Want a private tour of the Gallipoli battlefields, ancient Troy and Pergamum, Ephesus, Aphrodisias and Pamukkale in only 4 days (3 nights)?
This private driver-guide tourcan do it for you.
Starting from Istanbul, you visit six of Turkey's most renowned historical sites in comfort and ease. Your private driver knows the way and will deal with unfamiliar Turkish roads, traffic and driving habits while you admire the panoramic countryside.
Stop whenever you want—the car, driver, route and schedule are yours and yours alone—that's what "private tour" means.
And, unusually for Turkey, your driver is also a licensed private guide, with a university education in Turkish history, culture and daily life.
(In Turkey, driving and guiding are usually looked upon as separate professions. Driver-guides, licensed in both professions, are rare. Using a driver-guide allows this tour to be value priced, as you will be paying for only one professional, not two.)
You drive from Istanbul to the Dardanelles for a tour of the Gallipoli battlefields. Crossing the Dardanelles (Hellespont), you spend the night in Çanakkale. On the next morning you visit ancient Troy, then drive along the Aegean coast, lined with olive groves, to Bergama, the ancient Pergamum (or Pergamon), famous for its huge library and as a center for the beginnings of modern medicine. Continuing your Aegean coast drive south, you reach Kuşadası, just a short distance from Ephesus.
Day 3 shows you all the major sights in the Ephesus area: the ancient city itself, the Saint John Basilica on Ayasoluk Hill, the İsa Bey Mosque, and the House of the Virgin Mary.
On the final day you drive up the verdant Meander River valley, rich in fruit orchards and fields of wheat and cotton, to Aphrodisias to explore its well-preserved Great Theater, Bouleuterion, Stadium, and museum of Greco-Roman sculpture. Then it's on to Pamukkale to marvel at the cliffs of gleaming white calcium, the therapeutic Antique Pool litered with marble columns, and the impressive ruins of ancient Hierapolis.
At the end of the Day 4, your driver-guide escorts you to the Denizli Airport, near Pamukkale, for the short flight back to Istanbul.
There! You've done it! Some of Turkey's greatest ancient sites in only four days, and you're back in Istanbul, ready to explore that great city some more, or to head home.
Of course, if you'd like to stay another day and/or night at Pamukkale, that can be arranged, as can onward travel to Cappadocia, or the Turkish Riviera at Antalya, any other part of Turkey. Just ask!
Here's the full itinerary of this 4-Day (3-Night) Private Driver-Guide Tour by Efendi Travel of Istanbul, a TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner.
—by Tom Brosnahan