Western Anatolia Tour (10 Days)
DAY 1: Istanbul
Meet and greet at İstanbul Atatürk Airport and transfer to your hotel. Depending on the arrival time, there may be a short tour of Istanbul.
DAY 2: Istanbul
Today we have a full day to discover İstanbul, which was declared as ‘New Rome’ by Constantine, its founder. We start our tour with Sultanahmet Square, which was known as Hippodrome in the Byzantine times. Some of the important monuments of the Hippodrome are; Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine and the Stone Obelisk. The square is surrounded by Blue Mosque famous for its six minarets and beautiful İznik tiles as interior decoration, Topkapı Palace which was once the residence of the Ottoman Sultans locating on a hilltop dominating Boshporus and Golden Horn. Today the Palace is a museum where precious displays such as Porcelains, Crystals, Sultan’s costumes, Books, Portraits, and Diamonds can be seen.
DAY 3 Istanbul – Gallipoli – Canakkale
After a long drive to Gallipoli , visit Gallipoli’s world war 1 memorials in the afternoon. The war in Gallipoli has an important part in Turkish History. It was the main point in history where Ataturk, The founder of modern Turkish Republic, stepped up on the stage of history as a young commander in the Ottoman army. Then we pass the Dardanelles with ferry. Overnight in Canakale.
DAY 4 Troja – Pergamon- Sirince
We have a long day today. First visit to Illiad’s city to Troy. Excavations in the city started with Heinrich Schliemann in the 19. century and going on more than a century. Its discovery brought great interest to the science of ‘archeology’. You will feel like Troian King Priam watching the Achaean navy from his palace, when you are walking around the site. On the way to Pergamon we will visit an interesting place : Local Olive Oil Museum. Pergamon is one of the most important archeological treasures of Turkey and it was the capital of Asia Minor before Ephesus in the Roman period. Breathtaking view of the site with impressive ancient ruins will take you to the past. Lastly we visit Red Hall which is one of the seven churches, to which St Paul sent his letters to. We head on to Sirince for overnight.
DAY 5 Ephesus
Ephesus is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. In ancient times, its convenient location at the mouth of the Cayster River made it the foremost commercial city of a coastal region. Some of the stunning ruins are Temple of Hadrian, Celsus Library, Terrace Houses,Theater. Walking in the streets of Ephesus will give you a very good feeling of life in ancient Roman Empire as it is the most standing ancient city in all Mediterranean. After Ephesus we visit an important Christian site, the house of Mother Mary. It is known with certainty that Virgin Mary has been to Ephesus and lived there for some time. Whether or not she died in Ephesus is not certain. The house which is 10 km away from Ephesus is visited by millions of Christians as a sacred place today. The other important remains around Ephesus are, Temple of Artemis, Isa Bey Mosque and Basilica of St. John.
DAY 6 Aphrodisias – Pamukkale
After a peaceful drive along the plains we get to ancient site of goddess Aphrodite; Aphrodisias. Location of the site is like in the middle of no where but the site with its remains is going to surprise you much. The excavation and restoration of the site is one of the most successful works done so far in Turkey. Ancient Stadium, temple of Aphrodite, Tetrapylon is some of the remarkable remains in the city. Pamukkale is one the outstanding site with white cotton travertines, Cleopatra pool and ancient site Hierapolis. Travertines are the miracle of the nature created by the calciumed hot water in thousand years. Hierapolis was an important settlement with spas in the Roman Period.
DAY 7 Pamukkale – Termessos – Antalya We head on to South today to explore the magnificent site of Termessos hidden on the summit of ancient Solymeus Mountain. The area is a large National Park that protects the natural life and the ancient remains. Termessos will amaze you with its location and there has been never an excavation so you will feel like in an Indiana Jones movie when we are walking around it. We get to our overnight place; Antalya. We have the chance to discover old part of the city located near the ancient harbor. Streets and the houses will take you to the past.
DAY 8 Perge – Aspendos – Side
Perge is one of the most beautiful ancient cities in Turkey. Aspendos has the most standing Roman theater in all Mediterranean. It is still used for performances and concerts today. Aqueducts that used to bring water from Taurus Mountains to the city form a picturesque view. Side was one of the biggest harbor cities of Asia Minor. Today it is an interesting site where the modern and the ancient are mingled within each other. We get to Antalya to catch the flight to Istanbul.
DAY 9 Istanbul
Last day starts with a visit to the Undergorud Cistern. Second is Hagia Sophia, glory of the Byzantine Empire, built in the 6th century and houses magnificent gold-leafed mosaics. The Church was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in the 15th century and than into a museum after the Republic. After walk around the streets of Istanbul get to Grand Bazaar the biggest covered bazaar in the world. Spice Bazaar to smell and buy hundreds of lively colored spices; you can also explore small street markets around it. Then take a ferry to start your cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, while sailing along the European and Asian shores enjoy viewing Ottoman Palaces, Fortresses, Ottoman wooden houses, Suspension bridges, and fishermen. After this lovely cruise get to Sariyer district on the edge of Black Sea.
DAY 10 Private transfer to Airport to leave Turkey.