Legendary Turkey: From Istanbul to the Turquoise Coast
When: October 17, 2013 - October 31, 2013 (iCal)
“The magic of the ruins, the sunny gentle travel in our gullet, the perfect pacing of our days, the trip was indeed unique and so greatly appreciated”
Join us to take in exotic sights, scents, and sounds in the country where Europe and Asia meet to form “the cradle of civilization”— Turkey! This beautiful land will be ours to discover as we begin our travels in Istanbul, the cultural and spiritual heart of Turkey, and take in the legendary architectural gems of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, and Topkapi Palace. Travelling south, we will ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy, and explore the Greco-Roman ruins at ancient Pergamum. In Turkey’s classical city of Ephesus, we will see the grand Library of Celsus and the ancient amphitheater. Then, for four splendid days, we will have the opportunity to cruise the stunning Turquoise Coast, discovering hidden sights, quaint fishing villages, and remote ruins. Our journey will conclude in the seaside resort of Antalya, with a side trip to ancient Perge. An optional Cappadocia and Ankara Post-Tour Extension is available.
Activity level: Active
Featuring Fauclty Host:
Professor Boris Hasselblatt
From $3,892 (From New York, alternate gateways available.)
Includes land and air; per person, based on double occupancy.
To avoid the disappointment of a sold out program, Register Now!
Usha Nand Sellers Ed. D., Director Tufts Travel-Learn Program, at email@example.com or 617-627-5323.
Day 1 - Depart U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey
Day 2 - Arrive Istanbul
We will 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 will experience Istanbul’s allure on a tour that begins at the vast Grand Bazaar, housing 4,000 shops selling goods of all kinds; and the Spice Market, with exotic spices, nuts, and dried fruits from around the world. Then we take a private cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. We will stop in the village of Ortakoy, known for its trendy art scene, cafés, and boutiques. There will be time to explore and have lunch on our own before we return to our hotel mid-afternoon. This evening we will take a short walk to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner of traditional Turkish fare.
Day 4 - Istanbul
Today we will encounter Old Istanbul, beginning with the ancient Roman Hippodrome, the 3,500-year-old obelisk brought from Egypt in 390 CE. We continue on to the renowned Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art, housing priceless artifacts from the 8th–20th centuries. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Istanbul for independent exploration.
Day 5 - Istanbul
This morning we will visit the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles and signature six minarets; and Hagia Sofia, the 6th-century church that was Christendom’s most important before becoming a mosque in the 15th century. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will tour splendid Topkapi, the medieval palace of Ottoman sultans that today is one of the world’s richest museums.
Day 6 - Istanbul/Gallipoli/Troy/Assos
Leaving Istanbul this morning, we will 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 will con¬tinue south to Behramkale, ancient Assos, where we spend the night.
Day 7 - Assos/Pergamum/Izmir
Today we will 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 Izmir.
Day 8 - Izmir/Ephesus
Few ancient sites compare to Ephesus, the world’s best-preserved classical city which we will explore today. Dating to at least 1300 BCE, Ephesus was Asia Minor’s largest metro¬polis and principal port. We will also visit the acclaimed Ephesus Terrace Houses. Then we enjoy lunch together in the rustic village of Sirince.
Day 9 - Izmir/Gocek
Today we will journey south to coastal Gocek, stopping along the way at a carpet factory to watch a demonstration of this age-old craft. Late afternoon we will board our gulets for our first night on board.
Day 10 - Cruising – Aga Limani/Cleopatra Baths
Our route for the next few days is along the stunning coastline Antony is said to have given Cleopatra as a wedding gift. We will begin our “Blue Voyage” this morning as we cruise to the hidden cove of Aga Limani. From here we have the option of taking a three-hour hike to the Greco-Roman ruins at Lydea, ending at the Sunken Baths of Cleopatra. Set in a breathtaking inlet, the Baths offer crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling. Those who prefer a less strenuous day can stay aboard the gulets as they sail to the Sunken Baths.
Day 11 - Cruising – Ekincik Cove/Dalyan
This morning we will disembark and drive to Dalyan, an environmentally protected area known for its loggerhead sea turtles. Here we will board a small skiff for a trip through an intriguing maze of channels; high on the hills above we will see well-preserved ancient Lycian rock tombs. After lunch at a local restaurant we will drive back to our gulets for a relaxing afternoon.
Day 12 - Cruising – Gemiler Island/Kayakoy
Today we will cruise to Gemiler Island to tour its 6th-century Byzantine monastery. After lunch on board our gulets we will drive to the Greek “ghost town” of Kayakoy, which was abandoned after World War I and is now preserved as a historical monument. We will explore the town and its churches then return to our gulets for our last night on board.
Day 13 - Fethiye/Demre/Myra/Antalya
This morning we will have a short cruise to Fethiye, disembark, bid farewell to our crew, and begin the drive to Antalya. Along the way we will visit Demre to tour the striking Roman ruins at nearby Myra and visit the 12th-century Church of Saint Nicholas. After lunch in Demre we will continue the drive along the Turquoise Coast to the resort city of Antalya.
Day 14 - Antalya/Perge/Aspendos
On this morning’s walking tour, we will encounter highlights of Antalya’s charming Old Town, including the extravagantly carved Hadrian’s Gate and the lovely Yivli Minare (fluted minaret). After a visit to the city’s Archaeological Museum, we will visit the ruins at ancient Perge, which reached its apex during the reign of Alexander the Great. We continue on to Aspendos, whose huge theater is considered among the best preserved in all of antiquity. Tonight we will celebrate at a farewell dinner at a local Antalya restaurant.
Day 15 - Depart for U.S.
This morning we will board an early flight for our return to the United States.
*Price and Itinerary are tentative and subject to change