We are thrilled to introduce one of our new Escapes by Globus tours, the Turkish Escape! Uncover the very best of Turkey over 8 days on a round trip starting and ending in Istanbul. With such a unique history thanks to its location between Europe and Asia, you’ll find a fascinating blend of diverse cultures, centuries of history and a vibrant atmosphere. And the best part? This Turkish Escape tour departs during autumn and winter so you can explore without the crowds and summer heat. Read on to see what this Turkish Escape holds.
Travelling to Turkey without visiting Istanbul is like travelling to Italy without visiting Rome! It would be a crime to forego time in the capital city of Turkey. It was founded by the Greeks as Byzantium over 25,000 years ago before being changed to Istanbul in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest. Its prime location has been a gateway between Islamic and Christian worlds, the Orient and Occident, and the Black and Mediterranean Seas for centuries.
Byzantine and Ottoman influences have intertwined to create a cultural hub with some of the world’s most fascinating history. As such, there are numerous ancient sites to tick off your bucket list. Istanbul attracted 16 million visitors in 2022 so if you prefer to explore with fewer crowds, the off season is the best time of year to do so. From the spectacular Hagia Sophia and Topapki Palace, to the Blue Mosque and Roman Hippodrome, Istanbul is bound to knock your socks off.
Gallipoli has a firm footing in not just Turkey’s history but that of continental Europe, Australia and New Zealand, too. It was here that one of the most important World War I battles was held. Australian and New Zealand army troops landed on the beaches of ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915, and fought against the Turkish for eight long months with both sides suffering an estimated 250,000 casualties each. From walking in the footsteps of soldiers on the WWI battlefields to Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli is now a sombre place to pay your respects.
Pergamum (also known as Pergamon) is famous for its ancient healing history with the Sanctuary of Asclepius (the Greek God of Healing). Centuries ago, the sick would make their way to the temple along the Sacred Way on a journey to health. They believed that the act of healing was a sacred art whereby your soul, and body, should be mended alongside each other.
On our Turkish Escape tour, we’ll take you on a guided tour of the Sanctuary of Asclepius. You’ll be able to feel the history within its ancient walls.
The city of Ephesus was previously one of the most famous places in the Mediterranean. It was the second biggest city of the Roman Empire so naturally has one of the largest Roman archaeological sites for you to explore. Walk through Ephesus’ ruins and enhance your knowledge at the local museum.
Hierapolis was founded by a Pergamene King in 190 B.C., surrounded by an abundance of hot springs. This put down its roots as a beautiful thermal resort which still to this day attracts travellers from around the world.
Bursa is famous for being the largest centre for silk trade during the period of the lucrative Silk Road. Today, you can still visit a silk market and purchase it in some form as a precious souvenir for yourself, friends or family. On our Turkish Escape tour, you’ll also discover Bursa’s spectacular Great Mosque and centuries-old, covered bazaar. Don’t miss the tasting of kestane sekeri, a local specialty of candied chestnuts.
Iznik can be best described as an open-air museum, from its tree-lined shores to medieval walls. Iznik is the birthplace of the famous Iznik tiles that date back to the Ottoman Empire. These were crafted to incorporate floral patterns that adorned imperial buildings and mosques throughout Istanbul, many of which can still be seen today. A local guide will take you to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque which has transformed from mosque to museum, and back to mosque, in its lifetime.
Join us on a Turkish Escape, you won’t regret it!