DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Arrival in Istanbul, 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.
We will depart to visit City Walls. The first breach of the walls was by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the second by the cannons and troops of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. Then you will go for Golden Horn. As a natural and extremely secure harbour, the Golden Horn has played an important role in the development of Istanbul. The inlet separates the European shore into two. It is approximately 8 km long, and the widest part is the entrance from the Bosphorus. Two streams drain into this inlet at its far end.
The next stop will be Spice Bazaar(Egyptian Bazaar). The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice.
After that, you will go on a boat trip to the Bosphorus. A traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the excursion, you will pass the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, and further along, the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. On the coastal edge of this park, is Ciragan Palace, 300 meters of its marble facade faces the shore. At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries. You will see Rumeli Fortress (from the sea, no interior visit). Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 before the conquest of Istanbul, was completed in only four months to control and protect Bosphorus. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Then we will go to Beylerbeyi Palace. The summer residence of Ottoman Sultans with its original furniture and magnificent gardens with the Harem on the Asian. Bosphorus Bridge is a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe). After that Camlica Hill is the highest point in Istanbul. At the top of it, you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the beautiful gardens, landscaped in traditional style. Also, there is a possibility of shopping at Bedesten exhibits the traditional silk weaving girls at the carpet weaving courses authorized by the Ministry of National Education Possibility to see jewellery, handicrafts centre and leatherware show. Free time provided for shopping.
DAY 4: ISTANBUL – CAPPADOCIA
At the indicated time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
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.
DAY 6: CAPPADOCIA – ANTALYA
At the indicated time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Antalya. Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Antalya is a city that ranks as one of the most popular places among visitors to Turkey. Our full-day excursion will take you sightseeing in the historic city of Antalya. Do you still wonder what to do in Antalya, Turkey? We will start the day by picking you up at the main entrance of your hotel. Along the way, we will visit the Antalya Waterfalls. So you can take photos of the beautiful Antalya Waterfalls. Kaleici, or Old Antalya, is filled with history and lovely buildings. You will see old houses built in the Ottoman style and from the park, you’ll enjoy terrific views of the water. You will see the old town’s harbour, Hadrian’s Gate, and many other sights as well. This section of the city features many small streets lined with shops, kebab restaurants and pensions. There are some great boutique hotels and pensions here if you decide to return and stay in the ancient heart of Antalya.
Following places to be seen on this tour: • Antalya Old Barbour • Old Town of Antalya • Duden Waterfalls • Free time at the Antalya Bazaar • Hadrianus Gate (by your own at the free time) • Old fluted minaret & clock tower (by your own at the free time)
Dinner and overnight
DAY 8: ANTALYA – ISTANBUL
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Istanbul to connect with your international flight.
STARTING POINT: Istanbul, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, April to October
TRAVEL PLAN: 8 Days/ 7 nights
* 3 nights accommodation in Istanbul on a bed and breakfast basis
* Full day Istanbul old city tour with lunch
* Full day Bosporus cruise + 2 Continents tour
* 2 nights accommodation in Cappadocia on half board basis
* Full day Cappadocia North tour with lunch
* 2 nights accommodation in Antalya on half board basis
* Full day Antalya City and Boat and Waterfall tour with lunch
* Entrances to historical sites during guided excursions
* Daily breakfast
* All transfers per itinerary
* Hotel taxes
* Air tickets Istanbul – Cappadocia – Antalya – Istanbul are not included