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Turkey uncovered by Journey Anatolia

29th March 2011 Print

The 2011 itinerary for Journey Anatolia’s ‘Turkey Explored’ small group tour links ancient cities with idyllic fishing villages and majestic landscapes in a 16-day escorted holiday designed to bring travellers face to face with the real Turkey and its people.

Starting from Istanbul on 21 May, the group – not more than 12 travellers – discovers not only the city’s ‘must see’ sights but local bars and authentic hammams  before travelling south, via Gallipoli, to the citadel of Assos, arriving in time to watch sun set over the temple of Athena.

While classic Ephesus, the mineral pools of Pamukkale and the Saklikent Gorge cannot be omitted, Journey Anatolia also introduces the fishing port of Kas, the hill village of Simena and the Roman theatre at Aspendos en route to the spiritual home of Turkey’s Whirling Dervishes, Konya.

The journey to Cappadocia crosses the central plains to Sultanhani caravanserai and the Ihlara Valley before arriving in Goreme where highlights include Zelve’s open air museum, the pottery at Avanos and the citadel of Uchisar – not to mention the area’s lunar-like rock formations and ‘fairy chimneys’.  A hot air balloon ride is a magnificent optional extra here.

Passing Turkey’s great Salt Lake to head north to the Ottoman town of Safranbolu, (a World Heritage city and a centre for growing saffron) the tour ends with a drive through the mountains to arrive back in Istanbul, after a memorable journey of around 1,500 miles.

Journey Anatolia chooses small family-run guesthouses for accommodation along the route, and suggests restaurants featuring local specialities.

The land-only twin share price of £1,590 per person includes airport transfers, bed and breakfast accommodation, private transportation, entrance fees into heritage sites and services of a driver and professional guide.  Single travellers pay £1,940 for their own room throughout the tour.  Flights are not provided, but Istanbul is well-served by a choice of scheduled and charter airlines.

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