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Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Marvels of Turkey

7-day tailor-made holiday from £2,125 pp incl. flights


Short description

A seven-day tailor-made tour of Istanbul, Assos and Sirince

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Take advantage of our fully refundable deposit guarantee, available on selected holidays departing between 1 November 2020 and 30 June 2021. Offer applies to new bookings only. Book by 31 August.

In Brief

  • 2 Nights Istanbul
  • 2 Nights Mount Ida
  • 2 Nights Sirince


Recommended for:
City | Food & wine | History & culture

This seven-day tailor-made holiday begins in Istanbul, a city brimming with historical landmarks, bustling bazaars, colourful markets and an abundance of wonderful eateries, from fine-dining restaurants to traditional street food stalls. From there you'll head to the ancient city of Assos and the beautiful Gallipoli Penisula, before finishing your journey in Sirince and the Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, the origins of which can be traced back to the 11th century BC.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, located on the banks of the Bosphorus where continental Europe meets Asia. On arrival you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the city centre. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and begin exploring the city at your own pace. In the evening, head out into town to dine at one of Istanbul's many wonderful restaurants (not included).

Stay: Marmara Pera or similar

Day 2

Spend today in Istanbul, with two very different, yet equally appealing tour options to choose from.

Option 1: Culinary Secrets of the Old City

This tour offers a tantalising taste of Turkey, beginning with a light breakfast and Turkish coffee before you set off through the lesser-explored culinary backstreets, where you'll discover spice markets, baklava makers, kokorec vendors and some of the best kebab stands in town. Head into the Fatih district and stop at a local confectioner where locum, better known as Turkish delight, has been made and sold for four generations. You'll also visit a traditional pudding shop, a hidden tea garden and an Ottoman-era bozaci, before settling down for a full lunch of pit-roasted lamb at a family-run restaurant next to the Byzantine aqueducts. Next you'll head to the spice market at Eminonu, before ending your day at the Grand Bazaar, a vast market of some 4,000 shops and stalls selling everything from carpets and leather goods to jewellery.

Option 2: The Cosmopolitan Beyoglu

This walking tour explores Beyoglu, one of Istanbul's most interesting districts. Begin your day with breakfast at a bakery run by one of the city's top chefs, before heading to a traditional pickle shop for a bracing shot of pickle juice. From there you'll make your way through a busy market, which specialises in fish and offal products, which you'll be able to sample. Further along you'll discover, tucked among bakeries and tavernas, a classic sweet shop that has been run by the same family for three generations. Enjoy lunch at a traditional tradesmen's restaurant and nearby grill before enjoying a taste of Istanbul street food. Finish your day at the city's Grand Bazaar before returning to your hotel.

In the evening you'll enjoy dinner at your leisure, perhaps visiting a local restaurant in the city's bohemian neighbourhood of Tunel-Asmalimecit, a popular area for artists and intellectuals. This neighbourhood's lively eateries offer extensive Meze selections and succulent fish and meat fresh from the grill.

Stay: Marmara Pera or similar

Breakfast & lunch included

Day 3
Istanbul to Mount Ida

Transfer to Mount Ida today near the ancient city of Assos, enjoying a private lunch along the way at the Suvla Winery or, depending on the weather, at a vineyard in Eceabat. In the afternoon you'll visit the beautiful Gallipoli Penisula, the scene of a disastrous British and Commonwealth invasion during the First World War. From there you'll travel across the Dardaelles to visit the ancient ruins at Troy before continuing to Mount Ida by local ferry and car. Check into your hotel before enjoying dinner and a short talk on the region's unique culinary heritage.

Stay: Manici Kasri or similar

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 4

Enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast this morning, including feta cheese, homemade jams and preserves, Turkish bread and hot Cay (Turkish tea). After breakfast you'll spend the day exploring the ruins of Assos, which was founded between 1,000-900 BC and offers spectacular views across the Aegean Sea and the nearby Greek island of Lesbos.

After lunch you'll visit the Adatepe Olive Oil Museum where you'll learn about the history of the region's olive oil industry and see the production process from tree to table. In the evening you'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on Asoss's small pebble beach, an excellent spot to relax and enjoy the excellent local seafood.

Stay: Manici Kasri or similar

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 5

After breakfast you'll take a scenic coastal drive to the site of the ancient city of Pergamon. Visit the Acropolis and the Asklepion, both of which are listed among the top 100 historical sites in the Mediterranean. You'll then enjoy a home-hosted lunch in a local village for the chance to try some traditional home cooked dishes before heading to Sirince, an old Greek village in the hills near Ephesus. Take a walk through the narrow streets lined with traditional Greek-style houses and enjoy the impressive views from Sirince's dramatic hilltop location.

This evening you'll have dinner at Gullu Konak Hotel's wonderful terrace restaurant with superb views across the village and surrounding countryside.

Stay: Gullu Konak or similar

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 6

Enjoy another wonderful breakfast this morning before departing for a tour of the remarkable Greco-Roman archaeological site of Ephesus, which dates back to the 11th century BC. A guided tour of this incredible historical treasure will be followed by lunch at a local restaurant in the nearby town of Selcuk before heading to Urla, a town with a fascinating history of Persian, Greek, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman rule, dating back to 3,000 BC. After your tour of Urla you'll visit the Kekliktepe Olive Oil factory, one of the world's oldest known olive oil production facilities, dating back to the 6th century BC. Return to Sirince for a farewell dinner at Sirince Artemis Restaurant and Wine House.

Stay: Gullu Konak or similar

Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 7

Transfer to Izmir Airport where you'll board a flight to Istanbul and onward connections to the UK.

Breakfast included


Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Standard Superior

7-day tailor-made holiday from £2,125 pp incl. flights

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At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0618 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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