The ancient world comes to life on this week-long journey down Turkey's Aegean coast. Start in the exhilarating city of Istanbul and overwhelm your senses with colors, sounds, and smells. Feel living history on the tranquil beaches of Gallipoli, then make your way along the glittering coastline to discover the archaeological wonders of Troy, Pergamon, Assos, and Ephesus.


  • Explore the vibrant, colorful city of Istanbul and see the highlights by boat
  • Go wine tasting at the local vineyards of Gallipoli
  • See history and myth come to life in the ancient ruins of Troy
  • Wander among the theaters and temples of Pergamon 
  • Learn the history of Ephesus as you venture into its famous archaeological site

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul Istanbul
Day 2 City Tour of Istanbul's Highlights, Boat Tour on the Bosphorus Istanbul
Day 3 Wine Tasting & World War I Sites in Gallipoli, Transfer to Çanakkale Çanakkale
Day 4 City Tour of Troy, Transfer to Behramkale & Discover Assos Behramkale
Day 5 Transfer to Bergama, Explore Pergamon & Asclepion Bergama
Day 6 Transfer to Şirince, Tour of Ephesus' Ancient City & Archaeological Museum Şirince
Day 7 Transfer to Izmir & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul

Beautiful views across the Bosphorus

Welcome to Turkey! Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Istanbul. After settling in, the rest of the day is free to explore. You could start with a tour of the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets. You'll have your pick of 61 streets and over 4,000 shops, which offer every manner of beguiling gifts, trinkets, and souvenirs. Or visit Eminönü to stroll around the Spice Bazaar. In this vital part of the Old City, you'll find thousands of diverse delicacies, fragrances, and spices to expand and excite your senses.

Day 2: City Tour of Istanbul's Highlights, Boat Tour on the Bosphorus

The soaring Hagia Sophia Mosque

Meet your guide just a few steps from Sultanahmet Square this morning to visit some key highlights of the city. Start at the Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century, which earns its name due to the stunning azure tiles adorning its interior. Continue to the Hagia Sophia Mosque, built in 537 CE, and notice the beautiful silhouette it creates on Istanbul's waterfront. Explore Topkapi Palace, the royal seat of the Ottomans from the 15th to 19th centuries. The exhibition halls, the harem, and rooms belonging to the royal family offer a glimpse into the lives of the sultans.

The best views of Istanbul can be seen by boat, so in the late afternoon, your guide will lead you to the pier for a scenic cruise. Glide through the Bosphorus Strait, admiring the shores of Istanbul's European and Asian sides. Seeing the city by boat offers an entirely different perspective, allowing you to truly understand its vastness and why it has played such an important geographic role for centuries.

Day 3: Wine Tasting & World War I Sites in Gallipoli, Transfer to Çanakkale

The tranquil Anzac Bay, the site of a critical World War 1 battle

Leave Istanbul early in the morning and spend the day touring the seaside of Gallipoli. Start at a local winery where you'll taste several different grape varieties, including Beyaz's regional white wine. As you sip, learn the history of wine and the wine-making process in Turkey. After lunch, visit some famous World War I sites for a sobering look at living history. The peninsula of Gallipoli was a vital area during the war and home to a significant conflict between the British and Ottoman forces in 1915.

Stop at the Çanakkale War Simulation Center along your sightseeing route, which demonstrates the famous battle with high-tech presentations, then explore Anzac Cove and Sedd el Bahr Cape. Both were critical locations during the war, but today they offer tranquil sandy beaches and turquoise waters. When the tour finishes, take the ferry to the waterfront city of Çanakkale. Once checked in at your hotel, head out to one of the many great restaurants in the city's historic district or near the port for dinner.

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Day 4: City Tour of Troy, Transfer to Behramkale & Discover Assos

Look out across the Aegean Sea from Assos

Travel back to the ancient world today to discover Troy's prominent role in myth and archaeology. Until the late 19th century, scholars regarded the Trojan War as a legend. Following excavations, Troy became one of history's most exciting archaeological discoveries, and you'll learn about its many wonders at the Troy Archeological Site and the Troy Museum. Next, it's an hour's drive to Behramkale, once known as Assos. Aristotle lived and founded his philosophy school here, and today you can climb to the Temple of Athena, the first and only Doric temple built in Anatolia, to discover its extraordinary vistas.

You'll also visit the ancient theater of the Roman period, the agora, the necropolis (cemetery), and the city walls. When the tour is finished, check in at your hotel. Once settled, take your time and discover the town at your leisure. Wander the charming streets, visit local shops, drink Turkish coffee by the sea, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Day 5: Transfer to Bergama, Explore Pergamon & Asclepion

Stunning views of Pergamon's amphitheater

Have a relaxed morning in Assos before transferring to Pergamon, an important ancient metropolis of Greco-Roman heritage. Visit the site of the upper and lower acropolis, which contains ruins of the famous Altar of Pergamon, a large theater with temples devoted to Hera and Demeter. The use of parchment started in Pergamon, which is where the city gets its name. It was also home to one of the first Seven Churches of Early Christianity, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pergamon was famous for its extensive hospital and healing sanctuary dedicated to the god Asclepius during the first and second centuries. A paved, colonnaded pathway, half a mile in length, connects the structure to the acropolis and the central portions of the city. You'll have an incredible opportunity to see the architectural heritage of Pergamon and learn about the traditions and healing customs of how people understood well-being in ancient times. After the tour, a driver will take you to your hotel for check-in.

Day 6: Transfer to Şirince, Tour of Ephesus' Ancient City & Archaeological Museum 

The ancient library of Ephesus

This morning starts with a transfer south to Şirince, where you'll start with a visit to the UNESCO-listed archaeological site of Ephesus. Known for its exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Hellenistic, Roman, and early Christian periods, you'll have plenty of time to explore. This ancient city still undergoes annual excavations, uncovering new sections and amazing artifacts yearly. 

Ephesus also hosts the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Two significant highlights nearby are the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and the House of the Virgin Mary. On today's guided tour, you'll discover the myths that revolve around significant figures of the Christian faith and delve into the museum's collection that spans more than 8,000 years. Following this visit, you'll be transferred to your hotel in Şirince.

Day 7: Transfer to Izmir & Depart

Farewell Turkey!

It's time to say güle güle (goodbye) to Turkey. Your driver will pick you up and drive you to the Izmir Airport, where you'll fly to Istanbul to catch a connecting flight toward your final destination. Have a safe trip!

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Map of Turkey's Aegean Antiquities: Istanbul, Çanakkale, Behramkale, Bergama & Şirince - 7 Days
Map of Turkey's Aegean Antiquities: Istanbul, Çanakkale, Behramkale, Bergama & Şirince - 7 Days