Istanbul Excursions & Tours:
DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Your guide will meet you and, as is customary, will present you with a welcome gift. You will then start your Istanbul city tour. You will visit;
The Hippodrome has been a center for sports and entertainment in the old Constantinople, the Roman capital; as well as a very important political center for politics, as sports and politics were closely knit during these times.
Sultan Ahmet Camii / The Blue Mosque:
It was the dying wish of Sultan Ahmet, who perished at a young age in the 17th century, due to a disease, to finish the mosque so that his name would live forever. It is called the Blue Mosque by visitors who felt in the awe of the delicate designs of Ottoman tiles that decorate the walls of the shrine. A group photo will be taken in front of the Blue Mosque and given as a present of the sweet memories of Turkey.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL > GALLIPOLI > TROY > ASSOS
The second day will be a journey to the land of gallantry, as you will travel to Homer’s Troy.
Your tour will start with an early morning departure from the hotel at 06:00 am. You will drive along the European shore of the Marmara Sea. You will also travel by the shores of the Dardanelles, as you will pass by Gallipoli, and other land of gallantry where the famous “Gentlemen’s War” was fought between the Ottoman and Anzac troops during the WW1.
As you cross the Dardanelles by ferry, and drive the last 25 minutes to the site of Troy; you will become a part of Homer’s legends; seeing the symbolic Trojan horse, the city walls, The Athena Temple and the Odeon. Your journey will then take you to Assos the ancient Greek city of philosophers and scholar. You will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 3: PERGAMUM > IZMIR > KUSADASI
You will have another early breakfast, before leaving early towards Kuadasi via Izmir, the 3rd largest city in Turkey.
On this trip, you will follow the route taken by those who have escaped the fall of Troy, fleeing from the wrath of Agamemnon, and stop for lunch at Bergama, or Pergamum, the birth place of parchments.
Once, Pergamum hosted one of the biggest libraries of ancient ages, before it was destroyed. Pergamum is also the original home for the Great Altar of Pergamon, on display in the Pergamon museum in Berlin, Germany.
You will again walk through the ages at this site; visiting the Acropolis and the Asklepion, the Pre-Roman temple that was consecrated in honor of Asclepius, god of medicine; and which indeed has been an inspiration, as well as a prototype for the modern healthcare center of our day.
You will then be transferred to the coastal town of Kuadasi for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 4: KUSADASI > EPHESUS > PAMUKKALE
Feel free to spoil yourself with a little extra sleep this morning (as long as you don’t overdo it!); as this morning’s drive will be a relatively short one.
You will visit the ancient city of Ephesus, the Roman capital of Asia Minor. Your tour will include the Odeon, the Marble Street, the Hadrian Temple, the Celcius Library and the Great Theatre.
You may opt for lunch in a local restaurant, before paying a pilgrimage visit to the House of Virgin Mary. This Christian and Muslim shrine is located in the vicinity of Ephesus.
After the tour of Ephesus, you will be driven to Pamukkale town, where white will be the color of order for the afternoon. You will visit the Cotton Castle itself, the ancient Hierapolis, the Necropolis, the Roman Baths and the Theatre. You will have dinner and spend the night at your hotel in in Pamukkale.
DAY 5: PAMUKKALE > KONYA > CAPPADOCIA
You will have an early morning breakfast, as the day’s trip will take you to Cappadocia, via Konya.
This will be very special day, as you will visit Konya, home town of Jellaleddin Al Rumi, the great philosopher, mystic and the founder of the Whirling Dervishes’ order who lived in Konya. His poems, teaching love among mankind and good manners, have been widely translated into many of the world's languages.
You will visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana; as well as the 13th century theological schools of Karatay and Ince Minare.
You will have lunch at Konya.
DAY 6: CAPPADOCIA
After your breakfast at the hotel you will start your discovery of Cappadocia. You will first visit the town of Urgup, built at the foot of sloping plateau. Prepare yourself to travel back in time, and prepare your mind to wander between the images of ancient people and the breath taking beauty of the landscape.
You will visit the Goreme valley. The valley is home to rock churches and monasteries, going back as far as the 2nd century AD, which are richly decorated with colorful frescoes. You will then visit the Zelve valley. After the lunch, you will visit the underground city of Kaymakli; the complex comprises several floors, sometimes connected by steep air shafts terminating in cisterns. The following visit, to the town of Avanos will be a trip to the the Bronze Age. You will then visit Ortahisar, which is distinguished by a series of buildings which are picturesque in their simplicity; before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay. (Optional tours to a simple wine house or to a local folkloric performance after dinner are available).
DAY 7: CAPPADOCIA > ANKARA> ISTANBUL
Breakfast will be served at the hotel; and then you will leave Cappadocia for Istanbul, via Ankara, the capital of modern Turkey. During the trip you will see the Salt Lake, a vast ocean of white. Your half day tour in Ankara will include the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the founder and the first president of Turkish Republic. You will have lunch in Ankara and drive to Istanbul. Upon arrival to Istanbul, you will check in to your hotel and have a rest. You will have a farewell dinner; in one of Istanbul’s famous seafood restaurants with the magnificent view of the Bosphorus; and the return to your hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 8: ISTANBUL
After breakfast and the check-out processes, you will have free time until transfer to the airport for the flight back home.
Meeting/pick-up point: Hotel pick-up.
Duration: 5 days.
Pick-up time: According to the flight time on day 1.
End/closing time: According to the flight time on day 8.
Included: Transportation by air conditioned vehicles, tour guide, airport transfers, accommodation in 4 star hotel, domestic flight tickets, breakfasts and dinners.
Not included: Drinks, all personal expenses, admission fees, lunch.
Others: The overnights include BB accommodations in a 4 star hotel with double occupancy.
Upgrades are available upon request for an additional fee.