Turkey & Malta: Empires & Outposts - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2020)

Contrast colourful histories and a beguiling mix of cultures in this rare combination of two fascinating European destinations.

Journey Overview

Contrast colourful histories and a beguiling mix of cultures in this rare combination of two fascinating European destinations. Peel back many thousands of years of history in Malta, which has more historic sights than any other country, and immerse yourself in the even more ancient heritage of Turkey. Both countries have been ruled by powerful civilisations, empires that have come and gone and left behind a unique legacy. Seek out what makes these destinations stand out from the rest when you explore some of the world’s most important archaeological sites, appreciate their rich artistic heritage and savour delightfully delicious food and wine thanks to a rich culinary bounty. 

Journey Highlights

  • Explore Valetta’s lavish architectural legacy from the Knights of St. John
  • Step back in time with a visit to the small island of Gozo
  • Discover the ancient tradition of winemaking at a tasting in Cappadocia
  • Wander through Turkey’s incredible rock cut churches and underground villages
  • Enjoy a private viewing of the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, Istanbul’s most famous sights, without the crowds
  • Walk in the footsteps of the ancients at Pergamon, Troy and Ephesus
  • Float along the mighty Bosphorus at sunset admiring the city skyline
  • Seek out spices, jewellery, carpets and more in the bazaars of Istanbul

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Valetta, Malta.

A private welcome to the Mediterranean and transfer to your hotel. Meet your Tour Director for a welcome briefing.
The Phoenicia Malta

Days 2-3: Valetta | Built by Gentlemen for Gentlemen.

Spend three fascinating days in and around Valetta, the Fortress City. Focusing on the city’s Baroque architecture, much of which was built by the Knights of St. John, explore the Old Town on foot and visit the infirmary erected in 1531 by the Knights.

Blend with the locals at the charming village of Marsaxlokk where colourful fishing vessels bob around the harbour in a vibrant display. Explore Mdina, the old capital city of Malta, founded nearly five millennia ago and stroll its narrow streets, admiring the magnificent honey-coloured houses and Cathedral.
The Phoenicia Malta | Meals: BLD (Day 2); BL (Day 3)

Day 4: Gozo | Homer’s island of Ogygia.

Travel back in time to Gozo, Malta’s sister island. Spend the day exploring this relaxed and laid-back place where life revolves around fishing and agriculture. Watch sea salt being collected in Marsalforn then visit a local dairy farm and the fortified citadel in Victoria. Soak up breathtaking island views before returning to Valetta.
The Phoenicia Malta | Meals: BL

Day 5: Cappadocia, Turkey | Land of Fairy Chimneys.

Fly to Istanbul and on to Kayseri in the heart of Cappadocia. Transfer to your hotel which has been converted from four rock-carved dwellings.
Argos | Meals: B

Days 6-7: Cappadocia | Design Your Day.

During your time in Cappadocia, get a proper perspective on the terrain from the air on a hot air balloon flight (additional cost). Explore the rock-carved churches of Goreme, which house some of the greatest medieval art in the world, and the enigmatic underground city of Kaymakli. Encounter artisan in a weaving village and potter’s workshop. Choose one of the following Design Your Day activities one afternoon:

  • Walk off lunch with a hike into the Red Valley admiring abandoned cave churches and the extraordinary landscape.
  • Saddle up for a ride through some of Cappadocia’s dramatic scenery in ‘the land of beautiful horses’.
  • Learn about Turkey’s 4,000-year-old wine heritage and taste some of the local varietals.

Soak up the views with sundowners and wine tasting on the terrace of your hotel.
Argos | Meals: BLD (Day 6); BL (Day 7)

Day 8: Izmir | Bazaars of ancient Smyrna.

Fly to Izmir. On arrival transfer into the city and explore the ruins of the agora, ancient Smyrna’s marketplace. Next, the Kemeralti Bazaar and picturesque Konak Square with its famous marble clock tower. Dine tonight at a wonderful seafood restaurant.
Swissotel Grand Efes | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Ephesus | Best-preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Step back thousands of years when you wander the streets of ancient Ephesus, one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites. Visit the site of the gigantic Temple of Diana and gain privileged access to the Terrace Houses to admire the beautiful mosaic floors and frescoed walls. Time also to take a seat at the ancient Theatre, admire the Library of Celsus as well as the public baths, the Arcadian Way, Marble Street and more.
Swissotel Grand Efes | Meals: BL

Day 10: Pergamon | Ancient Centre of Power & Learning.

Travel to the ancient hilltop city of Pergamon where excavations have revealed a number of impressive ruins including the altar, which now resides in Berlin, and the impressive medical complex, Asclepion, one of the most important healing and therapeutic centres of the Roman world.
Manici House | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Gallipoli & Troy | Battlegrounds Ancient & Modern.

Drive through pine and olive clad hills admiring glorious Aegean views on the way to the enigmatic site of Troy which you’ll have time to wander through before crossing the legendary Dardanelles Strait by ferry to Gallipoli, where British, ANZAC and Commonwealth troops landed in April 1915 in what became the most infamous campaign of World War I. Time at Anzac Cove is certain to inspire emotion as you visit some of the impressively maintained Commonwealth military cemeteries. Continue to Istanbul and your hotel overlooking the Bosphorus.
Four Seasons at the Bosphorus | Meals: BL 

Day 12: Istanbul | City on Two Continents.

Start off before the crowds with privileged access to the timeless Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture, and the incredible Topkapi Palace. Wander through this astonishing Ottoman complex admiring the breathtaking grounds, terraces, palace halls and exhibits. Cross the Golden Horn, and explore the modern heart of Istanbul, Pera, on foot. Stand atop the ancient Galata Tower for a 360-degree view of this astonishingly beautiful city before a coffee stop at the fabled Pera Palace Hotel.
Four Seasons at the Bosphorus | Meals: BL

Day 13: Istanbul | Design Your Day.

This morning transfer to the periphery of the ancient city to view the world’s most impressive City Walls. Just inside the ancient walls, enjoy a private visit the Chora Church, which is known to be one of the world’s richest repositories of Byzantine mosaic work and frescoes, before marvelling at the 6th century Basilica Cistern and the Byzantine Hippodrome. This afternoon, choose one of the following: Design Your Day activities.

  • Take a ferry ride across the Bosphorus to Kadikoy on the Asian side to explore the market and local eateries.
  • Discover art through the ages when you visit Istanbul Archaeological Museum and The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.
  • Meet master craftsmen for a hands-on art class in marbling, pottery, calligraphy or painting.

Four Seasons at the Bosphorus | Meals: BL

Days 14-15: Istanbul | East meets West.

Spend a further two days in Istanbul discovering thousands of years of history. Stop by the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque, which dominates the city skyline, and wander through the 3,500 shops of the wonderful Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar whose vaulted rooms display fragrant herbs, spices, sweet treats and savoury delights. Explore the 19th century Dolmabahce Palace, the largest and the finest example of the Ottoman New Baroque in the city, then pause at the Maritime Museum to see the old royal barges and naval artifacts. Afterwards, visit the galleries of Nisantasi or take a traditional Turkish hammam.

On your final evening board a private boat for a sundowner cruise on the Bosphorus taking in the majestic skyline of Istanbul bathed in golden hues. Relive your journey at tonight’s farewell dinner.

Four Seasons at the Bosphorus | Meals: B (Day 14); BLD (Day 15)

Day 16: Depart Istanbul.

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Maximum Group Size: 18

Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions

All accommodation as detailed on a double/ twin share basis with private facilities; meals as specified; bottled water during transfers and touring; airport welcome; assistance with luggage and group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle; services of one English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director throughout; economy flights only if specified as included in itinerary, all entrance fees, planning, handling, operational and communication charges, all tipping.

Tour Exclusions

International flights not specified as included, visas, insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip; items of a purely personal nature such as drinks, laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges; transfers, sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary; excess baggage charges 

Tailor Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, talk to your A&K travel specialist or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke journey for your, or a small group.

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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 11, 2020 - Sep 26, 2020
Price AU$17,990pp Single Supplement AU$4,750 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Oct 9, 2020 - Oct 24, 2020
Price AU$17,990pp Single Supplement AU$4,750 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire

Availability shown here is updated weekly and indicative only. Availability on any product or journey shown here is not specific to a category of travel and may not denote availability at the cheapest ‘From’ price. For real time availability, talk to your travel agent or call Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800.


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