Treasures of Turkey

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with us.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


What's Included

  • English-speaking local tour leader.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Istanbul; Anatolian Civilisation Museum in Ankara; Göreme Open Air museum; Mevlana's Mausoleum in Konya; Antalya’s theatre at Aspendos; Simena Castle, Lycian city of Phaselis; Xanthos; Kayakoy; Agzikarahan Caravanserai; underground city of Derinkuyu; Cappadocia; Pamukkale and Hierapolis; Ephesus; and Troy.
  • Walks in ‘Love Valley’, Kizilcukur (Red Valley), Pasabaglari Valley and Ihlara Valley.
  • Day boat cruise on the Turquoise coast including a delicious local lunch.
  • Visit to the battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
  • Arrival transfer (from Istanbul's Ataturk airport IST)

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals


  • Boat
  • Private aircon bus


  • 14 nights Comfortable hotel


  • 14 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch


Breakfasts - Breakfasts in Turkey are quite different to what you might expect in your own country. A typical Turkish breakfast generally consists of tea/coffee, bread, butter, jam and/or honey, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese/feta, yogurt, fruit juice and in some cases boiled eggs and cold meats.


Cruise the Turquoise Coast

Explore the Turquoise Coast cruising past sheltered coves and beautiful bays, with authentic, delicious food prepared onboard by locals. Look out for some ancient houses submerged under the clear water and enjoy a swim straight off the boat!


International flights, departure transfer, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed (lunches and dinners), any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.


  • Cappadocia - Hamam - traditional Turkish bath
    20 Euro
  • Cappadocia - Hot-Air Balloon flight
    1 hour - 150 Euros cash, 165 Euros credit card
  • Goreme - Half Day Cooking Class
    from 50 Euros


Visas and Permits


Australians, Americans, British and Canadians require a visa for Turkey. New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Turkey. For all other nationalities, please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent of the nearest Turkish Consulate or Embassy. Please note that the process for obtaining a visa for Turkey is due to change on 10 April, 2014. For travellers due to arrive in Turkey on or before 9 April, 2014, the following will apply: Both Single and Multiple entry visas are available on arrival and are payable in cash in either US dollars, Euros, or Pounds Sterling in exact change (travellers’ cheques and credit cards are not accepted). At the time of writing, the cost of a single-entry visa is EUR 45 or US$60 for Australians and Canadians and EUR 15, $20 or GBP 10 for British and US Citizens. Please note that these amounts may change without notice.

For travellers due to arrive in Turkey on or after 10 April, 2014, the following will apply: Visas will no longer be available to obtain on arrival; an e-visa must be obtained before you go. Please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for all the information you need to obtain an e-visa.


Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

U.S. Department of State

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.


Every Imaginative traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.


Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.


Vaccination requirements do change, but generally you do not need vaccinations on this trip.

If vaccinations are required, do not leave them until the last minute. Some should be received at least a month before departure. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information.

For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we strongly recommend Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics to obtain the most up-to-date advice on health risks and vaccinations (see www.traveldoctor.com.au for locations and detailed vaccine information or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel. Travellers living outside Australia and New Zealand will need to consult a similar organisation in their own country (please ask your travel agent for recommendations), but can still access the following link for information: www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport.

Carry your Certificate

You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.


We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy, traveller's cheques and credit card. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.


General Packing List

Remember - the lighter you travel the better! A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this holiday. It is recommended that you keep your luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option.

When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Bear in mind that the weather will vary significantly from place to place. Laundry facilities are available in some destinations.
Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.

  • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars




Turkey’s currency is the Yeni Türk Lirasý (New Turkish Lira; YTL). The lira comes in coins of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kuruþ and a 1 lira coin, and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 lira.

Exchange rates

Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money


You can use ATMs to take Turkish lira from your Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus or Maestro card. Use ATMs which show these logos. ATMs are available in most large towns and most offer instructions in English. Remember to draw out money in larger towns to tide you over when travelling through smaller villages which may not have them. Your tour leader can offer advice on this. US dollars and euros are the easiest currencies to change; however some large banks and exchange office also accept UK pounds. It may be difficult to change Australian dollars and Canadian dollars except for in large banks in major cities. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are accepted by many hotels, shops and restaurants; although at pensions and local restaurants you are best to have cash. Cash advances at banks and ATMs is possible on credit cards; however please note that American Express credit cards are not widely accepted. Traveller’s cheques are usually a burden to change and you will often be charged a premium to do so. Instead we recommend you take a combination of cards and cash.

Spending Money

Clients are responsible for expenses (e.g. meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but that may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Other costs to consider are tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short! It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies, which could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and reimbursement will be made later by your insurance company. This is the situation where having a credit card may be useful.

For meals not included in the itinerary, we recommend around 15-20 Turkish Lira (TYR) for a light lunch and around 25-30 TYR for dinner (not including drinks)

On top of this, you should carry extra for drinks, shopping and any optional activities that may be offered during your trip.

Airport Taxes


In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. The departure tax for Turkey is included in your air ticket.


Tipping is a part of life in Turkey and although not compulsory, it is customary to tip service providers. Over the years we have found that most of our customers find this constant need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if you don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a very successful tipping kitty system. At the beginning of the tour, your tour leader will suggest collecting a set amount from each tour member. He/she will then distribute all tips along the way, on behalf of the group, to the local guides, porters and anyone else who provides services along the way. We have surveyed thousands of our previous clients and the vast majority clearly prefers this procedure. We hope that this system will also work for you. The amount will vary from trip to trip, but it usually works out to be about the equivalent of 5 Turkish Lira (2 Euro) per person per day. If you are out on your own, for example at a restaurant, you should also leave a tip for the waiter.

Please note that the tipping kitty will NOT include a gratuity for your tour leader.

Tips for leaders and drivers are greatly appreciated, and at your discretion, as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your holiday. We are often asked whether it is appropriate to tip the local leader and driver and what a reasonable amount might be. Although we have considered including such tips in the overall trip cost, we have again and again come back to the belief that recognition for meaningful service is a personal matter. If you feel that your leader and driver have provided an exceptional trip experience, tips are encouraged and appropriate at the trip end. The amount is at your discretion. They work hard for you and if you are happy with their service it is appropriate to tip them as well. Appropriate tipping amounts are 7-12 Turkish Lira (3-5 Euros) per person/ per day for your tour leader and 5 Turkish Lira (2 Euro) per person per day for your driver.


On arrival

Please ensure that Peregrine has been advised of your correct flight details into Istanbul by either yourself or your travel agent at least 5 weeks before you travel. If you are arriving into Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST) a transfer guide (or our local representative) holding a Peregrine sign will be there to meet you and transfer you to your hotel.

Please note: arrival transfers are only included for arrivals into International Ataturk Airport (IST), if you are arriving into Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) you will need to make your own way into Istanbul or book an arrival transfer.

If you cannot see your Peregrine representative, please call our local operator (details on your itinerary) for assistance.

Please note that hotel rooms are generally only available after 1pm, so if you are arriving early we recommend you book accommodation for the night before.

After checking in at the hotel, please have a look at the Peregrine noticeboard at the hotel lobby offering suggestions for things to see and do. There are no formal activities planned, but there will be a Welcome Meeting with your tour leader and fellow travellers on the evening of Day 1 (please check the noticeboard for exact time of the meeting).

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room is available after midday, and check-out is usually around 10 am. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning with prior request, but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive early in the morning, you may have to wait until a room becomes available. If arriving early or departing late, we suggest that you book an extra night's accommodation which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. All rooms have private facilities wherever possible. In Europe, it is common to have a bathtub equipped with a hand-held shower nozzle instead of a wall-mounted shower head. If you request a double bed, please keep in mind that European double beds are often two twin beds that have been pushed together. Also note that single rooms are often smaller than double rooms, although they cost more per person. Single room availability is limited. Make your reservations early during the busy season, as rooms in cities book well in advance. The hotels we utilise in Europe tend to fall within the 2 to 3 official star rating of the country being visited. We never contract 4 or 5 star properties and some smaller pensions and guesthouses may not have a star rating. Our properties are chosen for their good locations, smaller size and if possible 'family-run' nature.

Photo etiquette

If you want to take someone's photograph, please ask first . This is just normal courtesy and if you are refused permission please abide by that person's wishes. At certain ancient sites, and in most museums, photography (video or still) may be forbidden, or may incur an extra charge for camera-use. Do not take photos of buildings, structures and personnel of potential military significance (including airports, bridges, army barracks, and police stations).

Flexibility and patience

Travelling with us can provide you with some really rewarding travel experiences. Our tours visit countries where travel modes and lifestyles are often not as sophisticated as our own. There is also a laid-back attitude amongst workers and there will often seem to be huge amounts of red tape and bureaucracy when doing the simplest things. You will enjoy your trip much more if you slip into the rhythm of local life and are prepared to take things as they come.

A word on drugs

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.


Turkish History

Being at the centre of two continents, Turkish history has gone through many transformations. If you don't have a background knowledge we recommend that you have a quick read through a basic introduction to Turkish history. It will help you get more out of your trip. Most good guide books include a concise version

Emergency Contact

In the case of an on ground issue or problem, Peregrine's Turkey Office can be reached on: +90 532 641 2822

Railway works Istanbul

As of 01 Feb 2012, all train services to and from Istanbul have been cancelled due to major works on the train line. The railways are being replaced with a high speed rail lines and this construction will take 2 years. This means the tour will no longer include the overnight rail service from Istanbul to Ankara on the evening of Day 2. Instead the group will take a private bus from Istanbul to Ankara at around midday on Day 2 and spend the evening of Day 2 in Ankara.

Anzac Day departure 12 April 2014

Please note the special Anzac day departure which includes the Dawn service at Gallipoli on Anzac day will run to a slightly revised on itinerary.  The night before Anzac Day instead of staying in Çanakkale we will stay in Eceabat  and take a very early morning ferry across the Dardenelles and drive to Gallipoli for the Dawn Service.


Ramadan occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is an exciting (and at times, frustrating) time to travel in Turkey and the Middle East. In the evening there is a celebratory atmosphere as people break their fast, and to witness all this is a real highlight. However, during the day, people must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity, so if you encounter someone who is a bit grumpy, be sympathetic! Tourists sites are generally unaffected although some places may close early, but your leader will plan around this. Most hotels bars and tourist restaurants will remain open. Overall, Ramadan is a really interesting time to visit Turkey and the Middle East, although you do need to be flexible, sympathetic and sensitive. In 2013, Ramadan will start on 9th July and finish on 7th August.

 Please note that there is a luggage limit for this trip of one piece per person (a carry-on bag is in addition to this), no more than 20kgs.


Treasures of Turkey

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days



Minimum Passengers

6 people


Maximum Passengers

15 people


Countries Visited



Start City

End City





Day 1: Arrive Istanbul

Accommodation: Hotel Golden Horn or similar, Istanbul

If arriving at Istanbul's Atakurk International Airport (IST) you will be met and transferred to your starting hotel. If arriving at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) airport please make your own way to the hotel (unless you have booked a transfer). As today is an arrival day, there is no formal sightseeing planned. Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world, with a history spanning thousands of years. It has been through several incarnations, firstly as Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Istanbul. The city today is bustling and its streets are crowded with locals busily going about their daily lives. If you arrive early enough, you can wander and absorb the vibrancy of this exciting city that links Europe and Asia. In the evening there will be a Welcome Meeting (please check noticeboard for exact time) held in the hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and fellow travel companions.

Day 2: Istanbul - Ankara

Accommodation: Akyüz or similar, Ankara

Meals included: 1 breakfast

This morning our guide introduces us to the treasure trove of the historic old town. We visit the iconic 17th century Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I and a unique piece of architecture because of its six minarets rather than the usual four found across the rest of the Muslim world. Another striking feature is its 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. The ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II are also visited. At around midday , we farewell Istanbul and take a private minibus to Ankara, Turkey's capital, where we spend the evening.

Day 3: Ankara - Cappadocia - Goreme

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Heybe Hotel or Cinar Hotel or similar, Cappadocia

We spend the morning visiting the Anatolian Civilisation Museum of Ankara exhibiting a rich collection of archeological objects found during excavations in Anatolia. We then depart in our minibus for a four hour journey to Cappadocia. We travel through the Anatolian landscape via a salt lake (tuz gölü), one of the richest salt beds in the world. Approximately 300,000 tons of salt per year (60% of total salt production in Turkey) is produced by this lake. Before arriving to Göreme in the heart of Cappadocia we stop to visit 13th century Agzikarahan Caravanserai, which was built by the Seljuk sultan, Alaettin Keykubad I. 'Caravanserais,' were developed along old trade routes to provide shelters and protection to nomadic traders. These centuries-old buildings were built of stone and housed Caravaneers and their cargos plus their horses, donkeys and even camels as they made their way along the old Silk Road trading route that stretched all the way from China.Don't forget to pack sturdy, well worn in, walking shoes or boots and a comfy daypack . We end the day at our hotel in Goreme.

Day 4: Cappadocia - Goreme

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Heybe Hotel or Cinar Hotel or similar, Cappadocia

This morning we visit the Göreme Open Air museum: The people of Göreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realised that the soft rocks of the area could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. This Christian sanctuary contains many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from the 10th - 12th centuries. There are several Byzantine cave chapels to explore, most of them decorated with exquisite and colourful biblical frescoes. In the afternoon we discover the local handcraft of the region and visit a carpet workshop, a tradition that reveals the nomadic origins of the Turkish people. Later in the afternoon we embark on a short walk through the unusual 'Love Valley' before heading back to our hotel in Goreme. There is the option of enjoying a traditional Turkish bath to unwind from the day's activities.

Day 5: Cappadocia - Goreme

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Heybe Hotel or Cinar Hotel or similar, Cappadocia

After a relaxing breakfast we take a walk toward Kizilcukur (Red Valley), where its magnificently sculptured, red rock formations have created arguably the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia. Small valleys, cones, peaks and fairy chimneys blend harmoniously with fascinating cave chapels that date back to the early Christian period. In the afternoon we drive to the unique Pasabaglari Valley, where multiple fairy chimneys hewn from the earth and shaped by centuries of erosion lend a moon-like landscape and atmosphere to the valley. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit's shelter are built into one of the fairy chimneys, which appears to have three heads! We walk today for a total of about three hours. In the afternoon we will take the opportunity to discover the local handcraft of pottery. Returning to Goreme, we have a night at leisure. We may have an opportunity to attend a folk dance show or witness an original Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance.performance.

Day 6: Ihlara - Konya

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Bera Mevlana or similar, Konya

We start the morning with a visit to the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu, with some dwellings containing rooms expanding seven levels beneath ground level

For early birds, there is the possibility of rising before dawn to take an awe-inspiring optional hot-air balloon ride over the 'other-worldly' Cappadocia landscape and witness an amazing sunrise in the process. Those preferring a more leisurely start to the day can relax over breakfast before leaving the fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia behind and driving to the village of Belisirma in the Valley of Ihlara on the slopes of Mount Hasan, one of the volcanos responsible for the forming of Cappadocia. From here we embark on a wonderful walk along the Melendiz River and experience traditional village life, as we walk through the beautiful Ihlara Valley to Ihlara village. There are dozens of Byzantine cave chapels to explore along the way and most of them are decorated with exquisite biblical frescoes (1.5 hour walk). We then leave the area of Cappadocia behind and drive to Konya, our stop for the night. Please note that Konya is a very religious town, so it is best that we dress conservatively during our time here.

Day 7: Aspendos - Antalya

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Khan Hotel or similar, Antalya

Konya, known as 'Iconium' in Roman times, was also the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the 12th to 13th Centuries and home of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who founded a mystic Sufi order popularly known as the 'Whirling Dervishes'. We visit Mevlana's Mausoleum and the museum housing manuscripts of his works, as well as various artefacts relating to the mystic sect that he founded. We then take a five hour drive to the coastal city of Antalya one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey. A highlight here is the beautifully preserved theatre at Aspendos - one of the finest in the ancient world.

Day 8: Antalya - Phaselis - Kas

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Linda Hotel , Maki Hotel or similar, Kas

After breakfast we stop at the Lycian city of Phaselis, which was founded in the 7th Century BC and flourished as a commercial trading centre where anything could be bought and sold, including citizenships for 100 drachmas! The Phaselians were more concerned about preserving the affluence of their commerce than with staking any political independence, so they pragmatically accepted any conquerors that came their way. The city thrived until the 12th Century when it was superceded in importance by the nearby ports of Antalya and Alanya. The beauty of Phaselis is in its picture postcard setting. It is built around three small bays, each with its own beach, surrounded by fragrant woods and mountains. We continue on to the beautiful seaside village of Kas (pronounced 'karsh'). This has charming whitewashed houses graced with bougainvilleas as well as an ancient Greek theatre. This fishing village is a wonderful place to sample the local cuisine and we have a two nights here to soak up the atmosphere in the quaint town centre.

Day 9: Kekova Boat Cruise - Kas

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Linda Hotel , Maki Hotel or similar, Kas

This morning we drive to Kekova, where we will board our local boat for a relaxing cruise through a series of peaceful and picturesque islands, all with very distinctive rock formations. Look out for some ancient houses that are submerged under the clear water! On board we are cooked a home made Turkish meal by our host family for the day. Our cruise also takes us to the settlement of Ucagiz and also the quaint village of Simena, with its stone houses covered in bougainvilleas. We can enjoy a spectacular view from the castle. We also sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets, where we have the opportunity to enjoy a swim off our boat. All in all a day of relaxation and beautiful vistas. We return to Kas for the evening.

Day 10: Fethiye

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Atapark Hotel or similar, Fethiye

This morning we visit the Lycian site of Xanthos, which was once the capital city of the Lycian Federation. Because of its remoteness, Xanthos is usually not overcrowded with tourists and the place has retained a tranquil atmosphere. We continue from here through pine trees and over a mountain, which commands breathtaking views, before arriving at the Greek ghost town of Kayakoy. It was a thriving township with a population of 3,500 until 1923 when Ataturk instituted the exchange program with Greece, where itinerant Greek and Turkish populations were repatriated to country of origin. Kayakoy is seemingly an instant, became a derelict town and was further destroyed by ensuing earthquakes. Today, only a few Turkish families inhabit houses at the bottom of the town's rolling hills and the whole place has a marvelously eerie feel. We have time to relax and enjoy the area before driving to the culturally rich town of Fethiye, situated on a bay surrounded by pine forests and full of islands. We have a free evening to enjoy a meal and the views from a waterfront restaurant.

Day 11: Pamukkale

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Tripolis or similar, Pamukkale

After breakfast this morning we drive to Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle' and a truly unique sight. This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming a myriad of pools and terraces. As the water overflows from the pools, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with hot spring waters that supposedly have healing properties for a person's circulation and digestive systems. Close to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, which was founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC and by the 2nd Century AD it had become an important Roman bath centre. The extensive ruins of Hierapolis are well worth exploring and include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. We spend our night in a hotel in Pamukkale.

Day 12: Ephesus - Selçuk

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hitit Hotel or similar, Selcuk

After breakfast we make an early start for a drive of about four hours to Selçuk, which is our base for visiting Ephesus - one of the best-preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean and a great example of Roman architecture. We drive to Ephesus, possibly the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world and definitely a highlight of your trip! Always an important religious centre, Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th Century BC and flourished under Roman rule. The Greeks replaced the cult of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with Artemis and built a fabulous temple in her honour. With the arrival of the Romans, it became the Temple of Diana and was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. We visit the vast amphitheatre, walk the marble street once trodden by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and wonderfully restored Library of Celsus. An orientation tour familiarises us with Selçuk, a sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill. Those who wish can take an option visit to the last home of the Virgin Mary, who as legend states came here accompanied by St John and lived out her days in this beautiful spot. We spend the night in a hotel in Selçuk and have a chance to reflect and fully comprehend the history and splendour of our days discoveries.

Day 13: Selçuk - Troy - Çanakkale

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Grand Anzac or similar, Canakkale

Early this morning, after breakfast we begin the drive to Çanakkale, located on the shores of the Dardanelles, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea and touches both Europe (with the Gelibolu Peninsula) and Asia (with the Biga Peninsula). On the way, we visit an important historical site near Çanakkale, Troy. Troy (Truva) was a city that existed over 4.000 years ago and was known as a major ancient civilization. For many years people believed that it was the city mentioned only in the tales and never truly existed, as the area had become known as Ilium, or New Ilium. Archaeological digs subsequently proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement. (3000 BC-AD 400) on what became accepted as the site of ancient Troy. Each successive period of habitation lies on top of its former incarnation. Here we can see the remnants of the ancient city walls in addition to a replica of the famous wooden horse. Historian's are still at odds as to whether or not this fable or indeed the battle itself is stuff of lore or reality. Arriving in Çanakkale where we have the remainder of the day free to wander around this vibrant waterfront town and perhaps view the Trojan horse used and subsequently gifted to the city by the producers of the movie Troy filmed in 2004.

Day 14: Gallipoli - Istanbul

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Golden Horn or similar, Istanbul

We cross the Dardanelles and return to 'Europe,' and visit the Gallipoli Peninsula - a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealander's. Located at Turkey's most westerly point this area is now serene, but the role it played in April 1915 during the First World War is now firmly etched on the psyche of the New Zealand and Australian nations. We visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill to pay homage at the poignant memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. The latter the highest ground secured in the campaign on the 8th of August, 1915 (by New Zealand and British troops) before being beaten back due to lack of reinforcement. From the Ataturk Memorial at this spot we can view the Allied troops goal - the Dardenelles. We can look down upon the rough and barren hills and gulleys that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Around this area we can find remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. After touring the former battlefields we head back to where our adventure began - Istanbul. We will arrive back in Istanbul in the late afternoon or early evening and the remainder of the evening is free. This unique city that is built embracing two continents (Europe and Asia), is a great place to spend our final night together, indulging in a true feast for the senses!

Day 15: End Istanbul

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Our journey ends after breakfast, in Istanbul. For those wishing to further explore this intriguing city, additional nights' accommodation can be booked here.


The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!


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Last Updated

14 April 2014

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