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SMALL GROUP PROGRAMME
North Aegean Tour
Walking in Kaz Mountains
EXAMPLE ITINERARY - 8 NIGHTS / 9 DAYS
Fly to Izmir International airport and transfer to the Swiss Hotel (Grand Efes) located close to the seafront promenade. Excellent facilities including spa/wellness centre.
Dinner at a local restaurant with time to explore the local area
After breakfast, we drive towards Bergama and the Hellenistic city of Pergamon (about 130 km). Pergamon is one of Turkey's most important archeological sites where Alexander the Great left a significant part of his wealth with one of his generals before leaving for his Asia expedition. Notable aspects of the site we will see: the steepest theatre in this region, cut into the hillside; the library, which at its peak rivalled Alexandria; the ruins of the Altar of Zeus, as well as the Temple of Athena, the Royal Palace, the Temple of Trajan and the Temple of Dionysos. We will also visit the Asclepion, one of the world's earliest medical centres. We will then move on to the 'Red Basilica', originally built as a temple to the Egyptian god Serapis and converted into a basillica by the Byzantines. It was one of the seven churches referred to by St John.
After a lunch break, we drive to the 'Seytan Sofrasi' (The Devil's Dinner Table) situated on a hilltop overlooking Ayvalik with spectacular views as far as Cunda island and the Greek island of Lesbos. We will continue to Cunda island, which is famous for its fish restaurants and local atmosphere amongst the lanes of old Greek houses. After a short coffee break at Tas Bahce, we will move on to visit the old Orthodox cathedral of Taksiarhis. Before checking in at our hotel, we will stop at the Ataturk Cliff.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Deniz boutique hotel located at Cunda Island, a beach area outside the town.
||YESILYURT VILLAGE - ASSOS
After breakfast we head for Yesilyurt Village, located on the edge of the Kaz mountains, known locally as 'the Oxygen Country'. We can wander round the village, which is known for its organic produce, before proceeding to the city of Assos. Modern Assos incorporates the ancient hilltop Greek city of the same name, dating back to the 5th century BC, with a settlement around the harbour and Turkish village of Behramkale, which is noted for its panoramic views. The small town has attractively restored Greek houses and fish restaurants. We will eat lunch here with time to explore.
Dinner (one non alcoholic drink included) and overnight stay at the Assos Kervansaray Butik Hotel.
|Day 4||KAZ MOUNTAINS
Kazdaglari (Turkish for Ida Mountain) was known as the mountain of the gods. It finds its place in many mythological legends. Homer mentions Ida Mountain in his "Iliad" many times, as 'the mother of wild animals and full of springs'. According to the legend, the famous beauty contest between Hera, Aphrodite and Athena that lead to the Trojan War took place on this mountain. Zeus was born here, the gods followed the Trojan War from here and Aphrodite fell in love for the first time on this mountain.
Situated in the northern Aegean, this mountain range stretches along the coast of the gulf of Edremit within easy reach of Assos and Troy. The Karatas summit at 1,774 metres, is the highest of a series of peaks which tower over a landscape filled with rare plant species, firs, streams and waterfalls. The region famously produces the highest levels of oxygen after the Alps. It is a magnet for walkers, mountaineers and nature lovers.
Once we have checked in to the Iliada hotel, we have the rest of the day free to relax and start exploring the mountain footpaths. There are optional extras of horse riding and jeep tours for those interested.
Lunch is not included today.
Breakfast and a free day
Optional jeep safari tours, horse riding, walking.
Lunch is not included.
On our sixth day, we will leave the hotel mid-morning for a drive to Adatepe Village. From here we will climb to the peak known as the Altar of Zeus. There are fantastic views over the entire area from this vantage point. We will have lunch at the Stone Houses in the village with time afterwards for walking in the area.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Iliada hotel. (Drinks are not included).
||TROY - CANAKKALE
After breakfast we will check out of the Iliada Hotel and make our way to the ancient city of Troy.
First we will visit the Excavation Information Centre with exhibits from the current excavations, before viewing the fortifications of Troy Vl with its tower and gateway entrance. We will also visit the Temple of Athena (the focal point of a great annual festival in honour of the goddess Athena); Schliemann's trench and the entrance ramp to Troy ll. (You could also be photographed inside the replica of the famous wooden horse.)
After a lunch stop, we will visit the sanctuary which was an important religious centre of its time, the odeon which was intended for the presentation of musical performances and walk through the excavations in progress.
After we leave the site, we will drive on to Canakkale to check in to the 5-star Kolin Hotel. The classical name for this area is Hellespont.
Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel. (Drinks are not included).
||THE DARDANELLES - CANAKKALE - GALLIPOLI
After breakfast we will proceed by ferry across the part of the Dardanelles known as 'the Narrows'. The ferry pulls in at the small fishing village of Kilitbahir, noted for its fort built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. Here, we will be given a briefing on the First World War. The landing sites are situated on the European side of the Dardanelle Straits, known as Gallipoli.
We will visit Kabatepe Museum, which contains relics from the war, war memorials, trenches and tunnels, cemeteries and other sites in the war grounds.
We return to the Kolin Hotel with time to relax before dinner (drinks are not included) and overnight stay.
||After breakfast we drive to Istanbul Airport for return flights to the UK.|
|PRICE||To be quoted based on the number of people in the group.|
The price includes all hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, meals as specified in the itinerary, all transport and transfers in an air-conditioned, private vehicle; an English speaking professional guide; tour manager, all meals and travel expenses of the driver, guide and tour manager; all entrance charges to museums and sites, local taxes.
The price does not include lunches and snacks not listed, drinks with meals, personal spending, tips to the guide and driver. Flights will be booked as and when individuals book the tour with fares advised at the time.