Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Day 2-Sultanahmet- Old Istanbul
Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Continue to the Topkapi palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed. (Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the hidden underground Cistern. See the Grand Covered Bazaar. *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located.
Overnight in Istanbul
Day 3 –Bosphorus Cruise with Dolmabahce
The tour starts with a visit to the exotic and aromatic Egyptian Spice Market. You may buy spices, caviar, and almost anything imaginable. Continue over the Galata Bridge and the Golden horn. We will visit the “Selamlik” chambers of the incredible 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace. We continue up the Bosphorus and cross over to Asia to Camlica Hill for a view of Istanbul. After lunch visit the Sadberk Hanim Museum, with its well-organized archaeological and ethnographical sections. The Bosphorus cruise begins in the afternoon (ferry). We pass by the Rumeli Fortress and you will enjoy crossing from continent to continent traveling down the Bosphorus, which is lined with old Ottoman seaside mansions, marble palaces and small fishing villages.
Overnigh in Istanbul
Day 4 - Istanbul- Cappadocia
Take the early morning flight by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Ataturk airport to Kayseri. Arrival and meeting at Kayseri airport just outside the arrival's gate with a sign bearing your name and transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Soğanlı Valley, an Open Air Museum in a wild natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village with its different style Rock-Cut churches and frescoes. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the "table top" mountains, are spectacular. Lunch and Visit to Sahinefendi ( Sobesos ) newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Our tour finishes with a visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5 - Cappadocia
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; walking in Pasabag near Zelve ; "fairy chimneys" where the voice of wind mixes with the "songs of fairies". Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to the Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 6- Cappadocia - Konya - Pamukkale
Drive to Konya, en route, visit to Sultanhani Caravanseria, roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day's journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. In Konya center, visit to Mevlana Sufi temple. Mevlana is the founder of Sufism and whirling Dervishes.
Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 7 - Pamukkale - Kusadasi
Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders we ever have seen from various mineral springs in a vast white cliff side, about 200 m overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels and created a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. It looks like creations from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle): “pamuk” for cotton and “kale” for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its color according to how the light enters. Visit to Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 8 - Ephesus
Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. We will spend several hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, Apostles Paul and John and many other familiar historical names. The recently opened Slope Houses where the wealthiest Romans lived are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and presentation. The mosaics and frescos are spectacular. Tradition has it that Virgin Mary was brought here by St John after the Crucifixion and lived her final years near the city of Ephesus on an isolated mountaintop. A lovely chapel is constructed on the site tended by Franciscans and open to visitors. It has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope.
Overnight in Kusadasi
Day 9 -Kusadasi-Pergamum-Canakkale
Visit Pergamon or Pergamum that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, Pergamon had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilisation (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum. Asclepion, located to the southwest of the lower city, was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health, Asclepics which was one of the largest hospitals in history, is located to the west of the city, which was a great center of culture, art and medicine and continue on to Canakkale for overnight.
Day 10 - Troy - Dardanelles - Gallipoli - Istanbul
Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, continue to Gallipoli and then across the Dardanelles to Istanbul for overnight.
Day 11 - Istanbul
Free day to discover the city on your own. Extra Half Day or Full Day Istanbul Tour can be arranged upon request. Overnight Istanbul.
Transfer to airport to connect your international flight to leave Turkey.