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
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.