Welcome to Turkey. Arrive in Istanbul airport, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. Next day, our journey begins in Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. We will visit the Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, The Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Overnight in Istanbul.
Transfer from hotel to Istanbul airport for flight to Izmir. Arrival in Izmir. Drive to ancient Smyrna, was the second one of the seven Christian churches in Asia Minor to which St. John the Divine wrote (Revelation l - 11). In the afternoon proceed to Thyatira, another one of the Seven Churches. See the remains of a Basilica and other ruins from the Roman Period. Overnight in Izmir.
Pergamon (Bergama). Visit the Acropolis with its pagan temples and Altar of Zeus. Continue to the healing center, Aesculapius. Overnight in Izmir.
After breakfast depart for Sardes, another one of the Seven Churches mentioned by St. John. Continue to Philadelphia to, another one of the Christian congregations, and a city built in 2 BC by King Eumenos. Continue to Pamukkale (Hierapolis). Watch the sunset over the petrified waterfalls. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Visit Hierapolis and then Laodicea before continuing to Ephesus. See the final abode of the Virgin Mary where she spent her last years. Tour through ancient Ephesus to see the old synagogue, the theatre where St. Paul preached (Acts 10), the Library of Celsus and other sights. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Istanbul. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Free time at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul. Next day, after breakfast check out from the hotel. We hope your tour was a memorable one and we look forward to seeing you in the future on another TravelShop Turkey Tour. Have a safe trip back home .
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Early morning flight or night bus/train to Ankara from Istanbul Visit to Anatolian Civilization (Hittite) Museum in Ankara and continue to Cappadocia via Salt Lake. Seljuk Agzikarahan Kervansaray, view of the Petrified Valley from the ancient citadel of Uchisar. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (Lunch & Dinner included)
Full day tour of Cappadocia. Valley of Goreme and Zelve Valley of "Fair Chimneys", underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, villages of Ortahisar and Avanos. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Early departure for Konya, city of the "Whirling Dervishes", visit to Mausoleum of Mevlana, world famous philosopher and poet. Continue to Pamukkale (Hierapolis), and visit the ruins. Dinner and overnight in Denizli. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included) Next day, visit to the Ancient city of Hierapolis with its unique formation of petrified calcium cliffs and stalactites, drive to Aphrodisias, well preserved Greco-Roman settlement. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Visit the ancient Ionian city of Ephesus, House Of Virgin Mary, St. John Basilica. Lunch & Overnight in Izmir. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Drive to Pergamum, where different healing methods like therapy with music and sound of water were first used. Visit to Aesculapium, ancient medical center built in the name of Aesculapis, "God of Medicine". Lunch and continue to Pergamum Acropolis. Visit Athena and Trojan Temples, Temple of Zeus, Temple of Dionysos, Gymnasium of Youth, Odeon, Library, Agora, Great Theatre and Roman Bath. Drive to Canakkale and overnight. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Early start to the ancient city of Troy, famous with the legendary Trojan Horse from the times of Beautiful Helen, the Queen of Sparta and Paris, the Trojan Prince. Lunch at Canakkale and ferry across Dardanelles. Visit to GALLIPOLI, famous battle-field, Anzac Cove, War Cemeteries (Beach Cemetery, Quinn's Post, The Nek) and the ANZAC MEMORIALS (Lone Pine - Australian Memorial), Conk Bair - New Zealand Memorial, Hellespont-English Memorial) of the naval battle (18 March 1915) during World War I. Dinner on the way and late evening return to Istanbul by tour bus. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)
Meet at the crossroads of East and West - the effervescent capital of Istanbul launch your journey of discovery through centuries of turmoil and triumph. Spend the day exploring after being transferred to your hotel. Later, you'll meet your Travel Director and travel companions for a memorable Welcome Reception. Next day, delve into the treasures of the Ottoman Empire, strolling through the exquisite Topkapi Palace with its spellbinding views of the Bosphorus. We explore the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, once one of the greatest churches in all of Christendom, before following in the footsteps of the faithful for a visit to the Blue Mosque - its six minarets and beautiful blue Iznik tiles are a sight to behold. Later, we visit the Byzantine Hippodrome to see where thundering chariots once raced to victory. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. Consider an optional cruise along the Bosphorus, whose waters separate the European and Asian sides of the city.
We remember the heroism of the many thousands of men who fought bravely at Gallipoli. We'll see Lone Pine Cemetery and the battlefields that today still hold special significance for the Turkish, Australian and New Zealand nations. Spend a quiet moment commemorating the lives lost at Anzac Cove and Chunuk Bair, where some of the fiercest fightings took place during World War I. This evening we stay in Canakkale where tonight we'll dine in our hotel.
Visit a land of Trojan legends, an ancient city immortalized by Homer in the stories of King Priamus, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. We admire the archaeological excavations at Troy revealing nine separate periods of settlement and the symbolic replica wooden Trojan horse commemorating the epic war machine constructed by the Greeks to end a lengthy siege. We continue to the ancient kingdom of Pergamon to visit the Asclepion Medical Centre whose staff of entwined snakes remains a symbol of modern medicine today. This afternoon, we 'Connect With Locals' in the village of Demircidere over a Be My Guest lunch. We travel to the broad boulevards of seaside Izmir later and dine in our hotel this evening.
Journey into antiquity and explore the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus admiring the well-preserved façade of the Library of Celsus and its famous Temple of Artemis. We visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Hadrian guarded by Medusa's head, and the Great Theatre, built by the Romans in the 2nd century and still in use today. Relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at your hotel in Pamukkale. Later, consider joining an Optional Experience to watch the dizzying twirling of the mystical Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi sect.
This morning we enjoy a leisurely visit to the ancient ruins of the Holy City of Hierapolis, imagining ancient patrons seeking revival and rest within their limestone-laden thermal springs. Our last stop today is in the lush silk center of Bursa where tonight we dine in our hotel.
We visit the exquisite Grand Mosque in Bursa before returning to Istanbul. Haggle for the best deals at the Grand Bazaar before following in the footsteps of the faithful for a visit to the Blue Mosque. Our final evening together sees us enjoy a Farewell dinner with our fellow travelers. Next day, we say a fond farewell to Turkey and newfound friends as we prepare to depart to the airport for our flight home.
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