Arrive Istanbul International Airport and our driver meets you at the exit gate, with a board on which your name is written and transfers you to your hotel. Rest of the day on your own. Overnight in Istanbul.
Our guide and driver will pick you up at 09:30 for a full day group tour Our tour will start at the Hippodrome, which was the scene of chariot races and great public occasions throughout the immensely long history of the Byzantine Empire. Close by looms the enourmous mass of Hagia Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian and inaugurated in 537 AD. For over nine centuries it was the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and it remains the world’s 4th largest church. Hagia Sofia contains some of the finest mosaics to have survived from the Byzantine period, including a hounting Virgin and Child in the eastern apse. Just across a park stands the Blue Mosque, so called because of its exquisite Iznik tile decoration. Thousands and thousands of these exteremly precious tiles line the walls in a mezmerizing display of floral extravangance. The mosque’s courtyard is exceptional beautiful, and it is the only mosque in Istanbul to have six minarets. Our next stop is the Underground Cistern which , like Hagia Sophia, is the work of Justinian. Its roof a supported by a forest of over 300 columns. Nearby lies the Mosaic Museum, which has magnificent 6th century floor mosaics from the Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors. We finish our tour with a visit to the Cinili Kiosk, the oldest Turkish building in Istanbul, dating from 1472, to see the museum’s collection of ceramic tiles dating from the 12th-19th centuries. After tour we transfer you to bus station. You will take a bus to Nevsehir.
Our driver and guide meets you at bus station. Then we start to full day tour. Our full day sight-seeing will start with Uchisar, an extraordinary rock formation towering above the landscape and visible formiles around. This rock, riddled with chamber sand tunnels, was once used as a fortres sand offers a magnificent panaromic view of Cappadocia and over 13,000 footpeek of Mt. Erciyes in the distance. From Uchisar we will drive to Dove cote Valley (Guvercinlik Vadisi), so called because of the hundred of dovecoatsper for ating the rock faces. The birds droppings provided valuable fertilizer for the neighboring farmers. We move on to the magical valley of Goreme,which is now an open-air museum. We will see hundreds of rockpinnacles, known as fairy chimney sand Byzantine Churches. Goreme Valley was home to hundreds of monks who lived in cells carved from the rock. Several of the churches in Goreme have well preserved frescoes, for example the Karanlik Kilise (thedarkchurch), the Elmali Kilise(1190-1200) and the Church of St. Eustace(970-1148). Finest of alla re supremely elegant frescoes in the Tokali Kilise, which were painted in the 10th century by a certain Nikephoros, who probably come from Constantinople. We will also explore the regian’s traditional handicrafts, carpet-weaving and pottery making in Avanos.Next we will visit the church of John The Baptist at Cavusin which is the oldest surviving church in Cappadocia. Beyond Cavusin lies the Zelve Valley, where there are monasteries and convents carved from the rock. Nearby Pasabag, also known as Monk’sValley, has amazing examples of hermitages hollowed out of volcanic rock formations. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at around 17:30. Overnight in Cappadocia.
60 minute hot air balloon ride over the lunar landscape of Cappadocia at dawn. Our guide and driver will pick you up at 09:30 for a full day group tour. We departure early to the Ihlara Valley. On our way we stop off at the Agzikarahan caravanserai, a glorious masterpiece of early 13th century Seljuk Turkish architecture. The landscape of this western region of Cappadocia is magnificent and through its heart runs the Ihlara Valley, a narrow, steep-sided yet verdant ravine that conceals many painted churches and monastic complexes. We are turn to Urgup via the “underground city” of Derinkuyu. Cappadocia has at least seven “undergroundcities” – vast labyrinths of corridor sand chambers complete with churches, stables, wine-presses and sophisticated ventilation systems that still function remarkably well. At Derinkuyu eight levels have been excavate dandare open to the public, but it is throught that there may be more than twice that number. Once back in Urgup, we will go to Urgup secondary school spend the some time with local students. After tour our driver transfer you to bus station. You will take a overnight bus to Kusadasi.
Our driver and guide meets you at bus station. Today we first drive to the Virgin Mary’s House; after that we visit to the Church of St. John for a tour and a scenic overview of the surrounding area. From here our guide will point out the location of the ancient harbor of Ephesus and describe the silting process that led to the demise of this important Roman city. Of special interest is the tomb of John and the baptismal where new believers were immersed. We will also be able to view the site of the ancient wonder – the Temple of Artimus and the nearby Mosque of Jesus (Jesus is a respected prophet to Muslims). This afternoon we’ll view a wealth of artifacts awaiting us at the Museum of Ephesus and visit the archeological site of Biblical Ephesus, which hosts a large restoration effort and miles of ancient treasures. Ephesus was once a thriving port town of 250,000 people. Today you can still see the spectacular excavations of the major streets in this ancient city where we view the Library, Agora, theatre, colorful mosaics, a panoramic view of the surrounding ancient port area including a wealth of church history and cultural insight. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at around 17:30. Overnight in Kusadasi
Our guide and driver will pick you up at 09:30 for a full day tour. We depart fort he ancient cities of Didyma, Miletus and Priene. In ancient times, Didyma was linked to Miletus by a sacred way. Like Claros, this was a sacred dedicated to Apollo and the seat of an oracle, but it dwarfs Claros. With a double-colonnade of over 150 columns, the temple can only be described as stupendous. Its design was so over-ambitious that work continued in it for 500 years without ever being completed. Miletus is a much larger and more important city and for many centuries was an extraordinary center of intellectual ferment. Beginning in the late 7th century BC, the city produced a succession of distinguished figures, including the philosophers Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, who are generally credited with the invention of true, scientific inquiry, and the architect and town-planner Hippodamus, who if he did not actually invent the grid-plan, gave it a new sophistication and popularity. The destruction of Miletus in 479 BC by the Persians presented him with a golden opportunity, enabling him to redesign the city according to rational principles. Although Miletus has suffered many vicissitudes since (including the silting up of its harbor), the broad outlines of his plan, which was centered on three spacious agoras, are still visible. Other notable Milesians are the geographer Hecataeus, the enterprising and highly intelligent courtesan Aspasia, who became the mistress of Pericles and the friend of Socrates, and the architect Isodoros who, along with Anthemius of Tralles, designed Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia. Fort he non-specialist, the site’s most striking features are the Roman theatre, the vast Baths of Faustina and the exquisite early 15th century Mosque of Ilyas Bey. Hermogenes, the architect of the temple of Artemis Leukophryene (Artemision) at Magnesia and noted aeshetic thinker whose work centered on the issue of rationally based architectural proportions, was a native of Priene, which is our next point of call. This is perhaps the most enchanting of the Ionian sites and has a fine location situated on the slopes of Mount Mycale. It is not an especially large site, but that only adds to its charm. Virtually everything you will see at priene dates from the Hellenistic period, since the Romans largely ignored the city. It is thus a perfect example of a Hellenistic city with a Hippodamian grid plan. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at around 17:30. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Our driver meets you at your hotel. Transfer you to Izmir airport for the flight to Istanbul International Airport that gives best connection to your international flight.
Price: Euro 808 per person minumum 2 participants
– Istanbul/Kayseri/İzmir bus tickets
– İzmir/Istanbul flight tickets (Turkish Airlines)
– 60 minute hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
– 4 night’ accommodation including breakfast at the mentioned hotels (standard rooms)
– Air conditioned luxury minivan with driver on tours and transfers
– Professional guiding on tours
– Lunches on tours
– All admission fees to the museums and sights
I recommend the following hotels:
Eyfel Hotel www.eyfelhotel.com
Floria Hotel www.floriahotel.com
Tatlises Hotel www.tatliseshotel.com