An in­sight into Turkey’s an­cient gems

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - SCENIC BEAUTY -

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.

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