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Marvelous Turkey

Cultural tour of Turkey

Watch ancient times come to life before our eyes as we discover some of the world’s most famous and well-preserved Roman structures, explore centuries-old sunken cities, and discover how ancient monuments perfectly intermingle with beautiful natural sites like the limestone pools of Pamukkale. An experienced professional tour guide provides unique insight as we discover the secrets of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, learning how they’ve shaped the Turkey we explore today. This incredible value tour includes 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is perfectly tailored for a first-timer’s experience of Turkey.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Historic Area of Istanbul 2. Archaeological Site of Troy
3. Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape 4. Ephesus
5. Hierapolis-Pamukkale 6. Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
7. City of Safranbolu    
Tour Information
Duration : 14 days
Minimum : 02 persons
Maximum : 28 persons
Price (From) : US$ 1715
Includes international air
Day 01: Arrive Istanbul
Day 02: Istanbul
(B)
Day 03: Istanbul/Canakkale (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 04: Canakkale/Troy/Pergamum/Kusadasi (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 05: Kusadasi/Ephesus/Sirince/Kusadasi
(B, D)
Day 06: Kusadasi/Hierapolis/Pamukkale (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 07: Pamukkale/Koycegiz/Fethiye (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 08: Fethiye
(B)
Day 09: Fethiye/Demre/Antalya (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 10: Antalya/Aspendos/Konya/Cappadocia (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 11: Cappadocia
(B)
Day 12: Cappadocia/Ankara/Safranbolu (Drive)
(B, D)
Day 13: Safranbolu/Istanbul (Drive)
(B)
Day 14: Depart Istanbul
(B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 01: Arrive Istanbul

Upon arrival at Ataturk Airport (IST)**, we will be met and transferred to our hotel.  Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Hotel check in time starts at 1500 hrs. Founded in 657 BC, Istanbul is perhaps one of the most important cities in history. In 330 AD, it was declared as the new Roman capital, leading it to become a center of trade and commerce along the Silk Road. It remained a capital city for 16 more centuries, through the rise and fall of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Here at the Bosporus Strait East meets West as Istanbul is the only city in the world where two huge parts of our globe as well as multiple civilisations meet.

** For those arriving at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), a surcharge of US$ 50 per person per transfer will apply, based on a minimum of two people

Overnight: Point Hotel Taksim, Istanbul (2 nights)

Day 02: Istanbul

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

After breakfast at our hotel, we explore this beautiful city on a guided tour. Be ready to be amazed as we discover the variety of historical monuments, including palaces, museums, cisterns, fountains, and pillars, which surround us on all sides. The many architectural and historic masterpieces found in Istanbul* were given World Heritage Site status in 1985. Our first stop is Topkapi Palace, main residence of the Ottoman sultans during the 15th and 16th centuries, followed by the ancient Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, sitting imposingly across from one another. A trip to Istanbul is not complete without a visit to the Spice Bazaar, one of the largest markets in the city, where we find a fresh supply of spices, nuts, honeycomb, Turkish delight, dried figs and more. The unique setting of this market sweeps us back to the times of the 1001 tales in Arabian Nights. (B)

Day 03: Istanbul/Canakkale (Drive)

After breakfast, we drive to Gallipoli to visit Anzac Cove, Nek, Conk Bair, Lone Pine and 57th Regiment Memorial.  It was here in World War I where the Gallipoli campaign sought to break the stalemate on the Western and Eastern fronts to help the Russians. It is perceived as a defining moment in Turkey's history—a final surge in the defense of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish war for independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a commander at Gallipoli. The Gallipoli campaign is the first campaign of World War I that led to heavy casualties to the soldiers of Australia and New Zealand serving there. The campaign is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand, and the date of the landing, April 25, is known as "Anzac Day". Dinner and overnight in Canakkale.

Overnight: Kolin Hotel, Canakkale (1 night) (B, D)

Day 04: Canakkale/Troy/Pergamum/Kusadasi (Drive)

Amphitheatre, Ephesus, Izmir, Turkey

After breakfast, we drive to legendary Troy*. This ancient city in northwestern Turkey, known as Truva or Troya in Turkish, was made famous in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. According to the Iliad, it was here that the legendary Trojan War took place. Today, it is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey. Drive by Mount Ida, home of the legendary Idaean cave. Here, baby Zeus is believed to have been born and concealed from his father Cronus. We arrive at Pergamum* and visit the Acropolis. Perched atop a high steep-sided hill, the great temples and dramatic theater here are visible from anywhere in the city. Pergamum was one of the main cultural centers of the Greek world and has been well-preserved, still reflecting its former majesty. We then take a drive to the beautiful resort town of Kusadasi, where we enjoy a two-night stay at the Charisma Deluxe Hotel.

Overnight: Charisma Deluxe Hotel, Kusadasi (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 05: Kusadasi/Ephesus/Sirince/Kusadasi

A comfortable drive brings us to the age-old city of Ephesus*, once a trade center of the ancient world and, later, a religious center of early Christianity. The structures found here are a reminder of the city’s former status as a major port in the ancient Mediterranean. There is nothing like standing on the stage of the amphitheater where John of Ephesus (or of Asia) spoke to the Ephesians. We then walk to the ancient library where scholars studied. The Library of Celsus, which was reconstructed out of its original pieces, was built in 125 BC by Julius Aquila, and held over 12,000 scrolls, making it the largest library in the Mediterranean. We also explore the 2000-year-old plumbing system, which is more sophisticated than what we have in many parts of the world today. After our exploration, we have the opportunity to discover and understand the rich history behind local handicrafts such as hand-made carpets and leather. Continue to Sirince, where we experience the lifestyle of one of the most beautiful villages in Turkey.  The Orthodox Christian Greeks who lived here during the Ottoman Empire were famed for their wine making. Muslim Turks who moved here from Thessaloniki in 1924 restarted wine making using local fruits. We will have the opportunity to savour the delicious wines of the village before returning to Kusadasi. Dinner at our hotel. (B, D)

Day 06: Kusadasi/Hierapolis/Pamukkale (Drive)

Celsus Library, Ephesus, Izmir, Turkey

Driving alongside scenic cotton farms, we head for Pamukkale – home to the magnificent Hierapolis*.  The Greeks believed that this ancient city, was founded by the god Apollo. It was famed for its sacred hot springs, whose vapors were associated with Pluto, god of the underworld. Hierapolis was also mentioned by Paul in his Letter to Colossians in the Bible. Today, Hierapolis is a World Heritage Site. We will also have the opportunity to swim in the thermal pools, with views of ancient artifacts and the spectacular white terraces of the Pamukkale lime cascade.  The extraordinary terraces here are created when water from the hot springs loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slopes, leaving deposits of limestone. The layers of white calcium carbonate, built up in steps on the plateau, gave the site the name Pamukkale ("cotton castle").

Overnight: Doga Thermal Hotel & Spa, Pamukkale (1 night) (B, D)

Day 07: Pamukkale/Koycegiz/Fethiye (Drive)

A different activity today as we drive to the lakeside town of Koycegiz and embark on a boat cruise, spending the day relaxing, sunbathing, and swimming in the deep turquoise waters. Our first stop is Turtle Beach. Surrounded by salt water on one side and fresh water on the other, this beach is one of the last breeding grounds of the local sea turtles, and delightfully undeveloped. Next, we visit the rejuvenating mud baths and thermal springs of Dalyan, which have attracted celebrities such as Dustin Hoffman, Sting, and David Bowie, to name a few. The mud baths here are said to help with rheumatism, lower back pain, and sciatica. What’s more, sulfur in the mud bath may help prevent wrinkles. It is said that the Egyptian queen Cleopatra also had a mud bath at Dalyan and even owed her beauty to these baths. Dinner is at our hotel in Fethiye where we have two nights at our boutique hotel. Fethiye town is a popular stop for visitors to Turkey.

Overnight: Marina Boutique Hotel, Fethiye (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 08: Fethiye

Resplendently attired juice vendor, Turkey

Following our morning meal, we explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy, which literally translates to "rock town". At one time, Kayakoy was a thriving village. However, it became a ghost town when the Greek Christians who lived here were expelled in 1923 following the end of the Greco-Turkish War. Afternoon, we drive to Oludeniz, where we will have an opportunity to swim. Ölüdeniz, which means "dead sea", was named due to the stillness of its waters. With its sheltered, turquoise blue lagoon beside a lush national park, a long spit of sandy beach and Baba Dağ (Mt. Baba) casting its shadow across the sea, it is an incredibly scenic location. (B)

Day 09: Fethiye/Demre/Antalya (Drive)

After breakfast, we drive to Demre, from where we get into our boat to visit the sunken city of Kekova. The ancient Lycian settlement we see under the water here was partly overtaken by the sea due to an earthquake that occurred during the 2nd century. If the weather conditions prevent a visit to the sunken city, we visit St. Nicholas Church, an ancient Roman basilica. Afterwards, we continue on to Antalya.

Overnight: B. W. Khan Hotel, Antalya (1 night) (B, D)

Day 10: Antalya/Aspendos/Konya/Cappadocia (Drive)

An early departure for Konya, another highlight for all visitors to Turkey. We stop en route at the ancient Aspendos Theater, one of the best preserved theaters of the Roman times. The theater has a capacity of 15,000 people and is still used today for performances and festivals. Next to the stage, we find a small room which houses masks and clay tickets from ancient times. Just above the theater, there is an acropolis with a great view of the river from the top. From here, we can see a basilica, an agora, a nymphaeum and a bouleuterion (council), all from ancient times. At Konya, we visit the convent of the Whirling Dervishes and the tomb of Mevlana Jalaludin Rumi, who died here on December 17, 1273. Born in Balkh, Afghanistan, Rumi remains one of the world’s most well-read poets. He wrote his famous six-volume poem The Mathnavi of Jalaludiin Rumi in Persian. Rumi was a Sufi mystic who would get lost in trance and dance, sometimes spinning like a top for hours on end. His belief was that there were many ways to God. During Rumi’s life, and since his death, pilgrims have come to Konya from all over the world to visit his final resting place. Today, Rumi's tomb is Turkey's second most-visited tourist attraction after the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Truly a serene experience here before we continue on to Cappadocia. En route, we see a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai. At Cappadocia, we enjoy a two-night stay.

Overnight: Crown Plaza Nevsehir Hotel, Cappadocia (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 11: Cappadocia

Aerial view of a hot air balloon flying over the Dovecote Valley, as seen from a hot air balloon, Cappadocia, Nevsehir, Turkey

Early morning, take part in an optional hot-air balloon tour (extra charge). Rest of the day is filled with an excursion to Cappadocia*, including a visit to the Kaymakli Underground City. In the Byzantine period, increasing invasions forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes. Now, more than a hundred underground settlements are found in this region. At the Open Air Museum in Göreme Valley, we will see the region's best collection of painted cave-churches. Medieval orthodox Christian monks carved the caves from the soft volcanic stone and decorated them with elaborate Byzantine frescoes between 1000 and 1200 AD. Afterwards, we continue on to Uchisar. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Byzantine army took advantage of the natural elevation of three of the area's rock formations and used them as natural fortresses. Optional tour which includes a Turkish folk show with dinner is available tonight (extra charge). (B)

Day 12: Cappadocia/Ankara/Safranbolu (Drive)

Morning, we depart for Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Here, we visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk and its Museum. This is the final resting place of the remains of Mustafa Kamal Pasha, the national hero who founded the modern Republic of Turkey. He is known as Ataturk, or the Father of the Turks. The huge hall, lined in red marble, has simple mosaic decorations recalling the many ages and civilizations of Turkey. Within the museum, a number of Ataturk's personal belongings are also exhibited, including clothes that he wore and gifts presented to him by visiting foreign dignitaries. We continue to picturesque Safranbolu.

Overnight: Imren Lokum Konagi Hotel, Safranbolu (1 night) (B, D)

Day 13: Safranbolu/Istanbul (Drive)

After breakfast, visit the old town of Safranbolu*. Once an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route, this town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322. During its apogee in the 17th century, Safranbolu's architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire. We have free time to wander through the narrow lanes of the old town, walk up to the castle and clock tower for a panoramic view and taste fine samples of Turkish delights. Afterwards, we drive to Istanbul, where we visit the Grand Bazaar. This site is one of the largest covered markets in the world, with 60 lanes and 5,000 shops. It is well known for its jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops.

Overnight: Kent (Old City) Hotel, Istanbul (1 night) (B)

Day 14: Depart Istanbul

Check out time is by 1100 hrs. Transfer to Ataturk Airport (IST)** for our departure flight. Please be advised that departure transfer to IST airport is via the hotel’s shuttle and is only available at 0900 hrs and 1300 hrs. For those departing after 1300 hours, a private transfer is available at US$ 50 per person, based on a minimum of 2 people. (B)

** For those departing from Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), a surcharge of US$ 50 per person per transfer will apply, based on a minimum of two people.

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Departure Dates & Prices

We accept payments in US$, CA$ as well as in other convertible currencies like EUR, AUD and GBP. Tour prices have been costed in US$. CA$ price shown below is an indicative amount reached at by using the conversion rate at the time of web posting and will be applicable if there is no change in the conversion rate. Should the currency conversion rate change, the US$ pricing will prevail. Bestway Tours & Safaris offers a conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here

2022 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 01; Feb 05; Mar 19; Apr 09, 16 & 30; May 07, 14 & 28; Jun 04, 11, 18 & 25; Jul 02, 09, 16, 23 & 30; Aug 06, 13 & 27; Sep 03, 10, 17 & 24; Oct 01, 08, 15 & 22; Nov 05; Dec 17 US$ 1715 US$ 955 - -
Supplement for travel between Apr 01 and Oct 31, 2022 US$ 165
2023 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 07; Feb 04; Mar 18 US$ 1715 US$ 955 - -
2022 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 01; Feb 05; Mar 19; Apr 09, 16 & 30; May 07, 14 & 28; Jun 04, 11, 18 & 25; Jul 02, 09, 16, 23 & 30; Aug 06, 13 & 27; Sep 03, 10, 17 & 24; Oct 01, 08, 15 & 22; Nov 05; Dec 17 CA$ 2230 CA$ 1242 - -
Supplement for travel between Apr 01 and Oct 31, 2022 CA$ 215
2023 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 07; Feb 04; Mar 18 CA$ 2230 CA$ 1242 - -


Notes

1) Transfer costs have been based on using Ataturk International Airport. For those arriving at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, a surcharge of US$ 50 per person per transfer will apply, based on a minimum of two people.
2) Departure transfer hotel/airport on the last day of the tour will be provided by hotel shuttle at 0900 hrs and 1300 hrs.  Any other departure time or transferring on a private basis will be subject to a surcharge of US$ 50 per person based on a minimum of two people.


Inclusions


Tour Price Includes
  • Accommodation as mentioned or similar, including hotel taxes
  • 21 Meals as mentioned (B=Breakfast, D=Dinner)
  • All sightseeing, transfers and activities as per itinerary
  • Services of local English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary
Not Included
  • Any airfares
  • Insurance/visas
  • Tips/gratuities

Participants

This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 28 participants

Customised Itinerary

If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.

Contact Info
You may e-mail us at bestway@bestway.com or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.

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