Essentials of Turkey - 12 day tour

Our adventure begins in Istanbul, exploring the major sites including Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Spice Bazaar, and enjoying a Bosphorus Cruise.

Then we travel to Ephesus to explore antiquities including the Temple of Artemis, Pamukkale for the magical limestone and hot spring formations and relax in the blue-green Mediterranean town of Kas.

We leave land for several days on a Turkish gulet, a traditional Turkish yacht, to cruise the Mediterranean coast and explore partially sunken ancient villages. Returning inland to central Turkey, we enjoy Antalya and lesser-known sites like the ancient villages and Lycian site of Kalekoy.

Finally we'll spend time exploring the mystical rock formations and 4000 year old underground cities of Cappadocia
tour map


- Sunday - Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul – (D)
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.
20:00 pm we will meet you at the hotel and take you to a different part of Istanbul for a welcome party and dinner.
Overnight in Istanbul.
- Monday - Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast we will continue on the full day tour, including Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, and Topkapi Palace.
After the tour you will return to your hotel, or enjoy the rest of the day exploring Istanbul at your own pace. 
Overnight in Istanbul.

- Tuesday - Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast we will continue our exploration of Istanbul, including Hagia Sophia the Spice Bazaar and a cruise on the Bosphorus, which takes you though the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia. Along its shores, you will enjoy many photographic opportunities: the 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.
Overnight in Istanbul.

- Wednesday - Day 4 - Istanbul to Kusadasi - (B/L/D)
Short domestic 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 and Biblical sites. Ephesus is one of the best-preserved classical cities, inhabited in different eras by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks, as well as St. Paul. Nearby is the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as the House of The Virgin Mary.
Overnight in Kusadasi.

- Thursday - Day 5 - Kusadasi to Pamukkale - (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will depart from Kusadasi to Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Our drive will take us through a rich agricultural area, teeming with cotton fields and fruit orchards. We’ll walk through Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish), a magical area of thermal hot springs and snow-white limestone formations created over thousands of years.
Hierapolis, an ancient healing care center dating from 190 BC, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents.   
Overnight in Pamukkale

- Friday - Day 6 - Pamukkale to Kas - (B)
After breakfast, a scenic drive through the Taurus Mountains will take us to Kas, where you will check into your gullet. (traditional wooden yacht)
Free day to relax and explore Kas at your own pace.
Overnight stay on gullet

- Saturday - Day 7 – Kas to Kekova - (B/L)
Depart from Kas for a short cruise to Kekova, for a day of sightseeing and swimming in crystal clear waters.
This Kekova region is a Turkish Ministry specially protected area and includes unique spots which we will visit: the Sunken Ancient City of Kikova, the four ancient towns of Simena, Aperlae, Dolchiste and Teimioussa; Kalekoy, a Lycian village with the partly sunken ruins of Aperlae and a castle accessible only by sea; as well as several other villages in the area.
Overnight stay on gullet.

- Sunday - Day 8 – Kekova to Demre then to Antalya - (B)
After breakfast we will say good bye to crew and enjoy a scenic drive along the Mediterranean to Antalya, along the way visiting the 700 BC Rhodian city of Phaselis--which passed through Persian hands as well as those of Alexander the Great. Lots of history here!
Overnight in Antalya

- Monday - Day 9 - Antalya to Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast we will drive to Cappadocia, on the way we will stop and visit the former home of the whirling dervishes, now the turquoise-tiled Mevlana Museum in Konya. Free time to explore Cappadocia on your own for photography, note taking, and enjoyment. 
Overnight stay in our deluxe cave hotel in Urgup, Cappadocia.

- Tuesday - Day 10 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
We’ll have a full day tour of Cappadocia which has around 36 underground cities, dating back 4000 years to the time of the Hittites.
We will walk through the Underground City of Derinkuyu, where ancient people fled for their lives escaping the Arab invaders. We’ll wander through the oasis-like Ihlara Gorge, here in the middle of the Anatolian plain, see ancient monasteries (complete with pigeon holes they used to send messages), and stroll through traditional Anatolian villages. Note: the head-scarved women out at work in the fields from sun up until sun down, while the mustachioed men are hard at work playing cards in the coffee shops.  
Overnight in Urgup, Cappadocia

- Wednesday - Day 11 – Cappadocia to Istanbul - (B/L)
This day will continue our exploration of the amazing sites of Cappadocia. (optional hot air ballooning tour) including the World Heritage Site of Goreme Open-Air Museum, cut from rock Byzantine churches and monasteries with11th and 12th century frescoes on the cave walls; the famous Fairy Chimneys, shaped over millions of years by volcanic eruptions, some 40 meters in height; the Devrent (or “pink valley”), and natural rock fortress of Uchisar Castle, inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman times. Along the way, we’ll have the chance to visit local craftspeople and learn how they make dolls and create traditional pottery.
Flight back to Istanbul and overnight.

- Thursday - Day 12 - Istanbul to Home - (B)
Gule, Gule! It is time to head for home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, asking that you keep Turkey in your heart. We truly hope that our paths will cross again

Program ends

Total cost $______ US Dollars per person in a double room & $_____ US Dollars in a single room

Contact us for price informations

Price includes
* All hotels (Superior Class and 4 star hotels)
* All land transfers in comfortable vehicles
* All meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* Domestic flight tickets from Cappadocia to Istanbul
* Admission to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Phaselis, and sites in Cappadocia
* All taxes and service charges

* International flight tickets - (assistance with air reservations is available)
* Drinks with meals
* Hot Air Balloon rides in Cappadocia (15% discount if booked with this tour)




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