On your arrival to Istanbul, the city of two continents, you will be greeted with Turkish hospitality. Transfer to your hotel. After check-in, remainder of the day at your leisure to explore town on your own. Overnight: Istanbul.
Following a pick-up from your hotel, explore the historic monuments, mosques and bazaars of Istanbul, including the Hagia Sophia, the religious heart of ancient Byzantium, built by the Emperor Justinian I between 532 and 537. Continue to the Blue Mosque, where the blue iznik tiles and slender minarets have become the icon of Istanbul. Go to the ancient Hippodrome, the social center of Constantinople during the Byzantine Empire. After lunch, visit Topkapı Palace in the Ottoman center, and marvel at the buildings and courtyards of the Sultan’s vast compound. Next, get lost in the labyrinthine alleys of the Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest indoor market. Return to your accommodation for an evening at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Pick up from your hotel to visit the bustling Spice Market – a colorful bazaar heaped with various sweets and spices. Then you’ll take a relaxing Bosphorus boat cruise between the continents of Europe and Asia – gliding past Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi Palaces, ornate wooden Ottoman mansions and mosques, Rumeli Fortress and the Bosphorus Bridge. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful Beylerbeyi Palace following by a scenic stop on Camlica Hill for panoramic views over Istanbul. Drop off to hotel. Overnight Istanbul.
Transfer from the hotel to Istanbul airport. Fly to Izmir. Begin the tour at the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent her final years. Explore the marble white ancient city of Ephesus, with spectacular monuments such as the Library of Celsus, Agora, Odeon, Trajan Fountain, Hadrian’s Gate, Domitianus Temple, Theater and Roman Latrines. After lunch, visit the Temple of Artemis and Isabey Mosque. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Early this morning check-out and you will be driven to Hierapolis meaning “sacred city’’, famous for its hot springs. The calcium waters rise from the ground at a temperature of 35 C and tumble down the mountain from a height of 100 meters, forming a myriad of pools. Cream-colored stalactites are formed as the water overflows from the pools, creating a breathtaking sight unequalled in the world. Bring swimwear as you may have time to swim in the Antique Pool (extra fee applies.) Also visit the ancient ruins of the City of Hierapolis with its basilica, theater, Roman Bath and Necropolis. After some relaxation time in the calcium pools famous for the healing properties, you will be driven to Denizli Bus Station for the intercity overnight bus travel to Cappadocia. Overnight: On-Board Bus
Airport transfer and fly to Cappadocia. Transfer to the tour. Start with a gentle walk through orchards, unusual volcanic rock formations and rock-cut houses at Red & Rose Valley. Visit the old Christian Vilcappadocia valley tours, turkeylage of Cavusin, followed by lunch and then an excursion to Pigeon Valley. In the afternoon, visit Kaymakli Underground City, which hid local Christians from Arab invaders, Ortahisar Castle and Mustafapasa Greek village. Drop off to hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Pick up from your hotel after breakfast to explore Devrent and Monk’s Valley, to see the extraordinary mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles or ‘fairy chimneys’. Continue on to the small village of Avanos, famous for clay pottery design. After lunch, proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring the most impressive rock-carved churches and Byzantine frescoes in all Cappadocia. Finally enjoy a view of the moonscape valleys from the rock-perched natural citadel at Uchisar. Fly back to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
After check-out, we will arrange for the transfer to Istanbul Airport as per your flight details.
All accommodation B&B at a choice of selected 4-5 star, boutique, special class or luxury hotels.
All sightseeing tours of the places mentioned in the program.
All tours with professional licensed English-speaking guidance.
All transport with new air-conditioned deluxe vehicles.
All meals mentioned in the itinerary.
All airport transfers throughout, as indicated in the itinerary.
All parking fees, ferry, tolls and petrol.
All entrance fees to the visited sites in the itinerary.
International airfare to Turkey.
Domestic flight tickets (will be quoted separately).
Drinks, travel insurance, visas, personal expenses, porters, optional tips.
Please email us or fill the enquiry form with your dates of travel and number of travelers for more information and reservations. We aim to respond to all requests within 1 business day. All requests welcome.