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Travel Turkey's eastern coast, stopping in at 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.
In 2015 this trip was know as 'Where the ruins meet the sea'.

Istanbul, Turkey
Antalya, Turkey
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
(20 reviews)
Min 18 , Max 39
Group size
Min 1, Max 16


Arrive in Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.

Check out the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome (sadly, there’s no actual hippos here). Your hotel is right in the thick of the action so you won’t have to walk far for your first kebab of the trip.

Head out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe)
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque - Free
  • Galata Tower - TRY18
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise, Istanbul (Public) - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY65
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY15
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Gallipoli and wander around the famous battlefields - it's hard not to feel moved. Travel on to Eceabat.

Take a bus to the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders (approx. driving time: 5.5 hours). It is a spot of pilgrimage and reverence and the calm lapping waters belies the murderous campaign that took place here. This now-serene site is located at Turkey’s most westerly point and played a crucial role in 1915 for Allied forces during the First World War. The combatants here included other Commonwealth and British troops, as well as the French and Turkish

If you want to check out the big smoke in Canakkale cross the Dardanelles this evening and enjoy dinner in this University City
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.

* Drive down the coast to Ayvalik (approx. driving time: 3.5 hours)
* Optional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient walls, climb around the ruins and gaze across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the waters of the Dardanelles and the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula
* Take an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes
* A drink at a harbourside bar is a great way to enjoy the sunset
Optional Activities
  • Boat From Ayvalık to Cunda Island - TRY10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 (approx. driving time: 7 hours)
* Explore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world (optional). Ephesus, founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC and brought to full flower under Roman rule, was always an important religious centre
* Walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of Celsus
* Close by is the last home of the Virgin Mary who, as legend has it, came here accompanied by St John and lived out her days in this beautiful spot
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Ephesus archaeological site - TRY40
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY40
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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.

* Set off on a morning orientation tour around Selçuk, a town full of history and packed with artifacts and relics that reflect its past as an ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill
* Travel to Pamukkale (approx. driving time: 6 hours), with its spectacular natural pools, shelves and ridges, formed by a spring with high calcium bicarbonate content that cascaded over the edge of the cliffs, leaving calcium deposits
* Perhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park - TRY35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the Blue Lagoon by public bus and jump on a water taxi to Butterfly Valley (travel time 3.5 hours), home to roughly 100 species of butterflies, though we can’t guarantee you will see them all.  Butterfly Valley, a large canyon that is considered to be one of the most picturesque and amazing places in Turkey it is a prime example of the beautiful result of Mother Nature’s work.

Chill out in a hammock and swim in the Mediterranean.  Tonight we sleep in tents , don’t worry you don’t have to pitch it youself
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Relax in the this untouched paradise this morning, after lunch we take the boat back to Oludiniz  and check out the Blue Lagoon before heading to Fethiye.  Tonight we explore the seaside city of Fethiye, enjoy a walk by the harbour, try local seafood and check out the thriving night life
Optional Activities
  • Kayakoy - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we take a local bus to Kas, (3 hours) meaning eyebrow in Turkish.  With its whitewashed buildings covered in bougainvillea and cobbled streets, Kas is one of the most attractive towns on the Turkish Mediterranean Coast.  We spend an hour or two for lunch and wandering the pretty streets, before our transfer to Kekova.

In Kekova we board our boat for our memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast and view some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world.

This afternoon we cruise to Tersane bay for a swim and then enjoy a home cooked dinner on board before docking for the night and sleeping under a blanket of Metiterenaean stars
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Wake up to a spectacular Mediterranean sunrise this morning and enjoy a hearty breakfast on board.  

Cruise to the sunken city from where remains of a mysterious civilisation can be viewed.  Walk up nearby Simena Castle; swim in crystal clear waters or explore Lycian rock tombs.

Spend another night in under the stars
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Breakfast on board and then we farewell our hosts and transfer by pubic bus 3.5 hours to Antalya.  It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya (unless your finger is over the lens) thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. Spend the afternoon exploring the back streets of the Kaleci (old city) or check out one of the best Museums in the Country
Optional Activities
  • Antalya Museum - TRY20
  • Aspendos Ancient City - TRY20
  • Mermerli Beach Kaleici, Antalya - TRY11
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventures come to an end after breakfast today.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.


9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners


Ferry, Local bus, Private Bus, Boat


Boat (2 nights), Pension (1 nights), Hotel (5 nights), Camping (1 night)


Our Totally Turkey trips score an average of 4.7 out of 5 based on 20 reviews in the last year.

Where the Ruins Meet the Sea, October 2015

Alicia Sherman

Where the Ruins Meet the Sea, October 2015

Francis Bernard

Dates & availability

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Important notes

23 April 2015 ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 2 will be spent camping in Anzac Cove instead of in Istanbul. Please bring a sleeping bag for this departure

A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
-Day 6: Butterfly Valley
-Day 8 & 9: Southern Sailing Cruise
-Day 3: Ayvalik

Essential Trip Information

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