Treasures of Turkey (Summer 2020)

Treasures of Turkey (Summer 2020)


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Explore the ancient sites of Ephesus and Troy, behold the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia and dive into the history of this fascinating country.

Day 1 - Welcome to Istanbul.
Welcome to Turkey. You’ll start in vibrant Istanbul, where a representative will pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel, the luxury CVK Park Bosphorus. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll be close to Taksim Square, which is famous for its Republic Monument, dining and shopping options. Join your Travel Director at 18.30 for a Welcome Reception and Dinner where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers.(Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hyatt, Istanbul.
Meals: Dinner with Wine

Day 2 - Bosphorus Cruise and Bursa.
In the morning embark on a cruise along Bosphorus, one of the world’s busiest waterways. Leisurely cruise past the quaint fishing villages that line its shores. Travel towards the old city and see the beautiful Ottoman waterfront palaces and fortresses. Enjoy the excitement of bargaining in the bustling Grand Bazaar. Later, leave Istanbul for Bursa. A large city in northwest Turkey, it was the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire. There will be time in the afternoon to explore the city’s bazaars, silk markets and historic monuments.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Crowne Plaza, Bursa.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 3 - Cumalikizik and Gordion.
Begin your day of culture with a visit to the glorious Green Mosque, Mausoleum complex and Grand Mosque in Bursa. Continue to the charming Cumalikizik village, with its traditional wooden houses and very narrow cobblestone streets. Later you’ll head to Gordion, which was once the capital city of ancient Phrygia, as you make your way to Turkey’s modern capital, Ankara. Enjoy a relaxed evening at your hotel, the Hilton SA. Perhaps take a dip in its indoor pool or unwind in its jacuzzi or hammam.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hilton SA, Ankara.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 - Sophisticated Ankara.
A day for history enthusiasts, explore Turkey’s bustling cultural capital, Ankara. Sightseeing includes a visit to the Hittite Museum and Anit Kabir, the Mausoleum of Atatürk, Turkey's greatest modern leader and the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Later, head to Avanos in Cappadocia. Famed for its unique geological formation, Cappadocia is an agreeable mix of golden hills and towering panoramic views. Complimenting the day’s events, dinner tonight will be at your hotel, where you’ll witness a performance of Whirling Dervishes.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Avanos, Cappadocia.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 5 - The Underground Cities of Cappadocia Experience.
With its striking golden, volcanic landscapes, underground city and otherworldly buildings, Cappadocia could never be called ordinary. At every turn you’ll be delighted with yet another geographical or architectural surprise. Today you’ll travel to the striking town of Göreme. Explore its rock-hewn churches decorated with ancient wall paintings. You are treated to the unique flavours of Anatolia at Uçhisar Kadineli Restaurant, an establishment that provides employment for the women of the village and supports their financial freedom before moving on to the Pasabag Valley. Move on to the underground city of Özkonak where you’ll have time to explore its tunnels and holes with your Travel Director. Later, join a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house, where you’ll learn more about their unique way of life, local traditions and family life.(Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton Avanos, Cappadocia.
Meals: Breakfast, ,

Day 6 - Konya.
Start your day by learning more about traditional pottery making in Avanos. It’s then time to take a journey along the famous Silk Road, as you visit a 13th century caravanserai, a historic roadside inn where travellers would rest and recover after a day’s journey, most notably along the iconic road itself. Later, you’ll head to Turkey’s most religious city, Konya, the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire. Once here, visit the Mevlana Museum, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome, and see the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret. Your hotel for the night is the plush Hotel Dedeman, perhaps enjoy a nightcap at its bar and restaurant before resting up ahead of tomorrow’s journey.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Ramada Plaza by Wyndham, Konya.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 7 - Through the Taurus Mountains.
You day begins with a scenic drive down the Taurus Mountains to Aspendos an ancient city in Antalya. Known for having the best-preserved Roman theatre anywhere in the world, learn more as you explore it with your fellow travellers. Continue to your hotel for the next two nights and enjoy time to relax. Located by the Konyaalti Beach and close to the city centre, this luxury 5-star offers striking views of the Taurus Mountains and sea.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Akra Barut Hotel, Antalya.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 8 - Antalya's Old Town.
Start your day with a visit to Antalya's pretty Old Town, with its souvenir markets and sweeping sea views. The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the leisure facilities at your hotel. Alternatively, explore Antalya at your own pace. Ask your Travel Director for recommendations on places to explore in the city, take a stroll around the harbour or perhaps take a boat trip off the coast.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Akra Barut Hotel, Antalya.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 9 - The Pools of Pamukkale.
Cross the soaring Taurus Mountains to see the remains of the ancient city of Hierapolis, a Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. Next to the ruins, you can see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters and chalk-white limestone terraces, explore the area with your Travel Director. Later, head back to your hotel, the esteemed Doğa Thermal Health & Spa. Take full advantage of its indoor and outdoor thermal pools, steam room and its Turkish bath complex.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Doğa Thermal Health & Spa, Pamukkale.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 10 - Izmir.
Start your morning with a trip to the Temple of Aphrodite, dedicated to the goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Based in the ruins of the ancient city of Aphrodisias, it was the focal point of the city in its heyday. You’ll see the towering, fourteen columns of the temple that have been re-erected. Later, explore one of the world's finest archaeological sites, Ephesus. Walk through the colonnaded Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and the huge Amphitheatre, before visiting the House of the Virgin Mary, a famous Catholic and Muslim shrine, situated above the Ephesus ruins. End your day in the quaint Aegean port of Izmir.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Swissôtel Grand Efes, Izmir.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 11 - Ancient Ephesus.
Today you’ll spend the day exploring pretty Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city. A vibrant destination on Turkey’s Aegean coast, it is was founded by the Greeks and has been an important port since ancient times. Explore its archeological sites including the Roman Agora of Smyrna and the Velvet Castle, a fortress also known as Kadifekale. In the evening, perhaps take a walk along the Kordon Promenade which overlooks Turkey’s Aegean Sea, or take a stroll in the hotel’s grounds.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Swissôtel Grand Efes, Izmir.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 - Pergamon, Troy and Çanakkale.
Begin your day of legends with a trip to Pergamon. Once a powerful ancient Greek city, you’ll find the Asklepion temple here. A famous shrine and healing centre, it was built in honour of Asklepios, the god of medicine. Next, head to Homer’s city of Troy, the focal point of the Trojan war and the backdrop to one of history’s most famous love stories, that of Paris and Helen of Troy, the face that launched 1000 ships. A replica of the mighty Trojan Horse, which helped the Greeks capture the city in 1200 B.C. can be found beside the city’s walls. After some time exploring, continue your journey to Çanakkale, a gateway to the Gallipoli WWI battlefields.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Kolin, Çanakkale.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 13 - Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove.
This morning, cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferry to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Located in the southern part of East Thrace, it was here that for nine months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought, in an attempt to gain control of the Dardanelles Strait. Learn more about these events as you visit Anzac Cove and pay your respects at the Lone Pine Cemetery. Later, return to Istanbul where you’ll spend the next two nights.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Grand Hyatt, Istanbul.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 - Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire.
Today you’ll take in the sites of Istanbul. In the morning visit the historic Blue Mosque. Made up of domes and minarets, head inside and see its beautiful blue tiled interiors. See the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held, before exploring Hagia Sophia. Built in 537 AD, it is now a museum, famous for its domed roof. Visit the Topkapi palace, perched above the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, the primary inlet of the waterway. In the evening, join your fellow travellers and toast to your trip over a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Grand Hyatt, Istanbul.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 15 - Farewell Istanbul.
It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends as your trip comes to an end. A transfer will take you to the airport for your onwards flights, or for those extending their stay in Istanbul, speak to your Travel Director for tips and tricks on where to head.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Cappadocia: Indulge on a regional dinner before watching a spectacular Sema performance of Whirling Dervishes at a 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai.
  • Istanbul: Toast the culmination of your tour with a lively Celebration Dinner at a popular local restaurant.
  • Uchisar: Enjoy the unique flavours of Anatolia at Uçhisar Kadineli Restaurant, an establishment that provides employment for the women of the village.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L), 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) and 8 Dinners (D) all with tea and coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Cappadocia: Join a Cappadocian local who has lived in the city for decades and take a tour of their cave house, where you’ll learn more about their unique way of life.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Istanbul: Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus, where you’ll pass Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses.
  • Bursa: Visit the Grand Mosque, the glorious Green Mosque and mausoleum.
  • Ankara: Discover the mysterious Hittite civilisation and visit the mausoleum of Atatürk.
  • Göreme: Explore underground cities, rock cut churches, fairytale chimneys and the Pasabag Valley.
  • Konya: Visit the beautiful Mevlana museum for an insight into the mystic Whirling Dervishes and their performance of a religious dance called the sema.
  • Antalya: Visit the world’s best preserved Roman Theatre in Aspendos.
  • Pamukkale: See the cascading ‘Cotton Castle’ of milky white travertine pools.
  • Ephesus: Tour one of the world’s finest ancient sites, visit the House of the Virgin Mary and Archaeological Museum.
  • Pergamon: Visit Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world.
  • Gallipoli: Pay your respects at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery.
  • Istanbul: With a Local Expert visit the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia museum and gain an insight into the lives of the Ottoman sultans at the fabulous Topkapi Palace.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion.
  • On departures with 8 or more guests, personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Complimentary transfers from/to Istanbul Airport are available on arrival and departure days, or with additional accommodation booked through Insight Vacations.

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Accommodations
Itinerary
Professional Staff
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Value for Money

Ratings based off 56 reviews . Currently showing 6 reviews with comments only.
By Laichun W on Oct 23, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, all the hotels were high standard & very clean, Our tour guide was nice & humerous, bus driver was an expert & safe, bus ride was pleasant & comfortable, food was exceptionally good, places visited were beyond imagination & very impressive, would love to go back again one day.

By Linda S on Sep 13, 2015

Our tour guide was wonderful. Not only did we see the expected attractions, our guide provided many discussions about Turkey and aspects of the culture that we never would have learned otherwise. He doubled our experience.

By Joe M on May 12, 2015

Excellent touring experience with Insight and value for our money in terns of accommodations, food and Tour Director's knowledge of the historical aspects of the sites we visited.

By Jean M on Apr 24, 2015

The itinerary provided by Insight said "welcome dinner". However, we got to our welcome briefing to find out there would be no dinner, only drinks and hor d'houvres ( which was refered to as a "light" dinner).....basically no dinner. Most of us did not have lunch, as we were expecting an actual "dinner". Overall itinerary and sites visited were amazing. Excellent tour.

By Robert G on May 11, 2014

Very excellent experience!

By Elena M on May 23, 2010

The tour director in Turkey was very knowledgeable, besides being very lively and infusing his explanations with all sorts of stories and personal anecdotes. This made the travel experience much richer and pleasant. The drivers (one was with us for 2 days and the other for the rest of the time) were both very competent.


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