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13 Day Turkish Treasures

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Itinerary

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

DAY 2 - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3 - Morning City Tour of Istanbul
This morning, enjoy a half day morning tour of Istanbul, the only city that straddles two continents. Your tour includes a visit to the Blue Mosque, a 17th century Ottoman Mosque famous with its six minarets and magnificent interior with blue tiles. Continue to the Hippodrome, the place chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. Finally, 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 - City of Troy Sightseeing, Travel to Canakkale
This morning, cross the Dardanelles by ferry and drive to Canakkale. Upon arrival, 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. Continue to the Canakkale province, located in northwest Turkey, where you will arrive in the early evening
Overnight: Canakkale
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 - Pergamum Asclepion Tour, Travel to Izmir
Drive to Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period (289-129 B.C.), and visit the Asclepion, the ancient Roman spa center. Modern treatments that have been used for centuries such as psychotherapy, massage, mud bathing, and herbal medicine were practiced here. Enjoy lunch in a local village before continuing to Izmir, a city believed to be the birthplace of Homer
Overnight: Izmir
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6 - Full Day in Izmir
Enjoy a full day at leisure in Izmir. With over 3500 years of history, the port city known historically as Smyrna offers a variety of impressive archaeological sites, not to mention easy access to ancient Ephesus. Or perhaps simply relax in the city and sip Türk kahvesi, authentic Turkish coffee, at a café set along the scenic Pasaport Quay
Optional: Full Day Ephesus & House of the Virgin Mary with Lunch
Overnight: Izmir
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 - Necropolis & Hieropolis at Pamukkale
Today, depart in the early morning from Izmir and drive to Pamukkale en route to Antalya where you will arrive in the evening. Visit the Necropolis and the ancient city of Hieropolis ("Holy City"), situated atop the Pamukkale hot springs, which together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Pamukkale hot springs have served as a thermal bath since the 2nd century B.C., primarily for the ailing and elderly, many of whom have retired here
Overnight: Antalya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 - Full Day in Antalya
Enjoy a full day at leisure in Antalya. Founded by King Attalos of Pergamum as "Heaven on Earth," Antalya is an international resort city that has become a prime destination in Turkey. Long popular among yachters, the city also offers the liveliest nightlife on the southern coast, fantastic beaches, and world-class shopping, in addition to historic ruins in the surrounding region
Optional: Perge, Aspendos & Antalya Archaeological Museum
Overnight: Antalya
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 - Cappadocia Caravanserai Sightseeing
Today, depart in the early morning to travel to Cappadocia and visit the 13th-century Caravanserai of Sultanhan en route, a large abandoned city and shelter in Cappadocia, built on the Silk Road, whose main portal gate is considered a fine example of Turkish Seljuk art. During the Seljuk period, trade flourished, requiring roads for caravan transport and inns for the traveling traders. The Caravanserai provided these traders, both foreign and native, with heated rooms, food, medical attention, equipment repair and many other common conveniences. There was even a small mosque, known as "Kosk Mescid," in the courtyard's center where the travelers could conduct religious practices. Continue to Nevsehir in Cappadocia where you will arrive in the evening**
Optional: Whirling Dervishes Performance (PM)
Overnight: Cappadocia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 - Full Day in Cappadocia
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the area independently. A region of surreal rock formations and incredible cultural heritage, Cappadocia is home to rock-cut temples, ancient underground cities, and unparalleled landscapes
Optional: Cappadocia Balloon Ride (AM)***
Optional: Full Day Cappadocia (AM)***
Overnight: Cappadocia
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 - Travel to 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 with Anatolian Civlizations Museum – built in two Ottoman buildings located near Ankara Castle. The Museum, being among exceptional museums with its unique collection, has Anatolian archaeological artifacts, artifacts from the Paleolithic Age to the present are exhibited. It was elected as the first "Museum of the Year" in Switzerland on April 19, 1997
Overnight: Ankara
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12 - Return to Istanbul
This early morning, depart for your hotel in Istanbul. Spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel with your traveling companions
Optional: Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Spice Market (PM)
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13 - Depart for the USA
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.


Optional Tours

Half Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar Day #3 01 Apr 2014 - 13 Apr 2015 $65
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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 01 Apr 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 $85
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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.

Perge, Aspendos & Antalya Archaeological Museum Day #8 01 Apr 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 $69
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Drive to Perge, a Pamphylian city. Perge was founded between BC12-13. It is the most attractive and well preserved Pamphylian city. The ancient theater, stadium, towers, Agora, Acropol and the Palaestra which is given to Imperial Claudius are the highlights of the ancient city. Continue to Aspendos, founded in BC 4-5 by the colonists from Argos. Though it is well-known for its theater with a capacity of 30000 people, the city also boasts a stadium and a fountain. All the ruins in the city have remained from the Roman period and the theater is still being used for contemporary concerts. Later, return to Antalya and visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum which houses artifacts and antiques from 2500 years of Anatolian culture.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to renovations, departures between April 2 and May 31, 2014 will visit Perge, the Kursunlu Waterfall and Hadrian's Gate.

Departs approximately 8:30 am. Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Whirling Dervishes Performance Day #9 01 Apr 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 $45
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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 - 15 Nov 2014 $225
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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.

Full Day Cappadocia Day #10 01 Apr 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 $69
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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 Apr 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 $59
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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.

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.


Dates & Prices

Featured Hotels
Legacy Ottoman Hotel - details ★★★★ Istanbul
Grand Hotel Gulsoy - details ★★★★ Istanbul
Akol Hotel - details ★★★★ Canakkale
Kolin Hotel - details ★★★★★ Canakkale
Kaya Prestige - details ★★★★★ Izmir
Ege Palas - details ★★★★ Izmir
DoubleTree by Hilton Izmir, Alsancak - details ★★★★ Izmir
Barut Lara - details ★★★★★ Antalya
Akra Barut Hotel - details ★★★★★ Antalya
Porto Bello Hotel Resort & Spa - details ★★★★★ Antalya
Peri Tower Hotel - details ★★★★ Cappadocia
Dinler Hotel Urgup - details ★★★★★   Cappadocia
Hotel Dedeman Cappadocia - details ★★★★★   Cappadocia
Crowne Plaza Ankara - details ★★★★★   Ankara
Swissotel Ankara - details ★★★★★   Ankara
Hilton Ankara - details ★★★★★   Ankara
2014 Travel Dates Groupon Price
Sep 2 & Sep 3 $1799*
Sep 11 $1699*
Sep 15, Sep 30 & Oct 7 $1799*
Oct 8 $1699*
Oct 13, Oct 14 & Oct 16 $1799*
Oct 20 $1699*
Oct 21 $1799*
Oct 22 & Oct 23 $1699*

Please go to Groupon and book now!


*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 the following for a list of hotels by departure date: Monday departures, Tuesday Departures, Wednesday departures, Thursday Departures.

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