Depart Gaziantep for Erdemli with a stop to visit Kiz Kalesi (The Maiden’s Castle.)
On to Antalya (300km) via Anamur, one of the best preserved Crusader castles in the Mediterranean, and along the coastal road past pine forests and miles upon miles of fruit farms producing oranges, lemons, pomegranates and the most wonderful strawberries.
Day 3 Antalya – Aspendos
Antalya where you will have the opportunity for a range of optional activities; one we recommend is a performance by the Anatolian Fire Dance Troup in Aspendos. You will also have the chance to explore the ancient city of Aspendos with its superb classical era theatre and, if you are feeling energetic, you can visit the mountain top city of Termessos. Alternatively, you can shop, relax or just enjoy the old town of Antalya.
Morning relaxing in Antalya before heading for Fethiye across the mountain pass and pastures of the Taurus mountains
Coast Gulet Cruising along the Lycian coastline of south west Turkey giving you access to secluded coves and beaches with crystal clear waters normally inaccessible from land and our Alaturka gulets offer some of the best cuisine that a traveller to Turkey will experience.
After lunch we depart Fethiye for Denizli, the cotton capital of Turkey, and on to Pamukkale and the healing spring water of the ancient spa city of Hierapolis with its startling white calcite deposits.
In the morning we will visit Hierapolis and Pamukkale. Famous today for the calcite deposits which look like frozen cascades of water; Pamukkale means “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. On leaving Pamukkale we head westwards along the plain of the Meander River famous for its figs and for sultanas which come from the Sultan Mountains along the southern edge of the plain.
Today we visit Ephesus, possibly the best preserved Roman city in the eastern Mediterranean and once the capital city of the Roman province of Asia which at its peak boasted a population of 400,000 people. In ancient times Ephesus was the centre of the cult of Artemis/ Cybele, the Anatolian Mother Goddess and later celebrated as the last home of the Virgin Mary. From Ephesus we head up the coast to Bergama to visit the ancient city of Pergamum once famous for a spa and clinic that specialised in the treatment of psychological ailments and mental health. Today it is known for its stunning acropolis and the Temple of Hadrian.
In the morning we will visit Bergama’s markets and the Red Basilica. Built in the reign of the Emperor Trajan it is one of the largest free standing Roman buildings remaining in the eastern Mediterranean. Dedicated to the Egyptian cult of Osiris/ Serapis the two rotundas on either side were probably dedicated to Horus an Anubis- today one is a mosque. From Bergama we depart for Troy. Of all the ancient sites in Turkey, Troy is probably the one that captures western imaginations the most what really inspires the imagination is Homer’s “Iliad” , the story of the Trojan War; the legendary Trojan Horse is reconstructed at the entrance of the city while the wooden horse that was used in the making of the eponymous Hollywood blockbuster takes pride of place on the water front in the nearby port of Canakkale.
This morning we will catch the ferry across the Dardanelles to tour the battlefield sites of Gallipoli. Gallipoli- in Turkish Gelibolu- was the site of allied landings on the 25th of April, 1915 by French, British Empire and Commonwealth troops trying force the Dardanelles and gain naval access to Constantinople. Overnight in Istanbul. Leisure Time as Extra