The Richness of Turkey with Ertunga Ecir
Its people, history, culture, religious variety and natural beauty.
March 1st - 20th, 2025
Turkey has had the most profound affect on us of any place we have every visited. We have been trying to go back ever since our last visit in 2019 and decided the best way to get back there, was to put it into a tour. We can guarantee that this will be one of the best adventures you have ever been on and that you will fall in love with Ertunga just as much as we have. His knowledge of Turkey is immeasurable, but it is the love for the places he takes us that really shines out. From the vast richness of the Hagia Sofia to the ancient cave dwellings, you will be inspired, awed and thrilled at every step. I must warn you that in Turkey I am known as the 'snow god' because it can snow in places it never does when I am there! It all adds to the adventure.
Price includes breakfast each morning and all meals as indicated in itinerary. 20 nights in 4 or 5 Star Turkish Tourist Board rated accommodations. We try to show you as many different kinds of accommodations as possible so you may stay in several types of accommodation all on the same visit! Guided minibus tour with luggage handling. All sightseeing including any entrance fees. Tour guide for all venues. All taxes and service charges.
$8995US per person. 2 Doubles and 1 Single Available.
$1495 Single Supplement.
$500 per person deposit to reserve.
Day 1 - March 1st - We will meet at our accommodation in Istanbul and then spend the full day tour in Istanbul. The places we will visit are St. Sophia (Hagia Sofia), Underground Byzantine Cistern (Yerebatan), the Hippodrome of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque (The Sultan Ahmed Mosque), We will also visit Topkapi Palace including the Harem section and Grand Bazaar. Mario and I fell in love with Instanbul. It is a vibrant city full of charming people and sights, sounds and smells that will stimulate your senses in every way. We were so surprised by the unbelievable amount of bakeries. Yes, we know some you must try! Welcoming Dinner and Overnight Istanbul. (B,L,D)
Day 2 - March 2nd - We will have another full day in Istanbul with a first visit to the Old Spice Bazaar. I have wanted to go to the Spice Bazaar my whole life and it did not disappoint in any way. We actually loved it so much that we went back again on our own! After our visit we will have a Bosphorus Cruise by Private Yacht to see the Anadolu Hisari, Rumeli Hisari (no interior visits to medieval fortresses), old mansions, waterfront wood houses, imperial palaces, hunting lodges, modern villas on both the European and Asians shores of the strait while cruising. Our boat cruise was an absolute highlight as it is impossible to get a visual of the city from on land. On the Bosphorus you get to easily see both the European and the Asian sides of the city. After our boat tour we will visit Suleymaniye Mosque and Taksim Square before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Istanbul. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - March 3rd - First stop this morning is at Tekirdağ to visit Barbare Vineyards for a vineyard tour followed by a Traditional Turkish meal paired with wines. I discovered Turkish wines a few years and knew immediately that I wanted to include a wine experience in this tour. We are very excited about this.. Then make our way to the Gallipoli Peninsula where we see Kabatepe Museum, ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish and Allied trenches and tunnels), The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial and visit the poignant Lone Pine Cemetery, the Dardanelles. We then take the ferry crossing from Eceabat across to Canakkale to get checked into our hotel before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Canakkale. (B,L,D)
Day 4 = March 4th - This morning we visit the ancient city of Troy, made famous in Homer’s epic poem; and see the replica of the wooden horse, On the day we were in Troy it was freezing cold. Even as cold as we were, we were in complete awe that we were standing in Troy! We then make a short drive to Assos and visit the Temple of Athena located on the Acropolis. From here we take the coastal Aegean Sea route to Burhaniye with some coastal stops along the way. This coastline is spectacular and you will enjoy every moment of it. Dinner and Overnight Burhaniye. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - March 5th - This morning we depart from Burhaniye driving to Pergamon where we will see the Acropolis, Temple of Athena, Serapis Temple, Heroon, Sanctuary of Athena, Library of Pergamon, Temple of Trajan, Theatre, Zeus Altar and Red Court. Pergamon is the third of the ‘Seven Churches of Asia’. Our second stop today is Asclepion which was perhaps the world’s most famous ancient medical center, and is the second-most important site in Bergama. This was one of our favorite stops and we still cannot believe how many hostoric spots we are seeing and their significance. We then drive to Kusadası to get settled into our accommodation before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Kusadası. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - March 6th - This morning we make the very short drive to Ephesus. St. Paul visited Ephesus briefly during his second missionary journey and stayed there more than three years. Both Paul and Apostle John wrote letters to the Ephesians. We also visit Baths of Scholastica, Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, the Theater, Temple of Artemis which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Our second stop will be the Basilica of St. John where you will see the burial place of St. John. Then we will visit the House of Mother Mary. No matter what you believe, the feeling of walking into this house is something you will never forget! We next visit Carpet Cooparative and learn about Turkish Art along with having a local lunch. Yes, we did buy a Turkish Carpet and it is still one of my favorite holiday buys. After lunch we return to Kusadasi where you will have the evening free. Overnight Kusadası. (B,L)
Day 7- March 7th - After beakfast this morning we will drive to Priene, an ancient city from the 4th century B. C. The temple of Athena, the theatre and the house of Alexander The Great are the highlights of this site. Although it doesn’t require a lot of walking, we don’t suggest this to our guests who have mobility problems because the city was founded on a steep hill. This again was one of my favorite stops. I am a huge fan of Alexamder the Great and to sit in the house where he stayed will stay with me for the rest of my life! After Priene we will drive to Miletos, the city of philosophers; the Faustina Baths and the Theatre are the places not to be missed there. After about thirty minutes driving we will be in Didyma. For lunch you will have a chance to taste the local Daily Fish of the Aegean region. After lunch we will visit the Temple of Apollo in Didyma, the second biggest temple after the one in Delphi, and definitely one of the best preserved ancient Greek Temples. We then return to Kusadasi before dinner. Overnight Kusadası. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - March 8th - After breakfast we will drive to the ancient city of Nysa, an ancient city built on the slopes between the mountains. Nysa has magnificent ruins where nature and forest meet with marble and trees that dance with historical buildings. Nysa is the city of Dionysus who is the God of ancient times, wine, entertainment and decadence. The city is an attractive stop for visitors with its stadium, bridges, theater and other ruins built on arches and vaults. Then we continue driving to the ancient city of Aphrodisias. The most interesting points of Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, are a big stadium, odeon, monumental gateway and the Temple of Aphrodite. The stadium is probably one of the best preserved examples in the world. We then make our way to Pamikkale to get settled into our accommodation before dinner. Dinner and Overnight in Pamukkale. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - March 9th - After breakfast we will visit Pamukkale (Hierapolis), deriving from springs in a cliff almost 600 feet high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis and the ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. Mario and I really enjoyed our walk through this amazing landscape! We will also see the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, Necropolis and Philip’s Tomb before a short drive to Laodicea. The final letter of the churches of ancient Asia Minor is to the church in the city of Laodicea. We visit the Christian Ruins as well as the Statue of Emperor Augustus, Aquaduct, Stadium and Ephesian Gate. We then settle in for the long drive to Fethiye where we find our accommodation and dinner waiting. Dinner and Overnight Fethiye. (B,L,D)
Day 10 - March 10th - As we are about half way through the tour you will have the full day in Fethiye to relax, regroup, unwind or just rest up for the second half of the tour. Fethiye is located at the junction of Aegean and Mediterranean seas. The ancient name of the city is Telmessos and you will see a fortress on the hill overlooking the city which was built by Knights of Rhodes Island. Fethiye is also known for its rock tombs carved into the faces of the high cliffs by the Lycians. There are numerous restaurants and it is a lovely place to walk in. Overnight Fethiye. (B)
Day 11 - March 11th - We leave Fethiye behind this morning and visit the ancient city of Tlos to see the Lycian Tombs, the Gorge of Saklikent (spectacular place, the second largest gorge in Europe. The name measn hidden city) and Xanthos (the most unique architectural example of the ancient Lycian Civilization) and Patara (Lycian city close toPatara Beach, one of the longest beaches in Turkey). After a full day of exploring this lovely area of Turkey we then make our way to Kalkan before dinner. Dinner and Overnigh Kalkan. (B,L,D)
Day 12- March 12th - Today we drive along the Turquoise Coast and eventually we will reach Kekova. In this little fishing town we will have a 1 hour boat tour and see the sunken city. I love being on the water no matter where I am and this excursion was wonderful in every way. Then we drive to Demre and visit the St Nicholas Church. It is believed that Saint Nicholas lived and died in Demre (Myra). We also visit the ancient city Myra. This day on the tour is one of my very favorite days. As I said, I love the water, but as a huge believer in St Nicholas, the sites we see will be etched on my memory forever! Then we have a very long drive to reach Antalya. Dinner and Overnight in Antalya. (B,L,D)
Day 13 - March 13th - This morning we drive south of Antalya city to see Kaleici (old Antalya), Clock Tower, Old Harbour, Kesik Minare, Hadrianus Gate. Then we visit Antalya Archaeological Museum. The museum, which is considered one of the leading museums of not only Turkey, but also the world, is among the masterpieces of its kind. Undoubtedly the main source of this wealth is Antalya’s location which is one of the first places where human traces are seen in Anatolia, hosting the magnificent cities of Lycia, Roman and Byzantine civilizations and witnessing continuously the history of mankind. After lunch, a visit to the Kursunlu Waterfall to relax and behold God’s beautiful creation dating back to the Roman period. Dinner and overnight in Antalya. (B,L,D)
Day 14 - March 14th - This morning we will visit the Greco-Roman city of Perge where Paul gave his first speech on Christianity in the area. Then we will see the world’s best preserved Greco-Roman Amphitheater at Aspendos. The theater was built during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and thanks to inscriptions on its walls, we know exactly who designed it: Zenon, son of Theodorus. The inscriptions also tell us that the Greek architect, who was born in Aspendos, was funded by two rich brothers, A. Curtius Crispinus Arruntianus and A. Curtius Crispinus, who gifted the theater to the city.We will also visit Side to see the ancient Theatre, Great Gate and Temple of Apollo. We then drive back to Antalya where you will have the afternoon and evening free. overnight Antalya. (B,L)
Day 15 - March 15th - After breakfast, we will drive about 2 hrs to visit Sagalassos which is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Turkey. On the day we were here it had just snowed. The aged white stone against the backdrop of fresh white snow gave the site a magical feel. And again, my fascination with Alexander the Great was played out against the ruins on the hillside. We will see a fountain from the Hellenistlic and Roman Period and visit the library. After our visit, we will proceed to Konya (Iconium) via Beysehir Lake. We will see the Mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (the founder of whirling Dervishes) before we settle into our accommodation. Dinner and Overnight Konya. (B,L,D)
Day 16 - March 16th - We will have about an hours drive to visit Çatalhoyuk large Neolithic and Chalcolithic Proto-city settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC, and flourished around 7000 BC. In July 2012, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having seen so many stone monuments built all over the British Isles, this site was the precurser that I had no idea existed. We just stook their with our mouths hanging open taking it all in as best we could. Then we will have another long drive to Cappadoccia. We will visit Kaymaklı Underground City (one of the most interesting examples among 36 underground cities in the area), at Cappadocia. Dinner and Overnight Cappadocia. (B,L,D)
Day 17 - March 17th - This morning if the weather is good we will have an early morning Hot Air Balloon Flight. We then visit the Imaginary Valley (also known as Dervent valley), Monks valley, Zelve (amazing cave town which housed one of the largest communities in the region) you can visit Local Ceramic Workshops and the Goreme Open-Air Museum (ruins of churches carved into volcanic rock). We love Cappadocia and the surrounding area. Mario and I walked through this valley on our own and felt like we were discovering it for the very first time in history. It is magical, mystical and beautiful all at the same time. Dinner and Overnight Cappadocia. (B,L,D)
Day 18 - March 18th - This morning we have another long drive to reach the Capital City of Hitits ‘Hattusas’, located in Türkiye’s Anatolian heartland province of Corum. The remnants of the Hittite Capital date back to the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC. The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1986 as the Hittites were a remarkable civilization. The kingdom stretched from the Aegean across Anatolia, northern Syria and to the Euphrates river. We will visit the Lower and the Upper city, and then drive to Yazılıkaya, the largest known Hittite rock sanctuary. Yazilikaya means 'inscribed rock' it is an open air, natural rock shrine at a place where a spring of fresh water once flowed. There are two galleries: the larger one, to the left, was the Hittite empire's holiest religious sanctuary, and the narrower one to the right, has the best-preserved carvings. We then have another long drive to Ankara to get settled into our accommodation before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Ankara. (B,L,D)
Day 19 - March 19th - Today we have a full day tour in Ankara. We will visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilization, housed in an Ottoman structure that was originally a storage building that dates back to the time of Mehmed II the Conqueror. It was part of the complex surrounding Ankara Castle that occupies a very nice position on a wooded hill in the older part of the city. The museum has gone through a number of restorations dating as far back as 1938, with the present layout dating from 1968.The exhibits cover a vast array of prehistoric and historic eras and civilizations that once were dominant in large parts of Anatolia. The earliest date from the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age and date back over 11,000 years and then span a period of 9,000 years up to and including the Byzantine era. So without further adieu, let’s view some of the many highlights of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. We will also visit
Ulus, the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the Temple of Augustus, the Roman Bath, the Column of Julian and the Ankara Citadel. Farewell Dinner and Overnight Ankara. (B,L,D)
Day 20 - March 20th - This morning we will fly from Ankara to the Istanbul Airport to prepare for the journey home. The journey ends at the Istanbul Airport where you will spend the night ready to fly out the following morning. (B,L)