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Pick up from your hotel in Istanbul and drive to Gallipoli. The whole peninsula is a poignant and highly emotive reminder of the lives lost in the 1915 World War I campaign. Visit Kapatepe Museum with relics from the campaign such as the dairies and letters of soldiers; Brighton beach, the intended landing place; Anzac Cove, the landing place of the first wave of Australian and New Zealand troops; Lone Pine, the Australian memorial; Johnston’s Jolly with Allied and Turkish trenches and tunnels, and Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand memorial. Overnight stay on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
After breakfast drive to Assos and see the Temple of Athena and the theatre overlooking the Greek Island of Lesbos. Continue down to the quaint old harbour for lunch. Spend the night in a village at the foot of Mount Ida.
Drive to Bergama to visit the site of ancient Pergamon. Here, take a cable car up to the imposing Acropolis and steep amphitheatre perched on the hill above the town. See the Red Church and the Asclepion, the famous ancient centre of healing. The town of Bergama is relatively untouched by tourism and some locals still use horse and cart for transportation. Early evening arrival and overnight stay in picturesque Sirince. Sirince is formerly a Greek village which famously produces its own wine. Sample the local wines on your terrace while dining on home cooked specialities.
Ephesus is probably the best known historical site in Turkey. The road from Sirince winds down the hills to the town of Selcuk where storks nest on crumbling columns and minarets. Ephesus is nearby and you will spend the day walking its marble streets, visiting the bath house, brothel, amphitheatre and fabulous Celsus Library. In Selcuk you can visit the small museum housing artefacts from Ephesus, and at the nearby Nightingale Mountain visit the small chapel devoted to the Virgin Mary who supposedly lived there for a time. Overnight in Sirince.
A leisurely departure and a stop en route at the village of Kapikiri at Lake Bafa. The village offers breathtaking views of the lake and islands, and is built amongst ancient Roman ruins. This area and the surrounding mountains are steeped in legend while the lake and nature reserve is home to an abundant wildlife including flamingos, pelicans and cormorants.