Depart Dublin airport for Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. Connect with flight to Izmir and transfer to the 5 star Kusadasi Sealight Resort hotel in Kusadasi for 3 nights, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Morning at Ephesus, one of the greatest ruined cities of the western world. Walking through the ruins we see the theatre where Paul preached to the Ephesians, the Temple of Hadrian, the Agora, Library of Celsus, Gate of Hercules, Temple of Domition, and the Colonnaded Street. Afternoon visit to Meryemana the House of the Virgin Mary where she spent her last years on Earth. Visit Celcuk, and see the Byzantine Gateway, the Citadel, War of Independence monument, and the Islamic Tombs. Short stop at the Temple of Atremis on return to Kusadasi.
Morning walk to Pigeon Island and view the old Byzantine Castle. Return via the Yacht Marina. Afternoon free in Kusadasi.
Morning drive to the ruins of Hierapolis, where Paul preached to the Colossians. We see the Arch of Domition, the Necropolis, Agora, Theatre, and the mineral-rich Baths (bring togs & towel). Nearby we see the Martryium of the Apostle Philip, and Laodicia one of the seven churches. Afternoon stop at one of Turkeys most photographed sites the Pamukkale. On our return, we visit Aphrodisias, and see the Temple dedicated to the Goddess of Love. Overnight in the 5 star Pamukkale Lycus River hotel in Pamukkale, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Drive to Sardis site of one of the Seven Churches and the centre of one of the greatest Kingdoms of the ancient world. See the famous Temple of Artemis, dating from 400BC, the Byzantian church, and part of the old Royal Road. Continue to Bergama (Pergamum), and on a hill overlooking the town we visit the great Acropolis, and see the ancient city walls, Temple of Trajan, Temple of Athena, Altar of Zeus, Library Theatre, and Temple of Dionysus. Short visit to a carpet factory. Overnight in the 5 star Ayvalik Halic Park Hotel with dinner bed & breakfast in Dikili.
Morning drive to Troy, where we see the famous Wooden Horse of Troy. Cross the Dardanelles to the Peninsula of Gallipoli. Here we remember the First World War of 1915. Visit the landing beaches of Suvla Bay. Visit Chocolate Hill where President Mary MacAleese dedicated the foundation stone of a memorial to 3,400 Irish Soldiers who died there, Chunuk Bair cemetery, Mesudiye Topu, Alay Sehitligi, Mehmetcik Memorial, Kabatepe Museum, Ari Bruno, Quinns Post, and the Lone Pine cemetery. Continue to Canakkale for overnight in the 5 star Canakkale Parion hotel for 1 night, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Morning drive to Bursa where we see the Alaeddin Mosque, the Green Tomb of Sultan Mehmet, Tophane Citadel, and the Bazaar and Market area. Overnight, dinner, bed & breakfast in the 4 star Bursa Kervansaray City hotel in Bursa.
Visit to Iznik a major centre of fine Ceramics. Continue to Istanbul. Stroll around Sultanahmet Square, and visit the world famous Blue Mosque with its six Minarets, ornate Domes, Courtyard, and Ablutions Fountain. Visit the supreme church of Byzantium Haghia Sophia (church of Holy Wisdom), and admire the Dome, the Mosaics, Coronation Square, Mausoleums, and Baptistry. Check into the 4 star Lares Park Taksim hotel for 2 nights, bed & breakfast.
Visit the Suleymaniye Mosque where we admire the interior of the Mosque, see the tombs of Suleyman and Roxelana, the Imaret, and Addicts Alley. Then visit Topkapi Palace and gardens, built by Mehmet II, with its Pavillions, Library, Treasury, Throne Room, and Harem. Afternoon free time at the Grand Bazaar.
Early morning transfer to Istanbul airport for return flight to Dublin.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.