Day 1: Istanbul - Arrival
Upon arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport and clearing customs, you will be met by one of our staff at the exit gate of arrivals hall & transfer your hotel. On the way, a brief stop by the 1700-year-old ancient city walls will be a great photo opportunity. There will be time to relax & rest before meeting the guide in the evening for an orientation walk with your guide around Sultanahmet by night. Overnight in Istanbul.
Note: Turkey is noted for having one of the three most famous and distinctive traditional cuisines in the world. For this reason we have not included dinners at hotels & your guide will be happy to recommend real authentic local restaurants popular among locals and which are conveniently located at walking distances to your hotel(s).
Day 2: Istanbul - Bosphorus Cruise and Asia
Breakfast at hotel, then meeting your guide at hotel lobby short drive down to Eminonu to visit Spice Bazaar filled with mystical smells of different aromas of various spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers, etc. Then walk to the harbour to embark on the Bosphorus Ferry for a cruise on the Bosphorus. We believe a visit to Istanbul is never complete if you haven't joined the Bosphorus Cruise. During the cruise you will see the city from a different perspective, the old wooden villas, Rumeli Fortress, Ortakoy Mosque, both bridges linking Asia & Europe, (our banner is a glimpse of what you will see) & much more. After lunch, continue on land to visit Camlica Hill for 360° panoramic views over the city & driving back to Europe over the Bosphorus Bridge we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 340 rooms & 8 Turkish Baths the Imperial Residence of the last 6 Sultans, is sure to fascinate its visitors. At the end of the tour the guide will take you back to your hotel, evening at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Istanbul - Splendors of Empire Tour
After breakfast at hotel, check out and luggage can be kept at hotel or our office. Then your guide will take you to visit some of Istanbul's most fascinating sights such as the Blue Mosque; unique with its 6 Minarets, St Sophia Museum; the jewel of Byzantine architecture in Istanbul, a 6th Century Church dedicated to Divine Wisdom. We walk around the Hippodrome where once chariot races & other activities took place during the Roman period. We'll have lunch at a local restaurant serving Turkish Cuisine before heading to the Grand Bazaar; worlds oldest & biggest covered bazaar with more than 4000 shops which are still in business today. Finally we visit Topkapi Palace; the home of the Ottoman Sultans & their families for over 400 years, a city within a city with 3000 residents. We will also see the Harem section & rooms which have become a myth in the West due to the discrete life of the Sultans living here.
The day will finish with the visit to the Mosque of Suleymaniye the Magnificent. At the end of the tour you will be dropped off at the hotel or office to be transferred to Central Bus Station for overnight coach to Kusadasi. You may also consider the following options instead of overnight bus: *Evening(day3) or early morning(day4) flight from Istanbul to Izmir(1.hr). Then transfer to Kusadasi (1hr)
Day 4: Kusadasi - Ephesus Ancient City
After breakfast joining small group to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world. After lunch, depart for the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to have spent the last of her days. The tour also includes a visit to the remains of Artemis Temple and if time allows a visit to the old Greek Village of Sirince. At the end of the tour the guide will take you to your hotel, evening at leisure. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 5: Kusadasi - Hierapolis and Pamukkale
Breakfast at hotel, check-out and depart with the tour guide for the drive to Pamukkale(2.5hrs) visit to the ancient site of Hierapolis. Here you will see a perfect Roman theatre, colonnaded streets, Hadrian's Gate and the Necropolis. Pamukkale or "Cotton Castle", is famous for its white lime cascades rise over 300 feet above the ground, with hot, mineral-enriched waters flowing down through the pools and rock formations. Lunch in a local restaurant. Nearby is the ancient Roman health spa of Hierapolis, famous for its hot baths, theater, agora, and remarkable necropolis. Opportunity to swim in the natural hot therapeutic spring pools. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to Denizli Bus Station for overnight coach to to Goreme Cappadocia.
You may also consider the following options instead of overnight bus:
- Flight from Izmir to Cappadocia(1.3hrs). Please note the flight schedule has not been announced yet.
- Flight from Izmir to Cappadocia via Istanbul(3hrs). Guaranteed departure with Turkish Airlines.
Day 6: Cappadocia - North Cappadocia
Arrival early morning and transfer to hotel for short rest before starting the tour to visit Devrent Valley, Monk's valley (Pasabagi) where you will find the world known fairy chimneys. Break for lunch in Avanos and then continue on to the Goreme Open-Air Museum where you will visit the numerous rock carved churches and monasteries. Depart for a panaromic view of Esentepe and then on to Uchisar, a natural rock castle. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 7: Cappadocia - South Cappadocia - Istanbul
After breakfast at hotel, another full day tour this time to visit the famous Derinkuyu Underground City. Afterwards a short hike through the green Ihlara Valley along the stream visiting some of the churches along the way. Stop in Belisirma for lunch & then on to Selime for a panoramic view. Stop at the Agzikarahan Caravansarai is included. At the end of the tour free time at Goreme village before transfer to the bus station for overnight coach back to Istanbul with arrival early the following morning. Direct flights also available if preferred.
Day 8: Istanbul. If by overnight bus, arrival to Istanbul early morning. Option to extend package with additional night(s) in Istanbul or transfer directly on to Istanbul Airport for return international flight.
Note: As this tour can be customized prices are subject to availability and season. Please ask us for a quote.
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey Greece History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey
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