DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Your Istanbul Bosphrus Cappadocia vacation package starts at the Istanbul international airport. Arrival, welcome & assistance at the airport and transfer to hotel. Free day.
We begin our tour from the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul at Agia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses.
Next, we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial Mosque with six minarets. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100.000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. After a lunch break, we continue our tour at Topkapi Palace which, from the 15th to 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
The final visit will be to the Grand Bazaar which was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4.000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, icons and leather goods.
After breakfast, we will visit the Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Bazaar) and then we take the half-day cruise through Bosphorus, the majestic strait that runs through Istanbul, linking Europe and Asia. From our cruise boat, we view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus wooded shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world’s longest and Rumeli Hisari, a massive fortress built by Mehmet the Conqueror in just three months as he prepared to take Istanbul. Also noteworthy on this tour are the 19th-century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultans’ fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges Disembarkation at the European part of Turkey and transfer to your hotel.
After the cruise, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Our first real encounter with Cappadocia almost Martian landscape is in the Derwent valley. We visit Pasabag’s “fairy chimneys”, where the voice of the wind harmonizes with songs of the fairies. From here we pause at Avanos centre of terracotta art which is a popular destination because of its attractive old town with cobbled streets, and views over the river and is its production of earthenware pottery, it is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. A visit to the ceramic & tile centre to see how the ceramics are made by hand.
After lunch, we visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. People of Goreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from this period.
You visit a carpet cooperative, where you’ll see how exquisite Turkish carpets are hand-woven. We complete the tour with a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Return to hotel dinner and accommodation.
DAY 5: CAPPADOCIA – ISTANBUL
After breakfast departure to the airport for the return flight to Istanbul to connect with your flight back home. The Istanbul Bosphorus Cappadocia vacation package ends here
STARTING POINT: Istanbul, daily January to December
TRAVEL PLAN: 5 DAYS/ 4 nights
2 nights accommodation in Istanbul on a bed and breakfast basis
Full-day Istanbul old city tour with lunch
Half-day Bosphorus cruise
2 nights accommodation in Cappadocia on half board basis in
Full-day Cappadocia North tour with lunch
Entrances to historical sites during guided excursions
All transfers as per itinerary
Air tickets Istanbul – Cappadocia – Istanbul are not included.