Trojan horses, ancient cities and bustling bazaars are some of the highlights on this exploration of Turkey's coast, which starts and ends in vibrant Istanbul. It's Insider moments like… smelling the homely aroma of flour which dusts the rustic table and clings to your fingers, as you learn how to make traditional bread with the locals of Demircidere. Kneading the dough, you hear about the lifestyle in this little village, and learn about the delicious wines, jams and raisins they produce from the olive groves and vineyards that surround them. Later you taste the fruits of their labour, sampling their homemade wine as the rich smell of baking bread fills the air.

Highlights of Turkey

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 8 DAYSCountry : TURKEY
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St Sophia's Basilica, Istanbul © Go Turkey
Pamukkale © Go TurkeyTrojan Horse © Go TurkeyHierapolis at Pamukkale © Go TurkeyEphesus © Go TurkeyBursa © Go Turkey

Trojan horses, ancient cities and bustling bazaars are some of the highlights on this exploration of Turkey's coast, which starts and ends in vibrant Istanbul. It's Insider moments like… smelling the homely aroma of flour which dusts the rustic table and clings to your fingers, as you learn how to make traditional bread with the locals of Demircidere. Kneading the dough, you hear about the lifestyle in this little village, and learn about the delicious wines, jams and raisins they produce from the olive groves and vineyards that surround them. Later you taste the fruits of their labour, sampling their homemade wine as the rich smell of baking bread fills the air.

Included in the price

  • 7 nights' accommodation (6 hotels)
  • 7 buffet breakfasts
  • 1 be my guest lunch
  • 6 dinners (including Welcome Reception, 4 three course dinners and Farewell Dinner)
  • All transport shown (including 2 ferries)
  • All transfers shown
  • All activities / sightseeing as mentionned in the program 

Day 1: Istanbul

Transfer to your hotel on arrival. Meet later with your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception. Meal: Welcome Reception. Accommodation: Radisson Blu Sisli

Day 2: Istanbul

Visit the impressive Topkapi Palace, one of the greatest palaces of the Ottoman period, which has a superb position overlooking the Bosphorus. Explore the magnificent St. Sophia's Basilica built by Constantine the Great. After lunch, discover the wonders of the Blue Mosque, famous for its six minarets and beautiful blue Iznik tiles. Finally, tour the Byzantine Hippodrome, where chariot racing and other sporting events were held. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Radisson Blu Sisli

Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Canakkale

In Gallipoli, see the Lone Pine Cemetery and the battlefields, including Anzac Cove and Chunuk Bair, where some of the fiercest fighting took place during World War I. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Kolin

Day 4: Canakkale - Troy - Pergamon - Izmir

Explore the legendary city of Troy, immortalised by Homer in the stories of King Priamus, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. Admire the archaeological excavations revealing nine separate periods of settlement, plus the symbolic replica wooden Trojan horse commemorating the epic war machine constructed in the 13th century BC. Visit the Asclepion Medical Centre at the ancient kingdom of Pergamon. This afternoon, enjoy a unique Be My Guest Luncheon. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining / Dinner. Accommodation: Mövenpick

Day 5: Izmir - Ephesus - Virgin Mary's House - Pamukkale

Your fascinating walking tour of the ancient city of Ephesus includes the House of the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Hadrian guarded by Medusa's head, and the Great Theatre, which was built by the Romans between 41 and 117 AD and is still in use today. Later, relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at your hotel in Pamukkale! Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Colosae Thermal

Day 6: Pamukkale - Hierapolis - Bursa

Visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis at Pamukkale, which is also famous for white 'Cotton Castles' formed by limestone-laden thermal springs. Finish your day in the city of Bursa. Dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Thermal Kervansaray

Day 7: Bursa - Istanbul

Wander through the old silk market and visit the Green Ottoman Complex. Continue to Istanbul and spend time haggling for souvenirs in the vast, bustling Grand Bazaar! Join your fellow travellers this evening for a Farewell Dinner to mark the end of your holiday. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Farewell Dinner. Accommodation: Radisson Blu Sisli

Day 8: Istanbul

Say goodbye to your companions and transfer to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, why not continue your splendid adventure on one of our superb cruises? Meal: Buffet Breakfast

Izmir

Izmir

Izmir is the cosmopolitan city on the Aegean coast, it is Turkey's third largest city and second most important port. Luxury hotels and facilities for sports, entertainment, shopping and business meetings and conference and incentive tourism of all kinds give the city a cosmopolitan and lively atmosphere all year round.
Bursa

Bursa

Modern, industrial Bursa is built around the mosques, mausoleums and other sites from its incarnation as first Ottoman capital. Despite being built-up and somewhat chaotic, its durable Ottoman core and abundant parks keep it remarkably placid in places. For some fresh air after pounding the old-town pavement, the soaring peaks of Mt Uludağ (Turkey's premier ski resort) and its national park are 22km away.
Archaeological Site of Troy

Archaeological Site of Troy

Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world with its 4000 years of history. Step into a world of myth and legend amidst the ruins at Troy Archaeological Site. The Archaeological Site of Troy is of immense significance in the understanding of the development of European civilization at a critical stage in its early development. It is, moreover, of exceptional cultural importance because of the profound influence of Homer's Iliad on the creative arts over more than two millennia.
The Virgin Mary's House

The Virgin Mary's House

House of Virgin Mary is located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in crowded place.
Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale

Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale

Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite laden waters have created at Pamukkale an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century BC the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar

The legendary Grand Bazaar, near the historic centre of Sultanahmet, which first opened its doors to traders in 1461, is a vast labyrinth of 61 covered streets encompassing 4.400 shops selling everything from jewellery and carpets to leather and antiques - intermingled with cafes, restaurants and beautiful ancient architecture. Although bargaining is still the norm, the Grand Bazaar today is a much calmer, less-crowded environment than yesteryear as many shoppers have migrated to the modern malls and high streets around Istanbul. On Wednesdays, you may like to visit the kilim auction at the Sandal Bedestan.
The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

With his eponymously named mosque, Sultan Ahmet I (1603–17) set out to build a monument that would rival and even surpass the nearby Aya Sofya in grandeur and beauty. Today it's more widely known as the Blue Mosque. The mosque's architect, Mehmet Ağa, managed to orchestrate the sort of visual wham-bam effect with the mosque's exterior that Aya Sofya achieved with its interior. Its curves are voluptuous, it has six minarets and the courtyard is the biggest of all of the Ottoman mosques. The interior has a similarly grand scale: the blue tiles that give the building its unofficial name number in the tens of thousands, there are 260 windows and the central prayer space is huge.
Gallipoli Battlefields

Gallipoli Battlefields

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale, was a World War I campaign that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Turkey

GEOGRAPHY: Sharing borders with Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Turkey also has a wide stretch of coastline along the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Seas. Blessed with large tracts of fertile soil, Turkey is one of the world's biggest agricultural producers, and visitors can expect to see many farms, orchards, plantations and areas of permanent crops occupying certain regions. Due to its location, Turkey is home to a wide variety of landscapes, from the rocky, forested coastline of the Black Sea region, to the rolling plateaus of the Marmara, the white sand beaches of the Aegean and the limestone formations of the Mediterranean. Adding further environmental diversity, the Anatolia highlands (considered the heartland of the country) feature rugged mountain ranges, snow-capped peaks and crystalline lakes.   

VISAS: Australian passport holders require a visa to enter Turkey. Australians visiting Turkey for the purpose of tourism or business may be eligible to apply online for an electronic visa, or e-visa. Australians visiting Turkey for tourism or business purposes, including for Anzac Day, will no longer be able to apply for a visa on arrival at airports and seaports from 10 April 2014. Diplomatic and official passport holders must obtain a visa from a Turkish diplomatic or consular office abroad before arriving in Turkey. Failure to do so is likely to result in refusal of entry.   

MONEY: The currency in Turkey is the lira. 1 AUD = 1.97138 TRY (4/03/2014).   

ELECTRICITY: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. The European two-pin plug is standard.   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey have very hot and dry summers, and wet, mild winters when the coastal towns more or less shut down between October and April. Winter in Istanbul and Cappadocia can be very cold with a dusting of snow. The peak tourist season is during high summer, roughly between July and September, and this is the ideal time for a beach holiday in Turkey. The spring and autumn months are also a good time to to visit, with warm days, cool evenings, and no mosquitos. Eastern Turkey should be visited during summer as roads and mountain passes may close due to winter ice and snow.   

TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +2 hours   

LANGUAGE: Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.   

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. People visiting Turkey are in for a treat with Turkish cuisine being among the world's best. Home to some of the best produce you can get your hands on, it doesn't matter where you eat - it's all good. From cheap bazaar bites to high-end restaurant cuisine, simple street food and home cooked wonders, Turkish food will rock your world (and your tastebuds).   

HISTORY
Early History: For thousands of years, classical Greek culture thrived in Turkey despite Roman invasions and Byzantine development. Between the 6th and 11th centuries, what is known as the 'Turkic migration' occurred, seeing millions of people migrate across Central Asia into Europe and the Middle East, thus forming the beginnings of Turkish society. The Seljuq Empire rose to power in the 11th century, giving way to Mongol rule after being defeated by the Mongol armies in the 13th century. By the 14th century, the Ottoman Dynasty had taken over the region, with the Golden Age of the empire occurring between the 16th and 17th century. This marked a period of expansion and growth until territorial losses forced its eventual decline in the 19th century. 
Recent History: The Ottoman Empire participated in World War I, aligned with the Central Powers. Some parts of Turkey were then occupied by the Allies after the war, which lead to resistance and the creation of a new parliament and abolishment of the Sultanate in 1922, thus ending six centuries of Ottoman rule.  The Turkish Republic was formally declared in 1923, with Ankara being named as the new capital and Mustafa Kemal 'Ataturk' becoming the republic's first president. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, but sided with the Allies towards the end of the war as a gesture of support. Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and more recently, has enjoyed increased stability, prosperity and economic growth fuelled by tourism, mineral mining and agriculture sectors.   

SHOPPING: With one of the biggest bazaars in the world, some of the best fashion boutiques and a thriving arts scene, shopping in Turkey is an enriching affair. Whether you're buying or window shopping, indulging in a little retail therapy in Turkey is a fun experience. It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Ramazan Bayrami (End of Ramadan), Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Ramazan Bayrami itself. Ramazan Bayrami and Kurban Bayrami (Feast of Sacrifice) may last up to several days, depending on the region    

                                      2014                     2015
 


New Year's Day           1 January              1 January 
Children's Day              23 April                 23 April 
Labour Day                   1 May                   1 May 
Youth & Sports Day     19 May                 19 May 
Victory Day                  30 August             30 August 
Republic Day                29 October            29 October 
Ramadan Festival        29-30-31 July         18-19-20 July 
Feast of Sacrifice        5-6-7-8 October     24-25-26-27 September   

HEALTH: Turkey’s healthcare system is in the midst of reform and has greatly improved over past decades, but the country has only basic public hospital medical facilities and has no state-funded general practitioner system. There is however an extensive private health care sector, including private emergency care hospitals, surgeons, dentists and other specialists. Inside the major urban centres such as Istanbul and Ankara, the quality of care in these clinics will match standards in Western Europe, but without private health insurance, getting treated in this environment can result in a hefty bill. Travel insurance which covers medical aid is essential. In the case of a medical emergency call 112. 
Food and drink: Mains water is chlorinated in towns and cities, but it is advisable to drink the widely available bottled mineral water. If a water source bears the words içilmez, it is not potable; sources labelled içilir or içme suyu are safe to drink. Milk is pasteurised. Eat only well-cooked meat and fish. When it comes to street food, common sense is advised; eat food that is freshly cooked and ideally, has been prepared in front of you. During the summer Turkey can experience temperatures up to 40C so carry a bottle of water to avoid dehydration. 
Other risks: Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. It is recommended that travellers visiting rural areas, get a rabies vaccination as this may be found in dogs, cats and other animals throughout the countryside. Turkey has very low risk of malaria, with the risk increasing towards the Syrian border in the south east of the country, but keen trekkers may want to stock up on supplies of insect-repellent.   


SAFETY / SECURITY: As in many Western countries, there is a threat from terrorism in Turkey and there have been a number of incidents, including small explosions in Istanbul, the capital Ankara, and in the coastal tourist resorts. There are continuing incidents of local terrorism in eastern Turkey, particularly the southeast. Visitors should avoid any public demonstrations. Street crime is relatively low although visitors should guard their valuables at all times. Many parts of Turkey lie on a major seismic fault line and are subject to earthquakes and tremors; several fairly recent earthquakes have shaken eastern Turkey, the southwest and southeast.   

TIPPING: Tipping is a way of life in Turkey and it is customary to give some small change for most services, or a small percent of the bill. In bigger hotels and restaurants if a service charge is not added to the bill, it is customary to tip between 10 and 15%. For taxi fares it is enough to round up the bill. Attendants at Turkish baths expect to share about 15% of the total bill if service has been good.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.   

Australian Embassy 
MNG Building, 
Ugur Mumcu Caddesi No.88, 
Gaziosmanpasa, Ankara, Turkey 
Telephone: +90 312 459 9500 
Fax: +90 312 446 4827
HIGHLIGHTS OF TURKEY PLUS 7 DAYS AEGEAN CRUISE

16 DAYS FROM $3,970PP

Trojan horses, ancient cities and bustling bazaars are some of the highlights on this exploration of Turkey’s coast. Then cruise from Turkey to Greece, where you discover the multi-coloured beaches of Santorini, the history of Rhodes, and the sun-warmed sands of Mykonos.

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