Asia Minor Tour

Asia Minor Tour

As tour manager for Trans Turk Travel, Derya’s love and interest for her country guided her enthusiasm into completing Classic Archaeology and Tourism Diplomas at Istanbul University, Turkey. With qualifications also in Business, English, Tourism and Travel Derya has created an incomparable itinerary that will satisfy every visitor to this ancient, mystic and historical country. Turkey’s mixture of culture, ethnicity and landscape will allow you to imagine how things were in the bygone empires that had once ruled this continent.

With an appetite for Turkish food, Derya has ensured that your taste buds will be teased throughout your trip. One comment that travellers continue to make is that they are amazed by the generosity and human nature of the Turkish people.

Derya’s hands-on and personal approach is paramount to ensure that all Trans Turk Travel customers have that timeless and unforgettable Turkish experience.

Come on a journey and experience not only a holiday away from home, but an expedition that takes you into the homes, hearts and history of this magnificent and astounding civilization.

Day 1 Sydney / Istanbul
Depart Sydney on Singapore Airlines mid afternoon. We are headed for Istanbul, a magnificent
city with its historical monuments.

Day 2 Istanbul
Arrive Istanbul and transfer to the hotel. After a short rest we embark on a tour of the Bosphorus strait which is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The Bosphorus is the strait of water which separates Europe from Asia. This cruise will give us a chance to see the finest palaces, houses and other structures along the shores. After lunch at one of the best seafood restaurants in the area, we will journey a scenic shore drive to the hotel for a rest. (L)

Day 3 Istanbul
A full day tour of Istanbul, visiting the Blue Mosque famous for its blue tiles and amazing calligraphy, Topkapi Palace, official residence of the famous Ottoman Sultans and the centre of State Administration around 400 years, the St. Sophia museum which is an impressive architectural monument which is magnificent in size, domes and adorned in mosaics. We then head up to the Grand Bazaar, well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Dinner is arranged at an authentic Turkish restaurant, taste kebaps and finish off with coffee and baklava. (B, D)

Day 4 Istanbul / Canakkale
Depart early morning from the hotel and drive to the Gallipoli Peninsula, scene of the heroic Anzacs fighting in World War I. Visit Anzac cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and the trenches on the battlefield before crossing the Dardanelle Straits by ferry to Canakkale. Overnight Canakkale. (B,D)

Day 5 Canakkale / Bozcaada Island
This morning we will continue to Troy where we view the ruins of nine cities built on top of each other and the replica of the famous wooden Trojan Horse. We then continue onto Bozcaada Island which is situated close to the entrance of Dardanelles. Bozcaada is a beautiful Turkish Island on the Aegean Sea with its castle, clean water, fresh air and vineyards. Taste the local wine and food as you take in the atmosphere of this delightful place. Overnight Bozcaada. (B)

Day 6 Bozcaada Island / Assos
Enjoy the morning to explore Bozcaada before catching the noon ferry to Geyikli. Continue to Assos where you will feel the history and scenic beauty of this charming fishing village. Assos is surrounded by olive groves and the ruins of the Doric-style Temple of Athena (530 BC). Don’t miss out on experiencing a beautiful sunset over the ruins of the temple that you will never forget! (B,D)

Day 7 Assos / Kusadasi
Explore Bergama which was known as Pergamon where parchment was invented. Pergamon had a huge library including 200,000 books which was given to Cleopatra as a marriage gift. The ancient city is composed of three main parts: the Acropolis, whose main function was social and cultural as much as it was sacred; the Lower City, realm of the lower classes; and the Asklepion, one of the earliest medical centres. Then we drive to seaside town of Kusadasi. Overnight Kusadasi. (B)

Day 8 Kusadasi
Visit one of the most fascinating and extensive ancient sites in the world. Ephesus will transform your mind back to the 1st century among the pavements and ruins. We then visit the House of Virgin Mary where she spent her last days, an important pilgrimage center for Christians. Having worked up your appetite, we head to Sirince, an old Greek – Turkish village. Here you can experience local hospitality in traditional style. Enjoy lunch, wine tasting and also check out the marvelous handicrafts of the village women. (B)

Day 9 Kusadasi / Pamukkale
Travel to Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish. These hot springs descending over hundreds of meters have created fascinating natural terraces, pools and channels. These healing warm waters have been used for therapy since Roman times. Check into the hotel and I highly recommend the thermal spring pool to relax. (B, D)

Day 10 Pamukkale / Marmaris
This morning we visit Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias is the most interesting ancient cities of Anatolia, with its famous sculpture school and its’ name dedicated to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Then continue to the yachting town Marmaris where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean Sea and is surrounded by pine clad hills. Overnight Marmaris. (B, D)

Day 11 – Day 15 Marmaris / Dalyan / Kas – GULET
Today after a short drive to Dalyan we take a river boat cruise to explore the rock carved tombs of the Lycians and see Iztuzu Beach with one side being fresh water and the other side the Mediterranean. This area is known for where the Caretta Carettas (turtle) finds its safe enough to lay their eggs. Then drive to Kas where our Gulet sailing adventure begins. We will have dinner and overnight on board. (B, D)

Our Gulet, which is a traditional wooden yacht, will take us cruising on the Mediterranean Sea. You will have your own cabin with private en-suite facilities, large open deck spaces, dining and lounging area which is decorated with traditional rugs and kilims. Gulet sailing will give us an opportunity to experience the beautiful coastline, laze in the sun, swim in the clear water of Mediterranean and enjoy dinner under the stars. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served on board.

Our journey takes us to Kekova Island where we will see the ruins of the underwater Sunken City, carved rock tombs in Demre, the eternal fires of Olympos and the harbours of the once major commercial centre of Pahaselis. After disembarking the gulet, we transfer to the hotel in Kaleici. This authentic area is known for its narrow streets, restored Ottoman houses, cafes and restaurants. Enjoy a walk around this historical and rustic old town.

Day 16 Antalya
Today we visit the Hellenistic Roman City of Perge. St. Paul visited this city on his first missionary journey to this region. Then continue to Aspendos to see the best preserved Roman theatre, where present day concerts are still being held. Overnight Antalya. (B)

Day 17 Antalya / Konya
This morning we drive to Konya, the home of the Whirling Dervishes. Visit Mevlana Museum and check into the hotel. Overnight Konya. (B, D)

Day 18 Konya / Cappadocia
Depart Konya and visit Sultanhani Caravanserai which is an ancient old hotel that served traders and travellers along the original Silk Route. Then we venture to Kaymakli, an incredible underground city and the place where early Christians hid from persecutors. (B)

Day 19 Cappadocia
Visit Goreme Open Air Museum with its many rock cut churches decorated with frescoes. Goreme is protected by Unesco and is world heritage listed. Continue to Urgup where you can still see how people once lived in homes cut into the rock, Avanos famous for pottery making, where it’s possible to try your hand at making a pot during the demonstration. Also view the Zelve valley where you can see many different styles of fairy chimneys. (B)

Day 20 Cappadocia / Kayseri Fly to Istanbul
Depart for Kayseri Airport for our flight to Istanbul. Transfer to our hotel in Istanbul. Today we experience the historical Turkish bath in the old city. This therapeutic and refreshing treatment is a favorite for locals and weary travellers. Once experienced, you will say “I have never been so clean in my life”. Overnight Istanbul. (B)

Day 21 Istanbul
Today we travel from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul. Driving to Camlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul for a panoramic view of the far-reaching city. Be treated at the café to a “gozleme” a savory traditional Turkish hand rolled pastry filled and sealed, then cooked over a griddle. Don’t forget the “simit” bread rings rolled in sesame seeds and quench your thirst like the locals with a traditional glass of Turkish tea. Then your afternoon is free time. Tonight we have a ‘Farewell Gala Dinner to Turkey’ at Orient House where you sample traditional Turkish folk dancing and experience the art of belly dancing. (B, D)

Day 22 Istanbul
This morning after breakfast it is the end of our journey. We board our return flight to Australia.

2016 Departures
14 May, 10 September

AU$9,290 per person twin share

Return Singapore Airlines economy class tickets
Domestic Turkish Airlines economy class ticket
Accommodation in superior class hotels
Air-Conditioned coach travel
5 Days Gulet Cruise
Fully escorted from Sydney
English speaking local guide
Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L:Lunch, D:Dinner)
All entrance fees
All hotel taxes and service charges.