Classics of Turkey - Moderate

11 Days - 10 Nights

Day 1 Sat: Istanbul | Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Welcome briefing will be held. 

Day 2 Sun: Istanbul | Enjoy a full day tour including a visit to Topkapi Palace Museum, residence of the Otto- man Sultans between 1453–1852 (excluding Harem). Visit the Hippodrome, which was once the center of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Tour the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Your last stop St Sophia, a church built in the 6th century Byzantine capital, converted to a mosque by the Ottomans, still inhibited as a mosque in the present day and one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. Join an optional dinner with belly dancing entertainment. B

Day 3 Mon: Istanbul – Ankara | This morning depart on an optional tour of cruise along Bosphorus cruise enjoy- ing the strait that separates Asia and Europe. Its shores are lined with fine neighborhoods, Ottoman palaces, fortresses, old wooden villas, hotels, parks and gardens, restaurants and cafés. The tour will be ended in Asia side and drive for the capital city of Ankara for overnight. B D 

Day 4 Tue: Ankara – Cappadocia | Visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a historic caravanserai hold- ing artifacts from up to 7500 years old including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world. Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. Drive to Cappadocia, touring a 13th century caravanserai en route. Pay a visit to the underground city of Saratli, one of the many underground settlements built for protection and religious reasons. Enjoy dinner at a local restau- rant and join an optional Whirling Dervishes perfor- mance. Overnight in Cappadocia. B D 

Day 5 Wed: Cappadocia | Consider an optional early morning hot air balloon tour and experience floating through volcanic valleys, fairy chimneys and caves at sunrise. After breakfast visit Goreme, a historical region of Turkey, located among the rock formations, which was first settled back in the Roman period. Many rock churches can still be seen today, as Christianity was then the prevailing religion in that region. Contin- ue to the town of Avanos renowned for its high quality earthenware. Also visit Pasabagi, Red Valley and attend a brief regional pottery workshop in a cave. B D 

Day 6 Thu: Cappadocia – Pamukkale | Drive to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. B D 

Day 7 Fri: Pamukkale – Izmir | Visit the unique cotton fortress of Pamukkale, with its white lime cascades formed by mineral springs, and the ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Proceed to Izmir for dinner and overnight. B D 

Day 8 Sat: Kusadasi Ephesus & St. Mary’s House – Izmir | Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus, an important cultural center of the ancient world, and explore 2,000 year-old marble streets, a theater, the Library of Celsius, a gymnasium and Hadrian’s Temple. Take a short drive to see St. Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St. John. Continue to a regional rug production center to have a firsthand experience of this unique art form. Join an optional afternoon tour of Sirince. B D 

 

Day 9 Sun: Pergamum – Troy – Canakkale | Visit the ancient Medical Center Asclepion in Pergamum and then continue to Troy with its famous wooden horse, best known for being the setting of the Trojan War and many cities built on top of each other. Continue to Canakkale for overnight. B D 

Day 10 Mon: Dardanelles - Istanbul | In the morning depart for Gallipoli, the site of many battles WW1. Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk, and then drive to Istanbul Visit to Grand Bazaar. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Istanbul. B D 

Day 11 Tue: Istanbul – Return | Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. B 

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Included Highlights
- Topkapi Palace
- Grand Bazaar, world’s largest and oldest covered market
- Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara
- Saratli, a hidden underground city
- Open Air Museum of Goreme, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Hiking through the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia - Pamukkale the Cotton Castle
- Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary
- Ancient city of Troy
- Anzac Cove at Gallipoli
- Special dinners at restaurants