DAY 1 - DEPART USA
Board your overnight flight (not included).
DAY 2 TO DAY 3 - ISTANBUL & THE OTTOMANS
Welcome to Turkey – a land rich in archeological sites, historic monuments and an enormous variety of spectacular scenery. On arrival at Istanbul Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This evening, get together with your Tour Director and fellow passengers for a Welcome Reception and light informal meal. next morning, visit the Blue Mosque with its beautiful tiles and the Hippodrome where Roman chariot races were held. On to Topkapi Palace, a walled city perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Move on to the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will give you a full explanation of the time-honoured ritual of bargaining! Finally, embark on a cruise along the Bosphorus Waterway. Travelling towards the old city from close to the Black Sea, the scenery comple- ments the grandeur of the Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses.
Hotel: Conrad Istanbul/Hilton Istanbul
Meals: Welcome Reception / Buffet Breakfast
Day 4 - GALLIPOLI, THE ANZACS & ÇANAKKALE
Visit Hagia Sophia, now a magnificent museum before driving along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the peninsula of Gelibolu, better known in the west as Gallipoli. Here are the battlefields where, for nine disastrous months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Dardanelle Straits. Visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. From Eceabat, a 30-minute sea crossing to Çanakkale takes you from one continent to another as you leave Europe for Asia.
Hotel: Kolin Hotel/Hilton | Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 5 - TROY, PERGAMON & THE PORT OF IZMIR
Drive to Homer’s legendary city of Troy, where archeological excavation has established nine levels of habitation, including the great city captured in 1200BC by means of the renowned Trojan Horse. A huge replica of this stands beside the city’s ancient walls. Continue to Pergamon, the seat of an ancient kingdom. Visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world. Carry on to the cosmopoli- tan coastal city of Izmir, sited overlooking an inletof the Aegean.
Hotel: Hilton | Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 6 - ANCIENT EPHESUS & KUSADASI
En route to Ephesus, visit the archeological museum at Selcuk where many of the excavated artefacts of Ephesus are displayed, and visit the House of the Virgin Mary, spectacularly situated above the Ephesus ruins. Finally, tour Ephesus itself, one of the world’s finest archeological sites. Visit the colonnaded Arcadian Way, the splendid façade of the Library of Celsus and see the huge Amphitheatre. Head to the lively coastal town of Kusadasi where you can take advantage of your hotel’s indoor pool, Turkish bath and fitness centre.
Hotel: Charisma | Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 7 - THE POOLS OF PAMUKKALE & RUINS OF HIERAPOLIS
Follow the Maeander River valley, to Pamukkale, famous for its dazzling chalk-white array of fantastically shaped limestone terraces. Visit the ruins of ancient Hierapolis and the fairyland terraces and see the glistening pools and cascades in scallop-shell basins. The rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy your hotel thermal pools.
Hotel: Thermal Colossae | Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 8 TO DAY 9 - KONYA THE WHIRLING DERVISHES & THE UNDERGROUND CITIES OF CAPPADOCIA
Head to Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire and home to the mystic Whirling Dervish sect. Visit the Mevlana Tekke, a museum and national monument, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome. See the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret before driving across fertile plains to Avanos in the heart of Cappadocia. In the morning, enjoy an excursion to Göreme, a region of volcanic landscapes and rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings, some of which you can see in the open-air museum. Continue to the Pasabag Valley where the scenery is dotted with mushroom shaped ‘fairy-chimneys’ and troglodyte dwellings. Tour the underground city Kaymakli, and see the cone of Uchisar. Enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a colorful folklore show in an underground cave, featuring dances from different regions.
Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton
Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner / Buffet Breakfast / Highlight Dinner
DAY 10 - THE MODERN DAY CAPITAL OF ANKARA
Visit one of the best-preserved Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia. Continue on to Ankara to visit the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey’s greatest modern leader.
Hotel: Hilton Ankara
Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner
DAY 11 - ISTANBUL
Take a scenic drive through the countryside to Istanbul. This evening, join a farewell Celebration Dinner at a colourful local restaurant!
Hotel: Conrad Istanbul/Hilton Istanbul
Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Celebration Dinner
DAY 12 - RETURN TO USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast
* Itinerary is based on 2013 program and subject to change for 2014.