Day 1 (Istanbul)
Today, we arrive in Istanbul, where a transferman will meet us at the airport. We transfer to our hotel downtown, and have a brief orientation late in the afternoon.
This evening, we can discover any of the Turkish restaurants in the area as we enjoy dinner on our own.
Day 2 (Istanbul) B D
This morning we visit Hagia Sophia, the "Church of Divine Wisdom
." Completed under the Emperor Justinian in AD 537, the magnificent dome of the Hagia Sophia was once the pre-eminent architectural wonder of the Byzantine world. The massive building was a Christian church for almost a thousand years,
until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when Mehmet the Conqueror claimed it for Islam. The building served as a mosque until 1934, when the revolutionary leader and founder of the Republic, Kemal Atatürk, proclaimed it as a museum. This impressive structure has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tour of Istanbul including visits of St. Saviour in Chora - (Kariye Museum
) Originaly formed the center of a Byzantine Monastery complex. Only the church section which was dedicated to Jesus Christ the Saviour, has survived.Continue your tour with the visit of Spice Market, Egyptian Bazaar built in the 17th century, this is the second largest covered bazaar in Istanbul. On to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar
, where the pungent and savory aroma of exotic oils, herbs and spices have perfumed the arched stone corridors for nearly 350 years. Now also proferring nuts, honey, dried fruits, traditional sweets and herbal remedies, the Spice Bazaar’s redolent wares will transform you into a veritable spice trader!.This afternoon,
we take to the water for our Bosporus cruise.
You can look north to the “European” district of Galata, or east to the Asiatic side of the Bosporus and the Maiden’s Tower. In ancient times, the Golden Horn could be closed off to warships with a giant chain stretching from here to Seraglio Point. Following our cruise, we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.
Day 3 ( Istanbul) B
This morning, we'll discover some of Istanbul's most famous sites on foot, including Topkapi Palace
. Mehmet the Conqueror started building this complex in about 1459 and it served as the royal palace of the Ottoman sultans until 1853. Today,
it is one of the world's richest museums, with a staggering collection of jewels, arms, porcelain, sculpture, manuscripts, and more. Next, we stop at the classic Blue Mosque,
so-called for the shimmering blue tiles that line its interior. Flanked by symmetrical soaring minarets, it is one of the defining elements of the Istanbul skyline. This classic of Ottoman architectural design was constructed under the patronage of Sultan Ahmet I, from 1609-1616.Hippodromme,
center of sporting (chariots races,athletics)events and political activities of the old city.
The Blue Mosque
,one of the famous mosgues of the Ottomans are known for it’s blue Iznık tiles and unique with its 6 minarets.Today lunch is on your own.After the lunch. Just a short walk across the square takes us to the Underground Cistern,
the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water.
This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures—capital heads and columns-- that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at us from her watery home. The tour will end with the visit to the Grand Bazaar,
the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry, and carpets. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 (Istanbul, Cappadocia) B L D
After breakfast,transfer to the airport for flight to Cappadocia.Arrival to Cappadocia
we drive to a village,
the smell of apricots permeates the village as the harvest blankets the roofs of the flat-topped houses. Down in the valley is an almost eerie grouping of cave facades that retain the curvy lines of the smooth cave surfaces. At sunset, the sound of drums in the distance and the image of village women baking the evening meal's bread in ancient rock ovens create an unforgettable vision of rural life.These villages make their living as farmers and herders, and their lands abound with fruit trees and fertile gardens.
This afternoon, we'll get an up-close look at life here as we share a traditional, home-cooked meal
with a local family
when they welcome us as guests into their stone home, enjoying both the hearty, flavorful food of cappadocia the region and the warmth and good will of our hosts.
Others may be doing traditional needlework and embroidery, preparing meals, or making molasses or bulgur.
Men may be harvesting crops, plowing the fields, or sowing wheat, depending on the season. we may continue the spirited conversation about village lifevillage-life-tour-cappadocia-turkey and family. Then we enjoy a village stroll and visit a local mosque,village coffe house where only man can go and sit,but we all can go and discover their place.Here is a chance to observe a fascinating way of life that may soon disappear as Turkey becomes increasingly modern and aligned with the West.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 (Cappadocia) B L D
Today you may have an optional Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s most fanciful and recognizable landscapes, and during this optional hot-air balloon flight,
we’ll soar over its amber terrain and fairy-tale chimneys, savoring a unique panorama in the quiet, rosy light of dawn.
Please note: The cost of this tour cannot be refunded to passengers who cancel less than 24 hours prior to the flight .
We’ll drive to the famousGoreme “open-air museum,”
a group of ancient churches carved from the rock. Most of these chapels have colorful frescoes
inside, which date from the tenth to the 13th centuries. Than we drive shortly to Uchisar Castle
which is the panoramic watching point Cappadocia. Many rooms, steps, tunnel and galleries inside the castle. Lunch in a local restaurant.Avanos
, the latter providing us with the opportunity to purchase some of the hand-turned pottery and tile
that has been shaped here for millennia and some of the techniques still used date back to Hittite times to 2000 BC.
This afternoon we visit Zelve open -Air Museum.
This nature site is the perfect place to take photos of remarkable landscape of tufa cones.Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (Cappadocia) B L D
Ths morning we drive to Kaymaklı Underground City
.During the Hittite era, as successive armies swept across Asia Minor, underground cities were built as a uniquely defensible community, approximately eight stories underground. We can explore some of the hundreds of rooms, wandering the many narrow, sloping passageways between kitchens with enameled food storage areas, water cisterns, stables, and living spaces—all well ventilated by air shafts. At one time, several thousand people lived here.
Following our underground city discovery, we'll see more of this scenic area of Cappadocia.Such as Pasabag
Highly remarkable earth pillars can be seen here, in the middle of a vineyard, hence the name of the place which means: the Pacha's vineyard. Pacha means "General", the military rank, in Turkish and it is a very common nick name. This site is also called Monks Valley.See another interesting rock formation calledDervent valley
The small fairy chimneys in the valley form a lunar landscape, or moonscape, by their strange look. The valley also has many animal shaped rocks. It looks like a sculpture zoo made by nature
After lunch we have hike to Rose Valley
is a large valley located between Goreme and Cavusin villages, and it is divided into many smaller valleys: Gulludere, Kizilcukur, Meskendir and Zindanonu valleys. This beautiful valley gets its name from the rose-colored rock that varies in hue and intensity depending on time of day, season and weather conditions. Return to hotel or before dinner we have an optional Whirling Dervish tour
,you can be witness the "Ritual of Sema." The Semazens, also called “whirling dervishes,” believe that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 (Coppadocia, Antalya) B L D
After breakfast we drive to Antalya .Lunch on the way. When we arrive to Antalya our sightseeing tour starst with visiting of Aspendos
- Dominating the site is the best preserved Theatre of antiquity seating 15.000.
The Galleries, stage decorations and the acoustics all reflect the success of the architect. Close to the Theatre Basilica and Agora, the remains of an aqueduct, which was one of the largest in Anatolia. After tour transfer to Hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Antalya.
Day 8 (Antalya) B L D
After breakfast we drive to visite Perge
, an important city of ancient Pamphylia. Visit the Theatre noted for the marble relief work of its stage and its three sectioned memorial fountain. Then visit the city gate flanked by two lofty towers, a long colonnaded way that was once lined with shops and mosaic pavements,
the Agora and buildings that once Houses the Baths and Gymnasium. After lunch,We drive to the Antalya Aechaeological Museum
, that houses an extensive collection of artifacts
from the Stone Age to the present in several exhibition halls and an open-air gallery.Afternoon at leisure in Antalya to explore at your own pace
Day 9 (Antalya-Aphrodisias, Pamukkale) B L D
Dinner and overnight at hotel in Antalya.
After breakfast travel by coach to visit Aphrodisias,
one of Turkey's most important archaeological discoveries of recent decades. These marvellous ruins rival Ephesus and include the Temple of Aphrodite with its dazzling white marble
and a vast, virtually intact amphitheatre.We have lunch in a local restaurant.
Later we drive to the petrified white lime cascades of Pamukkale.
. Before dinner take time to relax in the thermal pool or spa at your hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 10 (Pamukkale, Kusadasi) B L D
After breakfast drive to the petrified white lime cascades of Pamukkale
. Pamukkale, "The Cotton Castle" with its snow-white terraces formed by thermal waters cascading down the hillside. At nearbyHierapolis
we will see the stadium and take a fascinating stroll through the tombs of the Necropolis .Lunch in a local restaurant.
Later we also stop en route to view the ruins of the sixth-century Basilica of St. John, said to stand over the burial site of the Apostle of Jesus, who is thought to have authored the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel of the Bible while in Ephesus. Then we continue on to our hotel in Kusadasi, a popular seaside town with a large gulet harbor, we enjoy dinner together tonight at hotel in Kusadasi.
Day 11 (Kusadasi) B L D
After breakfast, we drive for less than an hour to the world-famous ancient Greco-Roman site of Ephesus,
one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk on the remarkably preserved wide marble streets, flanked by columns and temples. We see the Library of Celsus, a tiered façade decorated with exquisite statues.
The amphitheater we’ll see is the same one where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. And there are also remarkably preserved baths. Ephesus was also the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. No longer standing, it was said to be one of the most colossal temples ever built.Lunch in a local restaurant,than . we also visit the nearby House of the Virgin Mary,
nestled high in the hills overlooking the city of Ephesus. Later this afternoon, we have the unique opportunity to get acquainted with the old turkish carpet-making tradition of Anatolia, befor we drive to hotel in Kusadası.
Day 12 (Kusadasi, Canakkale) B L D
Travelling Nourth down the mountainous coastline of Turkey our first stop will be at the ancient Acropolis of Pergamum
, famous for its wealth of archaeological ruins where, from the Temple of Trajan, you will take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.After lunch we then continue down the Nourth Coast to the popular ruins of the ancient city of Troy,
the site of the mythological battle Homer immortalized in his Illiad.
Archaeologists have proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement here dating back to 3,000 BC. Then we drive to hoteı in Canakkale for dinner and overnight.
Day 13 (Canakkale, Istanbul) B L D
begins today. The peninsula is filled with cemeteries, a war museum and many memorials to the tragic events of 1915. As you enter this almost barren land, you can still sense the war and heartache that once dominated the landscape, breaking the silent air.Our first visits will be to Anzac Cove
and Beach Cemetery
- home to one of Australia's most legendary soldiers,Private John Simpson
. We will then trace the steps of the ANZACs
up into the rugged hills to visit the Anzac Memorials at Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair
Amongst the numerous sights also visited will be Shrapnel Valley, Walker’s Ridge, the Nek and the surrounding trenches. Our last stop on the Gallipoli Peninsula will be the Kapatebe War Museum
with its absorbing collection of war relics and memorabilia. We have included a buffet lunch.Afternoon we drive to Istanbul.Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 14 B
After breakfast transfer to Atatürk Airport for your flight out.