Archaeological Turkey Tour (17 Days)
Turkey Tour 3 1795 USD per person
Day 1: Ankara
Arrive at Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and then transfer to our hotel for the welcome cocktail and info meeting, We spend the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner, and overnight in Ankara.
Day 2: Ankara
After Breakfast at the hotel, first we drive to the old district of the city to visit the Anatolian Civilisations Museum and the Temple of Augustus. Lunch will be served at the heart of the modern city before heading on to Gordion. Dinner will be at an old mansion at the Ankara Citadel. Overnight in Ankara.
Day 3: Ankara – Hattusas – Alacahoyuk – Cappadocia
After Breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Hattusas, the capital of the Hittites. After visiting Hattusas City, Yazilikaya and Alacahoyuk, we have lunch at a local restaurant in Bogazkale and then we head on to Cappadocia, visiting Hacibektas en route. Dinner, and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 4: Cappadocia
Today we introduce you to the lunar landscape of Cappadocia at Dervent Valley, then we head on to Zelve Open Air Museum, which is one of the earliest inhabited and latest abandoned monastic settlements of Cappadocia. Seeing the best examples of the fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley, we drive further to Avanos, where we have lunch at a local restaurant. Goreme Open Air Museum is where we visit the rock carved churches and colorful frescoes. We end the day hiking up to the top of Uchisar Castle, which is the highest and the most dominant point, giving us a breathtaking panorama. Dinner, and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5: Cappadocia – Catalhoyuk – Ivriz – Konya
In the morning, we descend to the centre of the earth at Kaymakli or Derinkuyu Underground City. As we head on to Konya, we give an en route visit to Ivriz, where we have lunch at a local garden restaurant. Then further we go to Catalhoyuk, which is undoubtedly, the most important Neolithic site in Turkey, where ten successive levels were found during the excavations, the earliest dating from 6,500 BC. Dinner, and overnight in Konya.
Day 6: Konya – Antalya
We start the day with our visit to the Mevlana Museum, formerly the place where the mystic philosophy of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi was taught. Then we give a visit to the Archaeology Museum and head on to Antalya after lunching at a local restaurant. Dinner, and overnight in Antalya.
Day 7: Perge – Side – Antalya
Full day sightseeing at Perge, one of the most impressive sites of Pamphylia, and Aspendos, the world’s best preserved ancient theatre. After lunch at a local restaurant near the Aspendos Theatre, we drive to Side, and end our visits for the day. Dinner, and overnight in Antalya.
Day 8: Antalya – Pamukkale
After visiting the Antalya Archaeology Museum in the morning, we drive to Pamukkale, visiting Thermessos with its spectacular view en route. We stop for lunch at a local restaurant and spend the rest of the day at leisure, walking on the calcareous terraces of Pamukkale or enjoying the thermal facilities. Dinner, and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 9: Hierapolis – Pamukkale – Aphrodisias – Kusadasi
We start the day visiting Hierapolis, only a stone’s throw away from our hotel. After we enjoy ourselves walking on the calcareous terraces of Pamukkale, we start for Kusadasi, giving an en route visit to Aphrodisias, where there was a fertility cult dedicated to Aphrodite. After a well-earned lunch, we drive to Kusadasi, and check-in to our hotel, and have time in the late afternoon hours to see the sun set over the Kusadasi Bay. Dinner, and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 10: Ephesus – Kusadasi
Today we first drive to the Virgin Mary’s House; after that we visit Ephesus which was founded in the eleventh century BC by the Ionians. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, we will witness the perfection of the Graeco-Roman Art. Later in the afternoon we will visit St John’s Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ’s beloved disciple. From the basilica, we will be able to look down on the remains of the temple of Artemis. We end the day with our visit to the Isa Bey Mosque, then we head on to Kusadasi for rest. Dinner, and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 11: Kusadasi – Prienne – Miletus – Didyma
After breakfast, we drive first to Prienne, formerly a leading member of the Panionic League. As we drive further South, we visit Miletus and then arrive at Didyma, where we have lunch at a local restaurant, circumstances permitting, across the road from the temple. As the historian Pausanias wrote; ‘The sanctuary of Apollo at Didymoi, and the oracle there are more ancient than the Ionian settlement.’ Dinner, and overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 12: Sardes Pergammum – Acropolis – Ayvalik
Today we drive further North to visit Sardes with its breathtaking view of the Gymnasium. Sardes is mentioned as one of the seven Churches of the Revelation, and here we see the first synagogue of Western Anatolia. After lunch, we drive to Pergammum, first stoping at the Ascylepion, which served as a health centre, before driving to the Acropolis. Dinner, and overnight in Ayvalik.
Day 13: Troy – Dardanelles – Gelibolu – Tekirdag – Istanbul
We start our visits with Troy, the famous city of the Illiad, and then cross the Dardanelles and visit Gelibolu’s World War 1 Memorials. After lunch at the harbour of Tekirdag, which is famous for its meatballs, we drive to Istanbul. Dinner, and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 14 Istanbul
We start our first morning in Istanbul strolling to the great square which was once the Byzantine Hippodrome. Now it is a great parklike area surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Underground Cistern, commonly called the Basilica Cistern. After lunch at a local restaurant, retracing our steps we walk to the Topkapi Palace, more than a palace, it is an assemblage of museums, containing the collections amassed by the Sultans over almost five centuries. After Topkapi Palace, we finish the day with Grand Bazaar visit. Dinner, and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 15 : Istanbul
After visiting Istanbul Archaeology Museum in the morning, we have lunch at a local restaurant, then we take the leisurely Bosphorus Cruise from Eminonu, to the still unspoiled village of Sariyer. Dinner, and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 16: Istanbul
Dolmabahce Palace, overlooking the Bosphorus, is definitely incomparable with 14 tons of pure gold used for its interior decoration, its priceless paintings, furniture, and a rich collection of Bohemian crystal in addition to its famous Harem section. The Chora Museum shows us the climax of Byzantine Mosaic Art. We visit the Suleymaniye Mosque next, and then walk to the Spice Market, where the Geneose and Venetian goods used to be sold at a time where there was no Suez Canal, and all spices from the East were also brought here after being loaded on vessels in Egypt. Lunch at a local restaurant. Dinner, and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 17: Istanbul