Cosmos

Grand Tour of Turkey (6720) - 2014 / 2015

13 Day Tour from Istanbul to Istanbul


Grand Tour of Turkey
Flags strung across the streets of downtown Istanbul
Flags strung across the streets of downtown Istanbul
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople
Ephesus is one of the most beautiful and ancient sites, once known as the capital of the Asian Province of the Roman Empire
Visit the unique rock dwellings in Cappadocia, Turkey
Stroll through the Spice Market and enjoy the many different aromas
Discover the Turkish port of Kusadasi
The Byzantine city of Istanbul is the largest city in Europe
Ankara
Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkeys Aegean coast
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

A country of many contrasts, Turkey is a unique crossroads between Europe and Asia. Begin in Istanbul with its mosques, markets, and historic buildings, and drive along the Sea of Marmara to Gallipoli on the European side of the Dardanelles. Visit the WWI battle site, then ferry across to Asia Minor. Take time to visit the remains of Homer’s legendary Troy, then motor through forested countryside to Kusadasi, famous for the Ephesus archaeological site. Continue through the “Greek Meander,” the most fertile region in Turkey. Stop in Pamukkale with the ancient site of Hierapolis and spend the night in the Denizli area. By way of Konya, stop at the great 13th-century Agzikarahan caravanserai, then to Göreme for an included visit to the rock chapels carved by early Christians. Arrive in Turkey’s capital of Ankara, and travel into the kingdom of Phrygia to Gordion. Visit King Midas’ tomb before continuing to Bursa, famous for its great mosque, covered bazaar, and silk market. Return to Istanbul and don’t miss the unforgettable sight of the Bosporus at dusk.

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Sightseeing:
Visits to Gallipoli, Canakkale, Troy, Izmir, Kusadasi, Pamukkale, Agzikarahan Caravanserai, Konya, Rock Chapels in Göreme, Ankara, King Midas’ Tomb in Gordion, Bursa

Scenic Highlights:
Pamukkale´s cotton castle

Guides:

Local Guide for city sightseeing in Istanbul. Professional Tour Director while touring


Day 1Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey

Check into your hotel. In the evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2Istanbul–Gallipoli–Canakkale

Drive along the Sea of Marmara to Gallipoli on the European side of the Dardanelles. Time to visit the Anzac Cemetery and the site of a bloody World War I battle. Then, a short ferry crossing to Asia Minor. Overnight in Canakkale. (B,D)

Day 3Canakkale–Troy–Izmir–Kusadasi

First, a visit to the remains of Homer’s legendary Troy. South to the lovely Bay of Edremit with distant views of the island of Lesbos. Through forests of pine, oak, and valonia, head for Izmir, where an orientation drive includes the Karsiyaka District. From here, it’s not far to your hotel in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Day 4At Leisure in Kusadasi

Enjoy your charming modern resort, located between ancient Ephesus and Priene and blessed with a delightful climate and white sandy beaches. Optional excursions to the Roman/Greek archaeological site of Ephesus and to the Virgin Mary House are available. (B)

Day 5Kusadasi–Pamukkale–Denizli Area

Once past Aydin, you enter what is known as the “Greek Meander,” the most fertile region in Turkey. Make a first stop this morning for optional sightseeing of the ancient site of Aphrodisias scattered around the village of Geyre. From the town of Denizli, drive north to view the extraordinary sight of Pamukkale with the ancient site of Hierapolis. Overnight in the Denizli area. (B,D)

Day 6Denizli Area–Konya

Eastwards to Dinar and then past Lake Acigöl, surrounded by cherry gardens and opium fields. Later, splendid mountain scenery on the way to Konya. (B,D)

Day 7Konya–Göreme–Cappadocia

Continue eastward into the great central plateau that separates Konya from Cappadocia, taking a break at the great Agzikarahan caravanserai. After arrival in Göreme, an included afternoon excursion to the amazing Rock Chapels carved by early Christians. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B,D)

Day 8Cappadocia

Optional sightseeing in the spectacular Cappadocia area. Admire the large natural amphitheater bounded by almost-vertical cliffs into which have been hewn monastic buildings, churches, and underground retreats where early Christians sheltered from Roman persecution. (B,D)

Day 9Cappadocia–Aksaray–Ankara

North today by way of Aksaray to Ankara. Enjoy an orientation drive of the Turkish capital. Afternoon optional excursions are available to see some of the capital’s highlights. (B,D)

Day 10Ankara–Gordion–Bursa

From Ankara into the ancient kingdom of Phrygia to Gordion where, according to legend, Alexander the Great cut the proverbial knot. Visit King Midas’ tomb. On to historic Bursa in the shadow of the Olympus of Mysia, famous for its Great Mosque, covered bazaar, and silk market. (B,D)

Day 11Bursa–Ferry Crossing–Istanbul

A morning drive to the shores of the Sea of Marmara, then take a ferry across the Bay of Izmit to Istanbul. This afternoon, enjoy the included sightseeing with visits to the Roman Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque. Tonight, take advantage of the optional dinner outing in Istanbul. (B)

Day 12Istanbul

Markets, peddlers, and stalls selling almonds, pistachios, iced drinks, and black coffee—you’ll find this vigorous city irresistible. The view of the city at dusk with its 600 mosques and the Bosporus is unforgettable. Optional possibilities are a morning excursion by private boat on the Bosporus and in the afternoon, the “Historical Tour of Istanbul.” (B)

Day 13Istanbul

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)

Transportation:
Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Istanbul if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Dardanelles Straits and Bay of Izmir ferry crossings


ISTANBUL Grand Halic (F)
CANAKKALE Iris Hotel (F)
KUSADASI Grand Onder (F)
DENIZLI AREA Herakles (ST) at Pamukkale
KONYA Pasapark (F)
CAPPADOCIA Altinyazi (F)
ANKARA Gurkent (F)
BURSA Almira (F)

Buffet breakfasts; 8 dinners

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As recommended by Budget Travel