“In the spirit of the Grand tour, our Treasures of Turkey Tour features the highlights of Classical Western Turkey and ends in the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia.”
Please note: this is the NEW itinerary for 2018
Our “Treasures of Turkey Tour” is a 14-day journey through Turkey which takes as its theme some of the most important Christian monuments of Asia Minor. We visit Biblical sites as well as some charming and beautiful Byzantine churches. We explore some of the most important Classical sites in the Eastern Mediterranean in addition to some of the lesser known ones.
Accommodation is in boutique-style 3 or 4 star hotels throughout and all evening meals and entrance fees are included.
Please note: this tour does not include Istanbul in the itinerary – however, we very much receommend that participants spend a night or two in Istanbul, either at the beginning or at the end of their stay. We can provide assistance in booking this.
Rendezvous in Istanbul and drive to Çanakkale
We rendezvous in the morning at the airport in Istanbul and drive to Çanakkale (5 hours drive + approx 1 hour ferry crossing). There will be time for a welcome drink before heading out for our evening meal in a local restaurant. Overnight in Çanakkale
The Gallipoli peninsula
Today we will visit the moving – and at times overwhelming – WW1 battle sites in Gallipoli. We see the cramped landing sites, the monuments to the fallen as well as the trenches from opposing sides often just yards apart. We also visit the charming Historic National Park of the Gallipoli peninsula.
Evening meal and overnight in Çanakkale.
Troy is undisputably one of the most famous ancient cities in the world and few archaeological sites have the power to stir the imagination. Recent excavations have transformed the visitor’s experience and nowadays it is possible to visualise, perhpas the dual between Achilles and Memnon fought out on the plain below or maybe the Achaeans sacking the city and laying waste to the Trojans.
After lunch we drive to Ayvalık. Arriving in the late afternoon, there will be a chance to stroll through the streets of this once Greek town to appreciate its uniquely Aegean architecture.
Dinner and overnight in Ayvalık.
Today we depart from Ayvalık to travel to Pergamon. We visit the Red Basilica – another of the seven churches of the Apocolypse, before mvoing on to the ancient site of Pergamon. The library of Pergamon was renowned as one of the greatest of the ancient world. Many remians of its impressive monuments can still be seen, including the outstanding masterpiece of the Pergamon Altar.
In the afternoon, we depart from Pergamon and drive south, past Izmir to a small once-Greek town in the hills above Selçuk – Şirince
Evening meal and overnight in Şirince.
Ephesus is surely one of the most extensive and fascinating sites in Turkey and we spend all day visiting it. Once the commercial centre of the ancient world, much of what we see here dates from Roman times. After walking the Arcadian way, visiting the theatre and the temple of Artemis, we will also visit the remains of St John’s Basilica and the nearby Selçuk fortress.
Evening meal and overnight in Şirince.
Driving south from Şirince, we pay a visit one of the important sites from the world of Ancient Greece. Built on a hillside overlooking the plain of the river Meander, Priene was a small city state of just 6000 persons. The city possessed a wealth of Hellenistic art and architecture and although the city today lies in ruins, it is certainly one of the most suggestive sites around Turkey.
After lunch we journey south through Fethiye to Ölüdeniz.
Evening meal and overnight near Ölüdeniz.
Kayaköy & Ölüdeniz
Today is a free day around Ölüdeniz. Those who wish may spend the day at the beach. For those who are feeling adventurous we can go to visit the ruins of Kayaköy – the village made famous in Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. Abandoned by the Greeks during the population exchange of 1923, it was never again inhabited and today stands as a haunting monument to the era.
Evening meal and overnight in Ölüdeniz.
We depart from Ölüdeniz in the direction of Kaş. En route we stop off at Tlos – an ancient ruined Lycian hilltop citadel. Tlos was once one of the six principal cities of Lycia. In mythology, it was the city inhabited by hero Bellerophon and his winged horse Pegasus. Nowadays, surrounded by fields and pomegranates, it makes for a very picturesque stop.
After lunch, we continue our journey to Kaş.
Evening meal and overnight in Kaş.
Today’s journey takes us to Termessos – one of the best preserved of all the ancient cities of Turkey. It was once a Pisidian city, situated at an altitude of more than 1000m, whose legendary founder was Bellerophon. Alexander the Great likened the city to an eagle’s nest and it was one of the few cities he failed to conquer. Nowadays however, concealed by pine forests, it retains an untouched appearance although its splendid theatre is surely one of the most commanding in the whole of Asia Minor.
After our visit to Termessos and lunch, we continue our journey to Antalya.
Evening meal and overnight in Antalya.
A short drive out of Antalya we come to the site of Aspendos. Although it did not play an important part in history, it is known today as having the best preserved theatre from antiquity anywhere in the world. The magnificent strutcure was built during the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD. The theatre had a diameter of 96m and could provide seating for 12,000 spectators.
After our visit to the theatre, we continue with our journey to Cappadocia.
Evening meal and overnight in Ihlara.
A walk in the Ihlara valley
We spend the morning in Ihlara valley where we trek through the valley and explore some of the impressive Byzantine rock churches.
After lunch we continue the short journey to Cappadocia – stopping off en route at Derinkuyu, one of Cappadocia’s famous underground cities. Extending as far as several storeys deep, this entire city was carved out from under the ground as a defensive enclave during Byzantine times.
Evening meal and overnight in Ürgüp.
The unique landscape of Cappadocia is characterised by surreal rock formations, fairy chimneys and a verdant valleys. We begin the day with a walk through the Zelve open-air “museum” – a journey into the past with its troglodyte houses. We visit the Pasabağ fairy chimneys in Monks Valley before visiting the Göreme open air museum and we complete the day with a visit to the Üçhisar rock castle – which commands a fine view over the landscape of Cappadocia.
Dinner is in the hotel.
Today we continue our exploration of Cappadocia and there will be time to relax in the afternoon.
Dinner is in the hotel.
We depart early in the morining for transfer to the airport in Kayseri and tour end.