Sample itinerary: 7 nights self-drive or privately escorted tour. Istanbul - Bursa/Edirne - Gallipoli - Troy - Ephesus - Izmir
Turkey’s cultural heritage including the Ottoman capitals of Bursa or Edirne, the battlefields of Gallipoli, ancient Troy and Ephesus
Day 1: UK to Istanbul.
Fly to Istanbul and transfer to hotel for overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Istanbul.
Choose to spend the days exploring the city independently or you can choose a selected daily tour of Istanbul. The first day is the Istanbul Classic Tour* which starts when our tour company partners pick you up from your hotel at around 9am (return to your hotel is around 4pm). During the tour you will visit the most important popular sites of Istanbul, including St. Sophia Museum, Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar.
Day 3: Istanbul.
Choose to spend your second day exploring the city independently or you may take our 2nd day regular tour in Istanbul, the Istanbul Two Continents Tour* including a Bosphorus Cruise. If you choose to book this regular tour, the tour company will pick you up from your hotel at around 9 am and return around 4pm. You will experience one of the most beautiful sights in the world, the Bosphorus strait separating the two continents of Europe and Asia. This tour includes a Bosphorus Cruise and visits the Spice Bazaar, Rustempasa Mosque, Beylerbeyi Palace, Bosphorous Bridge and Camlica Hill.
Day 4: Bursa or Edirne.
If you have booked this itinerary as a self drive the car will be delivered to the your hotel in the morning around 10am or you will pick up your hire car from the arranged location. if you have booked with an English-speaking driver or a professional guide, you will be met at your hotel after breakfast. Drive to Bursa to visit the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, with its famous tombs and mosques and the fascinating Kozahan the silk bazaar which was at the heart of the ancient silk trade, overnight in Bursa. (As an alternative option to Bursa on Day 3, you can depart from Istanbul and drive to Edirne to explore the grand Selimiye Mosque and its many museums and stay overnight in Edirne) before travelling on to Gallipoli on Day 4 on both options.
Day 5: Gallipoli.
Drive to Gallipoli to visit the profoundly moving site of the First World War battlefields and memorial. Visit the Anzac Cemetery. Take the ferry to nearby Canakkale to overnight.
Day 6: Troy.
Drive to Troy to visit the evocative site of the ancient city of Troy, a World Heritage Site, and the scene of the famous legend. Continue to Pergamum to visit the impressive ruins of this ancient city. Its acropolis is set high on a hillside and dominates the surrounding countryside and it Asclepion, once a renowned centre of medicine. Stay overnight in Bergama, formerly Pergamum.
Day 7 and 8: Ephesus.
Drive to Selçuk, where you can spend the rest of the day and the following day exploring Ephesus, Selçuk and the neighbouring charming Ottoman town of Sirince. Drive to Ephesus to visit this ancient Roman city, one of the best preserved and most visited in the world, with its grand marble streets and imposing library. Once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was also here that St Paul preached some of his most famous sermons, and where the Virgin Mary spent her last days. Stay for two nights in Selçuk.
Day 9: Izmir to UK.
Return your hire car to Izmir Airport - or if you are travelling with a driver or guide they will transfer you to the airport - and fly back to the UK (via Istanbul). (You may extend for another 2 days to visit Pamukkale before returning back to the UK)
We offer flexible departures from all major UK airports, any day of the week between 1 Mar - 30 Nov.
Option 1: 8 Nights Self-drive from £1,198 per person
Option 2: 8 nights with English-speaking driver from £1,798 per person
The price of this holiday includes:
- Turkish Airlines flights to Istanbul from Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham , Edinburgh, Dublin
- Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Istanbul
- 3 nights B&B at the 4* Best Western Empire Palace in Istanbul
- For self-drive option: Air-conditioned Group B car - Ford Escort (or similar)
- For English-speaking Driver: Group B or similar car is provided with fuel, driver/guide and their daily expenses.
- 1 night 4* in Bursa or in Edirne.
- 1 night 4* in Canakkale.
- 1 night 4* in Bergama
- 2 nights HB at the Kalehan Hotel 4* (or similar standard hotel) in Selcuk
- Flight from Izmir to the UK via Istanbul
Please note that our drivers only speak basic English, a professional guide can be arranged subject to extra charge.
*Special Notes for Istanbul tours:
Both tours include :
Professional English-speaking tour guide for the duration of the tour
Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle
Pick up & drop off from/to your Istanbul hotel
Entrance fees and Lunch
Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and is replaced with the Underground Cistern & Turkish and Islamic Arts Musuem.
The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays and will be replaced with a visit to the Spice Bazaar.
St. Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays and will be replaced with the Underground Cistern.
Beylerbeyi Palace is closed on Monday and Thursday and replaced with Imperial Yildiz Park and Yildiz Porcelain Factory.
Price: Price for both tours together is £120 per person. Tours are optional.
Don't take our words...
"Our holiday in Turkey exceeded our expectations. Cappadocia was interesting and beautiful. It was exciting staying in cave. Istanbul was amazing. We had very little previous experience of Turkey and Turkish people, so we enjoyed the beauty of the country and friendly hospitality of the people. We felt safe and not at all threatened in the city. The quality of food and service in restaurants was good. Efes beer is very tasty. We were a little confused on our first day in Istanbul as the tour details implied a bus tour, but all become clear when we realised how close all the sights were to our hotel. We had a memorable holiday. Thank you Akin."
Mr David Hyam, 19.5.2019
"Dear Mr Koc
I've been meaning to write to you for some time, so say thank you for arranging such a wonderful holiday for us. We had 4 nights B & B at the Empire Palace Hotel in Istanbul, which was wonderfully central, with friendly, helpful staff, and then flew to Cappadocia, staying at the MDC Cave Hotel in Urgup, which was delightful. The location was outstanding and the hotel quite unique.We have travelled all over the world and I can safely say that this holiday was one of the best - full of new experiences including a trip in a hot air balloon, visiting underground cities, ancient cave dwellings with amazing frescoes and fabulous landscapes. It was fun and exciting. For the first 2 days of tours in Cappadocia we went with the local representative, who were excellent and our guide, Mustafa Sahin was outstanding. Thank you again for a brilliant trip and we will recommend your company. We may be interested in Croatia next year.
Barbara Lewis , 30.7.2018