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Legendary Turkey From Istanbul to the Turquoise Coast

Tour Description:

Fascinating sights, scents, and sounds reign in this land where Europe and Asia meet. From Istanbul, magnificent “Empress of the World,” to ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and the dramatic – and legendary – Turquoise Coast, Turkey engages and beguiles, offering us an unparalleled small group experience.

Note: Some dates may travel with a reverse itinerary.

Map for
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Dates & Pricing

Friday 06 Sep 24 — Saturday 21 Sep 24FROM*: $4,892 Get a Quote
Friday 13 Sep 24 — Saturday 28 Sep 24FROM*: $4,892 Get a Quote
Friday 20 Sep 24 — Saturday 05 Oct 24FROM*: $4,892 Get a Quote
Friday 04 Oct 24 — Saturday 19 Oct 24FROM*: $4,592 Get a Quote
Friday 11 Oct 24 — Saturday 26 Oct 24FROM*: $4,592 Get a Quote
Friday 18 Oct 24 — Saturday 02 Nov 24FROM*: $4,592 Get a Quote
Friday 01 Nov 24 — Saturday 16 Nov 24FROM*: $4,392 Get a Quote
Friday 08 Nov 24 — Saturday 23 Nov 24FROM*: $4,392 Get a Quote
* Including airfare from select cities. Ask your Pavlus Travel Planner for details.


Day 1: Depart U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey

Day 2: Arrive Istanbul
We arrive in Turkey’s cultural and spiritual heart today and transfer to our hotel located near Taksim Square, the heart of modern Istanbul. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned; on our own we can explore the area surrounding our hotel or simply relax. Dinner tonight is on our own.

Day 3: Istanbul
We get our first real taste of this city straddling two continents today as we set out on a walking tour along lively pedestrian Istiklal Street, lined with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and late Ottoman-era buildings. We see the magnificent 16th-century Suleymaniye mosque then walk along the shores of the Golden Horn. We’ll visit intimate Rustem Pasha mosque, with its exquisite Iznik tiles, followed by the renowned Spice Market. After lunch on our own here, we take a private cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. This evening we take a short walk to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner of traditional Turkish fare. B,D

Day 4: Istanbul
Today we encounter Old Istanbul, beginning with the ancient Roman Hippodrome, the 3,500-year-old obelisk brought from Egypt in 390 CE. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles and signature six minarets. We then visit the renowned Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art, housing priceless artifacts from the 8th to 20th centuries. After lunch at a local restaurant we con­­tinue on to Hagia Sophia, the 6th-century church that was Christendom’s most important before becoming a mosque in the 15th century. B,L

Day 5: Istanbul
This morning we tour splendid Topkapi, for 400 years the palace of Ottoman sultans that today ranks among the world’s richest museums. We continue on to the asilica Cistern, the marble-columned underground chamber that provided water to Istanbul in antiquity. Our next stop is the Grand azaar, the covered market housing some 5,000 shops along 60 “streets.” The remainder of the day and evening is free for independent exploration. B

Day 6: Istanbul/Gallipoli/Canakkale 
Leaving Istanbul this morning, we travel to the northern Aegean Coast for a brief visit to Gallipoli, haunting site of 31 Allied cemeteries from World War I. Then we ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy, once believed to exist only in Homer’s epic poem until the present site was discovered in the 1870s. After touring here we con­tinue south to Canakkale, where we spend the night. B,L,D

Day 7: Canakkale/Pergamum/Kusadasi
Today we ex­plore one of Turkey’s most spectacular ancient sites: windswept Pergamum, a major power in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, with a wealth of Hellenistic ruins. Then we continue on to Kusadasi. B,L,D

Day 8: Kusadasi/Ephesus
Few ancient sites com­pare to Ephesus, the world’s best-preserved class­ical city that we explore today. Dating to at least 1300 BCE, Ephesus was Asia Minor’s largest metro­polis and principal port. Our tour includes the Terrace Houses, the recently restored “houses of the rich,” with their outstanding mosaic floors and frescoed walls. Then we enjoy lunch in the rustic village of Sirince. B,L

Day 9: Kusadasi/Ephesus
We return to Ephesus to visit the Basilica of St. John, the 6th-century ruins that stand over what is believed to be the burial site of John the Apostle. Then we learn about Ephesus through the ages, as we tour the Ephesus Museum, housing treasures from the archaeological site. After lunch together, we stop at a carpet factory to watch a demonstration of this age-old craft.   B,L,D

Day 10: Kusadasi/Fethiye
En route to Fethiye today, we stop in Dalyan, where we board a small skiff for a trip through an intriguing maze of channels. Reaching the Lake of Koycegiz, we see our first Lycian rock-cut tombs on the cliffs above. Dating to 350 BCE, the tombs number more than one thousand along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Then we continue our journey to the port town of Fethiye, known for its beautiful natural harbor. B,L,D

Day 11: 
This morning we coach to the Greek “ghost town” of Kayakoy, abandoned after WWI and now preserved as a historical monument. Then we board a private yacht for our Turquoise Coast “Blue Voyage” cruise along the stunning coastline that Antony is said to have given to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. We visit secluded coves (including Aquarium Cove, with its waters of brilliant blue and green), have the opportunity to swim and snorkel, and enjoy lunch on board. B,L Fethiye/Cruising

Day 12: Fethiye/Antalya
We set out this morning on a scenic drive along the coastal road to Antalya, stopping along the way in Demre (ancient Myra). Here we visit the 6th-century Church of St. Nicholas, known for its impressive frescoes, its significance to both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, and as its namesake’s inspiration for Santa Claus. Then we travel on to the evocative seaside ruins of Phaselis, the ancient Greek and Roman port city now a national park. Following our visit here, we continue on to Turkey’s premier resort town of Antalya.  B,L,D

Day 13: Antalya
We discover Antalya’s charming old city (Kaleici) on a morning walking tour through its narrow streets, past historic buildings, mosques, and parks. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Antalya’s acclaimed Archaeological Museum, housing priceless artifacts unearthed from sites throughout the region. B,L

Day 14: Antalya/Perge
This morning we tour the ruins at Perge, an ancient Greek city once among the world’s prettiest and most prosperous. We also visit the Duden Waterfalls, which tumble about 130 feet into the Mediterranean. Returning to our hotel, this afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, we celebrate our Turkish adventure over a farewell dinner together. B,D

Day 15: Depart for U.S.
This morning we board an early flight for our return to the United States. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included