On arrival to Istanbul transfer to your Hotel, spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Istanbul
Day 2: Icons tour Istanbul
Breakfast and Lunch
Pick up from your Hotel to for the Icons tour
Topkapi Palace Museum: Tour extensively the residence of the legendary Ottoman Sultans, now converted into a museum. It consists of several exhibition halls, including the porcelain section, the armory, the rooms devoted to holy relics and the Treasury, which houses an impressive display of royal jewels. The Harem section is included!
Underground Cistern: Built by Justinian after 532, the Basilica Cistern stored water for the Great Palace and nearby buildings. Lost to memory, it was rediscovered by Petrus Gyllius, who came to Constantinople in search of Byzantine monuments.
Sultanahmet Mosque/Blue Mosque: This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I between 1609 and 1616 and is located in the district of old Istanbul that is named after this Ottoman Sultan and it is distinguished by its six slender minarets.
Roman Hippodrome and Monuments: The ancient Hippodrome was the center of Byzantine social life and the scene of fiercely competitive chariot races. It was located in the square that is now in front of the Blue Mosque and is still the site of ancient relics from its glory days.
Hagia Sophia Museum: The Hagia Sophia that you can visit today was the primary church of Byzantine Constantinople and was built upon the site of two earlier churches that had been destroyed. Overnight Istanbul
Day 3: Unique Tour Istanbul
Breakfast and Lunch
Pick up from your Hotel for the Unique Istanbul tour
Bosphorus Cruise: We will cruise on the Bosphorus to allow you the prime perspective from which to view the fine palaces, pavilions, Ottoman houses and seaside neighborhoods along the shores of this famous and historic waterway connecting the Black Sea and the Maramara Sea.
Rumeli Fortress (From the sea): The largest fortification for the protection of Istanbul built by Sultan Mehmet II in 1451 before his conquest of the city.
Cable Car to Pierre Loti: Enjoy the beautiful view from the cable car as you climb the hill to the cafe named for the famous French writer and naval officer, Louis Marie Julien Viaud a.k.a. Pierre Loti (1850 -1923), who wrote fiction based on his experiences in Istanbul.
Rustem Pasha Mosque: This majestic and surprising little mosque was designed by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, for the Grand Vizier Rustem Pasha who had married Princess Mihrimah, one of the daughters of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
City Walls and Golden Horn by vehicle: As you will ride along the shores of the Marmara Sea with your driver and guide, you will follow a major portion of the city’s Byzantine walls and will continue to follow them when we turn inland from the sea. breached by its attackers.
Saint Savior in Chora Church Museum: This delightful church was built in the 11th century just within the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople, as the city was known throughout the Byzantine era.
Suleymaniye Mosque: This elegant mosque with its distinguishing four slender minarets was built on the order of Sultan Suleyman by the most famous of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, between 1550 and 1558.
Day 4: Gallipoli
Breakfast and Lunch
Early pick-up from Hotel in Istanbul and drive to Gallipoli Peninsula in Çanakkale . World War I battle fields of the peninsula is now a tranquil site. Upon arrival take a Battlefields Tour, following up with Brighton Beach, Ari Burnu Cemetery, ANZAC Cove,Beach Cemetery Lone Pine (Australian Memorial) , Johnson’s Jolly – original tunnels. Afterwads you will visit the 57th Regiment – Turkish Memorial, The Nek – original trenches, Chunuk Bair (New Zealand Memorial). Overnight Canakkale.
Day 5: Troy and Pergamom
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
Early start for the ancient city of Troy, Famous with the legendary Trojan Horse from the times of Beautiful Helen, the Queen of Sparta, and Paris, the Trojan Princess, After Troy tour we will continue to Pergamon Ancient City
Lunch is followed by a tour of Pergamon, a magnificient Acropolis with one of the steepest
Amphitheatres in the world. Its impressive temples, library and medical facilities made it a renowned cultural and political Centre in its time..
We continue to Kusadasi ( Ephesus ). Where the tour ends. Overnight Kusadasi.
Day 6: Ephesus Tour
Breakfast Lunch and Dinner
During both the Hellenistic and Roman periods Ephesus was the most important port and cultural center of the eastern world. The remains of the city are still spellbinding today. Of all the ancient cities of Turkey, Ephesus is the best preserved and most visited one and is as popular as it was in ancient times. This is due to the miraculous discovery of the House of the Virgin Mary. The city had splendid buildings and was dedicated to the Goddess Artemis, whose temple was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Main monuments that will be visited during today’s tour are; Ephesus Ancient City; Ones the most important trading City of the Aegean Coast.., walk along the street of Arcadian, visit the majestic Theatre, Marble road, the Celsius Library, Market place street of the Curettes, baths of Scholastic state agora, Prytaneion, Odeon. This is the best place in the world to get the feeling of what life was like in Roman times. Basilica of St. John; built in the 5th century. House of Virgin Mary; The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissos Mountains as the final resting place of Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. Artemis Temple; The temple of Artemision is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Overnight Kusadasi.
Day 7: Pamukkale
Tour Breakfast and Lunch
Hierapolis; which has the biggest Nekropol with 1200 gravestones in Anatolia. The sacred pool also is one of the highlights of the site. There shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient roman ruins that lie beneath.Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.Pamukkale; which is the center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties. Due to the chemical properties in the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain slope. It is for its resemblence to cotton piles that it is called ‘Cotton Castle’ in Turkish. After the tour take the overnight bus to Cappadocia
Day 8: Cappadocia North Tour
Lunch Start the day visiting Devrent Valley, also known as “Imagination Valley”, this is the most surreal-looking landscape. Your next stop will be Pashabagi also called the Monks Valley because Christian hermits chose to locate hermit cells and churches in these three-headed pinnacles symbolic of the Holy Trinity, it’s possible to see all the stages in the formation of fairy chimneys at this spot.
Proceed to Avanos (Venessa) the pottery centre of Cappadocia, this village is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak/Red River. The river gets its name from the red clay it deposits. You can watch the potters at work using kick wheels, the technique which has remained unchanged for generations. Lunch in a Local Restaurant
Continue to Göreme Open Air Museum. The world’s most important Byzantine cave churches are found in these once remote valleys where monks and nuns pursued monastic life from the 3rd century on. Here you can see the best preserved Byzantine cave wall paintings and frescos from the Iconoclastic period through to the end of Seljuk rule. Icons with scenes from the Old Testament and the New Testament above portraits of Church Fathers and saints depict the structure of the Byzantine universe. Panoramic view point Esentepe. With a spectacular view over Göreme, see the complete view of Goreme valley and Goreme village: fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses. End your day with Uchisar Castle. This tall rock, the highest point of the Goreme region. Overnight Cappadocia.
Day 9: Cappadocia South Tour
Breakfast and Lunch
Optional Sunrise Balloon Flight
We will pick you up in the morning from your Hotel and start our full day Cappadocia tour. Start the day with a hike along the Red & Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly and mysteriously beautiful valleys in the region. The valleys, with their fabulous volcanic rock formations, are in the heart of Cappadocia but well away from the mainstream tourist haunts. Our hike will end in Cavusin Cave Village, where we will see a rock castle and troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the 20th century. After lunch in a local restaurant we descent towards the centre of the earth, with a trip to the Underground City of Kaymakli, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements. This city is approximately 40m deep and contains all the usual rooms found in an underground city (stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, wineries etc.) We will end the day with a visit to the Pigeon Valley where we will have a spectacular view of dovecotes, old abandoned cave homes and old Greek houses of Uchisar. Overnight Cappadocia.
Check out of your Hotel and take a flight back to İstanbul in time for your flight home.
3 Nights B&B Istanbul
1 Night B&B Canakkale
2 Nights HB Kusadasi
2 Nights B&B Cappadocia
Overnight bus tickets from Pamukkale to Cappadocia