Upon your arrival in Istanbul you will be met by our representative before transfer to your Hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your own leisure.
After breakfast at the hotel, a guided tour of Istanbul's principal sights: Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, Blue Mosque and Spice Market.
From Istanbul we will drive along the north coast of the Sea of Marmara to the Battlefield sites of Gallipoli and visit monuments at Anzac Cove, Nek, Conk Bair, Lone Pine and 57.th regiment memorial with a final stop at the new War Museum. From Gallipoli we cross the Dardanelles by ferry for Canakkale.
From Canakkale we will visit the legendary City of Troy, the site where the Trojan War took place. Of all the ancient sites in Turkey, Troy is probably the one that captures western imaginations the most as the inspiration for Homer's great tale, the Iliad and a series of movies. In Canakkale you will have passed the wooden horse that was used in the making of the eponymous Hollywood blockbuster which takes pride of place on the water front near the ferry port. From Troy we cross Mt Ida and travel to Pergamum. Pergamum was a wealthy kingdom during classical times and a renowned place of healing with a specialisation in mental health at the Asclepion in the lower city while the upper city is the site of a spectacular Acropolis and theatre and temple complex. Kusadasi.
After Breakfast a short drive to 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.
From Kusadasi we head eastwards along the plain of the Meander River famous for its cotton plantations, figs and for sultanas, which come from and are named for, the Sultan Mountains along the southern edge of the plain. We will visit Hierapolis and Pamukkale. Famous today for the calcite deposits which look like frozen cascades of water, ancient Hierapolis was once a health spa renowned throughout the ancient world for the treatment of many ailments but especially allergies and skin complaints. The name Pamukkale means cotton castle. From Pamukkale we pass Denizli, the cotton capital of Turkey and on to Marmaris.
This morning there is the opportunity to relax at the lakeside town of Koycegiz. Here we will enjoy a boat cruise to turtle beach and the more adventurous can wallow in the warm, relaxing mud baths at the local thermal springs. In the evening we will proceed to the resort of Fethiye.
Leisure time in Fethiye where you will have the option to join a "12 Island" boat cruise or you can while away the day relaxing at the beach or shopping in the markets of Fethiye.
After breakfast we will visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey's longest and deepest canyon; Saklikent means "Hidden City" in Turkish. From Saklikent continue to Antalya crossing the yaylas- high pastures- of the Taurus Mountains.
From Antalya we head for Konya stopping to visit the spectacular Classical Theatre at Aspendos. In Konya we will visit the monastery of the Mevlana- otherwise known as the "Whirling Dervishes" before continuing to Cappadocia along the Silk Road.
After breakfast full day excursion in Cappadocia including visits to the Kaymakli Underground City, Open Air Museum in Goreme and natural fortress in Uchisar.
Early in the morning an optional Balloon tour is available. Those who are continuing on the Treasures of Eastern Turkey leave the group here.
Morning departure for Safranbolu via Ankara, the nation's capital city. We continue our drive and to Safranbolu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As its name suggest the town is the centre of a famous saffron producing region.