Istanbul And Ephesus Tours


Starts: Istanbul
Finish: Kusadasi
Duration: 7 Days – 6 Nights
Places Visited: Istanbul and Ephesus Tours

Day 1 – Arrival in Istanbul
Arrive at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. Meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Upon arrival enjoy a welcome briefing and orientation walking tour of the hotel area. Your guide will lead you through Taksim area and show you near-by restaurants, gift shops and the like. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight = Istanbul

Day 2 – Istanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a half-day sightseeing tour of the Old City. The tour includes major historical sites of the city: the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.
Hippodrome: The ancient Hippodrome, an enormous public entertainment arena that once seated as many as 100,000 zealous fans witnessing chariot races, executions, and mock battles. Once the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still decorated by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.

Blue Mosque: With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, the Blue Mosque stands as the single most recognizable monument on the Istanbul skyline. Built between 1609 and 1616, during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I, the enormous complex also included a hospital, caravansary, public kitchen, marketplace, schools and the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet I. The mosque’s immense interior, flooded with sunlight streaming through 260 windows, is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles detailing traditional flowers of Ottoman design. In fact, it is the deep blue glow of the tiles in sunlight that gives the building its name.

Hagia Sophia: This famous basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, and now a museum, the church once glittered with mosaics, and art treasures filled every corner. Today, Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ.

After this visit we will stop for the lunch on own at one of Sultanahmet’s restaurants, and then continue to Basilica Cistern.
Basilica Cistern or Underground Palace: Istanbul was one of the most often besieged cities in the world and has always needed permanent water supplies. As a result, many underground cisterns were built during the Byzantine Empire. Water was brought to these big reservoirs from far away sources through aqueducts. The largest and most ornate of these cisterns is Yerebatan Sarayi. In its construction, columns and capitals of earlier temples were used and this provides a very decorative appearance.

Grand Bazaar: The area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center during the Byzantine period. Two bedestens (domed masonry structures) were built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror to enrich the economic life in the city. Later on as people needed more places for trade, they added other buildings outside these structures. Today, the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is very interesting and has consequently become a very popular place for visitors to explore a labyrinth of streets and passages housing eighteen entrances and more than 4,000 shops.
In late afternoon, return to the hotel for some time at leisure.
Overnight = Istanbul
Meals = Breakfast

Day 3 – Istanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, meet with your guide and depart for a full-day sightseeing tour featuring Topkapi Palace Complex, the Spice Market, and Bosporus Cruise by public boat, passing by authentic city quarters located on both Asian and European shores of the Bosporus Strait.

Topkapi Palace Museum: Topkapi was the second palace built in Istanbul after the conquest. It was a residence for the Ottoman Sultans and includes a maze of opulent buildings which were at the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. This palace, where the sultans and their courts and harem lived and governed, is now one of the world’s richest museums.

Next, we will visit the Spice Market which was built as part of the Yeni Cami complex and has since been an exciting covered market filled with the fragrant scent of spices from the Orient. After this visit, we will have lunch on own at one of the near-by restaurants, overlooking Golden Horn Bay, which separates the old city from the modern city center.

Further, we will embark on a public boat and start our cruise of the Bosporus Strait. The Bosporus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It is about 20 miles long and varies between one-half and one and one half miles wide. This boat ride takes you past the late Ottoman Palaces, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful wooden mansions and modern villas of the 19th & 20th centuries which form this elegant section of the city
After the cruise we will transfer to the hotel for an evening at leisure
Overnight = Istanbul
Meals = Breakfast

Day 4 – Istanbul & Kusadasi (Ephesus)
This morning after breakfast you will check-out and transfer to Istanbul Airport where you will board your flight to Izmir Airport for Ephesus.
You will be met by your guide upon your arrival Izmir Airport where you will begin your Private Ephesus Tour.
Drive to Ephesus (approx 45 minutes) and first we will visit the House of Virgin Mary where it is believed that she arrived with Saint John 4-6 years after the death of Christ and where she spent her final days.

Following this we will make our way to the Ephesus which was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient word. We will visit the Ephesus Ruins (Odeon, Temple of Hadrian, Roman Baths, Celcus Library and the Theatre which is still in use today for concerts and has an amazing capacity of 25,000, etc…). As we walk through this ancient site you will notice the streets paved with marble which gives a hint to this city’s great wealth many years ago.

Following this we will visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world where your guide will explain to you the significance of this important site.
We visit Basilica of St. John who it was believed spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and is buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill.
Overnight = Kusadasi
Meals = Breakfast

Day 5 – Kusadasi Priene & Miletos & Didyma
After breakfast we will depart for Priene, Miletos & Didyma Tours.
First we will visit Priene; was one of the most active ports of Ionian Federation making the site of particular interest, is the system of geometric city planning introduced in the 4th centry B.C. by Hippodamos of Miletos. The theater is the most interesting monument of Priene.

The next visit after Priene we will visit Miletos, an ancient city located near the present Akköy at the mouth of the Buyuk Menderes (meander) River. Miletus owed its importance to its position on the trade routes. It was one of the largest cities in Anatolia with a population of between 80.000 and 100.000. Highly prosperous, it founded many colonies and was the home of the 6C BC philosophers Anaximander, Anaximenes and Thales, the town planner Hippodamus and architect Isidorus. Having a prominent position, Miletus became the most important port in this area and it was the most active member of the twelve cities of the Ionian Confederation. In the 7th century BC Lydians besieged the city. The city was then controlled in turn by the Persians, Roman and Seljuk Turks.

Finally we will visit Didyma. The world Didyma meant “twins” and it was associated by some as being the meeting place of Zeus and Leto to have their twins Apollo and Artemis. Didyma was famed as a prophecy center dedicated to Apollo, which served a similar purpose as the Delphi of Anatolia. It was not a city but a sanctuary linked to Miletus by Milesians with a 19 km/12 mi sacred road. Then we will drive the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world where your guide will explain to you the significance of this important site. Following this we will make our way to Ephesus which was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient word.
Once the tour has finished you will be returned to Kusadasi.
Overnight = Kusadasi
Meals = Breakfast

Day 6 – Kusadasi & Istanbul
After late breakfast we will visit Ephesus Archaeological Museum.
Then we will drive to the scenic mountain side Village of Sirince and we will visit the Antique Church, Mosque and Typical Turkish Houses. Şirince is very popular for its style of building, streets and hand made fruit wines.
Once the tour has finished some free time for shopping facilities and we will drive to Izmir Airport for our flight back to Istanbul late afternoon. After 1 hour flight arrival in Istanbul Airport and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight = Istanbul
Meals = Breakfast

Day 7 – The end of the service
After breakfast at the hotel transfer to Istanbul Airport for flight home.
Meals = Breakfast

Price of the package includes:
Accommodation in hotels :
Istanbul (4 nights in Istanbul)
Kusadasi (2 nights in Kusadasi)
Domestic flights within our program itinerary (Istanbul-Kayseri, Kayseri-Istanbul)
5 Meals: 6 breakfasts
Services of a professional tour guide
Modern, A/C, comfortable vans for land transportation
Admission fees to sights and museums
Parking, portage,ferry, toll road
Gratuity (except guide & driver)

Price of the package excludes:
Airfare of international flights and related taxes
Bottled beverages or alcohol
Optional gratuities to trip leaders, drivers
Travel insurance
Visas, laundry, and personal items


Istanbul Mini Tours
Mini Tours in Turkey