Welcome to Istanbul. On arrival at Istanbul Airport (IST), you will be met by a local representative and transferred to the five-star Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, where your incredible adventure begins. A magical city that marvellously merges European and Asian influences, Istanbul is full of intriguing sights, ancient wonders and myriad examples of East and West blends, from its spellbinding architecture to its exceptional cuisine. If you arrive early, perhaps wander the atmospheric streets and discover what this captivating city has to offer. Alternatively, enjoy your luxurious hotel's amenities, including an indoor and outdoor pool and Turkish baths.
This afternoon, join your Tour Director and fellow companions for a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby followed by an optional group dinner. Delve into the diverse and incredibly tasteful Turkish cuisine and make sure to leave room for delicious desserts.
- Group dinner (surcharges apply).
Journey to the heart of Istanbul's Old City and witness the perfect blend of ancient and modern unfold before you. Stroll with your expert local guide through the Hippodrome, visit the charming Blue Mosque and the mysterious Basilica Cistern and discover the beauty of the magnificent Hagia Sophia on a guided tour. Then, enjoy time on your own to haggle your way through the famous Grand Bazaar, visit countless monuments and embrace the local culture.
In the afternoon, enjoy an unforgettable experience as you glide between two continents, Asia and Europe, on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise of the glittering Bosphorus. Afterwards, return to your five-star hotel for dinner and a wonderful night's sleep.
After a delicious breakfast, make your way to Gallipoli's iconic shores on a scenic drive through Turkiye's picturesque countryside. Stop to recharge at the quaint village of Kesan and enjoy a delicious meal (charges apply). This afternoon, arrive in Gallipoli and pay your respects to the fallen Turkish and Australian soldiers who bravely fought here during World War I, a time in history that is still commemorated every year in April. Witness the now-green battlefields, Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair and other important historical sites. Afterwards, continue towards Canakkale on a picturesque ferry ride, arriving just in time for dinner.
Tonight, enjoy your stay at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Canakkale, overlooking the Dardanelles Strait. Relax with a dip in one of the indoor or outdoor pools, visit the hotel's Turkish hammam or admire views across the shimmering water.
Fuel up with a hearty breakfast in preparation for a day filled with epic adventure. This morning, visit the ancient city of Troy and witness the ruins of this once glorious city which holds a special place in both mythology and history. Pose with the famous Trojan Horse before departing for Pergamon. Home to healing waters and the ruins of the Asklepion Medical Centre, it is one of the most important centres of healing in the Roman world.
After this culture-rich experience, conclude your day at the seaside metropolitan Izmir and your accommodation for the evening — Izmir Marriott Hotel. Set overlooking the shores of the Aegean Sea, this hotel is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Turkish culture. Sample seafood and raki tonight at a local restaurant.
Today, drive along the coast to the amazing ruins of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ephesus. Stroll through this beautifully preserved ancient city and the impressive library followed by a short ride to Virgin Mary’s house in the mountains – where she is believed to have lived her final days. Next, enjoy an afternoon of culinary discovery at a lovely restaurant in the countryside, famous for its delicious gozleme, a savoury stuffed Turkish flatbread (charges apply).
Continue your journey inland to your next five-star retreat — Doga Thermal Health & Spa — located in the Cotton Castle of Turkiye, Pamukkale. On arrival, rest up and relax or perhaps savour the spa or massage services of this lavish hotel (charges apply), followed by a lovely evening meal with your travel companions.
After breakfast, head to Pamukkale and sink into the mineral-rich depths of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed hot springs. Walk in the shallow pools with the terraces of snow-white travertine unfolding before you. Famous for its mineral-rich waters and healing properties, the Pamukkale region has welcomed endless visitors over millennia. Delve into history at the ancient city Hierapolis and its majestic amphitheatre of 15,000 seats and ever-impressive acoustics.
Your journey continues towards Konya, home of the famous whirling dervishes. Check into the Dedeman Konya Hotel & Convention Center and relax over a delicious dinner featuring Turkish and international cuisine.
Immerse yourself in diverse Turkish culture today, beginning with Karatay Madrasa — a centre for education and architectural beauty with origins spanning back to the eighth century. Continue to the Museum and Mausoleum of Mevlana – known internationally as Rumi – where you will have the opportunity to explore the ideas and works of this famous scholar, poet and Sufi theologist of the 13th century.
From cultural to natural wonders: travel inland towards the other-worldly Cappadocia, one of the most iconic sites in Turkiye. This famous region is adorned with stunning caves and fairy chimneys: unique formations of eroded volcanic rocks. Enjoy a visit to Avanos, famous for its top-quality clay, and learn all about pottery-making with an interactive workshop.
After a long day of cultural discovery, retreat to your five-star hotel, the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Avanos – Cappadocia, and join your group for a relaxing dinner.
Rise and shine for the sunrise of a lifetime on an optional hot-air balloon flight over the magical fairy chimneys (additional cost). A bucket-list item for all keen travellers, it is an experience not to be missed (please bear in mind that this optional experience is dependent on weather conditions). As you disembark your balloon, you will get the chance to explore the wondrous formations up close at Goreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The soft rock has allowed both nature and people to carve incredible underground cities, chapels, cave houses and much more. Here you’ll witness the wonders of nature and a rich tapestry of cultures engraved in the fabric of this marvellous geography.
Later on, delve into one of the finest and oldest crafts of Turkiye on a visit to a carpet-weaving workshop. This evening, relax at your hotel over dinner and perhaps witness the unique ritual of the whirling dervishes at a live show — an unforgettable experience (additional cost).
- Hot air balloon flight (from EUR290 per person).
- Whirling dervishes show (from EUR30 per person).
- Turkish night show (from EUR40 per person).
Start an unforgettable day by exploring the famous underground city of Kaymakli, where ancient Christians took refuge to escape raids and wars for centuries. Here you will discover the complex network of underground tunnels, storerooms, burial chambers and chapels dating back to various eras. Together with the unique geology, each civilization and culture has shaped its heritage over thousands of years into a one-of-a-kind experience for all travellers.
Later, take the scenic journey to Turkiye's capital, Ankara, and visit the impressive Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Here you’ll discover countless ancient civilizations that have dominated Anatolia throughout history before checking into the five-star Ankara HiltonSA. After dinner at the hotel this evening, enjoy time at leisure to explore the treasures of Ankara at your own pace.
Today begins with an intriguing visit to Anitkabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk – the final resting place of the first President of the Republic of Turkiye. It is a location sacred to Turkish people, a glorious yet calming place of great importance. Continue the return journey to Istanbul through the scenic Anatolian countryside, stopping along the way for a lunch break in the mountainous natural surroundings of Bolu.
Arrive back in Istanbul this afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, perhaps returning to your favourite sites from earlier in the tour.
Your marvellous adventure comes to an end over a final breakfast with your newfound friends. Make sure to bid your fellow travellers farewell and exchange numbers before checking out of the hotel at 11am. Complimentary airport transfers are available all day.