Glorious Turkey Tour – 15 Days

Day 1 – Istanbul

Arrival at Istanbul airport , you will be met and transferred to your hotel. A short briefing and Welcome Cocktail in the evening. (D)

Day 2 – Istanbul

Following breakfast, we drive to the ‘Old City’ where we will visit the Hippodrome, The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, the Blue Mosque, famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles and Saint Sophia. This church – turned mosque – turned museum takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome and next we will visit the spectacular Topkapi Palace. Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453-1852) and we will see the extravagant Treasury, the priceless Chinese porcelain. Following our return to the hotel for a quick rest and a change, we will proceed to welcome the evening with dinner at an Istanbul night spot with live music and Belly Dancing. (B,D)

Day 3 – Istanbul

Our morning starts with a visit to the aromatic Spice Bazaar, where the smells of cinnamon, cloves and thyme, rise from hundreds of colourful muslin bags at every store-front. We then board our ferry boat for a relaxing cruise along the shores of the legendary Bosphorus, the natural gateway that divides Asia and Europe. As you sit back and enjoy Turkish coffee or well-brewed tea from traditional small cups, numerous summer palaces and palatial homes will pass by on either side. Disembarking at the northern end of the Strait, we proceed to a restaurant for a tasty meal of local fish. Following lunch we will travel by coach to the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by master architect Sinan during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, the Lawgiver. The last stop will be Grand Bazaar which is amost attractive shopping center and the biggest “souk” in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets and leatherwear. (B,D)

Day 4 – Canakkale (Troy)

After an early breakfast, we will begin our scenic drive down to Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles during WW1. Following a lunch break, we will cross the second strategic waterway, the Dardanelles, and land in Asia and proceed to Troy. Referred to in Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey”, Troy has in fact nine cities superimposed one upon another. Troy Vl pertains to the famous Trojan War of Homer where the legendary heroes included Agamemnon, Achilles, Ulysses and Nestor on the Greek side and, Priam, Hector and Paris on the Trojan side. We will check-in our hotel in Canakkale for the evening. (B,D)

Day 5 – Izmir

On our journey to İzmir we will stop by the hauntingly beautiful Pergamon. Among the impressive structures of this city, dating from 399 B.C., we will see the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Dionysus and the 200,000 volume library which was surpassed only by that found in Alexandria at the time. The Asclepieum of Pergamon was a famous health centre where methods of treatment included blood transfusions, music therapy and meditation. Leaving Pergamon behind us we settle at our hotel in Izmir. (B,D)

Day 6 – Kusadasi

Following an early breakfast we will proceed to the old section of Izmir called Kadife Kale which was a bastion built by Alexander the Great when he moved the city to this commanding location over the Bay of Üzmir. Heading further south, we will arrive at the ancient city of Ephesus and first visit the Basilica of St.John, who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel. To the southwest of the Basilica stands the Isa Bey Mosque and further in the same direction is the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. Impressive structures we will see include the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, Theatre and Odeon. We will also visit the Museum of Seljuk. Close by is the House of the Virgin Mary where she is believed to have spent her last years. On August 18th, 1961, Pope John XXll proclaimed the House of Virgin Mary at Ephesus to be sacred. You will have a chance to take some of Holy Water from the Sacred Spring. (B,D)

Day 7 – Kusadasi

We will leave early and journey to Priene which is an example of a truly ancient city, whose history dates back to the 10th century B.C. Highlights include the Temple of Athena Polias, the Ecclesiasterium and the Agora. We next visit Miletus where the Philosopher Thales was born. He coined the phrase “Know Thyself”. We will inspect the Delphinion, Baths of Faustina and the Council Chamber. Our last visit is to Didyma which served as a religious sanctuary to the god Apollo. The oracular inscriptions date as far back as 600 B.C. Among the highlights are the Temple of Apollo and the Stadium. We then return to Kuşadası for the night. (B,D)

Day 8 – Pamukkale (Hierapolis)

Leaving our hotel early after breakfast, we will journey to Pamukkale but on the way, we will stop over at one of the most attractive ancient sites of the Aegean Region. Aphrodisias was famous throughout the ancient world for her Temple of Aphrodite and enjoyed great prosperity during the Roman period. Some of the highlights include the Stadium, the Baths of Hadrian and the Theatre. We continue on to Pamukkale where the thermal water flows from natural pools in white terraces. The ancient city of Hierapolis was named after Hiera, wife of the founder of Pergamon. Highlights include the Roman Baths, the Temple of Apollo and the Nymphaeum. Overnight stay in Pamukkale. (B,D)

Day 9 – Antalya

We leave our hotel straight after breakfast and begin a long and scenic journey towards the sparkling turquoise coast. After checking into our hotel in Antalya, we even have time for a swim before dinner. (B,D)

Day 10 – Antalya

A leisurely visit to three cities situated close to the hotel. With its architectural and archaeological wealth, Perge is one of the most interesting ancient cities. Even though there is not much left to see on the Acropolis, there are wide porticoed streets, lined with many fine buildings, market places and gymnasiums. Next on our itinerary is Aspendus whose Theatre is the best preserved in the world with marvellous acoustics. Two of the other highlights will be the Agora, and the Nymphaeum. Our last stop for the day will be at Side, the last of these three antique cities. Present day Side sits on top of the old city. Highlights include the Temples of Athena and Apollo, the Agora and the Museum. (B,D)

Day 11 – Konya

Our trip today will take us over the beautiful Taurus Mountains via the Lake District into Konya, the centre of the Seljuk Empire, with many examples of Turkish Islamic art and architecture. Konya is situated in the midst of a wind swept plateau at an altitude of 1030 metres, and the city is so old that a small hill has been excavated here containing the bones of Bronze Age Man. (B,D)

Day 12 / 13 – Cappadocia

After a city tour of Konya we proceed to Cappadocia but on the way we stop by Sultanhanİ Caravanserai and Derinkuyu for a look at this underground city which goes down eight different levels into solid rock. We now journey into Cappadocia, where the sights of the Fairy Chimneys are phenomenal, especially when seen for the first time. The natural wonder of Cappadocia is a result of volcanic deposits being eroded away by wind and water over millions of years. These soft rocks were hollowed out by early Christians and used as secret dwellings as they were being sought first by their Roman and later by their Byzantine persecutors. We will also visit many churches that have been decorated with vivid frescoes which have withstood the corrosive effects of time. We check-in to our hotel for a night of relaxation. (B,D)

Day 14 – Ankara / Istanbul

We start our return journey from Cappadocia early in the morning and head towards Ankara. Ankara is the capital of the Turkish Republic and its history extends back as far as the 3rd century B.C. Here we will visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Atatürk (1881-1938), founding father of the Turkish Republic. Return flight to Istanbul. (B,D)

Day 15

Tranfer and flight home. (B)

“For price and more planning details contact to Pakero Travel”

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