Day 1: Istanbul
Arrival and transfer to hotel. Welcome briefing.
Day 2: 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. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets.. B L D
Day 3: Istanbul – Ankara
Morning visit of 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. Continue to cruise along 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. Depart for the capital city of Ankara for overnight. B L D
Day 4: Ankara – Cappadocia
Visit 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. Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Drive to Cappadocia, touring a 13th century caravanserai en route. 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. Overnight in Cappadocia. B L D
Day 5: Cappadocia
Consider an optional early morning hot air balloon tour and experience floating through 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 L D
Day 6: Cappadocia – Konya – Pamukkale
Drive to Pamukkale. En route visit the famous mausoleum of the Sufi philosopher, Mevlana. This was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the Whirling Dervishes. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. B L D
Day 7: Pamukkale – Kusadasi
Visit the unique cotton fortress of Pamukkale, with its white lime cascades formed by mineral springs, and the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Proceed to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.B L D
Day 8: Kusadasi – 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. B L D
Day 9: Kusadasi – Pergamum – Troy – Canakkale
Visit the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamum and continue to a traditional local village for lunch with locals. Then continue to 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. Continue to Canakkale for overnight. B L D
Day 10: Dardanelles – Gallipoli – Istanbul
In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles during WWI. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair, and then drive to Istanbul. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.B L D
Day 11: Istanbul
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. B.
Legend: B= Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
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Luxury Sedan transportation is limited to a maximum of 2 passengers.
Mini Van transportation is limited to a maximum of 4 passengers.
Mini Bus transportation is limited to a maximum of 10 passengers.
Half Coach transportation requires a minimum of 10 passengers and is limited to a maximum of 25 passengers.
Full Coach transportation requires a minimum of 26 passengers and is limited to a maximum of 44 passengers.
** Due to a greater availability, Mini Bus transportation is the most economic option, even if your party does not require a larger seat capacity.