Blend warm hospitality, ancient history and strong European and Asian influences, and Turkey is the result. On this tour we take you to its historical highlights, including the temples and theatres of the ancient Greek city of Pergamum, and Ephesus, to stand before the imposing Library of Celsus. We also explore Istanbul, a true ‘East meets West’ city. Feast your taste buds on delicious local delicacies at the Grand Bazaar, and your eyes on magnificent mosques, palaces and basilicas.
8 nights in hotels (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel for the next two nights, The Marmara Pera (4T), with time to settle in before dinner this evening.
Few cities compare to this historical gem. Istanbul is a bridge between Europe and Asia, and showcases architecture from every era of its glorious heritage. Today we are introduced to the city with guided tours of the historic Blue Mosque, a breathtaking structure dominating the city’s skyline with its mighty domes and six striking minarets; Topkapi Palace, a colourful museum revealing fascinating tales of the Ottoman Empire; and the grand Greek basilica of Haghia Sophia. Then, we’ll continue to the colourful Grand Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s oldest and most vibrant markets stretching over 61 streets. We return to our hotel and this evening you may choose to join an optional Turkish Night with a traditional Turkish dinner.
Istanbul - Anzac Cove - Çanakkale
After breakfast we enjoy some time at leisure, perhaps join an optional excursion to the scenic Bosphorus narrows that divide European Turkey and Asian Turkey. Then, late morning we take a scenic drive towards the charming seaport of Çanakkale. On the way we’ll make a stop at Anzac Cove, the landing site of the ANZACs during the First World War Gallipoli Campaign, and Helles Memorial, which commemorates their fallen. We take a ferry across the Dardanelles - a narrow strait linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea - and journey to our base for this evening, the Kolin Hotel (5T) where we enjoy dinner.
Çanakkale - Troy - Pergamum - Kusadasi
This morning we transfer to the UNESCO-listed site of Troy, a city once considered only in the realms of legend, until the 19th century when its historic location was identified. With many centuries of history, this important site is still being excavated. Our historical discovery continues at our next destination, the rich ancient Greek city of Pergamum and its healing centre known as the Asclepion. Pergamum’s library became one of the most important in the ancient world and after its decline Mark Anthony is said to have seized many of the parchment rolls and presented them to Cleopatra as a wedding present. This afternoon we travel to Kusadasi, where we check in to our hotel for the next three nights, the Charisma Deluxe (5T) and enjoy dinner this evening.
An undoubted highlight of Turkey is Ephesus. Once a wealthy capital of Roman Asia, its former glory is apparent in the ruins of the Library of Celsus, and the world’s largest surviving outdoor classical theatre. We continue to the House of the Virgin Mary - a shrine situated atop the Bulbul Mountain - and conclude with a visit to the 6th century St John’s Basilica.
Enjoy a relaxing day at leisure in Kusadasi, on the Turkish Aegean coast. Explore the city, or simply while away your time admiring the glorious coastal views from a seafront café or the marina.
Kusadasi - Pamukkale - Antalya
Our destination today will be Antalya and the drive will take us first to Pamukkale, where mineral-rich thermal waters shape chalk-white stalactites into terraces, waterfalls and pools. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built on top and evidence of this city can still be seen. Continuing to Antalya, once a major Roman port and known as the Turquoise Coast for its blue waters - its harbour now filled with yachts - we check in to our hotel, the Akra Barut (5T), for a two-night stay.
Perge and Aspendos
After breakfast we travel to the enthralling ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos. Perge, set on the rolling Anatolian steppe, was an important city of ancient Parnphylia and highlights here are the long, colonnaded road, the agora, and the Temple of Artemis. Aspendos is noted for its magnificent Roman theatre, considered to be the best preserved in the world. Returning to the hotel, we head out for a walking tour of ‘Old Antalya’, its historic centre known as Kaleici. Here, there are immense stone walls, narrow lanes, meandering streets, elegant old houses and collection of fascinating landmarks including the grand Antalya Clock Tower and the monumental Hadrian’s Gate.
Day 9 Antalya - UK
Today we travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.