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Small Group Coach Tour. Minimum 4 passengers, maximum 22 passengers.11 Days ex Istanbul2020 Departures:May 07, 14, 28; Jun 04, 25; Jul 09, 23; Aug 06, 20; Sep 03, 17 Authentic Turkey is a small group journey designed for adventurous travellers seeking a combination of relaxed touring and accommodation mainly in local hotels. This trip takes in some of the outstanding areas of the Mediterranean coast exploring classic sites and including leisurely walks. A relaxing holiday in quaint and historical towns with carefully selected restored local hotels (where available). Shopping options abound at local rug co-operatives, a pottery making workshop, vineyards, and onyx factories, as well as giving the traveller first hand interaction with the friendly, local Turkish people.
Note: It is possible to extend this itinerary with a Gulet Cruise.
- Experience local character and charm with boutique accommodation and meals
- Embrace the vibrant atmosphere of Istanbul where East meets West
- Retrace history at Gallipoli
- Uncover ancient ruins at Pergamum, Izmir, Ephesus, and Troy
Day 1: Istanbul
Arrive at Istanbul International Airport. Welcome to Turkey. On arrival please clear customs and immigration. In arrivals area you will be met by a representative of our local operator and transferred to your hotel for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis. This evening a welcome briefing will be held at the hotel.
Day 2: Istanbul (B)
Spend the day exploring Istanbul including a visit at Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453–1852 (excludes view of the harem). Visit the Hippodrome which was once the centre of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Continue to the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616 and famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Next see St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, now a museum, and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets.
Tonight join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. (Supplement applies)
Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli – Dardanelles - Canakkale (BD)
In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, then cross the Dardanelles to Canakkale for overnight.
Day 4: Troy - Pergamum - Izmir (BLD)
Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Lunch in a traditional local village. Visit the ancient Asclepion Medical Centre in Pergamum and continue to Izmir for overnight.
Day 5: Ephesus & St Mary’s House - Izmir (B)
Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural centre of the ancient world, and explore 2000 year-old marble streets, theatre, the Library of Celsius, gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production centre to have a first-hand experience of this unique art form.
Optional dinner at local restaurant.
Day 6: Izmir - Bodrum (BD)
After breakfast drive to Bodrum to visit the castle of St.Peter and the renowned Underwater Museum that was awarded the best Underwater Museum of the World in 2000s. Dinner & Overnight in Bodrum.
Day 7: Bodrum (B)
After breakfast, the day is free for personal activities. Optional day island Kos.
Day 8: Bodrum - Cappadocia (BD)
Late morning fly to Cappadocia. Upon arrival remainder of the day at leisure. Dinner & overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 9: Cappadocia (BD)
Early morning take an optional hot air balloon tour- experience floating through volcanic valleys fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast visit Goreme an historical region of Turkey located among the rock formations which was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today as Christianity was at that time the prevailing religion in the region. Continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi Devrent Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop. Tonight dinner is at a special local restaurant.
After dinner join an optional Whirling Dervishes performance. (Supplement applies)
Day 10: Cappadocia - Istanbul (B)
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Afternoon is at leisure for last minute shopping at the Spice Market, or join an optional half-day Bosphorus cruise.
Day 11: Istanbul (B)
Departure transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only.
- Domestic flights Bodrum-Cappadocia-Istanbul (price subject to change until ticketed)
- Private return airport transfers
- Air-conditioned transportation as per itinerary
- 10 nights accommodation in historical and boutique hotels
- Small group sightseeing as per itinerary
- Assistance of professional qualified English-speaking local guides
- Activities and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Breakfast daily 1 lunch 5 dinners
- Local taxes and charges
- Luggage handling
- Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel
- International Airfares
- Personal Expenses
- Optional tours
- Tipping/gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Extra hotel charges (minibar or any other services)
- Meals not specified
- Early check-in/late check-out
- Camera/photography fees
- Departure taxes
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Domestic airfare Izmir - Kayseri is based on an indicative economy class fare. The final package price may vary according to the best available airfares available at the time of booking.
Airport transfers are only included on days of the tour ex Istanbul Ataturk (IST) Airport - a surcharge will apply for transfers to/from Sabiha Gocken (SAW) airport.
If you are arriving or departing Istanbul on any days other than the arrival and departure days of the tour transfers will not be included in the price of the coach tour.
Porterage for one suitcase is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity the single bag should not exceed the dimensions of 30”x18”x10” and not weigh more than 50lbs (23kg). A charge of US $4 per travelling day is collected by the tour director for each additional piece of baggage or if the suitcase exceeds established weight and/or dimension limitations. Alternatively you might leave your luggage at your Istanbul Hotel storage.
**DOUBLE BEDS** Please note we have requested a double bedded room but cannot guarantee one will be available. In Turkey double rooms are very limited. Please ask on check-in with the hotel to see what is available.
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Swissotel Grand Efes
Gamirasu (Cave-style hotel)
Dress Codes: Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
Hotels: On coach tours, hotels in regional areas (i.e Pamukkale) can be of a slightly lower standard than the other hotels on the tour.
Sightseeing: All sightseeing tours require a moderate amount of walking around historical / cultural sites. This is particularly true in Cappadocia where walks can be up to 1 or 2 km long and where a good level of fitness will ensure you get a maximum enjoyment from your visit. On some tours you may visit a carpet or handicraft shop where the locals will show how their crafts are made. There is no obligation to buy any products at any of these places.
Transfers: Transfers are operated by drivers and are not guided. Some drivers may only have a basic command of English.
Optional Tours: Optional tours offered during coach tours may not be guaranteed (even if pre-booked ex New Zealand) as they are subject to a minimum number of participants.
Private Sightseeing tours (if booked): If a private sightseeing tour is booked it is important that you discuss the days arrangements with the guide as the touring programmes have a degree of flexibility. It is important to discuss with the guide so that any specific requirements can be met or addressed at the time.
Istanbul airport transfers: For coach tours: airport transfers are included on days of the tour ex Istanbul Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport. Transfers from the hotel to the Airport may be on scheduled shuttles. Late Evning or early morning flights may require private transfers at a supplement.
For independent / private tours: if included, airport transfers are applied ex Ataturk Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.