Tour: QT - 2013 (QT) - 2013 / 2014

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Parmukkale Turkey
Parmukkale Turkey

Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey

Welcome to Istanbul! At 6:30 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Dinner)

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople Flags strung across the streets of downtown Istanbul 
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DAY 2Istanbul

Founded by the Greeks as Byzantium more than 2,500 years ago, renamed Constantinople in 330 AD when Constantine the Great elected it the capital of the Roman Empire, and finally called Istanbul after the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century, the city on the Bosporus always was and still is one of the most exciting places in the world. Its strategic location as gateway between Orient and Occident, the Islamic and the Christian worlds, and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, predestined it for a turbulent history. Start your sightseeing at Emperor Justinian’s HAGIA SOPHIA and Sultan Ahmet’s BLUE MOSQUE, magnificent monuments to two competing world religions standing peacefully side by side. Next, turn to the TOPKAPI SERAGLIO, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Admire the crown jewels and the spectacular Kaftans of the Sultans that were worn during the Ottoman period. This evening, maybe join the optional dinner outing. (Breakfast)

Flags strung across the streets of downtown Istanbul Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople Blue Mosque 
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DAY 3Istanbul–Bursa

Tour the GRAND BAZAAR with its tiny shops. Then, set out on your discovery tour of a country with the population of Britain and more than three times its size. Cross the Bosporus and then follow the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the Gulf of Gemlik. Here, you head inland towards the Uludag, also called the Mount Olympus of Mysia, a 7,700-foot-high skiing mountain. Bursa lies in its shadow, surrounded by lovely orchards. Founded by the Greeks and hotly contested during the Crusades, Bursa had its heyday as the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. In the afternoon, visit the great monuments to this period: the ornate GREEN OTTOMAN COMPLEX and the GREAT MOSQUE (Ulu Camii) and the ancient Covered Bazaar. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 4Bursa–Boyuzuk–Gordion–Ankara

Motor into the heart of the Anatolian Highland. After a break at Boyuzuk, head for GORDION. Tour the excavation museum of the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Phrygia, where Alexander the Great cut the proverbial knot and, thus, opened the way to Asia. Hear about the legend of King Midas with the golden touch as you visit the ruler’s great EARTH TUMULUS. Then, visit the MAUSOLEUM OF ATATÜRK, the revered founder of the republic. Overnight in Ankara, capital of the Turkish republic since 1923 and the country’s second-largest city. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Ankara 
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DAY 5Ankara–Cappadocia

Morning visit to the MUSEUM OF ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS with its unique collection of Hittite sun discs, stag cult figures and reliefs, and Phrygian metalwork. In the afternoon, head through the salt steppes and swamps of central Anatolia towards the volcanic plateau of Cappadocia, and stop south of the great salt lake Tuz Golu. Tonight, why not attend the mystical performance of the traditional semâ ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes in a caravansary? (Breakfast, Dinner)

Visit the unique rock dwellings in Cappadocia, Turkey 
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DAY 6Cappadocia. Excursion to Göreme & Özkonak

Visit the unreal moon-like landscape of Göreme with its ROCK CHAPELS, a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE, carved by the early Christians and decorated with frescoes dating from the 6th to the 10th centuries. Next, visit the CASTLE OF UCHISAR and the Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite underground city of ÖZKONAK, then enjoy the sweeping panorama at ancient Ortahisar on the way back to the hotel. A souvenir GROUP PICTURE will be taken. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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The World Heritage List includes over 800 properties with cultural and/or natural heritage of global significance.

DAY 7Cappadocia–Sultanhani–Konya

This morning, stop at the fortress-like CARAVANSARY OF SULTANHANI. Then, westwards to the land of the Whirling Dervishes and to Konya. The Iconium of antiquity occupies a fertile island in the arid Anatolian steppes. Man has lived here since the early Stone Age, and the town had its moment of glory as the capital of the mighty Seljuk Empire from 1078 to 1307. Today it thrives on agriculture and the manufacture of fine carpets. Afternoon sightseeing features visits to three outstanding Seljuk structures: the MEVLANA MONASTERY of the Dervishes, now a museum; the KARATAY MEDRESE (theological school); and the elegant INCE MINARET. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 8Konya–Seydisehir–Aksehir–Antalya

Drive towards Seydisehir and Aksehir, and across the Taurus Mountains into the luxuriant green forests, orchards, and olive groves on the hills sloping down to the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. You enter an area only recently discovered by discerning European vacationers. An optional excursion to the Pamphylian cities of Perge and Aspendos is available. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 9At Leisure in Antalya

A full day to enjoy this Mediterranean paradise and to discover its antique treasures. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 10Antalya–Pamukkale

Turn inland across two mountain passes and arrive in Pamukkale. The name means “Cotton Castle” and refers to the spectacular white lime cascades formed by its hot springs. Visit the fascinating archaeological site of HIERAPOLIS, the thermal resort founded by a Pergamene king in 190 BC and greatly enlarged and embellished by the Romans. At the hotel tonight, a leisurely bath in a pool of hot thermal water might be just the way to relax. (Breakfast, Dinner)

The natural site of Pamukkale was formed from large amounts of calcium in the water 
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DAY 11Pamukkale–Ephesus–Izmir

Follow the valley of the Menderes River to Ephesus, home of the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and, later, the capital of Roman Asia Minor. When St. Paul arrived here he was so awestruck that he asked: “Is there a greater city?” Visit one of the best-preserved ancient AMPHITHEATERS, then drive up to the CHAPEL marking the site where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days. Overnight in Izmir (Smyrna), Homer’s birthplace on the Aegean coast. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Ephesus is one of the most beautiful and ancient sites, once known as the capital of the Asian Province of the Roman Empire The ancient site of Ephesus with its fascinating library of Celcus The ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey The ancient site of Ephesus 
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DAY 12Izmir– Pergamum–Troy Area

Start with visits to the PERGAMUM MUSEUM and the ASCLEPION, a shrine to the Greek god of medicine. Then, enjoy vistas of the Greek island of Lesbos as you follow the shores of the Bay of Edremit. Continue to TROY, the perfect place to brush up on Homer’s Trojan War—hollow wooden horse and all! Spend the night at nearby Canakkale. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 13Troy Area–Gallipoli–Istanbul

By FERRY across the Dardanelles back to Europe and the 21st century. Visit the World War I battlefields on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where Allied troops, mainly Australians and New Zealanders, suffered heavy casualties in a disastrous campaign. Pay tribute to the heroes of those tragic months of 1915 at the ANZAC CEMETERY and the LONE PINE MEMORIAL. Then, drive along the European shore of the Sea of Marmara back to Istanbul. You may wish to join the optional Bosporus cruise and tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with wine at a local restaurant with your traveling companions. (Breakfast, Dinner)

The Dardanelles, a long narrow strait along the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople Flags strung across the streets of downtown Istanbul 
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DAY 14Istanbul

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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