Western Turkey for Budget Traveller FACTFINDER Code: BTWB Maximum group size: 18 Staffing: Fully escorted by English speaking guide Transport: Public and private buses. Accommodation: 13 nights simple hotels/pensions , 2 nights inter-city coach Activities: Walking, water sports Meals: As per itinerary (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). Breakfast is provided on everyday of the tour except one day, and some lunches and some dinners included. Please allow Euro 10-20 per day for additional meals. Entrance fees: Not included. Allow Euro 60 for sights listed as part of the itinerary Tipping: To avoid embarrassment and save you money all tours operate a tipping kitty. Please allow Euro15-25 per week of the tour for this. ITINERARY (15 nights/16 days) Day 1, ISTANBUL - Arrive and check into your hotel. Later this evening you will have the chance to meet your guide and the other members of the tour. (No meals.) ARRIVAL The arrival transfer is included in our tour. Please give your details to your agent. TOUR BRIEFING Once all the members of your group have arrived your tour leader will organise an introductory briefing (usually after breakfast on Day 2). This meeting will give you an overview of all the exciting things you will be seeing during your tour and include lots of practical information on how to get the most out of your time in Turkey Day 2, ISTANBUL – Today it is free to visit the highlights of Istanbul which are all walking distance from your hotel. (No meals.) ISTANBUL Once the imperial capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is both a city steeped in history and an exciting modern day hub of activity. Always described as a fusion of East and West, it is not difficult to understand why as you walk through narrow alleys flanked by wooden Ottoman houses to emerge in a funky restaurant and bar strip in the downtown area, the call to prayer mingling with modern Turkish pop. Bisected by the Bosphorous, a strategically significant passage of water which links the Black Sea to the Aegean, the city has several distinct divisions. Across the Golden Horn, a watery cul-de-sac which branches off the Bosphorous, is Sultanahmet which boasts some of the city's finest Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. After exploring the Blue Mosque, St Sophia Museum and Underground Basilica you may like to dine on seafood at one of the countless restaurants along the narrow alleys of downtown Taksim. Afterwards why not board a local ferry to observe the beautifully lit sprawl of Istanbul by night and then finish your evening with the timeless wind-down of smoking a nargileh (Ottoman water pipe). But if nargileh doesn't appeal, there is always a glass of apple-tea to be drunk at the friendly insistence of the locals! Day 3, GALLIPOLI – After breakfast we leave Istanbul. Today there will be the chance of visiting the war memorials in Gallipoli Peninsula. Overnight will be in Çanakkale (B) Approx. 6 hrs driving GALLIPOLI The site of one of the most brutal campaigns of WWI, the Gallipoli Peninsula is now a national park which preserves the monuments to the fallen. Of significant historical and cultural importance to Turks, New Zealanders and Australians the park is located at the entrance to the Dardanelles on the Aegean Sea. It was the Allied forces‟ intention to take the peninsula and thus have access to Istanbul and the Black Sea towns of their ally, Russia. However, it actually became the final resting place of many an Allied hope as well as some 700,000 soldiers. The reality of the war becomes apparent after a visit to the Gallipoli Museum and ANZAC Cove. With memorabilia and copies of letters sent to families, the museum is a poignant place of reflection. Afterwards, a visit to the sheer cliffs of ANZAC Cove gives an indication as to the insurmountable task the Allied forces had been set. Day 4 TROY - BERGAMA – After breakfast there will be time to visit legendary Troy before heading south to to Bergama where Acropolis and Asklepion of Pergamum can be visited.(B) Approx. 6 hrs driving TROY Troy is the place where once a legend took place. It may look like not much to see but with a guide the legend appears in your eyes. Of course you will see the wooden horse and have a photo in it but it is only 20-30 years old. Here you will see the archaeological intelligence of the Anatolians and the cleverness of the Greeks. Day 5, BERGAMA - SELÇUK– After breakfast we will have some time in Bergama to visit Acropolis and Asklepion then we have a short drive to Selçuk.(B) Approx. 3 hrs driving SELÇUK The closest town to the ancient provincial Roman capital of Ephesus, Selcuk is a cosy town with several attractive pedestrianised streets in the shadow of an impressive Ottoman castle. Selcuk's laid back atmosphere and friendly restaurateurs and salesmen will immediately make you feel at home. Day 6, EPHESUS – Today visit to Ephesus can be arranged and there will be free time.(B) EPHESUS Unquestionably, Ephesus is what you will remember most about your time in Selcuk. Preserved and reconstructed extensively, the vast theatre of the Ephesians is still home to the occasional summertime performance. A stroll through the old city finishes at the breathtaking Library of Celsius which once competed with that of Alexandria for scholarly interest. After the tour of the old capital you may wish to explore the charming village of Sirince nestled in the hills some 7km away from Selcuk. Formerly a Greek village, Sirince means “loveliness” and is known for its lace production and the countless wines produced in the regions many vineyards. Day 7, SELCUK - PAMUKKALE –We drive to Pamukkale which is famous with its calcified falls and the ancient site Hierapolis.(B) Approx. 4 hrs driving PAMUKKALE The beautiful calcified formations which spill down the slopes on the edge of this small village are a truly unique phenomenon which has attracted people for thousands of years. The ancient Romans believed the water collected by pools formed along the startlingly white terraces was ideal for bathing and would relieve ailments. Hence the impressive city of Hierapolis was constructed nearby expressly for the purpose of utilising the healing qualities of the springs. Pamukkale today is still somewhat of a spa town however swimming is restricted to only a few pools. Day 8, PAMUKKALE - FETHIYE – There will be time in the morning to explore Pamukkale and afternoon drive to Fethiye.(B) Approx. 4 hrs driving Day 9, FETHIYE– A day at leisure in Fethiye but there are lots to do. There will be boat trips to the islands, visit to the close by famous beach at Oludeniz and also the ghost town called Kayakoy dating th from 19 Century. (B) FETHIYE Fethiye is in the heart of some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Turkey and is typical of what you will see along the charming Turquoise Coast. Spread around a large sheltered bay with a backdrop of steep wooded mountains and a small harbour. Day 10, OLYMPOS – Today we drive via Kalkan and Kaş to Olympos (BD) Approx. 5 hrs driving OLYMPOS Olympos there is the chance to visit ancient Olympos and Chimera. Olympos lies in a national park area where major development is prohibited - hence the reason we stay in tree houses! One of the highlights of the area is to head to the mysterious site of Chimaera after dark. This optional excursion involves a 45 minute minibus ride followed by an easy 15-20 minute walk. Greek mythology tells of the Lycian hero, Bellerophon, who together with his winged horse Pegasus was sent to slay the Chimaera (a fire-breathing part-lion, part-goat and part-snake). Although successful in his mission, what remains to this day is a mysterious phenomenon. Gas seeps from the earth and fuels flames which burst out from within cracks in the bare hillside. The flames can be covered and extinguished, but the air becomes gaseous and without cover the flames will spontaneously reignite. Day 11, ANTALYA – OVERNIGHT BUS TO CAPPADOCIA - After breakfast we leave Olympos and drive to Antalya. We will have time to explore the old harbour of Antalya before boarding our overnight bus.(B) Approx.9 hrs driving ANTALYA Antalya has all the right elements to make it one of the best and the most attractive resorts in the country. The pine covered Taurus Mountains sweep down to the Turquoise coast and secluded coves fade the colours from dark green to blue. Here you can take a stroll through the myriad of shops of the old quarter and perhaps stop to watch the world go by at one of the many restaurants and cafes. Day 12, CAPPADOCIA – We arrive to Cappadocia in the morning and then there will be the choice of breakfast before arriving to our hotel. The rest of the day is free Day 13, CAPPADOCIA – Free time to explore the region. Underground cities, open air museums or walks through the fairy chimneys are the few things to do.In the evening there will be a chance to have your dinner in one of the Cave restaurants with traditional dances and belly dancer on show.(B) CAPPADOCIA Often talked about as the absolute highlight of a visit to Turkey, Cappadocia is one of the most surreal places you will ever see. Here repeated volcanic eruptions around 40-50 million years ago covered the area with layers of a light rock called tufa creating a natural 'lunar like' landscape. Over time the elements have eroded this surface rock to create unusual valleys and vast rock sculptures or 'fairy chimneys' which have been incorporated into the building of towns, villages and underground settlements. Wandering around Cappadocia, clambering in and out of the buildings and over the rippling tufa deposits you will almost certainly feel like you have just landed on another planet. But however you choose to spend your time here, whether you decide to wander on foot, on horseback or maybe even take to the air in a hot air balloon, the bizarreness of the rock formations and the amazing blend of nature and man will leave you astounded. Day 14, CAPPADOCIA - A full day for further exploration. Those after a bit of action can do so by mountain bike or on horseback. Also plenty of opportunity for shopping.This evening board an overnight inter-city coach to Istanbul. (B) Day 15, ISTANBUL – We arrive early in the morning to Istanbul and the remainder of the day is free Approx. 10 hrs driving Day 16, ISTANBUL – Tour ends after breakfast(B) SUPPLEMENTARY TOUR INFORMATION ENTRANCE FEES These are not included in this trip. Please allow Euro 60 for sights listed as part of the itinerary. Turkey also has a wealth of other historical sights and museums, which you may wish to visit. If you intend visiting a wide range of different sights, you should allow Euro 100 FITNESS None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. If you are in any doubt contact your doctor for advice. TRANSPORT Public Buses- Overnight Inter-city couch The Turkish inter-city coach network compares favourably with that of any country in the world. On major routes, coaches are modern air-conditioned vehicles. Seats are reserved and no standing passengers are allowed. And they are all no smoking services. On long or overnight journeys, 2 drivers take shifts at the wheel for safety reasons. There is also an assistant to supply you with water on request free of charge. Timely stops are made at roadside service stations for meals and toilet breaks. Private Coach To travel between cities by road we use privately chartered air-conditioned coaches. There is a NO SMOKING policy on all our tour buses – however there are tea and toilet breaks every couple of hours or so. The only exception to this rule is the driver. The road network in Turkey is very good, enabling our coaches to cover distances quickly. Even so, the country is large and the attractions widespread. As a guideline we have noted approximate time actually driving between cities in the itinerary above. Please note that this does not include city transfers. Overnight Inter-city couch The Turkish inter-city coach network compares favourably with that of any country in the world. On major routes, coaches are modern air-conditioned vehicles. Seats are reserved and no standing passengers are allowed. And they are all no smoking services. On long or overnight journeys, 2 drivers take shifts at the wheel for safety reasons. There is also an assistant to supply you with water on request free of charge. Timely stops are made at roadside service stations for meals and toilet breaks. PRICE INCLUDES Staffing as shown in the „Factfinder' Accommodation, meals, transportation, and sightseeing excursions as per itinerary. Transfer to hotel on arrival. PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE Entrance fees Visa costs Border Taxes Drinks, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature. International flights Departure transfers Meals other than those listed The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and DOES NOT form part of a contract between the client and BITINYA TOURS.
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