Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Highlights: Istanbul, Bursa, Pergamon, Kusadasi, Miletos, Didyma, Priene, Bodrum
Departure Dates: Everyday
Note: Use the below itinerary as an outline, you may omit or add other attractions you have in mind. You can fine-tune the itinerary or change it as much as you like & our travel consultants will work with you until all your questions are answered & you are satisfied.
Day 01 : Istanbul Arrival
Upon arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport & clearing customs, you will be met by one of our staff at the exit gate of arrivals hall & accompanied during your transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 02 : Istanbul
After breakfast, begin with a visit to Topkapi Palace, the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans, with its jewel encrusted treasury & elegant four courts. Nearby, we take a stroll through the ancient Hippodrome, once the sporting ground of chariots & political riots. After a lunch break, visit Hagia Sophia Museum, once the largest church in the world for 1000 years. Then visit the Blue Mosque, designed with 6 delicate minarets & a striking blue Iznik tiled interior. Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, where you can shop or haggle with local merchants over merchandise. Overrnight in Istanbul.
Day 03 : Istanbul
Pick up from your hotel lobby, with a small group we head to explore the bustling Egyptian Spice Market of 17th century origin. Next we take a ferry up Istanbul’s winding Bosphorus strait. You will see, Ottoman summer mansions & the beautiful Ortakoy mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress, all alongside passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships & tankers. After a lunch break back on shore, we will visit Dolmabahce Palace, returning back to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 04 : Istanbul / Bursa
We travel by ferry to Yalova, then by coach to the city of Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire & one of the greatest treasure houses of Islamic architecture. We will first visit the Green Mosque & the neighbouring Green Mausoleum, both world-renowned for their superb tile decoration, as well as the late 14th century Great Mosque & the Koza Han, which for centuries was the center of Bursa’s flourishing silk trade. After enjoying a leisurely cable car ride up the steep slopes of Mount Olympus (Turkish: Uludag), we will return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Day 05 : Bursa / Pergamon / Kusadasi
Meeting with your tour guide & drive to Pergamum, where different healing methods like therapy with music & sound of water were first used. Visit to Asclepion, ancient medical center built in the name of Aesculapis, ‘God of Medicine’. Lunch in a local traditional restaurant. After lunch continue to Pergamum Acropolis. Visit Athena & Trojan Temples, Temple of Zeus, Temple of Dionysos, Gymnasium of Youth, Odeon, Library, Agora, Great Theatre & Roman Bath. We drive south to Kusadasi for overnight stay.
Day 06 : Kusadasi
Free day at leisure. Optional: Ephesus tour. Overnight Kusadasi.
Day 07 : Priene Miletos Didyma / Bodrum
Pick up from the hotel. Discover the ruins of Priene at a dramatic mountainous setting & with one of the most active Lonian ports in ancient times. See the Temple of Athena, the Stoa, Agora, Market Place, Temenos of Zeus Olympic & more. Then proceed to Miletus, which provided the alphabet to the rest of the classical world. It was a great port & the hometown of several philosophers & sages. After lunch, stop at Didyma, a sacred place of pagan worship, this was one of the sacred places of antiquity where well known oracles were consulted. Drive to Bodrum for overnight stay.
Day 08 : Bodrum
We begin the tour with the Castle of the Knights in Bodrum. The castle itself also serves as the local museum, with the exhibits of many archaeological objects found in the area & one particular display is noteworthy that is one of the shipwreck (1200 B.C.) from Gelidonya cape. Walking back to the town & through the back streets will bring us to the site of the Mausoleum which is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. The word ‘Mausoleum’ comes from this monumental tomb. Overnight in Bodrum.
Day 09 : Bodrum
Free day at leisure. Overnight in Bodrum.
Day 10 : Bodrum / Istanbul
After check-out (12:00) from hotel, remainder of day will be at leisure untill your transfer to Bodrum Airport for the flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 11 : Istanbul Departure
Option to extend package with additional night(s) in Istanbul or we will arrange for the transfer to Istanbul International Airport for your return or onward flight.