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Itinerary

Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart.

DAY 1 - Depart for Turkey
Depart for Turkey. Your flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for your journey.

DAY 2 - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure. This evening, enjoy dinner and orientation with your Tour Manager.
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3 - Istanbul City Tour
Enjoy a half day morning tour of Istanbul, the only city that straddles two continents. Your tour includes a visit to the Hippodrome, the place chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. You will also visit St. Sophia - the great Byzantine Basilica built in the 6th century, which remained the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years, it was later converted to a mosque and now serves as a museum. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, exploring this city that blurs the line between East and West, with incredible architecture that is rivaled only by its spectacular natural setting on the Bosphorus Strait.
Optional: Half Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar (PM)
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 - Anzac Cemetery, Drive to Canakkale
This morning, visit the Blue Mosque, a 17th century Ottoman Mosque famous with its six minarets and magnificent interior with blue tiles. Afterwards, drive to the town of Gallipoli, site of the famous Ottoman victory against the Allies during World War I. Visit the Anzac Cemetery, a memorial to the casualties of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, who’s fame grew back home as word of their heroic efforts spread. April 25, 2015 will mark the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the Gallipoli Campaign. Afterwards, cross the Dardanelles by ferry and continue to the Canakkale province, located in northwest Turkey, where you will arrive in the early evening.
Overnight: Canakkale
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 - Visit Troy, Pergamum, Drive to Kusadasi
This morning, proceed to the classical city of Troy. Tour this 4000-year-old city and legendary center of the Trojan War, made immortal by Homer's epic poem The Iliad. Then, drive to Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period, and visit the Asclepion, the ancient Roman spa center. Continue to Kusadasi, a city believed to be the birthplace of Homer, where you will arrive in the early evening.
Overnight: Kusadasi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 - Day at leisure in Kusadasi
Enjoy a full day at leisure in Kusadasi.
Optional: Full Day Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary with Lunch
Overnight: Kusadasi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 - Pamukkale Hot Springs, Necropolis, and Hieropolis
Depart Kusadasi and drive to Pamukkale. Visit the Necropolis and the ancient city of Hieropolis ("Holy City"), a UNESCO a World Heritage Site situated atop the Pamukkale hot springs. The Pamukkale hot springs have served as a therapeutic thermal bath since the 2nd century B.C..
Overnight: Pamukkale
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 - Travel to Konya
Today, travel from Pamukkale, the "Cotton Castle," to Konya, a city renowned for its Seljuk architecture and also as the home of the whirling dervishes. Arrive in the afternoon and visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana before dinner this evening.
Overnight: Konya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 - Visit Caravanserai of Sultanhan en route to Cappadocia
Depart for Cappadocia, visiting the magnificent Caravanserai of Sultanhan en route. Continue to Nevsehir in Cappadocia.* Upon arrival in Cappadocia, visit a carpet atelier and have a demonstration of carpet weaving.
Optional: Whirling Dervishes Performance (PM)
Overnight: Cappadocia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 - Day at leisure in Cappadocia
Enjoy a full day exploring Cappadocia independently. Famed for temples and houses cut directly into the region's spectacular rock formations, Cappadocia has captivated travelers for centuries.
Optional: Cappadocia Balloon Ride (AM) **
Optional: Full Day Cappadocia (AM) **
Overnight: Cappadocia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 - Ankara, Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk
This morning depart for Ankara, the capital and the second largest city of Turkey. Upon arrival, visit the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Leading up to the Mausoleum, also known as the Anitkabir, lies a vast brick courtyard and monumental avenue lined with NeoHittite stone statues and cenotaphs beneath its colonnades. The most noted cenotaphs within the complex are those of General Ismet Inonu, a close comrade of Ataturk's and his successor, and that of Ataturk himself, a large and highly decorative marble cenotaph, beneath which lies his tomb. Continue to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum - built in two Ottoman buildings located near Ankara Castle. The Museum, being among exceptional museums with its unique collection, exhibits Anatolian archaeological artifacts, as well as artifacts from the Paleolithic Age to the present.
Overnight: Ankara
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12 - Day at leisure in Istanbul
This morning, depart for Istanbul. Arrive in the early afternoon and enjoy some time at leisure before a Farewell Dinner this evening.
optional: Half Day Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise & Spice Market (PM)
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13 - Depart Turkey
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: Breakfast

*Day 9: If time permits there may be a visit to a local school en route to Cappadocia

**The Cappadocia Balloon Ride tour ends before the Full Day Cappadocia tour begins. Both tours can be done on the same day.

Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.


Optional Tours

Book your Optional Tours before you travel and see more, save time, save money, and protect your investment. Tours purchased while traveling may cost an extra 10% or even more! Tours often sell out - avoid disappointment! Save your cash - many countries do not accept credit cards. Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure.

Half Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar

Day #3 01 Apr 2014 - 31 Dec 2015 $65

This tour's highlights include the Underground cistern – water source of the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, the largest of its kind in Istanbul, the structure's interior includes a few hundred marble columns. Your tour will also take you to the Topkapi Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans housing the richness of 700 years. Visit the Treasury section with the crown jewels and the unique collection of Chinese porcelains. Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, world famous shopping center where you can shop for carpets, jewelry, leather and more at your own leisure.

Approximate tour duration is 4.75 hours.

Full Day Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary with lunch

Day #6 16 Nov 2014 - 13 Apr 2015 $85

Ephesus is situated in the fertile Ionian landscape and famous throughout history for its temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Ephesus is considered to be the showpiece among all the antique cities of the world. Leave your hotel for Ephesus and first visit the house of Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary accompanied St. John to Ephesus, where she spent her last years living near a grove of olive trees close by to Ephesus. A visit is considered to be a Pilgrimage by the Vatican. You may collect holy water from the sacred spring. Visit the Basilica of St. John who came here and wrote his gospel. Ephesus was undoubtedly, one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. Among its impressive structures you will marvel at the library of Celsus, temple of Hadrian, the theater and the Odeon. Includes lunch at a local restaurant.

Pickup details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 8.5 hours, subject to hotel location.

Whirling Dervishes Performance

Day #9 01 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2015 $45

Also known as the "Sema Ritual", Whirling Dervish performances began with the inspiration of Mawlana Jalaleddin Rumi who is one of the greatest mystical poets of Islam. The Mevlevi Sufi order was founded to follow his teachings. The captivating dance of the whirling dervishes, which displays infinite spinning in perfect harmony, is part of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture. It is a rare opportunity to experience a seven-century old ritual, featuring beautiful costumes, live music with flutes, string and percussion, and the amazing sight of the Dervishes whirling on the stage.

Pickup details to be advised locally. Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Cappadocia Balloon Ride

Day #10 01 Apr 2014 - 31 Dec 2015 $225

Depart early in the morning for a fantastic hot air balloon tour that takes you soaring over the magnificent Cappadocian landscape with its incredible fairy chimney rock formations. A hot-air balloon flight is unique from all other methods of flying in that there is no sensation of motion, creating an experience of tranquility unlike any other. Traveling at heights of up to 1500 feet, the feeling is both serene and sublime. Within moments of lifting off, drift over the treetops and discover the spectacular landscape from an unrivaled perspective. The deep canyons and lush, fertile valleys of Cappadocia provide an ideal setting for a memorable flight and it may even be possible to pick apricots from the trees when they are in season.

Departs at 5:00 am. Approximate tour duration is 3.5 hours.

Please note that the take-off time and the duration of the flight may vary due to weather conditions. Balloon rides will vary between 50 & 75 minutes according to the wind.

If the weather conditions are determined to be less than optimal, the flight may be canceled.

Full Day Cappadocia

Day #10 01 Apr 2014 - 31 Dec 2015 $69

Depart your hotel for a full day tour in Cappadocia. Visit the Open Air Museum in Goreme Valley to see the early Christian churches decorated with unique frescos depicting various scenes from the Bible. Later, visit the Ozkonak Underground City, an ancient city built on the northern slopes of Mt. Idis. The city has many strata made up of volcanic granite. Its larger areas are connected to each other by tunnels. Ozkonak had a built-in communication system of pipes on each of its levels, unlike Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, which have no such systems. Each carved out room had ventilation provided by holes when the city was closed against enemies. Next, visit a carpet atelier and enjoy a demonstration of carpet weaving. Lastly, visit the village of Avanos that is famous for its beautiful old houses, pottery and onyx.

Departs approximately 8:30 am. Approximate tour duration is 8.75 hours.

Half Day Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Spice Market

Day #12 01 Jan 2014 - 13 Apr 2015 $59

No stay in Istanbul would be complete without a traditional and unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding straits separating Europe and Asia. The humble fishing villages and suspension bridges set against the dramatic outline of the Strait exemplify the newest link between the East and West. Afterwards, walk over to the famous Spice Market of Istanbul and explore independently before returning to your hotel.

Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.


Dates & Prices

Hotels Available for Departure Dates

Featured Hotels
Legacy Ottoman Hotel - details ★★★★ Istanbul
Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel - details ★★★★★ Istanbul
The Plaza Hotel - details ★★★★★ Istanbul
Best Western The President Hotel - details ★★★★ Istanbul
Grand Hotel Gulsoy - details ★★★★ Istanbul
Kolin Hotel - details ★★★★★ Canakkale
Akol Hotel - details ★★★★ Canakkale
KoruMar Hotel - details ★★★★★ Kusadasi
Pine Bay Holiday Resort - details ★★★★★ Kusadasi
Pam Hotel - details ★★★★ Pamukkale
Richmond Thermal - details ★★★★ Pamukkale
Colossae - details ★★★★ Pamukkale
Ozkaymak Konya - details ★★★★ Konya
Anemon Konya - details ★★★★+ Konya
Dinler Hotel Urgup - details ★★★★★ Cappadocia
Crowne Plaza Ankara - details ★★★★★ Ankara
Swissotel Ankara - details ★★★★★ Ankara
Hilton Ankara - details ★★★★★ Ankara

Please go to Groupon and book now!

Day 2015 Travel Dates Groupon Price
Thursday Feb 5 $1499*
Thursday Feb 12 $1499*
Tuesday Feb 17 $1399*
Wednesday Feb 18 $1399*
Thursday Feb 19 $1399*
Tuesday Mar 3 $1449*
Thursday Mar 5 $1399*
Monday Mar 9 $1399*
Wednesday Mar 11 $1399*
Thursday Mar 12 $1399*
Wednesday Mar 18 $1399*
Monday Mar 23 $1499*
Wednesday Mar 25 $1399*
Tuesday Mar 31 $1499*

*Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.

Additional Information:
Arrival and departure transfers are only included with arrival into Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST).

Accommodation Details:
Some departures are operated with more than one coach. Hotels of similar standard may be substituted. Click here for a list of hotels by departure date.

Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Visas are required for Turkey


Is This Trip Right for You?
This moderately active program covers a good amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking on some touring days. The pace is moderate, however a majority is over uneven surfaces, stairs, steps and significant slopes. Most wake-up calls are before 7 am. Bus rides to Ankara and Istanbul are approximately 7 to 8 hours. Those who are claustrophobic or have preexisting knee or back conditions may want to avoid visiting the Underground Cities in Cappadocia. Passageways are narrow and may require crouching to navigate.