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Explore one of the world’s most exciting cities, and uncover the treasures of ancient Turkey on a truly fascinating tour.
Soak up the colour and excitement of one of the world’s most exciting cities – the former Imperial capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires – and step back in time as you wander through some of its finest classical sites. Make the most of an opportunity to visit the remarkable natural phenomenon of Pamukkale on an optional tour, and enjoy the sun-kissed warmth and welcome of Aegean shores as you spend six nights in Kusadasi.
Six nights to enjoy Kusadasi Discover colourful Istanbul, straddling two continents See the Blue Mosque and the famed Topkapi Palace Journey south via poignant ANZAC Cove Step back in time in ancient Troy and Pergamon Be amazed by the ruins of Ephesus Discover wonderful Pamukkale on an optional excursion
Fly to Istanbul, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay. Depending on your time of arrival, acquaint yourself with your surroundings. Enjoy your first evening in an extraordinary city that bridges the divide between Europe and Asia, marked by the narrow strait of the Bosphorus, and that brims with reminders of its illustrious past.
Enjoy today’s first fascinating included tour, introducing the city that was once Byzantium, then Constantinople. Explore the sights of the Historic Peninsula, including the extraordinary Topkapi Palace and its priceless treasures, the Blue Mosque with its minarets and cobalt tiles, and the great Byzantine church of Aya Sofya, once the world’s largest enclosed space. Your tour includes entry to the Topkapi, with its outer courtyard and gateways into its labyrinthine inner quarters. You’ll also take in the colourful Spice Bazaar, with its heaped displays of aromatic powders and trays of Turkish delight. Later, why not cross the Golden Horn for a glimpse of modern Istanbul and, time permitting, to enjoy the sweeping views of the Bosphorus Strait?
This evening, there’s the chance to enjoy a traditional fish dinner in the popular Kumkapi district, its colourful restaurants teeming with visitors and locals alike.
Another unforgettable day sees you return to the Historic Peninsula to explore the contrasting wonders of the remarkable Blue Mosque and monumental Aya Sofya. Your day will include a guided stroll through the ancient Roman Hippodrome and a visit to the world’s largest covered bazaar, the vast Kapali Carsi.
The rest of the afternoon is free. Why not take an optional cruise along the Bosphorus River? Later, make the most of your last evening in this fascinating, glorious city, perhaps dining al fresco.
Leaving Istanbul, this morning, you’ll travel by coach around the Sea of Marmara, then inland and south onto the stunningly beautiful, Gallipoli Peninsula. Here, in 1915, the Allied forces suffered catastrophic losses, including some 10,000 members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – the famous ANZACs – at the hands of the defenders of the Ottoman Empire led by legendary Turkish leader and founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk.
The beauty of ANZAC Cove and its surroundings is a marked contrast to the sobering memorials and cemeteries. Later this afternoon, you’ll cross the narrow strait of the Dardanelles and head to sea-front Canakkale.
Enjoy a first day amid the wonders of classical Greece, as you explore the nearby ruins of Troy, guarded by a replica giant wooden horse recalling the tale of the first Trojan War. You’ll also visit the ruins of Pergamon, which include an acropolis, temples, a two-storey Library, the Altar of Zeus and a spectacular, 10,000-seat theatre.
After a fascinating day, you’ll arrive in Kusadasi, this evening. Begin your stay with dinner on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
Spend today at leisure enjoying the many facilities of the resort, strolling along the harbour promenade, discovering the medieval Kale district or visiting tiny Pigeon Island.
Alternatively, join our optional excursion to Pamukkale. Here white calcium deposits, some 100 metres high, shape a slow-moving, ever-changing cascade, with hundreds of terraces and pools filled by an ancient mineral-laden spring. Ruins of a once great city surround the thermal baths, including a Temple of Apollo and restored Roman theatre.
En route to Pammukale, you’ll stop at the "red water" springs of Karahayit, famed for their curative powers. And afterwards, there’s a chance to enjoy the pleasures of a spa ande an included lunch on afternoon visit to the luxurious Pam Thermal Hotel, a five-star establishment that takes its 35°C waters from the spring below.
Your final included excursion takes in ruined Ephesus, one of the most important Roman and Byzantine cities, and witness – in the 1st Century AD – to the preaching of Saint Paul. The ruins - which include churches, bath-houses, fountains and temples, gymnasia, the great Roman Amphitheatre, the facade of the fabled Library of Celsus and the colonnade of the Arcadian Way - serve to reflect this greatness in breath-taking fashion. You’ll return to Kusadasi this evening to enjoy a last dinner at the hotel.
Enjoy a three-night stay in lively Kusadasi, at the four-star Sentido Marina Suites, and really get to know this beautiful part of the world. This coastal gem, set close to ancient Ephesus, is a popular stopover for cruise ships. Stroll along the seafront promenade. Visit the harbour, which is lined with some great fish restaurants, and explore a number of small, nearby historic sites. Alternatively, simply stretch out on the nearby beach, explore the local area and relax after your unforgettable tour of this colourful corner of the world.
Today you’ll transfer to the airport to begin your journey home.
10 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at hotels in Istanbul (3 nights) Canakkale (1) and Kusadasi (6) Return flights from the UK to Istanbul (returning from Izmir via Istanbul) Coach travel and transfers throughout Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
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