|DAY 1: Thursday or Tuesday - Depart the USA
Depart the USA for Turkey. Your flight includes meals, drinks and in-flight entertainment for your journey.
|DAY 2: Friday or Wednesday - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner. ( B, D )
|DAY 3: Saturday or Thursday - Optional Tour, Istanbul City Tour
Enjoy a half day morning tour of Istanbul, the only city that straddles two continents. Your tour includes a visit to the Blue Mosque, a 17th century Ottoman Mosque famous with its six minarets and magnificent interior with blue tiles. Continue to the Hippodrome, the place chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. You will also visit St. Sophia – the great Byzantine Basilica built in the 6th century, which remained the largest cathedral in the world for almost a thousand years, it was later converted to a mosque and now serves as a museum. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure, exploring this city that blurs the line between East and West, with incredible architecture that is rivaled only by its spectacular natural setting on the Bosphorus Strait.
Today you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Half Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar) This tours highlights include the Underground cistern – water source of the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, the largest of its kind in Istanbul, the structures interior includes a few hundred marble columns. Your tour will also take you to the Topkapi Palace, residence of Ottoman Sultans housing the richness of 700 years. Visit the Treasury section with the crown jewels and the unique collection of Chinese porcelains. Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, world famous shopping center where you will have the opportunity to shop for carpets, jewelry, leather and more, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series. ( B )
|DAY 4: Sunday or Friday - City of Troy Sightseeing, Travel to Canakkale
This morning, cross the Dardanelles by ferry and drive to Canakkale. Upon arrival, proceed to the classical city of Troy. Tour this 4000-year-old city and legendary center of the Trojan War, made immortal by Homers epic poem The Iliad. Continue to the Canakkale province, located in northwest Turkey, where you will arrive in the early evening. ( B, D )
|DAY 5: Monday or Saturday - Pergamum Asclepion Tour, Travel to Izmir
Drive to Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period (289-129 B.C.), and visit the Asclepion, the ancient Roman spa center. Modern treatments that have been used for centuries such as psychotherapy, massage, mud bathing, and herbal medicine were practiced here. Continue to Izmir, a city believed to be the birthplace of Homer. ( B, D )
|DAY 6: Tuesday or Sunday - Optional Tour, Day at leisure in Izmir
Enjoy a full day at leisure or you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Full Day Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary with Lunch) Ephesus is situated in the fertile Ionian landscape and famous throughout history for its temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Ephesus is considered to be the showpiece among all the antique cities of the world. Leave your hotel for Ephesus and first visit the house of Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary accompanied St. John to Ephesus, where she spent her last years living near a grove of olive trees close by to Ephesus. A visit is considered to be a Pilgrimage by the Vatican. You may collect holy water from the sacred spring. Visit the Basilica of St. John who came here and wrote his gospel. Ephesus was undoubtedly, one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. Among its impressive structures you will marvel at the library of Celsus, temple of Hadrian, the theater and the Odeon. Includes lunch at a local restaurant, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series. ( B, D )
|DAY 7: Wednesday or Monday - Necropolis & Hieropolis at Pamukkale
Today, depart in the early morning from Izmir and drive to Pamukkale en route to Antalya where you will arrive in the evening. Visit the Necropolis and the ancient city of Hieropolis ("Holy City"), situated atop the Pamukkale hot springs, which together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Pamukkale hot springs have served as a thermal bath since the 2nd century B.C., primarily for the ailing and elderly, many of whom have retired here. ( B, D )
|DAY 8: Thursday or Tuesday - Full Day in Antalya
Enjoy a full day at leisure in Antalya. Founded by King Attalos of Pergamum as "Heaven on Earth," Antalya is an international resort city that has become a prime destination in Turkey. Long popular among yachters, the city also offers the liveliest nightlife on the southern coast, fantastic beaches, and world-class shopping, in addition to historic ruins in the surrounding region.
Today you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Perge, Aspendos & Antalya Archaeological Museum) Drive to Perge, a Pamphylian city. Perge was founded between BC12-13. It is the most attractive and well preserved Pamphylian city. The ancient theater, stadium, towers, Agora, Acropol and the Palaestra which is given to Imperial Claudius are the highlights of the ancient city. Continue to Aspendos, founded in BC 4-5 by the colonists from Argos. Though it is well-known for its theater with a capacity of 30000 people, the city also boasts a stadium and a fountain. All the ruins in the city have remained from the Roman period and the theater is still being used for contemporary concerts. Later, return to Antalya and visit the Antalya Archaeological Museum which houses artifacts and antiques from 2500 years of Anatolian culture, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series. ( B, D )
|DAY 9: Friday or Wednesday - Cappadocia Caravanserai Sightseeing
Today, depart in the early morning to travel to Cappadocia and visit the 13th-century Caravanserai of Sultanhan en route, a large abandoned city and shelter in Cappadocia, built on the Silk Road, whose main portal gate is considered a fine example of Turkish Seljuk art. During the Seljuk period, trade flourished, requiring roads for caravan transport and inns for the traveling traders. The Caravanserai provided these traders, both foreign and native, with heated rooms, food, medical attention, equipment repair and many other common conveniences. There was even a small mosque, known as "Kosk Mescid," in the courtyards center where the travelers could conduct religious practices. Continue to Nevsehir in Cappadocia where you will arrive in the evening. ( B, D )
|DAY 10: Saturday or Thursday - Optional Tour, Day at leisure in Cappadocia
Enjoy a full day exploring Cappadocia independently. Famed for temples and houses cut directly into the regions spectacular rock formations, Cappadocia has captivated travelers for centuries or you can choose our PTIONAL tour (Cappadocia Balloon Ride) incredible fairy chimney rock formations. A hot-air balloon flight is unique from all other methods of flying in that there is no sensation of motion, creating an experience of tranquility unlike any other. Traveling at heights of up to 1500 feet, the feeling is both serene and sublime. Within moments of lifting off, drift over the treetops and discover the spectacular landscape from an unrivaled perspective. The deep canyons and lush, fertile valleys of Cappadocia provide an ideal setting for a memorable flight and it may even be possible to pick apricots from the trees when they are in season. Departs at 5:00 a.m. Pick-up and -off details to be advised locally. Please note that the take-off time and the duration of the flight may vary due to weather conditions. Balloon rides will vary between 50 & 75 minutes according to the wind, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series.
Or you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Whirling Dervishes Performance) Also known as the "Sema Ritual", Whirling Dervish performances began with the inspiration of Mawlana Jalaleddin Rumi who is one of the greatest mystical poets of Islam. The Mevlevi Sufi order was founded to follow his teachings. The captivating dance of the whirling dervishes, which displays infinite spinning in perfect harmony, is part of Turkish custom, history, beliefs and culture. It is a rare opportunity to experience a seven-century old ritual, featuring beautiful costumes, live music with flutes, string and percussion, and the amazing sight of the Dervishes whirling on the stage. Departs approximately 8 p.m. returns approximately 11 p.m, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series.
Finaly you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Full Day Cappadocia) Depart your hotel for a full day tour in Cappadocia. Visit the Open Air Museum in Goreme Valley to see the early Christian churches decorated with unique frescos depicting various scenes from the Bible. Later, visit the Ozkonak Underground City, an ancient city built on the northern slopes of Mt. Idis. The city has many strata made up of volcanic granite. Its larger areas are connected to each other by tunnels. Ozkonak had a built-in communication system of pipes on each of its levels, unlike Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, which have no such systems. Each carved out room had ventilation provided by holes when the city was closed against enemies. Lastly, visit the village of Avanos that is famous for its beautiful old houses, pottery and onyx. Departs approximately 8:45 a.m. returns approximately 5:30 p.m, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series. ( B, D )
|DAY 11: Sunday or Friday - Travel to Ankara, Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk
This morning depart for Ankara, the capital and the second largest city of Turkey. Upon arrival, visit the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Leading up to the Mausoleum, also known as the Anitkabir, lies a vast brick courtyard and monumental avenue lined with NeoHittite stone statues and cenotaphs beneath its colonnades. The most noted cenotaphs within the complex are those of General Ismet Inonu, a close comrade of Ataturks and his successor, and that of Ataturk himself, a large and highly decorative marble cenotaph, beneath which lies his tomb. Continue with Anatolian Civlizations Museum – built in two Ottoman buildings located near Ankara Castle. The Museum, being among exceptional museums with its unique collection, has Anatolian archaeological artifacts, artifacts from the Paleolithic Age to the present are exhibited. It was elected as the first "Museum of the Year" in Switzerland on April 19, 1997. ( B )
|DAY 12: Monday or Saturday - Optional Tour, Return to Istanbul
This early morning, depart for your hotel in Istanbul. Spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel with your traveling companions.
Today you can choose our OPTIONAL tour (Half Day Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Spice Market) Depart from the hotel for a visit to the famous Spice Market of Istanbul. Afterwards, board a ferry for a delightful Bosphorus cruise. No stay in Istanbul would be complete without this traditional and unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding straits separating Europe and Asia. The humble fishing villages and suspension bridges set against the dramatic outline of the Strait exemplify the newest link between the East and West, THIS OPTION can only be sold with our seat on a bus tour series . ( B, D )
|DAY 13: Tuesday or Sunday - Depart for the USA
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. ( B )
Dates & Prices Call to book (877) 636-6660 OR
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|Optional tours and gratuities|
|Day 3||Half Day Istanbul with Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar|
|Day 6||Full Day Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary with lunch (TS)|
|Day 8||Perge, Aspendos & Antalya Archaeological Museum (TS)|
|Day 9||Whirling Dervishes Performance (TS)|
|Day 10||Full Day Cappadocia (TS)|
|Day 10||Cappadocia Balloon Ride (TS)|
|Day 12||Half Day Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise with Spice Market (TS)|
All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability at the time of booking. The from price reflects the lowest available price at time of publication, which is valid for a specific start date or dates and also based on availability at the time of booking.