Arrival in Istanbul Ataturk airport and meeting just outisde the arrival's gate with a sign bearing your name, transfer to the hotel and check- in. Leisure afternoon. Overnight Istanbul.
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 elegant little Sokullu Pasa mosque and the hidden underground Theodosian Cistern. See the Grand Covered Bazaar. *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located. Overnight Istanbul
Day 3 - Bosphorus Cruise with Dolmabahce Palace
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. Overnight Istanbul
Day 4- Istanbul- Ankara - Cappadocia
Take the morning flight from Istanbul to Ankara. Arrival and meeting at the airport. Transfer to your hotel. Visit to Archeological museum of Ankara, received European Museum of the year award in 1997 With its unique collection including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hattie, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman works and Lydian treasures. If the time permits, visit to Mausoleum of Ataturk, founder of Turkish Republic. Drive to Cappadocia. On arrival in Cappadocia, visit to Kaymakli Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia
Overnight Hotel 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 Zelve Open Air Museum: a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses; visit to Pasabag"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). Climb on top of the Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Overnight Hotel 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. Drive to Pamukkale and Overnight at Thermal Hotel
Day 7 - Pamukkale- Aphrodisias- Ephesus
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 (cottoncasle): "pamuk" for cotton and "kale" for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its colour according to how the light enter. Drive to Ephesus, on the way, 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 Near Ephesus
Day 8 - Ephesus
Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus and first visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. Impressive structures we will see include the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, Theatre and Odeon. We also visit the House of the Virgin Mary Overnight Near Ephesus.
Day 9 - Ephesus- Pergamum - Troy- Assos
Drive to Assos, 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
Day 10 - Troy - Istanbul
Visit Troy in the morning. Troy (Truva) - 4000 years old Ancient City Troy, popular with the Trojan war and Trojan horse is a city which existed over 4000 years and known as the center of ancient civilizations. Many years, people believed that it was the city in tales and never existed until it was first found. At this time it was known as Ilium or New Ilium. Today Troy or New Ilium places in Hisarlik at Canakkale. The remains of the city - the remains from the thieves and destructors - can be visit in here. Drive to Istanbul and Overnight Istanbul
Day 11 - Istanbul
Drive to Istanbul airport and take a flight back home..
B = Breakfast D = Dinner