Duration : 9 days / 8 nights
Route : Istanbul – Ephesus – Pamukkale – Cappadocia
Day 1 –
As you arrive in Istanbul, you will be met with an arranged transfer service that shall drive you to your hotel for an overnight stay to ensure you are well rested for tomorrows adventure.
P.S : If your flight is from / to Sabiha Gokcen Airport, There is an extra charge of 30 Euro for each way..
Day 2 – Byzantine & Ottoman Relics Tour, Overnight in Istanbul
Your pick up from your hotel will come in the morning at 08:30 to take you to go on and visit St. Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture because of its magnificent artistic value and its interior is decorated with mosaics, marble pillars and colourful coverings.The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian proclaimed “Solomon, I have outdone thee “ Justinian himself had overseen the completion of the greatest cathedral ever built up to that time, and it was to remain the largest cathedral for 1,000 years more up until the completion of the cathedral in Seville in Spain. Just across from St. Sophia is theBlue Mosque, which is famously recognizable its grand scale with having its six minarets that were built between 1609 and 1616 – Sultan Ahmet I had decorated the inside with 21,043 tiles from Iznik in a dominant blue colour because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles is how the name of ‘ Blue Mosque’ came to be. You will also go on to take a visit to the Ancient Hippodrome which was the scene for the chariot races, there is also 3 monuments grounded here which are named – The Obelisk of Theodosius, The Bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. We will continue onwards to see Topkapi Palace – the great palace of the Ottoman sultans dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries and hosts an exquisite collection of cyrstal, silver, and Chinese porcelain. You are also able to find here the robes that were worn by the sultans and their families, famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, and the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. To conclude your day of touring there will be a short drive to the exotic Grand Bazaar, which is one of the most colourful institutions of Istanbul. The tour will finish around 17:00 and its then on back over to your hotel for the evening. (Breakfast and Lunch Included)
Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise Tour, Overnight in bus
Please check out from hotel after breakfast and take bring your suitcases with you. After a good breakfast a transfer will come to pick you up at 08:30am from your hotel reception and take us to our first point of call for today which is to go and visit the Spice Market / Spice Bazaar you will notice that the air in here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other concievableherb and spice that you can name, once we are at the Spice Market you will be given free time so you can tak yourself around and explore, and of course you will be able to buy yourself some of the fresh herbs and spices that you can strongly smell for take back home. Onwards with our journey will take us next to joing the Bosphorus Tour By Boat, This boat trip is very traditional excursion and as we sail along the coastline you will be able to understand why, the narrow waterway seperates the 2 continents that are Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages, during the excursion you will pass by some of the most amazing buildings such as – the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, the parks and imperial pavillions of Yildiz Palace. You will also be able to see Ciragan Palace which is 300 meters of its is marble facade facing the shoreline. Rumeli Fortress, was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul and was completed in only four months its purpose was to control and protect Bosphorus from any raiders/attack. Rumeli Fortess is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture to be seen anywhere in the world. Also Beylerbeyi Palace, – which was the summer residence of the ottoman sultans and with its orginal furniture and magnificent gardens with the Harem and can be seen the Asian side of Istanbul. As we approach Bosphorus Bridge it truly shows a unique change from one continent to the other (Asia to Europe). After we will be able to see the Camlica Hill that is the highest point in istanbul and as you reach the top of it you can take a rest to admire the magnificent panorama of Mystical Istanbul and also Bosphours with its beautiful gardens, landscaped in a traditional style. You will then be given the afternoon free to your lesiure so you are able to see more of this amazing magical city. We will travel through the night by bus to make our way down to Kusadasi for see The Ancient City Ephesus tomorrow. We ensure that all of our buses are kept clean with fully working air-con, and comfortable seating, please also make a note that our buses have a non smoking policy. (duration is 10 hours) Breakfast Included
Day 4 – Ephesus Tour, Overnight in Kusadasi
Once we arrive in Kusadasi you will be taken directly to your hotel for the chance to freshen up and have some breakfast before our tour starts for the day. Today you will do full day Ephesus sightseeing which will begin in the morning at 09:00 am. We will come to pick you up from your hotel in Kusadasi and hit the road for a short drive to Ephesus (You have the choice to do this tour by group or as your own private tour). Firstly we will take you to see the The House of Virgin Mary which is situated on the top of Bulbul Mountain, the house was discovered back in the 19 th century. Catherina Emmerich (1775-1824), an invalid German nun who had never visited Ephesus went on to describe in great detail the house and its location which she had been known to have seen in a vision. It is also believed that St.John brought Mary (the mother of Jesus) to Ephesus sometime between AD 37-48 and its the place she spent her last years of her life. After seeing The House Of Virgin Mary we will continue on tour to the Ancient City of Ephesus where you will see one of the most spectacular excavations to ever exist in the world, you will have the chance see also the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastika, the Temple of Hadrian, the Grand Theater and last but no means the least the very impressive library of Ephesus. The Ephesus library is adorned with columns and statues and is still in relatively excellent condition, by standing in the middle of the Library or taking a walk down the main street in Ephesus you will feel like you have stepped back in time amongst the romans and the visuals here are fantastic to see. Also within Ephesus is The Grand Theater where Saint Paul preached its believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world with a capacity of 25,000 seats. The last and perhaps the most important, site in Selcuk is the great Temple of Artemis (Diana) , which is one of the Seventh Wonders of the Ancient World. The Ephesus Artemis was a goddess of fertility and was often pictured draped with eggs or multiple breasts as symbols of fertility. Our tour today will come to an end after visiting the Mosque of Isa Bey, which was built in the 19th century, it was also used as a caravanserai, it definately is a perfect architectural building that you must-see. During todays tour you will have one hour free break time to rest, and of course if you like you can take some refreshments the cafeteria on site. (lunch included)
Day 5 – Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour, Overnight in bus
Today you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you, as we will be checking out from the hotel after breakfast to head on to your next destination. Your pick up for start your day discovering Pamukkale & Hierapolis will be from your hotel in Kusadasi. Pamukkale when translated means ‘Cotton Castle’ and has been drawing the weary and the curious from all around the world to its thermal springs for more than 23 centuries. The Turkish name refers to the extraordinary surface of the snow white cliffs, shaped over millennia by the accumulation of calcium deposited by mineral springs. Legend has it that the formations are actually solidified cotton (the area’s principal crop) that was left out to dry by giants. Dripping slowly down a vast mountainside, mineral rich water foams and collects in bowls that terrace the decline, spilling over petrified cascades of stalacties into milky pools below. The site of ancient Hierapolis and the accompanying museums are overshadowed by the springs but are nevertheless fascinating.You shouldn’t leave Pamukkale without having a healing dip in the sacred fountain of Cleopatra’s pool. Cleopatras Pool has warm clear fizzy water that bubbles from the springs source, but in these days has now blocked off to prevent divers from disappearing into its hidden depths. On the bottom surface of the pool you can clearly see the Ancient remains of the Roman columns – Cleopatras Pool is an Oasis. After taking a walk along the terraces we will take a short walk to Hierapolis City which can also be known as ‘Holy City’ and just outside the main entrance is the Necropolis (Grevyard), with more than 1200 tombs and sarcophagi the people who wished to have been buried here believed that bee within close proximity to the hot springs and vapor-emiting that the cracks would ease their trip to the Underworld. Among the tombs lies the Martyrium which is a octagonal 5th centruy edifice believed to have been erected upon the site where St.Philip was martyred in 80 CE. Hierapolis CityBath – The springs of Hierapolis were particularly popular among vacationing Romans. The cities bath’s had a glossy marble interior that has now been converted into a mediocre Archaelogical Museum.You will notice that carved into the side of the mountain is the monstrous Grand Theater that dominates the Vista of Hierapolis, almost all of the seating area which had a capacity for 25.000 is still intact,and so are various ornately sculpted decorative elements adorning the 3rd century CE. During todays tour you will have one hour free break time to rest take in the views, and of course if you like you can take some refreshments from the cafeteria on site. After tour comes to an end we will move onwards to Cappadocia by bus at 21:00 or 22:00 Our bus is non smoking and fully air-conditioned. (duration is 10 hours) Breakfast and Lunch Included
Day 6 – Cappadocia Tour 1, Overnight in Cappadocia
As we arrive in Cappadocia you will be transferred to your hotel so you have the chance to freshen up before we start our exploration of Cappadocias secrets. We will leave from your hotel at 09:00 am where our first visit of the day will be to Devrent Valley – Devrent Valley is also known by the name of ‘Imagination Valley’ this valley has none of the cave churches, Byzantine frescoes or Roman citadel ruins that are famous throughout the rest of Cappadocia; but dont be put off as what it does have is very unique and extraordinary landscape shapes that are formed in many kinds of animals, so let your imagination run away with you and see what you animals you can spot, it will most certainly make you laugh with wonder. Our next visit will be to Pasabag (Monk’s Valley) where you will be able to take a look at the mushroom shaped fairy chimneys, these chimneys are very interesting structures and were formed due to the harder rock material been deposited above. The valley gets the nickname Monks valley because of the ascetic monks who came here as early as the 5th century and lived hermit lifestyles here. It was a so called ‘stylite’ way of living, from the greek work stylos, meaning pillar – the christian monks built dwellings inside the pillars and its where they lived, fasted and prayed. After discovering Pasabag we will then head over to the town of Avanos, Avanos is set on the banks of Kizilirmak which is translated to ‘The Red River’. We will first start with the old village of Avanos that winds up the hills leading away from the town it truely is a beautiful magical maze of old stone houses, some that have been restored over time and some that have been converted to other purposes. In some of the abandoned houses the features oftraditional Ottoman architecture can still be seen along with ancient decorations, motifs and murals. You will also get the chance to participate in a hands-on pottery work shop. We will then take a lunch break ( thats included) for recharge our batteries. After your lunch we will proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, this museum has incredible rock formations and the most fascinating rock-cut churches, you will definately enjoy your time exploring the depth of Goreme and im certain that you will need extra camera film. Our last stop for today will be to Uchisar – which is a village perched on a steep rock formation, this town provides some of the most dramatic panoramas of the astonishing Cappadocia that you will never want to leave. Take a wander into the town as its a very nice place to sit and watch the harmony between nature and human. During the tour today there will be 1 hour free time for you to relax, grab some cold refreshments and just simply soak up the panoramic views that surround you. Our tour for today shall finish around 17:00 to which we will then transfer you back you your hotel for the evening. (Lunch Included).
Day 7 – Cappadocia Tour 2, Overnight in bus
Today you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you as today, as we will be checking out from the hotel to head on to your next destination. During our tour today we will first be visiting Red Valley and Rose Valley. Red Valley has to be one of the nicest and most beautiful places to go walking in Cappadocia. The two valleys are next to each other and are easily combined. Once in Rose Valley you don’t want to miss the Hacli Church and the Ayvali Church, both of which have astounding painted decorations one the interior. Afterwards we will take a visit to the old Christian Village of Cavusin, followed by a tour to Pigeon Valley, the path through Pigeon valley offers spectacular views of the natural cliffs and the man-made caves, it passes through a few tunnels that have been carved into the rockside. Finally we will visit Kaymakli Underground City and Ortahisar Castle, here in Kaymaklı underground city there is 8 levels of the underground city that date from 6th – 9th centuries and 5 of which are open to the public. The tunnels, cellers, store rooms, stables have all been exacvated from the soft volcanic rock they are absolutely astonishing on your eyes. Castle of Ortahisar is situated at 86 m height cave in the period of Eti and is the most pronounced structure of Nevsehir. During your today today you will have 1 hour free so if you wish you can take some refreshments and take the time to relax. Our adventure through Cappadocia will come to an end around 17:00 pm for today, and we will head over to a resturant in Cappadocia for enjoy a delicious dinner as at around 21.00 we will get back on the road and travel through the night til we reach Istanbul. We ensure that all of our buses are kept clean with fully working air-con, and comfortable seating, please also make a note that our buses have a non smoking policy.(duration about 11 hours).Breakfast and Lunch Included
Day 8 – Istanbul Free day, Overnight in Istanbul
Once we arrive in Istanbul in the morning you will then be transferred to your arranged hotel by shuttle and from here the day is completely yours to spend how you wish to. Whether you want to get some rest to relax or if you want to spend the day getting to discover the Magical city of Istanbul its up to you. Below are some MUST SEE ideas for you to – Basilica Cistern (unexpected romantic place to visit, the cistern that once stored the water has been fitted with lights and music. Fish flitter around the bases of the 336 columns that support the ceiling. Don’t miss the upside-down head of Medusa that forms the bottom of one column. Süleymaniye Mosque (stand on Galata Bridge and gaze up at the city’s historic skyline and you will see the mosque that was designed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan for Suleiman the Magnificent. It’s regarded to be finest of the 42 surviving mosques he designed for Istanbul. Unusually, it retains much of the original complex of social service buildings that came attached to it, including several madrasahs, a hospital, a library and a hamam. There are also few museums that are definately worth a visit such as Istanbal Archaeology Museums – Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum.
There will be an overnight stay within Istanbul, as tomorrow is the final day of your Historical tour around Turkey.
Day 9 – End of Tour
After you have had breakfast its time to check out from your hotel room before 12:00, You will then be transferred to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for catch your flight back home (your transfer to the airport will be scheduled with regard to your flight details). Your time with us has now come to an end and we trust that your time with us discovering and exploring some of Turkeys hidden treasures has been everything that you wanted and more, we would also like to wish you a pleasant journey home and shall look forward to seeing you again on one of our many other time travelling packages. (Breakfast shall be included)
PS: Normally check in time of the hotels at 12:00 pm, if your room is not ready (incase of an early check-in) please leave your suitcases at the hotels luggage room.
- Transfers mentioned in the itinerary
- Local taxes and service charges
- Hotel accommodations on the itinerary
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary
- Professional English speaking guidance
- Entrance fees to the various sites
- Transportation with A/C and non smoking coaches
What’s Not Included
- Tips to guide , driver and hotel personnel.