THE CLASSICAL AND OTTOMAN WORLD
THE CLASSICAL AND OTTOMAN WORLD
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus
Travelling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller
This 2-week Study Tour has an emphasis on the archaeology and history of Turkey. The tour begins in Istanbul where we explore the monuments around the Hippodrome including the famous Basilica Cisterns of Justinian. We also visit the impressive Haghia Sophia church, (dating to the mid-6th Century AD) one of the grandest structures to survive from ancient times.
We fly to Cappadocia where we see the superb 'Fairy Chimneys' and explore the underground cities of the medieval period, including Goreme and Zelve. Free time is provided in Cappadocia for exploration of this picturesque area and you may wish to organise a balloon ride.
We then head to Konya which was the medieval capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. We visit the complex of the Mevlana and see the Alaettin Mosque. We travel to Pamukkale where we see the dramatic white travertine terraces and see the impressive theatre at Hierapolis. We then spend a day exploring the superb ruins of the city of Aphrodisias. This wonderful site is located in a peaceful valley and contains a magnificent stadium and theatre. The on-site museum of sculpture is very impressive.
We explore the picturesque ruins of the Hellenistic site of Priene which is perched on a dramatic mountain. We also visit the recently restored Selcuk Archaeological Museum which contains a wide collection of artefacts from Ephesus. The following day we see the ancient Greek and Roman city of Ephesus with its superb theatre and famous Library of Celsus.
We travel north to Bergama to walk around the remarkable ruins of Pergamum with its famous theatre and temples. We stop to see the dramatically located Temple of Athena at Assos before exploring the ruins of ancient Troy, a place where legend and history combine. We cross the Dardanelles to Gallipoli to see the ANZAC battle fields and moving memorials.
The tour ends in Istanbul. We take a cruise up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, and spend a morning in the Blue Mosque. A day is set aside to explore the many treasures of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The following day we explore the splendours of Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman court, and conclude the tour with a walk through the arcades of the Grand Bazaar, a shopper's paradise!
The Haghia Sophia
ITINERARY*Day 1: Depart Australia
We arrive in Istanbul and check into our hotel. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 2: Byzantine Cisterns - Haghia Sophia - Grand Bazaar
This morning we see the Roman monuments of the Hippodrome and the awe inspiring Basilica Cisterns created by the Emperor Justinian. We then see the magnificent Haghia Sophia church. Built by Justinian in the mid 6th Century it was converted into a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Constantinople in 1453. In the afternoon we walk to the Grand Bazaar and explore the labyrinth of shops. Overnight Istanbul.
The travertine terraces of Pamukkale
Day 3: Cappadocia - Uchisar Castle
In the morning we fly to Cappadocia, famous for its remarkable landscape of natural 'fairy chimneys' made from volcanic pumice. In the afternoon we visit the old city of Uchisar and climb to the top of the pumice castle for a superb view over the whole of Cappadocia. We check into our hotel in the town of Urgup. Overnight Urgup.
Day 4: Zelve - Goreme
In the morning there is an optional balloon ride over Cappadocia to watch the sunrise. We then travel to Zelve, a medieval monastic community with houses and churches cut from the volcanic pumice. After lunch we see the famous medieval painted churches of Goreme which preserve spectacular frescoes. Overnight Urgup.
Day 5: Konya - Pamukkale
In the morning we drive to Konya where we see the Mevlana Museum of Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervish movement, and the Seljuk era Alaettin Mosque. A number of Sultan's are buried in the grounds of this mosque. After lunch we drive to Pamukkale where we see the famous travertine terraces. Overnight Pamukkale.
The theatre of Hierapolis
The stadium of Aphrodisias
Day 6: Hierapolis - Aphrodisias
Today we see the well preserved theatre of the classical site of Hierapolis. We then head to the ancient site of Aphrodisias, cult centre of the famous goddess of love. We explore the Roman stadium, theatre and agora (marketplace). A highlight of the visit is the museum, with its magnificent collection of Roman sculpture. Overnight Selcuk.
Day 7: Priene - Selcuk Museum
In the morning we travel south by bus to see the ruins of the ancient Hellenistic city of Priene, located on a dramatic hill overlooking the Meander River valley. This superb site includes a picturesque agora or town square, town council hall, theatre, and magnificent Temple of Athena. After lunch we return to Selcuk where we visit the Archaeological Museum, home to a superb collection of Classical and Roman sculpture from Ephesus and surrounding sites. Overnight Selcuk.
The temple of Athena at Priene
The temple of Trajan at Pergamon
Day 8: Ephesus
This day is set aside to explore the superb ruins of Ephesus. We see the small theatre, the marble monuments of Curetes Street, the temple of Hadrian, the library of Celsus and the awe inspiring theatre. We also see the ruins of the wealthy Roman houses which preserve beautiful frescos and mosaics. In the afternoon we stop briefly to look at the remains of the Artemis Temple, once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Overnight Selcuk.
Day 9: Pergamon
Today we visit the superb ruins of Pergamon. This ancient Hellenistic city was perched on the summit of a precipitous mountain and developed as a major centre of art and culture. Highlights of the day include the acropolis area with its royal palace, theatre, library and temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Trajan. In the afternoon we visit the enclosure of Asclepius, god of Medicine. Overnight Bergama.
Day 10: Assos - Troy
In the morning we travel north to the ruins of Assos where we see the superb Temple of Athena. Located on a rocky peninsula, there is a spectacular view over the Aegean towards Lesbos Island. After lunch we head to Troy where we explore the remarkable ruins of this picturesque archaeological site excavated by the German entrepreneur Heinrich Schliemann in the late 19th Century. Overnight Canakkale.
Day 11: Gallipoli
In the morning we cross the Straits of the Dardanelles by ferry to the Gallipoli Peninsula. We explore the WWI battle fields of Gallipoli including Anzac Cove, Lone Pine and the Nek. We have the chance to thoroughly explore these dramatic locations and appreciate the incredible hardships of the fighters on both sides. In the afternoon we head north by bus to Istanbul where we check into our hotel. Overnight Istanbul.
The temple of Athena at Assos
Day 12: Bosphorus Cruise
This day is dedicated to the scenic wonders of the region of Istanbul. In the morning we take a cruise boat from the Istanbul wharf up the Bosphorus Straits. We enjoy a magnificent view of the city and the suburbs along the way. We climb (or take a taxi) to Anadolu castle where there is a wonderful view of the Black Sea. We have a seafood lunch and then return to Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 13: Istanbul Archaeological Museum - Blue Mosque
In the morning we explore the highlights of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum which houses artefacts from Troy and other significant sites in Turkey. After lunch we visit the Blue Mosque, constructed in the early 17th Century by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I. Dominating the local area of the city, it is one of the great buildings of Islamic Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul.
Day 14: Topkapi Palace - Grand Bazaar
The day is set aside to explore Topkapi Palace, home to the medieval Sultans and the Ottoman royal court in Istanbul. The palace is justly famous for its marvellous harem rooms, lined with sumptuous Iznik tiles, and the treasures of the Ottoman Sultans. We explore this vast complex of courts, gardens, and state rooms. Lunch is at a restaurant overlooking the Bosphorus Straits. In the afternoon we visit the Grand Bazaar for last minute shopping - there are countless shopping opportunities! Overnight Istanbul.
Day 15: Depart Istanbul
We board our plane for the flight back to Australia.
* Please note that the Company reserves the right to make alterations to the itinerary in the period up to 60 days prior to a tour departure. The itinerary may also be subject to minor re-arrangement due to the scheduling of the operators and availability of access. If this occurs, the Company will endeavour to provide a comparable alternative.