The countdown is finally over, global roamers! We're here in Istanbul and all geared up to uncover fabulous Turkey. Get comfortable in our central hotel before we meet up for our first group dinner.
20,000 hand painted tiles fill the stunning Blue Mosque; millions of trinkets line the kilometres of the Grand Bazaar; and over 1,500 years of history sit within the walls of the Hagia Sophia. This is just some of the exotic magnificence that will keep us glued to Istanbul today. Seal the day of sightseeing with an optional Turkish bath and a belly dancing Turkish evening. Day two and we're already up to our eyeballs in experiences.
Istanbul: Out of exotic Istanbul we make our way to Canakkale, taking a sobering stop at the World War I site of Gallipoli.
Gallipoli: Visiting ANZAC Cove, Chunuk Bair & Lone Pine Cemetery today we are gifted with a special opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes of World War I right here where part of the battle took place. Afterwards, we'll brighten the mood with a drive along the Sea of Marmara en route to Canakkale.
Canakkale: Shortly after ferrying across the Dardanelles (casually crossing continents) we'll arrive in the sparkling town of Canakkale.
Tonight is yours to unwind and relax with your squad.
***Please note the 22 April departure will include overnight outdoor camping at Cannakale in preparation for attending the ANZAC Dawn Service.***
Canakkale: A big day sits ahead of us. Down as much breakfast as you can before we jump on the road in search of adventure.
Troy: Today we discover that "Troy" means more than just a Hollywood blockbuster; so much more. Unravel the historical layers of a ten year war & what is now a mythical excavation site, and sign up for an in-depth look at the ancient ruins of the region, including a replica of the famous wooden Horse of Troy, where climbing in for a pic is essential.
Pergamum: Further along the Turkish coastline we arrive at Pergamum. Once a political hotspot, this town is now brimming with history. We'll take a scenic mountain drive and give you the chance to get acquainted with Pergamum's hillside ruins, tapping into the archaeologist that you surely are.
Izmir: After our day's adventures are done, we arrive in Izmir, the birthplace of Homer (no kids, that isn't Homer from Springfield). After we tuck into some Turkish dinner, head out and explore the palm-lined promenades of this, the town known as the 'Pearl of the Aegean’.
Izmir:Buckle up & brace yourself. We are leaving Izmir and heading out to marvel at what will probably be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes you have ever seen, but not before a trip to see the impressive Hierapolis amphitheatre.
Pamukkale: Ah yes, there she is. Even more spectacular than Instagram & Pinterest had ever suggested. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Pamukkale's flowing waters of arid ridges and white calcium terraces formed by mineral waters are almost too much to fathom. Treating yourself to the optional thermal pool experience with all its healing properties is not an opportunity you're going to want to miss.
Pamukkale: Don't despair sweet travellers! We may be leaving Pamukkale, but we're finding one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Get your bucket list ready for another whopping tick!
Ephesus: Mark Antony and Cleopatra used to kick it in Ephesus waaaay back in the day. Now you're here just traipsing in their footsteps some 2,000 years later. Has your mind blown yet?
Kusadasi: As soon as you cast your treasure-hungry eyes on the shopping bazaar of Kusadasi, you'll be very pleased indeed that this an overnight stop. Carpets, silver, local antiques, this place is a haven for those keen to pick up some treasures to take back home.
Kusadasi: This morning we'll share a last group breakfast before travelling to Bodrum.
Bodrum: This is where our Turkish Delight ends. Some will jump on a boat to kick off their Turkish Sail adventures, others will be headed homeward. Either way it's time to say fond farewells, but we'll always have our photos and memories of this incredible week.