Summary

The Best of Turkey tour is the ideal travel choice for those who wish to enjoy the main historic sites and major attractions of Turkey.  We’ll explore Istanbul and it’s ancient structures, from the mosques to the Roman influences architecture.

Next, we’ll fly to Cappadocia and experience this amazing landscape.  While staying at luxuurious cave hotels at night, we will explore the lunar like topography and cave mosaics during the day.

This tour has less travel and more time to enjoy Turkey.

Itinerary

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6
City ISTANBUL ISTANBUL ISTANBUL CAPPADOCIA CAPPADOCIA RETURN
SITES Check-in at the Golden Horn Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipodrome, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar Topkapi Palace, Bosphorous Cruise Hot Air Balloon (optional), Goreme Open-air Museum, Fairy Chimneys, Zelve Open-air Museum, Avanos Pottery, Uchisar, Devrent Valley Mustafapasa, Keslik Monastery, Soganli Valley, Kaymakli Underground City Fly to Istanbul and Depart
HOTEL Golden Horn Hotel Golden Horn Hotel Golden Horn Hotel Elkep Evi Hotel Elkep Evi Hotel

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 01:              Arrival in Istanbul

Arrive at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul.  Airport transfer with your private car and driver. Istanbul (Byzantium, and later Constantinople) is the world’s 3rd largest city and Turkey’s cultural and financial center. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn. You will transfer with your guide to the Ottoman Imperial Hotel. The Ottoman Hotel Imperial is situated on the truly premium location in town, on an elevated position, surrounded by all the major historical and cultural sights in the heart of the old town, Sultanahmet, viewing the impressive Hagia Sophia Museum. This is an inspiring location all year around, in the heart of the old city, within easy walking distance of Sultanahmet Square and the main historic, shopping and harbor districts.

Upon arrival enjoy a welcome briefing and orientation walking tour of the neighborhood.  Your guide will lead you through the area and show you near-by restaurants, gift shops and the like.

Overnight: at The Ottoman Imperial Hotel or Golden Horn Hotel
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 02:                         Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a full-day sightseeing tour featuring Topkapi Palace Complex, the Spice Market, and Bosporus cruise by public boat, passing by authentic city quarters located on both Asian and European shores of the Bosporus Strait.
Topkapi Palace Museum:  Topkapi was the second palace built in Istanbul after the conquest.  It was a residence for the Ottoman Sultans and includes a maze of opulent buildings which were at the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. This palace, where the sultans and their courts and harem lived and governed, is now one of the world’s richest museums.
Next, we will visit the Spice Market which was built as part of the Yeni Cami complex and has since been an exciting covered market filled with the fragrant scent of spices from the Orient.  After this visit, we will have lunch on own at one of the near-by restaurants, overlooking Golden Horn Bay, which separates the old city from the modern city center.
Further, we will embark on a public boat and start our cruise of the Bosporus Strait.  The Bosporus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It is about 20 miles long and varies between one-half and one and one half miles wide.   This boat ride takes you past the late Ottoman Palaces, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful wooden mansions and modern villas of the 19th & 20th centuries which form this elegant section of the city.
After the cruise we will transfer to the hotel for a relaxing evening.

Overnight:  at Ottoman Imperial Hotel or Golden Horn Hotel
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 03:                                  Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a full-day sightseeing tour of the Old City.  The tour includes major historical sites of the city: the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.
Hippodrome: The ancient Hippodrome, an enormous public entertainment arena that once seated as many as 100,000 zealous fans witnessing chariot races, executions, and mock battles. Once the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still decorated by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
Blue Mosque: With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, the Blue Mosque stands as the single most recognizable monument on the Istanbul skyline.  Built between 1609 and 1616, during the reign of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I, the enormous complex also included a hospital, caravansary, public kitchen, marketplace, schools and the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet I.  The mosque’s immense interior, flooded with sunlight streaming through 260 windows, is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles detailing traditional flowers of Ottoman design.  In fact, it is the deep blue glow of the tiles in sunlight that gives the building its name.
Hagia Sophia: This famous basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture.  Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, and now a museum, the church once glittered with mosaics, and art treasures filled every corner. Today, Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom, an attribute of Christ.
After this visit we will stop for the lunch on own at one of Sultanahmet’s restaurants, and then continue to Basilica Cistern.
Grand Bazaar:  The area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center during the Byzantine period.  Two bedestens (domed masonry structures) were built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror to enrich the economic life in the city.  Later on as people needed more places for trade, they added other buildings outside these structures.  Today, the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is very interesting and has consequently become a very popular place for visitors to explore a labyrinth of streets and passages housing eighteen entrances and more than 4,000 shops.
Basilica Cistern or Underground Palace: Istanbul was one of the most often besieged cities in the world and has always needed permanent water supplies. As a result, many underground cisterns were built during the Byzantine Empire. Water was brought to these big reservoirs from far away sources through aqueducts. The largest and most ornate of these cisterns is Yerebatan Sarayi.  In its construction, columns and capitals of earlier temples were used and this provides a very decorative appearance.
In late afternoon, return to the hotel for some time to relax.

Overnight:  at Ottoman Imperial Hotel or Golden Horn Hotel
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 04:                       Cappadocia

This morning after breakfast you will check-out and transfer to Istanbul Airport where you will board your flight to Nevsehir for Cappadocia.

Flight departure is 10:00AM and arrives 11:15AM

Upon arrival, meet your local guide and start to discover the wonders of Cappadocia. On your way to the hotel you will visit Goreme Open-air Museum and Uchisar Fortress.
Goreme: The open air museum of Goreme consist of steep cliffs and many hidden churches dating from the second half of the 9C and afterwards.
Uchisar Fortress:  Uchisar is the name of a town and the fortress in the town. This 60 meter-high fortress was not built but carved out of a natural hill dominating the area with a breathtaking view of all the surrounding Cappadocia formations.
After these visits, you will arrive at the Yunak Evleri Hotel. This hotel is a small boutique hotel which includes six cave houses, 30 rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion.  The exceptional cave houses are renovated and decorated with care and in their own distinct style with strictly respecting the local character. The decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful hand-crafted furnishings and antiques.  After check-in, spend some time relaxing.

Overnight:  Elkep Evi or Yunak Evleri Hotel
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 05:                                Cappadocia

After breakfast you can start a full-day sightseeing tour of Cappadocia. The biblical realm of Cappadocia is a wonderland of unusual geographic formations sprinkled with green vineyards, fruit orchards and frescoed churches.  Wind and rain have eroded the brittle volcanic rock and formed rock cones, capped pinnacles and fretted ravines in colors that range from warm reds and gold to cool greens and grays.  We will visit the underground cities of Kaymakli, Pasabag and Zelve as well as the Avanos hand-craft center. During our tour we will have lunch on our own at a local village.
Kaymakli Underground City: Beginning in the second century AD, as successive armies swept across Asia Minor, the residents of Cappadocia created uniquely defensible communities by digging approximately eight stories down into the volcanic tufa stone.
Pasabag and Zelve: These nature sites are the perfect places to take photos of a remarkable landscape of tufa cones.
Avanos Hand-craft Center:  Avanos is a small town famous for its pottery and carpets. It is built along the banks of Kizilirmak (Halys) River, the longest river originating and ending within the borders of Turkey.  At hand-craft center, you will be introduced to these regional crafts, learning all major aspects of carpet-weaving and pottery-making.
Return to the hotel in the early evening and have time at leisure.

Overnight:  Elkep Evi or Yunak Evleri Hotel

Included meals: Breakfast

***OPTIONAL PROGRAM***

Early in the morning depart for an unforgettable balloon ride program. This tour includes: transfer, short (45 min – 1 hour) balloon ride, glass of champagne, and flight certificate.

DAY 06:      __                Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel fly from Cappadocia to Istanbul in order to catch your departing International flight home from Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Price

6 days / 5 nights

*SEMI-PRIVATE
$ contact us for current prices./ person in double occupancy room (single occupancy room + $100)

PRIVATE
$ contact us for current prices./ person in double occupancy room (single occupancy room + $100) with 2 traveling

 

Final payment due 90 days prior to travel.  We accept Visa, Master Card & Bank Transfers.

Price of the package includes:

Accommodation:
Istanbul: The Ottoman Imperial Hotel or its equivalent– 3 nts (Boutique)
Cappadocia: The Yunak Evleri Hotel or its equivalent -2nts (Boutique)
Meals : 5 breakfasts
Services of a licensed professional tour guide
Private car/minibus with driver
Domestic flights  (Istanbul-Cappadocia, Cappadocia-Istanbul)
Admission fees to sites and museums
Parking, portage, tipping (except guide & driver), toll road

Price of the package excludes:

International flight tickets and international air and departure taxes
Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
Travel insurance
Visas, laundry, and personal items

 

*For semi-private tours, you will join 5 to 10 others with our boutique tour guides and drivers.  Also the itinerary on days 6 and 10 may include fewer sites and direct flights or buses.

Map


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