Duration: 14 Days – 13 Nights
Hotel: Istanbul – Crowne Plaza Harbiye or Crowne Plaza Old City (DLX), Canakkale – Kolin Hotel (SFC), Kusadasi – Charisma Hotel (DLX), Pamukkale – Pam Thermal (FC), Antalya – Crowne Plaza (DLX), Konya – Hilton Garden Inn (SFC), Cappadocia – Lykia Lodge (SFC), Ankara – Crowne Plaza (DLX)
Glories of Turkey
Day 1 Thu: Istanbul
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome briefing will be held.
Day 2 Fri: Istanbul
Enjoy a full day tour including a visit to Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Ottoman Sultans between 1453–1852 (excluding harem). Visit the Hippodrome, which was once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Next see St. Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, and now a museum and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets. Join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. B
Day 3 Sat: Gallipoli – Dardanelles – Canakkale
In the morning, depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, then cross the Dardanelles to Canakkale for overnight. B D
Day 4 Sun: Troy – Pergamum – Kusadasi
Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Tour the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamum and continue to Kusadasi for overnight. B D
Day 5 Mon: Ephesus & St. Mary’s House – Kusadasi
Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production center to have a firsthand experience of this unique art form. Join an optional afternoon tour of Sardis or Sirince. B D
Day 6 Tue: Kusadasi – Pamukkale
Drive through the lush valleys to Pamukkale, the Cot- ton Castle, with the white lime cascades formed by mineral springs. Visit the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis and enjoy a swim in your hotel’s thermal pool. B D
Day 7 Wed: Pamukkale – Perge – Antalya
In the morning drive to Antalya, arrive midday and pay a visit to the ancient Greek city of Perge, famous for its Temple of Artemis. Also located there is an acropolis dating back to the Bronze Age. It is also notable for being the home of the renowned, ancient Greek mathematician Apollonius. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the Mediterranean Coast. B D
Day 8 Thu: Antalya – Optional Tour of Phaselis or Yacht Cruise
Enjoy a day at leisure. Join an optional tour of Phaselis, an ancient coastal city, or a lazy yacht cruise along the Turquoise Coast of the Mediterranean. B D
Day 9 Fri: Antalya – Aspendos – Konya
After breakfast depart for Konya, en route visit the ancient city Aspendos, known for having the best-preserved theater of antiquity. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana who was a Sufi philosopher. This was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes. Continue to the Karatay Koran School, an 800 year-old building, once a Selcuk Islamic theological seminary, which houses an outstanding collection of ceramics and tiles. Overnight in Konya. B D
Day 10 Sat: Konya – Cappadocia
In the morning, drive to Cappadocia, the land of the fairy chimneys. En route, visit a 13th century caravanserai. Pay a visit to the underground city of Saratli, one of the many underground settlements built for protection and religious reasons. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and join an optional Whirling Dervishes performance. B D
Day 11 Sun: Cappadocia
Consider an optional early morning hot air balloon tour and experience floating through the volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among the rock formations, which was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in that region. Continue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi, Red Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave. B D
Day 12 Mon: Cappadocia – Ankara
In the morning, depart for the capital city of Ankara through the salt lake area. Enjoy an afternoon tour of the Ataturk Mausoleum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai holding artifacts from up to 7500 years old including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world. B D
Day 13 Tue: Istanbul
After breakfast, depart on a scenic drive to Istanbul. In the afternoon join an optional half-day Bosphorus cruise enjoying the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Its shores are lined with fine neighborhoods, Ottoman palaces, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels, parks and gardens, restaurants and cafés. Finish your last minute shopping in the Spice Market filled with the fragrance of the exotic East. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner. B D
Day 14 Wed: Istanbul
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. B
Professional English speaking guide throughout the tour.
Farewell dinner in Istanbul.
Breakfast (B), Dinner (D) as indicated in the itinerary.
All sightseeing and admission fees on the above program.
Arrival and Departure Ataturk International Airport transfer.
All transportation in Turkey by private a/c tour coach.
Any tipping you feel appropriate.
Meals unless stated.