Day 1: Arrival to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you will be met by our representative at the exit gate of arrivals hall and transfer your hotel. On the way, driving along the 1700-year-old ancient city walls will be a great photo opportunity. There will be time to relax and refresh before meeting your guide in the evening for an orientation walk around Sultanahmet by night and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Bosphorous and Dolmabahce Palace. Breakfast at hotel, then meet your guide at the hotel lobby and short drive down to Eminonu to visit Spice Bazaar with mystical scents of various herbs and spices. Here, you will have a chance to improve your bargaining skills at the shops selling spices, Turkish Delights, souvenirs, fruits, Caspian sea caviar, vegetables, fish, flowers, etc. Then walk to the harbor 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 and Europe, and much more. After lunch, continue on land to visit Camlica Hill for 360 degrees panoramic views over the city and driving back to Europe over the Bosphorus Bridge we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 340 rooms and 8 Turkish Baths the Imperial Residence of the last 6 Sultans, is sure to fascinate its visitors. At the end of the tour, your guide will take you back to your hotel, evening at leisure and overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Byzantine and Ottoman Traces. After breakfast at hotel, 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 and other activities took place during the Roman period. We will have lunch at a local restaurant serving Turkish Cuisine before heading to the Grand Bazaar; world’s oldest and 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 and their families for over 400 years, a city within a city with 3000 residents. We will also see the Harem section and and it's chambers 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, your guide will take you back to your hotel. Then you will be transferred to the bus terminal to take the night bus to Cappadocia.
Day 4: Cappadocia. On your arrival to Cappadocia you will be met by your new guide and transferred to your hotel. Depart on 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. Continue for a panaromic view of Esentepe and then on to Uchisar, a natural rock castle. At the end of the tour the guide will take you back to your hotel, evening at leisure and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5: Cappadocia - Olympos. After breakfast at hotel, another full day tour this time to visit the famous Derinkuyu Underground City. Afterwards, a short hike through the Red Valley along the stream and visit some of the churches along the way. We stop in Belisirma for lunch and then on to Selime for a panoramic view. Stop at the Agzikarahan Caravansarai is included. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to the bus terminal and take a night bus to Olympos.
Day 6: Olympos. You will be dropped off at the Olympos main road bus stop. You just take the shuttle bus 11 km down to the valley of Olympos and check-in to your tree house. Just a short walk from your pension, the Olympos beach is situated in a picturesque bay in the shadow of Olympos Mountain. Opportunities abound for swimming, rock jumping, kayaking and hiking.
Day 7: Olympos. After a lazy day in Olympos we drive to Ulupinar in the evening and begin our walk to Chimera, home of the legendary Homeric Dragon, which was killed by Bellerophontes and buried seven layers below the ground. The flames of the monster can still be seen. After the walk we return to Olympos for an overnight stay.
Day 8: Olympos - Blue Cruise. Pick up from Olympos in the morning and bus transfer to the archaeological site of Myra and to Demre for the St. Nicholas Church. If desired, shopping, banking and lunch. Boat departs from the harbor of Demre in the afternoon. Visit Pirate’s Cave, sunken city of Kekova and Simena, a traditional Turkish fishing village with no car access and Byzantine/ Ottoman castle. Drop anchor In Gökkaya Bay for the evening where water sports are available. Dinner, relax in this pirates haven or party the night away at the Smugglers Inn.
Day 9: Blue Cruise. Depart for Kas where we first have a swim in a nice and quiet bay in front of the small village and then stop in the harbor for lunch to visit this charming fishing village of ancient Antiphellos, as Kas was once known. Lycian rock tombs and sarcophagi and the Roman theater still remain today. Near Kalkan we stop in Aquarium or Firnaz Bay for the night.
Day 10: Blue Cruise. Around sunrise we depart for Butterfly Valley where we stop for breakfast, swimming and to visit this natural reserve, hosting 136 kinds of different butterflies and moths. Oludeniz (The Blue Lagoon) is our next stop. In a bay near Oludeniz we have lunch. Last stop of the day is St-Nicholas Island. Visit the Byzantine ruins, swim, and dinner.
Day 11: Pamukkale. Depart for Samanlik Bay after breakfast where we stop for swimming and have lunch. Finally we sail to Fethiye harbor where we arrive in the afternoon. You will be transferred to the bus terminal to take the bus to Pamukkale. You will arrive Pamukkale in the evening, be met on arrival to be transferred to your hotel, evening at leisure and overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 12: Pamukkale - Hierapolis. Breakfast at hotel, and then meet your guide at the hotel to start Pamukkale Tour. As we approach Pamukkale it looks like a glacier is spilling down the mountainside. The name translates to Cotton Castle. In truth these are glistening white travertine terraces formed over millennial by mineral deposits as water flowed out of natural springs. The water is credited with healing powers.
It is alleged that Cleopatra swam in one of the pools that is open to the public. Nearby are the ruins of the Roman resort, Hierapolis, and a large necropolis. At the end of the tour your guide will take you back to your hotel to pick up your stuff. Then you will be transferred to the bus terminal and take the bus to Selcuk-Ephesus. You will be met on your arrival in Selçuk and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 13: Ephesus. Breakfast at hotel, and then meet your guide at the hotel to start the tour of Ephesus, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world. Depart for the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to have spent the last of her days. After lunch in a local restaurant, the tour also includes a visit the remains of Artemis Temple and if time allows a visit to the old Greek Village of Sirince. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to the bus terminal and take the bus to your next destination or ferry to to Samos-Greece.
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