Best of Turkey Tour
+ Day 1 / Ankara
Relax and enjoy overnight flight to Ankara on wide–bodied jets.
+ Day 2 / Ankara
Your representative awaits to greet you as you land in Ankara. After transferring to your hotel, the remainder of the day is free. Tonight meet your tour companions at dinner.
+ Day 3 / Ankara, Cappadocia
This morning we visit the impressive MAUSOLEUM OF ATATÜRK, founder of the modern Turkish republic and then the MUSEUM OF ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS with its display of Hittite treasure and artifacts from the world’s oldest city, Catal Hoyuk. After lunch we drive to BIBLICAL CAPPADOCIA, famous for unique landscapes, underground cities as well as towns carved from the region’s soft volcanic rock. En route we visit to the 13th century CARAVAN INN of Agzikarahan.
+ Day 4 / Cappadocia
A full day touring the “Moon-Like” topography of Cappadocia is planned. The absolutely unique landscape of Goreme, with its rock chapels carved by early Christians and decorated with Frescoes dating from 6th to the 10th century, is an unforgettable experience. In the morning we visit the underground city of Kaymakli where thousands of early Christians lived concealed from their persecutors in an eight-story complex of subterranean dwellings. In the afternoon we visit the pottery making village of Avanos and the Byzantine Monastic Complex of Zelve before returning to our hotel to enjoy the picturesque of this ancient historic land.
+ Day 5 / Cappadocia, Konya, Antalya
A morning drive across the rolling steppe land of central Anatolia to Konya, the capital of the mighty Seljuk Empire from 1078 to 1307. This afternoon we visit the MAUSOLEUM OF MEVLANA, founder of the order of Whirling Dervishes (an ecstatic Muslim sect) and then continue to beautiful KARATAY KORAN SCHOOL, which is now a museum displaying richly colored Turkish tiles. Motor through the Taurus Mountains to the resort City of Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea. This area is often called the “Turquoise Coast” because of exquisite blue colored water.
+ Day 6 / Perge, Aspendos
Optional (price ?): A full day of exploring includes a tour of the ANTALYA ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM with a number of artifacts and statues from nearby ancient sites. Then you tour ancient PAMPHYLIAN, HELLENISTIC AND ROMAN CITIES, the unsoiled ruins of Perge with its colonnade street and Aspendos with its huge theater, the best preserved one in the Mediterranean area having a capacity of 15,000 spectators and still in use for special events.
+ Day 7 / Antalya, Pamukkale
We drive north through the mountains to Pamukkale, in Turkish the name refers to the “Cotton Castle” appearance of the spectacular white lime cascades formed by the hot mineral springs. Then visit the vast ruins of the Roman health spa of Hierapolis. Enjoy a leisurely bath in the pool of your hotel’s hot mineral spring bath.
+ Day 8 / Ephesus, St. Mary's House, Izmir
This morning we head across the fertile MENDERES VALLEY to the ruins of glorious Ephesus, capital of Roman Asia Minor, to see the extensive ruins which include 2,000 year old marble streets, a huge theater, the library of Celsius, a gymnasium and the temple of Hadrian. In the afternoon we visit the nearby BASILICA OF ST. JOHN as well as the VIRGIN MARY’S STONE COTTAGE. Overnight in İzmir, Homer’s birthplace on the Aegean Coast.
+ Day 9 / Pergamum, Troy, Canakkale
The first stop on your northbound journey is the Acropolis of ancient Pergamum, famous for work done by the great Physician Galen. Sights include the altar of ZEUS AND ASKLEPIEION, a famous Roman medical center. Continuing north we visit the ruins of Troy where Greek and Trojan heroes fought the “Trojan War” for the honor of beautiful Helen. Also visit its legendary walls, buildings and a replica of the famous wooden horse. Overnight in Çanakkale.
+ Day 10 / Gallipoli, Istanbul
After breakfast we across the Dardanelle’s waterway to the Gallipolu Peninsula to see Anzac cove and visit Lone Pine cemetery. Then drive along the Marmara Sea to İstanbul. Upon arrival we visit the BLUE MOSQUE OF SULTAN AHMET Ι built in 1616, famous for unequaled ceramic tiles. Then we visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was used for chariot races. For a taste of Turkish Night Life join our optional dinner and enjoy an evening of Turkish belly dancing and folk dancing entertainment.
+ Day 11 / Istanbul
Optional (price ?): Your day begins with a guided tour exploring the ancient city with highlights including the magnificent TOPKAPI PALACE (main residence of Ottoman sultan) and the unusual large underground cistern used in “007” movie scenes. In the afternoon, we visit SAINT SOPHIA BASILICA, ancient seat of the Byzantine Church built in 537 AD and converted to a mosque in 1453. Saint Sophia is now a museum whose mosaics, stained glass windows and decorated domes have been carefully fashioned to create an atmosphere of breath-taking beauty. Finally the GRAND BAZAAR with 3,000 exotic shops along covered lanes and alleyways. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner with your tour companions.
+ Day 12 / Istanbul
Your representative escorts you to the airport for the flight back.