Welcome to Turkey!
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar
Breakfast at the hotel. After you meet with your guide at the lobby, you will begin your tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. Next we visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style.
In the afternoon we continue our tour at Topkapi Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapi Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world. It also possesses numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many of which were gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest feature of Topkapi Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Overnight in Istanbul.
Very early in the morning, we will meet and transfer you to Istanbul Airport (IST or SAW) for your flight to Pamukkale. Your driver will leave you at the airport and you will do self check in with provided air tickets and fly to your destiantion. Upon arrival at the exit of the terminal our personnel will hold yur name sign and we continue to tour starting point.
Pamukkale Travertines, Hierapolis Ruins
Pamukkale to enjoy the spas, pools, and terraces of this natural wonder, called the “Cotton Castle”. This name is truly fitting, the brilliant white calcified terraces do truly resemble a castle made of cotton. We will also spend time in Hieropolis, with one of the largest and most diverse necropolis in the world. You can also visit ancient Cleopatra Pool (Optional with additional fee) believed that favored by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, is pure clear warm water.
After the tour, we will drive to West coast and check in to our hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.
After breakfast we will check out and commence for our tour of Ephesus.
Ephesus Ruins, Temple of Artemis, Virgin Mary’s House
First we will visit Ephesus ruins starting from the upper gate and see famous Celsus Library, Hadrian Temple and Ephesus Antic Theatre which has a capacity of 25000. Next we will stop by at Temple of Artemis once was a one of the seven wonders at ancient times. Then we will head to Virgin Mary’s House where she spent her last years.
After the tour we will be transferring you to Izmir Airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival Cappadocia we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Goreme Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley, Cavusin Village, Avanos Goreme Open Air Museum: Resembles a vast monastic complex composed of scores of refectory monasteries placed side-by-side, each with its own fantastic church. It is obviously the first sight to be visited by any traveler in Cappadocia, standing as it does in the very center of the region with easy access from all directions. It contains the finest of the rock-cut churches, with beautiful frescoes (wall paintings) whose colors still retain all their original freshness.
Devrent Valley: Devrent is 1 km from Zelve Valley. The ruins at Devrent are spread over three valleys which also house several pointed fairy chimneys with large stems.
Cavusin Village: One of the oldest settlements in the area. The churct of st. John Baptist offers a panoramic view of the village. This church and its paintings date back to the 5th century, making the oldest church in the region.
Avanos: A center terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. The clay which comes from the Red River passing through the town, gives life both land and local economy. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Optional Balloon Tour: Flying in a hot air balloon is an amazing and unforgettable experience which you will never forget. Very early in the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to our balloon site. You will be welcomed with a light breakfast while you are registering for your flight. After meeting at the balloon site you will be watching how we prepare our balloons for your adventure. After getting on the air you will be seeing beautiful sunrise upon Cappadocia. You will be thrilled with the scale of colors and shapes. We will be ascending up to 3000 feet and then almost you will be able touch fairy chimneys. After landing we will celebrate our flight with champagne toast (or soft drink) and your pilot will be presenting your flight certificates. After deflation balloons you will be transported to your launch site and continue to your day.
Kaymakli Underground City, Pigeon Valley, Ortahisar Rock Castle, Esentepe Panorama, Rose Valley Kaymakli Underground City: Built under the hill known as the Citadel of Kaymakli and was opened to visitors in 1964. The people of Kaymakli (Enegup in Greek) village have constructed their houses around nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city. The inhabitants of the region still use the most convenient places in the tunnels as cellars, storage areas and stables, which they access through their courtyards. The Kaymakli Underground City has low, narrow and sloping passages. While the underground city consists of 8 floors below ground, only 4 of them are open to the public today, in which the spaces are organized around ventilation shafts.
Pigeon Valley: A moderate walk in a green valley with many different rock formations and hundreds of pigeon houses carved into fairy-chimneys.
Ortahisar Rock Castle: Uchisar is the name of the town and the fortress in the town. This 60mt. (200ft) high fortress was not built but carved out of a natural hill dominating the area with a breathtaking view of all the surrounding Cappadocian formations.
Esentepe Panorama: this is the best panoramic viewpoint of Goreme.
Rose Valley: It has beautiful rock formations with some great hidden rock-carved churches. The most interesting part of this area is the countless tracks connecting the small villages and towns through vineyards and gardens like a spider net. Overnight in Cappadocia.
We will meet at your hotel lobby and transfer you to Cappadocia Airport for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival Istanbul Airport continue to international terminal for your homebound flight. Turkey Insiders team says so long and looks forward to be your host again until next time on your travel pleasure for other destinations. Gule Gule.
- 6 nights hotel accommodation.
- Services of professionally licensed guides on local tours.
- All domestic flights mentioned in the itinerary.
- We use fully air-co, non-smoking vehicles on local tours and transfers.
- English speaking guided tours mentioned in the itinerary.
- Inbound and outbound airport transfers to/from your hotel.
- All taxes, entrance & museum fees.
- International airfares.
- VISA if needed for Turkey.
- Tips to guide, driver, hotel staff etc.
- Travel Insurance and personal expenses.