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      > home page > tours > anatolian and istanbul tours > turkey's classical beauty
Turkey's Classical Beauty
Highlights of This Tour:

The sheer volume and diversity of Turkey's myriad classical sites, even concentrated as they are in a comparatively small geographical area, can be a bit overwhelming for the first-time visitor.

This tour offers you an overview of some of Turkey's finest archaeological sites, stunning landscapes and timeless, pastoral traditions.

From the fabled straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelle’s, to the crystal-clear coves of the Aegean and turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, our tour covers well-preserved ancient cities that in their heyday were the cultural equal of ancient Rome and Athens: Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Aspendos...

Anatolia, a land of Roman temples, early synagogues, the lands where St. Paul preached the gospel, Byzantine churches, Whirling Dervish lodges and Ottoman mosques...

Striking landscapes where towering mountain peaks enclose fertile valleys dotted with vineyards and olive groves, creating stunning backdrops for fishing villages and secluded golden beaches...

Out of the steppes arise outlandish geological formations shaped by volcanic activity, erosion and mineral-saturated waters: the lunar landscape of Cappadocia and the dazzlingly white "cotton castle" travertine terraces of Pamukkale. You'll also become acquainted with contemporary Turkey, as we observe the time-honored rhythms of rural life and visit the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who presided over the founding of the Republic of Turkey.

We arrange air-conditioned, comfortable transport and professional drivers, accommodations in top hotels, knowledgeable, friendly guides and an itinerary that helps you get the most out of your stay in Turkey. Relax, marvel at the glories of Anatolia. And leave the rest to us.

Detailed Itinerary:

1st Day... We transfer to the airport early in the morning, one-hour flight to Ankara, where our guide greets us. Our tour in Ankara, Turkey's capital city, includes the renowned Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which houses an extensive collection dating from the Late Stone Age through the Classical era, and the Mausoleum of Ataturk, resting place of Republican Turkey's larger than life founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. After lunch, we continue east to the haunting beauty of Cappadocia's surreal landscape of volcanic tuff sculpted by time and the elements.
Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia




2nd Day... After breakfast, we marvel at Goreme's fairy chimneys, troglodyte dwellings, sweeping vistas and Open Air Museum, which is home to literally dozens of rock-carved monasteries and churches adorned with brilliant Byzantine frescoes. We stop at numerous spots to admire the view and take photographs. Lunch at a local restaurant, then we visit rock formations in Pasabag, Zelve's deserted monastery complex, scenic Rose Valley and the pottery-making village of Avanos. Return to hotel.
Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia



Mevlana Museum, Konya

3rd Day… Depart early for the longest day of the tour. After a brief visit to Konya's Seljuk and Ottoman monuments and the Mevlana Museum, housed in a former Whirling Dervish lodge near the tomb of famed Sufi mystic Celaleddin Rumi, lunch will be served en route. After the lunch, our drive takes us through snow-capped mountains, rugged gorges and pine forests to the vast steppes of the Central Anatolian plains before we arrive at Antalya, the heart of the Turkish Riviera.
Dinner and overnight in Antalya


4th Day… We spend a full day exploring the ancient Pamphylian cities visited by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, Antalya Museum and the Antalya old city and harbor districts, with their 13th century Seljuk minaret and well-preserved Ottoman homes looking out upon the fantastic view of the Taurus Mountains reflected in the Mediterranean Sea. In Perge, we visit the well-preserved city walls dating back to the Hellenistic Age, theater seating 14,000 and the largest stadium in Asia Minor. Countless marble statues excavated from the Agora and a bath are on display at Antalya Museum. Next, in Aspendos, we admire the beautifully preserved Roman theater and the tallest surviving aqueduct systems in Turkey. Then, it's on to Side, a seaside resort town that has a local museum, a Roman theater, well preserved monuments, beaches, restaurants, motels, hotels and shops... The sites here are clustered together, so we have plenty of time to explore and for a leisurely lunch in a local restaurant before returning to our hotel.
Dinner and overnight in Antalya


5th Day… In the morning, we travel through the Taurus Mountains to Pamukkale. Pamukkale, which means "Cotton Castle" in Turkish, is yet another of Turkey's geological wonders. Over millions of years, a hot spring spilling down the hillside has left behind rich mineral deposits, which have created enormous, pure-white basins and stalactites. The site was holy to the Greeks and Romans, and Byzantine ruins have also been discovered. Here we will watch the sun set behind the travertine terraces.
Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale



Theater, Aphrodisias

6th Day… Our visit will begin early in the morning with the ruins of the magnificent temple of Apollo, continuing with the breathtaking theatre, the fascinating necropolis and the great Baths of Hierapolis Antique City. Following the lunch, we reach one of imperial Rome's foremost Asian cities: Aphrodisias, an isolated, major archeological site situated high on a plateau and ringed by mountains. Excavation continues here, but the almost fully intact Temple of Aphrodite, Baths of Hadrian, theaters, great Agora and 30,000-seat stadium have been uncovered. We also visit secluded Byzantine churches and the local museum, with its extensive collection of ancient statuary dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. After the visit and two-hour drive through scenic Meander Valley, named for the winding river from which we get the word "meander", we reach Kusadasi resort.
Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi



Celsus Library, Ephesus

7th Day... After breakfast, we head for nearby Efes (Ephesus), where we spend the morning visiting the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St. John and Efes Museum; then continue exploring the spectacular ruins of Ephesus, including the Marble Street, the largest ancient theater in the world, several recently excavated monuments.
Dinner and overnight in Izmir




8th Day... After breakfast, drive to the extensive ruins of Bergama (Pergamum). The Pergamum Acropolis is perched high above modern Bergama, but reachable by a short and easy climb. We also explore the steep Roman theater carved into the hillside, the Altar of Zeus and, in the lower agora, the largest Roman building in Asia Minor, the Temple of Serapis. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit the Asclepion, an ancient Greek and Roman medical center that also has a theater, library and temples. We then drive through the lush olive groves of Edremit and Ayvalik Bay to arrive at Canakkale.
Dinner and overnight in Canakkale


City Walls, Troy

9th Day... We depart from the hotel in the morning to visit the most evocative archaeological site in the world; little remains of the Troy written about by Homer in The Iliad. Still, take the time to admire the view of the distant straits from a striated hill created by the building of nine distinct cities, layer upon layer, over 4,000 years. This is the closest anyone can get to the fabled world of Paris and Helen, Achilles and Odysseus. Lunch en route, then take a ferry across the Dardanelle’s into Europe. We drive along the northern shore of the Sea of Marmara to arrive at Istanbul.
Overnight in Istanbul


10th Day... After breakfast, transfer to the airport.

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Tour Info
Please Contact for further details
Guaranteed Departure
Departure dates:
Every 1st Sunday and 3rd Sunday from April to November
Tour Accommodations:
In Cappadocia: Club Hotel Cappadocia Lodge
In Antalya: Dedeman Hotel
In Pamukkale: Colossea Hotel Thermal
In Kusadasi: Korumar Hotel
In Izmir: Anemon Hotel
In Canakkale: Akol Hotel
In Istanbul:4 Star Category Hotels
What is Included?
All transfers
Guide and Air-conditioned transport
1 night accommodation in Istanbul
8 nights accommodation in Anatolia
Lunch daily
All museum entrance fees
All parking, porter and hotel tips
VAT (18% Sales Tax)
What is not Included?
Domestic flghts
(Total airline ticket costs: approximately US$ 85)
Guide in:
English, Spanish, German
Distances & Climate
Photos From the Tours
Take a look at some of the beautiful places you'll have a chance
to visit when you tour Turkey with ITS.
Photos From the Tours
Travel Tips
Based on the experience of our professional guides, advice on how to get the most out of your travels in Turkey.
Travel Tips