Antique Cities and Azure Seas

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ORION TOUR has designed this magnificent tour so yo can experience Istanbul to its fullest, an exploration of Western Turkey in depth, and enjoy a “Blue Voyage” down the Aegean by traditional wooden Gullet. Deep blue waters, warm sunny days and a chance to explore the world’s greatest civilizations as well as the tiny coves and islets of Aegean, that lap upon untouched cool emerald pine forests and olive groves. This a once in a lifetime tour of the very best Turkey has to offer.

Arrival to Istanbul. You will be met and transferred to your hotel by Orion staff or guide.

 

Following breakfast, we drive to the ‘Old City’ where we visit the Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles, and Haghia Sophia. This church – turned mosque – turned museum takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome. Next we visit the spectacular Topkapi Palace that was built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul. This huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453-1852). We see the extravagant Treasury, the priceless Chinese porcelain and more.

 

Our morning starts with a visit to the aromatic Spice Bazaar where the smells of cinnamon, cloves and thyme, rise from hundreds of colorful muslin bags at every store front. We then board our ferry boat for a relaxing cruise along the shores of the legendary Bosphorus, the natural gateway that divides Asia and Europe. As you sit back and may enjoy Turkish coffee or well brewed tea from traditional small cups, numerous summer palaces and palatial homes will pass by on either side. Disembarking at the northern end of the Strait, we proceed to a restaurant for a tasty meal of local fish. Following lunch we will travel by coach to Kariye (Chora) museum to see the marvelous mosaics of the late Byzantine art. The last stop will be Grand Bazaar which is amongst attractive shopping centers and the biggest”souk” in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, gold, jewelry, carpets and leatherwear.

 

After an early breakfast we will begin our scenic drive down to Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles during WW1. Following a lunch break, we will visit Anzac Cove, Ceremonial Ground for Dawn Service, Lone Pine and some shelters and tunnels before we cross the second strategic waterway, the Dardanelles, and land in Asia and proceed to our hotel in Canakkale for the night.

 

We drive to Troy, referred to in Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey”, Troy has in fact nine cities superimposed one upon another. Troy Vl pertains to the famous Trojan War of Homer where the legendary heroes included Agamemnon, Achilles, Ulysses and Nestor on the Greek side; and, Priam, Hector and Paris on the Trojan side. Continuing on our journey we will stop by the hauntingly beautiful Pergamon. Among the impressive structures of this city, dating from 3rd BC, we will see the Altar of Zeus, Temples of Dionysus and Trajan and the 200,000 volume library which was surpassed only by that found in Alexandria at the time. Leaving Pergamon behind us we settle at our hotel in Kusadasi.

 

Following breakfast we will proceed and arrive at the ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural and commercial centers of the ancient world. Impressive structures we will see include the Library of Celcius, Temple of Hadrian, Theater and Odeon. We will also stop by at the Temple of Artemis which was one of the Seven Wonders of the antiquity. Close by is the House of the Virgin Mary where she is believed to have spent her last years. On August 18, 1961, Pope John XXll proclaimed the House of Virgin Mary at Ephesus to be sacred. Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit and led a Mass at the church in December 2006. You will have a chance to take some of Holy Water from the Sacred Spring. You will also enjoy a fashion show on Turkish leather goods and garments. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.

 

We may have two options before we board our Gullet this afternoon. 01- Optional tour of Priene, Miletus and Didyma We may leave after breakfast for our optional tour and journey to Priene, which is an example of a truly ancient city, whose history dates back to the 10th century BC. Highlights include the Temple of Athena Polias, the Ecclesiasterium, Gymnasium and the Agora. We next visit Miletus where the Philosopher Thales was born. He coined the phrase “Know Thyself”. We will inspect the theater, Delphinion, Baths of Faustina and the Council Chamber. Our last visit is to Didyma which served as a religious sanctuary to the god Apollo. The oracular inscriptions date as far back as 600 BC. Among the highlights are the Temple of Apollo and the Stadium. We further drive southward to Halicarnassus. We board our yacht at Bodrum and spend the evening relaxing on board. (Please refer to the Sailing section for details on the boat you have just boarded. 02- Drive to Bodrum and board yacht We drive to Bodrum. As you cannot board the yacht before late afternoon you will have time to explore the city on your own. According to Herodotus, the city was founded by the Dorians in the 4th century BC and contains one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the magnificent Mausoleum. A second highlight of Halicarnassus is the Crusader Castle built by the Knights of St. John that houses superb finds of underwater archaeology today. Welcome Cocktail after boarding. Overnight on board the yacht in Bodrum, one of the leading resorts of Turkey, undisputed “hot – spot” of the Aegean Coast. (Please refer to the Sailing section for details on the boat you have just boarded

 

Visit Cokertme and Kisebuk (Church) bays.

 

Akbuk after breakfast, lunch. Afternoon cruise to Sogut. Overnight

 

Cruise to Cleopatra Island famous for its fine sand. Overnight in English Harbour.

 

Cruise to English Harbour, Ballisu and Longoz bays. These are quite picturesque bays suitable for swimming.

 

Cruising to Orak Island. Overnight

 

Return to Bodrum, via Karaada. Overnight in Bodrum.

 

Disembarkation after breakfast, transfer to Bodrum Airport for flight to home.

Additional information

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Tour Includeds

  • Accommodation at listed hotels or equivalent in Twin-bedded rooms.
  • Specified meals in the itineraries as B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner.
  • Service charges,V.A.Tax, professional English speaking guide, baggage handling charges, admission fees as per itinerary.
  • Touring by A/C First Class Coach or Midi-bus or Minibus (Depending on the size of the group).
  • Mineral water will be provided during the tour & meals
  • Hotel availlability is subject to change and status depends at the time of booking
  • Should there be any changes in the tax ratio it will be reflected on rates

Excludeds

  • Personal expenses, domestic air ticket, soft drinks, tea and coffee during meals, tips to guide and driver.
  • Tipping is a common and expected practice; therefore, EUR 4.00 for guide & EUR 2.00 for driver per person per day should be included in your budget. In case of a private tour for less than 5 people, minimum of EUR 20.00 for guide & EUR 10.00 for driver per day should be given. EUR 8.00 for transferman & EUR 8.00 for driver should be given for one way transfer.

1 review for Antique Cities and Azure Seas

  1. 2 out of 5

    Hi 3/4GBAnzac day is really imroptant to me because So many soldiers battled for our country on the 25th of there is one minute silence so you can remember the soldiers who fought for us there is also the last post which is played before the one minute silence there is also one last thing on Anzac day Essendon vs. Colingwood and everyone knows that Essendon is going to beat Collingwood.Ps Anzac stands for Australia and New zealand army corp

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