Day 1 Welcome to Turkey
Welcome to Istanbul! You will be transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is yours free to explore at your own pace. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 2 Best of Istanbul
We would suggest that you go ahead and have the tour on the day following your arrival so that you will be familiarized with your surroundings enough to enjoy the remainder of your time visiting some other spots that you may like to see, those can easily be negotiated on your own after you’ve had a good day of orientation.
This morning, embark upon a fully guided tour of the only city that spans two continents, Europe and Asia. Before lunch, we start with Eyup cable car, and then ride up it to the Pierre Loti Café, where the French poet Pierre Loti wrote while admiring views of the Golden Horn. Sit down and relax here, while soaking up commanding views of the horn-shaped fjord below that splits the city’s European shoreline into two. Step inside Rustem Pasha Mosque for a short tour. Small yet spectacular, this city secret boasts an eye-catching interior with a liberal smattering of geometric and floral tiles that adorn the walls and ceiling before a visit to the Egyptian Spice market (stock up on bargain saffron, spices and Turkish delight here!).
Why hit just one continent when you can get double value from the city that straddles two?
No stay in Istanbul would complete without a traditional and unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding straits seperating 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. While onboard, seeing Bosphorus Bridge and Rumeli Fortress, built in just 4 months in 1452 by Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation of his planned siege of Byzantine Constantinople.
The Marmaray provides you a unique chance to make a link between the European and Asian continents by train in a sub-sea tunnel (resting upon the sea floor beneath the waters of the Bosphorus Strait). This engineering feat was first conceived by a legendary Ottoman sultan in 1860. Designed to withstand earthquakes, this is the world’s first underwater tunnel that connects two continents. In theory, it brings closer the day when it will be possible to travel from London to Beijing via Istanbul by train! The giant rail system of Istanbul’s Marmaray Project was inaugurated and opened on October 29, 2013 following four years of construction delays that were largely due to the discovery of ruins dating from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
After lunch, a visit to the Hippodrome area – famed as the centre of Byzantine life for 1000 years and of Ottoman life for another 400! Continuing, visit the stunning Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, built by Emperor Justinian. Once a church, then a mosque, today it is a museum. Before tour’s end, visiting the Basilica Cistern an ancient underground water tank replete with carved and fluted Corinthian columns and a puzzling head of Medusa. Visitors walk on walkways suspended above the clear, now shallow water. It’s very cool and peaceful. Overnight Istanbul. (B, L)
Day 3 Ancient city of Troy
06:30-07:00 Pick up from your hotel in Istanbul and head for Troy in Canakkale. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of Troy! If you’ve seen the movie – ‘Troy’ or read the poet Homer’s – ‘The Iliad’ you’ll be familiar with Paris – Prince of Troy, his prized Helen and Hector – Prince of Troy on the Trojan side and Agamemnon and Achilles (he of the heel) on the Aechaean (Greek) side. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was bought alive by it’s rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed 9 ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC!
We enjoy a tour of the ruins and bear witness to a replica of the stoic Trojan wooden horse that, as the story goes, was filled to the gunnels with Aechaean soldiers who helped sack Troy. Canakkale city is also home to a replica of the Trojan horse used in the 2004 film Troy. Movie of Troy features an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. Overnight Canakkale. (B, L)
Day 4 WW1 Battlefields of Gallipoli and Cape Helles
Start your day at 08:30 with a pickup from your hotel and take a ferry across the Dardanelles to Eceabat – closest town to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. The battlefields cover an extensive area from Cape Helles at the southern tip of the peninsula north for over 35 km (22 miles) to the Anafartalar hills. Around 100,000 were killed and 400,000 wounded during the nine-month campaign (1915-1916).
The World War I battlefields of Gallipoli are now a serene site. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead. Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery (the site where Albert Jacka became the first Australian to be awarded a VC in WW1), Chunuk Bair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek(where the Australian Light Horse Brigade suffered heavily in August offensives), Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years. Roughly 3 feet deep, the system of trenches provided much need safe cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy.
We’ll also visit the Cape Helles Memorial to the missing where the majority of those who fell in 1915 are commemorated and Seddulbahir to see the grave of Doughty-Wylie. We then visit the British sector where the SS River Clyde landed 29th division on V Beach and the Lancashire landing site where the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers were awarded six VC’s before breakfast (walk duration approximately 2 hrs). At X Beach, we see where HMS Implacable landed the 2nd Royal Fusiliers before visiting Krithia vineyard, Krithia war museum and nearby Redoubt Cemetery. This visit requires some walking as the roads to the beaches are not accessible by coach.
The day ends on the small Kabatepe Information Centre and Museum – a museum of modest proportions which exhibits period uniforms, weapons, copies of letters from servicemen and other poignant personal possessions. Outside the small museum are some memorial gardens and top views of the peninsular memorials dotted across the landscape.
18:00 We return to Istanbul in the evening arriving back at approximately 23:00 hours. Overnight Istanbul. (B, L)
Day 5 Istanbul
You are free to depart at any time today. After breakfast your tour draws to a close and we say goodbye to our new friends before being transferred to the airport. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally noon, but luggage storage facilities are available. We are able to organise extra post-trip accommodation and day tours/activities if you wish to extend your stay. Happy travels! (B)
(B – Breakfast, L –Lunch, D –Dinner)
>>Tour Package Includes:
0 Inbound and outbound airport transfers
0 Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking minivan
0 Professional English-speaking local tour guides
0 Guided sightseeing at Istanbul, Troy, Gallipoli and Cape Helles
0 Entrance fees for all included sightseeing
0 VIP entry to many sights
0 Tips except driver and guide
0 Local taxes and service charges
0 24-hour emergency hotline
0 7 meals: 4 breakfast, 3 lunch
(This tour provides a variety of dining experiences, including buffets, à-la-carte dining and set menus. Whenever possible, we will try to honor special dietary requests)
0 4 nights – 4 star and boutique accommodation in total.
– 1 night in Canakkale http://www.hoteldesetrangers.com.tr
– 3 nights in Sultanahmet http://www.gardenhouseistanbul.com or Taksim http://www.istanbultryp.com
>>Tour Package Excludes:
0 Entry visas where applicable
0 Meals unless otherwise stated
0 Personal expenses
0 Transport to and from Turkey
Low Season (01.11.2017-15.03.2018 ⊥ 01.11. 2018-15.03.2019)
410 Euro twin share
390 Euro triple share
140 Euro single supplement
High Season (16.03.2018-30.10.2018)
460 Euro twin share
440 Euro triple share
220 Euro single supplement
If you are travelling with children you may be eligible for a discount, please advise childrens ages.
>>Please make note of the following:
0 We’ll be happy to work with you in creating and fine tuning an itinerary for your holiday. Our itineraries are flexible and you can certainly make changes to hotels and other aspects of the tour program. You can travel by air, land or sea with public transport or private arrangements. Whatever you want to include in your personal itinerary we can arrange it and maybe suggest a few things you hadn’t thought of. True Blue Tour means trouble free, pleasant and positive experience throughout Turkey…
0 We can arrange any type of accommodation you prefer, whether it be budget or five star luxury or anything in between. Our suggested hotels are based on True Blue Tour’s experience in accommodating our guests and also based on feedback from our guests. Each suggested hotel is located superbly and provides excellent service and accommodation quality. Those hotels can be upgraded or downgraded as per your preference.
0 If you prefer private transfers and/or privately serviced excursions, please inform us and we will make the appropriate revisions.
0 We’ll be happy to make alternate suggestions if you’ll let us know your general preferences.