The Rise and Fall of Empires: A History of Western Turkey by Land and Sea

28 May - 12 Jun 2022
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

This fascinating tour delves into the history of Turkey with a focus on the great empires that rose and fell in this area - in particular, the great Ottoman Empire. Noted historian and writer Giles Milton - author of 'Paradise Lost', which follows the last days of the Ottoman Empire, especially the fall of Smyrna - will be your speaker during this journey. Giles will combine his specialist knowledge on Turkey, the fall of Smyrna and Winston Churchill with his personal skill at bringing history to life.

Travel from the fascinating, multi layered city of Istanbul to Bodrum, taking a 7-night cruise on a lovely gulet on the way. Visit key sites in both ancient and modern history including Gallipoli, Pergamum, Ephesus and Didyma, and deepen your understanding of this part of the world during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, which coincided with the establishment of modern Turkey.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Speaker - Giles Milton

Speaker - Giles Milton

Giles Milton is the is the internationally best-selling author of nine works of narrative non-fiction including 'Nathaniel's Nutmeg', 'Big Chief Elizabeth', 'Samurai William', 'The Riddle and the Knight', 'White Gold', 'Paradise Lost', 'Wolfram', 'Russian Roulette', 'Fascinating Footnotes from History'. his most recent work is 'Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare'. He is also the author of three novels, 'The Perfect Corpse', 'According to Arnold' and 'Edward Trencom's Nose'.

Giles Milton’s book 'Nathaniel’s Nutmeg' is currently under option in America for a major TV series while his most recent title, 'Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare' is also under option.

His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and have been serialised on both the BBC and in British newspapers.

The Times described Milton as being able ‘to take an event from history and make it come alive’, while The New York Times said that Milton’s ‘prodigious research yields an entertaining, richly informative look at the past.

Milton's works of narrative history rely on personal testimonies, diaries, journals and letters to tell the story of key moments in history, recounted through the eyes of those who were there.

Giles Milton will be a specialist speaker on this cruise, accompanied by a full time national guide.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Istanbul (Sat, 28 May)
    Arrive in Istanbul.
  • Day 2: Istanbul (Sun, 29 May)
    Sightseeing of historical Istanbul including the Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Roman cisterns, the spice bazaar and the Grand Bazaar. Welcome dinner in the evening.
  • Day 3: Istanbul (Mon, 30 May)
    Sightseeing encompassing the last days of the Ottoman Court. Visit Topkapi Palace. Take an afternoon cruise on the Bosphorus past Beylerbeyi Palace, an imperial summer residence during the late Ottoman era, and end at the Pera Palace Hotel.
  • Day 4: Istanbul / Çanakkale (Tue, 31 May)
    Drive to Canakkale. Visit Troy and the new Troy museum. Board the gulet in the evening.
  • Day 5: Çanakkale / Kabatepe (Wed, 1 June)
    Visit the Maritime Museum, which contains ships from the Gallipoli campaign. Sail to Kabatepe.
  • Day 6: Kabatepe (Anzac Cove)/ Bozcaada
    Early morning excursion to the beaches of Gallipoli and tour the battlefield. Cruise the Gallipoli coast. Depart for the Island Bozcaada and see the Genovese Castle. Arrive and explore this former Greek Island, known for its vineyards and local wines. Enjoy dinner ashore with wine tasting.
  • Day 7: Bozcaada / Assos / Ayvalik
    Cruise to the attractive small port of Assos. Lunch in the bay. Option to disembark by tender and explore Assos and the archaeological site with wonderful views of Lesbos. Sail to Ayvalik past Lesbos and hear talks about the Australian and British Hospital Ships in WW1 and WW2 and the Sapphic Poets.
  • Day 8: Ayvalik / Foca (Sat, 4 June)
    Tour of the spectacular site of Pergamon, which towers one thousand feet above the surrounding countryside. Visit the Aesclepion, the world’s first complete health spa and the magnificent Acropolis. Cruise to Foca and overnight.
  • Day 9: Izmir (Sun, 5 June)
    Sail to Izmir talks on Smyrna and  the evacuation. Disembark at Izmir and visit the historic Levantine suburb of Bournabat, home of the grand Levantine families. Dinner at a classical Levantine restaurant in Bournabat.
  • Day 10: Izmir / Çeşme (Mon, 6 June)
    Morning at leisure. Sail into the clear waters and sandy beaches of Çeşme, overlooked by Çeşme Castle, built by the Ottomans as protection from the Venetians.
  • Day 11: Çeşme / Kuşadasi (Tues, 7 June)
    Sail along the attractive coast to Kuşadasi and spend the rest of the day at leisure.
  • Day 12: Kuşadasi (Wed, 8 June)
    Visit the great ancient site of Ephesus including the restored Basilica of St John, the amphitheatre, the Library of Celsus. Walk along streets in one of the greatest cities of the ancient world and see ordinary homes decorated with with mosaics and frescoes. Visit Seljuk the Archaeological Museum and continue to visit the former Greek village of Sirince.
  • Day 13: Kuşadasi / Didyma (Thur, 9 June)
    Sail to Didyma, passing through the Straits of Samos. Afternoon at leisure to explore the lovely pine forest coast.
  • Day 14: Didyma / Bodrum (Fri, 10 June)
    Visit the classical site of Miletus and explore the ancient Greek Sanctuary of Didyma, a huge, intricate temple devoted to the oracle to Apollo alongside temples dedicated to Artemis and other deities. Sail to Bodrum, the site of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, a wonder the ancient world, as well as the home of Herodotus, known as 'the father of history'.
  • Day 15: Bodrum (Sat, 11 June)
    Disembark and visit Bodrum Castle, an impressive Crusader citadel which overlooks Bodrum Harbour. Transfer to the Marina Vista Hotel in the afternoon. Farewell dinner.
  • Day 15: Bodrum (Sun, 12 June)
    Depart Bodrum

Tour cost

Ground only price excluding international flights and transfers is US $4,662 per person sharing

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