|Itinerary at a Glance|
|2||Istanbul & Kusadasi|
|4||Kusadasi, Pergamon, Troy & Canakkale|
|5||Canakkale, Dardanelles & Istanbul|
|Departures||November – December 2013|
|Departs||New York Kennedy (JFK), Washington Dulles (IAD), Chicago O'Hare (ORD)|
|Highlights||Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy, Canakkale & the Dardanelles.|
|Travel Style||This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
Turkey, the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is an exotic land steeped in history and touched by many civilizations. But you'll find much more than just history here, including jaw-dropping landscapes, sun-splashed Mediterranean beaches, quaint seaside towns, glistening cities, colorful bazaars, whirling dervishes, and more. This tour will show you the best that this mysterious land has to offer, all for an irresistibly low price.
As seen in:
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All prices, fees and deposits are per person, subject to change at any time, and not guaranteed until we receive your final payment.
|Departures & Prices*|
|Wed||Nov 20||2013||Wed||Nov 27||2013||$1699||$1399||Available|
|Wed||Dec 11||2013||Wed||Dec 18||2013||$1699||$1399||Available|
* Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and include airfare and Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee. Prices do not include excess baggage fees, extensions or optional items. Prices in orange reflect an early booking discount for bookings made by 7/30/2013.
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to extend your stay later than the scheduled dates, subject to availability. Contact us about dates, prices and restrictions.
|Separately Paid Fees|
|Turkey Visa1 (paid separately)||+$20|
1. All visitors to Turkey must obtain a visa. Visas are available locally upon arrival.
|A Taste of Turkey|
|New York Kennedy (JFK)||included|
|Washington Dulles (IAD)||+$100|
|Chicago O'Hare (ORD)||+$300|
Departure airport prices subject to availability and may cost more based on flight availability at the time of booking.
Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.
To make a reservation, we only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card. This non-refundable deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package. You can pay the balance due later by credit card, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of booking, whichever is later.
Day 2: Istanbul & Kusadasi. Arrive today in Izmir via Istanbul, and continue to Kusadasi on Turkey's Aegean coast. The area has been a crossroads of art and culture since it was founded 5000 years ago, and was the final destination of medieval caravan routes from the Orient. Today, Kusadasi is a popular resort town for Turks and Europeans and a port of call for many cruise ships. Accommodations: Fantasia Hotel. Dinner provided.
Day 3: Ephesus. Today, visit the glorious city of Ephesus, founded more than 4000 years ago, the capital city of the Roman Province of Asia Minor. The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is represented by one column and fragments of a frieze. Walk through the ancient streets to view the magnificent structures such as the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, and the Great Theater. Ephesus is also the town where St. Paul and St. John lived during the first century. Continue to the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary spent her last years living near a grove of olive trees. A visit is considered a pilgrimage by the Vatican. Enjoy the evening at leisure, perhaps dine at one of the many local restaurants.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon, take advantage of an optional excursion to the Museum of Ephesus, St. John's Basilica and Sirince. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($45 per person). Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Kusadasi, Pergamon, Troy & Canakkale. This morning, visit Pergamon, the capital of a powerful kingdom during the Hellenistic period in the first century. Visit the ruins of the Red Basilica, a temple built by Roman architects in the 2nd century AD utilizing red brick on a massive scale and incorporating a number of unique water features. It is believed that the temple was originally used for the worship of Egyptian gods and may have been used to simulate the flooding of Nile. It was later converted into a Christian church by the Byzantines and finally a mosque by the Turks.
Continue to the nearby Asklepion, a famed ancient medical center built in honor of Asklepios, the god of healing. It was also the site of the world's first known psychiatric hospital. In the ancient world, this was the place famous people wanted to attend for bathing treatments, the interpretation of dreams and drinking the water from the sacred fountain.
Finally, visit the ancient city of Troy, best known as the focus of the Trojan War as described in the epic poem by Homer. The ancient city today is an expansive archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dinner and overnight at your hotel. Accommodations: Hotel Akol. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Canakkale, Dardanelles & Istanbul. Continue north by ferry across the Dardanelles, a narrow straight connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. This strait, like the Bosphurus in Istanbul, separates Europe from Asia.
Visit Gallipoli, where one of the fiercest battles of World War I took place. The Gallipoli campaign was the first major battle undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). The struggle laid the grounds for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Continue on to Istanbul and check into your centrally located hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Accommodations: Akgun Hotel on Mar 20, 2012 departure, Kent Hotel Istanbul on all others. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Istanbul. This morning, visit some of the unique and iconic sites in the city. Start your tour at the Sultanahmet Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque for the tiles and paint adorning its interior. Built between 1609 and 1616 on the site of several previous palaces is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period, and even today it is a truly epic sight. More than 200 stained glass windows admit natural light, the floors are covered with thick carpets, and the walls are decorated with incredibly intricate tile work and verses from the Qur'an, many by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, the greatest calligrapher of his time.
Later visit nearby Hagia Sophia, also known as Ayasofya, built by the emperor Justinian I between 537 and 543 AD. The Hagia Sophia is famous for its massive dome and Byzantine architecture, which inspired much of the Blue Mosque. Built as an Orthodox basilica, and later became a mosque and finally a museum in 1935. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore this fascinating city, or take one of our optional tours.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon, enjoy an optional excursion to Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. The Topkapi Palace was residence of the Ottoman Sultans for more than 400 years. The palace became a museum of the imperial era in 1924. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, with the most important being accessible to the public today. The palace houses a large collection of porcelain, robes and armor, as well as Ottoman miniatures and jewelry. Next visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The bazaar was opened in 1461 and today there are over 1200 stores, many of which are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry, and other wares. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($50 per person). Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Istanbul. Enjoy your last full day in Istanbul at leisure.
Optional Excursion: You may choose an optional cruise on the Bosphorus and a visit to the Egyptian Bazaar. Cruise the straits that separate Europe and Asia, passing by the villas and palaces of the Ottoman Empire, as well as little fishing villages. The route zigzags across the straits for picture-perfect views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Suspension bridges. Disembark from your cruise and continue to the Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Market. You will be surrounded by the aromas of spices and oils as you explore the diverse shops of this famous bazaar. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($55 per person).
Optional Excursion: In the evening, you may also choose an optional Istanbul by night with dinner and show, experiencing local cuisine and folklore. This optional excursion can only be purchased locally ($80 per person). Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Istanbul/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport as you bid farewell to Istanbul and Turkey, and board your return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.
I loved this tour. The guide, Isa Levant was wonderfully personable and knowledgeable. The hotels were deluxe. The food very good. I am an artist and my next show is inspired by what I saw in Turkey. I am including some of my paintings.
— Esther Charbit, Chicago, Il