EOX Highlights of Turkey

From $2,898 USD (Ground Only) | Custom Departure Dates

What’s Included

  • Breakfast Daily and Select Dinners
  • Overseas Transfers & Private Transportation
  • Entrance and Program Fees
  • First Class Hotels
  • Guided Tours
  • Tips for Hotel Staff & Hotel Porters
  • Live Audio Headsets (Groups of 8 or more)
 

The Itinerary

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  • Day 1 Depart USA
  • Day 2 Arrive in Istanbul
  • Day 3 Istanbul
  • Day 4 Istanbul / Cappadocia
  • Day 5 Cappadocia
  • Day 6 Izmir / Ephesus / Kusadasi
  • Day 7 Hierapolis / Pamukkale
  • Day 8 Bodrum
  • Day 9 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 in Istanbul.

Istanbul is a magical city that boasts its edifices of both Ottoman and Byzantine cultures. Founded in 13th century BC, Greeks, Romans, and the Ottoman Turks left their traces of culture and architecture in Istanbul. After breakfast you will be meeting your private guide at the lobby of your property and will board your private van for your short ride to the Old City of Istanbul. Start your explorations of the timeless city of Istanbul from Blue Mosque famed for its Turquoise colored Iznik tiles decorating the interior with vivid floral motifs. With its six minarets Blue Mosque stands as a unique Islamic temple dating back to 1616. Continue your morning with a short walk to Topkapý Palace that was built right after conquest of the city by the Ottomans. Dating back to mid 15th century Topkapi Palace expresses an oriental feel with its architecture and inner gardens that are beautifully adorned with rose bushes, daisies and carnations. Your first call will be to Harem quarters, the section of the palace where family of the sultan lived. Continue your privately guided tour on to the inner garden that hosts the Treasury hosting the famed Topkapi Dagger and the Spoonmaker's Diamond (Please note that Treasury section of Topkapi Palace is going through an entire renovation and is scheduled to be open by early 2020.) As you lead your way out of the palace you will see a fascinating collection of ceramic ware, copper containers and tools in the palace kitchens, that were used in the daily life of the palace when it served until mid 19th century. Your next call will to the Basilica of Saint Sophia, earliest of the largest Christian temples ever built in history, that still stands in perfect condition with its gigantic dome and gold gilded mosaics. After your tour of this most prestigious Christian temple, you will have your lunch break. Your next edifice to explore is Underground Cisterns that was built by Justinian The Great in 6th century as a water reservoir for the use of the citizens in case of siege of the city. In the afternoon you will explore the Grand Bazaar that still is the prime stage of commerce for over five centuries. Visiting the Grand Bazaar, you will stroll through the aisles where you can experience of all profiles of local people in act of retail trade that has been going on since 1455 AD. Concluding your day you will be escorted back to your property. Overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

After breakfast you will be met by your private guide at the lobby of your property and start your day of exploring more of the historic and architectural heritage of Istanbul. This morning you will start your tour with one of the most impressive treasures of the Ottoman architecture and history: Dolmabahce Palace! Turkish nation takes special pride in their most prestigious edifice that was built in the mid 19th century by the order of Sultan Abdul Mecit I, a true art lover with high taste. After your tour of the palace, you will drive over Galata Bridge that first was projected by Leonardo Da Vinci. Stopping at Galata Bridge you will walk over this historic structure connecting the Old City of Stampolis to Pera, viewing the skyline adorned with domes and minarets. Continue your morning visiting Chora Church that is known for its gold-gilded mosaics dating back to 13th century, making it one of the most famous examples of world of East Roman art. After your tour of Chora Church you will stroll down the hills through historic neighborhoods of the Old City on to Balat that was one of the earliest districts inhabited by Sephardic Jewish people that arrived in the city after the Spanish Inquisition of 1492. Stroll through Balat viewing its synagogues and beautifully preserved 19th century houses that are still occupied by descending generations of Istanbulers. In the afternoon you will visit, probably the second most known mall of Istanbul,  Spice Market, built four hundred years ago and still serving as the abode of all types of spices imported from around the world. Enjoy strolling through this brick & stone built historic mall of Istanbul breathing in enchanting profusions of uncountable kinds of egzotic spices. At the end of your tour, you will be privately transferred to Istanbul Airport to take your domestic flight to Kayseri Airport in Cappadocia. Upon arrival at Kayseri Airport, your guide will assist you with the collection of your luggage and lead you to your private van. After an hours drive through vast agricultural fields of Cappadocia, you will reach your property located in the center of the region. Created by the erosions of the volcanic tufa soil of the region, Cappadocia will give you a surreal impression as though you'd be walking on the surface of the moon. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B,D)

Early this morning you will enjoy an unforgettable memory of Cappadocia; hot air ballooning over the nature-formed valleys. By 5 am you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the open fields for take-off zone 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 8.15 am. Cappadocia is the most extraordinary destination within Turkey that enchants its visitors with its magical rock formations, history and cultural heritage. After breakfast start your morning visiting Monastic Center of Goreme, one of the very first Monastic Centers of Christianity ever founded in the world. Today the monastic center serves as a museum where you will visit Dark Church and the Buckle Church as best preserved rock-hewn churches of the region displaying breathtaking Byzantine frescoes. Continue your day exploring Pasabag Valley, where Byzantine hermits lived in the apartment-like rock formations searching for love of God in solitude. Turkish women and especially the women of Cappadocia are known for their talent in handicrafts and have been masters of weaving arts since arrival of Turks in Asia Minor in 11th century. Today enjoy visiting the weaving center of Cappadocia to experience at first hand how local women compose woven poetry. Concluding your day of touring you will be escorted back to your hotel. Early in the evening you will be escorted by your guide to Kizil Cukur to enjoy the splendid views of the sunset over the fairy chimneys of the region as you'd be sipping your wine. Once the sunset is over you will be escorted to your dinner venue. After dinner, you will be transferred back to your property for dinner and overnight. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B,D)

This morning you will be having a short flight to West Coast of Turkey, to the city of Izmir that was founded as early as 3000 BC. Maintaining its title as a lively city, Izmir boasts to be center of trade, commerce as well as agricultural activities in the surrounding lands. Landing at Izmir Airport you will be driving on to Bodrum visiting Ephesus ancient city enroute. Driving through fecund cotton fields, you will reach Ephesus that is believed to be the best-preserved Roman city of world of archaeology. Your first call will be to the site of House of Virgin Mary, where Virgin Mary is believed to have spend the last days of her life and died under the care taking of Saint John to whom she was entrusted by Jesus Christ. Continue your day visiting the ancient city of Ephesus where history and archaeology will offer you their majesty with incredible richness. Ephesus was the Capital of the Province of Asia Minor during the Roman Era, and was, therefore, the scene of many political intrigues while bearing an immense richness due to its port and its trading activities. A city with such importance and wealth had prestigious buildings that survived up to today in a wonderful state of preservation. You will be walking on the Marble Road that runs through the city, having various structures resting on it: Temple of Hadrian is a unique beauty with its articulate facade while Library of Celsus has all the expression of the grandeur of“glamorous days” of the Roman Period. Today you will also tour the Terrace Houses, the ancient residential section of Ephesus, where you will be observing the flamboyant style of luxurious life of Ephesians.  Among all the archaeological remains, the Great Theater of Ephesus bears the major Biblical importance, as it was this massive building that was the scene of an uprising set by a merchant named Demetrius against St. Paul who spent two years preaching the Word of God at Ephesus. Concluding your excursion of Ephesus, you will be transfered to your hotel for your relaxation. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

You will start moving towards the inner parts of the Aegean region today by driving through the fertile fields of Meander valley and arrive in Hierapolis founded during 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 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 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. Concluding your tour of Hierapolis, 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. 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). You will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Pamukkale. (B,D)

After having your breakfast, you will drive to Bodrum (Approx. 5 Hours). Upon arrival in Bodrum, you will be strolling through 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. You will have the rest of the day at leisure on your own. Overnight in Bodrum. (B,D)

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. (B)

 

Return home with life-changing memories.


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