Merhaba! Upon arrival you will be greeted by our representative at the airport. Transfer to your hotel. Check in to your Hotel where you will relax. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Istanbul Old City Walking Tour
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. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child. Next we visit the Blue Mosque** which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. 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.
Optional Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Entertainment Extravaganza:
We will pick you up at the Hotel at approximately 19:30 pm and transfer you to the Istanbul Kabatas Port from where your Dinner Cruiise will commense.
You are in for a treat with our exciting dinner Cruise that presents you the beauty of Istanbul at night while cruising the Bosphorus. You will dine on a delicious assortment of authentic Turkish Cuisine, PLUS you enjoy an outstanding Turkish Night of entertainment which will feature traditional dances from the seven different regions of Turkey as well as an oriental belly-dance show. Your performance will include Ottoman dancers, Romany Gypsy Girls, belly dancers, and the Aşuk Maşuk comedy team, etc. This is a night you will not forget and one loved by ALL our customers who have attended previous cruises. Your dinner cruise ends at about midnight, at which time we will transfer you to the Hotel.
Included: Hotel Pick-up & drop-off – by air-conditioned non-smoking tour coaches (only city center hotels), Dinner, Unlimited local drinks ( include soft drinks) Services Charges & Local Taxes.
Not Included: Tips and gratuities Imported drinks Notes: Advanced reservation required, not suitable for handicapped people. Owing to traffic difficulties, pick-up may delay beyond our control.
We will meet you at your istanbul Hotel early in the morning and commence with your journey to Gallipoli where you will have a Full-day Private Gallipoli Tour. One of the most emotionally touching places in Turkey, today we visit the WWI Battlefields of Gallipoli.
Places you will visit as follows;
ANZAC Commemorative Site,
Respect to Mehmetcik Statue,
Lone Pine Australian Memorial,
Johnston’s Jolly, (Turkish and Allied trenches and tunnels),
Turkish 57. Infantry Regiment Cemetery,
Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial,
After the tour check-in to your hotel. Overnight Canakkale.
After breakfast, begin your tour. Visit to Troy and Pergamum, before continuing onto your choice of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Visit the ancient city of Troy, famous for the legendary Trojan horse from the times of Beautiful Helen, Queen of Sparta and This morning, step back in time as we visit Troy, home of the famed Trojan Horse and then depart for Pergamon tour. We will visit the ancient Pergamon, which once the ancient world’s major power. You will be amazed once you see the magnificent acropolis of Pergamum. Its impressive temples and library made Pergamum a renowned cultural and political centre in its time.
Places you will visit as follows; The Acropolis, The Library once held 200.000 books and Trojan, Temple of Athena, Temple of Trajan, Altar of Zeus ( Now at BERLIN MUSEUM ), The Gymnasium situated on terraces, The lower Agora, The Hellenistic Theater with a seating capacity of 10,000 and Temple of Dionysus. End of the tour drive to Kusadasi. Overnight Kusadasi.
After having breakfast at the hotel, we will journey 2,5 hours inland to 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. After the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Tip: Cleopatra Pool visit is optional. Don’t forget to have your towels and swimsuits with you.
Food Walk in Kusadasi
Meet with your guide you will walk in the town Kusadasi. Visit herbal shops and taste small courses of local foods such as midye, kokorec and gevrek. After drinking Turkish coffee you will also bee seeing landmarks of town which you will pass castle door of Kusadasi and then continue to Caravanserai and last we will admire Pigeon Island. After the tour we will be back to our hotel.
After breakfast, begin your Ephesus group tour with a visit to The Temple of Artemis, which is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, and built in an area of Ephesus. Today one can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns’ capitals and shafts. Your next visit is to the archeological site of world famous ancient Greco-Roman City of Ephesus. You will enter Ephesus through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. Your route takes you past the Odeon Theater, the Celsius Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater.
The theater, which seats 24,000 spectators, is believed to be the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians; it is still used today for a local spring festivals and concerts. After visiting this impressive site, you will break for lunch and then continue your tour with a visit of The House of Virgin Mary, which is considered a holy place for both Christians and Muslims alike. The House of the Virgin Mary is the official site recognized by the Vatican as the residence where the Virgin Mary spent her final days and it provides you with the opportunity to experience a special tranquility for prayer and meditation. We will now visit the Isabey Mosque, constructed in 1374–75, which is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from the Anatolian beyliks.
After the tour you will be transferred to Izmir Airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast we will meet and depart for our tour visitng Cappadocia’s Northern region.
Goreme Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley, Pasabagi, Avanos
First we visit to Devrent Valley where various types of fairy chimneys are abundant. We will walk through this amazing valley. Thereafter visit Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) with multiple stems and caps, peculiar to this area. After visiting Pasabagi, drive to Avanos which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak River, the longest river of Turkey. Further to the time for lunch proceed to Goreme Open Air Museum (Dark Church is excluded; entrance requires additional admission fee) to visit the churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Thereafter time to take photos in the neighboring valleys before going to our hotels. 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.
After breakfast we will meet and depart for full day South region Cappadocia tour.
Kaymakli Underground City, Rose Valley, Pigeon Valley, Ortahisar Castle
First we visit to Rose Valley, one of the most beautiful trekking valleys in Cappadocia, and explore the famous rock- cut churches by hiking through the valley. Rest in Cavusin, an old Greek village, known for its Christian houses and churches. After having time for lunch visit Ortahısar Castle, similar to Uchisar Castle in style, where storage caves can also be observed. In the afternoon visit Kaymakli (or Ozkonak) Underground City where early Christians lived in fear and faith. On the way back visit to panoramic Pigeon Valley where pigeons contributed to the lives of locals with their manure to fertilize the vineyards. You may also like to taste Cappadocia wine in a local winery. Drive back to the hotels. Overnight in Cappadocia.
At given time we will meet and transfer you to Capapdocia Airport for your flight home. Upon arrival Istanbul Airport walk over to international terminal to check-in for your flight home.
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.
- Domestic flights as mentioned in the program with 15kg luggage allowance.
- Airport transfers mentioned as in the itinerary.
- Accommodations as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Meals as indicated on day headings.
- Transportation by a comfortable AC nonsmoking car/Van with professional driver.
- Professional licensed guide during the tours in English language.
- Entry fees to the sites and museums.
- No Hidden Fees.
- Personal expenses.
- Drinks with indicated meals.
- Optional tours.
- Visa cost to Turkey.
- Tips to the guide, driver & hotel staff.