TURKEY: Highlights of Turkey - 13 days
Destinations: TURKEY: Istanbul | Canakkale | Kusadasi | Pamukkale | Cappadocia | Istanbul
Tour Grading MODERATE: Suitable for travellers with an average level of fitness and mobility
Tour Commences In: Istanbul
Number of Days: 13 days / 12 nights
Accommodation: Luxury / Deluxe
Leaders: Professional Experienced Local Guide
Tour Concludes In: Istanbul
Tour Style: Luxury / Deluxe Escorted Small Group Tour
Meals: Breakfasts; 12: Lunches; 10: Dinners; 10:
Transportation: Luxury / Deluxe private chauffeur driven air-conditioned vehicles
Turkey has played a major role in the history of the Mediterranean world and, due to its strategic location straddling two continents. It has been a crucial crossroads and staging post on the trade routes between east and west. Turkey is now a melting pot of cultures, You will find it both fascinating and exotic as you tour through some of Turkey’s most awe-inspiring places, and experience culture and architecture like no other. Be mesmerized by both the ancient wonders like Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, to Pergamon, Troy and Ephesus and the unbelievable landscapes of the magical fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Join us and share our passion in the journey.
- Experience all the cosmopolitan delights of Istanbul
- Explore the Ottoman treasures in this magnificent city
- Shop in ancient bazaars that sell spices, clothing, jewellery, textiles and much more
- Cruise the Bosphorus that divides Europe and Asia and admire its glorious shoreline views
- Experience the nightlife with belly dancing and a whirling dervish performance of traditional Islamic dancing
- Pay your respects at Gallipoli; a time for reflection
- Explore the legendary, World Heritage-listed city of Troy, famous in Greek and Roman mythology
- Discover the Hellenistic city of Pergamon & the Altar of Zeus
- Explore the ancient city of Ephesus; the Greco-Roman ruins and large ancient cities, one of the world’s best preserved archaeological sites on the Aegean Sea
- Marvel at Pamukkale’s chalky travertine pools and soak in the age old hot springs
- Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis with its basilica theatre and Roman Baths
- Wonder at the amazing geological formations of ‘fairy chimneys’ in Cappadocia
- Explore underground cities in Cappadocia
- Take a balloon ride at sunrise over the amazing landscape
- Learn all about carpets and ceramics
- Enjoy a variety of delicious cuisine and regional delicacies
- Private international airport arrival and departure transfers for all guests
- Domestic Airfare – Economy Class – Cappadocia / Istanbul
(Price and availability for upgrade available on request)
- Luxury private air- conditioned vehicles for all our transportation
- Luxury, classic or boutique Hotel accommodation available
- Meals as indicated. "B" Breakfast "L" for Lunch and "D" for Dinner
- Private services of one or more international bilingual tour guides
- Admission fees to all activities, tours, excursions and entrance fees as noted in the program
(Istanbul City Tour, Gallipoli Tour, Pergamon Tour, Ephesus Tour (including Sirince Village and Temple of Artemis) Konya including Mevlana Museum, Cappadocia Tours X (2)
- Organising of any ‘luggage delivery’ via FedEx or postal services
- An exclusive information travel package
- Bottled water x 1 per day when in vehicle
Available on Request;
- International Airfares
- Single room surcharge
- Pre and post tour programs TBA
- Travel Insurance - Worldwide Travel Insurance
- Day 1: Arrive Istanbul:
- Day 2: Istanbul:
- Day 3: Istanbul:
- Day 4: Istanbul - Gallipoli – Canakkale:
- Day 5: Canakkale -‘Troy’ – Pergamon – Kusadasi:
- Day 6: Kusadasi-Ephesus – Selçuk – Sirince – Kusadasi:
- Day 7: Kusadasi:
- Day 8: Kusadasi - Pamukkale:
- Day 9: Pamukkale - Konya - Cappadocia:
- Day 10: Cappadocia:
- Day 11: Cappadocia:
- Day 12: Cappadocia - Istanbul:
- Day 13: Depart Istanbul:
All our hotels are excellent four and five star boutique hotels. We highly recommend our hotel as they have excellent services and facilities. All rooms have modern facilities, private bathrooms with double & two twin beds. Triple share accommodation may also be available and consists of two single beds plus a rollaway/fold-up bed.
Climate & Clothing:
In summer the weather in Turkey is hot and humid, the temperature between July and September averaging 82°F (28°C). Summers are relatively dry, but rain does occur all year round. During winter it is cold, wet and often snowy. Snowfalls tend to be heavy, but temperatures rarely drop as low as freezing point. The general rule is to bring comfortable clothing including lightweight cottons. Comfortable walking shoes are essential as is a light waterproof jacket. We provide a detailed packing list to all our guests prior to departure.
Currency & Money Matters:
The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.
The electrical current in Turkey is 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.
You must obtain Comprehensive Travel Insurance as a condition of travelling with Boutique Tours & Travel. We recommend that you purchase insurance at the time of Booking.
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
Our hotels offer a wonderful selection of dishes at their buffet breakfasts with a wide variety of both menu and venue for lunches and evening meals.
Medical Services & Facilities:
Our hotels have access to a doctor if required. They can also assist guests with purchasing of medicine. The international hospitals in Turkey are very good and have western trained medical and surgical specialists. Dental care is also available.
Passports & Visas:
To enter Turkey you require a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry and with at least two blank pages. A visa is required for most guests. Apply Here: https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/
Pre & Post Tour Accommodation:
Boutique Tours & Travel suggests that you may like to arrive a day before the start of your tour to allow time to relax and refresh. You are also very welcome to linger longer after the tour is completed.
Boutique Tours & Travel has negotiated special overnight rates at this hotel for both pre and post tour accommodation. Please ask for details at time of booking. Local tour guides are also available on request.
We welcome single travellers and we are able to arrange single accommodation. We negotiate strongly to keep single supplements at a reasonable cost. If you wish to share a room, we will endeavour to match you with another single guest and adjust the costs accordingly and refund any costs after you return home. We accept no responsibility for the suitability of a room partner.
Specific requests such as adjacent or connecting rooms, bedding requests, smoking or non-smoking rooms and special dietary needs or any other arrangement should be advised at time of booking. Please note that every effort will be made to secure your special request; however, they cannot always be guaranteed.
Turkey standard time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October)
Our small group tours provide you with a good balance of group activity and personal discovery.
We generally use modern deluxe minibuses for tours. We also walk where and when it’s suitable.
Water & Beverages:
Our hotels offer bottled water and bottled water is provided throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of this tour except for ‘welcome cocktails’ on the first evening.
- Historic Areas of Istanbul (1985)
- Archaeological Site of Troy (1998)
- Archaeological Site Bergama (2011)
- Ephesus (1994)
- Sümela Monastery (The Monastery of Virgin Mary) (2000)
- Archaeological Site of Aphrodisias (2009)
- Hierapolis-Pamukkale (1988)
- Konya - capital of Seljuk Civilization (2000)
- Seljuk Caravanserais (2000)
- Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia (1985)
Day 1: Arrive Istanbul:
Welcome to Istanbul, a city that straddles two continents. You will be met by your BT&T tour guide and driver and transferred to your hotel in Sultanahmet. Depending on your arrival time, you may like to wander around the old city or visit the Grand Bazaar. Your tour guide is on hand to assist with suggestions and arrangements. No visit to Istanbul is complete without experiencing a traditional Turkish bath house or Hamam at the historical Cemberlitas Hamam or at the 16th century Cagaloglu Hamam. Relax on the heated marble slab for an authentic steam, wash down, scrub and massage. Perhaps attend the Belly Dancing Academy and learn to Belly Dance! Perhaps attend a cooking class or spend a ½ day or full day discovering textiles with a specialist. (You may wish to arrive the day before to reap the full benefits of these activities) (There will be an extra cost for those who wish to participate)
Later this afternoon enjoy your special welcome dinner.
Day 2: Istanbul: (B/L/D)
This morning walk to the pearl of Byzance, Hagia Sofia, a 6th century masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, built as a Christian church, converted to a mosque in 1453, and made into a museum in the middle of the 20th century. See also the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I, called the Blue Mosque because of its interior tiles, with its six minarets and a great cascade of domes. Explore around the Hippodrome; this was the heart of Constantinople’s political and sporting life. Then continue to the impressive Topkapi Palace, which was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans, from 1465 to 1853. The palace is full of examples of Ottoman architecture and also contains large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasure and jewellery. Following lunch, walk or catch the tram to the Spice Bazaar, one of Istanbul’s most colourful and bustling markets. It’s filled with the fragrance of the exotic East, enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint and thyme fill the air, while shoppers make their purchases of spices, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and lokum, the sweet candy called Turkish Delight. Meander your way back to the Grand Bazaar with your tour guide. There are over 4000 shops in the Bazaar that have a fabulous selection for every taste and budget: Turkish crafts, jewellery, brilliant hand-painted ceramics, copper and brassware, meerschaum pipes and excellent quality leather and suede products, and of course a rich collection of world-renowned carpets. This evening we are entertained at a Turkish show.
Day 3: Istanbul: (B/L/D)
Begin today’s tour with the church of SS Sergius and Bacchus (537 AD), the first of a number of churches constructed during the reign of the Emperor Justinian. Then we visit the 6th Century Yerebatan Saray Sarniçi, called the Basilica Cistern (or Sunken Palace) this reservoir is the grandest of all. It was notable filmed in a scene from the James Bond movie ‘From Russia With Love’. This afternoon is as your leisure.
Day 4: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Canakkale: (B/L)
This morning you will head south to the province of Canakkale and the Strait of Dardanelles which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. Its shores touch both Europe and Asia. This is a historical and mythological-rich area and homeland of many widely known legends. The province has witnessed two very important battles in history. One of them is the mythological war of Troy and the other battle is the Battle of Canakkale. With our private guide we visit the sights of the Gallipoli battlefields including Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, The Neck, Plugges Plateau and Chanuk Bair. Lest We Forget. Later this afternoon we cross the Dardenells by ferry to the seaside village of Canakkale. Canakkale is a delightful example of a typical Turkish town on the Marmara.
Day 5: Canakkale -‘Troy’ – Pergamon – Kusadasi: (B/L)
Continue to drive south to explore the ancient and legendary city of Troy, scene of the Trojan War and the city of the "Iliad and the Odyssey". Homer’s fabled city. You will see the archaeological excavations that have been revealing separate periods of settlement. You’ll also see a symbolic Trojan horse that commemorates the epic war machine that was constructed in the 6th century BC. In the afternoon we visit the majestic Hellenistic city of Pergamon, once a powerful and cultured kingdom; a city famous for being a centre of art and learning and survives as one of Turkey's finest archaeological sites. The citadel is perched high above a plain and is a fine example of a defensive acropolis. It has a magnificent theatre the steepest theatre in Anatolia cut into a dramatic incline looking out on a broad panorama. We then proceed to Red Hall which was one of the biggest temples in Antiquity, dedicated to the Egyptian Goddess, ‘Serapis’. Then we will visit the Acropolis of Bergamo famous about its steepest Antique Theatre and the place where the Altar of Zeus once stood. Today you can see the Alter of Zeus in the Berlin Museum. The library was believed to contain 200,000 volumes, which Mark Antony later gave to Cleopatra as a wedding present. This is the birthplace of parchment which means “Pergamon Paper”. Perhaps visit a carpet making shop nearby before continuing on to your destination. (Optional)
Day 6: Kusadasi-Ephesus – Selçuk – Sirince – Kusadasi: (B/L/D)
Today you will have a full day of major site-seeing, starting with the Ephesus; the best-preserved and restored ancient city in Turkey and its magnificent terrace houses. Ephesus contains one of the largest collections of Roman ruins. It is known to be the Commercial, the Religious and the Social Center of Antiquity. Ephesus with its Great Theatre with a capacity of 24.000 spectators and famous Celsus Library, the Fountains of Trajan, the Temple of Hadrian and Domitian and Private Houses. Then drive to the historic village of Sirince, formerly a Greek village reverting to Turkey after the exchange of populations in 1924. Wander the cobblestone laneways of this hillside village, where women sell their colourful handwork amongst whitewashed houses where time has stood still. Enjoy lunch today overlooking the olive groves and enjoy a moment of Greek village life. Visit the Virgin Mary’s house where she is known to have spent her last days. Also visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and if time permits, visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum which exhibits the statue of Artemis before returning to Kusadasi.
Day 7: Kusadasi: (B)
Today is a free day for you to relax at this beautiful seaside town.
Day 8: Kusadasi – Pamukkale: (B/L/D)
Later this morning depart Kusadasi and drive to Pamukkale. Stop by Aphrodisias one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey. A city dedicated to the goddess of beauty and love “Aphrodite”. Its spectacular ruins include the largest ancient stadiums in the world, Odeon, Bishop’s Palace, Temple of Aphrodite and the museum Aphrodisias and public squares, several churches, a Sebasteion with its propylon, porticoes and processional way, and a stadium. Pamukkale is world famous for its volcanic spring water that cascades over steep, natural terraces to form pools, channels and stalactites which give rise to Pamukkale’s modern name ‘Cotton-castle’. (One of the natural wonders of the world formed by deposits of calcareous salts.) Also visit the ancient Roman Health Spa of Hierapolis. The Ancient Pool is also called ‘Cleopatra s Pool’ famous for it is thermal springs. Tour the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis including the impressive amphitheatre. This evening is at your leisure.
Day 9: Pamukkale – Konya – Cappadocia: (B/L/D)
Today drive west along a part of the Silk Road, an ancient trading route from China to Western Europe! Stop along the way to view the Aspendos Theatre, which is the best preserved Rome theatre in Asia Minor. In Konya, stop to visit the Museum of Sufi Leader of Mevlana, who was 13th century religious philosopher during the reign of Seljuks. Konya is the home of the Whirling Dervishes and site of the tomb of the Mevlana or Rumi, an important place of pilgrimage. Continue driving to Cappadocia and on the way there visit a Seljuk ınn, a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai. Driving into Cappadocia, you will find a wonderland of unusual lunar-like geographic formations. This is truly a surreal landscape.
Day 10: Cappadocia: (B/L/D)
Start your morning with an optional hot air balloon flight over the unbelievable Cappadocian moonscape. (Optional) Today explore Devrent and Monk's Valley, to see the extraordinary mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles or 'fairy chimneys'. Continue on to the small village of Avanos, famous for clay pottery design. After lunch, proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring the most impressive rock-carved churches and Byzantine frescoes in all of Cappadocia. This evening, attend a whirling dervishes ceremony, followed by dinner.
Day 11: Cappadocia: (B/L/D)
Start your morning with an optional hot air balloon flight over the unbelievable Cappadocian moonscape. (Optional) After having breakfast at the hotel, drive to the Red Valley and walk through orchards and vineyards. Between fairy chimneys and rock-carved houses; you can see the old cave churches and pigeon dwellings in caves. Afterwards, visit the old Christian village of Cavusin with its deserted houses after 1960’s making it look like a ghost town. Christian missionaries and communities once lived in the old Cavusin valley, now in ruins. Lunch will be followed by an excursion to Pigeon Valley. Visit the famous Kaymakli Underground City, which hid local Christians from Arab invaders, Ortahisar Castle and Mustafapasa Greek village.
Day 12: Cappadocia – Istanbul: (B/L/D)
After an early breakfast you fly to Istanbul. On arrival, visit Dolmabahce Palace, one of the world’s most opulent palaces and the largest in Turkey. It was the royal residence of the last 6 sultans of the Ottoman Empire and famous for its great collection of European antiquity, furniture and one of the world’s largest crystal chandelier, 4.5 tons, a gift of Queen Victoria of England. Enjoy lunch in one of the authentic Turkish fish restaurants. Then embark on your private boat for an unforgettable cruise experience on the Bosphorus, the strait connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and dividing Europe and Asia. This evening enjoy our farewell dinner.
Day 13: Istanbul: (B)
Today is at your leisure before transferring to the airport for your onward or homebound journey.
Depending on your departure itinerary, you may have time for some last-minute site-seeing or shopping. We are able to organise a private guide to accompany you.
|Istanbul:||Four Seasons Sultanahmet||Hagia Sophia Hotel||Golden Horn Hotel - Deluxe Room||Arena Hotel Sultanahmet|
|Canakkle:||Koiin Hotel||Kolin Hotel||Akol Hotel||Akol Hotel|
|Kusadasi:||La Vista Suite - Sea View||La Vista Suite - Seaview||Efe Boutique Hotel||Efe Boutique Hotel|
|Pamukkale:||Colossae Thermal Hotel||Colossae Thermal Hotel||Colossae Thermal Hotel||Ayapam Hotel|
|Cappadocie:||Museum Hotel - Junior Suite||Museum Hotel - Deluxe||Alfina Cave Hotel||Alfina Cave Hotel|
|Istanbul:||Palazzo Donizetti Hotel||Richmond Hotel||Richmond Hotel||Pera Tulip Hotel|
You may like to choose to mix your hotels; if so please contact us for a new quote.
If you have Salary Packaging at your workplace, you may be entitled to claim for accommodation and or meals. Contact us to discuss this further.