Aegean Dream

Duration

12 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Istanbul

Available

April 2021 / March 2022

Cities to visit: Istanbul; Bandirma; Efeso; Kusadasi; Bodrum; Marmaris; Dalyan, Aegean Region; Antalya; Aspendos; Side; Karaman; Nigde; Cappadocia; Ihlara; Konya; Egridir; Pamukkale; Izmir; Bursa

Video Gallery


Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:   Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Welcome to Europe!!!.   On arrival at the airport we shall be waiting to transfer you to the hotel.  You can enjoy free time until your tour starts, information about the meeting place and start time can be found on the information boards in the hotel reception area. 

IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.  

NB:   The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.    

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:  Sighseeing tour.Cable car to Pierre Loti viewpoint. Night transfer to Taksim.

09.00hrs.- Istanbul.- A  sightseeing tour  of the city taking in the walls, the Golden Horn, the fishing district, and Taksim. We will skirt round the Topkapi Palace and admire the exterior of Hagia Sophia. On our tour, we will include a  cable car ride up to the Pierre Loti  viewpoint and we will look round the  Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent  (the largest in Istanbul). We find ourselves in a city built in two continents. Views over the Bosphorus, with its huge mosques and ramparts: the city has magnificent sights. The visit is accompanied by a local guide, and lasts about two hours (admission to the monuments is not included).  
Free time. 

19.30 hrs - At the end of the afternoon we will provide a  transfer to the Taksim neighbourhood,  the most commercialised and lively area of ??the city. There will be time to dine in one of its many restaurants, and you can also take the old tram that crosses the area or go to see the nearby Galata Tower. 

Important:  Services during the stay in Istanbul may change order by taking the boat ride on the Bosphorus on the first day and the panoramic visit on the second day.

Today we include a  boat trip on the Bosphorus t hat will last about two hours. We will undertake the trip on a boat exclusively for Europamundo travellers. The Bosphorus is a strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of ??Marmara, which separates Istanbul into two parts: the European part and the Asian one. We will enjoy seeing the liveliness of the strait with its multitude of boats. We will pass under the two bridges that unite Europe and Asia and we will admire the palaces of the sultans, the typical wooden houses and the Ottoman villas. 

Free time (an optional visit with tickets and lunch inside the Topkapi Palace is available).

Total distance covered:  360 km.
 
Scenery:  Cold lands inside Anatólia.
Note:  The departure of our ferry is very early. We can not guarantee the availability of a normal breakfast service (a continental breakfast will be given on the ferry). Sometimes, the ferry from Istanbul will bring us to Yalova instead of Bandirna. 

We will leave early morning from Istanbul. We will cross the Sea of ??Marmara by the  rapid ferry  service (variable schedules according to the season and month), and after about a two hour journey, we will arrive at the port of 


09.00 hrs.- BANDIRMA  (or Yalova according to the timetables) Arrival. We continue our journey through the interior of Turkey. Stop for lunch en route.

14.00hrs.- We will arrive in  EPHESUS , the best preserved ancient city of Asia Minor; 2000 years ago it had a quarter of a million inhabitants. We will discover the  Basilica of Saint John, and then the house of the Virgin Mary and the archaeological site (tickets included).  

18.00 hrs- Ephesus departure. We continue on towards the Turquoise Coast.

18.30 hrs- Kusadasi- Arrival to this    popular coastal town with a lot of atmosphere, commercial life and a small castle . Free time in the center to enjoy its bazaars and the city. Dinner and accommodation. 

Total distance covered:  320 km.
 
Scenery:  Various beautiful sights over the Aegean.

08.30 hrs.- Kusadasi- Departure. 11.00 hrs.-   Bodrum , free time in this beautiful fortified city of Greek origin. You can visit its castle, walk through its streets which are full of life and tourist activity or its leisure marina. Time for lunch.

15.00 hrs- Bodrum, departure.
17.30 hrs.- MARMARIS,  arrival to another beautiful coastal tourist enclave, with its castle, its marina and its fountains.  Dinner a nd accommodation.

NOTE:  On some high difficulty dates (especially in summer ), some groups can be accommodated in a nearby town.

Distance covered:  335 km 
Scenery:   Coastal sections and sections between high mountains. Contrasts.  
NOTE: Have swimwear to hand if you want to enjoy the spa waters or the mud bath. We also recommend taking a change of clothes and having a towel to hand.    

08.00 hrs.- Marmaris - Departure -. 
09.30 hrs.- DALYAN - Arrival -. An incredible place beside a beautiful navigable river. We include a boat trip of around two and a half hours to see the LYCIAN ROYAL TOMBS , and we will continue in the boat to a large lake where we will stop at the spa waters, where you can take a dip in the warm waters or have a mud bath! (very basic facilities aimed at the local population). Time for a meal in one of the numerous restaurants by the river in Dalyan.    

13.30 hrs.- Dalyan - Departure -. We go on our way. Mountain scenery.  
17.15 hrs.- ANTALYA - Arrival -. We will make a brief visit of this great coastal city of more than a million inhabitants, the Adrian door, the Ottoman district and its large waterfall falling straight into the sea. Dinner and accommodation.

Distance covered:  530 km  
Scenery:  Spectacular contrasts; countryside overlooking the sea. High mountains often with snowy peaks; arid lands of Anatolia. 
Note:  The Ottoman mansion of Tartan Evi may sometimes be closed (out of season or due to local holidays). If it were unavailable for a visit, a visit would be made to a mansion of similar characteristics in Cappadocia.         

08.00 hrs.-Antalya - Departure -.  
09.00 hrs.- ASPENDOS - Arrival - we visit the Roman theatre that many believe to be the best preserved in the world.   

09.45 hrs.-Aspendos - Departure -. 
10.30 hrs.- SIDE - Arrival -. A small, very tourist city, full of commercial life. You will have free time. Its Greek temple of Apollo by the sea stands out. Time for a stroll around its port and through its streets full of life.   

12.30 hrs.- Side - Departure -. Amidst impressive scenery, we cross the Taurus mountains. The peaks, of more than 3500 metres, are covered with snow for a large part of the year. We stop for a meal along the way in a pretty service area in the mountains. 
17.00 hrs.- KARAMAN - Arrival -. A city with an oriental atmosphere. We visit TARTAN EVI , an ancient Ottoman mansion.   

18.00 hrs.- Karaman - Departure -. Great arid plains along the route in the south of Anatolia. 20.15 hrs.- NIGDE - Arrival -. We suggest a stroll around its bazaar, its ancient mosque and its fortress. Dinner and accommodation.

Distance covered:  120 km  
Scenery: Scenery of spectacular forms and shapes;  picturesque villages. 
Note:   We recommend comfortable footwear for today’s visits.   

09.00 hrs.- Nigde - Departure -. We spend the whole day in the region of Cappadocia. In the outskirts of Nigde, we first visit GUMUSLER, an incredible 7th-century underground monastery with maybe the best Byzantine frescoes of Turkey. We go on to KAYMACLI . You will see this impressive underground city in Cappadocia. Its tunnels and catacombs can house up to thirty thousand people. After this we visit  UCHISAR  – A stroll in this village of Cappadocia; you can see its 60-metre rock full of houses in dugout caves. Time for lunch. We then leave for the GOREME VALLEY. We include tickets  to see the fantastic open-air museum that houses more than 30 churches dug out of the rocks, some with very beautiful frescoes.  

AVANOS, dinner and accommodation in this pleasant city, the tourist centre of the region. In the evening, after dinner, we suggest going to the “Turkish night” show (optional).

Total distance covered:  290 km.
  
Scenery:  We continue amid the beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia. Subsequently arid and flat areas.
Notes:  Today it is again necessary to wear comfortable shoes as we continue to explore Cappadocia. In Konya, we visit places considered "holy" for the Dervish sect: please wear appropriate clothing. 
 
07:30 hrs  - Nevsehir –Departure-. In the morning we go to small characterful towns mark the Ihlara Valley.  
09:45 hrs - Ihlara Canyon  –Arrival-. Refreshed by the cooler air by the river, we explore churches that are carved into the rock of the canyon. 
11:45 hrs -  Ihlara Canyon –Departure-.  
13:00 hrs. - Sultanhan  –Arrival-. Here one of the most beautiful caravanserai is preserved. This magnificent building reminds us of the great caravans of camels that, in the past, marked these lands. Time to explore and have lunch. 
14.45 hrs -  Sultanhan –Departure-. Landscapes with large herds and arid plains. 
16.15 hrs - Konya  –Arrival-. In the center of Konya, we explore the MEVLANA MAUSOLEUM, a holy place for Dervishes, the Muslim sect known for their whirling "trance" dancing. Admission to the exhibition is included. Later, we suggest a stroll through the bustling bazaar.  Dinner included.
At night, we suggest that you attend the dance performance of the whirling dervishes in the cultural centre.

Total distance covered:  430 km.
  
Scenery:  Varied: mountain areas and lakes. Fantastic "cotton mountain" at the end of the day. Notes:  We recommend that you also bring shoes that are easy to remove and carry in Pamukkale... and if you wish, bring your bathing costume to this place! 

08.00 hrs. -  Konya –Departure-. We continue our journey through Turkey´s interior. 
11:15 hrs. -Egridir.  Located on the shores of a lake with the same name, this is a picturesque town with its walls and mosques where we can walk and have lunch.  
13:30 hrs. -  Egridir –Departure-.  
16:15 hrs. - Pamukkale  –Arrival-. Admission included. At the " cotton mountain ", our coach will drop passengers at the top of the mountain so that - having admired the ruins that date to the Roman era - you can descend on foot between the hot springs and the "baths". The colours at sunset are fantastic. Our coach will collect you at the area below. Finally you will have time in the hotel at which point you can enjoy its thermal pools.  Dinner included.      

Total distance covered:  225 km.
 
Scenery:  Various: proximity of the sea in region at the end of the stage. 
Note:  Again, for the Ephesus visit, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes.   

08.30 hrs.  - Pamukkale –Departure-.  
11:30 hrs. - Ephesus – Arrival-. We now visit a fantastic complex of Roman ruins. 2,000 years ago, this city had a quarter of a million inhabitants. We will discover with our guide the house of the  Virgin Mary,  the  Basilica of Saint John  and the impressive  ruins at Ephesus (tickets included) . Time for lunch.

16.00 hrs- Ephesus departure. We continue on towards the Turquoise Coast, which has magnificent landscapes. 


16.30 hrs.- Kusadasi.- Arrival to this  popular coastal town with a lot of atmosphere, commercial life and a small castle. We will visit a gallery of leather articles where we will learn about the famous production of sheepskin garmets in this region. Free time to enjoy its bazaars and see its small castle.   Dinner included.


NOTE : Due to the existing combinations in our circuits, some travellers have visited the city of Ephesus before. These travellers will be given the option of taking a direct transfer to Kusadasi (arrival around 12.30 hrs) having free time in this tourist enclave.

Total distance covered:  590 km.
  
Scenery:   Impressive suspension bridges crossing the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus Strait.

08.00 hrs.- Kusadasi- Departure.
09.30 hrs.- We will make a short visit to  IZMIR  with our guide. We will tour the  church of Saint Policarp , the oldest in Izmir, which reminds us of the importance of this area at the beginning of Christianity (entry tickets included). 

10.45hrs.- Izmir. Departure. We will travel through the interior of Turkey again. There will be a stop en route to have lunch.
16.00hrs.- BURSA , the fourth city of Turkey whose historic centre has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which includes traditional shopping districts, mosques, religious schools, public baths, etc. and its outstanding Green Mosque. 

18.00hrs.- Bursa, departure.
20.15 hrs.- Arrival in  ISTANBUL  at the end of the day. 

End of our services. Please, check the time of your flight in case you might need an additional night. 


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From: AUD 1,343