- The famous Cappadocia region with its amazing rock formations including “fairy chimneys”, beautiful frescoed cave churches hewn into the tuff sandstone, and underground cities.
- The picturesque city of Antalya with its ancient Roman walled port, and the lovely ‘old town’, Kaleici, with its beautifully restored Ottoman mansions and Hadrian’s Gate.
- The impressive ruins – including an amphitheatre and a gymnasium – of Termessos.
- The very pretty site of Phaselis with its ruins and 3 harbors set amidst pine trees
- The fascinating ruins of Olympus; the mysterious eternal flames of Chimaera
- Arykanda, a spectacular Lycian city dramatically set high on the mountain, built upon five large terraces ascending a mountain slope
- Demre with its Church and statue of St. Nicholas – Santa Claus, and site of many splendidly carved Lycian Rock Tombs overlooking an amphitheatre, all-dating back to 600 B.C.
- Kekova, a peaceful group of picturesque islands well scattered with very distinct rock sarcophagi, some even out in the sea.
- Saklikent – the hidden gorge – a long (18kms) and narrow water-sculpted limestone canyon.
- Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful ancient sites in Turkey.
- The charming little village of Sirince
- Ephesus, which was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.
- The hauntingly beautiful Pergamum, once one of the richest and most powerful small kingdoms in the Middle East.
- Assos, considered the prettiest small harbor in the northern Aegean.
In the morning visit to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum at which numerous remnants from Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians and many others are on display; Mausoleum of Ataturk, the burial place of the national hero who founded modern Republic of Turkey. Then continue on to Cappadocia. After a picturesque trip along the Salt Lake visit to the 13th century Seljukian Caravanserai Agzikarahan. After visiting Kaymakli Underground City, the place early Christians hid from persecutors, proceed to the hotel for overnight in Cappadocia.
Optional balloon tour. Depart from the hotel at 09.30-10.00 depending on the arrival time of the participants and visit the Imagination Valley where animal-like natural formations like camels and fair chimneys are abundant. Drive on to Pasabagi in Zelve area where monks used to live in seclusion in rock cut rooms. Proceed to the pottery town of Avanos where Kizilirmak (Hallys), the longest river of Turkey, meanders leaving the red clay on its banks that has been the raw material of pottery for centuries. In the afternoon visit to the Pigeon Valley near Uchisar. Continue on to Open Air Museum in Goreme to visit to the early Christian churches decorated with unique frescoes depicting various scenes from the Bible. After shopping time for the well-known merits of the area, drive back to the hotel in Cappadocia for overnight (B).
Drive to visit to the 13th century Seljukian masterpiece Sultanhan Caravanserai and arrive in Konya. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous figure. In the afternoon drive to Antalya via Aspendos that bears one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the world. Overnight Antalya (B).
In the morning climb up to Termessos which is some 35 kms far away and located over the Gulluk Mountain on the northwestern part of Antalya to visit the impressive ruins, perched at an altitude of over 1000 meters up a mountainside. The vast ruins at the site comprise the Theatre, Odeon, Necropolis, Temple, Cisterns from the Hellenistic and Roman period. The rest of the day is at leisure. A visit to the Archaeological Museum can be recommended. Overnight Antalya (B).
Drive to Phaselis including an ancient city with Harbor Way, Marina, Roman Theatre and Hadrianus Gate, and then Yanartas (Chimaera) where Greek mythology tells that the Lycian hero Bellerophon mounted his winged horse Pegasus and slew the fire-breathing Chimaera. Gas which seeps from the earth burns brightly at night at this site, which the Byzantines also considered a religious area; Olympus located on the southern side of Mount Tahtali. Oleander and laurel bushes shade the Olympus Valley which can be approached by land or sea. The remnants of a gate, part of a bridge and a Roman theatre from the 2nd century A.D. can also be seen on the site. After visiting Arykanda overnight in Demre (B).
Note: As it is a short but fairly steep climb up to Chimaera, it is recommended to take a bottle of water with you.
Departure in the morning to visit the best examples of Lycian tombs at Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas, the saint to whom is referred as Santa Claus. In the afternoon sail to Kekova Island (on a public motorboat) by which the sunken city Simena and a noteworthy Lycian necropolis at Teimiussa down the village of Kale will be seen. There will also be swimming facilities. Continue to Kas for overnight (B).
Free day to relax or explore Kas. (B)
Today’s visits will include the ancient Lycian sites of Xanthos and Patara, which also has a very attractive beach, and the hidden gorge of Saklikent Canyon. Overnight in Gocek (B).
A lovely morning in Dalyan. The real highlight in Dalyan is to take a small fishing boat through a maze of reeds in the Dalyan Delta. The delta, with a long, golden sandy beach at its mouth, is a nature-conversation area, and a refuge for large sea turtles (caretta caretta) and blue crabs. Kaunos, an important city and port on the Mediterranean from 400 B.C. will also be seen from the boat. Drive to Pamukkale for overnight (B, D).
Tour the ruins of Hierapolis including the magnificently preserved cemetery “Necropolis”, the Main Street and Gates, the Thermal Baths, the Roman Theatre and the Museum. In the afternoon tour Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite; visit the Museum, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Theatre, the Stadium, the Agora, the Hadrian Baths, the Odeon, and the Bishop’s Palace. Proceed to the hotel in Sirince (B).
Morning tour to Ephesus area with Ephesus Antique City (Hillside Houses are excluded; entrance requires additional admission fee), one of the most popular ancient sites of Turkey with many acres of carefully excavated ruins; Virgin Mary’s House, where St. Mary is supposed to spend her last years together with St. John. Selcuk Ephesus Museum or St. John Church. Time for shopping. Overnight in Sirince (B).
Early departure for Bergama and visit to the Asclepion and Acropolis with the well preserved remains. In the afternoon drive to Assos for overnight (B, D).
Continue on to Troy, the place where the legendary Trojan War took place in the historical work of Homer of Smyrna. After visiting the site with nine inhabitation levels covering a period of 3000 years, sail to the other side of Dardanelles by a ferryboat and drive to Istanbul with visit to Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles – particularly involving the Allied Forces including Australians and New Zealanders during World War I. Arrive in Istanbul and end of the services