Highlights Of Turkey

Escorted Small Group Tour

From the start, this tour is a feast for the senses. In Istanbul, see the intricate interiors and hear the calls to prayer at the Blue Mosque, smell the leather in the Grand Bazaar and taste Turkish coffee in one of the city’s cafés. Move on to the Gallipoli region and beyond to learn about ancient and modern battles, take in the Greco-Roman ruins and see the balloon-dotted skies over Cappadocia.

• Istanbul: 2 nights
• Çanakkale: 1 night
• Izmir: 1 night
• Pamukkale: 1 night
• Konya: 1 night
• Cappadocia: 2 nights
• Istanbul: 1 night

8nights Escorted Small Group Tour
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Bodrum 3 nights
Follow your action-packed tour with some down time on the beaches of Bodrum, Turkey's most popular resorts.

Day 1: UK to Istanbul Depart the UK on your flight to Turkey and on arrival, transfer to your hotel. Stay: Galatas Hotel (or similar).

Day 2: Istanbul
Your tour begins with a full day of sightseeing in the Turkish capital. One of the only cities in the world to span two continents, Istanbul is an intriguing place to explore; there are relics of various periods of rule from the Greeks to the Ottomans, reminders of the old Silk Road and many places of worship. Begin the day at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, today known as the Sultan Ahmet Square, a historic arena where chariot races and other social and sporting events took place during Byzantine and Ottoman rule. The next stop is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to the intricately designed blue tiles which cover its impressive interior halls. Continue on to the Hagia Sophia Museum, which is housed in an incredible 6th-Century Byzantine building, and Topkapi Palace. End the day at the 560-year-old Grand Bazaar where you can browse a few of the 4000-plus stalls which sell jewellery, antique rugs carpets, ceramics and a wide range of souvenirs. This evening, depending on availability and weather conditions, you can head out on a Bosporus dinner cruise (bookable and payable locally). Stay: Galatas Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 3: Istanbul to Çanakkale This morning you’ll leave Istanbul and head west to the port city of Çanakkale. Overlooking Dardanelles, a narrow strait that leads to the Sea of Marmara, the city and its surroundings has been the site of many battles from the bronze age to the early-20th Century, both real and mythological. Today, there will be a thought-provoking visit to some of the sites connected to the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. Stop at ANZAC Cove where members of the Australian and New Zealand forces first landed, and Chunuk Bair, the site of a battle between the Allied Forces and the Ottoman Empire. The day will end at Lone Pine Cemetery, the resting place of over 1100 soldiers and site of the Lone Pine Memorial which commemorates nearly 5000 troops with no known grave. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Grand Truva Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 4: Çanakkale to Izmir One of Turkey’s most famous sites – the Archaeological Site of Troy – is the focus this morning. Uncover the layers of around 4000 years of history as you explore the ruins of one of the world’s most intriguing ancient cities and learn about the myths and legends associated with it. Continue on Pergamum, a city of great political, cultural and religious importance throughout the Byzantine period. See the Pergamon Altar, the steep-sided theatre built into the hillside, and the Temples of Dionysus and Athena. Turkey’s third-largest city of İzmir is your final destination today. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Stay: Four Points by Sheraton İzmir (or similar). B.

Day 5: Izmir to Pamukkale Just outside the city of Selçuk is the archaeological wonder of Ephesus, home to the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The re-erected facade of Library of Celsus – one of the Roman additions to the ancient Greek city – is another of the site’s standout features. Join a guided tour of the site before travelling onwards to the breathtaking Pamukkale Travertines, also known as Turkey’s Cotton Castle. The fairytale-like name really gets across the other worldly beauty of this natural landscape: tiered turquoise thermal pools in white limestone terraces formed by mineral springs. After your visit to the travertines, the focus shifts back again to Greco-Roman history with a  visit to nearby Hierapolis. The highlight here is the huge Roman theatre and its well-preserved stage. You can almost imagine sitting here in the middle of a 15,000-strong crowd. Approx. journey time: 7 hours. Stay: Richmond Pamukkale Thermal Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 6: Pamukkale to Konya The journey continues as you travel onwards to the city of Konya, home to the famous whirling dervishes who are members of the Sufism order of Islam. During a tour of the city, you’ll visit the Mevlana Museum. This is the final resting place of the 13th-Century poet and theologian and Islamic scholar, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, otherwise known as Mevlânâ or simply Rumi. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Hilton Garden Konya (or similar). B.

Day 7: Konya to Cappadocia Today you’ll travel to Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most popular destinations. Set on a semi-arid plateau in the heart of the country, Cappadocia is a place where incredible nature and history meet. Wind and water erosion has shaped an alien-like landscape of cone, pillar and mushroom rock formations that are now dotted with caves crafted by human hands. Chapels, dwellings, stables and storerooms were first carved into the relatively soft rock by those seeking refuge during the persecution of Christians by the Roman Empire in the 4th Century. Between 1000 and 1200, Orthodox monks added their own monasteries and churches and painted highly detailed frescoes on the walls and ceilings. These caves have World Heritage status and can be seen on your visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum. Stay: Perissia Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 8: Cappadocia One of the long lasting images of Cappadocia is a sky full of hot air balloons suspended over the landscape and this morning is your chance to be part of the picture. These balloon rides are incredibly popular and we recommend booking as early as possible as they are subject to availability (extra cost). Trips are also weather dependent. Later, visit the Kaymaki underground city with its network of tunnels and cave rooms that have been used throughout the centuries as a place of refuge from wars and raids. There’ll also be a visit to a carpet weaving factory where you can learn about one of Turkey’s oldest and most famous crafts. Stay: Perissia Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 9: Cappadocia to Istanbul After visiting a local ceramic shop, head to the airport for your flight back to Istanbul. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some free time to explore independently. Approx. flight time: 1 hour 20 minutes. Stay: Galatas Hotel (or similar). B.

Day 10: Istanbul Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK


Stay longer

Bodrum 3 nights
Follow your action-packed tour with some down time on the beaches of Bodrum, Turkey's most popular resorts.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Great for history and culture buffs, this tour takes in many of Turkey’s most famous archaeological sites and main cities.

Good to know

• For guests over 16
• Average group size of 12 guests

• A maximum of 18 guests

• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions

• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• Long days with early starts and long road journeys
• Cooler temperatures in spring and autumn, particularly in Cappadoccia
• Lots of walking around cities and archaeological sites; we recommend taking comfortable walking shoes
• Visits to mosques and other religious sites; you will need to dress modestly, covering your shoulders and legs
• A good level of fitness is required.

Accommodation on tour

The hotels we’ve hand-picked for this tour are modern and in central locations or resort-style properties near the edge of town. They are within easy reach of the main sights and there’ll also be bars and restaurants nearby so you’ll have a good choice when it comes to dining each evening; alternatively, you can dine at the hotel itself (all lunches and dinners are payable locally).

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £1607

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2020 Apr 24; May 15; Jun 12; Sep 18; Oct 09

Included in price

• Quality accommodation

• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £2211 per person.

Excursions

Day 8: Cappadocia balloon flight from £220 per person.

Kuoni highlights

Kuoni highlights

In Istanbul, we’ve included a packed full-day city tour with visits to the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. One of the stand-out moments from the tour is the visit to Ephesus, a Greek city with its imposing ruins and what remains of one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World. You’ll also spend time exploring the alienesque landscapes in breathtaking Cappadoccia.