Wonders Of Turkey

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Regional Journey

Wonders of Turkey (Winter 2019 2020)

Duration: 11 days Visiting: Turkey

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

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • 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 a land rich in archaeological sites, historic monuments and a huge variety of spectacular scenery. On arrival at Istanbul airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. At 18:30, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner and get to know your fellow travellers over a pleasant evening.

  2. Day 2

    Gallipoli and Anzac Cove.

    Drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the Peninsula of Gelibolu, better known in the west as Gallipoli. Here are the battlefields where, for nine disastrous months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Dardanelles Strait. Visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. From Eceabat, a 30-minute sea crossing to Çanakkale takes you from one continent to another as you leave Europe for Asia.

  3. Day 3

    Troy, Pergamon and Izmir.

    Journey to Homer’s legendary city of Troy, where archaeological excavations have established nine levels of habitation, including the great city that was captured in 1200 B.C. with the famous Trojan Horse. A huge replica of this stands beside the city’s ancient walls. Continue to Pergamon, the seat of an ancient kingdom. Visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world. Carry on to the cosmopolitan coastal city of Izmir that overlooks an inlet of the Aegean.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Ancient Ephesus and Kusadasi.

    Visit the Archaeological museum at Selçuk where many of the excavated artefacts of Ephesus are displayed. Explore Ephesus itself, one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, take in the splendid facade of the Library of Celsus and see the huge Amphitheatre. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, spectacularly situated above the Ephesus ruins, and head to the lively coastal town of Kusadasi.

  5. Day 5

    The Pools of Pamukkale.

    Follow the Maeander River Valley - so full of twists and turns it gives us the word ‘meander’ - to Pamukkale, famous for its dazzling chalk-white array of fantastic limestone terraces. See the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure. Why not take advantage of your hotel's thermal pools and spa facilities? Follow the Maeander River Valley full of twists and turns to reach a local organic farm. You will be met by the Farm Director who will take you on a walking tour and head to the fields where you will experience picking fruits or vegetables. After, enjoy a Farm-to-Table lunch made with the fresh produce found on the farm.

  6. Day 6

    Konya, the Whirling Dervishes and Cappadocia.

    Head to Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire and home to the mystic Whirling Dervish sect. Visit the Mevlana Tekke, a museum and national monument with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret before travelling across fertile plains to Urgup, in the heart of Cappadocia. En route, visit one of the best preserved Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia.

  7. Day 7

    The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience.

    In the morning, enjoy an experience to Göreme, a region of striking volcanic landscapes. See rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings, some of which you can view in the open-air museum. Continue to the Pasabag Valley where the scenery is dotted with mushroom-shaped 'fairy chimneys' and troglodyte dwellings and explore the underground city of Ozkonak. After stopping at a Turkish Carpet center, experience Turkish hospitality first-hand when you visit a village house, home of a Cappadocian local for decades. Enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a cultural night at a 13th century Seljuk caravanserai. Witness a spectacular Sema performance of Whirling Dervishes - followers of Sufism, which developed from devout followers of Islam.

  8. Day 8

    Ankara.

    Learn about pottery making in Avanos and continue to Ankara. Visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader.

  9. Day 9

    To Istanbul.

    Enjoy a scenic journey through the Turkish countryside to Istanbul.

  10. Day 10

    Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire.

    Visit the Blue Mosque with its beautiful tiles and the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held. Explore Hagia Sophia, now a magnificent museum, before continuing to Topkapi Palace, a walled city perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Your Local Expert will give you a full explanation of the time-honoured ritual of bargaining before you move on to the Grand Bazaar! Finally, embark upon a cruise along the waterway of Bosphorus. Travelling towards the old city from close to the Black Sea, the scenery complements the grandeur of the Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. In the evening, join your fellow travellers for your Celebration Dinner at a colourful local restaurant.

  11. Day 11

    Farewell Istanbul.

    After breakfast, a transfer will deliver you to the airport for your onward travels.

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), 5 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Canakkale: The modern Kolin Hotel is located near the city centre and is right on the shores of the Dardanelles Straits. Facilities include a fitness center, Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzis and pools.
  • Izmir: The Swissotel Buyuk Efes, Izmir is centrally located, offering spacious, comfortable rooms and luxury facilities.
  • Kusadasi: Enjoy stunning views of the Aegean Sea from the Charisma De Luxe Hotel. Facilities include a Turkish bath, sauna, indoor pool, fitness suite and massage center.
  • Cappadocia: At the Alfina Hotel Cappadocia, experience troglodyte life in a cave room with all the amenities of modern accommodation.

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 Büyük Efes, Izmir.

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.

Ankara HiltonSA.

Ankara (Contemporary) - 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.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.6 out of 5 based on 11563 independent user reviews received during the past year.

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