CLASSICAL TURKEY

(This extensive 16 day tour only uses 9 working days due to the placement of Easter in 2014)

Day 1 – Saturday 5th April 2014
We fly from London Gatwick to Antalya via Istanbul.  On arrival we take our transfer to The Best Western Khan where we check in for one night on room and breakfast basis.

Day 2 – Aphrodisias
We drive to the Carian city of Aphrodisias where we lunch at the Anatolian Restaurant before entering the city where we see fine marble columns and reliefs including the Tetrapylon. The museum houses some beautifully presented reliefs from the Sebasteion. Plenty of time to explore before we head to the Colossae Hotel at Pamakkule for dinner and overnight. (BLD)

Day 3 – Pamakkule
The snow white ‘travertines’ of Pamakkule are world famous and we spend some time idly paddling around in them before heading off to ancient Hieropolis. This city owes its location to the warm, mineral laden springs. Most remarkable here is the octagonal ‘Martyrium’ church in which the mortal remains of St Philip came to rest. After lunch at the Colossae Hotel, we head west towards Izmir and Sardis, capital city of the kingdom of Lydia. Sardis is best known for its Gymnasium and Synagogue but we also visit the Temple of Artemis. Dinner and overnight at the Anemon Hotel in Izmir. (BLD)

Day 4 – Pergamon
At Pergamon bleached marble columns lie in a dazzling carpet of wild flowers making this one of the most spectacular sites in Turkey. Pergamon was at its height in the Attalid period of the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC and many of its wonderful buildings are from this time. Much was carried off to Berlin but plenty remains. We visit the Red Hall, founded as a temple to Serapis and this later became one of the great ‘Seven Churches’ of the Book of Revelation. Lunch at a local restaurant is followed by an exploration of the Askeplion – a Hellenistic and Roman Spa and healing centre. We return to the Anemon Hotel for the night. (BL)

Day 5 – The Road to Ephesus
First, we visit the small Roman section of the archaeological museum in Izmir (ancient Smyrna) and the remains of the ancient Agora. Then we head to the village of Sirince, just outside Ephesus for a ‘home style’ lunch. Late afternoon, we visit the remains of St John’s basilica, burial place of St John the Divine himself with its views of the ancient castle and the temple of Diana of the Ephesians. We check in to the Korumar Hotel on the coast, for two nights, on room and breakfast basis. (BL)

Day 6 – In the Footsteps of Paul
An early start to Ephesus to see all the main features of the city, the market places, baths, theatres and famous Celsus Library. High points include the covered remains of the town-houses of the elite where stunning mosaic floors and original wall paintings remain remarkably fresh. We also visit the theatre where St Paul railed against the errors of paganism. We have lunch in Sirince before our final stop of the day at the remains of the Temple of Artemis (Diana) with its large sacred lake and forlorn columns. Overnight Korumar Hotel. (BL)

Day 7 – Priene, Miletus and Didyma
This morning, Priene with its commanding views of the flood plain of the River Maender where we view temples, private houses, the theatre and a remarkable church. Next, to Miletus where we see the well preserved theatre and baths. After lunch, we visit the 6th Century BC temple at Didyma once only surpassed as an Oracle of Apollo temple by Delphi. We explore the massive temple with its beautifully decorated column bases and fine carvings. Our overnight hotel is the Karia Princess in Bodrum. (BL)

Day 8 – A Pause in Bodrum
This morning we view the Myndus Gate before heading to the remains of the Mausoleum – once one of the Seven Wonders and burial place of the eponymous King Mausolus. From here, we drive to the seaside village of Gümüslük, the ancient Dorian settlement of Myndus. The village is protected from development and it is here that we lunch at the excellent Karafaki restaurant. Later, we board a privately chartered boat for a relaxing sail back to the port of Bodrum and our hotel. (BL)

Day 9 – Bodrum to Fethiye
Today we head east to ancient Lycia after a visit to the Magnificent St Peter’s Castle at Bodrum. Sometime seat of the Hospitaller Knights of St. John, this imposing structure is filled with elaborate detail from the coats of arms of various Grand Masters and Bailiffs. We visit the Underwater Archaeology Museum, where the cargoes of numerous Bronze Age shipwrecks can be seen. We have lunch and head to Fethiye and our hotel, the Alesta Yacht Club. (BL)

Day 10 – Fethiye to Patara
Tlos is perched high on a hilltop with temples, markets, a mighty acropolis and fascinating tombs. On to Xanthos for our picnic lunch. Here we find the remains of a Basilica with spectacular mosaics as well as some other features including the ‘Harpy Monument’ and an astonishing stretch of original road. Finally, the Lycian city of Patara once a port of enormous scale and prosperity. The city became deserted following a catastrophic siltation of the harbour and we see a part-submerged colonnaded street and theatre. We overnight at the Patara Prince hotel with a candlelit dinner in the courtyard. (BLD)

Day 11 – Santa and the Arykandans!
Our day starts at the ancient basilica of St Nicholas, the original Father Christmas; in the town of Demre where beautiful wall paintings depicting biblical scenes still survive. From here we head to Myra with its colossal theatre and dramatic rock cut tombs. Lunch today will be at a fish restaurant in Finike. We then drive to Arykanda – a spectacular Lycian city high up in the mountains. Tonight we arrive in Antalya and the boutique hotel, the Alp Pasa, where we have rooms booked in the ‘old building’. We are at this hotel for five nights. (BL)

Day 12 – Termessos
Today we head into the dramatic hills of ancient Pisidia and her most famous city, Termessos, partly famous because Alexander signally failed to conquer it. A long winding path takes us up into the city, still largely unexcavated, with vines and creepers covering parts of buildings. The Hellenistic theatre is one of the most dramatically situated in all Turkey. We press on to the enormous necropolis with its hundreds of unusually shaped sarcophagi. A visit to Termessos can be damp as rain falls here frequently in spring and the walk is hard work and really for the fit only. Sturdy shoes are required with good grips. The rest of the day is at leisure in Antalya. (B)

Day 13 – Pamphylia – Perge and Aspendos
Today we head to ancient Pamphylia and her capital city, Perge, with its colossal Hellenistic gates, colonnaded streets with cooling running water channels and nymphaeum. As we leave we view the enormous theatre and then head on to Aspendos. The Roman theatre here is one of the finest and certainly the best preserved in the world but there is plenty more including the basilica, baths, aqueducts and a great nymphaeum. This afternoon we visit Antalya museum with its superb collection of artefacts. (B)

Day 14 – Selge
Selge is untouched and so far off the tourist trail that it’s impossible to imagine anyone else visiting it other than an AWT group! This is a hidden jewel of a site, high up in ancient Psidia with lovely views of the snow capped Mountains. Here we find a theatre, remains of an agora, temples and a wonderful spot for our picnic. This afternoon we descend to the coastal town of Side with its seaside temple, theatre and excellent museum. (BL)

Day 15 – A day at Leisure
The entire day is free and as we are in the heart of the Old Quarter there is plenty to see and do for those wishing to explore the city. A great day for shopping or for just resting by the pool. (B)

Day 16 – Sunday 20th April 2014
This morning we fly from Antalya to London via Istanbul. (B)

 

Expert: Philippa Walton is a specialist in the material culture of the Roman world. She has taken part in archaeological excavations throughout the Mediterranean and spent two years working in south eastern Turkey. She works as a Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman coins for the Portable Antiquities Scheme and is based at the British Museum. Her book on coinage in Roman Britain was published this year.

(B) = Breakfast (BL) = Breakfast and Lunch (BLD) = Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

 

CLASSICAL TURKEY

DEPARTURE DATE  Saturday 5th April 2014 

TOUR CODE AWCT 050414

 

BASIC HOLIDAY PRICE: £3,480

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £370

LAND ONLY DISCOUNT: £450  (If you arrange your own flights)

 

AWT's 'Single Supplement Guarantee' means that we only charge you what we are charged ourselves - we do not 'mark up'!