ISTANBUL & CAPPADOCIA
STARTING AT $870
from the Byzantine and Ottoman past of its former capital, Istanbul, to Troy, Ephesus, and the limestone cotton castles of Pamukkale.
Duration: 6 Nights
Departure Day: Monday
Start City: Istanbul
End City: Kayseri
The region of Cappadocia is best known for its spectacular lunar landscape, the result of repeated volcanic eruptions. Eons ago, wind and water eroded layers of deposits to form a series of interconnected valleys and ravines, dramatically punctuated by plateaus and conical outcroppings (fairy chimneys). When Cappadocia was an important province of the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages, hundreds of settlements, churches, and monasteries were carved into the soft rock. Astonishingly, more than 700 churches have been counted in the region, many of them preserving impressive frescoes. Due to its combination of volcanic wonders and
Two magical UNESCO sites of Turkey are presented in the Istanbul & Cappadocia
Historic areas of Istanbul house architectural marvels dating back centuries. One can feel the presence of different civilizations that have passed by this Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. These include the Hippodrome, Roman Constantinople’s political and sporting arena; the Haghia Sophia, a monument that marks the apogee of Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s reign; the Topkapi Palace, once the first built Ottoman Palace in Istanbul, housing treasures of spiritual and historical value; the Blue Mosque, its’ interior adorned by blue Iznik tiles; the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and biggest market places with 61 covered streets and more than 3000 stores.
The Cappadocia visit virtually takes you to a fairyland. Powerful volcanic activity in
this region, left behind solidified soft rocks; inhabitants of the area carved chambers and tunnel complexes into those rocks creating a settlement easily hidden from their enemies. Early Christians fleeing from Rome’s oppression established monastic communities and created Byzantine fresco paintings in the caves depicting stories from the Bible. The Goreme open air museum offers more than 10 cave churches with different themes.
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 – Cappadocia (by plane) (BD)
After breakfast, free A.M in Istanbul. In the afternoon transfer to Istanbul airport for the flight TK2014 to Kayseri at 03.50 PM. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. 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: 160 €). After breakfast, a full day tour to explore Cappadocia. Visit the Goreme Valley, an open-air museum with rock-cut churches (7th-13th centuries) adorned with biblical frescoes. 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 Underground City, a multi-level labyrinth for protection during invasions, Uchisar and Pigeon Valley, best vista points on the way to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel (possibility of an optional dinner show with folkloric dances: 40 €).
Day 6 – Tuesday: Cappadocia – Istanbul (B)
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Kayseri airport for the flight TK2027 to Istanbul at 11.25 AM. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Free P.M. in Istanbul. Lunch & dinner are on your own. Overnight at hotel.
Day 7 – Wednesday: Departure (B)
Transfer to the airport.
Transportation in air-conditioned vehicles throughout.
Guided by an English-speaking professional guide-lecturer.
Entrance fees to the museums stated in the itinerary.
6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners.
Accommodation in shared twin rooms in stated or similar hotels.
Arrival and departure transfers.
Porterage at the hotels.
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE:
Visits and services not mentioned in program.
Personal expenses and all beverages.
Gratuities to the guide and driver.
Domestic flights Istanbul – Kayseri on the 4th day (TK2014) and Kayseri
Istanbul on the 6th day (TK2027).