The Western Turkey Tour
Visit Turkey’s famous UNESCO World Heritage sites, from stunning natural landscapes to remarkable ancient ruins on this 15 days private WesternTurkey tour from Istanbul.
Itinerary of Western Turkey Tour
DAY 1- Istanbul
After passport and visa procedure, you will be met and taken to your hotel for a welcome briefing.
DAY 2- Istanbul
Istanbul, once called Byzantium in the 7th century B.C. was named Constantinople in 326 A.D. by Constantine the Great when he moved the capital of the Roman Empire to what is now Istanbul. The city received its current name from Mehmet II in 1453 and is the only city in the world that spans two continents. It was the capital to three major empires (Rome, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires). Here, we will visit several of Turkey’s most famous museums and mosques. Topkapi Palace (excluding harem) was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and was the home of the sultan until the 19th century. St Sophia was built by Roman Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 A.D. It was the greatest Christian church in the world for more than 1000 years. The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1616 and was constructed with the deliberate intention of rivalling the St. Sophia.
DAY 3– Istanbul
We will visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque with its exceptional tiles and the spice market in the morning. We will take a morning Bosphorus cruise on a private boat. In the afternoon, we will visit the Taksim Square and stroll around Istiklal Street (art and fashion centre of Turkey). Among the many things we will do in Istanbul is visit the Military Museum and enjoy a live performance of the Military Band (Mehter).
In the afternoon we will visit the Grand Bazaar and explore this well known historical market of the city.
DAY 4– Ankara
Morning departure for a five hour drive to Ankara, the capital of Turkey since 1923. We will visit the magnificent Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which is also known as Hittite museum. This museum presents relics from Catal Hoyuk, one of the earliest known human communities that existed through the Hittite and the Roman Classical period. We will also pay a visit to the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.
DAY 5– Cappadocia
Morning departure for a four hour drive to Cappadocia. We drive along the Salt Lake. An optional Whirling Dervishes performance is held in a 13th century Caravansary. Overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 6– Cappadocia
An optional balloon tour can be done in the morning, flying over volcanic valleys and rock formations (fairy chimneys). After breakfast, we visit Goreme, Pasabagi, Uchisar, Kaymakli or Ozkonak underground city. While in Cappadocia, we will enjoy the unique landscapes of wind and rain eroded volcanic formations. Carved directly into stone, Cappadocia’s amazing subterranean cities include ancient underground churches and cities hand-hewn from solid rock by early Christians. We will visit a local pottery workshop and see traditional Hittite ways of shaping red clay.
DAY 7– Konya
Today we will travel from Cappadocia to Konya. We visit Mevlana Mausoleum and Museum, explore the city of Konya which was a capital of Anatolian Seljuk. Overnight in Konya.
DAY 8,9– Antalya
Today we drive to Antalya and see the Toros Mountains. Antalya is a beautiful and historic city snuggled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Toros Mountains. During our stay in Antalya, we will tour the city as well as visit the ruined sites of Aspendos and Perge. Aspendos dates back to the time of the Hittites, yet the only visible remains are from the Roman Period. The restored theatre at Aspendos is said to be the best in all of Turkey. Perge reached its height under the Romans and Alexander the Great. Today, what remains are the ruins of a great theatre, a stadium and the colonnaded main street. Afternoon we will visit the excellent Antalya Archaelogy Museum and old city in the harbor.
DAY 10– Aphoridisia – Pamukkale
We will depart Antalya early and drive to Aphrodisias, the city of art dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite. Octavian once said that “of all the cities in the world, Aphrodisias is my favourite”. The marble theatre here is beautiful and the stadium that seats over 35,000 is immense. It is also the largest in the world and the best preserved. Aphrodisias was a centre to cultivate the finest sculptors, whose works are found all over the Roman Empire. After Aphrodisias we will continue to Pamukkale.
DAY 11- Kusadasi
Morning departure to Kusadasi, we will visit another Greco-Roman city “Hierapolis”. It has an incredible necropolis (city of the dead) and we will see many sarcophagi (burial monuments). We will visit the snow-like travertine of calcium for which Pamukkale is famous. Pamukkale is one of the natural wonders of the world, with beautiful mineral springs, clinging to the hillsides that will amaze you. In the afternoon we will arrive to Kusadasi.
DAY 12– Ephesus – Kusadasi
Our full day tour visits the incredible city of Ephesus and its colossal Greco-Roman Theater where St. Paul preached. This particular theatre is still used for performances today. The Marble Road, the Celsus Library and the Temple of Diana are just a few of the sites we will visit. We will also visit the house where St. Mary lived her final days. (After the crucifixion of Jesus, St. John brought her to Ephesus).
DAY 13– Pergamon – Troy – Canakkale
During a scenic three-hour drive up the Aegean Coast, we will stop in Pergamon to see the Asklepion, an ancient hospital complex. Then, we will drive three-hours to Canakkale, where we will visit the legendary city of Troy. Here, we will have the opportunity to see a replica of the Trojan horse. To date nine different Troy’s have been discovered, all built one on top of the other. While in Canakkale we will stay at the hotel which overlooks the Dardanelles and Gallipoli across the Straits.
DAY 14– Dardanelles – Gallipoli – Istanbul
This morning we depart for Gallipoli and cross the Dardanelles to visit Anzac Cove, Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine Cemetery and Gallipoli War Museum. We will drive to Istanbul in the afternoon. Overnight is in Istanbul.
DAY 15– Istanbul
Transfer to Istanbul International Airport
Accommodation as per itinerary (4 Star Hotel in Istanbul and 5 Star Hotels in other locations).
All taxes, fees and handling charges
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Airport pickup and drop-off