Best of Turkey 12 Days

Best of Turkey 12 Days                best of turkey tour                     best of turkey travel

Istanbul – Cappadocia  Konya  Pamukkale  Ephesus  Pergamum  Troy  Istanbul
Main Sites visited: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Pergamum, Troy


Itinerary:

Day 1
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2 – Sultanahmet – Old Istanbul (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Continue to the Topkapi palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed.(Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch we will see the Blue Mosque,
built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. See the Grand Covered Bazaar (except Sundays). *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located.  Overnight Istanbul.

Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise with Beylerbeyi (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:45am
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market on the Golden Horn. Board your cruise of the Bosphorus, the waterway, which separates the continents of Europe and Asia. Pass Rumeli fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prepare for his conquest of Istanbul. We will visit the museum of Sadberk Hanim, which has an excellent private collection of artifacts dating back to the prehistoric period and an ethnographic section housed in an old Ottoman building.  After lunch in a seaside fish restaurant, cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia and visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill, for a magnificent view of Istanbul. Cruise is done by public boat unless other arrangements are made. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 4 – Istanbul- Cappadocia (B.L)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Take the early morning flight from Ataturk Airport in Istanbul to Cappadocia. Arrival at the airport and meeting just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name with your driver.  Transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Soğanlı Valley, an Open Air Museum in a wild natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village with its different style Rock-Cut churches and frescoes. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Lunch and Visit to Sahinefendi newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Our tour finishes with a visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.  Overnight Cappadocia

Day 5 – Cappadocia (B.L) – Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; a journey in the past with its  troglodyte houses, visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of  wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve.

Lunch in Avanos, centre of  terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery  workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.  Overnight Cappadocia

Day 6- Cappadocia – Konya – Pamukkale (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive to Konya, en route, visit to Sultanhani Caravanseria, roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. In Konya center, visit to Mevlana Sufi temple. Mevlana is the founder of Sufism and whirling Dervishes. Overnight Pamukkale.

Day 7 – Pamukkale – Kusadasi (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders we ever have seen from various mineral springs in  a vast white cliff side, about 200 m overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels and created a fairyland of  bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. It looks like creations from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle): pamuk for cotton and kale for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its color according to how the light enters. Visit to Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 8 – Ephesus  (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. We will spend several hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, Apostles Paul and John and many other familiar historical names. The recently opened Slope Houses where the wealthiest Romans lived are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and presentation. The mosaics and frescos are spectacular. Tradition has it that Virgin Mary was brought here by St John after the Crucifixion and lived her final years near the city of Ephesus on an isolated mountaintop. A lovely chapel is constructed on the site tended by Franciscans and open to visitors. It has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope. Overnight Kusadasi near Ephesus.

Day 9 – Kusadasi – Pergamum – Canakkale  (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:00am
Visit Pergamon or Pergamum that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, Pergamon had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilisation (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after Alexandria. When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus, partly because of competitors and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes invented a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of fine calf skin, a predecessor of vellum. Asclepion, located to the southwest of the lower city, was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health, Asclepics which was one of the largest hospitals in history, is located to the west of the city, which was a great center of culture, art and medicine and continue on to Canakkale for overnight.

Day 10 – Troy – Dardanelles – Gallipoli – Istanbul -  (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse, continue to Gallipoli and then across the Dardanelles to Istanbul for overnight.

Day 11 – Istanbul (B)
Free day to discover the city on your own. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 12 (B)
Pick-up from hotel 3 hours before flight departure.
Transfer to airport to connect your international flight and leave Turkey.

INCLUDING:
- Airport transfers where needed.
- Tours and transfers by a comfortable non smoking AC Van or bus with  professional driver.
- Professional experienced guide during the tours
- Accommodation in Charming or Deluxe superior Hotels
- Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia
- Entry fees to the sites and museums

EXCLUDING
- Dinner- Lunch
- International flights
- Drinks
- Tips.

best of turkey tour                     best of turkey travel

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