HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
Arrive at Istanbul airport, meet our driver at the exit gate who is holding a board that your name is written. Transfer you to your hotel in the old district. Overnight in Istanbul.
Your guide will meet you and a short walk takes you to the Blue Mosque which was completed in 1616. Our next stop will be the Topkapi Palace, more than just a palace, it is an assemblage of museums containing collections amassed by the Sultans for almost five centuries. Next, we walk through the old cobbled streets down Spice Market. We end the tour with a visit to the greatest Bazaar of them all, the Grand Bazaar, one of the most extraordinary shopping experiences in the world. Overnight in Istanbul.
On our last day in Istanbul takes us to a number of Byzantine Relics. We first stroll to the great square which was once the Byzantine Hippodrome. Now it is a great park-like area surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Underground Cistern. Next, we visit the Hagia Sophia, the most important Byzantine building in the world. After lunch at a local restaurant, we take a short drive to The Chora Church to see the climax of Byzantine Mosaic Art. We end the tour with a leisurely breakfast and take a short drive to the shores of the Bosphorus to visit the Dolmabahce Palace. Then we get on board at Kabatas Pier for a 2 hour private cruise of the Bosphorus. We take the evening flight to Cappadocia then we take an hour’s transfer to our hotel in Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Our first real encounter with Cappadocia’s almost Martian landscape is in the Dervent valley, where the rock formations are amazing. A walk through the Zelve Open Air Museum is a journey into the past, with its troglodyte houses. This is one of the earliest inhabited and latest abandoned monastic settlements in Cappadocia. After Zelve we visit Pasabag’s “fairy chimneys”, where the voice of the wind harmonizes with the songs of the fairies. From here we pause at Avanos, a centre of terracotta art since 2,000 BC, for a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. After lunch in Avanos, we visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. These are found in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings dating from as early as the 10th century. We complete the tour with a visit to the Uchisar Rock-Castle, giving you a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Our first stop is the Soganli Valley, an open air museum in a wild natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village with its different style rock-cut churches and frescoes. After this, we drive to Mustafapasa for lunch.. After lunch in Mustafapasa at an old Greek house hosted by a local family, we descend towards the centre of the earth, with a trip to the Underground City of Kaymakli, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements. We will transfer you back to the airport to take the flight to Izmir. Arrival at Izmir airport, meet our driver and transfer to Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi.
We start early in the morning to beat the crowds and first drive to the Virgin Mary”s House; afterwards, we visit Ephesus which was founded in the eleventh century BC by the Ionians. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, we see the Fountain of Traian, the temple of Hadrian and the Library of Celsus to name a few. We also visit the Terrace Houses: A number of living units where the rich and the dignitary of Ephesus with the most beautiful ground mosaics, frescoes, terra cotta pipelines and private baths. Later in the afternoon we will visit St John”s Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ”s beloved disciple. From the basilica, we will be able to look down on the remains of the temple of Artemis. We end the day with our visit to the Isa Bey Mosque, then we head on to Kusadasi for a well-earned rest. Overnight in Kusadasi.
After breakfast, we drive first to Prienne, formerly a leading member of the Panionic League. As we drive further South, we visit Miletus and then arrive at Didyma, where we have lunch at a local restaurant, circumstances permitting, across the road from the temple. As the historian Pausanias wrote; “The sanctuary of Apollo at Didymoi, and the oracle there are more ancient than the Ionian settlement.” Overnight in Kusadasi.
As we check out, we drive to Pamukkale giving an en route visit to Aphrodisias, which was the city dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite. As we visit the Sculptor”s Museum in Aphrodisias, we have lunch at a local restaurant. We visit Hierapolis on arrival, then have time to stroll over the calcareous terraces of Pamukkale, or to enjoy the thermal facilities. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.
We will transfer you to the Denizli airport and take the flight back to Istanbul.
Accommodation at a luxurious cave hotel in Cappadocia
Accommodation at a special boutique hotel in Sultanahmet
Accommodation at a 5 star hotel in Kusadasi
HB accommodation at a 5 star hotel in Pamukkale
All private tours
All private airport transfers
Private guiding on tours
Private A/C minivan on tours
Admission fees to the museums and sights
Lunches on tours
Return domestic flight tickets ( Istanbul – Kayseri- Izmir- Denizli- Istanbul)
Gratuities for the guide and driver
For cancellations up to 15 days before tour there is no cancellation fee. For cancellations within 15 days of the tour, we will charge a 50% cancellation fee. For cancellations within 24 hours of tour, we will charge a 100% cancellation fee.
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