Anzac & Turkey Explorer 2021 - 11 days

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  • On The Go Tours

ANZAC Day Gallipoli 2021. Starts: 16th April. Take in breathtaking Turkey on a spellbinding historical journey to the ANZAC memorial site at Gallipoli - explore captivating underground cities at Cappadocia, Roman ruins of legend, churches, hermit caves, temples, monasteries, traveller stop-offs and the stunning Mediterranean, before embracing the history at Gallipoli and commemorating the brave ANZACs during two powerful services.

  • ANZAC Service Site - Commemorate at the Anzac eve vigil and 25th April Dawn Service, with the option to attend the Australian or New Zealand Memorial Services
  • Anzac Cove - Settle in your seat for the poignant ANZAC eve vigil at the Dawn Service Site
  • Istanbul - Take in the the old city of Instanbul featuring the Blue Mosque, ancient Hippodrome area, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia mosque and the Underground Cistern
  • Gallipoli Peninsula - Set foot on WW1 Battlefields, see famous Anzac Cove and a range of memorials and trenches on this active history lesson
  • Troy - Rediscover the lost city of Troy and inspiration behind Homer's timeless tales
  • Ephesus and Pergamum - Explore enormous Ephesus and the 25,000 capacity Great Theatre of ancient marvel, and the hillside amphitheatre at Pergamum
  • Pamukkale - Dip your toe in marvellous mineral pools or have a swim in the thermal baths
  • Konya - Visit the Mevlana Museum (or Green Mausoleum) and discover the original home of a mystical Sufi Muslim group and their founder Mevlana
  • Cappadocia - Delight in surreal landscapes, hermit cave villages and World Heritage Listed Goreme Valley with its rock cut churches and Zelve Monastery
  • Silk Road from Konya - Stop off at the traditional roadside inn of Sultanhan Caravanserai and sit in the resting point of former weary travellers
Age Policy
18yrs or 16yrs accompanied by an adult
  • ANZAC Day
  • Turkey
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Small Group
Day 1: Istanbul

16th April 2020. Welcome to Turkey and the start of a memorable ANZAC experience! Airport to hotel arrival transfer. Rest of the day free in Istanbul.

If you are arriving to Istanbul early, you may wish to consider joining our Optional Backstreets Of Istanbul Tour taking place today. The tour commences at 9am. For further details of the excursion, please see our tour Trip Notes.

Day 2: Istanbul

Today we enjoy a guided tour of the old city, taking in the stunning Iznik tiled Blue Mosque, Hippodrome area, the 6th century Hagia Sofia (exterior only), the ancient Underground Cistern, Topkapi Palace and more. This afternoon, we take a relaxing cruise on the Bosphorus Strait. You'll see waterside palaces framed by a modern city skyline dotted with expansive domed mosques and towering minarets of traditional Ottoman style. Afterwards time is given for you to explore and get lost in the Grand Bazaar. From here you can opt to stay and discover the old city by night or return with your guide to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation.

Day 3: Cappadocia

Istanbul - Cappadocia. Today we depart Istanbul and head across the country towards Cappadocia. We'll make a number of stops on route. Arriving into Cappadocia this afternoon the rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 4: Underground cities of Cappadocia

Perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown, Cappadocia is an extraordinary national treasure. The surreal landscape has to be seen to be believed with its cave dwellings and phallic ‘fairy chimneys’ landscape that are the stuff of fables. Whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock of Cappadocia. A guided tour of the region takes us to the World Heritage listed Goreme Valley where we’ll see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches, chapels and temples, and Zelve with its surreal landscape of towering eroded rocks.

Day 5: Pamukkale

Cappadocia - Konya - Pamukkale. It's an early departure this morning as we head for Pamukkale. On the way we will visit the 13th century Seljukian masterpiece of Sultanhan Caravanserai before arriving in Konya. In Konya we will visit the Mevlana Museum also known as the Green Mausoleum which is the original lodge of the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes. We then continue our drive to Pamukkale for our overnight stay.

Day 6: Pamukkale

Pamukkale - Ephesus - Kusadasi. Famed for its unique cascades of natural mineral rich pools, Pammukale is home to some stunning natural mineral pools. Here we can paddle our feet in the warm water flowing over the terraces or perhaps opt for a swim at the Pamukkale Thermal Baths. Just beyond the thermal pools a stop is made at the Roman ruins of Hierapolis.

This afternoon we continue to the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. Rumoured to have been founded in the 13th century BC, it became the Roman capital of Asia Minor. It revelled in its prosperity from commerce and visiting pilgrims who came to see its great Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts carefully restored elements within the huge archaeological area including the Great Theatre once capable of seating 25,000 spectators at one time, Curetes Way (one of the main thoroughfares) the Temple of Serapis, the elegant façades of the Temple of Hadrian and the awesome Library of Celsus. Off Curetes Way are ancient public toilets, a brothel, remains of fountains and various temples. We end our day at our hotel in Kusadasi.

Day 7: Ayvalik

Kusadasi - Pergamum - Ayvalik. This morning we drive north, stopping at the Roman ruins of Pergamum and its impressive hillside amphitheatre. We also visit the neighbouring Asclepion - a Roman precursor to modern-day hospitals before continuing onto to Ayvalik.

Day 8: Eceabat & Gallipoli
( overnight in Ayvalik / Canakkale )
Today we explore ANZAC Cove and the many memorials dotted across the WW1 battlefields. Our guided tour takes in sights including ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Bair Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years.

Day 9: Cappadocia
( overnight in Dawn Service site (ANZAC Cove))
Ayvalik – Troy - Kilitbahir - Gallipoli. This morning we enjoy a short-guided tour of Troy. The legend of the lost city of Troy and Homer’s poetry was brought to life by its rediscovery in 1863. We then continue to the village of Kilitbahir, situated on the eastern shore of the Gallipoli peninsula, and dominated by the fortress of the same name. You'll have some free this afternoon before early this evening we all relax at before entering the Cove. Once we're in Anzac Cove you are free to visit the memorials and trenches that dot the area before taking our places amongst the many at the Dawn Service site for the atmosphere-charged ANZAC Eve vigil.

Day 10: ANZAC Day - Gallipoli 2020

Gallipoli - Istanbul. Today, the 25th April is the reason we came to Turkey and Gallipoli. Dawn and first light signals the commencement of the annual Dawn Service, attended by Australian, New Zealand and other foreign dignitaries, military personnel and a strong following of regular Australian and New Zealand folk. The poignant and emotive service commemorating this important and historical date allows us time to reflect. Lest we forget.

The service lasts for an hour and public wreath laying at the ANZAC Memorial site is possible afterwards. Later this morning Australian’s have the opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Memorial Service. Our New Zealanders are invited to attend the New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair later on in the morning Everyone will be picked up after the service at Chunuk Bair (exact time and location to be confirmed with your guide). We anticipate an early afternoon departure time from Gallipoli for onward travel to Istanbul. Crossing the Dardanelles by ferry we will arrive into Istanbul later this afternoon.

Day 11: Istanbul

26th April 2020. You tour ends after breakfast and hotel check out. We hope you have had a wonderful holiday in Turkey and a memorable ANZAC Day 2020 experience.

  • 9 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • 9 nights 4 star and Special Class hotels
  • 1 night at the Dawn Service site
  • Guided sightseeing of Ephesus, Pergamum, Pammukale/Hierapolis and Cappadocia
  • Guided sightseeing of Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, Underground Cistern, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome area and Egyptian Spice Market
  • Guided sightseeing of Gallipoli, battlefields and war memorials (subject to site opening times set by the Anzac Day Organising Committee)
  • Visit to the Grand Bazaar
  • Cruise along Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul
  • English speaking, degree qualified Turkish tour guide
  • Airport arrival transfer on day 1 from Istanbul International Airport at any time, or from Sabiha Gokcen Airport at 11am and 3pm only
  • All relevant transfer and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles

NB - the following are not included:

-International flights and visa
-Attendance Pass for ANZAC. Please see the Trip Notes for information on how to obtain your attendance pass - these are free of charge but need to be registered for in advance
-Tip for your tour guide and driver: as a guideline we recommend you budget USD $5 - 7 per day, per traveller for your guide and USD $2 per day, per traveller for your driver. Tipping your tour guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture
-Entrance Fees: USD$130-140pp, paid in local currency

Melissa Jones 22-Jun-2016

Murat was a fabulous tour guide - the right mix of detailed information also mixed with personal and cultural information. He was very organised, extremely pleasant to deal with - nothing was ever a problem. He went above and beyond many times, serving us meals at some very bus restaurants to help out. The ancient sites were incredible - my only complaint was that I could not stay longer! Some of the hotels were not very comfortable but I think this being a very busy time with the Anzac Centenary there was a shortage of accommodation of this standard.

Rating: 5/5

Robyn & Nathan Harris 16-Jun-2016

Yesterday I received two hoodies regarding the celebration of the above mentioned Tour. I wish to thank you for your follow up of these items. On the tour our bus only had S, M, and a few L, which only fitted a few people. Disappointing at the time. Having received your correspondence previously regarding the tour (which I thought was excellent) I will now be shouting your praises as to the fact that your company followed through completing our experience of our holiday. And leaving us with a wonderful memento of our trip. Again many thanks and every success with your Tours of Turkey. Kind regards, Robyn Harris Mt. Waverley Vic. 3149

Rating: 5/5

Marissa Horton 19-May-2016

Metin was a fantastic guide! He was not only informative and knew so much about this history of the places we were visiting but was also hilarious and fun! We loved our time on the tour and don't think it would have been the same without Metin.

Rating: 5/5

David Rivett 09-Jun-2015

I thought the tour was great, we saw a lot of the country & Murat was a very good guide who made sure we were looked after and went out of his way to help u & to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. The only problem with the tour it was that it was NOT long enough, it would have been great to spend more time in soem places so we migth have to go back again in a few years to see it again.

Rating: 4/5

Melissa Suckley 18-May-2015

I had a fantastic time!! 2 weeks went by so fast because we were having such a good time, everyone on my tour (bus C) was friendly, on time, and easy to get along with. Loved all the sights we saw & felt very well looked after by tour guide & driver - had not travelled with on the go before, was very impressed with every aspect.

Rating: 4/5

Charmaine Keir-Ward 25-Apr-2015

Reggie was amazing, he was extremely informative, fun and nothing was to much trouble for him. He really made us feel very comfortable and safe. I loved all the local eating,I would never normally risk eating local food when travelling............I truly got to experience the entirety of Turkey. I am going to miss his cheeriness when I go home xxxxx

Rating: 5/5


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Touring with On The Go Tours

From a first foray into Egypt in 1998, On The Go Tours have expanded their operations to more than 60 countries, offering award-winning small group tours to destinations around the world. Their Middle East and North Africa portfolio now includes Jordan, Israel and Morocco, whilst other regions include Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent. From Machu Picchu in Peru to the extravagant Taj Mahal in India, On The Go Tours get you to the main sights of whichever destination you choose to visit. There’s also a range of special festival tours, Christmas and New Year adventures and much more, from overland adventures to luxury cruises. They always uncover some hidden gems too, be it canoeing to a local home for lunch in Sri Lanka or riding a rickshaw around the maze of Hutongs in Beijing, China.

With three different ranges of trips to choose from, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Signature tours are everything that makes On The Go Tours special, with local tour guides, small groups and a great quality of accommodationEssentials tours keep the costs down whilst still delivering true adventure, with a mixture of public transport in Japan and overland trucks in Central Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Whilst on their Handpicked tours, On The Go Tours work with local partners to deliver authentic experiences in amazing destinations, from Iceland to the Galapagos archipelago.

Sustainability and environmental awareness are also at the heart of On The Go Tours’ operations. Whether it’s planting trees in Cambodia, donating stationary to a school in India or funding the conservation of endangered Bengal tigers, protecting the regions they visit is at the forefront of the way they do business. Signature tours with On The Go Tours also make use of locally-run hotels and eateries wherever possible, and tour guides are mostly English-speaking locals. Overall, around 70% of travellers holiday funds remain in the destination visited.


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