Turkey by air and land
Day 1 Thursday — Arrive ISTANBUL
Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Dinner at guests' expense.
Day 2 Friday — ISTANBUL
Today after breakfast you start your visits with Byzantine Hippodrome, where chariot races were once held and several monuments, such as 3600 years old Egyptian obelisk, were erected for decoration; the Blue Mosque, built by the order of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet in the 17th century with six minarets and fine interior tiles from Iznik, it's the most important mosque of the city; the Hagia Sophia Church, built in the 6th century as a Christian basilica which became the largest church in the world for many centuries with magnificent Byzantine mosaics. After lunch, visit world famous Topkapi Palace, main residence of the Ottoman Sultans for about 400 years, where you can see incredible collections of imperial treasury, sultans' costumes, silverware, porcelains etc. Dinner at guests' expense. (B-L)
Day 3 Saturday — ISTANBUL
Breakfast is included in the hotel. Day at leisure, or you can book an optional Bosphorus cruise and Asian side tour. You can see our daily city excursions at this link. Lunch and Dinner at guests' expense. (B)
Day 4 Sunday — ISTANBUL - Ankara - CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Ankara, capital city of modern Turkey. Upon arrival, visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum located in the ancient Citadel offering great views of the city from a high location. The museum is one of the best archaeological museums in Turkey, containing wonderful relics found during excavations and dating as far back as to Early Stone ages, Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians and so on. Before leaving the city for Cappadocia you'll also view the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, resting in peace in his final residence. On the way to Cappadocia you'll drive around the Salt Lake, second largest lake of Turkey covered completely with salt during the Summer time because of high evaporation. Check-in to your hotel in Cappadocia, dinner and overnight. (B-L-D)
Day 5 Monday — CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast, visit this unique region with its incredible volcanic formations and housing carved into the rocks. Today's visits will include Uchisar valley with great views of the region; the Underground City of Kaymakli, carved into the rock under the ground in the early years of Christianity by that community escaping from persecutions, where you can visit several levels full of bedrooms, galleries, storages etc. After lunch, you'll visit the Göreme Open Air Museum, with its 10th - 13th century churches carved into the rock with magnificent interior frescoes; Continue to see more of these unusual formations and traditional villages such as Cavusin; Pasabag Valley, and finally Avanos Village, founded next to the longest river of Turkey - Red River, famous for its pottery. Today you'll also have some time for shopping as Cappadocia is known for its handicrafts and nomadic carpets. Dinner at the hotel. (B-L-D)
Day 6 Tuesday — CAPPADOCIA - Konya - PAMUKKALE
Following breakfast, depart for Konya to visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, founder of the Whirling Dervishes. Lunch en route. Arrive to your hotel in Pamukkale in the evening after driving the valleys and mountains of Anatolia. Dinner at the hotel. (B-L-D)
Day 7 Wednesday — PAMUKKALE - Aphrodisias - KUSADASI
After breakfast at the hotel, visit Hierapolis, a Greco-Roman city famous for its largest necropolis in Asia Minor, colonnaded streets and thermal baths. Then drive to Aphrodisias, a hidden paradise over the mountains, dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite and once capital of Lydia, where you'll see a perfect Roman theater, best-preserved ancient stadium and of course temple of the Goddess. Lunch en-route. After visits, drive to Kusadasi. Dinner at the hotel. (B-L-D)
Day 8 Thursday — KUSADASI - Ephesus - ISTANBUL
After breakfast, depart for Ephesus to visit this spectacular and huge ancient capital of Asia Minor. During your visit you'll see the Marble Road, the huge Antique Theater, the Roman Baths, Agoras and the Celsius Library. After lunch, visit the peaceful House of Virgin Mary, where it's believed that she spent her last years and it's recognized as a shrine by Vatican. Drive to the airport in Izmir for a domestic flight to Istanbul. Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at guests' expense. (B-L)
Day 9 Friday — DEPART ISTANBUL
After breakfast, transfer to the airport. End of services. (B) Or you can extend your stay in Istanbul for extra nights.
(B) Breakfast - (L) Lunch - (D) Dinner
PLEASE NOTE: This tour is Guaranteed Departure and run every Thursday (Day 1) from Istanbul in English and some other languages. Arrival at Istanbul can be arranged for a different day of the week as well but it is important that clients will fly to Ankara on Sunday morning to join the group. Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays, Topkapi Palace on Tuesdays, Grand Bazaar on Sundays & Turkish public and religious holidays. On these specific days, they'll be substituted with other museums or sites depending on the convenience of the program and schedule. Order of the visits may be changed for the convenience of the tour. Cappadocia - Pamukkale track is a long drive. Depending on seasonal occupancies, Kusadasi stay might be swapped to Izmir.
ALL TRAVEL SERVICES FOR THIS TOUR ARE BEEN ARRANGED BY A GOVERNMENT LICENSED & RELIABLE TRAVEL AGENCY