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Treasures of Turkey

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Treasures of Turkey

Day 1: UK/Istanbul
Today you’ll depart on your scheduled flight to Istanbul. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel, where a three-night stay has been arranged. Straddling the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents – the main part of the city stands on the south-eastern tip of Europe and its suburbs reside in Asia. Today this former capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires is a thriving, vibrant city where east meets west and modern life and traditional values create a heady cultural mix.

Day 2: Istanbul
After breakfast this morning, join your Tour Manager on an included full-day tour of Istanbul, which begins in Sultanahmet Square, in the heart of the Old City. You will see the Hippodrome, where emperors celebrated their victories and the Blue Mosque, a stunning monument created in classical Ottoman style decorated with 21,000 blue ceramic tiles. There’s also time to admire the ancient St Sophia Church, which stood as the largest cathedral in the world for almost 1,000 years, later converted to a mosque and now a museum. Lunch today is included, and will be taken in a typical Turkish restaurant serving delicious local specialities.

This afternoon enjoy a stroll around the Topkapi Palace where you will discover half-hidden gardens and courtyards. This is where the Ottoman Sultans kept their overflowing treasure chests and crowded harems. This will be followed by a visit to the famous covered Grand Bazaar where, among its 58 streets and 4,000 shops, you can bargain for gold, gemstones, spices, leather goods and carpets, or take a refreshing glass of Turkish tea. This evening is free for you to enjoy at leisure.

Day 3: Istanbul
Enjoy free time in Istanbul today and explore at your own pace. Alternatively, you may choose to join your Tour Manager on our selection of optional excursions. This morning you can take a half-day cruise along the Bosphorus Strait where you’ll view the city from the water, with Asia on one side and Europe on the other. In the afternoon you can visit the Golden Horn, an inlet which divides the city of Istanbul and is considered to be the world’s largest natural harbour.

Day 4: Gallipoli/Canakkale
Enjoy breakfast before leaving Istanbul and driving along the delightful coastline of the Sea of Marmara to Gallipoli. This was the scene of a dramatic Allied campaign during the First World War, where thousands of British, Australian and New Zealand troops lost their lives in fierce battles. You will see the moving memorials to this military disaster looking out to sea. You will then take a ferry across the famous Dardanelles waterway to set foot in Asia. This evening you will stay in nearby Canakkale.

Day 5: Pergamon/Troy
Today we include a visit to the ancient city of Troy, where excavations have revealed nine different settlements, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC. You will then visit the historic city of Pergamon, where you will see the Acropolis, which was built on top of a steep ridge between two tributaries of the Caicus River, and is the setting for a spectacular theatre, the famous library and the huge Altar of Zeus. A stop will be made at the Aesclepion, an ancient healing centre which gained a worldwide reputation during the Roman period. Your journey continues via Izmir to Kusadasi, where you will stay for the next two nights.

Day 6: Ephesus
Kusadasi is a pretty resort on the Aegean Coast and is ideally located for our included visit to Ephesus – the most famous of all the ancient sites in Turkey. Founded by the Greeks before the 10th century BC and colonised by the Romans, the remains here are astonishingly well preserved. You will explore the Basilica of St John, the house of the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Artemis and much more in the company of your knowledgeable Tour Manager.

Spend the rest of the day back at your hotel, which is located right on the coast.

Day 7: Aphrodisias
This morning after breakfast you will leave Kusadasi and drive to Aphrodisias, one of Turkey’s most important archaeological sites. Named after the goddess Aphrodite, Aphrodisias was famous as a centre for medicine, philosophy, sculpture and the arts.

After admiring the sights, enjoy an included picnic lunch in a shady spot where your Tour Manager will help you choose from a selection of local dishes. After lunch your journey continues to Pamukkale, where you will stay tonight.

Day 8: Hierapolis
Today’s included excursion takes you to the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis, where you will see spectacular ruins and more than 1,000 tombs. You will also have the opportunity to take to the water and swim in the hot springs here. A scenic drive will then take you to Konya, where an overnight stay has been arranged.

Day 9: Konya
This morning there will be a short tour to see the Mausoleum of Mavlana and the impressive architecture of the Ince Minare and Karatay Medresesi, before the drive to Cappadocia. En route you’ll visit the 13th century Sultanhan Caravanserai, buildings which provided accommodation and stabling for merchants and their camel caravans as they plied the trade routes along the ancient Silk Road. On arrival you will transfer to your hotel for a two-night stay.

Day 10: Cappadocia
Today we will introduce you to Cappadocia on an included full-day tour. In the company of our Tour Manager you will see highlights including the breathtaking rock valleys of Göreme, home to more than 360 churches, the natural citadel of Uchisar, Cavusin church and the underground city of Kaymaki, where the first Christians buried their houses as deep as 250 feet.

Relax back at your hotel this evening before tomorrow’s journey to Ankara, Turkey’s capital city.

Day 11: Ankara
You will depart Cappadocia today for the drive to Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, where you will stay overnight. Visits to the Museum of Old Anatolian Civilisations and the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk have been arranged. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure exploring at your own pace, your Tour Manager will be able to suggest places of interest.

Day 12: Ankara/UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Istanbul.

Please note
This holiday includes walking in areas of rough ground, gradients and steps.

Accommodation throughout is in hotels of a comfortable standard, typical of the hotels you will stay in are:

Sapphire Hotel or Orka Royal in Istanbul
Tusan Hotel in Canakkale
Tusan Beach Resort or Vista Hill Hotel in Kusadasi
Richmond Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale
Bera Hotel in Konya
Perissia Hotel in Cappadocia
Ickale Hotel in Ankara
All hotels are of a 4-star standard and all guest rooms feature en suite facilities.

Hotels will be confirmed in your final documentation.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Included excursions and visits

Istanbul tour (full day)
Cappadocia tour (full day)
Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Caravanserai Sultanhan and Ephesus visits
Konya tour
Ankara tour

Optional excursions

Bosphorus Straits cruise (half day)
Golden Horn visit (half day)

Your holiday includes

Scheduled flights
Overseas transfers and other transportation
11 nights’ accommodation with breakfast, plus 2 lunches and 10 dinners
The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager
Hotel porterage (one bag per person)
All airport taxes and security charges
UK Airline Passenger Duty
All state and local taxes

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TravelsphereWith 50 years’ experience in arranging escorted tours to exciting destinations across the globe, Travelsphere have built an excellent reputation founded on quality and value.

By choosing a Travelsphere escorted holiday you can travel with confidence, knowing that every aspect of your holiday has been carefully planned and arranged from start to finish. Further to this they are ATOL bonded and members of ABTA.

Travelsphere’s thorough planning of travel arrangements, itineraries and accommodation combined with the unique insight of their knowledgeable Tour Managers and Local Guides will enable you to experience the culture, traditions and hidden away places less accessible to other travellers.

Our Opinion
“Travelsphere are one of the biggest names in the Escorted Tour market. Finely tuned over the last 50 years their tours have been tried, tested and refined by thousands of customers.”

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