turkey travel

* "Highlights of Turkey and Greece *
Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Marmaris, Rhodes, Santorini, Athens: 14 days

This program is offered everyday of the week!

Program

Sunday - Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul
HOS GELDINIZ! Welcome to Turkey! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing about your tour, you will have the afternoon free to rest and explore Istanbul on your own.
Overnight in Istanbul

Monday - Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
* The Spice Bazaar/Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) transports you back to the Silk Road days with its mystical aromas of various spices. Here, you'll also find other shops selling fruits, vegetables, teas, flowers, fish, and Turkish Delight (lokum).
* Bosphorus Cruise takes you though the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia; along its shores, you can take photographs of marble palaces and antique wooden Ottoman-era villas that sit beside luxurious modern residences.You will also see Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque.

After lunch we will see:
* Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi), the residence and administrative center of the Sultans during the Ottoman Empire, was constructed in 1459-1465 shortly after the establishment of Constantinople. You'll see the Treasury that houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat Spoon Maker's Diamond, and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
We'll also visit the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi - "covered market"). After the tour we will return to your hotel.
After the tour we will return to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul

Tuesday - Day 3 - Istanbul - (B/L)
This will be a full day of exploring the historical sites of Istanbul.
Sites you'll see today:
* Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya is a truly awe-inspiring, 1,400-year-old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and still seen as one of the world's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
* Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque (Camii) built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
.* Hippodrome: the backdrop of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
The Obelisk is in the Egyptian style and was erected in 1547 BC and stood 60m tall. The German Fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul; it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
After the tour, we'll give you the option of going back to the Grand Bazaar to get in some souvenir shopping.
Overnight in Istanbul

Wednesday - Day 4 - Istanbul to Cappadocia - (B/L)
Early in the morning, we will pick you from your hotel and transfer you to the domestic airport for a 1-hour flight to the city of Kayseri in central Turkey. After arrival, we will transfer you to Cappadocia.

Sites you'll see today:
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is an ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); you'll explore Byzantine-era churches, chapels and monasteries which house wonderfully-preserved 11th- and 12th-century cave frescoes.
* Fairy Chimneys--This strange geological phenomenon was created over millions of years, and were formed during regional volcanic eruptions. Reaching at times 40 meters in height, they are conical in shape and have a whimsical "hat" top to them.
* Devrent Valley--This valley is known as "the pink valley" because of the color of its soil. This is a lovely place to wander about and really take in the magical rock formations indicative to Cappadocia, including the Fairy Chimneys.
* Uchisar Castle, also known as Uchisar Fortress, is actually a formation of two gigantic rocks surrounded by smaller ones that together, form a natural fortress with towers. These formations were inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
We'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Cappadocia

Thursday - Day 5 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
As we have a lengthy drive to our first destination, we'll be starting out quite early this morning. Today, we'll stroll through an amazing subterranean city where ancient Christians once hid from Arab invaders; we'll then wander through the Ihlara Gorge and spend time in a classic Anatolian village.

* Underground City of Derinkuyu--You'll gradually make your way down into the depths of the earth of this ancient settlement that has 18-20 floors which boast depths as long as 40 meters. (Don't worry, we'll only go down to the 8th floor!) Youll marvel at the fact that Derinkuyu is just one of 36 Cappadocian underground cities, which archaeologists date back to the time of the Hittites around 4,000 years ago.
* Ihlara Gorge is an oasis in the middle of the Anatolian plain. We'll explore the canyon and take in the beautiful green scenery as we stroll casually alongside the river. Here, you'll see ancient monasteries complete with pigeon holes carved into the cliffs by the monks; the pigeons acted as messengers to communicate with neighboring monks!
* Traditional Anatolian village -- You'll see head-scarved women in the fields (where they work from sun up until sundown) and the mustachioed, vest-wearing men hard-at-work playing cards or tavla (backgammon) in the kahvehane (coffee shop). You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play.
Overnight in URGUP - Cappadocia

Friday - Day 6 - Cappadocia to Pamukkale - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will depart Cappadocia and drive to Pamukkale; stopping to visit Konya on the way, where, if you wish, you may visit the Mevlana Museum (a holy site for Muslims as it was a former lodge for the whirling dervishes).
In the afternoon, we will arrive at our Pamukkale hotel; you then have the evening free to explore the town on your own.
Overnight in Pamukkale

Saturday - Day 7 - Pamukkale to Kusadasi - (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will depart from Kusadasi to Pamukkale; upon arrival we will continue on the guided tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Our drive will take us through a rich agricultural area, teeming with cotton fields and fruit orchards.

* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish) is the result of limestone formations created over thousands of years. Warm, calcium-rich mineral water from nearby thermal hot springs flowed over these cliffs and, as these waters cooled, they deposited the calcium that we see today.
* Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded as an ancient healing care center in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral waters. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire. Over time, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents.
After the tour you will depart Pamukkale and drive to the seaside town of Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi

Sunday - Day 8 - Kusadasi to Marmaris - (B/L)
Very early in the morning, we'll transfer you to the domestic airport for the 1-hour flight to Izmir, whereupon you'll then be transferred to Ephesus for your comprehensive full-day tour of some of Turkey's most impressive Roman sites.

* Ephesus
is the best-preserved classical cities from ancient times, and was inhabited by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks. St. Paul lived here circa 60 AD, when it was at its most populated at 250,000.  During your visit, you’ll walk its stony boulevards, stand in the grand theatre, marvel at the beauty of the Celsus Library, the agora, as well as the baths, giving you the unique chance to get up-close-and-personal with history by literally being able to walk into it.
* The Temple of Artemis is situated in serene countryside celebrates the Greek goddess Artemis, the virginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon.  This temple, known as Artemision in Greek times, was the largest of its kind at the world.
* The House of The Virgin Mary, (Turkish: Meryemana Evi), high on a hill overlooking the town of Selcuk, is where it is believed that St. Mary came to live with St. John the Baptist in the later years of her life.  Masses are held here on Sundays.
After the tour, we will depart for the city of Marmaris. Overnight in Marmaris

Monday - Day 9 - Marmaris to Rhodes - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Marmaris' port for your ferry to Rhodes (Rodos) Island. After arrival, you will check into your hotel and have a free day to relax and explore the Island. Overnight in Rhodes.

*Rhodes: in ancient times, Rhodes was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Colossus of Rhodes. This giant bronze statue once stood in the harbour. It was completed in 280 BC, but was destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today. However, the medieval fortification walls and towers that once protected the citizens of Rhodes Town are still intact.

Tuesday - Day 10 - Rhodes to Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will have a free day to relax and explore Rhodes Island. At 5:00 PM, we will depart for Santorini Island, arriving around midnight. You'll then be transferred to your hotel in Santorini. Overnight in Santorini

* Santorini is one of those places that will be permanently etched in your mind. Everywhere you turn, you will find another photo opportunity. This island is the result of an enormous volcanic eruption (which destroyed all of the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island). The aftermath of the explosion created what you see today, a caldera.
The classic picture of the charming, white-washed houses that cling to the high cliffs, along with the impossibly- blue Aegean Sea hundreds of feet below, has rightfully made the island a perennial tourist favorite.

Wednesday - Day 11 - Santorini - (B)

After breakfast, we will take you on a memorable full-day boat tour of Santorini. We'll see the caldera (volcano), see hot springs, view the ruins of Thirrassia, and wrap up the day watching the romantic sunset from Oia.
After sunset, you will be taken back to your hotel. Overnight in Santorini

Thursday - Day 12 - Santorini - (B)

You have a free day to explore Santorini on your own. Many take this opportunity to relax and tan on one of Santorini’s famous beaches, such as Red Beach, or return for more sightseeing in Oia. Overnight in Santorini

Friday - Day 13 - Santorini to Athens - (B)
You will explore Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathinaiko Stadium (where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896). After that, we will drive by the Prime's Minister's residence, the Royal Palace, (guarded by colorful Evzones), Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall), National Garden, Hadrian's Arc, St. Paul's Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schlieman's House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Academy, University, National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square, Russian Orthodox Church
At the ACROPOLIS, you will visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Museum of the Acropolis.
In the early afternoon, we will provide a transfer to your hotel, or we can also drop you off at the Plaka so you can wander and explore. Overnight in Athens

Saturday - Day 14 - Athens to Home - (B)
Andio sas! Good bye! It's time to head home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, asking that you keep Turkey in your hearts, and hope that our paths cross again.

Prices are starting from $2.185.00 per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates

Price includes

* All hotels
* All land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* All meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* All ferry tickets in Greece
* All port transfers
* Domestic flight tickets from Istanbul to Cappadocia
* Domestic flight tickets from Santorini to Athens
* Admissions to ancient sites
* All taxes and service charges

Excludes
* International flight tickets to Istanbul
* Drinks with meals


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