Turkey a Land of Contrast Tour with Tauck

from US$5,975 or AUD$7,828 *

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Day 1 – Welcome to Istanbul

Tauck’s Turkey tours begin at 6:30 PM at the InterContinental Istanbul. A transfer from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport to the InterContinental Istanbul is included; Tauck’s guest rooms have stunning views of the Bosphorus. Please join us for a welcome reception and dinner this evening.

Lodging – InterContinental Istanbul


Day 2 – Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, a yali & more in Istanbul

Step back into the lives of the Ottoman sultans who occupied it for 400 years when you visit Topkapi Palace this morning. Try to imagine what it was like to live here as you explore the Council Chamber, the Imperial Kitchens and the Harem. Then, enter another world in the Grand Bazaar, the largest covered market in the world, a maze of lanes and alleys in which shoppers can find virtually anything they might be looking for at the over 4,000 shops. Most Turkey tours include the architectural wonders and famous sights that you’ve seen, but Tauck provides experiences other travellers don’t have. Later this afternoon, board a boat and cruise across the Bosphorus for a visit to the Hekimbasi Salih Efendi Yali, a traditional yali (waterside mansion) on the Bosphorus, built in the 19th century for Salih Efendi, a botanist, scholar, reformer and the last Chief Physician to the Ottoman court, who died in 1905; still occupied by members of the Efendi family, the yali is one of the few on the Bosphorus that retains its original architectural style and furnishings. Dine at a restaurant on the Bosphorus known for its seafood this evening.

Lodging – InterContinental Istanbul


Day 3 – Hagia Sofia & the Blue Mosque

Begin your discovery of Istanbul with a walk through the Hippodrome and into history. Famous for its massive dome, considered by many to be the epitome of Byzantine architecture and said to have changed the history of architecture, Hagia Sophia was once the largest cathedral in the world for over 1,000 years, subsequently served as the primary mosque of Constantinople for over 500 years and is now a museum. Located in front of Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque, built in 1609 to out-do its neighbour, is regarded as a prime example of Turkish Islamic architecture; its six slender minarets and cascading domes dominate the city skyline. Remove your shoes before entering to look up and discover the tens-of-thousands of blue tiles from which it gets its name. From the Blue Mosque, it’s a short walk to the Green House (Yesil Ev) where you’ll have lunch in the gracious setting of a 19th-century mansion. Sightseeing continues in the Basilica Cistern, 52 steps underground, where any preconceived notions you might have of what a cistern looks like will float away forever; you may recognize it from a scene in From Russia With Love, which was filmed here. You’ll find an oasis of calm in busy Sultanahmet, the historic district of Old Istanbul; enjoy dinner on your own tonight.

Lodging – InterContinental Istanbul


Blue Mosque, Turkey


Day 4 – Off to Izmir for a winery lunch & the ruins of ancient Smyrna

After a morning flight to the city of Izmir, enjoy lunch at a local winery. Then join us for a visit to the ruins of the Agora in Izmir, whose Corinthian columns, vaulted chambers and arches remain from the Roman-era bazaar in what was once the ancient city of Smyrna – originally built by Alexander the Great, then destroyed by a 2nd-century earthquake and later rebuilt by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The site also contains tombstones from a Muslim cemetery later built in the area. Dine at your leisure at your hotel in Izmir this evening.

Lodging – Swissôtel Grand Efes, Izmir


Day 5 – Ancient Ephesus

Head off this morning to Ephesus, an ancient bastion of women’s rights and the site of the largest temple built to honour Artemis.  Once an important trade center as well as a religious center of early Christianity, the ruins at Ephesus are among the best preserved in the region. As you walk the 2,000-year-old marble and cobblestone streets, it isn’t hard to imagine what the city was like when tradition says that Paul was preaching to the Ephesians, perhaps in the Great Theater that could seat 24,000; dating from the 1st century AD, it is still used today for public theatre and musical performances. Explore the two-story Library of Celsus, the Scholastic Baths, the Arcadian Way and more. This splendid city is a highlight of Tauck’s Turkey tours. Later this afternoon, having seen the Harem in Istanbul where the women of the sultans’ households lived, gain insights about the role of women in contemporary Turkey in a lecture at the hotel. Have dinner on your own tonight.

Lodging – Swissôtel Grand Efes, Izmir


Day 6 – Antalya & the ruins of Perge

Arrive in the “resort capital” of the Turkish Mediterranean coast, Antalya, after a short flight from Izmir. Following lunch, set off for the ruins of the Roman city of Perge. Pass through the unusual Hellenistic-Roman towers to an impressive colonnaded street once lined with shops and statues that you’ll see tomorrow at the Antalya Museum. Your home for the next two nights, Kempinski Hotel The Dome, is set between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Dine at your leisure at the hotel this evening.

Lodging – Kempinski Hotel The Dome


Day 7 – Archaeology in Antalya

History and culture through the ages unfold at the Antalya Archeological Museum, one of the largest museums in Turkey, with 13 exhibition halls showcasing art and artefacts of the area large and small from the Stone Age onward. Perhaps most impressive are the larger-than-life statues of 16 gods and goddesses as well as emperors and empresses found in Perge and Aspendos in the “Hall of the Gods.” After lunch on your own, explore the narrow streets of Antalya’s historic Old Town as you please, before enjoying dinner at your leisure at the hotel this evening.

Lodging – Kempinski Hotel The Dome




Day 8 – Konya, Rumi’s tomb & Catalhöyük

A scenic drive through the mountains leads to Konya, final resting place of the Sufi poet Jelaleddin Rumi, considered by some to be one of the great spiritual teachers and thinkers the world has known, who founded the Whirling Dervishes over 800 years ago. While visiting the Mevlana complex, view his mausoleum, learn about the man and the mystical religious order he founded and see the oldest surviving copies of his work, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Later, discover Catalhöyük, built about 6500 BC and thought to be one of the world’s first towns. A guided tour reveals the ongoing archaeological work being done and what has been learned about the people who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and formed a pueblo-style community here so long ago from the artefacts that have been found.

Lodging – Dedeman Konya Hotel


Day 9 – & the Underground City

Along the Silk Road, caravanserais traditionally provided stopping places for travellers in need of rest and refreshment and were spaced to accommodate a one-day camel trek. We’ll make a rest stop at one this morning, just as people have been doing for centuries. After lunch at a local restaurant in Cappadocia, you’ll be invited into the modern home that a family has carved out of a fairy chimney, just as their ancestors did; walk along the bluff to view these famous “fairy chimneys” for which Cappadocia is known. As early as the days of the Hittites, locals created underground cities to protect them from assorted conquerors who invaded the area. Explore Kaymakli, originally an eight-story underground city that provided safety and refuge for up to 5,000 people; four stories are open to the public. Your home for the next two nights features comfortable cave suites constructed within five different cave formations that are a part of Cappadocia’s historical structure, and each one is unique.

Lodging – Anatolian Houses



Day 10 – From Göreme’s Fairy Chimneys to Whirling Dervishes

Drifting over the fairy chimneys of the Göreme Valley in a hot air balloon* is a memorable experience on this newest of Tauck’s Turkey tours. Be sure to have your camera handy as the rising sun bathes the mountain bluffs and unique rock formations below in light! Breakfast is served among the fairy chimneys before visiting the Göreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Resembling a huge monastic complex, the museum showcases eleven early Christian, rock-cut churches containing beautiful frescoes whose colours are still vibrant after countless centuries. The Whirling Dervishes belong to one branch of the Sufi tradition Islam whose followers are taught to love everything. By slowly whirling in a prescribed way, they undertake a spiritual journey seeking unity with the three components of human nature: the body, the heart and the mind. Witness this ancient ritual in a cave venue once part of an ancient monastery at a private dinner and performance.

Lodging – Anatolian Houses


Day 11 – Back in Istanbul… the Spice Bazaar & more

Arrive back in Istanbul by plane in time for lunch at the Hamdi Restaurant, called “Istanbul’s favourite Anatolian restaurant” by Travel + Leisure. Then the scents and sights of the Spice (or Egyptian) Bazaar beckon with an exotic bouquet of fragrances and a kaleidoscope of colours – and must-see-and-smell experience for foodies on Turkey tours. Join us for our farewell reception and dinner during an overnight at the Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah, once the terminus of the Orient Express and a coveted address for folks like Mata Hari, Agatha Christie and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding leader of modern Turkey.

Lodging – Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah


Day 12 – Homeward bound

Tauck’s Turkey tours end in Istanbul. A transfer from the Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah to Atatürk International airport is included. Fly home anytime; please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey home.



Date Tour Fares
12Apr16 US$5,975
26Apr16 US$6,975
24May16 US$5,975
13Sep16 US$5,975
20Sep16 US$6,975
11Oct16 US$5,975


Fares are per person twin share in USD and are subject to availability and change without notice. Fares are based on the lowest available and may differ at time of booking. For more information and full terms and conditions please contact one of our travel specialists. 

*Rates are subject to availability and seasonality and may change without notice. Rates are based on two adults sharing. For solo travellers or single person occupancy rates or further information on terms and conditions, please contact our Travel Specialists at time of booking.


Call a Luxury Tour Specialist on 1300308081 and Quote #10011

(During Business Hours)