DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Your Istanbul Cappadocia Complete Vacation package starts at the Istanbul international airport. Arrival, welcome & assistance at the airport and transfer to hotel. Free day.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL – FULL DAY OLD CITY TOUR
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 WallsThe 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 the 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 pavillions 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 Bedestenexhibits the traditional silk weaving girls at the carpet weaving courses authorised by the Ministry of National Education Possibility to see jewellery, handicrafts centre and leatherware show. Free time provided for shopping.
DAY 4: ISTANBUL – CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast, 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.
We will start with a visit and walk in the Red Valley and discover rock-cut churches and hike 5 km through the Valley of Gulludere. Then keep going on with a visit to Cavusin village. Ancient Cavusin was already abandoned several about the 11th Century. Lunch will be a selection of Turkish Cuisine. In the afternoon drive to the Pigeon Valley for a panoramic view, Kaymakli Underground City, dated back to the Hittites than used by the early Christians. UnderGround city specially carved to be used during the wartime to save their lives as well as early Christians hide from the Roman pressure, you can still see stables kitchen living room bedroom and more.
Return to hotel and dinner. Dinner and accommodation.
After breakfast departure to the airport for the return flight to Istanbul to connect with your flight back home. End of your Istanbul Cappadocia Complete Vacation package.
STARTING POINT: Istanbul, daily January to December
TRAVEL PLAN: 7 Days/ 6nights
3 nights accommodation in Istanbul on a bed and breakfast basis
3 nights accommodation in Cappadocia on half board basis
Full-day Istanbul old city tour with lunch
Full day Bosphorus cruise + 2 continents tour with lunch
Full-day Cappadocia North tour with lunch
Full-day Cappadocia South tour with lunch
Entrances to historical sites during guided excursions
All transfers as per itinerary
Air tickets Istanbul – Cappadocia – Istanbul are not included.