Tour Style : Gulet Cruise
Duration : 14 Days
Departures : All year round
Arrival in Istanbul and transfer (optional) to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL – SULTANAHMET
8:10 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. Today we will visit the Hagia Sophia (Haghia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church. See beautiful mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses. We continue to the SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets. We continue to the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. Visit the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum originally built as the Palace of Ibrahim Pasha in 1524 with fine examples of Islamic Calligraphy, tiles and carpets. We will then explore the Topkapi Palace . It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the GRAND COVERED BAZAAR, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures Return to your hotel around 17:30. This tour may be done completely as a walking tour.
*Note that on Sunday the Grand Bazaar is closed, on Monday the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum and St Sophia are closed and on Tuesday the Topkapi Palace is closed. (All sights except for Grand Bazaar are replaced by a visit to the Yerebatan Underground Cistern) Overnight in Istanbul. B.L.
ISTANBUL – GALLIPOLI – CANAKKALE
Pick up at 6.30 from your hotel. Departure for Gallipoli . We will visit: Kabatepe Museum, which contains relics from the campaign including original diary extracts and letters, Brighton Beach, the intended landing place. Lunch and swimming, Beach Cemetery on the southern tip of Anzac Cove, the landing place of the first wave of Australian and New Zealand troops and home to up to 30,000 troops during the campaign, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, site of the successful attack and capture of Turkish trenches by the Australians during the August offensive, Johnston’s Jolly where you will visit the original Allied and Turkish trenches and tunnels, The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial, captured by the New Zealanders during the August offensive. We will proceed by ferry across the part of the Dardanelles known as “the Narrows” to Canakkale. Overnight in Canakkale. B.L.
CANAKKALE – TROY – PERGAMON – KUSADASI/SELCUK
8.45 Depart from Canakkale to visit the legendary site of Troy , with its nine levels of civilization. Troy is the city of Helen and was famous in Homer’s Iliad. After lunch the tour will continue to Pergamon . We will visit the Pergamon Acropolis, where the ruins of Zeus Altar “Throne of Satan” can still be seen today. Pergamon was a center of Roman authority and a place of persecution for Christians who denied imperial worship. The acropolis is situated high above the plain and has a unique panoramic view. The very narrow and steep theater on the hillside could seat up to 10,000 people. Parchment paper was first produced in Pergamon. We will visit the remains of the Great Library, which rivaled the one of Alexandria in Egypt, the palaces of the kings, and Temple of Trajan. Continue to Kusadasi i or Selcuk and drop off at your hotel. B.L (D)
EPHESUS – HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
9.00 – 9:30 Departure. We will visit the house where The Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days. We then tour Ephesus, which was one of the largest and most interesting ancient cities of Asia Minor. The tour of Ephesus includes the Library of Celsius, Temple of Hadrian, the Agora, the marble paved Arcadian Road, the Brothel, the Roman Baths, and fantastic Greco-Roman theatre where St. Paul preached. We then see the remains of the the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Overnight in Kusadasi or Selcuk. B.L (D)
PAMUKKALE AND HIERAPOLIS – FETHIYE
8.45 Departure. Today we drive through the Meander valley to Pamukkale and visit the ancient city of Hierapolis with the Temple of Apollo, the breathtaking Theater, the fascinating Necropolis and the last the great baths of Hierapolis antique city, where St. Philip was martyred. We will also visit the calcium pools for which Pamukkale is named (Cotton Castle). You may have a chance to bathe in a Roman pool with columns. Transfer to the bus station and bus to Fethiye. Upon arrival take a taxi (not included) to your hotel. Overnight in Fethiye. B.L.
FETHIYE – BUTTERFLY VALLEY – OLUDENIZ AND ST NICHOLAS (CRUISE START)
Pick up from your hotel around 10:00 and departure from Fethiye Harbor between 11.00 – 12.00 to Samanlik Bay for swimming & lunch. Visit Butterfly Valley (sea conditions permitting) and stop for a swim and visit this natural reserve where there are over one hundred kinds of different butterflies and moths. Then we cruise to Oludeniz (The Blue Lagoon) sea conditions permitting. Finally we come to St-Nicholas Island. Visit the Byzantine ruins, swim, dinner and overnight on the gulet. B.L.D.
KAS – KEKOVA (CRUISE)
We depart around sunrise for Aquarium or Firnaz Bay near Kalkan, have breakfast a swim. Then we cruise to Kas where we stop in the harbor for lunch and visit this charming fishing village. Kas was once known as Antiphellos and there are ruins of Lycian rock tombs & sarcophagi and the Roman theater. We stop in a bay near Kekova Island for swimming, dinner and overnight on the gulet. B.L.D.
KEKOVA – SIMENA – GOKKAYA (CRUISE)
We depart after breakfast to the Sunken City of Kekova , and then continue to Simena, a traditional Turkish fishing village with its Byzantine/Ottoman castle. You may enjoy water sports (extra) In Gökkaya Bay. Dinner and overnight on the gulet. B.L.D.
PIRATE’S CAVE – ANDRIAKE – MYRA – DEMRE – ANTALYA (CRUISE END)
After breakfast we visit Pirate’s Cave before cruising to Andriake harbor for lunch. Bus transfer to the archaeological site of Myra, and to Demre for the St-Nicholas Church, shopping and banking when requested only (entry fees are not included) Drop off at Demre bus station and bus (not included – you buy your own ticket) to Antalya and upon arrival in Antalya pick up your overnight bus ticket for the following evening (only if you are taking overnight bus option). Take a taxi (not included) to your hotel in Antalya and overnight. B.L. (D)
ANTALYA – CAPPADOCIA (INDEPENDENT)
Today is at leisure in Antalya to visit the old part of Antalya called Kaleici, with the gate of Hadrian, the Clock Tower, Fluted Minaret, Palm Street and the ancient harbor. There are many beautiful old houses in Kaleici. Take a taxi (extra) to the bus station and overnight bus to Cappadocia or transfer to the airport and upon arrival transfer to your hotel and overnight in Cappadocia (with flight option only). B.
CAPPADOCIA – Soganli Valley
9.30 departure. We will visit Urgup fairy chimneys. Visit Kaymakli – more to explore in this underground city of mazes and tunnels. We take a walk through Soganli Valley, which is one of the most attractive and unspoiled places in Cappadocia, with its unique fairytale churches and dovecotes (pigeon houses) cut in the rock. View of Mt. Erciyes (3916m), which is the highest mountain in the area. Photo stop of Sahinefendi Village (Sobesos) and vast gorge. Taskinpasa Village with its Kahramanian mosque, and village life. Watch for villagers baking fresh bread in outdoor ovens, Keslik Rock Monastery and the old village of Mustafapasa (Sinassos) an old Greek town. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B).L. (D)
CAPPADOCIA – GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM – ISTANBUL
9:30 departure from your hotel in Cappadocia. Visit Devrent Valley – natural rock formations with fantastic shapes. Cavusin Village, which has one of the oldest churches in Cappadocia. Visit Pasabag for a walk in the vineyards among strange multiple “mushroom-capped” fairy chimneys and continue to Avanos, which has been a center of terra cotta work since 3000 BC. See a pottery demonstration using the ancient kick-wheel technique. Goreme Open Air Museum – see the best examples of Byzantine frescoes in rock-cut churches from the10th to the 13th centuries. Uchisar Village – climb the
rock citadel for an extensive panoramic view of the valleys. Transfer to the airport for flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer (optional) to your hotel and overnight. B.L. (overnight bus is also possible).
Transfer to the airport (optional) for departure. B.
What is included
What is included
•All the transfers from Airport or bus station to hotel and back.
•All domestic flights or overnights buses (depending on which option chosen)
•Museum entrance fees and all tours
•Accommodation as specified in intineray
•Lunches , Dinners & Breakfasts as specified
•Professional English speaking guide
•Transportation by airconditioned, nonsmoking vehicle.
Not included :
Drinks, tips to guide and driver, personal expenses and optional tours.