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From Turkey

Istanbul Kusadasi Bodrum 11 Day Tour

You’ll experience the perfect blend of history, culture, natural beauty and charming seaside towns in this 11 day program. You’ll see iconic landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia, the surreal lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia with its fairy chimneys and incredible rock formations and the amazing ruins of Ephesus

Description

ay 1- Istanbul
You will be met on arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and transferred to your hotel. Early check-in subject to availability, but we will do our best.

You will fall in love with this vibrant city with its mass of colours and incredible architecture. You will be amazed by its beauty as well as its history and nightlife, with many shops, cafés, bars, nightclubs open till late night. This afternoon you will be free to have a rest after your long flight. Lunch and dinner excluded.
Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2 – Istanbul Old City
Pick-up from your hotel at approximately 8.00am for your full-day city tour which includes:

  • The Hippodrome – once the scene of ancient chariot races, and with its four monuments: the German Fountain of Wilhelm II, the Obelisk of Thedosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
  • Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque – across from the St. Sophia, and built in the 17th century by the architect Mehmet, and is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior, which is decorated with thousands of blue Iznik tiles.
  • St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia) – built by Constantine the Great in the 4th Century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, this ancient basilica is one of the greatest architectural marvels of all time.
  • Grand Bazaar (covered market) In this labyrinth of streets and passages are more than 4000 shops organized into different trade areas – the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers, Turkish arts and crafts, such as hand-painted ceramic plates, copperware, brassware and trays, water ewers, onyxware, meerschaum pipes and more.
  • Lunch will be served at a local restaurant (Drinks are extra).
  • Little Hagia Sophia Mosque – a former orthodox church, which was converted to a mosque around 1506. Built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, its early domed-basilica is similar in style to that of the famous Hagia Sophia. Dating back to the 6th Century, it is one of the oldest churches in Istanbul.
  • Topkapi Palace – the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Today it houses an exquisite collection of precious gems, jewellery, thrones of sultans, robes worn by the sultans and their families; miniatures, the Holy Mantle and the Chamber of Sacred Relics which is a collection of religious items gifted to the Ottoman Sultans, including some items associated with Muhammed. (Note: the Harem is not included in the program, and a visit to the Harem is subject to an additional entrance fee).

After finishing the tour, return to the hotel.

Day 3 – Istanbul – Kusadasi
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Izmir. On arrival in Izmir, our representative will meet you at the airport and you will be transferred to Kusadası.
Overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Day 4 – Daily Pamukkale Tour
Your tour guide will meet you in the lobby of your Kusadasi Hotel. Leaving the coast behind, our drive to Pamukkale (Hierapolis) is around 3 hours through rich, green agricultural land, with a rest stop at the halfway point.

On arrival in Pamukkale you will have an open buffet lunch, then we head to the North Gate of Pamukkale (Hierapolis) to commence our tour of this ancient Roman spa town. As we stroll through Hierapolis you will see the Necropolis, which is one of the biggest cemeteries in Anatolia, with over 1,200 graves. Other highlights will include the Roman Bath, Domitian Gate, the Main Street, and the Byzantium Gate.

After our tour of Hierapolis, you will be given free time to swim in the soothing thermal waters of the Cleopatra Ancient Pool (please note that swimming is subject to an additional fee). Here, you have the unique opportunity to swim among antiquities, as the pool contains the remains of some ancient marble columns which are believed to have toppled into the water following an earthquake.

After our visit to the antique pool, you will walk to the natural warm water terraces known as travertines, and which, from a distance, look a little like a frozen waterfall. These were formed by calcium-laden, thermal waters which have a temperature of around 35 degrees. This extraordinary effect is created when water from the hot springs loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slopes, leaving deposits of limestone which have built up over time.

After the tour we commence our drive back to Kusadasi, where you will be dropped back at your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Ephesus – Bodrum
After breakfast at your hotel you will be picked up for your full-day Ephesus Tour. Our first visit is to the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then we will drive to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the most important harbor cities in antique world and also mentioned in the book of Revelations as one of the seven churches of Asia. As you walk through the ruins of Ephesus you will feel as though you have been transported back to ancient times. Highlights of our visit include the impressive Celsus Library, the great theatre, the Temple of Hadrian and the fountain of Trajan.

We will have lunch in a local Turkish restaurant and then drive to the House of Virgin Mary, where it is believed she was taken by St John and spent her last days. This place was discovered by Lazarist priests after a German nun described the house and the mountain as the last residence of Virgin Mary following some visions. Today the House of Virgin Mary is a place of pilgrimage for both Muslims and Christians and is cared for by the Lazarist Fathers who still celebrate mass here.

The last stop is the Basilica of St John, built on what is believed to be the burial site of Saint John.

After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Bodrum. Overnight in Bodrum. (B,L)

Day 6 – Bodrum
Free day to explore this charming town.
Overnight in Bodrum. (B)

Day 7 – Daily Gulet Tour
Today you will go on a gulet cruise around the beautiful bays and inlets, including local lunch. There will be lots of opportunity for swimming, so don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!
Overnight in Bodrum. (B,L)

Day 8 – Bodrum – Cappadocia
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Bodrum airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight Cappadocia. (B)

Day 9 – Goreme Museum & Fairy-Chimney Tour After breakfast we will visit Devrent Valley to see the unique fairy-chimneys. Drive to Paşabağ (Monk’s Valley) to see the most interesting mushroom-shaped pinnacles. Drive to the town of Avanos.

In the afternoon, we will visit another beautiful open air museum at Göreme where you will see the remains of rock-cut churches and traces of early Christian settlements dating back hundreds of years.

Finally, before returning to the hotel, we will visit the natural castles at Uçhisar. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Cappadocia. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Rose Valley & Kaymakli Underground City

Depart from your hotel to visit Red Valley, named for its rose-coloured hues. Here you will explore the famous rock- cut churches and hike 5 km through the Gulludere valley. Next stop is Cavusin village, famous for its houses of early Christian clergymen.

After lunch, drive to Pigeon Valley, home to some of the most beautiful rock formations in the area. In the afternoon you will visit Kaymakli Underground City, built by early Christians fleeing from persecution. You will be impressed by the facilities here, which include rooms for sleeping, cellars, storage areas and stables.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Cappadocia. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Cappadocia – Istanbul
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kayseri airport for your flight to Istanbul. Tour concludes on arrival in Istanbul . (B)

Notes

Tour Inclusions:

  • 2 nights accommodation in Istanbul on BB basis
  • 2 nights accommodation in Kusadasi on HB basis
  • 3 nights accommodation in Bodrum on BB basis
  • 3 nights accommodation at Cappadocia on HB basis
  • 10 breakfasts, 6 local lunches, 8 local dinners
  • Inbound and Outbound Airport Transfers
  • Professional English-speaking tour guide during the tours
  • Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle
  • Entrance fees of museums and sites listed in itinerary

** Price excludes flight tickets.

Indicative Hotels

Istanbul                Momento Hotel

Kusadasi              Adaclass Hotel

Bodrum                Azka Hotel

Cappadocia         Alfina Cave Hotel

Or similar

Costs:

Per person in double room USD $1242**

Single supplement USD $618**

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