The Culture and the coast tour is a journey that takes us from Istanbul to the Marmara and Aegean coastlines. During these 8 days you will see the sights of Istanbul such as the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and enjoy an evening cruise on the beautiful Bosphorus.
We then head towards along the coast stopping at Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus and some other fascinating sites before flying back to Istanbul to complete our journey.
Day 1: Arrival Day Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! Istanbul, the only city to straddle two continents, and once the capital of 4 empires, is currently a modern thriving metropolis. You will be greeted by one of our representatives at the airport, and chauffeured to your hotel. We will get an opportunity to meet our fellow travelers this evening over a welcome drink.
Meals – Welcome drink.
Hotel Istanbul- The Vault Karakoy
Day 2: Istanbul
After breakfast, our guide gives us a walking tour around the major historical sites of the Old City of Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, Saint Sophia, Hippodrome, Underground Cistern and Grand Bazaar (the largest covered market in the world.) This evening as an option, we board our private luxury boat and take a cruise through the stretch of water separating Europe from Asia, the Bosphorus. We will see palaces, forts, ancient ruins and beautiful Ottoman housing.
Meals – Breakfast / Light refreshments on boat
Hotel Istanbul – The Vault Karakoy
Day 3: Istanbul – Gallipoli – Canakkale
This morning we navigate our way out of the bustling streets of Istanbul, and head towards the ‘Gallipoli’ peninsula, where the Marmara & Aegean Seas connect. Our guide will share stories of battle woes of 1915, and explain in detail how the ANZAC legend was born. We visit Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, Johnston’s Jolly, Anzac Cove, the Nek, and look down at Suvla Bay. This battle-hardened peninsula has now become a tranquil place. Lest we forget.
This afternoon we enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard where you can sample some of the regions finest grapes.
Meals- Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel Canakkale – Limani Hotel
Day 4: Canakkale – Troy – Pergamon – Kusadasi
Our first stop sees us visiting the ancient city of Troy, dating as far back as 3000 BC. Our guide explains how the IX cities of Troy came to be, as well as the fabled Trojan War, which was the battle that launched 1000 ships. Homer’s legendary Iliad & Odyssey are referenced here. We continue heading south to one of Turkey’s best-preserved ancient cities in Pergamon. Formerly a Greek city, Pergamon played an important role in education and medicine. One of the largest libraries of its time was located here, along with the Asklepieion, Amphitheatre and Altar of Zeus. Our day ends in the port town of Kusadasi on the Aegean coast.
Meals – Breakfast / Lunch
Hotel Kusadasi – La Vista Hotel
Day 5: Kusadasi– Ephesus – Sirince – Kusadasi
Once an ancient Greek city, then a lively Roman city, the legendary site of Ephesus remains one of the most visited places in Turkey. We will marvel at the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, along with the complex plumbing systems, which date as far back as the 10th Century BC. We will also visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. St. John’s Basilica is next on our itinerary, and just a short drive from Ephesus. Here, it is believed to be John the Apostle’s final resting place.
This afternoon, we drive to the former Greek village of Sirince, famous for its olives, wines, nuts and fresh fruit. We will be given an opportunity to sample some of the local delicacies, whilst we relax overlooking the olive groves in this quaint township.
Meals – Breakfast.
Hotel Kusadasi – La Vista Hotel
Day 6: Kusadasi– Hierapolis – Pamukkale
This morning we head to the House of the Virgin Mary, where St John escorted her until the time of her ‘Assumption.’ We continue east driving to the magical site of Pamukkale (Cotton Castle.) The natural travertine’s cascading down the hill has been forming for tens of thousands of years which are believed to possess healing qualities.
Today we also experience the ruined city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, where Marcus Aurelius Ammianos’ sarcophagi lies. The amphitheatre is also very impressive.
Meals – Breakfast
Hotel Pamukkale – Tripolis Hotel
Day 7: Pamukkale – Kaklik Cave – Istanbul – Tour Concludes
This morning we drive to the recently discovered Kaklik Caves, where we get an opportunity to step back in time and explore this magical place, which formed over 2.5 million years ago.
Afterwards, we continue our journey to the nearby city of Denizli where we board our flight back to Istanbul. Tonight in Istanbul we enjoy dinner and a traditional Turkish Folklore and belly dance show.
Meals – Breakfast / Dinner
Istanbul – The Vault Karakoy
Day 8 : Tour Concludes in Istanbul
After breakfast, we bid farewell to our new found friends, and reflect on what has been a memorable experience. If you’re planning to stay in Turkey longer, we are also able to assist with accommodation bookings, or private guided tours.
Meals – Breakfast
Fri 07th Jan – Fri 14th Jan
Fri 28th Jan – Fri 03rd Feb
Fri 18th Feb – Fri 25th Feb
Fri 10th Mar – Fri 17th Mar
Fri 31st Mar – Fri 07th Apr
Fri 14th Apr – Fri 21st Apr
Fri 05th May – Fri 12th May
Fri 19th May – Fri 26th May
Fri 09th June – Fri 16th June
Fri 30th June – Fri 07th July
Fri 21st July – Fri 28th July
Fri 11th Aug – Fri 18th Aug
Fri 01st Sept – Fri 08th Sept
Fri 22nd Sept – Fri 29th Sept
Fri 13th Oct -Fri 20th Oct
Fri 03rd Nov – Fri 10th Nov
Fri 24th Nov -Fri 31st Nov
Fri 15th Dec – Fri 22nd Dec
Price: € 2795
Single supplement € 595
• Return airport transfers from Istanbul Ataturk airport
• 7 nights accommodation in luxury boutique hotels
• 7 breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 dinner
• Domestic flight in Turkey
• Fully licensed professional guide
• Entrance fees
• Welcome drink
• Wine tasting
• Traditional Turkish folklore show
• Airfares to and from Turkey
• Arrival/departure taxes
• Visa fees
• Alcoholic beverages
• Personal expenses
• Luxury boat ride on Bosphorus
All hotels listed are our first preference for this tour. Should these hotels be unavailable, Authentic Turkey Tours will book hotels of the same class.
When we mentioned to longtime friends we were visiting Istanbul they told us our enjoyment would be increased substantially if we hired Trici as our guide.They told us the truth.When we contacted Trici she told us that she emphasized the art of Istanbul and we said we approved.She also told us the truth.What neither friends nor Trici told us was that she is a worldclass artist who devotes her art to capturing the obvious and the offbeat sides of that mysterious city.And that’s the truth.
Ian D. Lanoff
I have never been to Istanbul, but I do have extremely vivid, colorful and imaginative images of Istanbul in my mind through the stunning art that Ms. Venola has drawn and the imaginative prose she has written during the years that she has lived there. She is a wonderful ambassador for your city.I can only say that I wish I -could- have the opportunity to have her lead me on a tour of Istanbul: I know it would be magical, thrilling, awe-inspiring. Truly a never-to-be-forgotten experience!
Charles Richard Lester
I can think of no better tour guide when visiting Istanbul than Trici Venola. Her passion for the city is only exceeded by her knowledge of it's history. The fact that she is an artist and an avid urban sketcher makes her insights that much more astute.
Her warmth, compassion and humor make her a wonderful guide and teacher. Trici knows Istanbul -- its nooks and crannies as well as its majestic sites-- better than most natives, much better!! I recommend her highly.
Fine Artist and BFA Faculty, School of Visual Arts, NY, NY-----------------------------------------------------------------
From "commando santas" rappelling down buildings around the city, to colorful mannikins, to workshops and alleys and a million cats, Trici Venola has an insiders awareness of a wonderful assortment of "off the tourist trail" discoveries to share.
Ken Brown NYC.-----------------------------------------------------------------
Spending a day with Trici is like your best Indiana Jones fantasy come true! You duck behind a coke machine in a hole in the wall food store and there you have it, the OTHER cistern (that no one ever sees!) A guide will real passion and joy. The best knowledge I have found so far on Byzantium, Turkey and Istanbul. Not only that she is great fun!
John D S Kelly NYC
I always have a great time with Oriental Istanbul tours as guest teacher, knowing my students will be hosted very well in stunning parts of Turkey and its makes my work so easy and pleasureful.. One of the best and warmest organizers I ever worked internationally. Strongly Recommended! - Ozgen / 2011, 2012, 2013 Teacher
THE perfect tour: very rare & unique - detailed instruction by Ozgen, real roman by Reyhan + local festival in Edirne. How can be better than that! Really appreciate the flexibility about stay & activities. All people in the tour are nice, friendly and helpful - pleasurable all the time. Most of all Burcu and Yoko did such a great job organizing & leading us - easy going yet professional, they know tourism and dancing well. Plus, Ozgen is the great instructor as well as our travel buddy - fun & positive energy, multi tasking (waiter, guide, entertainer etc.. ;) ) Can't wait for the next year! - Akiko Tanikawa / 2012 & 2013, Student
Oriental Istanbul is a wonderful company. They are welcoming, helpful, knowledgeable and very accommodating. I would recommend them without hesitation! - Artemis Mourat / 2013, Teacher
Wonderful and unforgettable experience, loved every moment! Will definitely return to Istanbul! hoping to see you all again! - Itsumi Suganuma / 2012, Student
The Hidrellez Festival Tour that I attended in May 2012 was fantastic and then the November 2013 Cappadoica and Istanbul expereince was amazing too ! You have an amazing talent of providing incredible cultural learning experiences by combining excellent tours, information and fun . - your tours have made me long to discover more of Turkey and I just adore Turkey and long to come back !Debra Dimancesco
Hello BurcuI am writing from Madrid, where we arrived last night after a wonderful experience in Istanbul, thanks to you and your organization. The tours, the guide and the chofer were magnificent, they allowed us to have a view of the city that was relaxed, care free and most of all instructive and fun.Many, many thanks BurcuBest regardsCarlos
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