Day 1: Istanbul
Meet at the airport and transfer to hotel for the night.
Day 2: Istanbul
This morning we see some of Istanbul’s most important sites.
Visit the Ayasofia Museum (St Sophia): this ancient basilica, built by Constantine the great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time. The beautiful decorations include stunning Byzantine mosaics.
We then visit the Blue Mosque, built by the Sultan Ahmet I in the 17th century to outshine the Aya Sofya.
Then we do a traditional and unforgettable excursion by boat (public ferry) along the Bosphorus, that winding separating Europe and Asia. Along its shores is a delightfully surprising mixture of past and present, grand splendour and simple beauty.
A free afternoon enables us to explore the famous covered Grand Bazaar or Spice Market, armed with advice from your leader as to how to get the best bargains and become more savvy in the art of haggling! There is everything from clothing to jewellery, sweets and spices on offer in the bustling marketplaces. The remainder of the evening is free. This unique city that is built embracing two continents (Europe and Asia), is a great place to spend our final night together, indulging in a true feast for the senses!
Day 3 Istanbul – Ankara
We start with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, which was the home of Ottoman sultans for four centuries. The palace is built in Islamic style and consists of a series of chambers, pavilions and kiosks surround garden courtyards..
Then departure for Ankara, the Capital of Turkey set in the strategic heart of Central Anatolia, a site Chosen by Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic.
Day 4: Ankara – Cappadocia
After breakfast we visit the the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation and its priceless collection of Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hititte and Phrygian works, installed in a beautifully restored bedesten set in the citadel.
Then we drive to Anitkabir: dominating the modern part of the city, this imposing limestone is the Mausoleum of Ataturk. Completed in 1953, this fusion of ancient and modern architectural concepts is a fine accomplishment of Turkish architecture. Visit and drive to Cappadocia through the fertile anatolian plateau, via the salt lake of Tuz Golu.
Continue on to the heart of Cappadocia and check-in hotel for the night. En-route we stop in Derinkuyu to visit the impressive underground city.
Day 5 : Cappadoce : Göreme – Uçhisar – Ortahisar – Zelve – Paşabağlari – Çavusin.
With its unique geological formations, Cappadocia is incontestably a phantasm of nature and almost another planet. In the volcanic rock, the wind, the rain and freezing carved during million years, the most confusing decorations. During two days you will discover the historical richness being added to the curiosity of the landscapes.
We visit the Goreme-Open-Air-Museum, a monastic complex of rock churches and chapels covered with frescoes, one of the best known sites of Central Turkey.
We visit the most important sites of Cappadocia as: Goreme (town set in the midst of a valley of cones and fairy chimneys), Uchisar and Ortahisar (the towns and the fortresses carved out of the rock will catch your eyes), Pasabaglari (also called Priest valley) with the most famous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia: some are getting destroyed, whereas some others have still three “heads”… Çavuşin (a picturesque village) and Zelve a rock-cut village.
In the evening possibility to discover the local handcraft (carpet and pottery demonstration)
Night in hotel.
Day 6: Cappadoce – Konya – Pamukkale
We leave early Cappadocia for Konya. This is one of Turkey’s continuously inhabited sites. During the 12th and 13th centry it was the Capital of the Seljuk Turks and one of the great cultural centres of Turkey. It was during this period that the mystic Mevlana founded the sect of Whirling Dervishes. We visit the striking green tiled mausoleum of Mevlana. We visit also the former dervish seminary attached to the mausoleum, which is now a museum devoted to manuscripts of Mevlana’s work.
En route we visit also the seljuk caravanserai of Sultanhani, which was used as guest-hotel by the caravans travelling on the Silk-Road. The masonry is an example showing the seldjuk art,, an extraordinary nature wonder.
The Calceous waters rise from the ground and tumble down the mountain from a height of 100 m, forming a myriad of white pools. Pamukkale is one of the most interesting places in the world, justly famous not only for the entrancing beauty of its unique geological formations but also for its historical remains. The well-preserved theatre of Hierapolis commands magnificent view of the plain below. Visit of the Antique City and check-in hotel for overnight.
Day 7: Pamukkale – Ephesus – Izmir
Drive to Ephesus and visit. This is the most important city of Antiquity and one of the highlights of any visit of Turkey. The city was adorned with splendid monuments, theatres, temples, agoras, gymnasiums, librairies etc. Artemis, whose temple is considered as the 7th wonders of the world, was its protectress. Then visit of the Virgin Mary house, a tradition says that St John brought Mary to Ephesus after the death of Christ.
Drive to Izmir for the night.
Day 8: Izmir – Istanbul -Return
Drive to Istanbul for the return flight.
Ask us about a tour for you and your family or close friends, for 2 or more people.