An insight into Turkey’s ancient gems
LEGENDARY sites such as Troy and Gallipoli await on King William Travel’s 19-day escorted tour of Turkey.
The tour leaves from Adelaide on August 18 and costs $5848 a person, twin share, including flights, hotels, most dinners and breakfasts.
Organised by Insight Vacations, the tour includes a three-night stay in Istanbul and two nights in Ankara, Kusadasi and Antalya. Other highlights include sights in Istanbul such as the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the Egyptian Bazaar, and the Hittite Museum and the Ataturk Mausoleum in the capital Ankara.
The group flies from Adelaide to Istanbul via Singapore. The organised sightseeing begins on day three, starting at the ornate Dolmabahce Palace, on the city’s European coast.
From there it’s a motorboat cruise along the Bosphorus Strait, linking the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, and taking in scenic fishing villages, elegant palaces and modern suspension bridges.
A visit to the Topkapi Palace is set for day four before taking in the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, site of the city’s fabled chariot races. In the afternoon, test your haggling skills at the Grand Bazaar.
The next day, it’s a drive to Ankara where the Hittite Museum awaits.
On day seven, the tour shifts to Cappadocia, and a tour of the underground city of Kaymakli also awaits. The next day you get to take in much of the region’s volcanic landscapes and fairy-chimneys and there’s also a visit to Goreme’s rockcarved churches .
The tour heads to Konya on day nine, visiting Catalhoyuk, reputed to be the first settlement in the world with houses and sacred buildings. It dates back to 6800BC. Heading to Antalya, you get to take in some exquisite scenery, old and new. The group will take a Mediterranean cruise from the old harbour, sailing towards the Duden Waterfalls.
On day 12, the tour heads to Pamukkale, famous for its striking chalk-white array of diverse limestone terraces.
You also visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis and the dazzling “Cotton Castle’’. Next up is a stop at the Temple of Aphrodite, on the way to the lively coastal town of Kusadasi.
On day 14, you tour one of the world’s finest archaeological sites at Ephesus.
The next day you’ll head to Izmir on the Aegean port for some free time. From Izmir, the tour heads to Canakkale, via Pergamon, visiting Asklepion, one of the famous shrines and therapeutic centres of the ancient world, before driving to Homer’s Troy to see the ruins of nine cities built on each other.
On day 17, the tour crosses the Dardanelles strait by a car ferry and on to the Gallipoli Peninsula to visit Anzac Cove and the Lone Pine Cemetery.
Insight Vacations sales manager Owen Boyce will present two films on travelling through Turkey on April 4. Details: King William Travel on 8212 2132, kingwilliamtravel.com.au
WONDERS: The ancient city of Ephesus and, below, Cappadocia.