Tour Highlights: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale & Aphrodisias, Sirince Village and Ephesus
Discover some of Turkey's best historical, cultural and natural landmarks on this tour; one of the Turkey's must sees is legendary Istanbul, full of ancient monuments and intoxicating bazaars; combining striking geological marvels, such as Cappadocia is best known for its unique landscape of valleys and rock formations and the underground cave cities and the marvelous volcanic rock"fairy chimneys". And the geothermal springs and white travertine terraces, cascading mineral pools of Pamukkale once fed royal baths. Visit Mevlana mausoleum and get immersed in Rumi's philosophical thoughts. The west coast of Turkey has much to offer even the most seasoned traveller; experience the local life of charming unspoiled Old World Mountain village called "Sirince" then visit the remarkable ancient ruins at Ephesus where the Greco Roman world comes alive and the House of the Virgin Mary, located in a nature park between Ephesus and Selcuk, is believed to the last residence of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
DAY 1 – ISTANBUL
You will be met at the airport by our transferman and assisted to your car and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day is free. Today you will be met by your tour operator for tour briefing upon your arrival to your hotel.
DAY 2 – ISTANBUL (B)
Recommended Pick Up: 08:30am
Byzantine & Ottoman Relics Tour By Walk
Today you will explore the masterpieces of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture including the timeless Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine achitecture. We will begin with ancient Hippodrome, which was the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. We will then continue with Sultanahmet Mosque across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet. It is also known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decorated with blue Iznik tiles, we then head to our last stop before the lunch which is the famous Hagia Sophia. This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time. Lunch break(Estimated time: 12:30pm-13:30pm). Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence from where the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today a spectacular museum that has one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and the very famous treasury of the Royal Family. Grand Bazaar, In addition to its historical importance, it’s a bazaar that will tempt even the nonshoppers with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewellery, leather and souvenirs..
Optional: Cafer Aga Madrasa visit – if time allows (please see the details at the end of the itinerary)
Optional: The Hareem in Topkapi visit if time allows (please see the details at the end of the itinerary)
Optional: Private Bosphorus Cruise 17:30-19:30 Enjoy Two Hours Evening Cruise by Luxury Yacht
(If required can be included into Day 1 – Please advise)
Optional: Whirling Dervishes at Hodja Pasha (Please see the details at the end of the itinerary)
DAY 04 ISTANBUL / CAPPADOCIA (B)
Recommended Pick Up: 07:45am (To catch 09:55am flight from Ataturk Airport)
Morning flight to Cappadocia. (Usually 09:55am flight from Istanbul to Nevsehir Airport lands 11:15am)
Checkout from the hotel then transfer to Ataturk Airport to catch the morning flight to Cappadocia. Arrival and meeting at the airport arrival gate you will be met and transferred to Cappadocia to join the tour.
North Cappadocia Tour
Tour Highlights; Dervent Valley, Pasabag, Avanos, Goreme, Uchisar Castle
Our first real encounter with Cappadocia almost Martian landscape is in the Dervent valley. We visit Pasabag's "fairy chimneys", where the voice of the wind harmonizes with songs of the fairies. From here we pause at Avanos center of terracotta art. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. A visit to ceramic & tile center to see how the ceramics made by hand. After lunch we visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. People of Goreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. We will enjoy the day by taking a look to the Goreme Valley from next to the Uchisar Rock-castle; has the numerous hollowed-out containers, rock tombs, and a large water cistern all welcome you as silent witnesses to history and human life giving you a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. End of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Enjoy your cave hotel.
DAY 05 CAPPADOCIA ( B)
South Cappadocia Tour :
Tour Highlights; Kaymakli Underground City, Red Valley, Cavusin, Ortahisar, Pigeon Valley
Depart from your hotel to visit Red Valley through Cavusin Village and explore the famous rock- cut churches and hike 2 km. Then visit Cavusin Village. Old Cavusin was abandoned several decades ago due to avalanches... After lunch drive to the Pigeon Valley. In the afternoon visit Underground city, where early Christians lived in fear and faith. The houses in the village are constructed around the nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city, which is one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. The underground city was originally carved out as eight floors; however four floors are available to visit. In wartime about 5000 people can refuge in. The tunnels are still used today as storage areas, stables, and cellars. On the way back visit the Ortahisar town. Sit down to tea with a local family in their home and visit the Göreme Weavers Association on an Artisan Visit. End of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours and you may pamper yourself by enjoying a traditional Turkish bath. The traditional Turkish Hammam experience has a unique and inspiring stylishness.
Optional: In the evening-Turkish Bath – Hamam (Please find the details at the end of the itinerary)
Optional: In the early morning - Hot Air Balloon ride (Please find the details at the end of the itinerary)
DAY 06 CAPPADOCIA / KONYA / PAMUKKALE (B-D)
Hotel Pick Up in Cappadocia: 06:30am
Driving Distance (Cappadocia to Konya) Approx. 3hours & (Konya to Pamukkale): Approx.6hours
Duration: 06:30am to 21:00pm
Pick up from the hotel will be early in the morning around 06:30am. Departing from Cappadocia to Pamukkale through Konya it is going to be over 3 hours driving to Konya where you will have your lunch.
Konya Tour: Visit 13th century Selcuk caravanserai (an ancient hotel for the caravans)"Sultanhan" in Konya then you will continue to Konya. Here you will first visit the museum of Whirling Dervishes and the Mevlana Mausoleum the great mystic poet and Islamic spiritual leader, who founded the sect of ''Whirling Dervishes''and have lunch. After exploring the city little bit more you will continue to Pamukkale and overnight stay. Drive to the hotel in Pamukkale.
DAY 07 PAMUKKALE-HIERAPOLIS & APHRODISIAS TOUR / KUSADASI (B-D)
Driving Distance (Pamukkale to Kusadasi): Approx.3hours
Duration: 08:30am to 19:00pm
Pick up from the hotel early in the morning and 20min. drive to Pamukkale that has the meaning of the Cotton Castle in English. Once known as Hierapolis, famous for healing thermal / mineral Baths and beautifully snow-white “petrified waterfalls". After C/out and breakfast we will drive to the ruins of Hierapolis antique city and the travertine terraces and hot springs at Pamukkale. Drive to Aphrodisias hrough the Aphrodisias Ancient site, one of the most beautiful classical sites in Turkey which was built near a marble quarry that was extensively exploited in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, and sculpture in marble from Aphrodisias became famous in the Roman world. Upon arrival to Aphrodisias first lunch break (estimated between 13:30pm-14:30pm)the visit the Temple of Aphrodite and the most complete stadium to have survived from the ancient world. Continue to pretty coastal town of Kusadasi for overnight stay.
Optional: You may choose to swim in the Pamukkale Antique Pools (Cleopatra’s pool) (at own expense) during the 1-1,5hours free time.
DAY 08 SIRINCE VILLAGE - KUSADASI (B-D)
Driving Distance (Kusadasi to Sirince): Apprix.30min.
Duration: 09:00am to 14:00pm
You will directly visit to Sirince village which was founded by the Greeks living around Ephesus before. Today the locals of this village are Turks and the village is famous for Turkish Pancake and fruit wine. This delightful village, 12 km away from Ephesus and 30 km from Kusadasi, was once Cirkince ("ugly").There is a story that the village was settled by freed Greek slaves who named the village Cirkince (meaning "Ugly" in Turkish) to deter others from following them. Indeed its habitants gave this name on purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners or to share the beauty of their village. Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly at all and called it Sirince ("pretty"). As the village is located on the top of a mountain, anyone will enjoy the impressive wine yards' and peach trees' views on his way. This lovely village is famous for its own wines and olive oils and garden produce. Sirince especially worth visiting for the magnificent scenery, in particular the breathtaking views of olive groves and lush countryside en-route to the village. After the half day tour here before heading to Kusadasi there will be one hour lunch break in this nice village. Drive to your hotel then free at leisure at this nice resort and overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Optional: Camlik Museum of Steam Locomotives
DAY 09 KUSADASI / EPHESUS/ IZMIR / ISTANBUL FLIGHT (B)
Evening flight to Istanbul. (Usually 19:10pm flight from Izmir to Ataturk Airport lands 20:15pm)
Duration: li08:30am -16:30pm
Explore the amazing ruins of Ephesus.
After breakfast C/out from the hotel; tour starts from Kusadasi proceed to the House of the Virgin Mary includes scenic views of the Byzantine fortress in Selcuk and the Temple of Artemis. A long winding road affords wonderful views of the valley en route to the Shrine of St. Mary. The diminitive house, beautifully situated in the Solmissos Mountains, is considered by the Vatican to be the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. Your tour continues to ancient Ephesus, where you'll pass through the arched Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk to the ruins of the Roman provincial capital. Your knowledgeable guide will highlight such sights as the beautifully preserved Temple of Hadrian, the magnificent Trajan Fountain, the Odeon Theater, once used for both political and entertainment purposes, and the beautiful Celsus Library with its imposing façade and two story Corinthian-style columns. The dramatic Great Theater is one of the few structures still used today. It seats twenty-five thousand and, although it was once an arena for gladiator games, it is now home to annual spring festivals. Temple Of Artemis (Diana), on the side of one of the seven wonders of ancient World.
Ephesus Terrace Houses which are located on the hill, opposite the Hadrian Temple. Also called as "The Houses of Rich", give us information about family life during the Roman period. The terrace houses looked ordinary and plane outside but inside they were decorated with the highest standard of their time. Excavation of Roman artifacts continues.
Then we will head back to Izmir airport to catch the evening flight to Istanbul. Upon your arrival to Istanbul then you will be transferred to your hotel. (Hotel Drop off around 21:30pm)
DAY 10 ISTANBUL (FLY HOME) (B)
You will be transferred to the airport depending on your departure flight.
· 4Nights in Istanbul – BB Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel / Standard room
(Or – BB Wyndham Istanbul Oldcity / Standard room)
· 2Nights in Cappadocia - BB Argos in Cappadocia / Standard room
(Or – BB Cappadocia Cave Suites / Fairy Chimneys suites II)
· 1Night in Pamukkale -HB Doga Thermal Hotel & Spa / Deluxe room
(Back up - HB Colossae Spa & Thermal Hotel / Deluxe room)
· 2Nights in Kusadasi -HB Charisma Deluxe Hotel / Deluxe room with Sea View
(Back up -HB Korumar Hotel / Standard room with Sea View)
· Accommodations as listed (According to the availability)
· Breakfast & Dinner, as per itinerary
· Private Tour guide , as per itinerary
· All transfers as listed, as per itinerary
· Transportation in private van, as per itinerary
· All entrance fees as listed, as per itinerary
· Domestic Flights as per itinerary (according to the availability)
(Economy Class is available) (If Business class required; ask for price)
· Travel Insurance (Obligatory; see details below)
· Meals, as per itinerary
· Optional tours & activities
· Items not specifically mentioned as included
· International flights
· Travel insurance
On request: If Suite room required - Please ask for price.
On request: If Business Class Flight required - Please ask for price.
On request: If Dinner on the yacht required – Please ask for price.
On request: If Whirling Dervish / Hodja Pasha required – Please ask for price.
On request: If Turkish Bath / Hammam Package required - Please ask for price.
On request: If 60minutes Shared Hot Air Balloon required – Per/Person: Euro-145
On request: If 60minutes Private Hot Air Balloon required – Available up to Five Pax: Euro-1185
On request:If 2Hours Private Yacht required - Surcharge: Euro- 550Euro
(For the whole group, including professional guide)
On request: If French, Spanish, Portuguese…guide required - Surcharge: Euro- 760
(For the whole trip & For the whole group).
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