Ottoman is not Just a Footstool Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GETO
Trip valid from : 01/01/2014
Trip valid until : 30/06/2015
Trip length : 15
Trip starts in : Istanbul
Trip ends in : Istanbul
Maximum group size : maximum 16


  • The First World War history of Gallipoli
  • Take a bite out of Istanbul
  • The surreal rock formations and valleys of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cappadocia
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed pools and terraces of Pamukkale
  • Underground city of Derinkuyu

Start in Istanbul before heading off to explore Gallipoli, Eceabat and Ayvalik (think cobblestones and cafes).  Next up you’ve got Selcuk, Pamukkale and Fethiye for amazeballs Greco-Roman ruins, healing pools and beach. Sail the Turquoise Coast (literally TURQUOISE). Head to Antalya and Cappadocia for penis-shaped rocks (among other things) then head back to Istanbul via more villages, valleys and awesomeness.In the Ottoman Empire, condemned government officials who were sentenced to death could run for their lives. Literally. They were allowed to challenge their executioner to a foot race from the palace to the Fish Market Gate. If they made it before the executioner, they would be banished instead of executed. Too bad if you forgot your runners.




Check out the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome (sadly, there’s no actual hippos here). Your hotel is right in the thick of the action so you won’t have to walk far for your first kebab of the trip.Day 1Arrive in Istanbul and perhaps visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice MarketMeet the tour guide and fellow travel companions at an evening welcome meetingHead out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafeDay 2Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the iconic Blue Mosque and the HippodromeExplore under your own steam in the afternoonPerhaps barter for a bargain, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus (optional) or indulge in a traditional Turkish hamam (optional)


Gallipoli - Eceabat - Ayvalik

Drive to Gallipoli and wander around the famous battlefields - it's hard not to feel moved. Take a ferry across the Dardanelles to Canakkale. Optional trip out to Troy, Brad Pitt’s long gone but it’s still worth a visit.Day 3Take a bus to the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New ZealandersCross the Dardanelles by ferry to accommodation in ÇanakkaleDay 4Optional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient ruinsTake an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes


Selcuk - Pamukkale - Fethiye

Meet the locals on a bus to Selcuk. Walk in Cleopatra’s footsteps at the Greco-Roman site of Ephesus. Then find out why the hot spring city of Pamukkale is known as 'cotton castle'.Day 5Take a local bus to SelçukOn arrival we explore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the worldWalk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of CelsusDay 6Travel to Pamukkale with its natural pools, shelves and ridgesPerhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structuresDay 7Head for the coast and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz, described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'Plenty of time to enjoy a swim at the three-kilometre-long beach


Turquoise Coast

The sunken city of Kekova Island sits just under the surface of the water. Did you know the colour turquoise was named after Turkey? This is why.Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast and view some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the worldCruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island from where remains of mysterious civilisations can be viewedWalk up to nearby Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islandsPerhaps explore some of the numerous Lycian rock tombsSpend some time on the azure waters of the Mediterranean SeaSwim and explore the natural and historical sites along the wayIndulge in feasts before being lulled to sleep by Mediterranean breezes


Cirali - Antalya - Cappadocia

It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya (unless your finger is over the lens) thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina and the Taurus mountains in the distance. Head to Zencefil café for a karniyarik -roasted eggplant split down the middle and stuffed with chopped beef, onions, tomatoes and spices.Day 10Disembark the boat in Uçagiz and head to AntalyaStop by Olympos en route and see the flames of ChimeraPress on to the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of PhaselisDay 11Take a local bus to CappadociaStay and explore Cappadocia for the next three nights



Penis-shaped rocks, fairy chimneys and underground cities. Cappadocia’s got it all.Day 12Drive to the top of the trail at the beginning of the Akvadi (White Valley)Walk amongst fruit gardens and vineyardsArrive in Uçhisar and visit the village and high viewpoint known as The FortressTake a stroll in Pigeon Valley before heading back to GöremeEnjoy free time to experience Göreme’s nightlifePerhaps attend a traditional Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performanceDay 13Visit the underground city of Derinkuyu – a marvel that descends 60m below the surface


Cappadocia - Istanbul

Go eight floors underground at Derinkuyu – one of Cappadocia’s 36 underground cities. Take the bus to Istanbul and celebrate your arrival back in Europe with a fresh fish roll on the Galata bridge.Day 14Drive to the start of Pasabaglari (Priest Valley) and follow a trail to the picturesque village of CavusinWalk through Kizilcukur (Red Valley)Take an overnight bus back to IstanbulDay 15The trip ends upon arrival in Istanbul (between 6am and 7am).


While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.



Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.


Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures


  • Expert English-speaking local tour guide.
  • Visit to the battlefields, monuments and cemeteries of Gallipoli.
  • Boat trip on the Turquoise Coast, sleeping under the stars on a comfortable mattress on the boat deck.
  • Time at the natural pools, shelves and ridges of Pammukale.
  • Walks in the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia including: Akvadi (White Valley), Pigeon Valley, Pasabaglari (Priest Valley) and Kizilçukur (Red Valley).
  • Visits to one of the greatest Greco-Roman sites in the world – Ephesus; to the eternal flames of Chimeira; and to the Lycian city of Phaselis.
  • Sightseeing (ientrance fees inot included): Istanbul; underground city of Derinkuyu; Konya; and Ayvalik.


International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, entrance fees (except for Ephesus and Derinkuyu), visas, pre-tour or post-tour accommodation, additional meals (including some meals on boat), drinks, optional sightseeing tours, travel insurance, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature.


14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners


Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.


The local payment is the final part of your overall tour cost. It MUST be paid in cash, in the currency indicated, to your tour leader at the start of your trip. Having a local payment helps us to pass cost savings on to you. Please note that the Local Payment is non-refundable.


The 23 Apr 2014 departure ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 2 will be spent camping in Anzac Cove. This departure have a surcharge.

Entrance Fees

Entrance fees are not included (except for Ephesus and Derinkuyu), and are paid as you go along.

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