Duration: 11 Days – 10 Nights
Hotel: Istanbul – Hilton Parksa (FC+), Ankara – Barcelo Altinel (SFC), Cappadocia – Lykia Lodge (SFC), Pamukkale – Pam Thermal (FC), Kusadasi – Charisma Hotel (DLX), Canakkale – Kolin Hotel (SFC)
Day 1 Fri: Istanbul
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome briefing will be held.
Day 2 Sat: Istanbul
Enjoy a full day tour including a visit to Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453–1852 (excluding harem). Visit the Hippodrome, which was once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets. Join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. B
Day 3 Sun: Istanbul – Ankara
This morning depart on an optional tour of St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, and now a museum and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Also, choose to embark on a half-day Bosphorus cruise enjoying the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Its shores are lined with fine neighborhoods, Ottoman palaces, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels, parks and gardens, restaurants and cafés. Depart for the capital city of Ankara for overnight. B D
Day 4 Mon: Ankara – Cappadocia
Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai holding artifacts from up to 7500 years old including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world. Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Drive to Cappadocia, touring a 13th century caravanserai en route. Pay a visit to the underground city of Saratli, one of the many underground settlements built for protection and religious reasons. Overnight in Cappadocia. B D
Day 5 Tue: Cappadocia
Consider an optional early morning hot air balloon tour and experience floating through the volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among the rock formations, which was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in that region. Continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi, Red Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave. B D
Day 6 Wed: Cappadocia – Pamukkale
Drive to Pamukkale. En route visit the famous mausoleum of the Sufi philosopher, Mevlana. This was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. B D
Day 7 Thu: Pamukkale – Kusadasi
Visit the unique cotton fortress of Pamukkale, with its white lime cascades formed by mineral springs, and the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Proceed to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. B D
Day 8 Fri: Ephesus & St. Mary’s House – Kusadasi
Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production center to have a firsthand experience of this unique art form. Join an optional afternoon tour of Sardis or Sirince. B D
Day 9 Sat: Pergamum – Troy – Canakkale
Tour the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamum and visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Continue to Canakkale for overnight. B D
Day 10 Sun: Dardanelles – Gallipoli – Istanbul
In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, and then drive to Istanbul for overnight. B
Day 11 Mon: Istanbul – Return
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. B
Professional English speaking guide throughout the tour.
Breakfast (B), Dinner (D) as indicated in the itinerary.
All sightseeing and admission fees on the above program.
Arrival and Departure Ataturk International Airport transfers.
All transportation in Turkey by private a/c tour coach.
Any tipping you feel appropriate.
Meals unless stated.
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