A guide in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. First release in National Geographics An unforgettable journey: 500 of the world’s greatest travel.
In addition to the travel stories, Peter personally leads some of our guided cultural tours in Turkey every year.
Alexander the Great has inspired the imagination of people around the world for more than 2000 years. Barely in his youth he came to Asia with about 45,000 men to conquer the vast and rich Persian Empire. He did not stop, but continued his epic journey from 22,000 km, Troy to Alexandria, Samarkand to Babylon. When he died, at the tender age of 32, he had crossed the confines of the known world and created an empire stretching from Greece to Afghanistan, from Israel to India.
Today you can see that his legacy is still heard on three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. Drive to Egypt, venture into the desert to the oasis of Siwah, a large circle of bright green in a sea of parched yellow, and you will find a decaying temple where the oracle explained Alexander, son of Zeus. Head south into Iran and discover Persepolis, the ruined ceremonial capital of the Persian kings, which was burned down by Alexander.
The ultimate goal for those who love Alexander must be Turkey. Enjoy a magical combination of landscapes, food and ancient wonders on the Trojan Track on the battlefield of Issus. Archaeological adventures await you on every street corner.
Alexander Sarcophagus. Enter the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul and admire one of the most beautiful works of antiquity. This is not Alexander’s personal coffin, but belonged to a subordinate. Alexander stands at the sides of his grave, carved in gleaming white marble, gallops on a hunt and raises Bucéphalas on his horse.
Stroll through the marble streets of Ephesus. Explore the capital of the Roman province of Asia, today one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. A century of Austrian archaeological excavations has seen so much to see: from private villas to magnificent baths, to a theater for 28,000 people and an extraordinary library.
Sail on the Lycian coast. Marvel at the turquoise coast of Turkey with a traditional Turkish schooner. Under the imposing, pine-covered mountains, you can relax and unwind while contemplating the navy of Alexander and the ancient pirates. Prepare and land in Phaselis, where Alexander was crowned with golden garlands.
The Temple of Apollo in Didyma. As you walk beneath the pillars and dark arches to the deepest sanctuary, you can still feel the power and influence of the ancient gods.
The view from Termessus. Stroll through the mountains and you will find this rocky eagle nest, an ancient city in the clouds, one of the few places where Alexander No can say no and survive.
When to travel: spring and autumn. From mid-April to early June and from September to October are the best times to avoid the heat and the intense summer crowds.
How long do you need: At least a week to see some highlights. In two or three weeks you will be able to search a large amount of terrain, visit many places and experience the purely physical and logistical difficulties of Alexander.
Plan your travel adventure: Many tour operators use Alexander the Great as a destination that has little to do with where he went and what he did. Consult your itineraries. When traveling alone, buy the best turkey cards you can enjoy before you go. It is often difficult to find big cards in Turkey, especially outside the capitals.
Inside Information: If you drive inland from the coast, look out for the well-known Kangal dogs from Turkey. They protect sheep and goats from wolves and are known for their ferocity. Wear a stick and stones to protect you.