9 Days / 8 Nights
* Meals: Buffet Breakfasts Daily, 6 Lunches and 5 Dinners.
* Sightseeing as per itinerary, all Entrance Fees and Guidance.
* All transfers, Meeting and Assistance, Service Charges &Tips.
* Domestic airfare is not included.
* Tips to guide and driver are not included.
Day 1: ISTANBUL
Arrival in Istanbul. Transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day free at leisure.
Day 2: ISTANBUL
In the morning visit Byzantine Hippodrome, in which stand the obelisk brought from Egypt by Theodosius and the Serpent Column taken from Delphi by Constantine. The Blue Mosque, which has six minarets and a middle dome of 109 feet, is the next stop before St. Sophia, an originally Christian Basilica, conceived by Constantine and rebuilt by Justinian, then turned into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. In 1920s Ataturk made it a museum for all regardless of creed, but it was converted into a mosque again. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit Topkapi Palace (*) which served as the home of Ottoman Sultans for 400 years and now serves as a museum with a exquisite collection of Chinese porcelain and Ottoman treasury. Before returning to your hotel visit the Grand Covered Bazaar dating back to XVth century, which has over 2,000 shops under one roof. Overnight. (BL)
(*) Entrance to Harem section is not included.
Day 3: CAPPADOCIA
Transfer to the airport for an early flight to Ankara, the capital of Turkey and one of the fastest growing cities in the world with a history that can be dated back 3000 years. Upon arrival visit the Anatolian Civilisations Museum, which also exhibits the remains of Catalhoyuk, the Neolithic village dating back to 6500 BC. Then visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. After lunch at a local restaurant in Ankara, destination is the mysterious Cappadocia. (BLD)
Day 4: CAPPADOCIA
Sightseeing in this unique corner of the world. Goreme Open-air Museum is full of pink, rose and white tapering columns. These tall free standing cones of stone curve and twist as if pulled from earth like taffy. Others are tall like fairy chimneys .The caves were settled in the 4th century as monasteries. Visit some caves in cliffs to see Byzantine frescoes decorating early Christian churches. Among them are frescoes of St. Helene, who discovered the true cross at Jerusalem and of saints slaying the dragon, symbol of ancient religion. Lunch at a typical restaurant of the region. In the afternoon, first visit to Kaymakli Underground City; carved out of rock and completely self contained. More than 200 people lived on each of seven floors with the last one 250 feet underground. It is connected to Derinkuyu Underground City by six miles of tunnel. The tour of the region also includes the natural citadel of Uchisar and Pasabag Valley . (BLD)
Day 5: PAMUKKALE
Transfer to Konya. On the way to Konya, visit 13th century Selcuk caravanserai “Sultanhan”. Visit the tomb of Mevlana, the great mystic poet and Islamic spiritual leader, who founded the sect of ”Whirling Dervishes”. After lunch continue to Pamukkale, the cotton fortress, which rises above the fertile Menderes Valley. Hot mineral waters burst from the earth and cascade over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters here were known to founders of the cure city of Hierapolis in 190 BC (BLD)
Day 6: KUSADASI
Stroll through the ruins of ancient Hierapolis, the Roman city, and transfer to Kusadasi. Visit the ruins of Ephesus, which played a major role in the development of architecture, religions, governmental and economic systems and arts. The temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of ancient world and centre of pagan religion for 15 centuries. Here Marc Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession, St. Paul preached in the Great Theatre and in a little house outside the city the Virgin Mary spent her last days. (BLD)
Day 7: CANAKKALE
In the morning visit Bergama (ancient Pergamon). Parchment was invented here. This was the home town of Galen, renowned doctor and surgeon and site of his temple devoted to healing, the Asclepion. (Visit to Acropolis is not included). Lunch at a local restaurant in Bergama and in the afternoon drive to Troy, the immortal city of the legendary Helen of Troy and Trojan Horse, which was destroyed and rebuilt nine times. (BLD)
Day 8: ISTANBUL
In the morning drive to Istanbul by crossing the Dardanelles Strait. Lunch en route. Arrival to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day free at leisure. (BL)
The tour is over! Come back again! Transfer to the airport and departure.