DAY 1 Flight to Istanbul
Arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Meet PAKERO TRAVEL representative and transfer to the hotel. Welcome meeting, Dinner at the hotel at Taksim Square, the center of new town. (D)
DAY 2 Full Day Istanbul City Tour
We begin our day with a tour of the Sultan Ahmed square, located at the heart of the “Old City” from where the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires were ruled from. We will walk the Hippodrome square, which was the epicenter of the sportive events and political activities of Constantinople in Roman and Byzantium periods. We will see and talk about the histories of the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Next we enter the Turkish Islamic Arts Museum, which is located in the 16th century Palace of İbrahim Pasha. Exhibitions include centuries old handicraft examples of textiles, tiles, manuscripts, calligraphy and carpentry. Then we take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and with its unique 6 minarets, built in the early 17th century. Next we visit the Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of the art & architecture history, constructed as the patriarchate cathedral in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian. Lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch our next stop will be the Topkapı Palace complex with beautifully decorated gardens and impressive examples of Turkish architecture that housed the Ottoman Royalty and their unprecedented collections of imperial treasury, Chinese porcelains, weapons, calligraphy, and holy relics for over four centuries. The final destination of the day will be the narrow alleys of the Grand Covered Bazaar for exploring its maze of 4000 shops for an authentic oriental shopping experience.
DAY 3 Full Day Istanbul City Tour
We start our tour with a panoramic drive along the old city walls dating back to the 5th century and renowned as one of the greatest examples of a fortification system ever build to defend a city. Next; a short drive to the Chora Museum, a small church that was decorated with the most beautiful biblical mosaic panels and frescoes in the 14th century. After visiting the Chora we will be heading towards a 17th century mall called ‘the Egyptian Spice Bazaar’ which still functions as a spice and dried foods market with mystical smells and aromas, spreading around from hundreds of shops selling spices, fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers, fish… Free time will be allocated for shopping in this bazaar. Lunch in a local restaurant. We end the day with a relaxing Bosphorus Cruise, through the waterway separating the two continents, Asia and Europe, with its picturesque views of marble palaces, 15th century castles and ancient wooden mansions of the Ottoman architecture. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, L, D)
DAY 4 Istanbul – Kayseri – Cappadocia
This morning we take a 1 hour flight to Kayseri and reach Cappadocia after a 1 hour pleasant drive. After an orientation drive around the picturesque sites and a few photo stops will arrive at the Uchisar Rock-Carved Castle overlooking the valleys and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Then we will proceed to the Open Air Museum of Goreme Valley to visit the rock carved churches hollowed out of volcanic ash, dating back to the IV-XIII centuries. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (B, L, D)
Optional: Belly Dance show at Cave Restaurant.Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 Full Day Tour in Cappadocia
Today we begin the day with a visit to one of the largest underground cities of Cappadocia: Kaymakli. This magnificent underground city is dating back to 3000 BC and eight storey deep. Thousands of early Christians had lived and took refuge in Kaymaklı to survive against the persecution by the Romans. Next we Visit a local handicraft center to see the demonstration on the process of making hand made Turkish carpets and the most beautiful and rich collection of the regional carpets of Cappadocia. Time will be allocated for shopping. Lunch in a local restaurant. Visit Zelve Open Air Museum, an abounded village where both Muslim and Ortodox Christians used to live together through deep valleys of tuff, amazing rock formations shaped by both nature and people of the region. Stop for a short walk and take as many as pictures in Pashabag where you will see the best type of formations called as “fairy chimney”.
Tonight you can join to the optional activity to watch the live performance of the Whirling Dervishes, a mystic and liturgic performance rooted to the teachings of 13th century philosopher Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 Full Day Tour in Cappadocia
Today you can wake up early to join an optional activity; a Hot Air Balloon ride before the breakfast which is by far the best way to enjoy the views of the lunar landscape of the region. Next take a short hike in Red Valley where you will be astonished by the view of the gorgeous rock formations in the tones of red. After the hike we drive to Mustafa Pasha (Sinasos), a lovely village with hundreds of years old stone houses. We will enjoy our lunch in a local restaurant which is established in one of those beautiful old houses here at Sinasos. To end the day we take the last drive around Cappadocia to the Pigeon Valley where local people had carved birdhouses on the cliffs to collect their droppings to use as fertilizer on their fields.
Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Flight Back to Home
After all unforgettable memories of both Istanbul and Cappadocia today is last day to return to home. Drive to Kayseri Airport and take connected flight to Scandinavia via Istanbul.
“For pricing and more planning details contact to Pakero Travel”