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Travel Sample 2 Print E-mail

Exploring the ancient past and living cultures of the Aegean (10 Days/9 Nights)

Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul Airport

Day 2 : In the morning we start strolling through the streets of the Old city center-Sultan Ahmet-which has a unique series of historical monuments. Our visit includes the Hippodrome (The Square of Horse Games), Saint Sophia (the Byzantine Basilica-greatest of all Byzantine buildings), the excellent museum of Islamic and Turkish art in the Ibrahim Pascha Sarayi, Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I (Blue Mosque) and Spice market. Here, you can start to taste and smell delicious Turkish delights, spicesand herbs

Day 3 : This day is spent concentrating on the old heart of Istanbul, beginning with the Topkapi Palace (The Cannon Gate) which was the center of the administration and residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Continuing, we visit a remarkable colonnaded cistern, Yerebatan Sarayi, built in the 6th century AD. After exploring the remains of the ancient Hippodrome we also visit a beautiful 15th century Ottoman Mosque Sokulu Mehmet Pascha  built by the great architect Mimar Sinan. We finish the day at the Covered Bazaar, which is like a small city with its various buildings, avenues, streets and squares.

Day 4 : After an early breakfast, we depart for Gallipoli and Troy . We enjoy the landscape of the Marmara region driving towards the Gallipoli Peninsula. We have our lunch at Gallipoli and enjoy a short walk by the town harbour. After visiting the World War I museum and Ansac cove, we take a ferry to cross the Dardanelles  and arrive «anakkale. We continue to drive to  the legendary  city of  Troy and  then  to our hotel at Behramkale  (ancient city Assos).

Day 5:  In the morning we explore the ancient city Assos, remarkably the ancient theatre, the city walls and the breath taking temple of Athena. Then we proceed to the ancient capital of the Attalid Dynasty, Pergamum and the ancient hospital Asklepion. In the afternoon, we drive  to Izmir for overnight.

Day 6: After breakfast drive to Selcuk town, and visit the temple of Artemis, Ephesus and its archaeological museum. In the late afternoon, we can go to a pretty mountain village near Selcuk called Sirince,  a charming, rustic, cobble-stoned village cradled in hills of olive and cherry trees, and have dinner in a local tavern. Overnight at Selcuk

Day 7: After breakfast, visit the ancient sea-trading cities of Priene, Miletos and Didyma.  Priene is the best preserved Hellenistic town in Turkey with a great location on the mouth of the River Meander. It is a 'must-see' and one of the oldest completely planned town from the 3rd century BC.  Miletos is the birth place of Philosophy and its renowned philosophers - Thales, Anaximenes, and Anaximandros - in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Didyma, one of the most important oracle centers of antiquity, has the best preserved Hellenistic temple dedicated to Apollo. We will end our day in Lake Bafa and visit Heraclea under Latmos with it splendid city wall.  Overnight at Selcuk.

Day 8: After early breakfast, we  leave Selcuk and start driving to the picturesque towns of the Aegean namely Birgi  (probably 14th century but with beautiful 18th/19th century houses) and Tire (impressive Islamic architecture in the town's old quarter). If time permits, we also visit the capital of the Lydian kingdom ancient Sardis and its well preserved temple of Artemis. Then we continue to drive to Bursa via Balikesir and stay for overnigt.

Day 9: After breakfast we start our day visiting the early mosques and markets of the Ottoman Empire namely Ulu Camii, Green Mosque, Koza Han (Silk market) and Covered Market. Then we continue to Iznik (ancient Nicea-the site of the First and Second Councils of Nicaea, the first and seventh Ecumenical councils in the early history of the Christian church). In the late afternoon we take a ferry from Yalova to Istanbul

Day 10: Transfer to  Istanbul  International Airport for the Departures

 

SC
Your Senior Trip Leader

“You travel in-depth with the most enjoyable cultural land trips and gulet cruises. You experience the best itineraries, the best routes and the correct modes of small-group travel”

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Testimonials

We toured Western Turkey...

We toured Western Turkey with Sevil in 2004, starting in Istanbul then driving to Cappadoccia over the course of ten days. Sevil was an absolutely terrific guide, full of knowledge and extremely capable of managing the arrangements. Everything flowed perfectly, and we especially enjoyed Sevil's restaurant recommendations. Everywhere we went we dined at the best, most authentic places, avoiding the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary. We're looking forward to another trip soon, with Sevil as our guide.

--Jim Draper and Brian St. Germain, Birmingham, Michigan, USA



Turkey is a wonderful place

Turkey is a wonderful place. It has far surpassed what I had imagined. The landscape, the history you bring the ancient past alive with your stories and your extensive knowledge. What a true pleasure it has been to travel in your country with you as our guide. The sea was a treat, the homestay a special time and the scenery just marvellous. Thank you.

C. Argyus, CA



Turkey is a beautiful Discovery

East-West
Ancient-Modern
Serious-Whimsich
Mind-Spirit
Turkey is a beautiful Discovery
And It is also you!
Thank you with all our heart,

M&Martin Stoller



Thanks so much for all your work and preparation

I have had a wonderful, wonderful trip through Turkey and its multi-layered history. Thank you so much because you were so much a part of the trip. I will always remember so much-our tour of Hattusa, the marvels of Cappadocia, our tour of Catalhoyuk with Basak, and our lovely visit with Himmet and his family in Kumbet. And there were first the highlights everyday and was filled with wondrous things to learn and see, and your information was the key to it all. Thanks so much for all your work and preparation. I have learned so much. I am sure you will be a success-you are gifted,caring, thoughtful person.

Anne Higgins, Santa Rosa CA



We are thankful for Cultural Trailsí organization. During September 2004, The Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul organized a three day seminar for the major customers of Scandinavia’s renowned banks, Scandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). Our Guests were the major CEO’s of the Scandinavian companies, with exceptional and demanding desires and wishes. During these days Cultural Trails organized a tourist tour activity in Istanbul. The activity included total customer responsibility in guiding, transfer and printed information booklets on Istanbul as well as other practical issues around the event for the Scandinavian ensemble. Our guests were very pleased with the venue; hence we are thankful for Cultural Trails’ organization. We highly recommend their services.

Exportradet/Swedish Trade Council Istanbul


Highly professional and very pleasant staff... Having arrived in Istanbul on business with only one day available to see the sights we were delighted with the personal tour which was well planned and organised by the highly professional and very pleasant staff from Cultural Trails. Their planning and organisation enabled us to ensure that we saw as many sights of key interest as possible and ensuring that we were both collected and returned to our hotel in complete safety.

Cheetham & Co
David Cheetham



Highly professional and very pleasant staff... Having arrived in Istanbul on business with only one day available to see the sights we were delighted with the personal tour which was well planned and organised by the highly professional and very pleasant staff from Cultural Trails. Their planning and organisation enabled us to ensure that we saw as many sights of key interest as possible and ensuring that we were both collected and returned to our hotel in complete safety.

Cheetham & Co
David Cheetham

\n djc@cheethamandco.co.uk

We highly recommend... October 2003

We highly recommend Cultural Trails as a specialist Travel Designer and brillant organizer. We certainly will be on a large number of their tours.

A.B. and J.W.A. Evans London
Fax/Phone +44 1628 527825






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Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)
Julius Caesar, 47 BC. Battle of Zela (modern Zile in Northern Turkey)