Border Information: If joining in Istanbul, you will most likely enter Turkey at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IATA code: IST).There will be a pre-departure meeting at 10.00am - on arrival please look out for a note from your leader with more information about this important meeting. If you are travelling beyond Tbilisi, your tour leader will need to carefully check your visa situation for your entire trip. The afternoon will be free to explore the many sights of the incredible exotic city of Istanbul, including the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus River, Hagia Sophia and the phenomenal Blue Mosque!Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Istanbul before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales Team or your Sales agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Istanbul. * Important note - do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details. *
This morning following breakfast we will depart Istanbul and begin our journey to the shores of Gallipoli. After lunch we will get an insight into what happened between the ANZAC, Allied and Turkish forces during the first World War and have a guided tour of the Battlefields and Anzac Cove.
Today we will cross the Dardenelles by ferry and head to Helsik where we will do a short tour of the Troy Ruins. We will then continue onto Selcuk where we will be staying for two nights. In the evening we will have free time to explore the area or simply relax in one of the many cafes or tea bars which are great for people watching.
Today we will have a full day to be able to explore the Ephesus Ruins and Terraced Houses.
Following breakfast we will drive inland towards the small village of Pamukkale. After lunch we will have free time to visit the thermal hot springs and traverse through the travertine pools and terraces.
Today we continue our drive south and aim to reach the popular beach town of Olympos by lunchtime.This evening we will walk up to the Chimera Fire Mountain and toast some marshmallows
Today we will have time to explore and participate in any optional activities if you wish or simply take a dip in the cool turquoise waters on one of the many beaches.
After breakfast we will leave the beachside town of Olympos and make our way north. We will have an included visit of Termessos on the way before continuing our journey towards Egirdir where we will find a good spot to bush camp for the night. Depending on the time of year we may also stay in a local guesthouse.
We have an early start this morning to reach the small enchanting town of Goreme in the heart of the Cappadocia mountains. In Goreme we will stay in a well-equipped hostel - please note that dorm beds are generally used here.
Today will be a full day to explore Goreme, including a guided tour of the enchanted valley of Cappadocia. There will also be an opportunity for a magical optional balloon ride over the valley during your time here.. Weather permitting.
Today we continue our journey east with a full day's drive towards the Sumela monastery.We will break the journey with a wild camp near Zara or the village of Alucra.
Today we will reach the Sumela Monastery near the town of Macka, which we will visit in the afternoon if it is open.We will camp overnight in a campsite near Sumela if conditions allow. Or we may opt to stay in a local hotel in Macka or Trabzon.
Border Information: Exit Turkey at Sarp, enter Georgia at Sarpi.This morning we will continue to the border and cross into Georgia, reaching the port town of Batumi.
After a relaxing morning, we leave the port town of Batumi behind us and make our way to the ancient town of Kutaisi. This afternoon we will visit the medieval Bagrati Cathedral and the Gelati monastery.
Border Information: if joining in Tbilisi, you will most likely enter Georgia at Tbilisi International Airport (IATA code: TBS).There will be a pre-departure meeting at 6.00pm - please meet at the joining hotel reception at this time. Please do not be alarmed if there is no note from your leader on arrival, as this is often a travelling day for the crew and they will not arrive until about 4.00pm. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Tbilisi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales Team or your Sales Agent if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Tbilisi. *Important note - Please do not bring any medicines containing tramadol, codeine, temazepam, morphine or opiates to Central Asia. These are illegal in all circumstances in most of Central Asia and you will risk arrest. If in doubt about a particular medicine, please do not bring it. See the notes at the bottom for more details.*
Today we will visit the beautfiful old town of Tbilisi and visit sites including the National Museum, Sioni Cathedral and the Metekhi Temple.
This morning we will have a short drive to the border and cross into the country of Armenia. Once the formalities are over we will continue on through the beautiful Dilijan National Park stopping for a truck lunch along the way. Tonight we will either stay in the National Park or continue on to Lake Sevan where we will camp for the night
After breakfast we will leave the sparkling waters of Lake Sevan behind and make our way towards the city of Yerevan. On the way we will visit the World Heritage - listed Geghard Monastery which has been carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. We will also spend some time exploring the Garni Temple before finally arriving at our destination.
We have a free day today to explore the stunning city of Yerevan. Simply spend the time relaxing and soaking up the city atmosphere or perhaps do a walking tour of the city admiring the soviet architecture.
Today we leave the city of Yerevan. We will start off with a visit to the Khor Virap Monastery before we begin to make our way north through the beautiful Armenian Highland.Tonight we will wild camp in the Northern Armenian Highlands.
After packing up camp we continue north and head towards the Georgian border. We aim to arrive after lunch and if time permits have an included visit to the Vardzia Caves. If we arrive too late we will be able to explore the caves tomorrow morning also. Tonight we will find a wild camp in the valley close to the caves.
After breakfast we will make our way to Borjome National Park where we will have time to do a small hike through the ancient forest and an optional cable ride up the mountain. We will then continue on to Mtsehketa, the ancient capital of Georgia. Whilst here we will explore the 11th century Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.
Today our journey begins with a beautiful drive to the spectacularly located town of Stepantsminda (formerly known as Kazbegi). Either this afternoon or tomorrow morning, we will take a trek up to the Tsminda Sameba Chruch (the church of the Holy Trinity), a beautiful small church nestled in the mountains.
This morning we will drive to the Alazani valley and on to Telavi, where we will base ourselves for 2 days to explore the area.
The area of Telavi is well known for its vineyards and wineries - there are hundreds of different grapes grown here, and every village has its own particular variety. We will visit some of the local vineyards today, where we can hopefully see some of the local traditions including grape harvesting and wine making, and enjoy some famous Georgian hospitality.
Today we leave the wine region behind us as we make our way towards the Azerbaijan border. We will visit the Gremi citadel en route. We will wild camp tonight, most likely in the Lagodekhi National Park close to the Azeri border.
Border information: Exit Georgia at Lagodekhi, enter Azerbaijan at Balakan.Today we cross the border to Azerbaijan and continue to the old town of Sheki, where we can visit the exquisite Khan's Palace.
This morning we will continue on to Lahic Village. An old coppersmiths village, nestled in the mountains.
We will continue our journey this morning to Gobustan, near the coast of the Caspian Sea where we will have a visit to the ancient petroglyphs and the mud volanoes that this area is famous for. This afternoon we will continue on to the Old City of Baku where we will have free time on arrival to explore.
Border Information: If finishing in Baku, you will most likely exit Azerbaijan at Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport (IATA code: GYD).Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Baku. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact your sales agent if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.