean coast, it is was founded by the Greeks and has been an important port since ancient times. Explore its archeological sites including the Roman Agora of Smyrna and the Velvet Castle, a fortress also known as Kadifekale. In the evening, perhaps take a walk along the Kordon Promenade which overlooks Turkey’s Aegean Sea, or take a stroll in the hotel’s grounds.
Pergamon, Troy and Çanakkale.
Begin your day of legends with a trip to Pergamon. Once a powerful ancient Greek city, you’ll find the Asklepion temple here. A famous shrine and healing centre, it was built in honour of Asklepios, the god of medicine. Next, head to Homer’s city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan war and the backdrop to one of history’s most famous love stories, that of Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships. A replica of the mighty Trojan Horse, which helped the Greeks capture the city in 1200 B.C. can be found beside the city’s walls. After some time exploring, continue your journey to Çanakkale, a gateway to the Gallipoli WWI battlefields.
Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove.
This morning, cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought, in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and pay your respects at the Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, return to Istanbul where you’ll spend the next two nights.
Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire.
Today you’ll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning visit the historic Blue Mosque. Made up of domes and minarets, head inside and see its beautiful blue tiled interiors. See the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held, before exploring Hagia Sophia. Built in 537 AD, it is now a museum, famous for its domed roof. Visit the Topkapi palace, perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the waterway. In the evening, join your fellow travellers and toast to your trip over a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends as your trip comes to an end. A transfer will take you to the airport for your onwards flights, or for those extending their stay in Istanbul, speak to your Travel Director for tips and tricks on where to head.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
A folklore show in a cave setting, featuring vibrant dances from different regions and also a belly dancer. During the show unlimited amount of local drinks, both with and without alcohol, 4 kinds of Turkish ‘meze’ (hors d’oeuvres, appetizers), nuts, fruits and Turkish dessert specialities will be served.
Adult Price: EUR 35.00
We drive to the harbor for a fantastic cruise by a romantic wooden yacht and enjoy the turquoise coast and bays of the South coasts of Turkey. During the yacht tour we will have opportunity to see the waterfalls and swim at the beautiful Mediterranean waters. Also on board you can take pictures of interesting landscapes of Antalya.
Adult Price: EUR 28.00
Istanbul (Traditional) - Turkey
Centrally located and just a few minutes from Taksim Square, the Grand Hyatt Istanbul is a luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. Rooms are tastefully decorated and the outdoor pool is perfect to relax beside after a busy day of sightseeing. Complimentary WiFi means you'll be able to share all your adventures with friends and family back home.
Bursa (Traditional) - Turkey
Crowne Plaza Bursa is newest built hotel in the city, located only 10 minutes away from historical area. Why not indulge at the biggest Thermal Spa in Bursa located at the property offering facilities from thermal pool to a classic Turkish bath.
Ankara (Traditional) - Turkey
Discover a contemporary hotel in the centre of historic Ankara. Feed the ducks in Kuğulu Park, shop in Karum mall, or watch the street life from an Ankara patisserie.
Cappadocia (Traditional) - Turkey
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Avanos is the perfectly located hotel for travellers to experience the culture and heritage of the local area, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites and countless natural wonders. Plunge into the indoor or outdoor pool or indulge in a traditional Turkish bath at the hotel's spa.
Konya (Contemporary) - Turkey
Providing an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience, Ramada Plaza Konya offers a luxury setting with majestic architecture. Enjoy dining for dinner at the hotel's restaurant and experience modern infused cuisine mixed with traditional flavours.
Antalya (Contemporary) - Turkey
Situated in a convenient location in the city centre of Antalya on the beautiful Turkish Riviera, Akra Barut provides guests with beautiful views of the eastern beach to the Taurus Mountains. Comfort designed to meet with the needs of dynamic travellers, relax in opulence and luxury after exploring the Turkish capital.
Pamukkale (Contemporary) - Turkey
A hotel which provides features of Denizli's local and business world that makes for an incredible stay.
Kusadasi (Traditional) - Turkey
Enjoy stunning views of the Aegean Sea from the Charisma De Luxe Hotel.
Izmir (Traditional) - Turkey
The Swissotel Büyük Efes, Izmir is centrally located, offering spacious, comfortable rooms and luxury facilities.
Canakkale (Traditional) - Turkey
The modern Kolin Hotel is located near the city centre and is right on the shores of the Dardanelles Straits.