Day 1 (Istanbul) D
Today, we arrive in Istanbul, where a transferman will meet us at the airport. We transfer to our hotel downtown, and have a brief orientation late in the afternoon.
This evening, we can discover any of the Turkish restaurants in the area as we enjoy dinner on our own.
Day 2 (Istanbul) B D
This morning we visit Hagia Sophia,
the "Church of Divine Wisdom
Completed under the Emperor Justinian in AD 537, the magnificent dome of the Hagia Sophia was once the pre-eminent architectural wonder of the Byzantine world. The massive building was a Christian church for almost a thousand years, until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when Mehmet the Conqueror claimed it for Islam. The building served as a mosque until 1934, when the revolutionary leader and founder of the Republic, Kemal Atatürk, proclaimed it as a museum. This impressive structure has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tour of Istanbul including visits of St. Saviour in Chora
(Kariye Museum), originaly formed the center of a Byzantine Monastery complex. Only the church section which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Saviour, has survived. Continue your tour with a visit to Taksim Square
. We have lunch on our own, and then board the Old Tram for a ride down Istiklal Street to the heart of Art Nouveau Istanbul. Istanbul has many Art Nouveau buildings; several were designed by the Italian architect Raimondo Tommasso d'Aronco, the chief palace architect for the last Ottoman sultan, Abudulhamid II, who ruled from 1876 to 1909. D'Aronco drew heavily Ottoman and Islamic architecture and art, reinterpreting them through the lens of the then-popular European Art Nouveau movement and its organic, floral forms. The results can be seen in the many beautiful palaces and grand private homes he designed for Istanbul's government and its elite citizens.
, Egyptian Bazaar built in the 17th century, this is the second largest covered bazaar in Istanbul. On to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, where the pungent and savory aroma of exotic oils, herbs and spices have perfumed the arched stone corridors for nearly 350 years. Now also proferring nuts, honey, dried fruits, traditional sweets and herbal remedies, the Spice Bazaar’s redolent wares will transform you into a veritable spice trader. This afternoon, we take the Bosporus cruise.
You can look north to the “European” district of Galata, or east to the Asiatic side of the Bosporus
and the Maiden’s Tower. In ancient times, the Golden Horn could be closed off to warships with a giant chain stretching from here to Seraglio Point. We enjoy a dinner together in a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 (Istanbul) B
This morning, we'll discover some of Istanbul's most famous sites on foot, includingTopkapi Palace.
Mehmet the Conqueror started building this complex in about 1459 and it served as the royal palace of the Ottoman sultans until 1853. Today, it is one of the world's richest museums, with a staggering collection of jewels, arms, porcelain, sculpture, manuscripts, and more. Next, we stop at the classicBlue Mosque
, so-called for the shimmering blue tiles that line its interior. Flanked by symmetrical soaring minarets, it is one of the defining elements of the Istanbul skyline. This classic of Ottoman architectural design was constructed under the patronage of Sultan Ahmet I, from 1609-1616. Next the Hipodrome,
sporting events (chariots races athletics) events and political activies f the old city.
The Blue Mosque,one of the famous mosgues of the Ottomans are known for it’s blue Iznık tiles and is uinique with its 6 minarets. Today lunch is on your own.After the lunch.
Just a short walk across the square takes us to the Underground Cistern,
the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water. This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures—capital heads and columns-- that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at us from her watery home. The tour will end with the visit to the Grand Bazaar
, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry, and carpets.
Day 4 (Istanbul, Canakkale) B L D
After breakfast we drive to Canakkale. OurGallipoli Campaign
The peninsula is filled with cemeteries, a war museum and many memorials to the tragic events of 1915. As you enter this almost barren land, you can still sense the war and heartache that once dominated the landscape, breaking the silent air.Our first visits will be to Anzac Cove
and Beach Cemetery
- home to one of Australia's most legendary soldiers, Private John Simpson
. We will then trace the steps of the ANZACS
up into the rugged hills to visit the Anzac Memorials at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair
. Amongst the numerous sites also visited will be Shrapnel Valley, Walker’s Ridge, the Nek and the surrounding trenches. Our last stop on the Gallipoli Peninsula will be the Kapatebe War Museum
with its absorbing collection of war relics and memorabilia. We have included lunch in a local restaurant.Afternoon we cross Dardanelles by ferry.Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 5 (Canakkale, Kusadasi) B L D
This morning after breakfast we drive to see the popular ruins of the ancient city ofTroy,
the site of the mythological battle Homer immortalized in his Illiad. Archaeologists have proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement here dating back to 3,000 BC. Then we drive to down the mountainous coastline of Turkey. Lunch is in a local restaurant. Our stop will be at the ancientAcropolis of Pergamum
, famous for its wealth of archaeological ruins where, from the Temple of Trajan, you will take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.Than we drive to Kusadası to our hotel fer dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (Kusadasi) B L D
After breakfast, we drive for less than an hour to the world-famous ancient Greco-Roman site of Ephesus,
one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk on the remarkably preserved wide marble streets, flanked by columns and temples. We see the Library of Celsus, a tiered façade decorated with exquisite statues. In the mphitheater we’ll see is the same one where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. And there are also remarkably preserved baths. Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis,
one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. No longer standing, it was said to be one of the most colossal temples ever built.Lunch in a local restaurant,than . We also visit the nearby House of the Virgin Mary
nestled high in the hills overlooking the city of Ephesus.We also view the ruins of the sixth-century Basilica of St. John
, said to stand over the burial site of the Apostle of Jesus, who is thought to have authored the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel of the Bible while in Ephesus. Later this afternoon, we have the unique opportunity to get acquainted with the oldturkish carpet
-making tradition of Anatolia, befor we drive to hotel in Kusadası.
Day 7 (Kusadasi, Pamukkale) B L D
After breakfast ,driv
e to pamukkale,to see the petrified white lime cascades of Pamukkale.
Pamukkale, "The Cotton Castle" with its snow-white terraces formed by thermal waters cascading down the hillside. At nearby Hierapolis
we will see the stadium and take a fascinating stroll through the tombs of the Necropolis.Before dinner take time to relax in the thermal pool or spa at your hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 8 (Pamukkale, Marmaris) B L D
After breakfast travel by coach to visit Aphrodisias
, one of Turkey's most important archaeological discoveries of recent decades.
These marvellous ruins rival Ephesus and include the Temple of Aphrodite with its dazzling white marble and a vast, virtually intact amphitheatre.We have lunch in a local restaurant. Later we drive to Marmaris.Marmaris
, with its impressive marina and perfect sandy beach, is one of the most popular holiday resorts on theTurkish Riviera
. The town is ideally situated within a spectacular bay area and surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.Everyday there is sheceuld ferry to Rhodos Island.Drive to hotel for dinner and overnight.