Day 1: Arrive Istanbul. Meet and greet. A short orientation tour. Then transfer to the hotel for a welcome briefing. Evening is free. Overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Istanbul. Discover the Byzantine and Ottoman treasures of Istanbul. Visit the Royal Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans, the Blue Mosque, unique with six minarets, the Roman Hippodrome Square and the St.Sophia Church which is considered one of the worlds greatest architectural marvels and the Spice Bazaar. Return to the hotel. Evening at leisure. Istanbul has many districts to have your meal. Not only can you eat, but you can visit almost any Kitchen of any restaurant in their off hours. Most fresh food restaurants serve at least 20 different dishes of almost every seasonal vegetable. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Istanbul - Troy - Canakkale. Drive to Gallipoli, through the European lands of Turkey. Cross the Dardanelles Strait by ferryboat. Visit ancient TROY, see its legendary walls and the replica of the wooden horse. Dinner and overnight in Canakkale. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Pergamon - Izmir. Drive to Bergama. Visit the ACROPOLIS, the steepest theater of the ancient world, the Temple of Trojan, Library. Lunch at a local restaurant. Then visit Ascleion, the ancient healing center and the Red Basilica which is one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse (rev:2-12). Evening at leisure. Overnight in Izmir. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Ephesus - Izmir. Leave for Ephesus, cradle of early Christianity. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the ancient Ephesus, the archeology museum and the temple of Diana which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Return to Izmir. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Izmir. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Sardes - Pamukkale. Drive to Sardes capital of ancient Lydia. Visit the Temple of Cybele which later became a church, the famous Synagogue from the third century, the Gymnasium and the new excavation area. See the Golden River Pactalos. Lunch en route. Proceed to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Hierapolis - Aphrodisias - Antalya. Morning tour of Pamukkale, noted ancient spa, where pure white travertine’s forms frozen waterfalls. Observation of carpet weaving at one of the local workshops. Drive to Aphrodisias, the city of the Goddess of Love, see the well preserved stadium, the Odeon, the theater and the agora. Continue to Antalya for dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Antalya. Full day excursion to the ancient Pamphylian, Hellenistic and Roman cities of Perge and Aspendos and to the award winning Antalya Archaeological museum. Dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Antalya - Konya - Cappadocia. Early departure to Konya. Visit the Mevlana Museum, 13th century Whirling Dervish Monastery. After lunch continue to Cappadocia where nature has scoured surrealistic moonscape shapes and where the persecuted Christians dug underground cities and churches during the 9th century. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. Tonight, an Optional Folk and Belly Dance Show at one of the cave restaurants in Cappadocia. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Cappadocia. Full day Cappadocia visit, including Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos the pottery making town, the natural citadel of Uchisar and the underground city of Kaymakli. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Cappadocia has good food, however their wine is much more notable. The wine is special for many reasons which are unique for the place. They do not grow the grapes on the post. Because of the cold winters they have to keep them close to the ground to be able to cover them with debris mounds in winter. Since the plant is close to the ground, there is an excessive amount of dehydration of grapes in the summer. Due to dehydration, grapes have a very strong taste. The secondary part that makes the taste different, is the fertilizer they use. The pigeon droppings are collected in the whole valley as fertilizers due to high use of the natural fertilizers there is a unique mineral lime taste to the wines. The wines always are full body and have a long lasting taste. Thirdly, the taste is related to concrete aging tanks. As we visit Cappadocia, we will be able to see every detail of wine production on site.
Day 11: Cappadocia - Ankara. Morning sightseeing in Cappadocia. After lunch, visit the Agzikarahan Caravanserai from the Selcuk period. Drive to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, via Salt Lake. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Ankara. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Ankara - Bursa. Visit the Anatolian Civilization museum and the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk in Ankara. Drive to Bursa. Dinner and overnight. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 13: Bursa - Istanbul. Visit the Green Mosque, the Green Tomb and Bursas colorful Silk Bazaar. Drive to Istanbul. Rest of the day is free at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 14: Istanbul - End of the Tour. Escorted transfer to Istanbul airport for flight back. End of our services. Includes: (B).
Guaranteed Departure dates:
* You may depart on any date on private tour basis.
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey Local Culture Food & Wine Archeology/History
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