DAY 1: ISTANBUL
Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. The balance of the day at leisure.
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.
DAY 3: ISTANBUL – HALF DAY BOSPHORUS CRUISE – KUSADASI
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 the airport for your flight to Izmir.
Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4: KUSADASI – FULL DAY EPHESUS AND HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY TOUR
The tour starts with Isa Bey Mosque, then drive to an ancient Greek city, later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor which called Ephesus, stroll past the Celsus Library, the Temple Of Hadrian and the Trajan Fountain in the Ancient Ephesus.
After walking on the historical marble street the Great Theater where St. Paul preached will meet at the end. Open buffet lunch in a local Turkish restaurant. In the afternoon will visit the carpet cooperative to see how the Turkish carpets are made by hand.
Proceed to the shrine of Mother Mary, it is believed where she spent recent years of her life. Temple Of Artemis (Diana), on the side of one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.
DAY 5: KUSADASI – ISTANBUL
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul to connect with your international flight.
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 cruise of the Bosporus
* 2 nights accommodation in Kusadasi on half board basis
* Full day Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary tour with lunch
* Entrances to historical sites during guided excursions
* All transfers as per itinerary
* Daily breakfast
* Hotel taxes
* Air tickets Istanbul – Kusadasi – Istanbul are not included