Duration: 14 Day / 13 Night Region: Turkey Comments: This trip is taking you across Anatolian, Mediterranean and Aegean highlights, where you will explore all the different Historical sights and Cultures in this land of Treasures.
Day 1: Istanbul
On arrival to Istanbul transfer to your Hotel. Rest of the day at leisure, Overnight Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Icons Tour visiting the following places 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: Istanbul
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Unique Istanbul our visiting the following places 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. Overnight Istanbul
Day 4: Cappadocia
Check out of your Hotel and take the early morning flight to Cappadocia. Start the day by visiting Devrent Valley, also known as “Imagination Valley”, which has the most surreal-looking landscape. Your next stop will be Pashabagi called also the Monks Valley because Christian hermits chose to locate hermit cells and churches in these three-headed pinnacles symbolic of the Holy Trinity. Proceed to Avanos the pottery centre of Cappadocia, this village is set on the banks of the Red River. You can watch the potters at work using kick wheels. Continue to Göreme Open Air Museum the monastery settlement of early Christian monks. Here you can see the best preserved Byzantine cave wall paintings and frescos from the Iconoclastic period. day will end with Uchisar Castle. Overnight in Cave Hotel.
Day 5: Cappadocia
Optional Sunrise Balloon: Today you will be visiting Esentepe Panoramic view point first. With a spectacular view over Göreme see the complete view of Göreme valley and village. Then continue driving to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the best preserved and deepest Underground Cities in Cappadocia. Derinkuyu is excavated to a depth of approximately 85 m. It contains all the usual rooms found in an underground city (stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, wineries etc.). Proceed to Ihlara Valley. You will walk about 4 km along the river in the valley exploring the hidden churches. At the end of your walk lunch will be served at Belisirma Village by the river. On the way back visit Selime Monastery, carved out the rock by Christian monks in the 13th century. The size of the church makes a visit here astonishing. Stop briefly at Yaprakhisar Panorama the spot where famous movie Star wars was shot, continue to Agzikarahan Caravanserai bulit by the Seldjuk Turks in the 13th Century. Overnight in Cave Hotel.
Day 6: Cappadocia
Start the day with a walk in Red Valley, famous for its rocks capes, local culture and historical sites. At the end of your walk you will reach Cavusin Village. Here a spectacular rock castle that once housed everyone in the village is awaiting you. Continue driving to Kaymakli Underground City, one of the best preserved and most visited Underground Cities in Cappadocia. It contains all the usual rooms found in an underground city (stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, wineries etc.) Continue to Pigeon Valley a spectacular view of old abandoned pigeon cots hollowed out of the caves. Take the Overnight bus to Antalya Overnight Antalya
Day 7: Antalya
Pick up at your Hotel fort he Perge, Aspendos and Side Tour Perge Ancient side is a grand exhibit of what an ancient Greek and Roman city looked like. Records date it back as far as the 4th BC. It was visited by Greek colonists after the Trojan War, by St. Paul and companions when it was one of the leading cities of Pamphylia, fell under the leadership of Alexander the Great and also the Byzantines. Side the site of Pamphylia”s largest port, probably first colonized in the 7th BC. Coming from Cyprus, St.Paul would have entered the ancient port enroot to Perge. The great ruins are among the most notable in Asia Minor. They cover a large promontory where a wall and a mote separate it from the mainland. Manavgat Waterfall is where you will take a nice cool rest, sitting right next to the falls. Aspendos famous for its theatre that dates to 160-180 AD. It is the best preserved Ancient Roman Theatre in the World. Depending on performance dates, you may be able to visit this ancient theatre to see the world renowned summer evening opera and ballet performances. After the tour return to your hotel and have a free evening to relax or explore Antalya on your own. Overnight Antalya
Day 8: Antalya
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Demre-Kekova-St.Nicolas Tour Drive along the coast admiring the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Demre (Myra); To the north of the church of Saint Nicolas, the ruins of Myra city and rock tombs can be found on the slope of a mountain .It is understood from the ancient city walls that this ancient side which is right next to the theater, was built on a steep hill. Kekova (Sunken City); it has a surface area of 5,7sq km. On the north shore of Kekova, the ruins of a city, which are situated under the sea, can be viewed. Most of the buildings have two floors. St. Nicolas Church; According to ancient sources, St. Nicolas was born towards the end of the 3rd century in Patara, 60 km west of Demre in a wealthy family. He had a good education and devoted himself to mankind. Simena; the village of Kale, previously known as Simena, is very attractive. The castle of Simena which is the main attraction was used during the middle Ages by the Byzantines. In the medieval walls of the inner keep are a few blocks of all that remains of ancient temple. Inside the castle is a small natural theater carved into the rock.End of the tour returns to Antalya. Overnight Antalya
Day 9: Pamukkale
Take the bus to Pamukkale on arrival check in to your Hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Pamukkale
Day 10: Pamukkale
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Pamukkale Tour 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 drive to Kusadasi, Overnight Kusadasi
Day 11: Ephesus
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Ephesus tour 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 12: Priene-Miletus-Didyma
Pick up at your Hotel to start the PMD tour This tour covers 3 magnificent cities of ancient times, close to each other. PRIENE: Despite of its small size, Priene was a very important city in ancient times because on its territory stood the Panionium, the central meeting-place and sanctuary of the Ionian Confederacy. The theatre, the temple of Athena, the agora, the Bouleterion and the temenos of Zeus Olympus will be the steps of this visit. MILETUS: Miletus was the principal port and the richest imperium at the Aegean coast. Thales of Miletus believed that there was a fundamental unity beneath the apparent disorder and complexity of nature and he postulated that water was the basic material for all things. The theatre of Miletus is by far the most impressive of the town’s surviving monuments. There is also the council-chamber, marketplace, temples, baths and Islamic monument: Ilyas Bey Mosque to be visited. After the lunch we will visit the Didyma Apollon temple. DIDYMA: Didyma was an ancient Ionian city, the modern Didim, Turkey. The town formed just outside of the sanctuary containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. Didyma was a neighbour of Miletus. To approach it, visitors would follow the Sacred Way to Didyma. Both Herodotus and Pausanias dated the origins of the oracle at Didyma before the Ionian colonization of this coast.
Day 13: Pergumum
Pick up at your Hotel to start the Pergamum tour This was a major city in western Asia Minor in New Testament times. It lies in a spacious valley, sixteen miles from the Aegean Sea in what is today the country of Turkey. In the centuries before Christ, Pergamum was the capital of an independent kingdom. As one of the most beautiful cities of ancient world it became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC. Its architecture and statues are among the finest samples of the Hellenistic world. Impressive temples, library, and medical facilities made Pergamum a renowned cultural and political center. By the time Revelation was written, Pergamum had become part of the Roman Empire, but because of its location and importance, the Romans used it as an administrative center for the province of Asia. On this tour you will be visiting; Aesclepium; The god of healing, Aesclepius received worship in cultic centers around the Greek and Roman world. This large complex at Pergamum was originally constructed in the 4th century B.C. and became an official center in the the 3rd c. In the 2nd c. A.D., Hadrian further developed the center and it was added to the list of “wonders of the world.” Acropolis; One of the seven churches addressed in Revelation, the city of Pergamum became the center of a large kingdom in the 3rd century B.C. and retained its status as a political and cultural leader into the Byzantine period. The acropolis rises 1300 feet above the lower city located on the plain of the Caicus River. Serapeum/Red Basilica; A temple to the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld was erected in the lower city of Pergamum. The Serapis cult was founded by Ptolemy I and was centered in Alexandria. Held to be a god of healing, particularly of blindness,Serapis was one of a number of Egyptian deities worshiped in ancient Greece and Rome. Overnight Kusadasi
Day 14: Transfer to Izmir Airport for your connecting flight Home
Thanks for visiting Turkey !!
All Transfers Bus Tickets 13 Night Accommodatiom 11 Full Day Regular Tours Professional English speaking Guide Entrance fees to Museums Lunch on Tours (Excluding Drinks) All Taxes