Destination= Istanbul, Gallipoli, Pergamon, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Konya, Goreme, Ankara, Cappadocia, Troy, Cruising; Greek Islands of Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Symi, Chios & Mykonos, Turkish port of Kusadasi,
SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES AND DINING
• Istanbul: Visit the Blue Mosque and St Sophia museum.
• Istanbul: Gain an insight into the lives of the Ottoman sultans at the fabulous Topkapi Palace.
• Bosphorus: Enjoy a relaxing cruise past Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses.
• Gallipoli: Pay your respects at Anzac Cove & Lone Pine Cemetery.
• Pergamon: Visit the site of the ancient Hellenistic city, with some of the most impressive ruins in all of Turkey.
• Ephesus: Tour one of the world's finest ancient sites, visit the House of the Virgin Mary and Archeological Museum.
• Pamukkale: Visit Hierapolis ruins and cascading 'Cotton Castle' of milky white travertine pools.
• Konya: Visit the beautiful Mevlana Museum for an insight into the mystic Whirling Dirvishes.
• Goreme: Explore underground cities, rock-cut churches and fairy-tale chimneys and the Pasabag Valley.
• Ankara: Discover the mysterious Hittite civilization and visit the mausoleums of Ataturk and Haci Bektas.
• Cappadocia: Celebrate the music, dance and colourful tradition of the Turkish people at a folklore show in an underground cave.
• Cruising: After a breathtaking sunset at sea, the lights come on and the atmosphere on board changes completely! Enjoy a fun-filled Greek evening with dinner.
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
• Istanbul: Visit the Hippodrome and a complete guide on how to haggle in the Grand Bazaar!
• Troy: View the huge reconstructed Trojan Horse.
• Konya: See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret.
• Anatolia: Visit a well preserved Caravanserai.
• Mediterranean Fables Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Symi, Chios & Mykonos. Call in at the Turkish port of Kusadasi
Day 1 - Depart USA
Board your overnight flight (not included).
Day 2 - Welcome to Turkey
Welcome to a land rich in archaeological sites, historic monuments and an enormous variety of spectacular scenery. On arrival at Istanbul Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Day 3 - Istanbul & the Ottoman Empire
Visit the Blue Mosque with its beautiful tiles and the Hippodrome where Roman chariot races were held. On to Topkapi Palace, a walled city perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Move on to the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will give you a full explanation of the time honoured ritual of bargaining! Finally, embark on a cruise along the Bosphorus Waterway. Travelling towards the old city from close to the Black Sea, the scenery complements the grandeur of the Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses.
Day 4 - Gallipoli, the Anzacs & Çanakkale
Visit Hagia Sophia, now a magnificent museum before driving along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the peninsula of Gelibolu, better known in the west as Gallipoli. Here are the battlefields where, for nine disastrous months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Dardanelle Straits. Visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. From Eceabat, a 30-minute sea crossing to Çanakkale takes you from one continent to another as you leave Europe for Asia.
Day 5 - Troy, Pergamon & the Port of Izmir
Drive to Homer’s legendary city of Troy, where archeological excavation has established nine levels of habitation, including the great city captured in 1200BC by means of the renowned Trojan Horse. A huge replica of this stands beside the city’s ancient walls. Continue to Pergamon, the seat of an ancient kingdom. Visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world. Carry on to the cosmopolitan coastal city of Izmir, sited overlooking an inlet of the Aegean.
Day 6 - Ancient Ephesus & Kusadasi
En route to Ephesus, visit the archeological museum at Selcuk where many of the excavated artefacts of Ephesus are displayed, and visit the House of the Virgin Mary, spectacularly situated above the Ephesus ruins. Finally, tour Ephesus itself, one of the world’s finest archeological sites. Visit the colonnaded Arcadian Way, the splendid façade of the Library of Celsus and see the huge Amphitheatre. Head to the lively coastal town of Kusadasi where you can take advantage of your hotel’s indoor pool, Turkish bath and fitness centre.
Day 7 - The Pools of Pamukkale & Ruins of Hierapolis
Follow the Maeander River valley, (so full of twists and turns gives us the word ‘meander’) to Pamukkale, famous for its dazzling chalk-white array of fantastically shaped limestone terraces. Visit the ruins of ancient Hiera polis and the fairyland terraces and see the glistening pools and cascades in scallop-shell basins. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy your hotel thermal pools.
Day 8 - Konya, the Whirling Dervishes & Cappadocia
Head to Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire and home to the mystic Whirling Dervish sect. Visit the Mevlana Tekke, a museum and national monument, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret before driving across fertile plains to Avanos in the heart of Cappadocia.
Day 9 - Exploring the Underground Cities of Cappadocia
In the morning, enjoy an excursion to Göreme, a region of volcanic landscapes and rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings, some of which you can see in the open-air museum. Continue to the Pasabag Valley where the scenery is dotted with mushroom shaped ‘fairy-chimneys’ and troglodyte dwellings. Tour the underground city Kaymakli, and see the cone of Uchisar. Enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a colourful folklore show in an underground cave, featuring dances from different regions.
Day 10 - The Modern Day Capital of Ankara
Visit one of the best-preserved Seljuk caravans era is in Anatolia. Continue on to Ankara to visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey’s greatest modern leader.
Day 11 - Istanbul and the Mediterranean Fables Cruise
Take a scenic drive through the countryside to Istanbul. Transfer to your cruise ship and set sail for the blue waters of the Mediterranean.
Day 12 to Day 16 - Cruising the Greek Isles
After a pleasant morning’s cruising, arrive at the Turkish port of Kusadasi - maybe visit ancient Ephesus?
Dock this morning at the island of Santorini, famous for its white cuboid houses that cling to the sheer cliffs. Maybe spend time in the island's capital of Thira, with it's cliff top restaurants and cafes, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. Set sail again this evening for an overnight voyage to Crete.
Arrive early morning to spend the day exploring the picturesque island of Crete. Perhaps take an optional excursion to the Palace of King Minos?
Cruise to the harbour at Rhodes, ‘the island of roses’, founded by the Ancient Greeks and then chosen by the Crusaders for their fortified headquarters. Later, depart for Symi, one of the most picturesque islands of the Dedocanese.
Weigh anchor in Chios for the morning, then head for Mykonos, with its maze of walkways, winding streets, white-washed houses, magnificent windmills and uninhibited nightlife.
While cruising, expert chefs and well-trained staff serve local specialties, an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served on board daily. During your voyage there is also a fun-filled Greek Evening and Dinner with entertainment.
Day 17 - Athens at Leisure
Disembark in Lavrion and transfer to your Athens hotel where you are at leisure.
Day 18 - Depart Athens
After breakfast, transfer to Athens airport.
Day 19 - Return to USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport.
Per Person Per Person Sharing Double Room 3571 $