Highlights: Istanbul, Bursa, Kusadası, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Konya, Ankara
What is Included:
- Arrival, departure airport transfers and ground transportation.
- Pick up airport transfer from Istanbul Ataturk Airport
- 4 nights hotel in Istanbul
- 2 nights hotel in Kusadasi
- 1 night hotel in Pamukkale
- 2 nights hotel in Cappadocia
- 9 breakfasts
- 2 Istanbul City Tours
- Guided Konya tour
- Guided Ephesus tour
- Guided Pamukkale tour
- Guided Konya tour
- Guided Cappadocia tour
- Guided Ankara tour
- Professional English speaking tour guide
- All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
- Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking luxury buses
- Services charges and local taxes
Not included :
Drinks, tips to guide and driver, personal expenses and optional tours
DAY 1 – Arrival in Istanbul
Arrival at Istanbul airport. Meet your travel representative and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul.
DAY 2 – Istanbul City Tour
You will be picked up from your hotel for a full day tour of Old Istanbul and Ottoman and Byzantine monuments. The fabled capital of three great empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, Istanbul is steeped in almost 3,000 years of history. The greatest concentration of landmarks is found in Istanbul’s oldest district, Sultanahmet, an awe-inspiring expanse of leafy parks, Byzantine cathedrals, Greek statuary, bustling bazaars and imposing mosques with towering, slender minarets.
Haghia Sophia: It was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman rule and the Ottoman Turks continued the tradition of the Byzantine architecture. They converted the age-old church of Haghia Sophia to a mosque. Purely Islamic attributes such as the ‘mihrab’, ‘minbar’ and the four ‘minarets’ outside were added at various stages of the Ottoman rule.
Topkapi Palace: The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and sumptous buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience. It is an incomparably rich treasure-chest, brimming with items of historical and religious importance containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword.
Blue Mosque: The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Haghia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period.
Hippodrome: The former center of sportive and political activities of Constantinople. You will be able to see the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column from Delphi and fountain of Willhelm II.
Grand Bazaar: In this maze of streets and passages are more than 4,000 shops with each trade having its own area: the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, such as hand-painted ceramic plates, hand-beaten copper-ware, brass-ware and trays, water ewers, onyx-ware and meerschaum pipes.
After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul
DAY 3 – Istanbul Mosques Tour
Istanbul has been the centre of religion for centuries. After the Ottoman period the Islamic Religion spread throughout the city. The first mosque in Istanbul was built in Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city, which was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1353. The first mosque on the European side of Istanbul was built inside the Rumeli Castle in 1452. The first Grand Mosque which was built in the city centre is the Eyup Sultan Mosque(1458), while the first Imperial Mosque inside the city walls was the Fatih Mosque (1470) which was built on the site of the Church of the Holy Apostles, an important Byzantine church which was originally built during the reign of Constantine the Great. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 4 – Istanbul – Bursa – Kusadasi
In the morning, you will depart by ferry to Bursa. After which drive to Bursa for a visit to Ulucamii (Great Mosque, this mosque has one of the greatest examples of Islamic calligraphy in the world), Cumalikizik Village, Green Mosque (Yesil Cami), Green Tomb and Ozdilek Factory. The mausoleums of early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period constitute the city’s main landmarks. After Bursa City tour , transfer to Istanbul airport , flight to Izmir then depart for Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 5 – Ephesus Tour
We depart at 9:00 and we visit one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman ruins in the world Ephesus. A visit to Ephesus – once the commercial centre of the ancient world – is a highlight of any visit to Turkey. The city, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Artemis was the virgin goddess of nature, and protectress of women in childbirth. The enormous Temple of Artemis, once considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and rebuilt several times, dates in its latest form from the third century B.C. In 263 AD., the temple was sacked and destroyed during the invasion of the Goths. The tour of the ruins also includes a theatre, gymnasium, agora and baths, as well as the Library of Celsus. We will also visit the House of Virgin Mary (supposedly where St. John brought her to live out her final days). It is a holy place for Christians and Muslims alike. Overnight in Kusadasi.
DAY 6 – Pamukkale Tour
At 8:30 we leave for Pamukkale arriving at Pamukkale for lunch. Afterwards we visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale (called cotton castle in Turkish) and the ruins of Hierapolis, then walk around this natural phenomenon and have the option of testing the warm waters of the natural thermal springs. Overnight in Pamukkale.
DAY 7 – Konya Tour – Cappadocia
After breakfast we leave at 8am and drive to Konya and see the imposing green-tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, the mystic founder of the Islamic Sufi sect (Sufism is less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith. It has been defined as mystical Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. Whirling Dervishes). After the Konya Tour departure for Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 8 – Cappadocia Tour
Our day starts with a 9:30am pick up and tour of the local highlights of Cappadocia. You will visit: Devrent Valley, Monk’s valley (Pasabag), Avanos (lunch in Avanos), Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar (Natural Rock Castle) Overnight in Capadocia.
DAY 9 – Ankara City Tour & Istanbul
Visit Ataturk (founder of the modern Turkey) Museum at the Ataturk Mausoleum. Lunch break. After the break city tour of Ankara which is the 2nd biggest city and the capital of Turkey. Then departure for Istanbul (5 hour drive). Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 10 – Departure
After breakfast check out from hotel (before midday), transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport according to your flight schedule. End of tour and services. (If you would like, you can extend your trip by adding extra nights in Istanbul, please advise).