The Aegean Legacy tour

The Aegean Legacy tour

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13 Days From

$1625

$1552

The Aegean Legacy tour

13 Days Starting and ending in Istanbul, Türkiye

Visiting: İstanbul, Gelibolu, Museum of Troy, Pergamon Ancient City, Kuşadası, Fethiye, Marina Bay Göcek, Pamukkale, Konya, Göreme, Ankara

Tour operator:

Encounters Travel

Tour code:

38

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 20

Physical rating:

All Ages / Not applicable

Age range:

8-95

Special diets catered:

Request dietary needs

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Cultural, History

From:
$1625
$1552 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$73

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

This tour spends 13 days exploring some of Turkey's main historic and cultural highlights, combined with drives and a 3 night Gulet cruise along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Starting with a tour of the exciting city of Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia, we head next to the Gallipoli peninsular and the important ANzac day battlefields and memorial sites. Turning south we drive down the Mediterranean coastline with stops at the ancient sites of Troy, Pergamum and Ephesus before arriving at the seaside town of Kusadasi. Next we'll take a relaxing 3 night cruise in the Gulf of Fethiye on a traditional Turkish gulet. We'll visit lots of secluded bays and have plenty of stops to swim in the clear waters, visit tiny local villages and relax on board. Time to head inland next, as we visit the tiered calcium Travertines and Pamukkale, and the Roman spa city of Hieropolis. A drive along the ancient Silk Road to Cappadocia follows, with a stop at Sultanhani Caravansary and the Mevlana Museum in Konya on the way. While in Cappadocia we'll stay in a boutique 'cave hotel' and tour the spectacular natural scenery of Goreme Valley, see the famous 'fairy chimneys', and explore the many levels of one of the regions underground cities. A final day's drive takes us back to Istanbul with a stop on the way at Ankara where we visit Anitkabir, mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The tour runs during the warmer months, from late April through to October, with accommodation in comfortable mid-range hotels, and on board the Gulet (where may people often choose to sleep under the stars on mattresses on the deck of the boat).

Highlights

  • Gallipoli Battlefields, Ancient city of Troy, Calcium Travertines of Pamukkale

  • Hieropolis, traditional Gulet Cruise along the Mediterranean coast

  • Fethiye, Cappadocia, Goreme Valley

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arrive In Istanbul

Location: İstanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 4-star hotel

Meals Included: No Meals


The tour starts at the hotel in Istanbul today. Airport transfers are not included but can be arranged on request if required. There will be a welcome meeting at 7pm in the hotel reception where you can meet your guide and the rest of the group. Extra nights in the hotel in Istanbul are available before the tour starts if you would like to spend some more time in this fascinating city.

Day 2 : Istanbul: Old City Tour

Location: İstanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 3-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast,

Our trip begins this morning with a fully guided tour of the old city of Istanbul. Lying across two continents this historically important city played an integral role in the development of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. We visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya museum and explore the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans at Topkapi Palace before ending at the famous Hippodrome.In the afternoon there is an optional cruise on the Bosphorous, the stretch of water that divides the city, connecting the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and separating Europe from Asia.

Day 3 : Gallipoli Battlefields And Memorials Tour

Location: Gelibolu

Accommodation: Hotel, Canakkale hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner,

We depart Istanbul this morning for the drive to the Gallopoli peninsular where we will receive a fully guided tour of this important World War I battlefield site. Although home to some of the fiercest fighting during the War, today the site is full of poignant memorials set against a subdued wooded landscape. Our tour will include the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair memorials, ANZAC Cove, Johnston Jolly, The Nek and will will provide a chance to see the original trenches and tunnels used during the war. We'll spend the night in nearby Canakkale.

Day 4 : Tour Of Troy And The Acropolis Of Pergamum

Location: Museum of Troy, Pergamon Ancient City, Kuşadası

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 3-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast,

This morning we make the short drive to the ancient city of Troy. Lying undiscoverd until midway through the 19th Century the excavations here brought the legend of the Trojan horse and the poems of Homer back to life. We then continue our drive south to the impressive acropolis of Pergamum. Here we enjoy a full tour of the site including the Temple of Trajan and the famous library which is believed to have rivalled the library of Alexandria and helped shape Pergamum into a renowned cultural and political centre.We'll then continue south along the Mediterranean coastline to the town of Kusadasi with its popular beaches and marina.

Day 5 : Ephesus Ancient Site: Temple Of Artemis: Wine Tasting

Location: Kuşadası

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: 3-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast,

After breakfast we drive to the Roman site of Ephesus. The city at one time housed 250,000 people and is regarded as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the whole Mediterranean region. We visit the Temple of Artemis, and explore the ancient marble streets of this ruined Roman city. This afternoon we visit the fruit wine growing village of Sirince and learn about the history of carpet weaving in Turkey.
This evening we'll visit a local vineyard and learn about how wines have been produced in this region over the centuries. You can taste 3 iwnes from the local region in the vineyard garden before we return to our hotel in Kusadasi.

Day 6 : To Fethiye: Start Gulet Cruise

Location: Fethiye

Accommodation Name: On board Gulet at Tersane Island

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner,

We drive further south this morning and the port town of Fethiye. Here we'll board our Gulet in Fethiye Harbour at around 3pm. After introductions on board as we set sail, you'll have time to enjoy some swimming or snorkeling in Turunc Bay or Tarzan Bay. The boat will cruise on past several small islands through the Gulf of Fethiye towards Tersane Island (Dockyard Island). Here you should be able to explore the ruins of an old Greek town and naval shipyard. We'll spend the night on board the boat in one of the sheltered bays.
Fully staffed and housed with individual en-suite double cabins these vessels offer us the perfect chance to unwind and enjoy the sunshine. Twin bedded cabins are not generally available, but most people tend to spend the nights sleeping under the stars on matresses on the deck of the boat.

Day 7 : Gulet Cruise: Gocek Bay

Location: Marina Bay Göcek

Accommodation Name: On board Gulet in Bedri Rahmi Bay

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

You can take an early swim before breakfast if you wish today, after which we will sail on around the coastline to Hamam Bay. This large bay is surrounded by pine trees and is famous for the ruins of Cleopatra’s Baths which was possibly destroyed by an earthquake in the region. Legend has it that Marc Anthony built the bathhouse here as a wedding gift for Cleopatra, even having golden sands imported from Egypt. The site was chosen because a hot water spring was found above the bay, supplied by the thermal waters of a crater lake in the mountains north of the bay. Stories tell of the couple visiting here on what would have been their honeymoon.
We'll then continue our cruise to Sarsala Bay from which a pleasant 45 minute hike brings you to an ancient Lycian town which has several walls with inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BC. Our day's cruising then finishes at Bedri Rahmi Bay, named after the famous Turkish writer and painter, Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu. On one of his cruises in 1973 he painted a fish on a rock in the bay and it has since been renamed after him. The bay is protected and surrounded by pine trees, olive trees and oleander flowers. You can find several Lycian rock tombs hidden in the trees and some historians believe this is the location of the ancient Lycian town of Crya. We'll overnight here.

Day 8 : Gulet Cruise Through The Gulf Of Fethiye

Location: Fethiye

Accommodation Name: On board Gulet in Fethiye harbour

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

We'll sail on through the Gulf today, passing Gocek and Yassica Islands. One of these islands, Saytanli Ada, is said to be the place the devil chose to live when he was denied entry to heaven. Some of the islands are very close together and can be swum between. There are several ruins on the island and in the waters between them, suggesting they used to be connected. The area is not under protection and there are safe anchorages and secluded sandy beaches making them a great place to swim, soak up the sun, or take your snorkelling gear and swim over the ruins. We have one final stop today at Red Island (or Kizilada in Turkish). The island is known for the red colouration of its rocks and hillside which become even more pronounced as the sun sets. The island is popular for both swimming and walking, with the hilltop protecting the beaches and bays from the wind. Finally we'll return back to Fethiye harbour for our last night on board.

Day 9 : Pamukkale And Hierapolis

Location: Pamukkale

Accommodation Name: 4-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner,


We will see a display of locally handcrafted leather goods this morning before heading inland to Pamukkale, site of the well known white calcium terraces known as Travertines. Pamukkale translates as 'cotton castles' and the naturally occurring geology here has created cloud like formations unlike anywhere else. We also tour the ancient city of Hierapolis twhere and you can can enjoy a dip in the hot thermal pools lodged amongst ancient columns left by the Romans who used the pools for their therapeutic powers.

Day 10 : Follow The Silk Road To Cappadocia

Location: Konya

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Boutique cave hotel in Cappadocia

Meals Included: Breakfast,

We'll follow the route of the ancient Silk Road today as we head into central Turkey and our next destination, Cappadocia. Along the way we will stop to visit the Sultanhani Caravansary, and also the Mevlana museum in Konya. This evening there is an optional traditional Turkish folklore evening which is always a lot of fun.

Day 11 : Cappadocia Tour: Goreme Valley & Underground City

Location: Göreme

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Boutique Cave hotel in Cappadocia

Meals Included: Breakfast,

Today we set out to explore the beautiful and surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Unlike anywhere else on earth, this bizarre setting is full of improbable rock formations and underground villages. Often described as the jewel of Turkey we have a full tour here to visit Goreme Valley and the aptly named 'fairy chimneys' of Pasbag before hearing underground to explore the subterrenean churches and fortresses used by Christians to avoid persecution over a thousand years ago.
In the evening, there is an optional Turkish folklore experience, belly dancers included- a chance to end off the day in a memorable way.

Day 12 : Drive To Istanbul Via Ankara

Location: Ankara, İstanbul

Accommodation Name: 3-star hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast,

We leave Cappadocia early this morning and drive to Turkey's capital Ankara to visit Anitkabir, mausoleum of the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk the country's famous leader during the Turkish war of independence and the founder of the modern Turkish republic. The mausoleum is one of Turkey's best examples of modern architecture and sits on a hill overlooking the city. From here we continue back to Istanbul for the final night of the tour. An optional morning flight to Istanbul is available from Kayseri in Cappadocia to avoid the long drive today (please contact us for current flight times and prices).

Day 13 : Istanbul. Tour Ends

Location: İstanbul

Accommodation:

Meals Included: Breakfast,

The tour ends in Istanbul today. Airport transfers and extra nights in the hotel in Istanbul may be added on request.

What's Included

What's Not Included

More Info

This tour spends 13 days exploring some of Turkey's main historic and cultural highlights, combined with drives and a 3 night Gulet cruise along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. Starting with a tour of the exciting city of Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia, we head next to the Gallipoli peninsular and the important ANzac day battlefields and memorial sites. Turning south we drive down the Mediterranean coastline with stops at the ancient sites of Troy, Pergamum and Ephesus before arriving at the seaside town of Kusadasi. A spell of time inland next, as we visit the tiered calcium Travertines and Pamukkale, and the Roman spa city of Hieropolis. Then it's back to the Med for a relaxing 3 night cruise in the Gulf of Fethiye on a traditional Turkish gulet. We'll visit lots of secluded bays and have plenty of stops to swim in the clear waters, visit tiny local villages and relax on board. A full day's drive to Cappadocia follows, with a stop at the beautiful Egirdir Lake. While in Cappadocia we'll stay in a boutique 'cave hotel' and tour the spectacular natural scenery of Goreme Valley, see the famous 'fairy chimneys', and explore the many levels of one of the regions underground cities. A final day's drive takes us back to Istanbul with a stop on the way at Ankara where we visit Anitkabir, mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The tour runs during the warmer months, from late April through to October, with accommodation in comfortable mid-range hotels, and on board the Gulet (where may people often choose to sleep under the stars on mattresses on the deck of the boat).

Mode of Transport

A/C minibus
Gulet sailing boat

Accommodation

3-4-star hotels
Gulet sailing boat

Check out our Q&As

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation. Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for Turkey are Hepatitis A and Tetanus. More information is available here: Turkey Malaria map - there is low risk malaria in some south eastern regions, not visited on our tours. Yellow fever certificates are not required.

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    The Turkish lira was re-valued at the end of 2004 to become the ‘New Turkish Lira’. The word ‘New’ has now been dropped, and we are back to ‘Turkish Lira’ again (TRY). It is normally cheaper to convert money to Turkish Lira in Turkey than at home. Using an ATM or a credit card will often get you the best possible exchange rates; the post and telephone office (PTT) and banks offer very reasonable rates, too. Try to use ATM machines that are attached to banks while they are open, so that if your card is swallowed you can go into the bank and get it released back to you. It is difficult for us to specify the money that you will spend per day, however, as a general rule USD 20-50 per day can provide you with additional meals, tipping, snacks & drinks. Should you wish to purchase many souvenirs or other luxuries, of which there is a diverse range, you will have to budget for these. A mixture of cash and credit cards are the best forms of currency. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, bars and pubs. MasterCard and Visa are most welcomed; American Express cards work at some ATMs and AmEx offices. Credit cards are also useful for cash advances, which allow you to withdraw Lira instantly from associated banks and ATMs throughout Turkey. Cash cards and ATM’s are widespread in most of Turkey including in Istanbul, Canakkale, Selcuk, Marmaris, Pamukkale, Fethiye, Kas, Cappadocia, and Ankara.

  • What is the tipping policy?

    Tipping or Bahsis (bahk-sheesh) is common practice in Turkey, as a sign of appreciation for services provided for everything from table service in a restaurant to a massage in a Turkish bath. Wages for service staff in Turkey are very low and tips are a necessary supplement to meagre incomes.. Your tour price includes a contribution to various tips that your tour guide and driver will make along the way to ensure the smooth running of your tour. This tipping kitty does not cover your tour guide or driver though. You may therefore wish to tip them at the end of the time they spend with you. You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget and your satisfaction with the service provided. We are often asked to provide a guide however: Restaurants and taxis: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. For more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour guide or tour leader. We suggest around GBP 1.50 / EUR 2.0 / USD 2 per person per day for local guides. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however GBP 1.50 / EUR 2 / USD 2 per person per day is generally appropriate. Gulet Boat Trips: If you are travelling through Southern Turkey on a Gulet boat trip we suggest GBP 1.50 / EUR 2 / USD 2 per person per day for the boat staff. Tour guide: As a guideline we suggest around GBP 20-35 / USD 35-50 / EUR 25-45 per person for the whole tour, but this is ultimately up to you.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities. Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Turkey, and need to obtain it in advance online through http://www.evisa.gov.tr. Applicants just need to log on to the following link, provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa. More information is available here http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa From the 2nd March 2020 all UK nationals will not need to obtain a visa for Turkey (for visits of up to 90 days in each 180 day period). This will also apply to citizens of the Schengen area countries Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland.

  • What is the maximum group size?

    We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set our Turkey group departures to have a maximum of 20 travellers (Anzac Day departures may be larger).

  • Is travel insurance compulsory?

    Yes! Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event).

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    You are always able to change your travel date. However, some charges may apply depending on how long before your departure you make the change. Our flexible booking conditions and reduced charges will apply if you are changing date because of a Covid-19 reason or because your government is advising against travel to your destination. Please check our detailed booking conditions for full details.

  • When is my balance payment due?

    60 days prior to departure

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    On most of our group tours, solo travellers may choose to form a temporary 'tour bubble' and share a room with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If a room share is not available then a single room supplement may be payable, with the costs for these kept as low as possible. We have also removed compulsory single supplements from many of our tours, and are reducing the cost by 50% on s

  • Can I transfer my booking to someone else?

    Customers may transfer their booking or any Credit on File to another person who satisfies all the relevant conditions to the tour, provided that we are notified not less than 7 days before departure, and the transferee agrees to these booking conditions and all other terms of the contract between us. The Client and new booker are jointly and severally responsible for any outstanding payments and a transfer administration fee of GBP50 / USD75 / CAD100 / AUD100 / NZD100 / EUR75 / ZAR1000 / INR5000 or GBP100 / USD150 / CAD200 / AUD200 / NZD200 / EUR150 / ZAR2000 / INR10,000 if the transfer is made less than 60 days before departure. Important Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended or transferred after they have been confirmed (for example flight tickets, Gorilla Permits) and any alteration could incur a cancellation and rebooking charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

Reviews from travellers on this tour

Christi H  

Best company ever

December 2022

Chevy created the perfect custom tour to Argentina and Chile!! He helped us once before for Croatia, Montenegro and turkey! This company will make the best vacations ever

S R  

Highly organized and really helpful

November2013

I took one of the trips to Turkey and it was wonderful. The trip was very organized and everything was taken care of. When booking the trip, they were incredibly helpful and flexible. I would travel with them again.

Kathleen M  

Turkey Encounter with Travel Encounters

August 2015

What a GREAT experience! I was a solo traveler and a bit worried but everyone at the office staff answered all my questions promptly assuring me I'd be in an English speaking group. I even missed my initial flight Nd Travel Encounters was able to coordinate my new transfer pick up time in Istanbul. The tour itself was also simply amazing, especially if you like History! Great sites with plenty to do, great itinerary including Troy, Galipoli, Blue Mosque, Haggai Sophia, Ephesus, Artemis, Kayakoy, etc. had a great/same guide and driver for the duration of he trip and all 4 star hotels. Nicely arranged trip, at a nice price. :)

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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Encounters Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform encounters travel, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Encounters Travel requires a minimum deposit of 150 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of encounters travel charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 35% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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