Discover the Best of Turkey with Gateways International Tailor-made Tours
Price: $5,800 CAD Per Person
(based on double occupancy)
Photo: Konya Mevlana Museum
- Total 9-nights accommodation at 4-Star hotels
- 3-nights in Istanbul
- 2-nights each in Cappadocia and Kusadasi
- 1-nights each in Pamukkale and Canakkale
- English-speaking escort while touring
- Transfers and tours as per the itinerary
- Continental breakfast daily and other meals as indicated
- Hotel taxes and service charges
Best of Turkey Itinerary:
Day 1: Istanbul
Upon arrival, private transfer to your hotel for check-in and welcome briefing. Istanbul's strategic location has attracted many marauding armies over the centuries. The fact that the city straddles two continents wasn't its only drawcards, it was the final stage on the legendary Silk Road linking Asia with Europe, and many merchants who came here liked it so much that they, too, decided to stay. In so doing, they gave the city a cultural diversity that it retains to this day.
Photo: Sunset in Istanbul, Turkey
Day 2: Istanbul
Full day private tour including lunch: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today, you will meet your private guide to explore the city walls of Constantinople and Topkapi Palace, the ancient residence of Ottoman Sultans. Next, visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and the stunning Blue Mosque with its beautiful Iznik tiles. After lunch we will visit the hippodrome, end your day with a visit to the famous Grand Bazaar. Return to the hotel; enjoy dinner on your own.
Day 3: Istanbul - Cappadocia
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a short flight to Cappadocia, best known for its moon- like landscape, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved out of the rock. As if plucked from a whimsical fairytale and set down upon the stark Anatolian plains, Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. The fantastical topography is matched by the human history here. People have long utilised the region's soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside scattered with fascinating cavern architecture. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum and the subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli are the most famous sights, while simply bedding down in one of Cappadocia's cave hotels is an experience in 21st-century cave living.
Photo: Hot Air Balloons over Cappadocia, Turkey
Day 4: Cappadocia
An early morning hot-air balloon ride to float through volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves with the sunrise, weather pending. Today, you will explore the lunar landscape of Cappadocia visiting the Pasabag (Monk's) valley and Avanos including a visit to a regional pottery workshop. See the unique Goreme open-air museum and finish your day with a visit to the Kaymakli or Ozkonak Underground City and Pigeon Valley including a stop at a village home. Dinner and overnight. Upon arrival, private transfer and check into your unique hotel for dinner & overnight.
Day 5: Cappadocia - Konya & Pamukkale
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Konya, the former capital of the Selcuk Empire. En route, visit the Caravanserai at Sultanhani, which in the 13th-Century was used as the place of rest for traders along the Silk Road. Upon arrival in Konya, visit the Mevlana Museum, the original lodge of the Whirling Dervishes. Then drive to Pamukkale, with white lime cascades (terraces)formed by mineral springs on the mountain above the village, the so-called, Turkish Cotton Castle (pamuk means 'cotton' in Turkish). Just above the travertines lies Hierapolis, once a Roman and Byzantine spa city, which has considerable ruins and a museum. Enjoy the hot springs at your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Photo: Ephesus Library of Celsus
Day 6: Pamukkale - Kusadasi
After breakfast at the hotel, begin to explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, also the site of the largest necropolis in Anatolia. Enjoy walking on the hot spring waters on the snow-white terraced ponds; see a village street market, then continue on to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. Kusadasi is a popular coastal gateway to Ephesus, Turkey's busiest cruise port.
Day 7: Kusadasi - Ephesus - Kusadasi
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus, perhaps the greatest of all sites in Asia Minor. Your tour includes the Library, Marble Street and the Great Theatre with 24,000 seats. Visit the House of St. Mary and the Greek village of Sirince. Ephesus is the grandest and best preserved. A Unesco-listed World Heritage Site, it's the best place in the Mediterranean to get a feel for what life was like in ancient times. Ancient Ephesus was a great trading city and a centre for the cult of Cybele, the Anatolian fertility goddess. Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Kusadasi - Pergamum - Canakkale
After breakfast, drive to Bergama, which was once ancient Pergamum, to visit the Asclepion. On the way to Canakkale, stop at an old olive oil factory and museum. Continue on to the ancient city of Troy, famous for the Trojan Horse and where the legendary Trojan War took place. While not the most dramatic of Turkey's ancient sites, Troy is testament to the importance of myth to the human experience. Dinner & overnight in Canakkale.
Photo: Pergamum Asclepion
Day 9: Canakkale - Istanbul
After breakfast, cross the famous Dardanelles by ferry. Visit the World War I memorials at Gallipoli. See Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery, then continue to Istanbul. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 10: Istanbul
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight!