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Marvelous Turkey

Cultural tour of Turkey

Turkey is a unique place in the world. It is an Asian – Middle Eastern country and yet European too - a home to many world civilizations. Rich in history and culture, it is one of the few countries in the world that has to be visited, not once, but over and over again. Our Marvelous Turkey program has been specifically tailored for the first timer’s experience of Turkey.  A wonderful introduction to the Byzantine, Ottoman and Turkish land of past and present.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour
1. Historic Area of Istanbul 2. Archaeological Site of Troy
3. Pergamum 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 : 25 persons
Price (From) : US$ 1630
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 - Day excursion to Kyakov and Oludeniz
(B)
Day 09: Fethiye/Saklikent Gorge/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 our arrival at Ataturk Airport (IST), we are met and transferred to our hotel.  Balance of the day is  free to Hotel check in time starts at 1500 hrs.  According to the legend, the Delphic Oracle first instructed the Megarions to establish a city here... During the Byzantine Empire, Emperor Constantine chose this very spot as his capital, and it was here that the keys to the city were given to Mehmed the Conqueror. Every emperor and every king cherished dreams of this place. Welcome, then, to one of the most important witnesses of world history.

Overnight: Point Hotel Taksim, Istanbul (2 nights)

Day 02: Istanbul

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey

After breakfast at our hotel our exploration of this beautiful World capital starts with a guided tour of the Topkapi Palace , St. Sophia, Blue Mosque.  We are certain that you will be amazed when you discover the variety of historical monuments, including palaces, museums, cisterns, fountains and pillars which surround you on all sides. Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque – all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Here we experience the magnificence of both the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empires. The architectural secrets of these two buildings, have yet to be fully unraveled.  A trip to Istanbul is not complete without a visit to the Spice Market. The Egyptian Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı), otherwise known as the Spice Bazaar, is the place to be to lay in a fresh supply of spices, nuts, honeycomb, Turkish delight, dried figs, caviar and mature hard Turkish cheese. You will encounter Istanbul firsthand, which you may have previously only seen in films and postcards or read in history books. Evening is free. (B)

Day 03: Istanbul/Canakkale (Drive)

Take a drive into the more so contemporary history as we drive to Gallipoli. We tvisit Anzac Cove, Nek, Conk Bair, Lone Pine and 57.th Regiment Memorial as well as the War Museum.  The reason for the campaign was to break the stalemate on the Western and Eastern Front and to collaborate with the Russians to end the Ottoman Empire. It is perceived as a defining moment in the nation'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 of independence and the founding of the Republic Of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a commander at Gallipoli. The campaign is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in as far as Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing 25 April, is known as "Anzac Day". It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans.

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

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

Amphitheatre, Ephesus, Izmir, Turkey

A day drive into the ancient history as we drive to the legendary Troy - Turkish: Truva or Troya, an ancient city in northwestern Turkey, made famous in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. According to Iliad, this is where the legendary Trojan War took place.  Today, it is an archaeological site popular with travelers from all over the world. Troy is  one of the 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Turkey. Crossing the legendary mountain Ida, we arrive at Pergamum and visit Acropolis.  The Acropolis of Pergamum (Pergamon) is certainly dramatic, perched atop a high, steep-sided hill to the northeast of the modern city center.  The great temples and dramatic theater are visible from anywhere in the city, as they were meant to be.  Byzantine rule has also left its mark on Pergamum. Excavations however point to a much earlier settlement in Pergamum dating back to the Early Bronze Age.  Pergamum played a significant role in the Ancient Mediterranean stage.  We explore Pergamum with its well preserved remains before continuing to  the resort city of Kusadasi where we will stay for 2-nights.

Overnight: Ramada Suites, Kusadasi (2 nights) (B, D)

Day 05: Kusadasi/Ephesus/Sirince/Kusadasi

Whether we call it ancient or not so ancient history our next drive is to Ephesus - once, the trade centre of the ancient world, a religious centre of the early Christianity . There is nothing like standing on the stage of the amphitheater where St. John spoke to the Ephesians, walking through the ruins of the ancient library where scholars studied, and seeing 2000 years old plumbing more sophisticated than in parts of the world today. The ruins that are now visible give you some idea of the city's original composition, and the names associated with the ruins are a reminder of its former status as a major port of the ancient world. The Library of Celsus, which was reconstructed from the original pieces, was originally built in 125 BC by Julius Aquila, and held over 12,000 scrolls, making it the largest library in the Mediterranean. Then we will have the opportunity to discover and understand the rich history behind local handicrafts like hand-made carpets, leather. Continue to marvelous village of Sirince where we will visit one of the most beautiful villages in Turkey.  The Orthodox Christian Greeks who lived here during the Ottoman empire were famed for their excellence in winery. The Muslim Turks who moved here from Thessaloniki in 1924 restarted wine making using local fruits.  Taste the delicious wines of the village. (B, D)

Day 06: Kusadasi/Hierapolis/Pamukkale (Drive)

Celsus Library, Ephesus, Izmir, Turkey

After breakfast, we visit the ancient and magnificent Hierapolis - means "sacred city," and was believed to have been founded by the god, Apollo. It was famed for its sacred hot springs, whose vapors were associated with Pluto, god of the underworld. The city also had a significant Jewish community and was mentioned by Paul in his Letter to Colossians. Today Hierapolis is a World Heritage Site. In addition to interesting Classical ruins, the site offers a thermal sacred pool in which you can swim with ancient artifacts, a view of the spectacular white terraces of Pamukkale and the lime cascade. You can see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis. The extraordinary effect is 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 scenic drive to the lakeside town of Koycegiz.  Here we take a boat cruise and spend the day relaxing, sunbathing, swimming in deep turquoise waters. Turtle Beach, surrounded by salt water on one side and fresh water on the other, is one of the last breeding grounds of the Sea Turtles and therefore delightfully undeveloped. On our way to the Mud Baths, we also visit the magnificent Rock Tombs. The rejuvenating Mud Baths and Thermal springs of Dalyan have drawn in a legion of famous people over the years like Dustin Hoffman, Sting and David Bowie to name a few. We have a 2night stay in the echanting Fethiye.

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

Day 08: Fethiye - Day excursion to Kyakov and Oludeniz

Resplendently attired juice vendor, Turkey

After breakfast we explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy, which literally translates as "rock town" and was at one time a thriving populated village mot known as Levissi. Afternoon, we drive to Oludeniz, where we have an opportunity to swim.   Ölüdeniz, which means "dead sea" because of the stillness of the water, the lagoon is a nature preserve. With its sheltered (and protected) lagoon beside a lush national park, a long spit of sandy beach and Baba Dağ (Mt. Baba) casting its shadow across the sea. (B)

Day 09: Fethiye/Saklikent Gorge/Antalya (Drive)

Today we have an optional boat cruise to visit sunken city of Kekova. Kekova is the name of a region of fascinating islands, bays and ancient cities. Along the shores of the Island a sunken city is observed. The geological movements of the Island caused the city on the Island to be submerged, creating a strange scene with half of the city under water and half above. If the weather conditions donot permit us to do this visit we will visit St. Nicholas Church instead. After boat trip we continue for Antalya. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.

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

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

An early departure for Konya, stopping enroute by the ancient theatre of Aspendos, which is one of the best preserved theatres of the Roman world. The theater has a capacity of 15,000 people and is still used today for performances and festivals. Its galleries, stage decorations and acoustics all testify to its architect Xeno's success. Next to the stage there is a small room, which is used as a small museum where you can see some of the masks and clay tickets from the ancient times. Just above the theater there is the acropolis with a great view of the river from the top, where you can see a basilica, an agora, a nymphaeum and a bouleuterion (council), all of them in ruins. Upon arrival at Konya, we visit the monastery of Mervlana Jalauddin Rumi – the founder of Sufism and Whirling Dervishes. Rumi (1207-1273) is one of the world's most read poet and his mausoleum is Turkey's second most-visited tourist attraction after the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Rumi was a mystic, a Sufi saint who loved all religions, and whose own religion was also based on love. His followers would (and still do) lose themselves in trance and dance, sometimes spinning like tops for hours on end.  After visiting the Mausoleum of Mevlana, we continue  to Cappadocia via Seljuk - a fine example of surfacing over the ancient Silk Road. We have a 2night stay in Cappadocia.

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

The day starts with lots of exciting activities. An early morning optional hot-air balloon ride (extra charge).  This is followed by exploring the Kaymaklı Underground City. It's known that there are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region and many of them are not open for visits. The underground cities used to be a settlement mostly in the Byzantine period and with increasing invasions it forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious practices which were only limited to followers living in the underground city.  The Open Air Museum in the Göreme Valley holds the region's best collection of painted cave-churches. Medieval orthodox Christian monks (1000-1200 AD) carved the caves from the soft volcanic stone and decorated them with elaborate Byzantine frescoes. Natural fortress in 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. Evening, we have an optional Turkish Folklore diner show performance. (B)

Day 12: Cappadocia/Ankara/Safranbolu (Drive)

We are now coming close to the end of Marvelous Turkey but not yet so. Morning, we visit Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Here we visit Ataturk Mausoleum – a huge hall, lined in red marble, has simple mosaic decoration recalling the many ages and civilizations, this is the burial place of the national hero who founded the modern Republic of Turkey. A number of Ataturk's personal belongings are exhibited, including his clothes and gifts presented to him by visiting foreign dignitaries.  Ataturk, “Father of the Turks” played a massive role in modernizing Turkey after the end of Word War 1 and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. We head for the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Safranbolu.

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

Day 13: Safranbolu/Istanbul (Drive)

Street car on Yeni Carssi Street, Istanbul, Turkey

After breakfast we visit the old town of Safranbolu, which was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. 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. Free time to wander the narrow lanes of the old town, scramble up to the castle and clock tower for a panoramic view and  taste fine samples of Turkish Delights before continuing our drive to Istanbul. Magical Istanbul welcomes us and we visit the Grand Bazaar - the largest covered market in the world. It has over 60 lanes and 5000 shops attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Evening is free to enjoy the night life of Istanbul.

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

Day 14: Depart Istanbul

Hotel check out time is 1100 hrs.  After breakfast,  transfer to Ataturk Airport (IST) for your departure flight.  Please be advised that departure transfer to (IST airport) is provided by the hotel’s shuttle and is available at 0900 hrs and at 1300 hrs. (B)

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        
From Apr 01 - Oct 31, 2022 US$ 1715 US$ 955 - -
2023 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 7; Feb 4; Mar 18; Apr 8, 15 & 29; May 6, 13 & 27; Jun 3, 10, 17 & 24; Jul 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29; Aug 5, 12 & 26; Sep 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30; Oct 7, 14 & 21; Nov 4; Dec 16        
From Jan  01 - Mar 31, 2023 US$ 1630 US$ 850 - -
From Apr 01 - Oct 31, 2023 US$ 2050 US$ 1000 - -
From Nov 01 - Dec 31, 2023 US$ 1870 US$ 1000 - -
2024 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 6; Feb 3; Mar 16        
From Jan 01 - Mar 31, 2024 US$ 1870 US$ 1000 - -
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        
From Apr 01 - Oct 31, 2022 CA$ 2230 CA$ 1242 - -
2023 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 7; Feb 4; Mar 18; Apr 8, 15 & 29; May 6, 13 & 27; Jun 3, 10, 17 & 24; Jul 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29; Aug 5, 12 & 26; Sep 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30; Oct 7, 14 & 21; Nov 4; Dec 16        
From Jan  01 - Mar 31, 2023 CA$ 2119 CA$ 1105 - -
From Apr 01 - Oct 31, 2023 CA$ 2665 CA$ 1300 - -
From Nov 01 - Dec 31, 2023 CA$ 2431 CA$ 1300 - -
2024 Per Person on
Twin Sharing
Single Room
Supplement
Estimated Airfare (FROM)+
Departure(s) East Coast West Coast
Jan 6; Feb 3; Mar 16        
From Jan 01 - Mar 31, 2024 CA$ 2431 CA$ 1300 - -


Notes

1) Upgrade to a cave style hotel in Cappadocia is for a surcharge of USD 75 per person per night in twin/double room.
2) Transfer costs have been based on using Ataturk International Airport. For those arriving at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport a surcharge of USD 50 per person per transfer based on a minimum of two persons applies.
3) Departure transfer hotel/airport on the last day of the tour will be provided by the hotel’s shuttle, which operates at 0900 hrs and 1300 hrs.  Any other departure time or on a private basis will be subject to a surcharge of USD 50 per person based on a minimum of two persons.


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 25 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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