In recent years, Turkey has become a leading tourist destination in Europe and the Mediterranean. And one need not wonder why, for this country offers everything that a traveler with a taste for natural beauty and cultural variety may find exciting. From the stunning blue waters of the Aegean through the marvelous white terraces of the Cotton Castle, Pamukkale, (UNESCO World Heritage site), to cosmopolitan Istanbul, spanning two continents and thousands of years of history, Turkey has it all.
Expat Explore, an experienced tour operator organizing coach journeys all over Europe, offers Aegean Delight, an 8-day tour of Turkey’s Aegean coast, packed with Ancient Greek, Roman and Ottoman monuments as well as natural wonders.
Day 1 – Istanbul (not Constantinople)
The Aegean Delight tour begins with your arrival to Istanbul, where you will be instantly immersed in the charming atmosphere of one of the world’s most historic and colorful cities. Spanning the famous strait of Bosporus between Europe and Asia, Istanbul was inaugurated in the 4th century AD to become the new imperial capital of Rome. It was named Constantinople after its founder, Constantine the Great, and flourished as the largest and wealthiest city of Europe for many centuries. With the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, Istanbul became a center of Islamic culture and architecture.
Day 2 – A Fascinating Metropolis
With such diverse layers of history, it is only natural that Istanbul offers an unmatched level of variety in terms of what you can see, do and experience.
And indeed, the second day of your Aegean adventure will take you on a guided tour through Turkey’s largest city. You will enter the enormous Blue Mosque with its towering minarets, a highlight of Ottoman architecture. You will explore the world-famous Hagia Sophia, once the greatest cathedral of Orthodox Christianity, featuring both exquisite medieval paintings of Jesus and elaborate Islamic artwork from the Ottoman period. You will admire the Topkapı Palace, the imposing chief residence of the Ottoman sultans, as well as the Hippodrome of ancient Constantinople, the main hub of sports and social events of the Byzantine Empire, with an Ancient Egyptian obelisk at one end. Thousands of years of history, all in a single day!
Day 3 – Paying Tribute to the Fallen
Day three of the tour offers another look on the history of this region, though from a far more recent point of view. It will take you on a visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a site of some of the fiercest fighting of World War I and the final resting place of many British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers. With its many monuments and some original trenches preserved, Gallipoli is sure to remind you about one of the most dramatic and tragic periods of the 20th century.
Day 4 – Uncover a Legend
After this excursion to recent times, day four will dive even further into the past, for its brings you to Troy, legendary from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey as the site of the Trojan War and the notorious Trojan Horse. Its ruins, famously discovered around 150 years ago, are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site of utmost importance. Not far away lies another ancient place where you’re to feel the mystery of old – the well-preserved Ancient Greek city of Pergamon with its magnificent acropolis.
Day 5 – Wonders of the Ancient World
Day five will take you further south along Turkey’s Aegean shores and to another thousand-year-old city: Ephesus, with its imposing Library adorned with Ancient Greek sculptures and reliefs and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then you will immerse yourself in the quiet, pastoral landscape of a picturesque Turkish village, Şirince, where you can enjoy a fruit wine under the shade of a traditional Ottoman house. On a tour to a carpet-weaving village, you can learn more about one of Turkey’s most appreciated handicrafts and see master weavers in action, creating their masterpieces.
Day 6 – Bath as the Romans do
After spending the night at the resort town of Kuşadası, you will get to enjoy the Cotton Castle, or Pamukkale, a breathtaking natural formation of white mineral rocks and hot springs. Then, you’ll have the chance to take a refreshing dip in an Ancient Roman bath at nearby Hierapolis.
Day 7 – Rural Landscapes and Artistic Brilliance
Day seven promises the charm of rural Turkey, with a visit to the city of Bursa and a coach journey through traditional villages on the way back to Istanbul. Bursa is the site of the richly embellished Green Mosque, featuring stunning pieces of Islamic art from the early 15th century.
Expat Explore, a respected tour operator based in London, has been offering amazing coach tours all over Europe since 2005. Expat Explore’s tours boast a great combination of unmatchable prices and great variety. Departures are guaranteed, lodging is in top-class four-star hotels every night and the experienced guides are there at any time to answer all your questions on Turkey and its heritage.
Expat Explore’s Aegean Delight tour is a unique cultural adventure on the coasts of the sunny Aegean. Book your dream Turkish journey now to experience millennial history, mesmerizing natural vistas and the warm sunlight of the Orient!Back to Expat Explore