Turkey, straddling Europe and Asia, occupies a land larger than Texas and more than twice the size of California, with varying weather conditions across the country. In the winter, Central and Eastern Turkey are quite cold and generally covered with snow after December. Western (Marmara and Aegean) and Southern (Mediterranean) Regions of Turkey have milder climates and can be visited in winter with warm clothes, boots, and umbrellas. The advantages of visiting Turkey in winter, of course, are that it is more economical to do so and there are no waiting crowds of tourists to contend with at the Grand Theater in Ephesus, or at the St. Sophia Museum in Istanbul.
DAY 1: ISTANBUL Arrival in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Welcome Cocktail and Dinner at the hotel. (D)
DAY 2: ISTANBUL Sightseeing in Istanbul: The Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Museum, Hippodrome Square, and the Underground Cistern. In the afternoon, visit Topkapi Palace and the Covered Bazaar. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: CANAKKALE Departure from Istanbul for Canakkale. Visit the Gallipoli Battlefields from World War I, then cross the Straits of Dardanelles by ferry to Asia. Visit Troy, the famous city of Homer’s Iliad. Overnight in Canakkale. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: KUSADASI Continuing south along the Aegean Coast, visit Pergamum, a famous historical city with an impressive Acropolis and an ancient hospital. Then drive through Izmir to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: KUSADASI Full-day sightseeing in Ephesus, one of the most impressive ancient sites. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: PAMUKKALE Visit Aphrodisias and Pamukkale, with its white “cotton” cliffs, and the ancient city of Hierapolis. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B,L,D)
DAY 7: ANTALYA Leisurely drive to Antalya on the Mediterranean Coast. Transfer to hotel in Antalya. (B,L,D)
DAY 8: ANTALYA Full-day sightseeing to visit the ancient cities of Side, Perge and Aspendos. Overnight in Antalya. (B,L,D)
DAY 9: ISTANBUL Morning flight* from Antalya to Istanbul. Afternoon at leisure. (B,L,D)
DAY 10: ISTANBUL Early morning transfer to Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport for flight back home. (B)
B = Breakfast included, L = Lunch included, D = Dinner included, D/E = Dinner and entertainment included
NOTE: The city or region designated next to a tour day (e.g., DAY 6: ANTALYA) indicates the location of overnight stay.