19 DAY – THE COLONEL

Anasayfa » Tours » 19 DAY – THE COLONEL

Discover the Turkey

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Glorious cities, wine country, dramatic canyons, and coastal towns. This tour is truly a marvelous and diverse composition of popular and hidden gems of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Central Turkey, and Gallipoli.

The Dawn Service at Anzac Cove and a guided tour of Gallipoli, reveal many relics of the naval and land battles that took place in 1915 during WW1. The strains of the Last Post will echo across the valleys and ridges of Gallipoli, silent now but once the scene of so much sacrifice and tragedy.

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey,

Welcome to Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel and free time to explore the city or take a rest. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2: Best of Istanbul,

After breakfast, we embark upon a fully guided tour of the city that spans two continents, Europe and Asia.

We visit the Hippodrome area –known as the centre of Byzantine Empire for 1000 years and Ottoman Empire for the other 400 years! Continuing, we visit stunning Blue Mosque and then Hagia Sofia, built by Emperor Justinian. Once a church, later converted into a mosque, then a museum and the mosque again, nowdays. Before tour’s end, we have time for the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water tank decorated with carved and fluted Corinthian columns and a puzzling head of Medusa. Visitors walk on walkways constructed above clear, now shallow water. It’s very cool and peaceful.

After lunch,

Our tour will finish with a Bosphorous tour, because no stay in Istanbul can be complete without a traditional and unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the stream separating Europe and Asia, without the humble fisherman villages and impressive bridges set against the dramatic outlook of the Strait, exemplifying the newest link between the East and West and the Rumeli Fortress, built in just 4 months (in 1452) by Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation of his planned siege of Byzantine Constantinople.

The end of the day we will visit, the Egyptian Spice market (to stock up on bargain saffron, spices, and Turkish delight )

Overnight Istanbul. (B, L)

Day 3: North Cappadocia,

05:00. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kayseri airport then transfer to Cappadocia (about a 1-hour drive). Cappadocia is an extraordinary national treasure and it may be even the jewel in Turkey’s illustrious crown. Turkey’s most visually striking region, where erosion has formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, fairy chimneys, and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock.

09:30. The tour starts by visiting Esentepe, a hillside with spectacular views over the Göreme Valley. taking photos of the magnificent, lava-formed landscapes as a taster of what’s to come, and then we set off with the guide to explore properly. To visit Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), whose chimneys are widely regarded as the best in Cappadocia, to see a chapel dedicated to the well-known reclusive monk, St. Simeon as well as some small cave habitations that were carved and used by monks one thousand years ago. and ogle the Devrent Valley, where more mushroom-shaped pinnacles cover the hillsides.

We drive to the pottery town of Avanos, where the longest river Kizil Irmak (Red River) in Turkey passes through. You will have the chance to view the pottery making demonstration and even try your hand at making your own unique pot. Then a break time for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the UNESCO-listed Goreme Open-Air Museum, famous for its rock-cut chapels coated in Byzantine frescoes. You will admire the beautifully painted chapels. Marvel at the numerous cave churches and monasteries with their richly frescoed walls painted by Orthodox Monks around 1000-1200 AD.

Then visit of the Uchisar Castle. Situated at the highest point and providing superb panoramic vistas, it is a large rock formation full of interconnected rooms, tunnels, and passages that have been carved from the tufa. Scattered throughout the immediate surroundings are several Roman tombs also cut from the tufa. Board back to your coach and end your experience with a hotel drop-off. Spend the evening at leisure amid Cappadocia’s magical landscape. Overnight Cappadocia. (B, L)

OR don’t miss the “Optional Whirling Dervish Ceremony & Traditional Turkish Folklore Evening”

19:30. A great night out where dinner, unlimited drinks, and entertainment are included in the price, which takes place in a cave restaurant, which is carved into the region’s soft volcanic rock. The show features belly dancers, traditional folk dancers, and traditional Turkish musicians.

Before drinks are served, Mevlevi Dervishes perform the whirling sema ceremony with a Sufi music concert. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed the ‘The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony’ of Turkey as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The dervish music and whirling event last about 15 minutes. These shows not only introduce you to Turkish culture and various Anatolian dances but provide you with a genuinely entertaining show.

Day 4: South Cappadocia,

Optional Hot Air Ballooning

IF YOU CHOOSE  the option of taking a hot-air balloon ride, the day will start as described below:

05:30. A balloon ride over the moonscapes of Cappadocia, a region famed for being one of the best places in the world for ballooning. You will discover the stunning landscape of the region from the air! Admire Cappadocia’s beautiful scenery of tall, volcanic rock spires and high plateaus on a 1-hour flight.

Toast your unforgettable experience with a glass of Champagne during the post-flight celebration and receive a souvenir medal. Your Cappadocia hot-air balloon flight includes a complimentary pre-flight buffet breakfast and convenient round-trip hotel transportation.

IF NOT, the tour will proceed as follows:

09:30. Tour begins with a visit to the remarkable underground city of Kaymakli, which was occupied during the period of early Christianity so the local population hid underground for protection. When the Arabs invaded Asia Minor in the 7th and 8th centuries, Cappadocia remained relatively undisturbed by the conflicts; perhaps because the monks and local Christians went underground, literally, excavating the subterranean cities and richly frescoed cave churches which you can explore today. Kaymakli is one of many such complexes that have been discovered in the region. Wind through the tunnels and chambers as you descend several levels underground.

Then we will visit Cavusin, an old Christian village, where you will see a triple apse church and the Monastery of St. John the Baptist. The day touring includes lunch and an easy grade, three-kilometer hike through the Red Gulludere Valley, inaccessible by automobile and providing breathtaking scenery. Walk among the fantastic rock formations and along the way discover hidden frescoed cave churches and, before the tour ends, we will visit the natural landmark of Ortahisar Castle.
18:00. transfer to the airport for a flight to the exotic city of Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul.
(B, L)

Day 5: Istanbul (Free Day),

Day at leisure. Istanbul is easy to get around on foot and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted about the city, check out the Grand Bazaar for exotic souvenirs or soak up the ambiance of the city at your own pace. Overnight Istanbul. (B)

Or, you can choose to immerse yourself in history and beauty of Istanbul on our

1) optional Rest of Istanbul tour or

2) an optional full-day trip to explore Buyukada, the largest of Turkey’s Princes’ Islands.

1) Optional Rest of Istanbul Tour

Enjoy an extensive tour of the Topkapi Palace and Harem Museum, the royal residence of the legendary Ottoman Sultans, now converted into a museum. Originally constructed between 1460 and 1478, the lavish palace boasts four lush courtyards made up of pavilions, kitchens, barracks and kiosks; an impressive treasury with an assortment of treasures and artefacts; and fantastic views over the Sea of Marmara.

The royal quarters where the sultan, his family and, yes, many concubines lived are there, but be sure not to miss the Chamber of Holy Relics, which has King David’s sword, a fragment of Moses’ staff, and John the Baptist’s arm and a section of his skull. Relics of Mohammed are also on display.

Before lunch, check out the labyrinthine and chaotic, Grand Bazaar sprawling over a huge area in the heart of the Old City. This was the first shopping mall ever built during the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. Starting as a small masonry bedesten (covered market), today, the bazaar has 16 hans (caravanserais), 64 lanes, mosques, banks, a police station, restaurants, workshops and more than 2000 shops, making it a world within itself. Before long, it became the center for trade in the entire Ottoman Empire. At its prime, the market was locked down and guarded by more than a hundred soldiers every night, like a fortified castle.

After lunch, a visit to the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by the greatest, richest and most powerful of Ottoman sultans – Suleymaniye I, better known as Suleymaniye the Magnificent and the nearby Kariye Museum, where you will see some of the finest examples of Byzantine art, frescoes and golden mosaics. Your guide will take you through the lifetime of Jesus and Mother Mary following the artefacts on the walls.

Your tour then ends with a visit to the City Walls, initially built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land. As the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century. Ultimately the city fell from sheer force of Ottoman forces on 29 May 1453 after a 6 week siege.

2) Optional Princes’ Islands Leisure Tour

Head to the port with your guide to board your boat to the Princes’ Islands. The largest and most interesting one is Buyukada – your destination of the day! While cruising, look back on the sights of Istanbul, seeing iconic landmarks like Topkapi Palace and pretty Kiz Kulesi (also known as Maiden’s Tower or Leander’s Tower), which was featured in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Dock in Buyukada and then amble through the streets with your guide, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of island life. Vehicles are notably non-existent here, and the pretty roads resonate with the pleasing clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages. Hop aboard your own carriage and explore Buyukada at a fittingly relaxed pace. Your guide will explain the island’s history as you travel, talking about its time as a place of exile for banished statesmen and royalty, and of its life as a monastic settlement during Turkey’s Byzantine-Christian period.

Pass the lovely wooden mansions that exemplify the island’s late Ottoman-era architecture, and look out over the sparkling sea lapping on the shores. Seagulls are everywhere in Buyukada, and if you want to feed them your guide will give you simits (bread with sesame seeds) so you can throw them a treat.
Stop for lunch at a seafood restaurant and then spend the rest of your day at leisure on the island. Bring your bathing suit if you want to swim, or explore the island’s craft shops and waterfront cafés. Meet your guide at a pre-arranged time for your boat ride back to Istanbul. The last leg of your journey is made by coach to your Istanbul hotel, where your tour ends.

Day 6: Istanbul to Gallipoli,

12:00 / 12:30. Departure for the 5-hour drive to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli, as we drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the straits of the Dardanelles, we’ll see the waterway that the British, French, and Anzac troops were intended to secure during the Gallipoli campaign.
17:00 / 17:30. On arrival at the Gallipoli battlefield area we will enjoy free time for dinner in the port town of Eceabat before we head to ANZAC Cove at 20:00 where the ANZAC legend was born, to secure a good spot at the ceremonial site in readiness for the long night ahead.
(Please note: No accommodation is available on this night – you will sleep under the stars as the ANZAC’s did 102 years before * The evening may be very cold – please come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing * Food and drinks are available to purchase near the dawn service site)

Day 7: Dawn Service,

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Day 8: Gallipoli Tour,

The World War I battlefields of Gallipoli which were once the site of fierce fighting are now a serene site, 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 ANZAC Cove and Commemorative Site, 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.
You will also have the chance to visit the Turkish 57th Infantry Regiment Cemetery and Memorial and the sculpture ‘Respect to Mehmetcik’ at Pine Ridge. (Mehmetcik – ‘Little Mehmet’ – an affectionate Turkish nickname for Ottoman/Turkish soldiers).
Among the many statues, cemeteries, and memorials at Gallipoli, this one stands out. Recalling a true event, the Mehmetcik Memorial revive the moment an incredible event occurred:
“A piece of white underwear was raised from one of the Turkish trenches and a well-built, unarmed soldier appeared. Everyone was stunned and we stared in amazement. The Turk walked slowly towards the wounded British soldier gently lifted him, took him in his arms, and started to walk towards our trenches. He placed him down gently on the ground near us and then straight away returned to his trench. We couldn’t even thank him. This courageous and beautiful act of the Turkish soldier has our love and deepest respect to this brave and heroic soldier”. First Lieutenant Casey
Richard Casey later became Governor-General of Australia and served at Gallipoli as aide-de-camp to Major-General Sir William Bridges.
The day ends on the small Kabatepe Information Center and Museum – a modest museum that 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. Overnight Gallipoli.

Day 9: Troy and Pergamum,

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, on the Aechaean (Greek) side. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was brought alive by its rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed 9 ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC!
Also, a tour of the ruins to 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, with Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom.
Visit of the ancient Acropolis of Pergamum en route to Kusadasi, once the capital of the East Roman Empire, sitting in a stunning location on top of a hill, Pergamum is also famous for its awesome hillside amphitheatre, one of the steepest in the classical world. The highlight of any visit is the Temple of Trajan, the ruins of what would have been a colossal marble temple, that has been carefully restored using ruins found on the site. There is also the dramatic amphitheatre, carved steeply into the hillside, and thought to date back to the 3rd century BC.
In the early Christian era, Pergamon’s church was a major center of Christianity and was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. We’ll follow a picturesque route along the Aegean coastal to the cosmopolitan resort town of Kusadasi where your hotel awaits. enjoy dinner and then spend the rest of your evening at leisure. Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 10: Ancient city of Ephesus and Sirince Village,

09:00 Start our tour, we explore the legendary Ephesus open-air museum – positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. Under the Romans, Ephesus was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000, reveling in prosperity from commerce. We have plenty of time to visit the marble ruins of Ephesus, the famous Library of Celsus, the gymnasium of Vedius, the Stadium, and the Great Theatre. We’ll see ancient public toilets, a brothel, fountains, and various temples.

You will also have the chance to visit the pilgrimage point claimed to be the last home of the Virgin Mary before driving to the nearby Ottoman-Greek village of Sirince, trying some of their specialty fruit wines, and take a break to enjoy a delicious lunch of Turkish cuisine at a local restaurant, The road to the village passes through vineyards, orchards, and olive groves sometimes referred to as the Tuscany of Turkey. Get your cameras ready as you stroll with your guide up and down the narrow cobblestone lanes between buildings of stone, wood, and plaster. The fragrance of burning wood or the local orchards in bloom will captivate your senses.

We continue to the nearby site of the Temple of Artemis also known as the Temple of Diana, built in around 550 BC and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and see the restored column that marks the site while listening to the history of the temple, which was rebuilt three times before its destruction in 401 AD. It was discovered during excavations that were undertaken by the British Museum, in 1869-1874 under the supervision of J.T. Wood and 1904-1905 under David G. Hogarth. Many of the ruins are displayed at the museum in England.

Before the tour ends, we will visit the wonderful example of Seljukian architecture, Isa bey Mosque located just beneath the citadel in Selcuk near the Basilica of Saint John. Its interior is carved and decorated beautifully and a masterpiece of its time. Overnight Kusadasi. (B, L)

“During your free time, given while you are in the open-air museum, opt to visit the amazing tile murals and artwork of the Terrace Houses. Excavated from the 1960s to the 1980s, the structure is a city block of 1st-century AD (Roman) private residences, comparable to a condominium and occupying about 4,000 square meters (about an acre). In many regards, the remains are on a par with the famous ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy – making them one of the world’s key sites to experience and admire the sophistication, luxury, and aesthetic refinement of upper-class Roman domestic life. Surprisingly, only about one in twenty visitors to Ephesus explores this unique structure”. (Entrance to the Terrace Houses is not accompanied by a guide and requires (additional entrance fees paid on the spot).

Day 11: White calcium formations of Pamukkale,

08:00 Driving east, we arrive in Pamukkale – home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castle, they are natural phenomena and gifts of Mother Nature. Pamukkale formed when warm, calcium-rich mineral water cascaded down and as it cooled, settled on the edge of the cliff. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs, known as travertines. Today, many of the pools are closed to tourists. However, areas of the travertines can be walked upon, albeit in bare feet.
We can also opt to enjoy a unique and very pleasant dip in the warm waters at the Pamukkale Thermal, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns near the center of the ruined spa town of Hierapolis, which was a cure center founded around 190 BC by the Romans who were aware of the curative powers of mineral springs, so they created communal baths.
In the afternoon, transfer by bus south towards the Aegean coast to the resort town of Bodrum, once known as Halicarnassus, the popular resort and yachting port, at the western end of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Overnight Bodrum. (B, L)
Bodrum may be just as much of a hyperresort as Kusadasi and Marmaris, but with its sugar-cube houses, draped in bougainvillea, and the palm-lined streets it has been more successful at clinging to its original charm. Despite the influx of charter deals and larger louts in high summer, a short walk along the waterfront will show Bodrum is gaining a reputation as the Monte Carlo of the Aegean, with a smart new marina, sophisticated restaurants, and millions of dollars worth of sailing craft laying over for a night or two. Bodrum’s outstanding Museum of Underwater Archaeology is also well worth a stop in itself.
But it’s certainly not a place for those whose idea of a dream holiday revolves around peace. For years the outdoor Halikarnas disco reveled in its fame as the loudest disco in the Med and these days it has competitors too. Come in spring or autumn, however, and Bodrum reverts to a pleasant, relatively low-key resort. Not surprisingly, tourism is the local economy’s lifeblood, although there’s a plentiful tangerine crop in winter.

Day 12: Bodrum,

Day at leisure in Bodrum. visit Bodrum castle, museum of underwater archaeology, and antique theater of Halicarnassus, or spend the day relaxing on the beach on your own. Alternatively, you can choose an optional day trip to the Greek Island of Kos or relax on a day cruise around the crystal waters of Bodrum. Overnight Bodrum. (B)
Optional Kos Island Independent Day Trip from Bodrum
The day starts with a pickup from the hotel and then board the hydrofoil in Bodrum to cruise southwest to the island of Kos, roughly twenty minutes away. The most easterly Greek island, Kos sits adrift in the southeastern Aegean Sea and boasts paradisaical scenery and history in equal measures.
After docking at the port, how you spend your time on the gorgeous island is up to you. All entrance fees, food, and drinks are at your own expense. Follow the footsteps of sun worshipers to the island’s best beaches and enjoy a day of soaking up the sun on the sand. Visit Paradise Beach for soft sand and calm waters, relax in tranquil seclusion at Limnionas Beach or maybe stroll along the pebbled shores of Agios Theologos Beach.
If you are keen to discover the island’s urban delights, head into Kos town to explore its palm-fringed streets, thronged with restaurants, bars, and shops. The town is home to some of the island’s more interesting historical landmarks and Roman ruins. Perhaps pay a visit to the Castle of the Knights (Kos Nerantzia Castle), to explore the ruined towers, battlements, and ramparts that date to the days of the knights’ reign. The group of Christian crusaders occupied the city from the 14th century for some 200 years.
Having enjoyed your day, make your way back to the island’s port at the prearranged time. Then, simply re-board your hydrofoil, and cruise back over the sea to Bodrum. Your independent day trip then finishes with a drop-off at your Bodrum hotel.
Optional Bodrum Peninsula Full-Day Cruise
Start the day with a pickup from the hotel towards the port. Step aboard a hydrofoil boat and cruise away from the city and around some of Turkey’s most unspoiled stretches of coastline.
Spend a day cruising around Turkey’s glorious Bodrum Peninsula on a full-day cruise
The exact route taken depends on the sea conditions, but it will always take in several of the beautiful sheltered bays and pine-fringed beaches that personify the Bodrum Peninsula. Soak up the scenery from out on the deck and admire the region’s sun-drenched shoreline framed by forests and hills Enjoy frequent stops to swim, snorkel and top up your tan, read a book while lying under the sun, or simply sit back and ogle the scenery as you cruise from cove to cove.
“Kara Ada” or “Black Island” is a gorgeous yachting island that’s known for its mineral-dense waters, it is always on cruises, so enjoy a stop to bathe in the grotto and see if its mineral waters enhance your complexion, as the legend suggests. The island is a popular stop-off on cruises around Turkey’s so-called “Turquoise Coast”.
Roughly halfway through the day, a stop for lunch, cooked on board by the crew. Meals vary but typically include a fresh salad, grilled chicken, and rice or pasta. (beer, wine, and soft drinks are available while onboard) (own expense).
After exploring the scenic coastline of the Bodrum Peninsula, cruising back to Bodrum, and finishing the day trip with a drop-off at the hotel.

Day 13: Bodrum to Fethiye/Oludeniz,

Relaxing morning before an afternoon drive further south the Mediterranean coast to Fethiye, rests on a broad Mediterranean bay boasting some of Turkey’s best beaches and yachting.
Night stay either in the resort town of Oludeniz, famous for paragliding or harbour town of Fethiye. (B, D)
Oludeniz (Dead Sea), about 15 km southeast of Fethiye, is not devoid of life like its biblical namesake., rather, it’s a sheltered lagoon hidden from the open sea. The scene as you come down from the pine-clad hills is absolutely beautiful: in the distance open sea, in the foreground a long spit of sandy beach.
Unfortunately the paradise that many past travellers fondly recall has all but been ruined by the tightly packed belt of hotels behind the beach. Oludeniz (the lagoon) and Belcekiz (the adjacent beach resort) used to be one of the highlights of independent travel in Turkey but the development of identical air-conditioned hotels, loud bars and overpriced restaurants has hardly bolstered its appeal. Many travellers may prefer to shoot straight through. Note that the name of the lagoon (Oludeniz) is becoming synonymous with the town and that asking for Belcekiz may draw a blank.

Day 14: Fethiye/Oludeniz,

As desired, a choice between a day cruise around the 12 Islands of Fethiye, discovering Dalyan river and experiencing the therapeutic properties of the mud and thermal baths, explore one of Turkey’s highlights Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, or visit the stunning Greek Island of Rhodes. Overnight Fethiye or Oludeniz. (B, D)

Optional 12 Islands Full-Day Cruise
This tour will make a climax in your holiday, and the word fantastic will fall short in describing it. We promise a perfect day on board our fully equipped and comfortable vessels with all the services you might need providing and a lot of activities for every taste and state of vintage. With more than enough legroom for our guests on our 65 foot single and double-decker boats, you will find comfort and peace. Clean toilets and shower facilities, bar, sunbeds and shades, fishing tackle and snorkeling apparatus, jackets for non-swimmers and beginners for all ages provided on the boats.
Pick-up from accommodation and a drive to Fethiye harbor to mark the start of an enchanting ODYSSEY along with the 12 Islands, on a myriad of bays and islands where navies and corsaires sought shelter from tempests all through man’s nautical history, Swim in the aquarium-clear crystalline waters, disembark and take strolls at various islands and bays, sunbathe and fall asleep in tune with mother natures most tranquil lullaby, and have BBQ lunch on board. Return with unforgettable memories.
Optional Dalyan River, Sultaniye Mud Baths, Caunos, Turtle Beach Tour
We drive through pine and frankincense forests along with the most spectacular scenery of the Taurus chain of mountains on one side, the Mediterranean coast on the other.
A vast green area with unique properties, Dalyan is a very popular small town not spoiled by buildings. The wonderful 7 kilometers sandy Iztuzu Beach, which is accessible by a 45 minutes boat trip, is one of the last nesting areas for the Caretta caretta, Sea Turtles. Between May and September, the female turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs, keep a check on them from time to time and finally, take their babies to the sea.
A 15 minutes boat trip will take you to the sulfur bath which is a different experience for many people visiting the city. The mud containing sulfur and other elements is said to be good for skin conditions and makes you feel refreshed and revitalized, also there is a small spa where you can just relax.
Caunos, the ancient city near modern Dalyan, was founded around the 9th century BC. Once it was a Mediterranean city port, but over the centuries the silt from the Dalyan River choked the harbor, and today the town lies several kilometers from the sea. Caunos is famous for its rock-cut tombs. These were graves for the kings and important people of the city. Since the pagans of the area believed in resurrection, they put lots of food, money, jewelry, and other valuable items in holes at the entrance of the tombs, but because of grave robbers, there is nothing left today.
Optional Rhodes Island Independent Day Trip from Fethiye
A pick up from Fethiye hotel or meet up the air-conditioned vehicle at a pre-arranged location towards the port and there board a high-speed catamaran to Rhodes, the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands. Enjoy the views of the Aegean Sea during a 45-minute crossing to Rhodes Town, the island’s charming capital. Conveniently, the ferry port is an easy walk from the walled Rhodes Old Town, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities.
Free time there, those wishing to visit the island could head straight for the UNESCO-listed Rhodes Old Town, entering through one of the seven gates in its walls. Then, spend the day exploring the cobbled streets and Gothic, Frankish, and Ottoman gems of this stunning district founded by the Knights of St John in the 14th century. Admire the Street of the Knights and visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Decorative Arts. Delve into the maze-like alleys to see the gorgeous medieval architecture; shop for Rhodian lace and ceramics, and sample Greek dishes at the tavernas and cafes.
Alternatively, hit the capital’s modern shopping district, laze on its beaches or absorb the views from historic Mandraki Harbour, once the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. All entrance fees, meals, and drinks are at your own expense. Return to the port in the late afternoon to catch the catamaran back to Turkey. Overnight Fethiye.

Day 15: Fethiye / Oludeniz to Kas,

Heading west around the coast towards Kas with a stop at the atmospheric village of Kale Koyu, sitting beneath Simena Crusader castle and looking out over turquoise waters to rocky, uninhabited Kekova Island. Peeping out from a riot of carob, palm, walnut, fig, and banana trees, the village is a mere smattering of old Greek houses, three of which are simple pensions.
Kas, once an unspoiled fishing village, is now a relatively unspoiled tourist town on the southern bulge of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast two hours’ drive southeast of Fethiye and three hours’ drive southwest of Antalya. Overnight Kas. (B)
A more workaday destination than Kalkan, Kas – pronounced (roughly) ‘cash’ – may not sport the finest beaches in the region, but it’s a yachties’ haven and the atmosphere of the town is wonderfully mellow. The surrounding areas are ideal for day trips by sea or scooter, and a plethora of adventure sports are on offer, in particular some excellent wreck diving.
Extending to the west of the old town located the 6km-long Cukurbag Peninsula where you’ll find a well-preserved ancient theatre, about all that’s left of ancient Antiphellos, the name of the original Lycian town. Above the town, in the mountain wall, several Lycian rock tombs could be seen even at night when they are illuminated and also, lying just offshore, could be visited the geopolitical oddity of the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo).

Day 16: Kas,

Day free, easy walks, difficult treks, white-water rafting trips, diving, and snorkeling. Visits of ancient cities, paragliding, and boat trips – the list is almost endless. The town is very family-friendly and is popular amongst travelers of all ages, abilities, and levels of fitness. Overnight Kas. (B)

Optional Lycian Way Trekking
Walking partly Turkey’s Lycian Way, widely regarded as one of the world’s great trails, appreciating the landscape of this great country differently, impossible from inside a bus. This active journey is for those looking for a better way to appreciate magnificent sceneries. Casual walkers and serious trekkers will hike through pine forests and olive groves, across flower-filled fields, past shepherd’s huts, and breathtaking valleys. This is an adventure at its purest and most simple.
Optional Greek Island of Meis Kastellorizo Independent Day Trip from Kas
A very pleasant day trip to the closest Greek island to Turkey, “Meis Kastellorizo” which sits just opposite the harbor of Kas. A tiny Dodecanese island with a population of around 450 people.
09:30 Meet up at Kas harbor, (all you need is your passport), sail over to Meis island to spend the whole day, meet the Greek culture, relax in the sun on the beach or walk the island. The harbor area in Meis is charming with a warren of alleys and houses behind the pretty waterside shops and restaurants.

Day 17: Kas to Antalya,

Drive along the Turquoise coast, stopping for a lunch in Olympos, home of the world-famous treehouses before heading towards the ‘capital’ of the Turkish Mediterranean Coast: Antalya, a sprawling modern city with a small, charming historic center, an archaeological museum, long sunny beaches to east and west, the Turquoise Coast’s busiest airport, good hotels, lots to see and to do and dramatic sea and mountain views. Overnight Antalya. (B)
Situated directly on the Gulf of Antalya, this quickly growing epicenter of both ancient history and thoroughly modern Turkish culture has, since the 1960s, become known as a gateway for the country’s so-called “Turkish Riviera”. It lays claim to some of Turkey’s finest restaurants, one of its most impressive archaeological museums, and some of its best-preserved Ottoman architecture, The preserved Roman-Ottoman quarter of Kaleici commands a heart-stopping view of the Beydaglari (Bey Mountains), as well as the Roman harbor at Kaleiçi’s base. Over the past decade, sun-worshippers heading to nearby Mediterranean resorts have been laying over in Antalya in such great numbers that the guesthouse industry has experienced astounding growth, by more than 200%, according to tourism officials.

Day 18: Antalya,

Enjoy a full day at leisure in Antalya. 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. A fascinating optional tour is offered to the Pamphylian city of Perge and the ancient city of Aspendos. Overnight Antalya. (B)
Optional Perge-Aspendos-Side and Kursunlu Waterfall Tour
Pick up from hotel by luxury minibus and drive to Perge. Easily the most important city of ancient Pamphylia, Perge is said to have been in its heyday during the Hellenistic period and under Roman rule. Most of its relics date from the 2nd century AD, and you’ll see some of the finest on a guided tour, and also Perge’s Roman Gate with its magnificent arches, the colonnaded main street, and the city’s meticulously restored public baths.
After lunch, drive to Aspendos, one of the best-preserved Roman theaters of the ancient world. Still used today, this incredible theater stages sell-out operas, events, and concerts. Nearby, see Aspendos’ 3rd-century basilica ruins and remains of the town’s central meeting point, known as the agora.
Before the tour’s end, a pleasant stop at the Duden Waterfalls and its surrounding gardens. A natural cave has formed behind the falls and it is possible to sit here and watch the cascades. There are restaurants, boardwalks, and picnic tables in the gardens immediately surrounding the falls.

Day 19: Antalya,

After breakfast your tour draws to a close, Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally noon, but luggage storage facilities are available.
If you wish to extend your stay, we will be happy to organize extra post-trip accommodation and day tours/activities. Happy travels! (B)

  • İstanbul
  • Cappadocia
  • Gelibolu
  • Ancient City of Troy
  • Ephesus Ancient Greek Theatre
  • Pamukkale
  • Bodrum
  • Ölüdeniz
  • Kaş
  • Antalya

Includes

  • Taksim and Sultanahmet area pick up and drop off
  • Fully guided tour with the services of an experienced and licensed English speaking guide
  • Luxury non smoking air conditioned transportation
  • Lunch (drinks not included)
  • All entrance fees
  • V.A.T.
  • On ground support and access to True Blue Tour Istanbul office should you require any assistance
  • Option to have True Blue Tour book your hotel

Excludes

  • Travel insurance (travel insurance is included for full itinerary tours but not for separate daily tours)
  • Personal expenses such as hotel extras, etc.
  • Any expenses not noted in the above list of inclusions
  • Note: Items marked as ’optional’ are suggestions, not yet included in the price of the tour.

On The Map

1.719 €

Starting from

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19 DAY – THE COLONEL

Glorious cities, wine country, dramatic canyons, and coastal towns. This tour is truly a marvelous and diverse composition of popular and hidden gems of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Central Turkey, and Gallipoli.

The Dawn Service at Anzac Cove and a guided tour of Gallipoli, reveal many relics of the naval and land battles that took place in 1915 during WW1. The strains of the Last Post will echo across the valleys and ridges of Gallipoli, silent now but once the scene of so much sacrifice and tragedy.

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey

Welcome to Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel and free time to explore the city or take a rest. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2: Best of Istanbul

After breakfast, we embark upon a fully guided tour of the city that spans two continents, Europe and Asia.

We visit the Hippodrome area –known as the centre of Byzantine Empire for 1000 years and Ottoman Empire for the other 400 years! Continuing, we visit stunning Blue Mosque and then Hagia Sofia, built by Emperor Justinian. Once a church, later converted into a mosque, then a museum and the mosque again, nowdays. Before tour’s end, we have time for the Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water tank decorated with carved and fluted Corinthian columns and a puzzling head of Medusa. Visitors walk on walkways constructed above clear, now shallow water. It’s very cool and peaceful.

After lunch,

Our tour will finish with a Bosphorous tour, because no stay in Istanbul can be complete without a traditional and unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the stream separating Europe and Asia, without the humble fisherman villages and impressive bridges set against the dramatic outlook of the Strait, exemplifying the newest link between the East and West and the Rumeli Fortress, built in just 4 months (in 1452) by Mehmet the Conqueror in preparation of his planned siege of Byzantine Constantinople.

The end of the day we will visit, the Egyptian Spice market (to stock up on bargain saffron, spices, and Turkish delight )

Overnight Istanbul. (B, L)

Day 3: North Cappadocia

05:00. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Kayseri airport then transfer to Cappadocia (about a 1-hour drive). Cappadocia is an extraordinary national treasure and it may be even the jewel in Turkey’s illustrious crown. Turkey’s most visually striking region, where erosion has formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, fairy chimneys, and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock.

09:30. The tour starts by visiting Esentepe, a hillside with spectacular views over the Göreme Valley. taking photos of the magnificent, lava-formed landscapes as a taster of what’s to come, and then we set off with the guide to explore properly. To visit Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), whose chimneys are widely regarded as the best in Cappadocia, to see a chapel dedicated to the well-known reclusive monk, St. Simeon as well as some small cave habitations that were carved and used by monks one thousand years ago. and ogle the Devrent Valley, where more mushroom-shaped pinnacles cover the hillsides.

We drive to the pottery town of Avanos, where the longest river Kizil Irmak (Red River) in Turkey passes through. You will have the chance to view the pottery making demonstration and even try your hand at making your own unique pot. Then a break time for a buffet lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the UNESCO-listed Goreme Open-Air Museum, famous for its rock-cut chapels coated in Byzantine frescoes. You will admire the beautifully painted chapels. Marvel at the numerous cave churches and monasteries with their richly frescoed walls painted by Orthodox Monks around 1000-1200 AD.

Then visit of the Uchisar Castle. Situated at the highest point and providing superb panoramic vistas, it is a large rock formation full of interconnected rooms, tunnels, and passages that have been carved from the tufa. Scattered throughout the immediate surroundings are several Roman tombs also cut from the tufa. Board back to your coach and end your experience with a hotel drop-off. Spend the evening at leisure amid Cappadocia’s magical landscape. Overnight Cappadocia. (B, L)

OR don’t miss the “Optional Whirling Dervish Ceremony & Traditional Turkish Folklore Evening”

19:30. A great night out where dinner, unlimited drinks, and entertainment are included in the price, which takes place in a cave restaurant, which is carved into the region’s soft volcanic rock. The show features belly dancers, traditional folk dancers, and traditional Turkish musicians.

Before drinks are served, Mevlevi Dervishes perform the whirling sema ceremony with a Sufi music concert. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed the ‘The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony’ of Turkey as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. The dervish music and whirling event last about 15 minutes. These shows not only introduce you to Turkish culture and various Anatolian dances but provide you with a genuinely entertaining show.

Day 4: South Cappadocia

Optional Hot Air Ballooning

IF YOU CHOOSE  the option of taking a hot-air balloon ride, the day will start as described below:

05:30. A balloon ride over the moonscapes of Cappadocia, a region famed for being one of the best places in the world for ballooning. You will discover the stunning landscape of the region from the air! Admire Cappadocia’s beautiful scenery of tall, volcanic rock spires and high plateaus on a 1-hour flight.

Toast your unforgettable experience with a glass of Champagne during the post-flight celebration and receive a souvenir medal. Your Cappadocia hot-air balloon flight includes a complimentary pre-flight buffet breakfast and convenient round-trip hotel transportation.

IF NOT, the tour will proceed as follows:

09:30. Tour begins with a visit to the remarkable underground city of Kaymakli, which was occupied during the period of early Christianity so the local population hid underground for protection. When the Arabs invaded Asia Minor in the 7th and 8th centuries, Cappadocia remained relatively undisturbed by the conflicts; perhaps because the monks and local Christians went underground, literally, excavating the subterranean cities and richly frescoed cave churches which you can explore today. Kaymakli is one of many such complexes that have been discovered in the region. Wind through the tunnels and chambers as you descend several levels underground.

Then we will visit Cavusin, an old Christian village, where you will see a triple apse church and the Monastery of St. John the Baptist. The day touring includes lunch and an easy grade, three-kilometer hike through the Red Gulludere Valley, inaccessible by automobile and providing breathtaking scenery. Walk among the fantastic rock formations and along the way discover hidden frescoed cave churches and, before the tour ends, we will visit the natural landmark of Ortahisar Castle.
18:00. transfer to the airport for a flight to the exotic city of Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul.
(B, L)

Day 5: Istanbul (Free Day)

Day at leisure. Istanbul is easy to get around on foot and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes dotted about the city, check out the Grand Bazaar for exotic souvenirs or soak up the ambiance of the city at your own pace. Overnight Istanbul. (B)

Or, you can choose to immerse yourself in history and beauty of Istanbul on our

1) optional Rest of Istanbul tour or

2) an optional full-day trip to explore Buyukada, the largest of Turkey’s Princes’ Islands.

1) Optional Rest of Istanbul Tour

Enjoy an extensive tour of the Topkapi Palace and Harem Museum, the royal residence of the legendary Ottoman Sultans, now converted into a museum. Originally constructed between 1460 and 1478, the lavish palace boasts four lush courtyards made up of pavilions, kitchens, barracks and kiosks; an impressive treasury with an assortment of treasures and artefacts; and fantastic views over the Sea of Marmara.

The royal quarters where the sultan, his family and, yes, many concubines lived are there, but be sure not to miss the Chamber of Holy Relics, which has King David’s sword, a fragment of Moses’ staff, and John the Baptist’s arm and a section of his skull. Relics of Mohammed are also on display.

Before lunch, check out the labyrinthine and chaotic, Grand Bazaar sprawling over a huge area in the heart of the Old City. This was the first shopping mall ever built during the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. Starting as a small masonry bedesten (covered market), today, the bazaar has 16 hans (caravanserais), 64 lanes, mosques, banks, a police station, restaurants, workshops and more than 2000 shops, making it a world within itself. Before long, it became the center for trade in the entire Ottoman Empire. At its prime, the market was locked down and guarded by more than a hundred soldiers every night, like a fortified castle.

After lunch, a visit to the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by the greatest, richest and most powerful of Ottoman sultans – Suleymaniye I, better known as Suleymaniye the Magnificent and the nearby Kariye Museum, where you will see some of the finest examples of Byzantine art, frescoes and golden mosaics. Your guide will take you through the lifetime of Jesus and Mother Mary following the artefacts on the walls.

Your tour then ends with a visit to the City Walls, initially built by Constantine the Great, the walls surrounded the new city on all sides, protecting it against attack from both sea and land. As the city grew, the famous double line of the Theodosian Walls was built in the 5th century. Ultimately the city fell from sheer force of Ottoman forces on 29 May 1453 after a 6 week siege.

2) Optional Princes’ Islands Leisure Tour

Head to the port with your guide to board your boat to the Princes’ Islands. The largest and most interesting one is Buyukada – your destination of the day! While cruising, look back on the sights of Istanbul, seeing iconic landmarks like Topkapi Palace and pretty Kiz Kulesi (also known as Maiden’s Tower or Leander’s Tower), which was featured in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.

Dock in Buyukada and then amble through the streets with your guide, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of island life. Vehicles are notably non-existent here, and the pretty roads resonate with the pleasing clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages. Hop aboard your own carriage and explore Buyukada at a fittingly relaxed pace. Your guide will explain the island’s history as you travel, talking about its time as a place of exile for banished statesmen and royalty, and of its life as a monastic settlement during Turkey’s Byzantine-Christian period.

Pass the lovely wooden mansions that exemplify the island’s late Ottoman-era architecture, and look out over the sparkling sea lapping on the shores. Seagulls are everywhere in Buyukada, and if you want to feed them your guide will give you simits (bread with sesame seeds) so you can throw them a treat.
Stop for lunch at a seafood restaurant and then spend the rest of your day at leisure on the island. Bring your bathing suit if you want to swim, or explore the island’s craft shops and waterfront cafés. Meet your guide at a pre-arranged time for your boat ride back to Istanbul. The last leg of your journey is made by coach to your Istanbul hotel, where your tour ends.

Day 6: Istanbul to Gallipoli

12:00 / 12:30. Departure for the 5-hour drive to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli, as we drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara and the straits of the Dardanelles, we’ll see the waterway that the British, French, and Anzac troops were intended to secure during the Gallipoli campaign.
17:00 / 17:30. On arrival at the Gallipoli battlefield area we will enjoy free time for dinner in the port town of Eceabat before we head to ANZAC Cove at 20:00 where the ANZAC legend was born, to secure a good spot at the ceremonial site in readiness for the long night ahead.
(Please note: No accommodation is available on this night – you will sleep under the stars as the ANZAC’s did 102 years before * The evening may be very cold – please come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing * Food and drinks are available to purchase near the dawn service site)

Day 7: Dawn Service

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Day 8: Gallipoli Tour

The World War I battlefields of Gallipoli which were once the site of fierce fighting are now a serene site, 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 ANZAC Cove and Commemorative Site, 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.
You will also have the chance to visit the Turkish 57th Infantry Regiment Cemetery and Memorial and the sculpture ‘Respect to Mehmetcik’ at Pine Ridge. (Mehmetcik – ‘Little Mehmet’ – an affectionate Turkish nickname for Ottoman/Turkish soldiers).
Among the many statues, cemeteries, and memorials at Gallipoli, this one stands out. Recalling a true event, the Mehmetcik Memorial revive the moment an incredible event occurred:
“A piece of white underwear was raised from one of the Turkish trenches and a well-built, unarmed soldier appeared. Everyone was stunned and we stared in amazement. The Turk walked slowly towards the wounded British soldier gently lifted him, took him in his arms, and started to walk towards our trenches. He placed him down gently on the ground near us and then straight away returned to his trench. We couldn’t even thank him. This courageous and beautiful act of the Turkish soldier has our love and deepest respect to this brave and heroic soldier”. First Lieutenant Casey
Richard Casey later became Governor-General of Australia and served at Gallipoli as aide-de-camp to Major-General Sir William Bridges.
The day ends on the small Kabatepe Information Center and Museum – a modest museum that 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. Overnight Gallipoli.

Day 9: Troy and Pergamum

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, on the Aechaean (Greek) side. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was brought alive by its rediscovery in 1863. Subsequent excavations revealed 9 ancient cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC!
Also, a tour of the ruins to 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, with Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom.
Visit of the ancient Acropolis of Pergamum en route to Kusadasi, once the capital of the East Roman Empire, sitting in a stunning location on top of a hill, Pergamum is also famous for its awesome hillside amphitheatre, one of the steepest in the classical world. The highlight of any visit is the Temple of Trajan, the ruins of what would have been a colossal marble temple, that has been carefully restored using ruins found on the site. There is also the dramatic amphitheatre, carved steeply into the hillside, and thought to date back to the 3rd century BC.
In the early Christian era, Pergamon’s church was a major center of Christianity and was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. We’ll follow a picturesque route along the Aegean coastal to the cosmopolitan resort town of Kusadasi where your hotel awaits. enjoy dinner and then spend the rest of your evening at leisure. Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 10: Ancient city of Ephesus and Sirince Village

09:00 Start our tour, we explore the legendary Ephesus open-air museum – positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. Under the Romans, Ephesus was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000, reveling in prosperity from commerce. We have plenty of time to visit the marble ruins of Ephesus, the famous Library of Celsus, the gymnasium of Vedius, the Stadium, and the Great Theatre. We’ll see ancient public toilets, a brothel, fountains, and various temples.

You will also have the chance to visit the pilgrimage point claimed to be the last home of the Virgin Mary before driving to the nearby Ottoman-Greek village of Sirince, trying some of their specialty fruit wines, and take a break to enjoy a delicious lunch of Turkish cuisine at a local restaurant, The road to the village passes through vineyards, orchards, and olive groves sometimes referred to as the Tuscany of Turkey. Get your cameras ready as you stroll with your guide up and down the narrow cobblestone lanes between buildings of stone, wood, and plaster. The fragrance of burning wood or the local orchards in bloom will captivate your senses.

We continue to the nearby site of the Temple of Artemis also known as the Temple of Diana, built in around 550 BC and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and see the restored column that marks the site while listening to the history of the temple, which was rebuilt three times before its destruction in 401 AD. It was discovered during excavations that were undertaken by the British Museum, in 1869-1874 under the supervision of J.T. Wood and 1904-1905 under David G. Hogarth. Many of the ruins are displayed at the museum in England.

Before the tour ends, we will visit the wonderful example of Seljukian architecture, Isa bey Mosque located just beneath the citadel in Selcuk near the Basilica of Saint John. Its interior is carved and decorated beautifully and a masterpiece of its time. Overnight Kusadasi. (B, L)

“During your free time, given while you are in the open-air museum, opt to visit the amazing tile murals and artwork of the Terrace Houses. Excavated from the 1960s to the 1980s, the structure is a city block of 1st-century AD (Roman) private residences, comparable to a condominium and occupying about 4,000 square meters (about an acre). In many regards, the remains are on a par with the famous ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy – making them one of the world’s key sites to experience and admire the sophistication, luxury, and aesthetic refinement of upper-class Roman domestic life. Surprisingly, only about one in twenty visitors to Ephesus explores this unique structure”. (Entrance to the Terrace Houses is not accompanied by a guide and requires (additional entrance fees paid on the spot).

Day 11: White calcium formations of Pamukkale

08:00 Driving east, we arrive in Pamukkale – home of the famous gleaming white calcium terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castle, they are natural phenomena and gifts of Mother Nature. Pamukkale formed when warm, calcium-rich mineral water cascaded down and as it cooled, settled on the edge of the cliff. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs, known as travertines. Today, many of the pools are closed to tourists. However, areas of the travertines can be walked upon, albeit in bare feet.
We can also opt to enjoy a unique and very pleasant dip in the warm waters at the Pamukkale Thermal, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns near the center of the ruined spa town of Hierapolis, which was a cure center founded around 190 BC by the Romans who were aware of the curative powers of mineral springs, so they created communal baths.
In the afternoon, transfer by bus south towards the Aegean coast to the resort town of Bodrum, once known as Halicarnassus, the popular resort and yachting port, at the western end of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Overnight Bodrum. (B, L)
Bodrum may be just as much of a hyperresort as Kusadasi and Marmaris, but with its sugar-cube houses, draped in bougainvillea, and the palm-lined streets it has been more successful at clinging to its original charm. Despite the influx of charter deals and larger louts in high summer, a short walk along the waterfront will show Bodrum is gaining a reputation as the Monte Carlo of the Aegean, with a smart new marina, sophisticated restaurants, and millions of dollars worth of sailing craft laying over for a night or two. Bodrum’s outstanding Museum of Underwater Archaeology is also well worth a stop in itself.
But it’s certainly not a place for those whose idea of a dream holiday revolves around peace. For years the outdoor Halikarnas disco reveled in its fame as the loudest disco in the Med and these days it has competitors too. Come in spring or autumn, however, and Bodrum reverts to a pleasant, relatively low-key resort. Not surprisingly, tourism is the local economy’s lifeblood, although there’s a plentiful tangerine crop in winter.

Day 12: Bodrum

Day at leisure in Bodrum. visit Bodrum castle, museum of underwater archaeology, and antique theater of Halicarnassus, or spend the day relaxing on the beach on your own. Alternatively, you can choose an optional day trip to the Greek Island of Kos or relax on a day cruise around the crystal waters of Bodrum. Overnight Bodrum. (B)
Optional Kos Island Independent Day Trip from Bodrum
The day starts with a pickup from the hotel and then board the hydrofoil in Bodrum to cruise southwest to the island of Kos, roughly twenty minutes away. The most easterly Greek island, Kos sits adrift in the southeastern Aegean Sea and boasts paradisaical scenery and history in equal measures.
After docking at the port, how you spend your time on the gorgeous island is up to you. All entrance fees, food, and drinks are at your own expense. Follow the footsteps of sun worshipers to the island’s best beaches and enjoy a day of soaking up the sun on the sand. Visit Paradise Beach for soft sand and calm waters, relax in tranquil seclusion at Limnionas Beach or maybe stroll along the pebbled shores of Agios Theologos Beach.
If you are keen to discover the island’s urban delights, head into Kos town to explore its palm-fringed streets, thronged with restaurants, bars, and shops. The town is home to some of the island’s more interesting historical landmarks and Roman ruins. Perhaps pay a visit to the Castle of the Knights (Kos Nerantzia Castle), to explore the ruined towers, battlements, and ramparts that date to the days of the knights’ reign. The group of Christian crusaders occupied the city from the 14th century for some 200 years.
Having enjoyed your day, make your way back to the island’s port at the prearranged time. Then, simply re-board your hydrofoil, and cruise back over the sea to Bodrum. Your independent day trip then finishes with a drop-off at your Bodrum hotel.
Optional Bodrum Peninsula Full-Day Cruise
Start the day with a pickup from the hotel towards the port. Step aboard a hydrofoil boat and cruise away from the city and around some of Turkey’s most unspoiled stretches of coastline.
Spend a day cruising around Turkey’s glorious Bodrum Peninsula on a full-day cruise
The exact route taken depends on the sea conditions, but it will always take in several of the beautiful sheltered bays and pine-fringed beaches that personify the Bodrum Peninsula. Soak up the scenery from out on the deck and admire the region’s sun-drenched shoreline framed by forests and hills Enjoy frequent stops to swim, snorkel and top up your tan, read a book while lying under the sun, or simply sit back and ogle the scenery as you cruise from cove to cove.
“Kara Ada” or “Black Island” is a gorgeous yachting island that’s known for its mineral-dense waters, it is always on cruises, so enjoy a stop to bathe in the grotto and see if its mineral waters enhance your complexion, as the legend suggests. The island is a popular stop-off on cruises around Turkey’s so-called “Turquoise Coast”.
Roughly halfway through the day, a stop for lunch, cooked on board by the crew. Meals vary but typically include a fresh salad, grilled chicken, and rice or pasta. (beer, wine, and soft drinks are available while onboard) (own expense).
After exploring the scenic coastline of the Bodrum Peninsula, cruising back to Bodrum, and finishing the day trip with a drop-off at the hotel.

Day 13: Bodrum to Fethiye/Oludeniz

Relaxing morning before an afternoon drive further south the Mediterranean coast to Fethiye, rests on a broad Mediterranean bay boasting some of Turkey’s best beaches and yachting.
Night stay either in the resort town of Oludeniz, famous for paragliding or harbour town of Fethiye. (B, D)
Oludeniz (Dead Sea), about 15 km southeast of Fethiye, is not devoid of life like its biblical namesake., rather, it’s a sheltered lagoon hidden from the open sea. The scene as you come down from the pine-clad hills is absolutely beautiful: in the distance open sea, in the foreground a long spit of sandy beach.
Unfortunately the paradise that many past travellers fondly recall has all but been ruined by the tightly packed belt of hotels behind the beach. Oludeniz (the lagoon) and Belcekiz (the adjacent beach resort) used to be one of the highlights of independent travel in Turkey but the development of identical air-conditioned hotels, loud bars and overpriced restaurants has hardly bolstered its appeal. Many travellers may prefer to shoot straight through. Note that the name of the lagoon (Oludeniz) is becoming synonymous with the town and that asking for Belcekiz may draw a blank.

Day 14: Fethiye/Oludeniz

As desired, a choice between a day cruise around the 12 Islands of Fethiye, discovering Dalyan river and experiencing the therapeutic properties of the mud and thermal baths, explore one of Turkey’s highlights Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, or visit the stunning Greek Island of Rhodes. Overnight Fethiye or Oludeniz. (B, D)

Optional 12 Islands Full-Day Cruise
This tour will make a climax in your holiday, and the word fantastic will fall short in describing it. We promise a perfect day on board our fully equipped and comfortable vessels with all the services you might need providing and a lot of activities for every taste and state of vintage. With more than enough legroom for our guests on our 65 foot single and double-decker boats, you will find comfort and peace. Clean toilets and shower facilities, bar, sunbeds and shades, fishing tackle and snorkeling apparatus, jackets for non-swimmers and beginners for all ages provided on the boats.
Pick-up from accommodation and a drive to Fethiye harbor to mark the start of an enchanting ODYSSEY along with the 12 Islands, on a myriad of bays and islands where navies and corsaires sought shelter from tempests all through man’s nautical history, Swim in the aquarium-clear crystalline waters, disembark and take strolls at various islands and bays, sunbathe and fall asleep in tune with mother natures most tranquil lullaby, and have BBQ lunch on board. Return with unforgettable memories.
Optional Dalyan River, Sultaniye Mud Baths, Caunos, Turtle Beach Tour
We drive through pine and frankincense forests along with the most spectacular scenery of the Taurus chain of mountains on one side, the Mediterranean coast on the other.
A vast green area with unique properties, Dalyan is a very popular small town not spoiled by buildings. The wonderful 7 kilometers sandy Iztuzu Beach, which is accessible by a 45 minutes boat trip, is one of the last nesting areas for the Caretta caretta, Sea Turtles. Between May and September, the female turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs, keep a check on them from time to time and finally, take their babies to the sea.
A 15 minutes boat trip will take you to the sulfur bath which is a different experience for many people visiting the city. The mud containing sulfur and other elements is said to be good for skin conditions and makes you feel refreshed and revitalized, also there is a small spa where you can just relax.
Caunos, the ancient city near modern Dalyan, was founded around the 9th century BC. Once it was a Mediterranean city port, but over the centuries the silt from the Dalyan River choked the harbor, and today the town lies several kilometers from the sea. Caunos is famous for its rock-cut tombs. These were graves for the kings and important people of the city. Since the pagans of the area believed in resurrection, they put lots of food, money, jewelry, and other valuable items in holes at the entrance of the tombs, but because of grave robbers, there is nothing left today.
Optional Rhodes Island Independent Day Trip from Fethiye
A pick up from Fethiye hotel or meet up the air-conditioned vehicle at a pre-arranged location towards the port and there board a high-speed catamaran to Rhodes, the largest of the Greek Dodecanese islands. Enjoy the views of the Aegean Sea during a 45-minute crossing to Rhodes Town, the island’s charming capital. Conveniently, the ferry port is an easy walk from the walled Rhodes Old Town, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities.
Free time there, those wishing to visit the island could head straight for the UNESCO-listed Rhodes Old Town, entering through one of the seven gates in its walls. Then, spend the day exploring the cobbled streets and Gothic, Frankish, and Ottoman gems of this stunning district founded by the Knights of St John in the 14th century. Admire the Street of the Knights and visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Decorative Arts. Delve into the maze-like alleys to see the gorgeous medieval architecture; shop for Rhodian lace and ceramics, and sample Greek dishes at the tavernas and cafes.
Alternatively, hit the capital’s modern shopping district, laze on its beaches or absorb the views from historic Mandraki Harbour, once the site of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. All entrance fees, meals, and drinks are at your own expense. Return to the port in the late afternoon to catch the catamaran back to Turkey. Overnight Fethiye.

Day 15: Fethiye / Oludeniz to Kas

Heading west around the coast towards Kas with a stop at the atmospheric village of Kale Koyu, sitting beneath Simena Crusader castle and looking out over turquoise waters to rocky, uninhabited Kekova Island. Peeping out from a riot of carob, palm, walnut, fig, and banana trees, the village is a mere smattering of old Greek houses, three of which are simple pensions.
Kas, once an unspoiled fishing village, is now a relatively unspoiled tourist town on the southern bulge of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast two hours’ drive southeast of Fethiye and three hours’ drive southwest of Antalya. Overnight Kas. (B)
A more workaday destination than Kalkan, Kas – pronounced (roughly) ‘cash’ – may not sport the finest beaches in the region, but it’s a yachties’ haven and the atmosphere of the town is wonderfully mellow. The surrounding areas are ideal for day trips by sea or scooter, and a plethora of adventure sports are on offer, in particular some excellent wreck diving.
Extending to the west of the old town located the 6km-long Cukurbag Peninsula where you’ll find a well-preserved ancient theatre, about all that’s left of ancient Antiphellos, the name of the original Lycian town. Above the town, in the mountain wall, several Lycian rock tombs could be seen even at night when they are illuminated and also, lying just offshore, could be visited the geopolitical oddity of the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo).

Day 16: Kas

Day free, easy walks, difficult treks, white-water rafting trips, diving, and snorkeling. Visits of ancient cities, paragliding, and boat trips – the list is almost endless. The town is very family-friendly and is popular amongst travelers of all ages, abilities, and levels of fitness. Overnight Kas. (B)

Optional Lycian Way Trekking
Walking partly Turkey’s Lycian Way, widely regarded as one of the world’s great trails, appreciating the landscape of this great country differently, impossible from inside a bus. This active journey is for those looking for a better way to appreciate magnificent sceneries. Casual walkers and serious trekkers will hike through pine forests and olive groves, across flower-filled fields, past shepherd’s huts, and breathtaking valleys. This is an adventure at its purest and most simple.
Optional Greek Island of Meis Kastellorizo Independent Day Trip from Kas
A very pleasant day trip to the closest Greek island to Turkey, “Meis Kastellorizo” which sits just opposite the harbor of Kas. A tiny Dodecanese island with a population of around 450 people.
09:30 Meet up at Kas harbor, (all you need is your passport), sail over to Meis island to spend the whole day, meet the Greek culture, relax in the sun on the beach or walk the island. The harbor area in Meis is charming with a warren of alleys and houses behind the pretty waterside shops and restaurants.

Day 17: Kas to Antalya

Drive along the Turquoise coast, stopping for a lunch in Olympos, home of the world-famous treehouses before heading towards the ‘capital’ of the Turkish Mediterranean Coast: Antalya, a sprawling modern city with a small, charming historic center, an archaeological museum, long sunny beaches to east and west, the Turquoise Coast’s busiest airport, good hotels, lots to see and to do and dramatic sea and mountain views. Overnight Antalya. (B)
Situated directly on the Gulf of Antalya, this quickly growing epicenter of both ancient history and thoroughly modern Turkish culture has, since the 1960s, become known as a gateway for the country’s so-called “Turkish Riviera”. It lays claim to some of Turkey’s finest restaurants, one of its most impressive archaeological museums, and some of its best-preserved Ottoman architecture, The preserved Roman-Ottoman quarter of Kaleici commands a heart-stopping view of the Beydaglari (Bey Mountains), as well as the Roman harbor at Kaleiçi’s base. Over the past decade, sun-worshippers heading to nearby Mediterranean resorts have been laying over in Antalya in such great numbers that the guesthouse industry has experienced astounding growth, by more than 200%, according to tourism officials.

Day 18: Antalya

Enjoy a full day at leisure in Antalya. 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. A fascinating optional tour is offered to the Pamphylian city of Perge and the ancient city of Aspendos. Overnight Antalya. (B)
Optional Perge-Aspendos-Side and Kursunlu Waterfall Tour
Pick up from hotel by luxury minibus and drive to Perge. Easily the most important city of ancient Pamphylia, Perge is said to have been in its heyday during the Hellenistic period and under Roman rule. Most of its relics date from the 2nd century AD, and you’ll see some of the finest on a guided tour, and also Perge’s Roman Gate with its magnificent arches, the colonnaded main street, and the city’s meticulously restored public baths.
After lunch, drive to Aspendos, one of the best-preserved Roman theaters of the ancient world. Still used today, this incredible theater stages sell-out operas, events, and concerts. Nearby, see Aspendos’ 3rd-century basilica ruins and remains of the town’s central meeting point, known as the agora.
Before the tour’s end, a pleasant stop at the Duden Waterfalls and its surrounding gardens. A natural cave has formed behind the falls and it is possible to sit here and watch the cascades. There are restaurants, boardwalks, and picnic tables in the gardens immediately surrounding the falls.

Day 19: Antalya

After breakfast your tour draws to a close, Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally noon, but luggage storage facilities are available.
If you wish to extend your stay, we will be happy to organize extra post-trip accommodation and day tours/activities. Happy travels! (B)

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1.719 €

Onur  Turizm Seyahat Acentası Belge No: 3686

Alemdar Mah. Alaykosku Cad. No:3/A Sultanahmet 34410
Istanbul Turkey
 

+90 531 626 99 44

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True Blue Tour was created on April 25, 2001 by ONUR TRAVEL CO. We are licensed in Turkey as an “A” category travel agency and tour operator (Licence No: 3686). Originally, True Blue Tour was created to serve the needs of its parent company

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