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Greece & TurkeyRegional Journey
Duration: 11 days Visiting: Turkey
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.
TROY AND CANAKKALE
Make your way to Çanakkale, this historic destination will be your home for the night. Visit Homer’s city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan war. 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. The rest of your day is at leisure.
Dawn and first light signals the commencement of the annual Dawn Service. Attend alongside Australian, New Zealand and other foreign dignitaries and military personnel to honour the fallen soldiers. After, return to your hotel for the rest of your day at leisure. Perhaps relax poolside with a cocktail and admire the beautiful surroundings or book in for one of the many treatments on offer at the hotel spa.
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. Continue your journey to the city of Kusadasi.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Canakkale (Traditional) - Turkey
The modern Kolin Hotel is located near the city centre and is right on the shores of the Dardanelles Straits, facing Gallipoli Peninsula.
Kusadasi (Traditional) - Turkey
Enjoy stunning views of the Aegean Sea, the Greek island of Samos and the cruise ships arriving or leaving Kusadasi Port, from the Charisma De Luxe Hotel.
Pamukkale (Contemporary) - Turkey
A hotel which is only a few minutes drive away from the chalk-white limestone terraces and from Hierapolis archeological site. Its mineral-rich thermal waters make your stay an incredible one.
Cappadocia (Historic) - Turkey
At the Alfina Hotel Cappadocia, experience troglodyte life in a cave room with all the amenities of modern accommodation.
Ankara (Traditional) - Turkey
This most popular centrally located hotel of Turkey’s capital is within walking distance to some of the city's most popular restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping centres and embassies. Its rooms have panoramic views of Ankara and all offer all kinds of comfort a modern hotel should have.