Perhaps because it is fronted by seas on three sides, many visitors think of Turkey as a seaside sun and sand destination. In fact, since Turkey is about the same size as France or Texas, there’s a lot more than just beaches… And an extension tour with ITS is the perfect way to discover all that lies beyond the coast. After all, with your cruise, you will have had a chance to see the charms of Istanbul, the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, so rounding out the experience with a trip into Turkey’s historic heartland is the perfect way to get a real, firsthand and in-depth experience of Turkey’s over 3,500 years of history and cultural diversity.
Places of Interest
Ancient Ionia… These cities on the coast and just in from the coast were some of the Ancient Greeks’ most important centers of learning and trade. Homer, Herodotus and Heraclitus, just to scan the H’s, were all from Ionia, and its cities, today part of Turkey, were home to several of the Wonders of the Ancient World.
The magical moonscape of Cappadocia… Where you will see fairy chimneys, exotic rock formations sculpted over the millennia by the hand of nature, some of the Byzatines’ finest frescoes, labyrinthine subterranean cities almost 1,000 years old, vineyards where some of the world’s first wine was produced that still produce award-winning vintages, as well as majestic scenery, traditional pottery making, carpet-weaving and more.
The Black Sea Coast… This ruggedly beautiful and breathtakingly green landscape has been home to a succession of civilizations and today boasts fine medieval Georgian churches, the famed hilltop Sumela Monastery and Trabzon, once the capital of the Byzantine free city Triebezond. Today, it produces tea, hazelnuts and is an important center of both handicrafts and folk dancing and music.
Central Anatolia… Ruled for centuries by the Hittites, this area contains the world’s best preserved remains of that empire. From the enormous Hittite capital at Chatalhoyuk to lonely outposts, the Hittites left their mark on this land. And following the Hittites, this was the route of the famed Silk Road, linking China to the West overland. For centuries, courageous traders plied this route laden with precious cargoes of spices, silk and more.
The Southeast… A land of hills and mountains, where, as a Turkish saying goes, “the earth is iron and the sky is copper”. This is the land where Mesopotamia flourished, where the Assyrians ruled and where the armies of the Persians and of Alexander the Great of Macedonia clashed. It is the land where Noah’s ark was said to have come aground on Mount Ararat and where, on Nemrut Mountain, a late Hellenistic king built a monumental tomb and temple… To himself, as well as to his fellow Olympians!
Custom designed Extension Tours from ITS offer you the chance to discover and explore the magic of history and the splendid and spectacular landscape of Turkey. And, of course, you will enjoy the finest accommodations, transportation in fully climate-controlled coaches with restrooms, plus the services of professional licensed guides. So, come on a voyage of discovery, with ITS.