Day 1: Istanbul.
Welcome to Turkey! Today is your arrival day. Airport transfers are available from Ataturk International Airport during the hours of 8am till 11pm. Transfers will be made to your Hotel where you will be met by your Tour guide and checked into your room the Bulvar Palas.
Day 2: Istanbul City Tour.
We depart from the hotel at 8:30 for the Istanbul city tour. The great Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.The Suleymaniye Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent was built between 1550 and 1557 by the famous architect Sinan whose wish was to surpass the builders of St. Sophia which is conspicuous from its great size, emphasized by the four minarets rising one from each corner of the courtyard. Overnight in Istanbul. Outside the Blue Mosque we find the Hippodrome.
The ancient Hippodrome was the scene of chariot races and entertainment. The Hippodrome comprises of three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. After a short enjoyable lunch break we head to the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar) the air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. After the tour you have the option to experience the Bosphorus cruise which will depart after the city tour. You will have the chance to enjoy magnificent views of Bosphorus which is connecting Asia to Europe.
Day 3: Safranbolu.
At 8:30 am we depart for Safranbolu (from the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. The Old Mosque, the Old Bath House and Süleyman Pasha Medrese were built in 1322. During its apogee in the 17th century, Safranbolu's architecture influenced urban development throughout much of the Ottoman Empire.) On arrival we will walk through the historical Safranbolu Bazaar, continuing on to Cinci Hodja Caravanserai, Cici Hodja Bath House, Kaymakamlar House (Museum). Overnight stay in Safranbolu.
Day 4: Safranbolu – Ankara.
After breakfast at 9:00 am we departure sleepy Safranbolu for Ankara (3 to 4 hours drive). On arrival we will have time for lunch before taking the city tour of Ankara which is the 2nd biggest city and the capital of Turkey. On the tour you will visit Ataturk`s (founder of the modern Turkey) Museum and the Ataturk Mausoleum. Overnight in Ankara.
Day 5 Ankara – Cappadocia.
After breakfast drive to Cappadocia (4 hour drive). Check in to your hotel. Tonight we have an optional activity – the famous traditional Turkish Night, here you will enjoy Whirling Dervishes, Belly Dancing and traditional Turkish folklore accompanied by traditional Turkish food and drink. This evening comes highly recommended as it is one of the only places in Turkey to glimpse the Whirling Dervishes. Overnight Cave Hotel in Cappadocia.
Day 6: Cappadocia Tour.
Today we will get to know the Cappadocia region, a volcanic area in which the geological formation started over 10 million years ago. As a result of these formations phallic like pillars have come to life. The beautiful horse country "Katpatuka" (as the Persians called her) is an unbelievable strip of land, enchanting and mysterious. Our guided tour will start at 9:30 and cover Avcilar, Pigeon Valley, Göreme Open Air Museum, Dervent Valley , Uçhisar Castle and the pottery village of Avanos. If you want to join our optional activity of Hot Air Ballooning, please contact your guide and register because it will take place early the next morning and is often full so it pays to book ahead. Overnight in Cave Hotel Cappadocia.
Day 7: Konya – Antalya.
This morning we drive to Konya and see the imposing green-tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, the mystic founder of the Islamic Sufi sect (Sufism is less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith. It has been defined as "mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God (“Whirling Dervishes”). After Konya we depart for Antalya. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 8: Perge and Aspendos.
After breakfast departure for Perge. According to the geographer Strabon, Perge was founded by Akhas who came to the region after the Trojan wars. Perge was first mentioned in 334 BC when Alexander the Great passed through the region. In the following years, Perge fell under the control of the Kingdom of Pergamon and later part of the Roman city. Especially in the first and the second centuries BC, Perge became one of the richest towns in Pamphylia. Therefore it is not a surprising that St. Paul started his campaign in Anatolia from Perge in 46 AD. The people of Perge loved and respected their Artemis to such an extent that Christianity had to wait for another 400 years to enter here. In the Byzantine period, Perge was the seat of the bishop. After the Perge tour we will stop for a lunch break and the head for another ancient marval Aspendos.
The eastern land of Antalya was called Pamphylia in ancient times. The Toros Daglari (Taurus Mountains) forms a beautiful back drop to the fertile coast, rich with fields of cotton and vegetables. Aspendos (Belkis) lies 47 km east of Antalya in the Pamphylian plain. In 486 BC, there was a huge battle between the Greeks and the Persians. Around 80 AD the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius built the amphitheatre. Built by Romans and maintained by the Byzantines and the Seljuk’s. The ruins of the ancient city are extensive and include a stadium, an agora, and a basilica. After Aspendos we return to our hotel. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 9: Antalya to Pamukkale.
At 8:30 we leave Antalya for Pamukkale (approximately 5 hour drive) once in Pamukkale you have time to walk around the small village and relax in the Thermal pools of the hotel. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 10: Pamukkale - Kusadasi.
This morning we shall visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale (cotton castle) and the ruins of Hierapolis, walking around this natural phenomenon gives you the option of lying in the waters of the natural springs that flow down the calcium terraces. After Pamukkale tour depart for Kusadasi.
Day 11: Ephesus and Kusadasi.
At 8:30 we depart for Ephesus (20 min drive) - once the commercial center of the ancient world. It is a highlight of any visit to Turkey. The city, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Her enormous temple, once considered one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and rebuilt several times, dates in its latest form from the third century BC. The tour of the ruins also includes a theater, gymnasium, agora and baths, as well as the Library of Celsus.
After lunch, we will make a shopping tour in which you will become aware of the ancient arts of Turkey like leather manufacturing and jewelery. As this will be a guided tour, you will avoid the constant nagging and sometimes bullying that is well known in the markets of Turkey. Enabling you to enjoy the shopping experience whilst gaining the knowledge of the ancient craftsmen. After The tour depart for Izmir airport for domestic flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 12: Istanbul – End of Tour.
Today your tour is over. Please make your own arrangements for departure remembering that your hotel will need you to check out before midday. We hope you had a memorable tour and we look forward to seeing you in the future. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Middle East Turkey Local Culture Cultural Journey
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