Wonders Of Turkey

Greece & Turkey

Regional Journey

Wonders of Turkey (Summer 2020)

Duration: 11 days Visiting: Turkey

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Gifted with natural and ancient wonders, discover Turkey's finest gems including Göreme, the white terraces of Pamukkale and Ephesus, dating back to the 10th century B.C.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Istanbul.

    Welcome to Istanbul. A worthy destination for any trip to this fascinating part of the world, you’ll be taken aback by the vibrancy of this diverse city. On arrival at Istanbul airport you will be met and transferred to your luxury hotel, the Grand Hyatt Istanbul. Positioned in the centre of the city, you’ll be close to Taksim Square, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Join your Travel Director at 18.30 for a Welcome Dinner where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers.

  2. Day 2

    Gallipoli and Anzac Cove.

    Marvel at breathtaking coastal views as you make your way along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to historic Gallipoli. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought in an in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, join your group as you head from Eceabat across the sea to Çanakkale. Home to famous archaeological site, Troy, this historic destination will be your home for the night.

  3. Day 3

    Troy, Pergamon and Izmir.

    Begin your day of legends with a trip 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 seen beside the city’s walls. Continue on 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. After some time exploring, continue your journey to the coastal city of Izmir.

  4. Day 4

    Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi

    Start your morning with a trip to the nearby town of Selçuk. Home to the House of the Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis, you’ll begin with an educational visit to the Archaeological Museum. Once here, delve into the area’s history as you explore the museum’s exhibits, many of which have been retrieved from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Later, explore the famous site itself. 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.

  5. Day 5

    The Pools of Pamukkale.

    This morning, following the winding Maender River Valley, with its twists and turns, head to a local organic farm. Once here, you’ll meet the farm director who will take you on a walking tour of his lush lands. You’ll have the satisfying task of picking fruits and vegetables from his fields for your Farm-to-Table lunch. Continue to Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. See the ruins of the ancient Roman spa city of Hierapolis, founded in 190 B.C. You’ll see the city’s well-preserved theatre and its turquoise travertine pools. 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.

  6. Day 6

    Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia.

    Today you’ll travel to Konya. The home of the Whirling Dervish, this city offers tradition in abundance. Noteworthy buildings line its streets, with beautiful mosques and modern buildings providing a delightful contrast. See the Mevlana Tekke museum, with its recognisable turquoise dome. See the Karatay Madrasa, built in 1251, before moving on to the Ince Minaret, a 13th century madrasa. Continue your journey to Urgup, an historic town in the heart of Cappadocia. You will recognise this famous area from the bright balloons that decorate its sky and the striking golden, volcanic landscapes that surround it. On your way stop off at one of the best-preserved Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia. Your abode for the night is the unique Alfina Cave Hotel Cappadocia, built in old cave dwellings. Get some rest here before your travels continue in the morning.

  7. Day 7

    The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience.

    Move on to Göreme, a striking town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings before moving on to the Pasabag Valley. Located on the road to Zelve, you’ll find otherworldly earth pillars here, ‘fairy chimneys’ and troglodyte dwellings. Later, visit the underground city of Özkonak where you’ll have time to explore its tunnels and caves with your Travel Director before joining a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house. You’ll learn more about their unique way of living, local traditions and family life. Complimenting the day’s events, dinner tonight will be accompanied by a performance of Whirling Dervishes.

  8. Day 8

    Ankara.

    One for art lovers, this morning, you’ll learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos. A town based in Cappadocia, it is famous for its earthenware pottery. Continue your journey to Ankara, where you’ll visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Perhaps relax in the spa and wellness centre at your hotel this evening.

  9. Day 9

    To Istanbul.

    It’s time to head to Istanbul. A glorious fusion of East and West, this popular city offers something for everyone, history, culture, modernity, delicious cuisine and of course the friendliest of faces. As you make your way from Eminönü to the Black Sea, witness the area’s beautiful Ottoman waterfront palaces and fortresses. Your evening is at leisure, why not ask your Travel Director for suggestions on places to dine. Board a cruise along the Bosphorus.

  10. Day 10

    Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire.

    Today you’ll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning visit the historic Blue Mosque-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. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for your Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.

  11. Day 11

    Farewell Istanbul.

    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 a few recommendations.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Cappadocia: A Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades, invites you into their cave house. Take the opportunity to learn more about their life.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gallipoli: Pay your respects at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery.
  • Dardanelles: Enjoy a short voyage between continents from Europe to Asia.
  • Troy: Visit this ancient sight fabled to have been destroyed over love and view the huge reconstructed Trojan Horse.
  • Pergamon: Led by your Local Expert, visit Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres of the ancient world.
  • Izmir: Explore this city with your Travel Director.
  • Selçuk: Visit the Archaeological museum housing many of the artefacts from Ephesus.
  • Ephesus: Discover one of the world’s finest ancient sites. Led by your Local Expert, walk the Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and Amphitheatre and visit the House of the Virgin Mary.
  • Pamukkale: See the cascading Cotton Castle of milky white travertine pools and the ancient ruin of Hierapolis.
  • Konya: Accompanied by your Local Expert, visit the beautiful Mevlana Tekke museum for an insight into the mystic Whirling Dervishes. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret.
  • Anatolia: Visit a well preserved Seljuk Caravanserai.
  • Cappadocia: Visit a Turkish Carpet centre.
  • Göreme: With your Local Expert, explore the underground cities, rock-cut churches, fairy-tale chimneys and the Pasabag Valley.
  • Avanos: Learn about pottery making.
  • Ankara: Discover the mysterious Hittite civilisation and visit the Mausoleum of Atatürk.
  • Istanbul: Visit the Blue Mosque and explore Hagia Sophia. With your Local Expert, gain an insight into the lives of the Ottoman Sultans during a private tour of the fabulous Topkapi Palace. Later, enjoy a relaxing cruise past Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. Visit the Hippodrome, see the Bosphorous and the Golden Horn. Then you are given a complete guide on how to haggle in the Grand Bazaar.
  • Scenic Drives: Enjoy the passing scenery as you travel past the Sea of Marmara, Peninusula of Gelibolu, Maeander River Valley and Urgup.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Pamukkale: Head to a local organic farm where you will be treated to a Farm-to-Table lunch made with the fresh local produce.
  • Cappadocia: After dinner, enjoy a spectacular Sema performance of Whirling Dervishes at a 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai.
  • Istanbul: Toast the culmination of your travels with a lively Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Dining Summary: 10 Breakfasts (B), 6 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Highlight Festive Dinner: 28 Dec New Year's Eve in Kusadasi.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion.
  • On departures with 8 or more guests, personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers from/to Istanbul Airport are available on arrival and departure days, or with additional accommodation booked through Insight Vacations.

Optional experiences

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.

Accommodation

 

Grand Hyatt Istanbul

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.

Kolin Hotel

Canakkale (Traditional) - Turkey

The modern Kolin Hotel is located near the city centre and is right on the shores of the Dardanelles Straits.

Swissotel Buyuk Efes

Izmir (Traditional) - Turkey

The Swissotel Büyük Efes, Izmir is centrally located, offering spacious, comfortable rooms and luxury facilities.

Charisma De Luxe Hotel

Kusadasi (Traditional) - Turkey

Enjoy stunning views of the Aegean Sea from the Charisma De Luxe Hotel.

Doğa Thermal Health & Spa, Pamukkale.

Pamukkale (Contemporary) - Turkey

A hotel which provides features of Denizli's local and business world that makes for an incredible stay.

Alfina Cave Hotel Cappadocia

Cappadocia (Historic) - Turkey

At the Alfina Hotel Cappadocia, experience troglodyte life in a cave room with all the amenities of modern accommodation.

Hilton SA, Ankara.

Hilton SA, Ankara.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul

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.

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