Best of Turkey 8 Days

DAY 1: ARRIVAL - ISTANBUL
Arrival in Istanbul and meet you outside the arrivals gate. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.

DAY 2: ISTANBUL OLD CITY CLASSICS AND HIGHLIGHTS
09:00 Departure from your Hotel. We continue to the Blue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets, then the Hippodrome, a stadium and meeting place in Byzantine times, the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk, with the Fountain of Wilhelm. Visit the Caferaga Medresesi which was designed by the architect Sinan and built in the 16th century, now used as a learning center for traditional Turkish arts. We will then explore the Topkapi Palace. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th century A.D. We see the Imperial Treasury with the famous Spoonmaker Diamond. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). The tour ends in the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures Return to your hotel around 17:30. Overnight in Istanbul. (B.)
This tour may be done completely as a walking tour.

DAY 3: ISTANBUL - BOSPHORUS CRUISE AND DOLMABAHCE PALACE
09:00 Departure from your Hotel. You will first see the “Egyptian” Spice Market, which stands near the mouth of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The market was built in the 17th century A.D. and is still a thriving place with spices and souvenirs of all types. We will also visit the beautiful Iznik tile-covered Rustempasa Mosque, which was built by the architect Sinan in 1560 for the grand vizier of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. We embark on our Bosphorus Cruise up the strait that divides Europe from Asia and leads to the Black Sea. We end our cruise, cross the Bosphorus Bridge then head for the Camlica Hill viewpoint over Istanbul where you can also see the Princes’ Islands and the Marmara Sea. We conclude the tour with a visit to the “Selamlik” chambers of the incredible 19th c. Dolmabahce Palace which was the first European style palace in Turkey. We will pass by the picturesque and cosmopolitan neighborhood of Ortakoy on the shore of the Bosphorus. Return to your hotel around 17:00. Overnight Istanbul. (B.)
**Note that the cruise boat is not private – it will be shared with others.

DAY 4: ISTANBUL - CAPPADOCIA – GOREME OPEN AIR MUSUEM AND FAIRY CHIMNEYS
Pick up 2 hours before departure time from your Hotel and transfer to Istanbul Airport. Arrive and meet you outside the arrivals gate and start with the tour. Visit Devrent Valley - natural rock formations with fantastic shapes, some of which are reminiscent of people and animals. Visit the Zelve area with Pasabagi for a walk in the vineyards among strange multiple "mushroom-capped" fairy chimneys, then continue to Avanos, which has been a center of terra cotta work since 3000 BC. See a pottery demonstration using the ancient kick-wheel technique. We will also visit Goreme Open Air Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the best examples of Byzantine frescoes and symbols inside the rock-cut churches that date roughly from the 10th to the 13th along with the kitchens and dining halls of the monks in this extensive early Christian complex. The last stop will be Uchisar Castle where we climb up tunnels inside the rock citadel for an extensive panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia and even Mt Erciyes on a clear day. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B.)

DAY 5: CAPPADOCIA – UNDERGROUND CITY
09:30 Departure from your Hotel. Hike along the Red/Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly beautiful valleys in our unique area. Finish the hiking tour at the Cavusin Cave Village. After a 1 hour walking and Cavusin village visit continue to Kaymakli Underground City and explore four levels of this underground city which is a maze of tunnels where it is believed up to 3500 people may have lived. You will see storage rooms, kitchens and living areas with ventilation shafts. There are also wineries, stables and “millstone” doors which could be rolled to seal tunnel entrances from invaders. Parts of the underground city may be from the Hittite era but were also used by early Christians as a refuge as there is a small church. Last stop at one of the most important symbols of Cappadocia, the Legend of Three Beauties takes its name from the fairy chimney of two adults and a child. Overnight Cappadocia. (B.)

DAY 6: EPHESUS – HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
Transfer to Airport in Cappadocia and take the flight to Izmir. Arrive and meet you outside the arrivals gate and start our tour with a visit to the house where the Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days, which is a pilgrimage site. We continue to Ephesus, which was one of the largest and most interesting ancient cities of Asia Minor. The tour of Ephesus includes the Library of Celsius, Temple of Hadrian, Agora and fantastic Greco-Roman theater. After lunch in a local restaurant, a visit is made to a cooperative weaving center to see how the Turkish carpets are made by hand. We will also see the Isabey Mosque which is a beautiful example of Selcuk architecture and the remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B.D.)

DAY 7: KUSADASI – PAMUKKALE – ISTANBUL
8.30 Departure from your Hotel (Take your luggage – drive to Pamukkale - around 3 hours). Arrival in Pamukkale, which has been a thermal spa center since before the Roman era. After lunch we visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is said to have been founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamon. We visit the great Roman baths, the Temple of Apollo and the well-preserved theater. You will see the tomb of St. Phillip from a distance. It is possible to bathe in the Cleopatra antique thermal pool with ancient columns (an extra fee is due) or you will have some free time at the terraces or to explore more on your own. We will also visit the calcium terraces and pools for which Pamukkale is named “Cotton Castle”. Transfer to Denizli Airport for flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul. (B.)

DAY 8: ISTANBUL – HOME
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the airport 3 hours prior to your flight departure. (B)

Small Group Tours
Price Please ask
Private Tours
1 Person Please ask
2 People Please ask
3 People Please ask
4 People Please ask
5 People Please ask
6 People+ Please ask