The copper bowls with a little dimple in the middle will clack on the marble once in a while. The sound will be like a percussion in a badly conducted orchestra. But soon you will be so relaxed even that sound will not bother you. When the skin is softened enough you will move to your next spot. The big marble set in the middle of the bath is called the Navel Stone. Lay on it and let your body be treated by the expert hands. You will be scrubbed with a " kese." The dead skin will come out like tootsy rolls. Then you will be soaped and massaged. When the washing part is finished the pleasure of being in the Turkish bath is not finished yet. You will be wrapped in colourful Pestemals (Turkish Towel). While you are sitting in the cold part of the bath, the frigidarium, you will be served tea to complete the most relaxing experience in your life.
You will smell the clean smell of the olive oil soap and your skin will fell like a baby when you leave the hundreds of years old Turkish bath. If ladies want to color their hair with henna, a Turkish bath is the right place to do it. If this were a text for a riddle the question could have been, "name at least seven things that you would see people making if you were taking a Turkish Bath tour and also try to see related crafts of Turkey." The answer would have been, "we will see marble workers making basins. We will see weavers making towels and pestemals. We will visit olive orchards and family run soap factories. We will buy henna from the Spice market where henna has been sold for 800 years and more.
Day 1: The tour starts with a group meeting in Istanbul in the lobby of Hotel Ayasofya at 5:00 PM. After a short group meeting visit the Blue Mosque. Dinner at a nearby resturant Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 2: Istanbul has been a capital for three empires. The visits to The Cistern, The Church of St. Sophia and The Chora Church will reveal this unique city's glorious past. The Spice Market (MISIR CARSISI) was the end of the Silk Road where spices, essential oils and herbs of Asia were distributed to their final destination in Europe. There we will see the best of the henna, the biggest variety of oils and rose water being sold next to natural sponges, hand woven kese (used in Turkish baths for scrubbing) and herbs. Dinner at a fish restaurant in the historic district of the old city. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 3: Three hour Drive to Bursa. Bursa was the capital of the Ottoman Empire before the capital was moved to Istanbul. The imperial nature of the town becomes more exciting with the crowded, lively markets where the famous Turkish Towels, keses, copper bowls and olive oil soap is being sold. Our Hotel tonight is built on the spring of the natural hot waters. Enjoy the stupendous pools of the hotel where you will go back to the early Ottoman time while you are enjoying the curative waters of this spa. Overnight at Gonlu Ferah Hotel which is the oldest, the most popular hotel in Bursa for its excellent Turkish baths.
Day 4: Drive to Afyon via Kutahya. Kutahya is the tile making center of Turkey since the 16th century. Visit tile makers and hear about traditional designs and techniques. Relax at our Spa hotel enjoying the curative waters of the hot springs. Have your choice of the treatments. The herbal wrap make you feel 10 years younger.This establishment have private Turkish baths where you can soak in the warm waters in your own privacy. Dinner and overnight at Afyon Orucoglu Thermal Spa Hotel.
Day 5: The towel that is used in the Turkish bath is called Pestamal. The art of weaving these colorful pestamals is as old as the joy of taking a bath in a Turkish Bath. Every house in Pasalar Village weaves miles and miles of cotton thread in their houses to meet the demand of the Turkish baths not only in Turkey but all around the world. Will the village continue to have this reputation with the next generation is the big question. And the obvious answer is No! Once the old ones in the town pass away, no young ones will sit by the loom to throw the shuttle by hand when they know that the complicated machines can do it faster. This will be an opportunity to see a dying craft. Dinner and over night at a Spa Hotel in Pamukkale (UNESCO world heritage site with its unique spa and rock formations) The hotel has the most glorious thermal pool. A perfect way to relax. Professional massage is also available. If you want to have your toe massaged for one hour they even can give you a toe massage
Day 6: Drive from Pamukkale to Kusadasi. Visit Nyssa. Dinner and over night at Meli's house.
Day 7: Ephesus is the biggest excavation in Turkey. It is the city of St. Paul and St. John. For many people visiting Ephesus becomes a spiritual experience. We will enjoy the site and the museum in a very relaxed manner and appreciate how nice it is to be at this great place without the crowds of the high season. End the day at a 300 year old Turkish bath in Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight at Selcuk.
Day 8: Turkey is like an open air museum. When excellent ancient sites are right on your way we will certainly not miss the opportunity and stop at the acropolis of Pergamum and visit the ancient hospital the Ausculapion to learn about how spa theraphy was used thousands of years before our time. Ayvalik is in the midst of an "ocean of olive trees." Overnight in a village where the the first beauty contest of the world was held. Paris had picked Aphrodite to be the most beautiful woman right next to thehotel where we will be staying over tonight.
Day 9: Visit Troy on our way to Gonen. Standing on the windy hills of Troy, it is not difficult to imagine the hair of the beautiful Hellen blowing as described by Homer. The Trojan horse is not 3,000 years old but it certainly sits at the right place to welcome the visitors to this city of all ages. (The ancient city of Troy was built on 9 main levels over more than 4,000 years. Gonen is a popular spa center.Massage available. Very professional. this spa is used only by the Turkish people. It is an interesting experience to be at a hotel where no other tourists come.
Day 10: Take a ferry boat to Istanbul. Free time for shopping. Farewell Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 11: End of the tour. Transfer to the air port is included in the price.
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey Local Culture Cultural Journey
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