Day 1: Istanbul - Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to Hotel Ayasofya. Hotel Ayasofya is almost as it was 200 years ago. It is situated within walking distance of the must-see places in Istanbul. The tour starts at 5:00 pm in the lobby of the hotel. After a short introduction we will visit the Blue Mosque and have dinner. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 2: Istanbul - Photograph old Ottoman Houses, Bosphorus, Cemetery, Sinan's mosque interiors and much more.Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 3: Istanbul, flight to Cappadocia. Be ready for some fantastic photo ops. Aya Sophia, street shots, market interior shots, mosaics in the Chora Church, etc. Note: Flash is not allowed. Carry fast film and/or a fast lens. Overnight at Irmak Hotel in Avanos.
Day 4: Cappadocia - Cappadocia is a land where nature and man have competed with each other to create the unusual and the most beautiful landscape. A hike takes us to 10th and 11th century churches, monasteries, and houses carved into the rocks, and where we visit a family who live in one of the ancient rock dwellings. The moonlike terrain of Cappadocia with its endless natural artwork is a photographer's delight. Since Cappadocia is also the carpet center of Turkey, we have scheduled a visit to see how the world-renowned art of Turkish carpet making by hand along the use of natural dies is kept alive. If you are game, hop on one of the magic carpets and see where it will take you. Overnight at Irmak Hotel in Avanos.
Day 5: Cappadocia - We will visit home(s) in Cappadocia. Visit the most stunning, today abandoned, cliff dwelling town with its spectacular monumental monasteries, churches, mill and more. On the program is a visit to a vineyard where shots of blooming vines along with discovering some local Turkish liquid history is in store for us. Overnight at Irmak Hotel in Avanos.
Day 6: Guzelyurt - Start the day with a pleasant three to five mile hike into the depths of Cappadocia at an altitude of about 4,200 feet. Our next stop, Avanos, is renowned as the place where pottery making can be traced back to the time of the Hittites (3rd century BC). We will visit a potter who keeps the ancient art alive. A visit to the underground city of early Christians is also on our program. Here we will have our best village shots. Overnight in Guzelyurt in a hotel that was built as a Christian girl's school in 1853.
Day 7: Konya - We will start the day with a short walk to the most scenic location of Guzelyurt, where we will capture 10,000 years of history. After our morning hike we have breakfast at a home in the village. Hikers can take a morning hike to the oldest monastery valley in Christian history. If you do not hike, you can stay in town and enjoy locals absorbing the local atmosphere meeting with the locals with whom you can easily make friends. Departing for Konya, stopping en route at a 12th century Caravanserai. Konya is the first capital of the Selcuks, the oldest Turkish Empire in Anatolia. It is also known for being the homeland of Rumi, a 13th century poet-philosopher and one of the earliest humanists. The ambiance of the city has not changed much for the past 800 years. Overnight at Hotel Sifa - walking distance to the Rumi Mausoleum and the market.
Day 8: Egirdir - In the morning a stop at the mausoleum of philosopher and the poet, Rumi, a place made for great people and art shots. Then, time for market shots in the thousand-year-old market place of Konya. We get to Egirdir in time to see how the fading sun makes this lake and mountains a photographer dream of dramatic effects unfolding right in front of the lens. Overnight stay by the lake.
Day 9: Egirdir - We spend today in a canyon where we take in as much spring air as our lungs and scenery as our eyes can handle. A picnic lunch adds to the days outing. Overnight stay by the lake.
Day 10: Pamukkale - The afternoon drive takes us to Pamukkale where we catch the setting sunlight magically illuminating the white cliffs as well as yellow travertine walls of tombs and monuments. Pamukkale (ancient Heirapolis) is singularly the most unusual natural phenomenon of Turkey. The Turkish name literally means - "cotton castle" - and refers to the extraordinary surface of the snow-white cliffs, shaped over millennia by accumulation of calcium deposited by mineral springs. Visit the Hot Springs and swim in a spa amid Roman columns. Bring your swim gear. Overnight at Yoruk Hotel
Day 11: Selcuk - Aphrodisias The city of Love and I dare you to try the local wine. This is also the place where we have the unique opportunity to see men painstakingly weave on their wooden looms. Overnight at Kalehan Hotel
Day 12: Ephesus - Ephesus, is the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and today ranks among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. While sitting in the theater of ancient Ephesus you can visualize 35,000 Ephesians listen to silversmith Demetrius shout..."great is Artemis of Ephesians"… in reaction to St. Paul's preaching… "there shall be no man-made gods." Overnight at Kalehan Hotel.
Day 13: Selcuk / Kusadasi/ Sirince village - Transportation will be arranged for those who are interested in going to Ephesus, others can have alternative short itineraries or visit the well known and historic Kusadasi. Or they can go to sirince. Transportation will be available for different choices. Overnight at Kalehan Hotel.
Day 14: Tire market/Istanbul - A visit to the Saturday Selcuk farmer's market is followed by a late flight from Izmir (7:00 pm) to Istanbul. Transfer to and overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 15: Flight home - The tour officially ends after transfer to the international airport for the connecting flight out of Istanbul returning to USA.
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