This itinerary is specially designed to give our guests a full image of Turkey within an archaeological and historical framework with many visits to well and lesser-known archaeological sites. You will not only explore these sites in their fantastic natural settings, but also discover their interrelated history and their links to the roots of modern Western culture.
2017 TOUR DATES
Day 1 / Flight Day
Day 2 / Istanbul
Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Dinner on your own. Your guide will show you several restaurants in the area, or you may simply have dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the Ottoman Imperial Hotel in the historical part of Istanbul.
Day 3 / Gallipoli – Troy / Canakkale
Drive to Canakkale via Gallipoli. Lunch at Gallipoli, then ferry across the Dardanelles for a two–hour visit to Troy where you will see the most recent finds. Dinner and overnight at the Canakkale Tusan Hotel.
Day 4 / Mount Ida – Pergamon / Kusadasi
Drive along Mount Ida, where Paris made the decision that eventually led to the Trojan War. Drive to Pergamon along the coastal road to visit the city famous for the work done by the great physician Galen. Lunch at a local restaurant in Bergama. Visit the Acropolis and the Asclepion, one of the most important medical lefts of the Roman period. Continue on to Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight at the Kusadasi Kismet Hotel.
Day 5 / Ephesus / Kusadasi
Visit Ephesus and environs. The Emperor Augustus chose Ephesus to be the capital city of Asia Minor during the Roman period. Sites include the remains of the Artemis Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Church of the Virgin Mary where it is believed that Mary lived the last years of her life. Visit the museum in which most of the finds from Ephesus are exhibited. Dinner in Kusadasi, overnight at the Kismet Hotel.
Day 6 / Aphrodisias / Kusadasi
Drive to Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, the Mother of Aeneas from whom the Romans claimed to have descended. Top quality marble quarries made the city one of the most important sculpture lefts of the entire Roman world. Dinner and overnight at the Kusadasi Kismet Hotel.
Day 7 / Priene – Miletos – Didyma / Bodrum
Visit the most important cities of the classical period, the Ionian cities of Priene, Miletos and Didyma. Drive to Bodrum, ancient Halicarnassus, along Bafa Lake and visit the ancient city of Euromos, which provides a brief introduction to Caria. Visit Bodrum Underwater Archaeological Museum. Dinner in Bodrum and overnight at Bodrium Hotel.
Day 8 / Fethiye – Patara / Kas
Drive to Dalyan village and take a boat ride along the Dalyan River, ancient Chalbis. Drive to Fethiye, ancient Telmessos, where we will see the magnificent Lycian rock cut tombs. Continue to Xanthos, the capital city of the ancient Lycians. Another short drive takes us to Patara, the birth place of St. Nicholas and the god Apollo. The American Congress was influenced by the Lycian League that was once gathering in the bouletherion of Patara. Enjoy the sunset at the ancient harbor acropolis before continuing to Kas, a small fishing village on the Mediterranean. Dinner and overnight at Erdem City Hotel, Kas.
Day 9 / Kekova – Myra / Antalya
One-hour drive to the Kekova area for a boat trip around the secluded bays. See the sunken cities under the crystal clear waters. Visit Simena Castle and have lunch in a small fishing village, then drive to Myra and see the Church of St. Nicholas. Drive to Antalya, where we will spend the next day. Dinner and overnight at the Tuvana Hotel, a renovated 19th century Ottoman House well known for its Turkish character and hospitality.
Day 10 / Perge – Aspendos / Antalya
A relaxing day at Pamphylia with a visit to Perge and then Aspendos, the best-preserved and designed theater of the Roman era. An afternoon of free time in Antalya after visiting the Antalya Museum with one of the curators. Dinner on your own, overnight at the Tuvana Hotel.
Day 11 / Konya – Whirling Dervishes / Cappadocia
Take a long drive through the scenic Taurus Mountains with various stops and visits before arriving at Konya, the left of the Whirling Dervishes, and visit the Mevlana Museum. Drive to Cappadocia for a visit to a caravanserai, dating from the 13th century and reflecting the high quality of Seljuk art and architecture. Then enter a different planet called Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight at the Alfina Cave Suites, which has been restored from 19th century cave house and decorated in Turkish and Ottoman style.
Day 12 / Cappadocia
Wake up in a totally different landscape dominated by deep valleys and fairy chimneys. Visit Goreme and Zelve open-air museums and the underground city of Kaymakli, where early Christians found shelter. Optional afternoon walk in one of the valleys. Dinner in town, overnight at the Alfina Cave Suites.
Day 13 / Hattussa / Ankara
Optional balloon trip over Cappadocia in the early morning. Drive to Hattussa, the capital city of the Hittites. See the giant architecture dating from the 15th century B.C. After lunch drive to Ankara. Dinner in one of Ankara’s local restaurants, overnight at the Neva Hotel.
Day 14 / Ankara / Istanbul
Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk and the fascinating Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, where art pieces from 8000 to 2000 B.C. are on display. Late afternoon flight to Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight at the Ottoman Imperial Hotel in the Sultanahmet area.
Day 15 / Istanbul
Full day visit in Istanbul – Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Treasury and the Harem. Dinner in the fish market area, overnight at Ottoman Imperial Hotel in Istanbul.
Day 16 / Istanbul
Visit the Archaeological Museum, the Basilica Cistern, and the Hippodrome. Free time in the afternoon for a visit to Dolmabahce Palace or for some time on your own. We will have a private cruise on the Bosphorus and have our farewell dinner in one of the restaurants on the Bosphorus. Overnight at the Ottoman Imperial Hotel in Istanbul.
Day 17 / Departure Day
Transfer to airport for return flight back home.