Highlights of Turkey
The cradle of civilisation including , visits to Hattusas, Cappadocia, Termessos, Pinara, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Troy, Gallipoli and Istanbul.
Travelling through this historic land you will discover why Turkey has been named ‘the cradle of civilisation’ we explore many fascinating historic cities starting in Ankara, the Capital of modern Turkey; and finishing in Istanbul. We trek into the stunning Cappdocia, walk through the impressive scenery and visit the important natural, cultural and historic sites of Western Turkey.
If Turkey is commonly considered as the crossroads of two continents and several civilisations. In this country everything is in sublime juxtaposition with one another, times and landscapes coexist hand in hand harmoniously: remains of Greek, Roman, Seljuk, Ottoman civilisations etc… Churches and monasteries built everywhere here and there, are the witnesses of the intense development of the Christianity like nowhere else.
We will spare one day for discovering the place which was successively Constantinople, Byzance and Istanbul: the richest and the most attractive city of the country. It is a unique city, built embracing two continents - Europe and Asia - and it preserves prestigious monuments testifying to the richness of its history.
An opportunity of discovering which no one should miss.
Day 1: Ankara
Meet at the airport of Ankara with our Anatolia Cultura Travel
team and transfer to hotel for the night.
Day 2: Ankara – Hattusas – Kayseri (Trf 4:30)
Visit of the Anatolian civilisations museum with its priceless collections of artefacts from the Neolithic to roman periods, including the showpiece Lydian treasure.
Departure for Bogazkale where the major Hittite site is set: Hattusas. This city, the Hittite religious centre was known as the city o temples because over 70 temples stood there. The largest ruins are those of the great temple of the storm god Tesup.
After the visit we continue on to Kayseri, to install in hotel for the night.
Day 3: Kayseri – Cappadocia (Trf 1:20)
Kayseri was known as Caesarea in Roman times, and the city lies out of the foot of the extinct volcano Mt Erciyes (3916 m). The city is rich with Seljuk architecture, we will visit the Hunat Hatun Mosque (13th) and the beautifully decorated Döner Kumbet mausoleum of 1276.
Departure for Cappadocia where we install in hotel in Göreme.
Cappadocia is really a strange fairy land: the wind and rain have eroded this plateau covered with tufa and soft stone comprised lava thrown by the volcanoes Hasan and Erciyes three millions years ago, creating a spectacular landscape.
In the afternoon we’ll discover the pigeon valley, between Uçhisar and Göreme.
Night in hotel.
Day 4: Cappadocia : Kizilcukur (red valley) – Cavusin village – Pasabaglari valley (fairy chimneys)
Walk in Kızılçukur (Red Valley), this valley is certainly the most beautiful in Cappadocia with its formations and red colours: during millions years ago, rain and wind worked together to erode the soft volcanic rock; you will see here that the result is really fairy. Small valleys, cones, peaks and fairy chimneys alternate harmoniously on our way. Because he needed to become integrated into this extraordinary landscape, man built into it cave dwellings, frescoed churches. We will visit some of them en-route.
Then, following a trail, which offers a panoramic view, we walk down to the picturesque Çavusin village, an ancient Christian settlement.
Our discovering of Cappadocia will continue on discovering Paşabaglar, where the most typical fairy chimneys are situated: some are getting destroyed, whereas some others have still three "heads"...
5 hours walk.
Day 5: Cappadocia – Ihlara valley – Konya (Trf: 1:10 + 3:15)
Departure for the Ihlara valley:
3 hours walk in the Ihlara valley, along the Melendiz with the rhythm of bird’s songs. This valley is particularly rich with flora due to presence of water. We visit certainly ones of the most beautiful orthodox Christian churches (from 6th and 13th century) with good conserved frescoes on the rock faces of the valley. We have Lunch-break at the bank of the river in Belisirma village.
Then we drive to Konya. En route we visit the 13th century Sultanhani caravanserai built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat.
In the afternoon arrive to Konya, the Capital of the Seljuk Turks (12th 13th centuries). Overnight hotel.
Day 6: Konya – Antalya – Side (Trf: 5:30)
Konya is the native city of the mystic Mevlana the founder of the order of Whirling Dervishes. We visit his mausoleum and the museum housing manuscripts of Mevlana’s works and various artefacts related to the mysticism of the sect.
Departure for the coastal city of Antalya that we pass through to join Side, one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey; it was an ancient harbour whose name meant pomegranate. Today it is a pretty resort town. You may take the opportunity to swim in the Mediterranean…
Night in hotel.
Day 7: Side – Trek Zerk to Koprulu kanyon - Side
On the Northeast of Antalya, the flanks of Mt Kuyucuk offer a spectacular scenery and beautiful trails.
A drive will take us at Zerk site where it is possible to visit the remains of and old city called Selge; today the best conserved monuments of the city is the theatre. Through unusual rock formations our ways takes us nearby the Koprulu canyon River. You may take opportunity to experiment a rafting afternoon. Possibility to swim in the cool water of the river. Possibility also to swim in the Mediterranean.
Then drive back to Side for the night.
Day 8: Side – Termessos and Pinara visit and walk – Fethiye ( Trf: 3:00)
Drive to Termessos. The ruins of the antic city set in a national park is perched on a 1050 m high plateau on the west face of Gulluk mountain. A wild and splendid landscape traces of this city. We walk through the ruins before joining by bus Pinara antic site.
We visit this old lycian city, which was created by colonists coming from Xanthos which was then over-populated. Between 2 steep sides valleys the acropolis draws up, On the northern face, a natural section of wall, you will see an extraordinary accumulation of rock-cut tombs. We walk in an imposing mountainous decoration, between the necropolis, the Greek theatre, the Roman bath, the agora, the public place and the church.
Then drive to Fethiye where we spend the night in hotel.
Day 9: Fethiye – Kayaköy – Öludeniz – Pamukkale ( Trf: 4:00)
Short transfer to Kayakoy, originally named ”Karmilassos”. This an old Greek village given up at the beginning of the 20th S. in accordance with the treaty of Lausanne which envisaged an exchange of population between the two countries. Two admirable churches are still drawn up among the stone-built houses in ruin. After the visit we go on trekking on a forest path which offers a splendid panorama on the limpid turquoise water splits. We walk directly down to the Oludeniz lagoon. In this part of the Mediterranean, it is possible to bathe very late in the season, and if the temperature allows it, the amateurs of the bath will find their happiness here. Transfer to Pamukkale for overnight. Walk 3 hours.
Day 10: Pamukkale – Hierapolis visit – Selçuk (3:00)
Pamukkale is an extraordinary natural wonder : the calcareous waters rise from the ground and tumble down the mountain forming a myriad of pools. Stalactites are formed as the water overflows from the pools, creating a breathtaking sight unequalled in the world. After this enjoying place we drive to Hierapolis ruins.
This antic city was founded in 190 B.C. by the King of Pergamon; and in the 2nd century it becames an important Roman bath center. Hierapolis has such extensive ruins that we’ll really enjoy this visit: theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica, necropolis etc.
Drive to Selçuk for overnight.
Day 11: Selçuk – Ephesus – Çanakkale (Trh: 5:10)
Visit of Ephesus, an important city of antiquity. It is considered as one of the highlights of Turkey. The city was adorned with splendid monuments, theatres, temples, agora, gymnasiums, libraries etc... The protector of the city was Artemis, the goddess whose temple was considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
Drive to Çanakkale set at the bank of the Dardanelle. Overnight hotel.
Day 12: Çanakkale – Troja and Gelibolu visit - Çanakkale
In the morning, visit of an important site in Çanakkale that is Troy: the mythological war of Troy, which Homer immortalized in his Illiad. Archeological digs in Troy (Truva) have proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement. (3000 BC-AD 400). Here, one can see the ruins of city walls in addition to the Wooden Horse of Troy.
Then visit of Gallipolis : The battlefields and memorials are spread a wide area of the lower peninsula. After visiting the battlefields and memorial monuments and cemeteries we join back Çanakkale for the night.
Day 13: Çanakkale – Istanbul by ferryboat via Bandirma
Drive to Bandirma (2:30) where we get in the ferryboat to Istanbul. (2:30)
We spare a full day for discovering the place that was successively Constantinople, Byzance and Istanbul: the richest and the most attractive city of the country. It is a unique city, built embracing two continents - Europe and Asia - and it preserves prestigious monuments that testify to the richness of its history.
Night in hotel.
Day 14: Istanbul visit
Visit of the main monuments of the city: The Topkapı palace the Higia Sophia museum (St Sophie), the cistern basilica, the Blue Mosque and the spice bazaar.
Overnight in hotel.
Day 15: Istanbul - Return
Drive to airport for the return flight.
Groupe size: Possibility to organize according to your needs.
Please note that this is a sample cultural tour. Possibility to modify the itinerary add/remove days and/or combine with cultural visits.
Inclusions of our services:
English / French / Spanish / German speaking licensed tour guide.
All transfer and transportations necessary for the respect of the itinerary.
All accommodations in hotel according to your needs.
All breakfast are included in the accommodations. Lunches as per your needs.
Dinners as per your needs.
All entrances fees as per your needs.
Exclusions of our services:
Flights (please note that our agency is able to provide domestic and international flights. If needed please request)
Tips and personal expenses.Drinks during meals.
Possible hot air ballon flight in Cappadocia