Tour of Aegean Sea City and Historic, Cosmopolitan Istanbul
On this eight-day, six-night tour of Turkey from Troy Tours, you’ll split time between the Aegean resort city of Kusadasi and historic, cosmopolitan Istanbul. The package includes round-trip airfare from Turkish Airlines from New York (JFK), Washington, DC (IAD), Chicago (ORD), or Los Angeles (LAX), as well as hotel accommodations (including your choice of the 4-star Istanbul Hotellino and the 5-star Istanbul Hilton Doubletree), most ground transportation and all air transportation within Turkey, and a half-day tour of the Ephesus ruins.
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Days 1–4: Kusadasi
The population of this resort town on the Aegean coast swells to more than half a million during the summer months, when visitors flock to the city’s many beautiful beaches. You’ll be staying at the five-star, award-winning Charisma Deluxe Hotel Kuşadası, which stands next to the yacht harbor and boasts panoramic views of the sea. The hotel features a private beach, an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and five restaurants and bars.
On the third day of the trip, you’ll take a half-day guided tour of Ephesus, an ancient Greek and Roman city that once housed the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today, an archaeological site here contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, though only about 15% of the city has been excavated. The façade of the library of Celsus, built circa AD 125, and the ruins of the Odeon theater, built circa AD 150, are major draws.
Days 5–8: Istanbul
Turkey’s largest city spans two continents and ranks among the most important in all of world history. Istanbul served as the capital for four distinct empires, first when it was called Byzantium and later as Constantinople. A prominent position along the historic Silk Road heavily influenced the cultural landscape, lending it the vibrant, cosmopolitan flavor it retains to this day.
You’ll be able to experience the city’s history and culture while staying at Hotellino Istanbul or Istanbul Hilton Doubletree. Many noteworthy landmarks are situated within walking distance of the hotels, including the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and the stunning Hagia Sophia, a cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-museum renowned for its enormous dome (you could fit Notre Dame and the Statue of Liberty underneath it with room to spare) and richly decorated mosaics. On the last day of the trip, you’ll find your way to the airport for the return flight home.