From $3698* USD (Ground Only) | Custom Departure Dates
- Day 1 Depart USA
- Day 2 Arrive in Istanbul
- Day 3 Istanbul / Cappadocia
- Day 4 Cappadocia
- Day 5 Cappadocia
- Day 6 Izmir
- Day 7 Hierapolis / Pamukkale
- Day 8 Bodrum
- Day 8-14 Day Blue Voyage Gulet
- Day 15 – Return to USA
Depart USA on your international Flight. (Note – those making their own arrangements will start with EOX on Day 2).
As soon as the gates of your air carrier open, our representative of will welcome you and accommodate you on his buggy to give you a lift to the passport counter for expedited custom and passport procedures. Upon completing the custom procedures, you will be accompanied by our crew of porters to the luggage carousel. Our staff will collect your luggage and escort you to the exit where you will be introduced to your private guide. Meeting your private guide, you will be boarding your luxury minivan and start your expedition in this fascinating city where the continents meet each other! Driving into the city of Istanbul, you will enjoy hearing a brief orientation given by your guide as an introduction to the charms of the city. Check in your hotel for some rest before dinner. Overnight at MGallery by Sofitel, Istanbul.(B,D)
After a refreshing breakfast, you will be met by your private guide at the lobby of your hotel and start touring with Church of Chora, Church of St. Savior Out In The Country. Hosting some of the most glorious golden mosaics of Byzantine Culture, Chora represents an era when imposition of art was a reason to live. The mosaics of Chora are known to have similar characteristics with that of the Church of St. Mark’s of Ravenna and therefore occupy a very special place in the mind of Byzantine art scholars. Later on, you will explore Dolmabahce Palace! Turkish nation takes special pride in this exceptionally majestic edifice which was built in the mid-19th century by the commandment of Sultan Abdul Mecit I, a true art lover with high taste. The architect was Sarkis Balyan who signed many other impressive buildings of 19th century Istanbul. Maintaining its authentic interior décor composed of French Baccarat and Czech Bohemian Crystals, Hereke Rugs and European furniture, Dolmabahce Palace can very well be named as the Turkish version of Versailles Palace. During 19th century, Ottoman Empire was staggering both politically and economically and was considered by the European states as a rather weak neighbor. So as to prove the European states that the Ottoman Empire was still as prestigious and strong as the European countries,Dolmabahce Palace was built with extreme luxury for the period. Later in the afternoon, you will find yourself drifting through one of the earliest shopping malls ever built in history, Grand Bazaar which maintains its charm and volume of business to the modern day with its indoor and outdoor sections. Istanbul has been the center of commerce and trade between the Orient and the Occident even before the arrival of Ottomans. Nuru Osmaniye District (Glamour of the Ottomans) was where the Genoese and Venetian merchants had their ware houses where they store their inventory of brass, copper, rugs and tiles before they were loaded on the ships to sail to Venice and Genoa. Today, Nuru Osmaniye District is where you can find the most reputable stores with wide collections of jewelry, antiques and oriental rugs. Breathe in the vivacious atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar with a sip of Turkish coffee while checking the exciting variety of handcrafted souvenirs. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to Domestic Terminal of Istanbul Airport for your short domestic flight to Cappadocia (Kayseri). Upon arrival in Cappadocia, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and relaxation. Overnight at Tafoni Houses Cave Hotel, Cappadocia.(B,D)
Cappadocia will thrill you with its unique landscapes formed by erosions of winds and water. Today’s inactive volcanoes of Erciyes and Hasan used to be active thousands of years ago and erupted continuously covering the region with a blanket of tuff that gets eroded so easily due to its soft character. Cappadocia has been occupied by various civilizations including Hittites, Greeks, Romans and Turks living in rock dwellings for centuries. Your expedition will start with the Monastic Center of Goreme. Goreme was founded by St. Basil as the first Monastic Center of Christianity during 4th century. This morning you will have an extensive tour of the Monastic Center that functions as an open-air museum, having very well preserved rock-hewn churches decorated with Byzantine frescoes. Then, you will be enjoying walking through the valleys of Zelve that was a town composed of hundreds of rock-carved houses occupied until 1942. In Cappadocia different religions coexisted in harmony for thousands of years and one can see churches and mosques facing each other built into the rock cliffs! During Byzantine period, Cappadocia had hundreds of Christian hermits living in their private hermitages as well as the monastic centers where Christianity was institutionalized. You will then appreciate the breathtaking scenery of the Pigeon Valley. While you continue to Ortahisar where you can have photography opportunities of gorgeous valleys, you will stop at the Three Beauties, the conic rock formations that locals have created many legends about and enjoy taking pictures of the fairy chimneys and valleys with rustic colors. Women of Cappadocia are known for their talent in handicrafts and have been weaving the finest rugs of Turkish folk arts in the region for many centuries. Today, you will have the chance of visiting one of the local weaving courses where you can blend with the local Cappadocian people and see how they compose their “woven poetry”! The last stop of today’s touring before returning to the hotel is Avanos, the famous town of Cappadocia that was established by the Hittites on the riverbanks of Halys River. Making use of the red clay that is obtained from the shores of this famous river, Hittites created outstanding examples of pottery ware and used potters wheel as early as 2nd millennia BC. You will visit one of the studio of a pottery artist of Cappadocia and watch the interactive presentation of creating masterpieces of pottery and ceramics. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Tafoni Houses Cave Hotel, Cappadocia. (B,D)
This morning you will enjoy an unforgettable memory of Cappadocia: Hot air ballooning over the nature-formed valleys. Early in the morning (5.30 am), you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the open fields for a delicious breakfast before heading to the selected launch site for your hot air ballooning experience. You will much appreciate the tranquility of your morning over the colorful valleys and rock formations, gliding in your balloon. Concluding your experience, enjoy a glass of champagne to celebrate the joy of seeing Cappadocia from the air and get transferred to your hotel approximately by 8.30 am After a refreshing breakfast, your expedition will continue with Kaymakli Underground City, a subterranean settlement composed of troglodytic cave dwellings, where early Christians lived protecting themselves from invaders. Once you start hearing your guide, you will be impressed by the self-discipline of the ancient people living in the underground cities under such difficult conditions. You will move on to Soganli Village to see one of the early centers of monastic life and the most authentic dwellings that reflect the exclusivity of the region’s natural character. Driving through the inspiring valleys and towns of Cappadocia that will captivate you with their beauty, you will reach Sinassos to visit its well-preserved houses and rock-carved Byzantine churches. The town was a summer resort town for the rich fishermen of Istanbul. When the fishing season in the Black Sea and Marmara Sea was over, the Greek fishermen of Constantinople used to come to Sinassos to spend long summer months in the tranquil and dry atmosphere of this lovely town. Strolling through Sinassos will make you feel as though you are walking through a movie set of 19th century observing its stone built houses with charming relieves decorating its windows and doorways. Overnight at Tafoni Houses Cave Hotel, Cappadocia. (B,D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Izmir, the hometown of Homer and the third biggest city of Turkey possessing a rich historical background dating back to 3000 BC. Upon arrival in Izmir, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and relaxation. Overnight at Movenpick Hotel, Izmir. (B,D)
Going on your trip on the inner parts of Turkey, you will reach Hierapolis founded during the Hellenistic period as a control point of trading routes connecting East to West. In the Roman Period, Hierapolis became a center of worship to Hades and Apollo as well as a thermal center where massive Roman Baths were built to serve the Romans that visited the city from around the ancient world. Upon arrival at the site, you will be welcomed by the spectacular views of calcium pools that have been irrigated by the spring waters of Hierapolis for thousands of years. After a short break to take pictures and enjoy the view, you will continue on to the ancient site that is still being excavated by Italian archaeologists. Today’s ancient city of Hierapolis has recently been appointed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wandering through the colossal tomb chambers of Necropolis, you will comprehend the wealth of the society that could afford such impressive graves to be buried in the grounds of the “Sacred City”, as what Hierapolis meant in ancient Greek. You will keep exploring the ancient site by touring the Gate of Domitianus and the Byzantine Baths. Once you reach the lower slopes of the hills that rise behind the site, you will note one of the best preserved Roman Theatres of the world of archaeology. Built during 2nd century, the theatre of Hierapolis was used for both theatrical activities and shows of violence. In the afternoon, you will have free time to enjoy the hot springs in the region by swimming in the antique pool also known as Cleopatra’s Pool or you may choose to stroll over the extraordinary thermal spring water laden. (Please note that entrance fees to the hot springs are at guests’ own discreet.) Calcium cliffs create a fairylike view in which the dominating color is white, making the region deserve its title among Turkish people as “Pamukkale” (Cotton Castle). At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to your hotel in Pamukkale. Overnight at Doga Thermal Hotel, Pamukkale.(B,D)
This morning after having your breakfast, you will drive to Bodrum (Approx. 5 Hours). Upon arrival in Bodrum around noon, you will start your explorations in Bodrum from the Crusaders’ Castle of St. Peter’s, and the English Tower that is decorated as feast-hall of the knights of St. John who were once the masters of this gigantic edifice. Inside the castle, there are individual small museums displaying attractive works of archaeology such as the skull of Carian Princess and relics of underwater archaeology. Continue your sightseeing with the site of Mausoleum of King Mausoleus. During 4th century BC, Bodrum was the Capital of Kingdom of Caria having King Mausoleus as her ruler. The king was so full of his ego that he got such a tomb built for himself that got to be known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. His lifetime wasn’t enough to see the accomplishment of the project and it was his sister, who at the same time was his wife, concluded the construction process. The Mausoleum experienced many earthquakes and was raised to the ground and eventually became building material for the Knights of St. John who built the Crusaders’ Castle at the port of Bodrum. Today there are still fragments of the famed Mausoleum and mural relieves which will display you the high taste of architecture of this marvelous monument. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to Bodrum Pier to board your private gullet. Overnight onboard.(B)
Bodrum -With its gleaming sun, crystal clear waters, warm people and unspoiled natural beauty, the Gökova Gulf is one of the most special places where your blue cruise dream will begin. A welcome cocktail awaits you before you move to your rich blue dreams. After this warm welcoming, we will be sailing through the waves and arrive to the nearest bay overnight. Orak Island - Çökertme -A crystal clear sea where you will dive into deep blue dreams and waters and coasts covered with olive trees on the outskirts... Yes, you are in a unique dreamland, in Orak Island. In Çökertme, a stopover sheltered from inter-blowing winds, you can eat in touristic restaurants and relax in this charming place that has been the subject of songs and is surrounded by pine and olive trees. Seven Islands - Küfre - English Harbour -If your blue cruise dream includes experiences such as spearfishing, collecting sponge, snorkelling, then Küfre Bay is just perfect for you. Çamaltý, Gökaðaç, Karaaðaç Harbour and Uzun Harbour are among other unique blue where you can anchor in the Seven Islands. Also, you can discover new worlds in pine forests in Uzun Island, Zeytin Island and Küçük Islands where you can take long walks to explore the nature and make a historical trip in the English Harbour in which British naval ships hid during World War II. Cleopatra Island - Karacasöðüt - Who does not want to build sand castles in Cleopatra Island which amazes blue cruise lovers with its golden blonde sand as thin as tulle and found anywhere else in the world? Longoz Bay - Tuzla Bay Longoz Bay, a sheltered resting place that is protected from winds and where crystal clear waters flow like a labyrinth towards the interior of the land, seems like God's reward where you can fully enjoy the nature. Tuzla Bay that looks like just an aquarium and where you can swim as happy as fish hosts you in your blue cruise adventure as a dreamland of completely different beauty. Kargýlý Bay - Kissebükü - After you dive into the blue in Kargýlý Bay where you will feel the joy of the sea, sand, sun in all your cells, you will realize that the blue cruise is not just a sea voyage with unique experiences that you will have in Kissebükü where you can have a historical trip by visiting Yalýköyü, Akarca, Çatal and the ruins of summer cottage, cistern and church. Cape Pabuç - Yalý Çiftlik - All beauties necessary for you to fall into fascinating dreams do exist in Cape Pabuç, one of the indispensable stops for blue cruise boats with its calm, emerald-colour waters resembling a pool. With its crystal clean sea and quiet beach, Yalý Çiftlik awaits you sprawling for your special moments that you can spend with your loved ones. At the end of the blue cruise by which you get away from the stress of everyday life and discover the nature and your inner world, your boat will drop you in Bodrum where your dreams have begun. Wishing to re-sail together to the open sea in another blue cruise adventure.
This morning you will be met by your local transfer escort and will be transferred to Bodrum Airport for your short flight to Istanbul. Upon landing at domestic terminal of Istanbul Airport, you proceed on to the international terminal for your homebound flight. As you are leaving our country this morning, we would like you to know that we would love to have you come back and see us again sometime soon.
Return home with life-changing memories.