Where the Ruins Meet the Sea

Antalya's theatre at Aspendos
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar - a labyrinth of 4500 stalls
UNESCO World Heritage-listed pools and terraces of Pamukkale
Istanbul's Aya Sofya - built by Roman Emperor Justinian
Take a bite out of Istanbul
The First World War history of Gallipoli
  • Start with a kebab in Istanbul, leave for Gallipoli then zoom through Eceabat to Ayvalik for a visit to Troy and harbourside bevvies. On to Selcuk to explore Ephesus (where Antony and Cleopatra hung out), then Pamikkale for its healing pools, Fethiye for beach times, and a cruise for sunbaking and sunken ruins.

    Leaping into the sparkly waters of the Mediterranean is super fun. Two things: don’t hold your nose or you’ll blow out an eardrum, and make sure your bikini bottoms or speedos are securely fastened before you jump.



    Day 1-2 - Istanbul

    The must-sees: Blue Mosque, Hippodrome and Aya Sofya. The must-eats: Kebab, balık ekmek (fish sandwich) and steamed corn from a street vendor.

    Day 1

    • Arrive in Istanbul and perhaps visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market
    • Meet the tour guide and fellow travel companions at an evening welcome meeting
    • Head out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe

    Day 2

    • Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome
    • Explore under your own steam in the afternoon
    • Perhaps barter for a bargain, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus or indulge in a traditional hamam (Turkish bath)

    Day 3 - Istanbul - Gallipoli - Eceabat

    A sobering visit to Gallipoli today. Then you’ve got time to reflect during a long bus trip to Eceabat.

    • Head for the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders

    Day 4 - Eceabat - Ayvalik

    The town is famous for olive oil, but we suggest finding the nearest seaside cafe and ordering Ayvalik tost - toasted sanga stuffed with sausage, pickle, tomatoes, salad and chips, slathered with tomato sauce and mayonnaise. Stop drooling on the brochure please.

    • Optional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient ruins
    • Take an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes
    • Perhaps enjoy a drink and the sunset at the harbourside bar

    Day 5 - Ayvalik - Selçuk

    Get your local guide to point out secret messages that ancient Christians carved into the rocks to direct worshippers to their next meeting.

    • Take a local bus to Selçuk
    • On arrival we explore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world
    • Walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of Celsus

    Day 6 - Selçuk – Pamukkale

    Live out your Cleopatra fantasies today with a dip in her old pool. Although back in the day she didn’t have to share it with fat dudes and screaming kids.

    • Travel to Pamukkale with its natural pools, shelves and ridges
    • Perhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures

    Day 7 - Pamukkale – Fethiye

    We’ll stop at Oludeniz on the way. This big lagoon is so luminously blue is should have an Instagram filter named after it.

    • Head for the coast and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz, described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'
    • Plenty of time to enjoy a swim at the three-kilometre-long beach

    Day 8-9 - Southern sailing cruise

    Tough couple of days ahead: swimming, exploring sunken cities, sunbaking and eating fresh seafood. Grin and bare it.

    • Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast and view some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world
    • Cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island from where remains of mysterious civilisations can be viewed
    • Walk up to nearby Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands
    • Perhaps explore some of the numerous Lycian rock tombs
    • Spend some time on the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea
    • Swim and explore the natural and historical sites along the way
    • Indulge in feasts before being lulled to sleep by Mediterranean breezes
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10-11 - Cirali - Antalya

    Squeeze in one last bit of history with a trip to Olympos. Then see the Chimaera, heaps of little fires bursting spontaneously from the side of a mountain. They never go out. You have permission to sing Eternal Flame by the Bangles here.

    Day 10

    • Disembark the boat in Uçagiz and head to Antalya
    • Stop by Olympos en route and see the flames of Chimera
    • Press on to the ruins of ancient Lycian city of Phaselis

    Day 11

    • The trip ends today after breakfast
  • What's Included

    • Local tour guide, all transportation, accommodation and meals as indicated. Entrance fees for Ephesus only.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival & departure transfers, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary), drinks, optional additional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature. Entrance fees except Ephesus.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    06 Sep 2014 - 16 Sep 2014 3 places left US $1,120 Book Now
    27 Sep 2014 - 07 Oct 2014 Available
    US $1,060 On Sale
    Sale: US $954
    Book Now
    11 Oct 2014 - 21 Oct 2014 Available US $1,025 Book Now
    18 Oct 2014 - 28 Oct 2014 Available US $900 Book Now
    11 Apr 2015 - 21 Apr 2015 Available US $995 Book Now
    23 Apr 2015 - 03 May 2015 Available US $1,245 Book Now
    02 May 2015 - 12 May 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    09 May 2015 - 19 May 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    16 May 2015 - 26 May 2015 Available US $1,090 Book Now
    23 May 2015 - 02 Jun 2015 Available US $1,090 Book Now
    06 Jun 2015 - 16 Jun 2015 Available US $1,060 Book Now
    13 Jun 2015 - 23 Jun 2015 Available US $1,060 Book Now
    20 Jun 2015 - 30 Jun 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    27 Jun 2015 - 07 Jul 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    04 Jul 2015 - 14 Jul 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    11 Jul 2015 - 21 Jul 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    18 Jul 2015 - 28 Jul 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
    25 Jul 2015 - 04 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 Book Now
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Where the Ruins Meet the Sea

    Kelly - Australia, 16 Mar, 2013
    Overall Rating

    Was such an awesome experience and adventure, will never forget my Turkey tour and the amazing new friends I made.

    Where the Ruins Meet the Sea

    Christopher - United Kingdom, 16 Mar, 2013
    Overall Rating

    Outstanding holiday. So much to see and experience. The tour not just showed us the sights, but allowed us to experience this wonderful country.

from US
11 days
Trip Start Dates
Trip Duration
Discounted departure
Trip Selected
Price: US $
Discount price: US $
View all


- 16
Ferry, Local bus
2 nights Boat, 2 nights Pension, 6 nights Hotel

What to know

The 23 Apr 2014 departure ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 2 will be spent camping in Anzac Cove. This departure has a surcharge.

Contact us for more info


Simply enter your details and we'll call you back within the next business day.