There are available departure dates other than Sunday.
- Sunday - Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul
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.
Overnight in Istanbul
- Monday - Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
This will be a full day of exploring the historical sites of Istanbul.
* The Spice Bazaar/Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) transports you back to the Silk Road days with its mystical aromas of various spices. Here, you'll also find other shops selling fruits, vegetables, teas, flowers, fish, and Turkish Delight (lokum).
* Bosphorus Cruise takes you through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia; along its shores, you can take photographs of 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.
After lunch, we will continue on the tour and will visit:
* Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence and administrative heart of the massive Ottoman Empire, beginnng with Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, in 1453, until 1856. It was converted to a museum in 1924. Parts of the palace such as the Harem, Baghdad Pavilion, Revan Pavilion, Sofa Pavilion, and the Audience Chamber distinguish themselves with their architectural assets. The museum also has collections from the Imperial Treasury, as well as Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy, etc. The Treasury also houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat "Spoon Maker's Diamond", and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
The Grand Bazaar will be visited during the tour.
After the tour we will return to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
- Tuesday - Day 3 - Istanbul - (B/L)
This will be a day of exploring the historical sites of Istanbul.
Sites you'll see today:
* Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya is a truly awe-inspiring, 1,400-year-old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and still seen as one of the world's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
* Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque (Camii) built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
*Hippodrome: The ancient Hippodrome, scene of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
Theodosius Obelisk is originally an Egyptian piece of art erected in 1547 BC and originally 60m tall. German fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul, it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
After the tour, we will leave you at the Grand Bazaar and give you free time to explore and shop.
Overnight in Istanbul.
- Wednesday - Day 4 - Istanbul to Cappadocia - (B/L)
Early in the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the domestic airport for a 1-hour flight to the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. After arrival, we will transfer you to Cappadocia and continue on the program.
This day will be devoted to exploring the most unforgettable sites of Cappadocia:
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is a charming and ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); here, you'll explore Byzantine-era churches, chapels and monasteries which house wonderfully-preserved 11th- and 12th-century cave frescoes.
* Fairy Chimneys--This strange geological phenomenon was created over millions of years, and were formed during regional volcanic eruptions. Reaching at times 40 meters in height, they are conical in shape and have a whimsical "hat" top to them.
* Devrent Valley--This valley is known as "the pink valley" because of the color of its soil. This is a lovely place to wander about and really take in the magical rock formations indicative to Cappadocia, including the Fairy Chimneys.
* Uchisar Castle, also known as Uchisar Fortress, is actually a formation of two gigantic rocks surrounded by smaller ones that together, form a natural fortress with towers. These formations were inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
We'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia
- Thursday - Day 5 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
As we have a lengthy drive to our first destination, we'll be starting out quite early this morning. Today, we'll stroll through an amazing subterranean city where ancient Christians once hid from Arab invaders; we'll then wander through the Ihlara Gorge and spend time in a classic Anatolian village.
* Underground City of Derinkuyu--You'll gradually make your way down into the depths of the earth of this ancient settlement that has 18-20 floors which boast depths as long as 40 meters. (Don't worry, we'll only go down to the 8th floor!) Youll marvel at the fact that Derinkuyu is just one of 36 Cappadocian underground cities, which archaeologists date back to the time of the Hittites around 4,000 years ago.
* Ihlara Gorge is an oasis in the middle of the Anatolian plain. We'll explore the canyon and take in the beautiful green scenery as we stroll casually alongside the river. Here, you'll see ancient monasteries complete with pigeon holes carved into the cliffs by the monks; the pigeons acted as messengers to communicate with neighboring monks!
* Traditional Anatolian village -- You'll see head-scarved women in the fields (where they work from sun up until sundown) and the mustachioed, vest-wearing men hard-at-work playing cards or tavla (backgammon) in the kahvehane (coffee shop). You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play. Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia
- Friday - Day 6 - Cappadocia to Pamukkale - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will depart Cappadocia and drive to Pamukkale, stopping at Konya along the way.
* The Mevlana Museum is a holy site for Muslims because of its historical significance as a lodge of the whirling dervishes; in addition, the architecture and famous Iznik turquoise tiles make this a must-see.
(Note: a museum visit is not included in the guided tour, however, you may choose to either explore this site or to explore Konya.)
In the afternoon, we will provide a transfer to Cappadocia, after arrival, you will check in the hotel and have a free day to relax and explore Pamukkale on your own. Overnight stay in Pamukkale.
- Saturday - Day 7 - Pamukkale to Kusadasi - (B/L/D)
In the morning we will continue on the guided tour of Pamukkale.
* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish) is the result of limestone formations created over thousands of years. Warm, calcium-rich mineral water from nearby thermal hot springs flowed over these cliffs and, as these waters cooled, they deposited the calcium that we see today.
* Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits adjacent to Pamukkale. It was founded as an ancient healing care center in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral waters. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire. After the tour, you will depart Pamukkale and drive to Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi
- Sunday - Day 8 - Kusadasi to Marmaris - (B/L)
We'll tour Turkey's most impressive Roman and Biblical sites, in what promises to be some of your most memorable days in Turkey, in addition to visiting other significant sites.
*Ephesus is the best-preserved classical cities from ancient times, and was inhabited by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks. St. Paul lived here circa 60 AD, when it was at its most populated at 250,000. During your visit, youíll walk its stony boulevards, stand in the grand theatre, marvel at the beauty of the Celsus Library, the agora, as well as the baths, giving you the unique chance to get up-close-and-personal with history by literally being able to walk into it.
*The Temple of Artemis is situated in serene countryside celebrates the Greek goddess Artemis, the virginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. This temple, known as Artemision in Greek times, was the largest of its kind at the world.
*The House of The Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryemana Evi), high on a hill overlooking the town of Selcuk, is where it is believed that St. Mary came to live with St. John the Baptist in the later years of her life. Masses are held here on Sundays. After the tour we will Provide a transfer from Kusadasi to Marmaris.
Overnight in Marmaris.
- Monday - Day 9 - Marmaris to Rhodes - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Marmaris port and put you on a ferry to Rhodes Island. After arrival, you will check into your hotel and have a free day to relax and explore.
*In ancient times, Rhodes was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Colossus of Rhodes. This giant bronze statue once stood in the harbor. It was completed in 280 BC but was destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today. Before archaeology, myth stood in for blanks in the historical record. In Pindar's ode, the island was said to be born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhode, and the cities were named for their three sons.
In 1309, the Byzantine era came to an end when the island was occupied by forces of the Knights Hospitaller. Under the rule of the newly named "Knights of Rhodes", the city was rebuilt into a model of the European medieval ideal.
Overnight in Rhodes.
- Tuesday - Day 10 - Rhodes to Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will have a full free day to relax and explore Rhodes; at 17:00 PM, you will depart for Santorini Island, midnight arrival in Santorini. Youíll meet our representatives at the harbor, who will then transfer you to your hotel.
* Santorini is one of those iconic places that will be permanently etched in your mind. Everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. Essentially, the island is what remains of an enormous volcanic eruption, which destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island. The aftermath of the explosion created what you see today, a caldera. All of the whitewashed, charming houses cling to the high cliffs of the rim, while the deep blue Aegean Sea wraps around the geological masterpiece, hundreds of feet below. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with its lively nightlife, has made this island a perennial tourist favorite. Overnight in Santorini.
- Wednesday - Day 11 - Santorini - (B)
After breakfast we will take you on a full-day tour of Santorini. You will visit Acrotiri, hop on a boat to explore the caldera, take in the hot springs, view the ruins of Thirrassia, and finish off this very memorable day by watching the famous sunset from Oia. Afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel.
* Oia remains one of the foremost tourist attractions of the Aegean Sea. The sunset, considered by many as one of the most beautiful in the world, because of the caldera in the background. Tourists are often told that the fishing docks at Oia are the oldest continually used docks in the world, supposedly being in service for 3000 years. Fun facts: the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Tomb Raider have also been filmed here. Overnight in Santorini.
- Thursday - Day 12 - Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will have a full free day to relax and explore Santorini on your own. Many take this opportunity to relax and tan on one of Santoriniís famous beaches, such as Red Beach, or return for more sightseeing in Oia.
Overnight in Santorini.
- Friday - Day 13 - Santorini to Athens - (B)
After breakfast around 8:30 AM, we will meet you at your hotel for your guided tour of Athens.
You will explore Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathinaiko Stadium (where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896). After that, we will drive by the Prime's Minister's residence, the Royal Palace, (guarded by colorful Evzones), Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall), National Garden, Hadrian's Arc, St. Paul's Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schlieman's House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Academy, University, National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square, and the impressive Russian Orthodox Church.
At the Acropolis, you will visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Museum of the Acropolis.
In the early afternoon, we will provide a transfer to your hotel, or we can also drop you off at the Plaka so you can wander and explore. Overnight in Athens.
- Saturday - Day 14 - Athens to Home - (B)
Andio sas! Goodbye! Itís time to go home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, and hope that our paths will cross again.
Total cost: ______ Euro per person, double room & _______ Euro, single room
Contact us to get the price informations.
Ask us about early booking discounts!
* All hotels
* All land transfers in comfortable vehicles
* All meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* All ferry tickets in Greece
* All port transfers
* Domestic flight tickets from Istanbul to Cappadocia
* Domestic flight tickets from Santorini to Athens
* Admissions to ancient sites
* All taxes and service charges
* International flight tickets to Istanbul
* Drinks with meals