Turkey Golden Circle Adventure 10D/9N
On Day 1 you will be picked up at the Istanbul airport. On Day 2, you will visit Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar among other attractions. On Day 3, see more iconic sites and take a boat cruise on the Bosphorus. Tour Gallipoli on Day 4 and spend the night in Canakkale. Discover ancient Troy on Day 5 and the ruins of Ephasus and the Virgin Mary's house on Day 6. Explore the natural wonder of Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis on Day 7 before taking an overnight bus to Cappadocia. Explore the incredible rock formations of this area with guided tours on Days 8 and 9 before taking an overnight bus back to Istanbul. End your tour after arrival on Day 10 with an airport drop-off.
Day 1: Istanbul Airport Pick-up
You will be picked up upon arrival at the Istanbul airport and transferred to your accommodation. Get settled in and enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring the exciting city of Istanbul on your own. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Istanbul City Tour (B/L)
Today you will be picked up at your hotel around 8:30 a.m. for a complete city tour to the most interesting sites in Istanbul. In the morning you will visit the amazing Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Roman Hippodrome, and the Grand Bazaar. After having lunch with your group, you will continue on to see the Topkapi Palace (Harem section is extra) and the Sultan Tombs. Your tour will come to an end around 4:30 p.m. Overnight in Istanbul.
*Note: Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays, and Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
Day 3: Dolmabahce Palace & Bosphorus Cruise (B/L)
You will be picked up from your accommodation around 8-8:30 a.m. for today's tour. First we will visit Dolmabahce Palace, the historical residence of the Ottoman Sultans, full of oppulent decorations and art. The next stop is the Bezmi Alem Mosque before breaking for lunch. After lunch, we will drive by the Golden Horn with a view of the City Walls dating back to the Byzantine Era on the way to Eyup. There you will take a short cable-car ride up to Pierre Loti Hill, magnificent views of Istanbul and the Golden Horn. From here we will continue to Eminonu, where you embark on a two-hour Bosphorus Cruise. See the most impressive sights along the shores of the Bosphorus including Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Maiden´s Tower, Bosphorus Bridges, Rumeli and Anadolu fortresses, and Ottoman Residences. Overnight in Istanbul.
*Note: Chora Church is closed on Wednesdays.
Day 4: Gallipoli Tour (L)
Start off early today with a hotel pick-up between 6:30 and 7 a.m. for a 5-hour drive to Eceabat for a full-day Gallipoli Tour. You will visit the Kabatepe War Museum, John Simpson's Grave at the Beach Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, Ari Burnu (the first ANZAC landing place), and Australian Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery. You will have the chance to walk in the ANZAC trenches at Johnston's Jolly, view Shrapnel Valley, visit the Turkish Memorial, the Nek, Walker´s Ridge and see the New Zealand Memorial Chunuk Bair. You will be transferred to your accommodation in Canakkale in the evening. Overnight in Canakkale.
Day 5: Troy and Pergamon Tour (B/L)
You will be picked up from your accommodation around 8:30 a.m. to embark on your Troy and Pergamon Day Trip. Prepare yourself for a visit to one of the most important cities in history, dating from the 14th century BC. Made popular by Homer’s Iliad, the city attracts scientists, archaeologists, adventurers, and treasure hunters. A box lunch will be served en route. Continue to Pergamon, once a prominent centre of power and arts, where you can visit the ancient library which once held 200,000 books, the Temple of Athena, Temple of Trojan and the Altar of Zeus. Visit the Gymnasium located on terraces and Agora. Today, you will end the day in the comfort of your accomodation in Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 6: Ephesus Ancient City and Virgin Mary House (B/L)
Today you will be picked up at 9 a.m. for a day trip to the ancient commercial, religious and social centre of Ephesus. Have lunch and then drive to the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the seven world wonders. Visit the House of Virgin Mary and the XIV-century Isa Bey Mosque, unlike any other you will visit in Turkey. Return to your accommodation around 5:30 p.m. for free time. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7: Pamukkale Travertenies and Hierapolis Ancient City & Night Bus to Cappadocia (B/L)
You will be picked up from your hotel around 8:15 a.m. for a day trip to the ancient city of Pamukkale Travertenies and Hierapolis Ancient City. Starting from Pamukkale’s North Gate, you will see the Necropolis (cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the biggest ancient cemeteries in Anatolia. It features more than 1,200 graves, a Roman bath, the Domitian gate, the Main Street, and the Byzantine gate. Then, continue to the natural thermal water terraces, which were formed by calcium-rich running water, with temperatures of approx. 35 degrees Celsius. Admire the gleaming white travertine terraces created by limestone deposits from the steaming water. Named “Cotton Castle” for the white calcium carbonate steps, Pamukkale is a beautiful and unique site. Here you can swim in the Ancient Pool (entrance fee costs extra), known as Cleopatra’s Pool, scattered with fragments of ancient marble columns underwater. These ancient columns are thought to have toppled in the pool after an earthquake. After the tour you will be transferred to the bus station for a 10-hour overnight bus to Cappadocia.
Day 8: North Cappadocia Tour (L)
You will be met at the Cappadocia bus station upon arrival and be transferred to your accommodation to wait for the rest of your group and rest up. Your tour begins this morning around 9 a.m. with a scenic drive to Devrent Valley with other-worldly geographical formations and landscapes. In Pasabagi, you will have the chance to walk among the incredible fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, before driving to Avanos where we will have lunch. Visit the Goreme Open Air Museum for beautiful examples of Byzantine art. Continue driving to reach the highest point in the region and visit Uchisar Castle with spectacular views over Cappadocia. You will return to the hotel around 5 p.m. with time to rest and enjoy the evening on your own. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 9: South Cappadocia Tour - Night Bus to Istanbul (B/L)
You will be picked up from your hotel at around 9 a.m. for a 4km hike through the Rose Valley to visit its unique churches, then continue to Cavusin, an old Christian village. Stop and have lunch today in Pigeons Valley and then the stunning Kaymakli Underground City, a marvelous construction. Visit the Ortahisar Natural Rock Castle before being transferred to the bus station for a night bus back to Istanbul.
Day 10: Istanbul Arrival & Airport Drop-Off
All good things must end. Today, after arriving in Istanbul you will be dropped off at the Istanbul airport in time for your departing flight. We wish you safe travels for your journey onward!