DAY 1: Dublin - Istanbul.
Fly to Istanbul where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for one night. Late arrivals may have the welcome briefing the following morning.
DAY 2: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Canakkale.
Skirting the Sea of Marmara, head for Gallipoli on the European side of the Dardanelles,for a visit to the Anzac Cemetery and the sites of the famous
World War I battlefields. Later, a short ferry journey takes you to the charming city of Canakkale, atthe mouth of the Koca River, for one night. (B, D)
DAY 3: Cabakkale - Troy - Izmir - Kusadasi.
Your first stop today is the ancient Homerian city of Troy, famous for being attacked in ancient times by Greek rivals hiding inside the giant wooden 'Trojan Horse'. The site, excavated in 1871, actually displays nine ancient metropolises, dating back to 3000BC. Later, head to the lovely Bay of Edremit, and admire the distant views of blue mountains on the Greek island Lesbos, before travelling through forests of pine and Valonia oak to the bustling Aegean port of Izmir for an orientation drive which will include the Karsiyaka district. Then it's on to the popular seaside resort of Kusadasi for two nights. (B, D)
DAY 4: Kusadasi.
Situated between ancient Ephesus and Priene, Kusadasi is a charming, cosmopolitan resort with a delightful climate and white sandy
beaches. The day is yours to relax or explore. Alternatively, why not take one of the great-value optional excursions to Ephesus and the Virgin Mary house? (B)
DAY 5: Kusadasi - Pamukkale - Denizili area.
Travel past Aydin and enter the area known as the 'Greek Meander', the most fertile region in Turkey. Your first stop is for optional sightseeing at the ancient site of Aphrodisias. Later, drive past Denizli, at the foot of Mount Gokbel, to Pamukkale, the amazing 'Cotton Castle'. Marvel at the extraordinary white terraces, formed over the centuries by water cascading down the hillside and visit the ancient archaeological site of Hierapolis. Continue to your hotel in the Denizli area for one night. (B, D)
DAY 6: Denizli area - Konya.
Today, drive to Dinar and then past the lovely Lake Acigol, with its shores of cherry gardens and opium fields. Enjoy splendid mountain scenery on the way to Konya, one of the oldest urban centres in the world, for one night. (B, D)
DAY 7: Konya - Agzikarahan - Cappadocia.
Today, travel into the great central plateau area, which separates Konya from Aksaray, and stop to admire the great Agzikarahan 'Caravanserai'. In the afternoon, enjoy an included visit to Goreme to see the amazing churches and chapels carved into the rock; the whole area is outstandingly impressive. Later, head for Avanos in Cappadocia for two nights. (B, D)
DAY 8: Cappadocia.
The first records of Cappadocia date from the 6th century BC, and over the centuries it has been a strategically important town for several civilisations, including the Persians, Romans and Byzantines. The day is yours to explore at leisure or perhaps join the optional sightseeing tour to the amazing natural amphitheatre, bounded by almost vertical cliffs, in which countless chambers, porticos and arcades have been carved, as well as underground cities where early Christians sheltered from Roman persecution. (B, D)
DAY 9: Cappadocia - Ankara.
Journey via Aksaray to Ankara, the Turkish capital, for one night. On arrival, enjoy an orientation drive before spending the afternoon relaxing, exploring at leisure, or taking the optional half day city tour including visits to the museum of Anatolian Civilisations and the Ankara Mausoleum of Ataturk. (B, D)
DAY 10: Ankara - Gordion - Bursa.
Travel into the ancient kingdom of Phryge to Gordion, one of Turkey's most important archaeological sites, where legends has it Alexander the Great cut the proverbial knot. Enjoy an included visit to the fascinating Tomb of King Midas before continuing to ancient Bursa, which stands in the shadow of Ulu Dag mountain - the ancient Mysian Olympus, and is famous for its Great Mosque, covered bazaar and silk market. Overnight in Bursa. (B, D)
DAY 11: Bursa - Istanbul.
Drive to the shores of the Sea of Marmara for a short ferry crossing on the Izmit Bay to the exotic city of Istanbul, straddling both Europe and Asia. The included sightseeing tour with a local guide includes visits to the Roman Hippodrome and the stunning Blue Mosque. This evening, why not join the optional dinner and traditional Turkish entertainment? (B)
DAY 12: Istanbul.
Istanbul was founded in 600BC and is a mesmerising city with intricate architecture, ancient mosques and colourful bazaars brimming with pedlars and stalls selling almonds, pistachios, iced drinks and black coffee. The day is yours to explore the city at leisure or perhaps join the optional excursions to sail in a private boat on the Bosphorus or enjoy an afternoon's historical tour. (B)
DAY 13: Istanbul - Dublin.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)