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Turkey Tales - 2016

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Start in Istanbul before heading off to explore Gallipoli, Eceabat and Ayvalik (think cobblestones and cafes). Next up you’ve got Selcuk, Pamukkale and Fethiye for amazeballs Greco-Roman ruins, healing pools and beach. Sail the Turquoise Coast (literally TURQUOISE). Head to Antalya and Cappadocia for penis-shaped rocks (among other things) then head back to Istanbul via more villages, valleys and awesomeness.In the Ottoman Empire, condemned government officials who were sentenced to death could run for their lives. Literally. They were allowed to challenge their executioner to a foot race from the palace to the Fish Market Gate. If they made it before the executioner, they would be banished instead of executed. Too bad if you forgot your runners.

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Day 1 : Istanbul

Oh, hello there Istanbul, you’re looking fine today. For your first foray into Turkish culture, be sure to check out the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome (sadly, no hippos here) and Aya Sofya. Your hotel is right in the thick of it, so you won’t have to walk far for the first feast of the trip. So many choices, so little time.

Day 3 : Gallipoli - Eceabat

Trek on to Gallipoli and wander the famous battlefield; it's hard not to be moved by the experience. You’ve then got time to reflect on the long bus trip to Eceabat. Make a pit stop for a cuppa.

Day 4 : Ayvalik

Kick on to Ayvalik, a seaside town surrounded by olive groves and sprinkled with pine trees. This pretty port town owns a fairly cool bit of history – it was here that the first shot of the Turkish War of Independence was fired. Didn’t know there was a Turkish War of Independence? You will after our orientation walkabout.

Day 5 : Selçuk

Walk the marble streets once trod by Antony and Cleopatra. Check out the ancient city of Ephesus and marvel at the epic amphitheatre. Be brave and stand in the middle of the stage, and give us your best Idol audition. Get your local guide to point out the secret messages the ancient Christians carved into the rocks to direct worshippers to their next meeting.

Day 6 : Pamukkale

Take the train to Pamukkale.

Day 7 : Fethiye

Get your ghoul on in a visit to Fethiye’s local ghost village and then hike to the Blue Lagoon. It’s blue, it’s a lagoon, but it’s also legit incredible. Panorama that view, stat.

Day 8 : Turquoise Coast Sailing

Ahoy me hearties! It’s time to find your sea legs. You’ll call a boat home for the next two days as you explore the sunken city of Kekova Island, snorkel the reef and admire the blue, blue waters. Did you know the colour turquoise was named after Turkey? This is why.

Day 10 : Antalya

It’s hard to take a bad photo of Antalya (unless your finger is over the lens) thanks to its cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. Head to Zencefil cafe for a karniyarik – roasted eggplant split down the middle and stuffed with chopped beef, onions, tomatoes and spices.

Day 11 : Cappadocia

Today’s a travel day, but that’s okay – Cappadocia is waiting for you at the end of it as a reward. The next day awake in Cappadocia and revel in penis-shaped rocks, fairy chimneys and underground cities. This place has got it all. Walk though fruit gardens, visit Uçhisar and take a stroll through Pigeon Valley. Göreme’s nightlife is a bit of alright too; maybe catch a Whirling Dervish performance while you’re there.

Day 13 : Ortahisar

Today we get physical. Make Göreme your starting point as you hike up hills and over mountains, through valleys and beneath bridges on your way to Ortahisar. First person to spot the Castle of Ortahisar (which stands 86m high) wins. Stay in a cave house overlooking the valley.

Day 14 : Cappadocia - overnight bus

Take a private bus back to Goreme before jumping on your overnighter back to Istanbul.

Day 15 : Istanbul

Celebrate your arrival back in Istanbul with a fresh fish roll on the Galata Bridge, add your new homies to Facebook and upload your best party snap to Instagram. Thanks Turkey, it’s been a blast.

Basic Details

Starts in: Istanbul
Ends in: Istanbul
Group Size: maximum 16
Fitness Requirement: This trip is graded as 'Moderate', meaning a reasonable level of fitness is required. These trips generally involve some physical activities and occasional long travelling days. Accommodation and travel conditions may be basic and varies from local pensions to budget hotels.


Highlights

- Take a bite out of Istanbul
- Experience the streets of Istanbul
- Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar - a labyrinth of 4500 stalls
- Anzac Cove in Turkey
- Locals of Turkey
- Pamukkale Pools
- Sail Turkey
- Fall in love with Cappadocia


What's Included

- Gecko's expert English-speaking local tour guide. - Visit to the battlefields, monuments and cemeteries of Gallipoli. - Boat trip on the Turquoise Coast, sleeping under the stars on a comfortable mattress on the boat deck. - Time at the natural pools, shelves and ridges of Pammukale. - Walks in the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia including: Akvadi (White Valley), Pigeon Valley, Pasabaglari (Priest Valley) and Kizilçukur (Red Valley).- Orientation walks in Istanbul, Ayvalik, Selçuk, and Antalya.

Meals Included: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners


What's NOT Included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, all entrance fees, visas, pre-tour or post-tour accommodation, additional meals (including some meals on boat), drinks, optional sightseeing tours, travel insurance, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature.


Entrance Fees

Entrance fees are not included, and are paid as you go along.


Accommodation Styles

- Boat
- Pension
- Hotel
- Overnight coach


Important Information

EMERGENCY CONTACT:
In the case of an on ground issue or problem, Gecko's Istanbul Office can be reached on: +90 532 641 2822


About this page

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. You can check the most up-to-date version of the trip notes online at www.geckosadventures.com. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or your nearest Gecko's office. We are here to help you!

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