$1,050 8 DAYS
from the Byzantine and Ottoman past of its former capital, Istanbul, to Troy, Ephesus, and the limestone cotton castles of Pamukkale.
Day 1 – Thursday: Arrival in Istanbul
Upon arrival meet with our representative, transfer to your hotel. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2 – Friday: Istanbul (BL)
In the morning, visit the Blue Mosque, recognizable from its six minarets, built between 1609 and 1616 for Sultan Ahmet I; the Hippodrome where political, cultural, and sports activities took place during Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times. In the afternoon, visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman sultans between the end of the 15th and the first half of the 19th centuries, with its treasures, terraces overlooking the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn... Lunch during the visits. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3 – Saturday: Istanbul (BL)
In the morning, visit the imposing Haghia Sophia which marked the apogee of Byzantine Emperor Justinian's reign. Then a cruise on the Bosporus that separates Asia from Europe and connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. You will get the best views of the city and most of the historical monuments in Istanbul. Lunch. In the afternoon free time at the Spice Market and the historical Grand Bazaar. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 4 – Sunday: Istanbul – Ankara (by plane) – Cappadocia 320 km (BLD)
In the morning, transfer to Istanbul airport for the flight TK2108 to Ankara at 08.00 AM. Upon arrival transfer to the city to visit The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations for its rich and unique collections from the Hittites and the others who went over this soil. A brief stop for taking pictures at the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. After lunch, continue to Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 5 – Monday: Cappadocia 50 km (BLD)
Early in the morning, possibility to participate a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia (optional: 185 USD). After breakfast, a full day tour to explore Cappadocia. Visit the Underground City, a multi-level labyrinth for protection during invasions and Citadel of Uchisar. Learn about the art and crafts of rural Turkey at a handicraft center and attend a lecture on Turkish hand-made rugs. Lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Goreme Valley, an open-air museum with rock-cut churches (7th-13th centuries) adorned with biblical frescoes. Enjoy the best vista points in Pasabag Valley. Dinner and overnight at hotel (possibility of an optional dinner show with folkloric dances: 45 USD).
Day 6 – Tuesday: Cappadocia – Konya – Pamukkale 595 km (BLD)
Early in the morning, drive to Konya. En route, visit the Caravanserai, a hotel for merchants during the Seljuk period - 13th century on the Silk Road. In Konya, visit the Museum of Mevlana, the famous mystic poet, and founder of the Sufi Order of the Whirling Dervishes. After lunch, Continue to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 7 – Wednesday: Pamukkale – Kusadasi 240 km (BLD)
After breakfast, visit Pamukkale, the "Cotton Castle", with the white water terraces of limestone deposits by the thermal waters through the ages an unreal landscape and the ancient city of Hierapolis. Then drive to Selçuk. After lunch, visit the House of Virgin Mary. Then visit Ephesus. The site today is one of the best places of the world to visualize an ancient Roman city: Explore the Marble Street, Agora, Odeon, and Theater, as well as the Fountain of Trajan, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Library of Celsius. Continue to Izmir. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 8 – Thursday: Departure (B)
Transfer to the Izmir airport.
Transportation in air-conditioned vehicles throughout.
Escort by an English-speaking professional guide-lecturer.
Entrance fees to the museums stated in the itinerary.
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
Accommodation in shared twin rooms in stated or similar hotels.
Arrival and departure transfers.
Porterage at the hotels.
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE:
Domestic flights Istanbul – Ankara on the 4th day (TK2108).
Visits and services not mentioned in program.
Personal expenses and all beverages.
Gratuities to the guide and driver.