Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul (-)
On your first day you will arrive into Istanbul airport where an arranged transfer will be waiting for take you to your hotel as its here within the magical city of Istanbul that you will have your first overnight stay in preperation for tomorrows adventures.
Day 2 – Byzantine & Ottoman Relics Tour, Overnight in Istanbul
Today is your first day of exploring into the history that Istanbul has hiding away, and shall come to a start by you been picked up from your hotel at 08:30am where we will go on to visit St. Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and is of great artistic value with its decorated interior been made up with mosaics and marble pillars. The actual 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 the Blue Mosque, which is most recognizable from its six minarets, the mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 for Sultan Ahmet I had decorated the inside with 21,043 tiles from Iznik in a dominant blue colour and because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles is how the mosque came to be called ‘ Blue Mosque’. After we will head on to see the Ancient Hippodrome, here was scene of the all chariot races that took place, and also houses the three famously known monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Our journey will continue on to Topkapi Palace, this great palace was home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th – 19th centuries and is host to an exquisite collection of cyrstal,silver, and Chinese porcelain, also the robes to which were worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, and the Holy Mantle; with enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed. To conclude your first day of touring we will take a short drive to the exotic Grand Bazaar (Closed on Sundays and at Feast days), it is one of oldest/largest covered markets in the world with having upto 61 covered streets and more than 3,000 shops for you to delve into. Today tour will finish around 17:00 and from here you will then be transferred back to your hotel for the rest of evening. (Breakfast and Lunch Included)
Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise & Two Continents Tour, Overnight in Istanbul
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 (Closed at Feast days) 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.After your boat tour you will then be taken back to your Hotel as the evening is then yours. (Breakfast and Lunch Included).
Day 4 – Gallipoli Tour, Overnight in Canakkale
Today you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you as today, as will be checking out from the hotel to head on to your next destination. Today is an early start as there is so much to see and do so you will be picked up at 06:30am from your hotel and go on to make our departure for Gallipoli which is 5 hours drive from Istanbul. When we reach Gallipoli we will be visiting; Kabatepe Museum, which contains relics from the campaign including original diary extracts and letters, Brighton Beach, the intended landing place.There will then be a stop for Lunch so you can recharge for the afternoon. On the Southern tip of Anzac Cove is where you can see the Beach Cemetery and the landing place of the first wave of Australian and New Zealand troops and home for up to 30.000 troops during the campaign. Lone Pine Australian Memorial, site of the successful attack and capture of Turkish trenches by the Australians during the August offensive, Johnston’s Jolly – where you will visit the original Allied and Turkish trenches and tunnels, The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, captured by the New Zealanders during the August offensive. (Lunch included).
Day 5 – Troy and Pergamum Tour, Overnight in Kusadasi
Today you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you as today, as will be checking out from the hotel to head on to your next destination. The day will come to a start at 08:30am with pick up from your hotel to go and make our way to visit the ancient city of Troy, and as we all know its most famous for the legendary Trojan horse from the times of Beautiful Helen, Queen of Sparta, and Paris, the Trojan Prince. You will also go to see The ancient town of Pergamon, and be able to enter the Red Court – The Red Court was a precinct of successive religious worship which is evident by the various transformations of a formerly pagan temple to a Byzantine basilica, eventually became a mosque. After seeing these fantastic sights we will then drive up to to Asclepion that is situated on the hilltop and was once a world-renowned medical center of for physicians and scholars. The day will also involve exploring the impressive remains of the Acropolis. Now our time here is complete we will then start our road trip down to the area of Kusadasi as tomorrow we will visit the Worlds most famous Ancient City there. (Breakfast, Lunch included).
Day 6 – Ephesus Tour, Overnight in Kusadasi
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 and Virgin Mary House. Today you will first go to see 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.( your breakfast & lunch will be included).
Day 7 – Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour, Overnight in Pamukkale
Today you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you as today. As will be checking out from the hotel 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 (extra to pay inside). 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, and of course if you like you can take some refreshments the cafeteria on site. After tour we will transfer you to your hotel for overnight in Pamukkale. Breakfast and Lunch included.
Day 8 – Free day in Pamukkale, Overnight in bus to Antalya
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. You will be transferred to Denizli bus station to get to Antalya. According to public bus shedule you will take a bus to Antalya. One of our staff will met you at Antalya bus station and transfer you to hotel in Antalya. (Breakfast included).
Day 9 – Antalya Tour, Overnight in Antalya
As we arrive into Antalya we will firstly transfer you to your hotel so you can freshen up before we start our day of exploring Antalya’s treasures. The tour will begin by a pick from your hotel at 08:15am, where we will make our first visit of the day to Perge the ancient city to which we will see in great detail by it including visits to The Stadium, Roman Gate, Nymphaeum, Roman Bath, Hellenistic gate, Colonnaded Main Street and of course Agora. We will then stop for lunch (lunch included) on the Köprüpazari stream which is near to the Aspendos Theater after you have finished lunch our journey continues on to visit Aspendos Theater and the Historical Aquaducts. Once our tour around Perge is complete you will then be given free time to do some relaxation or shopping.
Day 10 – Antalya
Today is scheduled free so you have the whole day to yourselves to spend how you wish in and around the area of Antalya. We have written some of the MUST SEE ideas for you that you may wish to endure within your free time – SEA TO SKY – You will travel by a cable car upto Mount Tahtali and along the way up you will be able to admire the views of the coastline and the magnificent Taurus Mountains. PHASELIS – An ancient Lycian city that was once an important trading centre, it is surrounding by a National Park and 3 small cosy bays so you can always pack a picnic and take a dip, Or take a casual stroll through the woodlands where the ruins are hidden. KALEICI (old town of Antalya) – It still holds much of its original appearance with its narrow cobbled pathways that you can stroll along, and as take a casual stroll through Kaleici you will be able to find some art galleries, special bourtiques whilst at the same time gaze upon the spectacular Ottoman Architecture. ANTALYA ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM – This is a very famous museum and without a doubt one of the best that you can find throughout the whole of Turkey, because it highlights history in the region throughout the different periods. Or if you want to just relax in the sun Antalya also has numerous beaches you can go to with the most popular ones been Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach. As the day comes to an end and you have had your fill of what Antalya has to offer you we will then make a departure within the evening and start our drive through the night up to Cappadocia (bus route duration is 10 hours). Breakast included.
Day 11 – 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 12 – Cappadocia Tour 2, Overnight in Cappadocia
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 Kaymakl? 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, you will then be taken back to your hotel for the evening to be yours.
Optional : Hot air Balloon Tour (Per person 119.Euros)
Day 13 – Cappadocia and Bus to Istanbul
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. Today is scheduled free so you have the whole day to yourselves to spend how you wish in and around the area of Cappadocia. You can leave your luggage in the hotel till transfer time to bus station around 7:00pm. (bus route duration is 10 hours). Breakast included.
Day 14 – Istanbul
Once we arrive in to Istanbul, you shall then be transferred to Istanbul Ataturk Airport depending on your flight schedule. So sadly your time with us has now come to an end but we trust that your time with us discovering and exploring some of Turkeys hidden treasures has been everything that you wanted and more, most of all 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.
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.
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Transfers mentioned in the itinerary (regular group transfers)
Local taxes and service charges.
Hotel accommodations on the itinerary according to your selection as 3, 4 or 5 star.
Meals mentioned in the itinerary.
Professional English speaking guidance.
(You can ask for other language options for groups).
Entrance fees to the various sites.
Transportation with A/C and non smoking coaches.
What’s Not Included
VISA needed for Turkey.
Tips to guide, driver, hotel staff etc.
Harem and Treasure room entrance fees in Topkapi Palace.
Travel Insurance and personal expenses.