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adventure travel trip to Turkey
Visit the Blue Mosque and Istanbul's many other delights.
Dates
  • Weekly guaranteed departures from May to October
  • Duration 14 days
    Group Size 4-16
    Land Cost $3,660 Details
    Single Supplement $850
    Lodging 2 stars-3 stars
    Grade I-II
    Best Time

    Beyond the Bosphorus

    Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, Sirince and Ephesus

    Day 1      Arrive Istanbul

    Welcome to Turkey!  Our representative will meet you at Istanbul's international airport for a private transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay in Istanbul. Tonight, connect with your group and guide, and enjoy a welcome dinner.

     

     

     

     

     

    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)

    Arrive in fascinating Istanbul
    Day 2      Istanbul

    After breakfast, begin a journey through Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul -- its three names span more than 2,600 years, nearly 1,600 of them as the capital of two of the greatest empires the world has known, the Byzantine and Ottoman. You will visit the Topkapi Palace, including its harem, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for amazing photography opportunities and a huge diversity of wares, from food to incense to carpets. Return to your Istanbul hotel for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)

    View of the Blue Mosque
    Day 3      Istanbul/Bosphorus

    You'll be picked up at your hotel after breakfast for another fascinating day in this crossroads capital. First visit the Spice Bazaar, where the air is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and practically every other herb and spice you can imagine.  Later, enjoy a traditional excursion by boat along the the Bosphorus, the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, marble palaces, fortresses, and small fishing villages.  Later in the afternoon, visit the evocative Basilica Cistern, the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns under the city. Tonight, we have organized a delicious dinner for you at a family-run traditional seafood restaurant at the edge of the Bosphorus.  Return to your hotel for your last night in the city.  Consider visiting Istanbul's famous hamams for the local version of a cleansing and relaxing steam bath, a quintessential Turkish experience.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)

    Savor the scents and sights of Istanbul's bazaars
    Day 4      Cappadocia

    Have an early breakfast, then transfer to the airport for your one-hour morning flight to Kayseri, Cappadocia, where you will head to your cave hotel for a three-night stay. In the afternoon, head out for Uchisar Citadel, driving first to Uchisar Rock Castle, the highest and most dominant point in the area, with breathtaking panoramic views. End the day with a visit to Esentepe Windy Hill for panaromic views and photos, then return to your evocative, comfortable cave hotel for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)

    Spend a few days in the unusual landscape of Cappadocia
    Day 5      Cappadocia

    Early morning hot-air ballooning is an option before breakfast (additional cost). Following breakfast at the hotel, begin your full day exploration of this fascinating region, visiting Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup, then Güvercinlik, or Pigeon Valley, which runs between Göreme and Uçhisar.  Pigeons have always been important here, and you'll see that the pigeon houses that the Cappadocian people have carved into the rock look much like their own houses! Later, you will head underground at Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest of 200 such ancient communities in Cappadocia. Afterward, drive to Mustafapasa, through the unspoiled villages of Cappadocia, surrounded by picturesque tabletop mountains, visiting Ayvali Village on the way. Mustafapasa (also known as Sinasos) is an ancient town with spectacular old houses, very fine examples of late Greek architecture. Your next stop is Rose Valley, far away from tourist crowds, where your group will embark on an easy 5-km walk (about three miles) in one of Cappadocia's most attractive valleys. Stop to visit hermit churches cut right into the rock with well-preserved ancient frescoes and paintings and reflect on the strange, beautiful history of the area. Your walk ends in the ancient village of Cavusin, where you will explore a bit before returning to your village for dinner in a cave restaurant, then to your hotel for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)

    Visit fascinating villages, cave homes, fairy chimneys
    Day 6      Cappadocia

    Embark on a second day of exploring Cappadocia after breakfast. First, you'll drive to a local handicrafts center where you can see traditional carpet weaving techniques.  Drive to Devrent Valley, taking a walk through its lunar landscape and bizarre rock formations. You'll see some of the area's best examples of fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley before driving on to the town of Avanos, famous for its tile and pottery workshops. After lunch, your next stop is Goreme Open Air Museum, where you'll enjoy fantastic rock churches and beautiful, ancient frescos decorating their walls. After dinner, return to your cave hotel for your final night in Cappadocia.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)

    Walk through Devrent Valley's lunar landscape
    Day 7      Konya/Antalya

    After breakfast, you'll depart on a drive toward Antalya, visiting the 13th-century Seljukian masterpiece Sultanhan Caravanserai along the way. Caravanserais made the Silk Route passable, housing camels and their drivers during their journeys. Have lunch in Konya, then visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-famous Sufi mystic. Proceed to Karatay Theological School, in which beautiful tiles are on display.  You'll wind up the day at your hotel in Antalya, your base for the next two nights.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Tuvana Hotel (or similar)

    Admire the 13th century Caravanserai on your travels today
    Day 8      Antalya

    Following breakfast, head out on a private tour of the ruins of Perge, Aspendos, and Side, taking the day to savor the sights and explore in depth. At day's end, enjoy a special fish dinner in Antalya (cost not included) and return to your hotel for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Tuvana Hotel (or similar)

    Explore historic ruins
    Day 9      Antalya/Myra/Kekova/Kalkan

    Drive south to the Mediterranean coast's untouched bays, visiting St. Nicholas along the way and stopping in Kekova to take a private boat to the Sunken City and Simena. After a delicious fish lunch in an atmospheric little village, drive to Kalkan though the charming seaside town of Kas and nearby Kaputas Beach.  

     

     

     

     

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Patara Prince (or similar)

    Explore the streets of Kas lined with traditional homes
    Day 10      Kalkan/Pamukkale

    After breakfast, visit the ancient city of Patara and enjoy a morning swim at Patara Beach. In the afternoon, relax on a drive to Pamukkale, then explore the travertine terraces and Hierapolis at Pamukkale, one of the most spectacular natural wonders in this part of the world.  Here, mineral springs form a white cliff about 200 yards long, overlooking the calcite-laden waters that have dripped down over a series of terraced levels to create a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. The Turkish name Pamukkale translates roughly as cotton castle -- "pamuk" for cotton and "kale" for castle -- you'll immediately see why. After your visit - and maybe a swim! - head to a hotel in Pamukkale for the night.

    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging: Tripolis Hotel (or similar)

    Explore the strangely-shaped mineral pools at Pamukkale
    Day 11      Pamukkale/Aphrodisias/Sirince

    Leave Pamukkale after breakfast for a drive to Sirince, visiting Aphrodisias on the way. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture, and the Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and made its way throughout the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Arrive at the traditional Greek village of Sirince in the afternoon, check into your hotel, wander the town's narrow streets, and meet with local people. Later today, you will also have the opportunitiy to taste different kinds of local fruit wines. Overnight in Sirince, your base for the next two nights.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Nisanyan Evleri (or similar)

    Enjoy getting to know picturesque, small Sirince
    Day 12      Sirince/Ephesus/Sirince

    After breakfast, drive to Ephesus where you will spend several fascinating 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 on the site, where the wealthiest Romans lived, are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and preservation, with spectacular mosaics and frescos. Tradition has it that the Virgin Mary was brought here by St. John after Christ's crucifixion and that she lived her final years near the city of Ephesus. Visit a lovely chapel on the site, a major Catholic pilgrimage destination, then stop at the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus museum before returning to Sirince at the end of the day.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Nisanyan Evleri (or similar)

    At Ephesus, marvel at the great Library of Celsus
    Day 13      Sirince/Istanbul

    After an early breakfast at your hotel in Sirince, transfer to Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul . On arrival, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel to settle in, then spend a free afternoon as you wish -- perhaps in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. If you have not yet partaken, consider trying a traditional and restorative Turkish bath - ask your guide for suggestions of where to go for the best experience.  Return to your hotel for your last night in Turkey.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)

    Make one last trek to Istanbul's bazaars for some shopping
    Day 14      Istanbul/Onward

    You will be picked up at your hotel after breakfast and transferred to Istanbul's airport for your flight home.  Or, if your schedule permits, why not consider a few days in the Greek islands?  Contact Journeys for more information about this and other extension options.

    Meals: Breakfast

    Along the Bosphorus...


     
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