This 15-day tour takes you from the Bosphorus to the Mediterranean and back, including a three-day cruise of the Turquoise Coast, Turkey’s Riviera. You will see the ancient ruins (Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy, Kas, Side, Perge, Aspendos); the Byzantine and Ottoman ruins; and step on two continents (Istanbul). You will also see the geographical wonder of Cappadocia and cruise the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 1 : Istanbul
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up for a day discovering a few of the many wonders of Istanbul: the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column, the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. After lunch, we will explore Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Istanbul – Two Continents Bosphorus Cruise
After breakfast at your hotel, we will start the day with a visit to the Spice Bazaar and the Rustem Pasha Mosque before embarking on a Bosphorus cruise. After the cruise, we will drive along the Asian shore of the Bosphorus to Camlica Hill with its panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will drive across the Bosphorus Bridge back to the European side, giving you the opportunity to step on the European and Asian continents within two minutes of each other! Our last stop will be a tour of Dolmabahce Palace. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 : Cappadocia
We will pick you up at your hotel (early) for transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Kayseri. Upon arrival in Kayseri your guide will meet you at the airport to begin your Cappadocia experience. We’ll visit Dervent Valley with its unique fairy-chimneys; Paşabağ (Monk’s Valley) with its mushroom-shaped pinnacles; Avanos, a center of terra-cotta art, for a pottery demonstration and lunch. After lunch, we will visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, the largest concentration of rock-cut churches and monasteries in Cappadocia, many with excellent Byzantine frescoes of old and new testament scenes. Our last stop, before going to your hotel, is the Uchisar rock castle for a panoramic view of of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 4 : Cappadocia
After breakfast at your hotel, we will go to the Red Valley to explore its famous rock – cut churches and go for a 5km hike through the Güllüdere Valley. We will visit the village of Çavuşin, famous for its houses and churches of Christian clergymen. We will have lunch in the Pigeon Valley. After lunch, we will visit Kaymakli, an underground city the goes 8 floors below ground. We will also visit the natural castles at Ortahisar. After your tour of Cappadocia, we will take an overnight bus to Antalya.
Upon arrival in Antalya we will transfer you to your hotel. You will have the day free to explore Kaleici, the old city. Overnight in Antalya.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up for a day visiting the extraordinary Roman ruins of Perge, Side and Aspendos. Our first stop is Perge, the capital of Pamphylia, We will see the Roman Baths, the Agora, the Colonaded Street, Nympharium and the stadium. Next up is Aspendos where we can see its incredibly well preserved ancient theatre, built in the 2nd centrury A.D. It has a seating capacity of 15,000 and is still being used for festivals and music concerts. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon at Side, an ancient port city that served the largest slave market in this region. We will also see the theater, the Roman Baths and the Temple of Apollo. You will have some free time to explore this seaside city on your own. On the way back to Antalya, time permitting, we will visit the Kursunlu Waterfall. Overnight in Antalya.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will board a bus to Olympos. In Olympos, we will transfer to Andriace Harbor in Demre to board our Gulet (yacht).
We will depart from Andriace Harbor and sail to Pirates Cave, the Sunken City of Kekova and Simena, a traditional Turkish fishing village with a Byzantine/Ottoman castle and no cars. We will end our first day of sailing at Gokkaya Bay with swimming and snorkeling. Overnight at Gokkaya Bay.
After breakfast, we will sail to Kas where you can go for a swim at a quiet bay before lunch in the harbor. After lunch, we will tour this charming fishing village. We will then sail to Firnaz Bay (near Kalkan) for dinner. Overnight in Firnaz Bay.
Around sunrise, we will depart for Butterfly Valley for breakfast and a swim (weather and sea conditions permitting). We will then sail to Oludeniz (The Blue Lagoon), again weather and sea conditions permitting. In addition to swimming and snorkeling, you can try your hand at paragliding in this idyllic setting. After lunch at a nearby bay, we will sail to St Nicholas Island to explore its Byzantine ruins before dinner. Overnight at St Nicholas Island.
After breakfast, we will sail to Samanlik Bay for a swim and lunch. After lunch, we will sail to Fethiye where we bid good bye to the crew and new friends. We will transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore Fethiye. Overnight in Fethiye.
Day 11 After breakfast at your hotel, you will have the day to explore Fethiye, its shops, the Lycian temple tombs carved into the cliffs above the town, and the Fethiye Museum. Overnight in Fethiye.
Day 12 After breakfast at your hotel, we will transfer you to your bus for Kusadasi, arriving mid-afternoon. We will transfer you to your hotel and you will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore this port town for cruise ships. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 13 : Ephesus
After breakfast at your hotel, we will spend the day at Ephesus, one of the world’s finest examples of an ancient classical city. You will see the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Celsus Library, and the House of the Virgin Mary where many speculate she spent the final years of her life at. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 14: Pergamon & Troy
After an early breakfast at your hotel, we will depart for Pergamon. We will see the Acropollis, the Library, the Temple of Athena, the Temple of Trajan, the Gymnasium, the lower Agora, the Theater, and the Temple of Dionysus. After the tour, we will take a ferry across the Dardanelles and head for Troy, a much excavated site which has yielded pieces of history from 4,000BC to about 300AD. We will see the 3700-year old city walls, the houses from Troy I (3000 BC-2500BC), the Bouleuterium (the Senate Building), the Odeon (Concert Hall), sacrificial altars, the remains of cities from Troy I through Troy IX, the current excavation sites, and, of course, the replica of the Trojan Horse. At the end of the tour, we will drive to Canakkale and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Canakkale or Eceabat.
Day 15 : Gallipoli
After breakfast at your hotel, we will head to the Gallipoli battlefield (Gelibolu National Park) to visit the Kabatepe war museum, the Brighton beach, the Beach Cemetery (John Simpson’s grave), Ari Burnu (the planned ANZAK landing place), ANZAK Cove (actual landing place), the Lone Pine Australian Memorial and cemetery, the Shrapnel Valley, the Turkish Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (walk in the original ANZAK tunnels and trenches), the Nek cemetery and Walker’s Ridge, Chunuk-Bair New Zealander Memorial and cemetery. At the end of our tour of Gallipoli, we will drive back to Istanbul and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 16 : Istanbul
Your tour ends after breakfast at your hotel.