For more than 2,000 years Alexander the Great has excited the imagination of people around the globe. This archaeological tour in Turkey is a unique opportunity to retrace his footsteps across Asia Minor, the first leg of his extraordinary 22,000 mile journey. Along the way you’ll explore many of the country’s most fascinating and best preserved ancient and cultural sites, see some of its most striking and beautiful landscapes, savour many of the highlights of Turkish cuisine and stay in some delightful, characterful and charming small hotels.
Join this remarkable historical tour escorted by Peter Sommer, who in 1994 walked 2,000 miles across Anatolia, from Troy to the battlefield of Issus, retracing Alexander the Great’s march in Turkey. Who better to lead you on Alexander’s route than someone who has walked the entire distance!
Travelling back through time we’ll delve into Alexander’s personality and the lives of the people that inhabited his tumultuous world. This is a true archaeological and cultural voyage. Following in Alexander’s footsteps on the first leg of his journey across Turkey we travel from Istanbul to ancient Halicarnassus, modern day Bodrum and site of one of seven wonders of the ancient world. On this epic tour we’ll discover the history and architecture of the cities on Alexander’s route and much else besides, including the key sites of the Gallipoli peninsula witness to the fateful campaign during the First World War.
Turkey is rich with Alexander’s legacy: Troy, where Alexander ran naked around Achilles’ tomb; Sardis, kingdom of Croesus once famed as the richest man in the world; Ephesus, one of the best preserved classical cities in the world; and Apollo’s great oracular temple at Didyma, where we’ll stand below monumental marble columns and stroll along the sacred way. You’ll traverse magnificent landscapes, enjoy fabulous Turkish food and stay in beautiful accommodation
This inspirational historical tour is a tale of romance, war and power, an amazing expedition full of unforgettable vistas and historical highlights. Won’t you join us for this once in a lifetime archaeological adventure?
It is a place that has beckoned travellers, traders, and colonists for millennia, a superb route by land and sea – others besides Alexander saw it as a stepping-stone to conquest. Most famously in the Dardanelles conflict of a century ago, when Churchill’s plan to force the Dardanelles descended into tragedy. We’ll see the rugged, impossible terrain, the flanks of hill to which the Allies clung and the bright white memorials they’ve left under the peninsula’s blue skies. We arrive at our hotel for a fine meal. Asia’s coast awaits us.
Troy goes beyond the city’s Fall – we have a site that saw the earliest Bronze Age and classical Greece come and go, while still having Alexander himself and a Roman city in its future. We revel in this exceptional site and its acclaimed new museum before visiting the burial mounds scattered in a loose halo around it, including the ‘Tumulus of Achilles’ and maybe sparing a thought for Hector, tamer of horses.
The road from Priene takes us to its larger neighbour with which it had a quarrelsome and troubled relationship, the great ancient city of Miletus. A powerhouse of early Ionia, it dared to refuse Alexander admission, drawing on itself a viciously contested siege until the Macedonians battered the city into submission. Its great theatre and agoras speak of its broken power.
From there, we come to Carian Iasos, one of the prettiest sites in Turkey, fringed with fine tombs and with a lonely Byzantine tower standing sentinel in the midst of the waters below. In these waters, it was said, a boy swam with dolphins, and Alexander made him priest of the god Poseidon.
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Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Istanbul Ataturk
Departure Airport – Bodrum Milas
Check in time at your hotel in Istanbul is after 14:00 so we recommend choosing a flight that arrives mid to late afternoon. Check out time from your hotel in Bodrum is 10:00 am. We will arrange local transfers from Istanbul Airport and to Bodrum Airport on the first and last day of the tour.
Where possible we try to use smaller, family run, boutique hotels with character rather than large chain establishments. Almost all of the hotels are of a very high standard. When we are staying in less well visited areas we use the best hotel available in the area.
The cheapest way to book flights is directly with the airline online.
Please note: Flights are subject to change. Please contact the airline for exact details.
If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.
Travel insurance is a requirement of our booking conditions and we recommend you investigate the options thoroughly to make sure that your trip is properly covered. Please be advised some insurers may require you to take out a policy within 15-20 days of booking your holiday to receive all of their insurance benefits.
Visas are easily obtained online at eVisa and must be purchased before you travel.
From 2 March 2020, British nationals travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes will no longer need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
If you are thinking of extending your trip to Turkey to include visits to Cappadocia, Ephesus, Istanbul or further afield, please contact our office for further information.