Stand at the ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia, embarking on a journey of discovery through ancient lands and the marauding empires who fought to rule it. Arriving in vibrant Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a memorable Welcome Reception to kick off your epic adventure.
Spend your day delving into a city where modern and ancient coexist effortlessly. Gain insights into the Ottoman Empire's power during your guided tour of the Topkapi Palace and see the 4th-century Egyptian obelisk. Visit Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome and the exquisite Blue Mosque, said to rival even the Great Mosque in Mecca. Dive Into Culture this afternoon, with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Spend your afternoon haggling with passionate market vendors lining its labyrinthine lanes. This evening, consider an optional dinner with Turkish folk and belly dancing.
Pay tribute to the brave souls who lost their lives at Gallipoli - the national pride of two nations, the Turkish and Australians, were awakened at the site of the bloody WWI battlefields and are commemorated to this day. See Anzac Cove and the Dardanelles, and visit the cemeteries of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, the final resting place of many Allied soldiers. We continue to Çanakkale where we dine at our hotel tonight.
Explore the legends of Troy and see the symbolic replica of the famous Wooden Horse the Greeks used to break their siege of this ancient city. Visit the ancient Asclepion Medical Centre in the city of Pergamon before retiring in seaside Izmir this evening where we'll dine at our hotel.
Stroll through the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, past the amazingly intact façade of the Library of Celcus and down to what was once its thriving port. See the House of Virgin Mary at Mt. Koressos then spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening you may consider joining an optional dinner at a local restaurant in Izmir and indulge in some of the local raki.
Leave the coastal city of Izmir behind as you journey inland to Pamukkale. Relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at your hotel before dinner.
Tread in the footsteps of the ancients who sought relief and relaxation at the Roman health spa at Hierapolis, then admire the bubbling pools and delicate white cascades of water of Pamukkale's Cotton Castle Springs. Later, we travel through scenic countryside and join the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains, where we'll Connect With Locals and gain insights into their traditions at our Be My Guest lunch. Our stop for the next two nights is the Mediterranean retreat of Antalya. Enjoy some time on your own ambling through the winding lanes of its old city and admiring beautifully preserved Ottoman architecture. This evening, join your companions for dinner at your hotel.
Enjoy a morning on your terms to soak up the enchanting seaside atmosphere of the Turkish Riviera, embarking on an optional yacht cruise or relaxing at the hotel pool. This afternoon, we travel to the Roman city of Perge to visit the impressive Antalya Archaeological Museum and see treasures spanning the centuries.
Witness the world's best-preserved theatre of antiquity during your first stop in Aspendos this morning, before continuing to Konya, where we will gain insights into the mystical Whirling Dervish sect whose remains lie in the Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum. We continue to the Karatay Tile Museum, spellbound by its exquisitely Seljuk-tiled dome, before returning to our hotel where we'll dine tonight.
See a well-preserved 13th-century caravanserai, at which weary travellers used to rest. We journey to Cappadocia with its honey-coloured rocky spires providing an enchanting backdrop for our visit to the underground city of Saratli on the ancient Silk Road. This evening, indulge in the flavours of traditional pottery kebabs during a Regional Dinner at a local restaurant, before retiring to your hotel with beautiful views of the surrounding fairy chimneys. Tonight we stay in one of Trafalgar's Stays With Stories located alongside the ancient Ortahisar rock castle.
The other-worldly landscapes of Cappadocia take centre stage today as we explore its volcanic landscape dotted with caves and troglodyte dwellings. We visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum to admire the extraordinary rock-hewn churches and Dive Into Culture to learn about the art of pottery making in Avanos before dining in our hotel this evening.
Arriving in the youthful capital of Turkey today, we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations and the final resting place of the country's beloved Atatürk, the first president of the modern Turkish nation. This evening we dine at our hotel in Ankara.
Returning to Istanbul, we enjoy the rest of the day on our own. Delve into the depths of the Basilica Cistern, savour the intoxicating smells of the Spice Market or ascend Galata Tower for exquisite views of east and west. Consider an optional cruise navigating the waters of the Bosphorus before meeting your Travel Director and fellow companions for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
Our epic journey into antiquity has come to an end as we bid Istanbul and newfound friends a fond farewell. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.