18 days

Treasures & Culinary Delights of Asia Minor

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Tour Overview

18 day Luxury quality tour from $6,989

Turkey

Visiting - Istanbul, Canakkale, Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pergamum, Kusadasi, House of Virgin Mary, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias, Bodrum, Kas, Fethiye, Kayakoy, Demre, Dalyan, Gocek, Oludeniz, Patara, Myra, Kekova, Antalya, Perge, Cappadocia, Konya, Aspendos, Goreme

Activities - Culture, History, Archaeology

Group size - Maximum 12 guests

Tour Highlights

  • Echoes of a lost age in World Heritage listed Old Istanbul
  • The hushed hills of Gallipoli and the nearby ancient city of Troy
  • Wonders of the ancient world, Ephesus & Halicarnassus Mausoleum
  • Relaxing resort town of Bodrum, also a haven of arts and culture
  • Fascinating Lycian coastal journey, including the capital Xantos-Letoon
  • Alluring lunar volcanic landscapes of Goreme Valley in Cappadocia

Added Value

  • Hurrem Sultan Turkish Bath
  • Dine at the exclusive Marina Club
  • Private Gulet Blue Cruise
  • Visit a Turkish family cave home
  • Whirling Dervish show
  • Your personal guide, Marcus Falay, Fairy Chimneys Travel Director
Tour Guide Marcus Falay

Your Tour Leader - Marcus Falay

Marcus Falay has travel in his blood. A native-born Cappadocian, his joy in all things Turkish is nothing short of contagious. Since his first tour guiding experience, Marcus has looked for creative, inspiring and unusual ways to help visitors explore his homeland. Growing up in Urgup, a youthful Marcus was keen to become a guide for his family’s boutique accommodation business. More about Marcus Falay ...

Treasures & Culinary Delights of Asia Minor map

Istanbul

Day 1
dinner

Welcome to Istanbul. You’re about to discover an exotic city, brimming with fine monuments and artefacts of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. You will be met at Istanbul Ataturk airport today and transferred to your hotel. This evening, you will meet your travelling companions before enjoying a welcome dinner with the group.

Istanbul

Day 2
breakfast, lunch & dinner

The world’s only city straddling two continents, the city of Istanbul dates back to antiquity. Its grand monuments bear testament to the ancient empires that made it their capital. Your day of sightseeing includes visits to the magnificent Blue Mosque and Byzantine Hippodrome, known as Sultanahmet Square. Other highlights are St Sophia Basilica, the former cathedral nearly 1,500 years old and Topkapi Palace, once home of Sultans and now housing Ottoman Empire treasures. End the day with a visit to Basilica Cistern.

Roman Baths - Hierapolis - Small Group, Special Interest

Istanbul

Day 3
breakfast & lunch
Hurrem Sultan Turkish Bath

This morning, we take a short tram ride to Eminonu to visit the Spice Market before enjoying a cruise along the meandering Bosphorus strait, dividing Europe and Asia. Its banks offer a delightful blend of past and present, imposing splendour and simple beauty. See where contemporary hotels stand next to shore-front timber villas, marble palaces abut rustic stone fortresses and elegant compounds neighbour quaint fishing villages. No visit to Istanbul is complete without tasting yummy street food. Our lunch is “balik ekmek” (fish sandwich) and “tursu suyu” (pickle juice) when we disembark from our cruise. A nice stroll back to our hotel along the Gulhane Park for a relaxing afternoon. Hurrem Sultan Turkish Bath is booked at 3 pm.

Istanbul, Gallipoli  

Day 4
breakfast, lunch & dinner

After breakfast, drive south west to Gallipoli peninsula, with its cemeteries, memorials and war museum dedicated to the tragic events of 1915. Lunch will be in Eceabat (we recommend fresh “Istavrit” (horse mackerel). Your first stop is Anzac Cove and Beach Cemetery, followed by a trek in the ANZAC’s footsteps up rugged hills to see the memorials at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. Amongst today’s sights will be Shrapnel Valley, Walker’s Ridge, The Nek and surrounding trenches. At day’s end, you will cross the Dardanelles to the vibrant town of Canakkale, for overnight.

Temple - Aphrodisias - Small Group, Special Interest

Troy, Kusadasi

Day 5
breakfast, lunch & dinner
Special Lunch by the waterfront – a mixed grill from the Gaziantep Kitchen

This morning you visit the Military Museum and Cimenlik Castle, a dazzling start to the archaeological delights on offer today. Next is the ancient city of Troy, where excavations began in the late 1800s. The scenic road ambles on through olive groves and grassy plains, past pebbly Aegean beaches and fertile farmland to the ruins of Pergamum. Here you will see the Acropolis, theatre and temple remains before continuing to the popular port of Kusadasi, once a resort town for the wealthy citizens of Ephesus.

Kusadasi

Day 6
breakfast & lunch
Lunch in a nomadic tent – having Gozleme

Today’s highlight is a visit to The House of Virgin Mary followed by the ruins of Ephesus, one of the ancient world wonders. Walk the 2,000 year old marble streets of this fine archaeological site on the way to Hadrian’s Temple and the renowned Celsus Library. You will also pay a visit to the amazing array of terrace houses only recently displayed. This afternoon, return to Kusadasi for some leisure time before dinner.

Canal - Dalyan - Small Group, Special Interest

Pamukkale

Day 7
breakfast, lunch & dinner
Seafood dinner at the exclusive Marina Club

This morning is a drive to the petrified white lime cascades of Pamukkale. Nearby, at Hierapolis you will see the amphitheatre and wander through the intriguing archaeological site. A short way from Pamukkale is one of Turkey’s key recent archaeological discoveries, Aphrodisias. These marvellous ruins rival Ephesus and include the Temple of Aphrodite with its dazzling white marble and a vast, almost intact stadium.

Bodrum

Day 8
breakfast & dinner

Today begins with a leisurely drive to Bodrum, where whitewashed homes overlook the water. Here you will explore the Castle of St. Peter and what remains of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Bodrum is a vibrant coastal city with a night-life well worth exploring.

Gulets on the Mediterranean - Gocek - Small Group, Special Interest

Bodrum

Day 9
breakfast & dinner

We have a relaxing day along the unspoiled Turquoise Coast, a day needed after a weeklong sightseeing. Morning is free at your leisure in Bodrum. We will drive you to the resort towns of Turgutreis and Yalikavak to witness how the Turquoise waters blend with the green forests, forming some of the most beautiful coastal regions of Turkey. If you fancy a beach afternoon, take your swimwear and a towel with you. We return to Bodrum for dinner and overnight.

Kas

Day 10
breakfast & dinner

Travelling along the picturesque coastline, you will pass through the hamlets of Dalyan, Gocek and Oludeniz. En-route to Kas you will visit the rock tombs of Fethiye and historic deserted village of Kayakoy. We will also discover Xantos-Letoon, one of Turkey’s 11 World Heritage listed sites. Once the capital of Lycia, these astounding ruins illustrate a blend of Lycian tradition and Hellenic influence, especially in funerary art. The epigraphic inscriptions are crucial to our understanding of the Lycian people and their Indo-European language. Patara is your next stop. Later renamed Arsinoe, this was a flourishing Lycian city on the south-west Mediterranean coast. It is possibly best known as the birthplace of St. Nicholas, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra (Demre). We arrive in Kas for dinner and overnight at our seafront boutique hotel.

Kale - Kekova - Small Group, Special Interest

Kas, Kekova (Sunken City)

Day 11
breakfast, lunch & dinner

Enjoy the hospitality aboard our very own private gulet (yacht) for the day, where sea, sun and fine fare are ingredients for a spellbinding day on Aegean Waters. Plenty of stops for swimming in the crystal clear Mediterranean Waters.

Antalya

Day 12
breakfast & lunch

Continue your Lycian journey along the coast to the city of Antalya. Take a break in Myra to visit the Church of St Nicholas and spend this afternoon wandering through the old city of Antalya.

Old City - Antalya - Small Group, Special Interest

Antalya

Day 13
breakfast & lunch

Two magnificent sites await you today: Perge, a spectacular Greco-Roman city and Termessos on the mountains with striking views. Return to Antalya for lunch at Mermerli Restaurant with amazing views over Antalya Marina and Mountains in the distance. Later this afternoon, at your own leisure, dive into Old Antalya at Kaleici, meandering along the scenic streets of this old port.

Konya – Cappadocia

Day 14
breakfast & dinner

Depart Antalya for Aspendos, an ancient treasure housing the world’s best-preserved Roman Theatre then to be in Konya early afternoon. Known as Iconium in Hellenistic and Roman times, Konya became capital of the Seljuks, first Turkish kingdom of Anatolia. Visit the revered Mevlana’s Masoleum, holiest shrine of the mystical Muslim sect (Whirling Dervishes). The traditional bazaar, richest and largest of inner Anatolia, has changed little in the past 1,000 years. Continue our drive and reach Cappadocia for dinner and overnight.

Uchisar - Cappadocia - Small Group, Special Interest

Cappadocia

Day 15
breakfast, lunch & dinner
Optional - Dawn Hot Air Ballooning

Today’s first stop is the Bronze Age ‘Pottery Village’ of Avanos where visitors may test their pottery making skill in the Hittite fashion. An arts and crafts day continues with a presentation at the Turkish Carpet Centre. Cappadocia is located south of Mount Erciyes within a volcanic region known for its curious ‘fairy chimneys’. These cones and strange rock formations have been sculpted by wind and rain erosion. Over the centuries many people seeking shelter from conquerors and marauding armies of the Central Anatolian Plateau settled here, burrowing whole subterranean towns into the rock. You will tour the alluring moon-like landscapes and unique scenery of Goreme Valley (one of the oldest settlements of the region). A visit to the rock chapels carved by early Christians is an unforgettable experience.

Cappadocia

Day 16
breakfast, lunch & dinner
lunch at the home of a Turkish family living in a cave house

Today, the villages and rock caves beckon before enjoying a traditional Turkish home cooked lunch. We see the famous underground city of Kaymakli and spend an enchanting afternoon sampling local food and delights with the family living in a cave house. There is also a local winery visit and award winning wines of Cappadocia to sample. Whirling Dervishes Ceremony in a 12th Century Caravanserai.

Theatre - Aspendos - Small Group, Special Interest

Istanbul

Day 17
breakfast & dinner

One last day in Turkey so, this morning takes a leisurely pace. Enjoy the magical hotel views, take a stroll into town or soak up the sunshine on your terrace. This free half day is a chance to relax and prepare for the connecting journey ahead. This afternoon, we take a flight to Istanbul and the last night on tour. We recommend a self-visit to the famous Grand Bazaar which is only a couple of hundred meters away from your hotel for your last minute souvenirs.

Departure

Day 18
breakfast

Transfer to the airport from your hotel for the return flight home.

What's included

  • Marcus Falay (Managing Director of FCT) as your tour leader
  • Private airport transfers
  • Luxury accommodation with private facilities (hotels listed are subject to availability and may change)
  • Meals as shown
  • Cultural activities and Whirling Dervishes ceremony
  • All internal domestic flights in Turkey
  • Licensed English-speaking Professional Tour Guide
  • Deluxe 16 seat private air-conditioned transport

Extras

  • Personal expenses, tips and shopping
  • Meals and beverages where not stated
  • Optional tours or additional side trips
  • International Airfares and Travel Insurance
  • Any items not mentioned in the program

Overnight Accommodation

Overnight StaysAccommodationComfort
IstanbulSultanhan Hotel5 star boutique
CanakkaleBuyuk Truva Hotel4 star
KusadasiLa Vista Boutique Hotel4 star boutique
BodrumEl Vino Hotel5 star boutique
KasSeaview Hotel4 star boutique
AntalyaAlp Pasa Hotel4 star boutique
CappadociaKayakapi Premium Caves5 star boutique

Tour Departures

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