Karaca Arboretum
Karaca Arboretum
NEW FOR 2021

Gardens and Archaeology of Turkey

Tulip Mania swept through Holland in the early 17th century when Manisa tulips were exported from Turkey to Europe. The price of tulip bulbs rose to extraordinary levels before crashing dramatically. A form of Tulip Mania continues in Turkey today, but only in terms of the vast numbers of tulips to be seen in the parks and gardens of the vibrant city of Istanbul.

After enjoying this spectacle we tour the Anatolian countryside on our way to the coast, visiting an excellent arboretum, a National Park, which is home to scores of rare plants, and the slopes of Spil Mountain, the origin of those Manisa tulips. We will also take the opportunity to explore some of the peerless archaeological sites found here in Anatolia, such as Assos, with its impressive theatre, and Ephesus, the largest classical city to have been excavated.

What's included?

  • Accommodation
  • Services of a professional tour manager
  • Meals - as per the itinerary
  • Comfortable coach travel throughout

Led by...

Colin Crosbie

Colin Crosbie Tour Manager

Colin Crosbie was the Head Gardener to Her Majesty The Queen Mother in Windsor prior to taking up the position of Curator at RHS Garden Wisley. His extensive horticultural knowledge and experience coupled with his good humour have established him as one of Brightwater’s most popular guides.

Full Price
$2,255

Today's Price
$2,120

Saving
$135

Deposit: $270 Single supplement: $670

Tour highlights:

  • Visits to two of the gardens hosting the Istanbul Tulip Festival
  • Karaca Arboretum, filled with majestic specimen trees
  • Botanising on the slopes of Mount Ida and Mount Spil
  • Exploring the outstanding archaeological sites of Assos and Ephesus
  • Olive oil and wine tasting

Tour details

Dates April 20 2021 - April 27 2021
Duration 8 days
Cost
Full Price
$2,255
Today's Price
$2,120
Saving
$135
Deposit: $270 Single supplement: $670 Balance due by January 26 2021
Activity Level
Tour code BTKY210420

Book Now or call 1-800-782-0295 if you have any questions

April 20 2021: Itinerary

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our hotel, where dinner is served in the evening.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Armada Istanbul Old City Hotel

We spend the day touring a selection of parks and gardens in Istanbul and along the Bosphorus.

Crossing to the Asian side of Istanbul we explore Nezahat Gokyigit Botanic Garden, an unexpected oasis amongst the towering high-rise blocks and motorways that surround it. To date, more than 50,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in this 50-hectare park, which aspires to establish the largest collection of oaks in the world. A section of the garden is devoted to scented plants and there is also a rock and screen garden.

Going back to the European side, Emirgan Park is one of the largest urban parks in Istanbul with Europe’s biggest grotto, and as a venue for the Tulip Festival the park will present a very colourful sight. The park is also home to the world’s biggest Tulip Museum, which we will visit.

We conclude today at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, one of the most interesting private museums of Istanbul, dedicated to calligraphic art, religious and state documents, as well as paintings of the Ottoman era. It also has a beautifully designed garden which we will visit.

Later we return to hotel, and if time allows we also plan to visit nearby Gulhane Park, another of the venues for the Tulip Festival.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: Armada Istanbul Old City Hotel

We leave Istanbul this morning and visit the Karaca Arboretum in Yalova, which was started in 1980 and has matured into an excellent arboretum with some fine specimen trees. Turkey’s premier arboretum contains some 7000 woody plants and a large collection of herbaceous plants and bulbs and won an International Dendrology award in 2004. Particular strengths are acers, of which there are 150 varieties, along with Prunus (65 varieties), Pinus (146 varieties) and Quercus (153 varieties including the 16 endemic to Turkey).

We continue west to Assos, where we stay for the next two nights.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Assos Kervansaray Hotel, Çanakkale

We spend the morning exploring Kazdagi (Mount Ida) National Park, where there are some 900 species from 101 plant families. There are at least 68 rare plants special to Turkey and 23 endemic to the park itself. It is also home to animals such as bear, boar, wolf, roe deer, foxes and martens and the landscape is one of exceptional beauty. As with its namesake in Crete, Mount Ida is associated with the ‘mother-goddess’ of pre-Greek mythology and is said to be where Zeus, who was born on the Cretan Ida, abducted Ganymede to Olympia.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: Assos Kervansaray Hotel, Çanakkale

Today we head for Izmir, breaking our journey with some time botanizing on the slopes of Spil Mountain. The main species of trees here are pine, juniper, poplar, walnut, elm and oak, 20 of which have been determined by scientific research as endangered. Also found in this area are the Manisa tulips, which gave their name to a period of the Ottoman Empire and were subsequently taken to Europe, sparking the Tulip Mania of the early 17th century. Just like Mount Ida, the area is rich in myths, and may have been named for Cybele, wife of the god Kronos.

We continue to Izmir, where we will stay for our final three nights.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Izmir

We travel to Urla this morning, about half an hour from Izmir and under the radar of most tourists. We visit a secluded plantation that has some of the largest collections of plant species in Europe, with over 58 varieties of palms, various types of conifers, cacti, aromatic plants, broad leaved trees and olive trees, some of which date back 1,000 years. Here we will enjoy a tasting of the delicious olive oil they produce.

A further treat for the taste buds awaits as we visit one of the boutique vineyards of Urla and have a tasting of the wine which has been produced here since the 4th millennium BC.

Returning to Izmir, it is hoped that we will visit a private garden here.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Izmir

Today we visit Ephesus, the largest ancient city to have been excavated. In ancient times, the city was home to another of the Temples of Artemis, this one being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. With a one-time population of 300,000 people, the focal point of the ruins is the enormous Amphitheatre, which can still hold 24,000 spectators. A stroll along the marble covered streets will lead us to gymnasia, bath houses, public latrines and the library of Celsus. St Paul stayed here in 51-53 AD and wrote some of his Epistles here, but the destruction of Ephesus by the Goths in 263AD marked the decline of this splendid city.

We then visit Şirince, a beautiful old Greek village surrounded by orchards and gardens on top of a hill close to Ephesus, said to have been founded by freed Greek slaves after Ephesus was abandoned. We will visit a local carpet and rug co-operative, producing traditional Turkish designs.

Meals include: Breakfast

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Izmir

After breakfast we will transfer to the Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport in time for our return flights home.

Alternatively, we can arrange an extension in Istanbul should you wish to spend a few days exploring the many sights of this bustling capital city, such as the Basilica of St Sophia, the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque – prices on request.

Meals include: Breakfast

April 20 2021: Additional Info

April 20 2021: Accommodation

The Armada hotel is situated in Istanbul. It has a large terrace, surrounded by the views of the Marmara Sea, Kadikoy and Princes' Islands on one side, and the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia on the other, it is the perfect setting to stay in Istanbul.

Rooms at the hotel are equipped with a king size bed, minibar, TV and air conditioning. There is a restaurant and bar and also a boat at the premises.

Assos Kervansaray Hotel is situated in Çanakkale. The hotel has 44 rooms, 4 suites and 110 beds. The hotel has two dining rooms for up to 80 and 120 people and a breakfast room for 200 people.

The rooms include free Internet, Direct dial telephone, balcony, air conditioning, radio, television, satellite connection and minibar. 

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Izmir is a modern hotel close to the centre of Izmir. The rooms are stylishly furnished and are very comfortable. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, spa and an outdoor pool on the roof terrace. The rooms have the facilities you would expect of a modern hotel and Wi-Fi is available throughout.

April 20 2021: Enquiries

Enquiry Form

Contact Us

I agree to my data being processed in accordance with the Brightwater Holidays

Related Tours

Activity Level
Duration
7 days
Price from
$1,750
Next date
May 20 2021
Activity Level
Duration
4 days
Price from
$1,645

Newsletter