Troy - Çanakkale

Ancient Troy is famous for the legendary Trojan Horse from the times of an equally legendary couple: Helen and Paris. The remains of the city were excavated by Heinrich Schliemann, a German archeologist who used Homer’s Iliad to locate the site, and who also took all of the invaluable treasures he found there back to Germany with him. Homer had immortalized Troy with his immortal narration of the stories of King Priam, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. Excavations revealed nine separate periods (layers) of settlement. The ruins include a temple, a theater and foundations. Today, a recent wooden copy of the famous Trojan Horse symbolically stands on the site to recall its legendary original since long vanished.


The Acropolis of Pergamum, built by the Greeks and later expanded by the Romans, boasted one of the largest libraries in the ancient world. The Theater, the Altar of Zeus and the Temples of Tragion and Athena can be visited. To the south of the Acropolis lies the Asclepieum, known as the world’s first health center, a sanctuary to the God of Medecine, Asclepions.


Near the busy port of Kusadasi, you can visit Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia, which remains to be one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world.

During the golden age of the Roman Empire (2nd century A.D.), Ephesus was an important commercial and cultural center. The protectress of the city was Artemis, the Goddess whose temple was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Ephesians were still worshipping Artemis when St. Paul came to the city to win converts; then St. John arrived accompanied by Virgin Mary who spend the last days of her life in a small house near Ephesus. Today, the majority of the ruins are beautifully restored and one can visit a complete city including the Arcadian Way, the Great Theater (for 125,000 spectators), the Marble Road, the Celsius Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Trojan Fountain, the Gymnasium. The tour also includes a visit to the House of Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St. John.


Priene was founded in 350 B.C. on the Ionian coast by the inhabitants of an abandoned Ionian city of the same name. Its chessboard layout is the oldest example of city planning, thus making Priene one of the most interesting Hellenistic cities. Sightseeing includes many well-preserved monuments including the Temple, Theater, Parliement House and many private houses of the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.


One of the most crowded ancient cities with a population of 80,000–100,000, Miletus was an important commercial center in Ionia. It was also the home city of the 6th century B.C.–philosophers Anaximander, Anaximanes and Thales, and that of Hippodamus, one of the earliest town planners, and of architect Isidorus. The remains of a large Theater, the Agora and the Stadium can be visited.


The word “didyma” meant “twins” and was associated by some as being the meeting place of Zeus and Leto to have their twin children Apollo and Artemis. It is a sanctuary dedicated to Apollo.

Pamukkale & Hierapolis

The name translates as the “Cotton Castle” and so it seems as you approach across the valley where calcareous Hot Springs descending over hundred meters have created fascinating travertine in the form of white terraces and basins. The thermal water has been famous since Roman times for its therapeutic powers. Situated on the plateau are both the thermal pools and the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis known for its well-preserved Necropolis.


Famous throughout the ancient world for its magnificent Temple of Aphrodite, Aphrodisias is undoubtedly the most spectacular city of Caria; it is the home of the greatest sculpturing school of antiquity. Among the recently excavated ruins are a well-preserved Stadium with 20,000 seats, the Odeum and parts of the famous temple.

The earliest settlements in Aphrodisias go as far back as the Bronze Age. Various soundings on the slopes of the acropolis have revealed evidence that the city goes back to a very early period; finds dating from the 3rd millennium B.C. have been unearthed. During the Roman period, Aphrodisias reached the apex of its wealth and fame. It had become by then a highly respected city, exempt from taxes and enjoying religious privileges. The city produced many great works of sculpture, literature and medicine.


By reading a clay tablet discovered in Bogazkoy, it was understood that Perge had existed during the Hittite period under the name “Parha”. The city was first captured by Alexander the Great and it was dominated by the Seluokos, the Kingdom of Pergamum and Rome respectively. The excavations, which were started here in 1946, are being continued today. Its Theater of Hellenistic-Roman type which was constructed in the 2nd century is capable of accommodating 15,000 people. Here, the gladiator fights had taken place during the late Roman period. The famous City Walls of Perge, fortified by towers, belong to the Hellenistic Period; the statues belonging to the Gate with three entrances are exhibited at the Museum of Antalya today.


The city, founded by colonists who came from Argos, has the best-preserved ancient theater in Turkey. This world-famous theater, dedicated to Emperor Markus Aurelius, is without doubt one of the most magnificent Roman buildings in Pamphylia and it is still useable today with a seating capacity of 20,000 people. Coins minted in the 4th and 5th centuries B.C. give the city’s name as Estwediya. Aspendos had the distinction of being the only city besides Side that coined money in its own name at that early period. The city includes also a Stadium and a Gymnasium as well as Baths, Fountains, and magnificent Aqueducts.


Cappadocia is the ancient name of a remarkable region in Central Anatolia. It is a geological wonderland and can be viewed from three aspects, namely natural, historical and religious. The unusual and exciting formation of Cappadocia has had this appearance for millions of years as a result of gradual erosion of volcanic tufa. The region’s history goes back to the 19th century B.C., starting with the Assyrian traders. Then between 1750-1200 B.C., lower Hittite Kingdom was formed in Cappadocia, followed by the Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Turkish periods. Christianity came early to Cappadocia. St. Paul passed through Cappadocia on the way to Ankara and Aegina. It is estimated that there are more than 600 rock-cut churches in Cappadocia. Sightseeing in Cappadocia includes: the Seljuk Caravanserai from the 13th century, the Fairy Chimneys, Goreme Valley, a complex of rock chapels and churches covered with frescoes, an underground city made to accommodate several thousands of early Christians escaping from persecution, Zelve and Avanos Valleys and the natural citadel of Uchisar offering a splendid view of the valleys of Cappadocia.

Appreciated Appreciations

You are truly a gentlemen and I can see the passion you have for what you do. Not many people in our industry have the same passion.

CARLOS SANDOVAL / / CMP Senior Planner, Meeting Services / International Division

In all honesty and from the bottom of my heart, you are definitely the best DMC in the world – the passion and pleasure you pass onto your clients and groups is unsurpassed!

David, Pieter and the Winners Team / /

Aquick note of thanks for the incredible site tour a week ago. Christian and I thoroughly enjoyed you hospitality and wonderful history lessons. The power shopping was most excellent too. We fell in love with Turkey, in large part thanks to you.

Belinda Adkisson / Intel /

On behalf of British Submariners I would like to convey our congratulations on the 48th Convention, which enjoyed by all. It was well planned and successful and I hope that you will take credit for a job well done.

James C S Blakely / International Submariners Association /

The EASL Monothematic Conference was a huge success and we have received wonderful feedback from the BMS Leadership and the meeting participants. I attribute Much of the success of the program to your precise, detailed advance and on-site planning and the exemplary on-site execution of Dalim. Dalim orchestrated the on-site events with skill, ease and professionalism and was a pleasure each and every day we worked with him.

Joann Kerns / Bristol Myers Squibb /

There are no words to express our gratitude for your gracious hospitality, your time spent with us and your willingness to share your comprehensive knowledge of your city with us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Rebecca Linder / Linder & Associates Inc Event Architects /

As always everything was prepared spotless! And personally I had a great time too. It was a great pleasure seeing you again, Mustafa. Istanbul is definately one of my favorite cities and you are a big part of it.

Pawel Clapak / Nu Horizons / Groups & Events Coordinator

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication throughout the planning and execution of our event. You went above and beyond in speaking to our group and making them feel welcome, comfortable and educated. I know that we can be demanding, so know that you and your team did a remarkable job in exceeding our expectations.

Malissa Bastone / American Express Company / Manager - Executive Meetings & Events

From the minute I started working on this event, I was in great hands. Mustafa was HONEST and GENEROUS from the beginning and when I finally met him and lsil, I felt as if I was with an old friend. He treated our attorneys and our event as if it were their own. We were not treated as clients by them, they treated us like family. I cannot begin to tell you what an absolute pleasure it was seeing them every day and working with them. Not only did they introduce Chadbourne and me to a beautiful rich country with a lovely warm culture, but they helped make our event 100% perfect. I was asked how I was going to top this event. I was also asked how I was able to plan such an event from New York without seeing Istanbul, any of the sites and even the hotel, and I said - I had wonderful partners - Universal Travel.

Michelle Shirian / Chadbourne & Parke LLP /

Thank you so much for EVERYTHING you did to help make our tour to Turkey such a big success. Your support and assistance is greatly appreciated and valued. The group really enjoyed their tour and we now have another 32 disciples who will spread the word about Turkey for us.

Rob Chaplin / The Golf Travel Company /

It is such a pleasure to work with you. Your customer service is outstanding and I never have to worry when you are in charge. It is so nice to work with someone who is so detailed and on top of all aspects as you. I cannot wait to work with you again in the fall.

Rachel Stevens / MBM Productions /

On behalf of the Rosebank Union Church group I want to thank you most sincerely for all you did to make our tour of Turkey unforgettable. I came home not only with a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, particularly those relating to the Seven Churches, but also with an appreciation of and admiration for the country of Turkey. I was particularly fascinated by Istanbul, and hope to spend more time there in the future exploring the riches of that most fascinating city. I also loved the fertile valleys through which we travelled, the sight of the snow-capped mountains, and the friendliness of the people we met as we walked the streets of those smaller towns along the way.

Leigh Robinson / Rosebank Union Church /

Moreover, the history of Turkey is impressive, not only the recent history but the ancient history which confirms the history of our Bible. I have not visited Greece, Israel or Italy or other countries mentioned in the Bible but think that Turkey is more central to the history of the Bible.We are also amazed at Turkey and what it achieved. It is evident that this would not happen without sound work ethics and commitment by the whole population.

Piet Zeeman / /

Local drinks & Turkish food was really tasty and all the sightseeing (incl. Hamam & boat trip & Night Club visit) were really good for team spirit. We don't have any issues or complains at all — lovely place & polite people.

/ Stanley Black&Decker /

Mustafa and Isil were wonderful and gave our program their personal attention. I was pleased since this was a relatively small group and yet Universal gave it their all. I would definitely recommend them to others!

Ann Craig / /

As professionals you are great ambassador's for your country. Your enthusiasm and sincerity shine through in all you do. Your attention to detail and expertise in this field helped us knock this conference out of the park! So much so that it won me an oscar...

James Coomes / Fritolay /

We are all thinking of you and again so appreciative of everything you have done over the many months leading up to this. We could not think of a better partner and are just sad we aren't there to be part of your team.

Rebecca Linder / /

One of our very best trips we have ever taken. Turkey was full of memorable moments along with a fascinating history and culture. Thanks for helping plan such an extraordinary trip!!!

Karen & Bruce Levenson / /

There are not enough superlatives in English to describe our trip to Turkey. Most amazing, most friendly, most interesting, most beautiful are just a few that come to mind. We want to thank you for organizing one of the best trips we have ever had. Flights, accommodations, guides and drivers, everything was perfect! Benjamin and Bulent were the most knowledgeable, friendly, and fun people ever. Mustafa was an excellent driver. The sites we visited in Cappidocia and Ephesus were fabulous. To paraphrase General MacArthur: "We will return!" Thanks again.

Jim and Barb / /

Rosemary and I (and, I'm sure, all the others in the party) thouroughly enjoyed the time spent in your beautiful Country. The planning and arrangements laid on were superb. There was a good balance between the secular and the religious aspects, the accommodation and food was great, and the transport went of without a 'glitch'. Halit is, with doubt, a superb guide and his knowledge of so many facets of history, polotics, economic, geography etc is outstanding. He instantly struck a good rapport with the group, and was a real pleasure to be with, and was definitely one to whom listening was not a problem. We came away from the eight days having learnt a tremendous amount both Biblically and about modern and ancient Turkey (as well as other parts of the world).

Lin / /

Thank you, thank you, thank you! The trip was superb! Everyone had a wonderful time and came back to S.A. raving about Turkey. They all want to travel again.

Bryan Andrews / IMPACT INCENTIVES &EVENTS / Account Manager – Product

Your insight, enthusiasm and passion reaffirms my decision to bring a Team to the Istanbul Marathon next year. I look forward to our next meeting!

Fred DeFina / Team Diabetes Canadian Diabetes Association / Director

I would like to add my thanks as well. You are truly an ambassador for your city and I think you demonstrate all the best that GEP and good DMCs around the world have to offer. It was an illuminating, exciting and informative site visit, and I look forward to our continued working relationship. Kindest regards,

Joe Orecchio / CWT / Meetings and Events

Mustafa, Isil and the entire Universal Travel team was awesome!! I cannot say enough good things about Mustafa and Isil - talk about above and beyond, they are fabulous and we all feel like not only do we now have a great new partner in Istanbul, we now have new friends as well. The meeting went incredibly well and the Legacy Awards dinner at Esma Sultan was FABULOUS!!! After Bangkok we needed it to be and it certainly was - the client was extremely happy.

Nikki Kelley / CMP / Director of Event Operations

Over the span of 25 years Universal Travel Services has provided five star service to our 19 tour groups totaling over 500 travelers. Universal and their fine staff have worked with me to develop a series of tours focusing on the biblical and Christian Church history sites in Turkey. One of the most consistent traveler responses in their evaluations of our tours has been, "Great value for the money." Thank you Universal for a quarter century of truly outstanding service.

Donald Cornell / USA / Lutheran Pastor


On behalf of the whole group I want to say a Very Warm Thank You for taking so good care of us during the study tour. We were very pleased with the fact that inspite of our short time, we managed to see so many beautiful venues and landmarks in Istanbul. You are very passionate about your city and we feel confident in that Universal Tours will continue to take excellent care of our clients.

Lena Markström / American Express Business Travel / Manager Supplier Relations Meetings & Events Nordic

We had no doubts about the professional ability of Universal to conduct an operation of that caliber, but I can honestly say that you went beyond my highest expectation... I am sure that our business to Turkey will improve, and I will keep you informed on the progress of our new push to promote your Country and our business...

S.B. / N.J.-U.S. / Vice-Pesident Operations Groups&Incentives

Apart from all the usual items - hotels/meals/sightseeing etc.. it was the way in which the additional services were handled and your ability to get things done and implement frequent last minute changes which was most impressive...

N.C. / Riyadh, K.S.A. / Regional Manager

The trip was a great success, the participants were most impressed with the wonderful service and the organization of the tour.... Thank you for making this a successful trip and no doubt we will spread the word that Turkey is a fantastic destination for all travelers all year around...

D.W. / Johannesburg - R.S.A. / Groups&Incentives Dept.

I was very proud to show my fellow travel agents of my superb services in Turkey and I am sure the word will spread that we sell not only good prices but very exclusive and personalized services...

E.T. / Miami, FL. U.S.A. / President

As I told you, every response we had, whether verbal or written spoke highly of the arrangements that your staff had made. And I owe you a debt of gratitude because I received a great deal of credit for things that I did not do...

Rev. L.R.S. / The Union Church of Istanbul /

I was surely well pleased with everything that Universal provided. This is really quite a compliment, as I am known in the industry for being very particular about everything and hard to please!...I think that few Americans realize how much Turkey has to offer as a tourist destination, and after having just a touch, I am hoping to entice them back for a longer trip...

A.M.N. / Arcadia, CA-U.S.A / Managing Director

The tour that our International Understanding group has just completed was a well organized and efficiently operated tour... I appreciated the telephone call from Mustafa, midway in our tour, inquiring of our well being. In all the years our group has been traveling, it was the first time a tour operator has inquired about us during a tour."..

C.K. / Boston, MA, U.S.A. / Tour Director

We would like to place on record our gratitude for the excellent way in which your Company supported O.I.T. during our recent Quota Club trip to your lovely Country. The professional manner in which every function was organized and the attention to the minutest detail did your Country proud...

R.S. / Braamfontein, South Africa / Managing Director

Your help and co-operation certainly made my task considerably easier especially as it was a large and difficult group. I was most impressed with your organization and professionalism."...

J.C. / Johannesburg ,South Africa / Executive Services Manager

I am very excited about Turkey as a destination for groups. ... We were also most impressed with the professionalism of your staff i.e. drivers and tour guides, and know that our customers will be in good hands...

S.L.M. / Los Angeles, CA U.S.A / Business Development Manager

...We would like to thank you and your excellent team at Universal for the professionalism and high quality of services they provided us as well as our 200 clients. We had great confidence in you, which was gained at our very first contact. Your attention to detail, suggestions and advice were greatly appreciated... We would like to add a special thanks to you for the prompt replies we received to our many telexes...

J.C.S. / Cape Town, South Africa / Director

...There are not enough good words to describe the extraordinary services that Universal arranged on my behalf upon my request to them regarding the change in my itinerary. I know that you are aware that the hospitality of the Turkish people is greater by tradition than other European Countries. The services and hospitality provided by Universal to me was of this tradition, more than just good business relations...

H.H. / San Diego, CA U.S.A. /

... I would like to extend my appreciation for making our 21th birthday celebration a memorable night...


...Everybody on our part agreed that it was indeed, one of the best trips any of us had; and this was due in no small part to all the assistance and advice you and your Agency gave us. Not many travel agencies would have spent so much time and effort with a group as small as ours, and we just wanted you to know how much we appreciated...

C.R. / Dhahran K.S.A /