Cultural Gems & Natural Wonders

Highlights: Istanbul - Cappadocia - Izmir - Sirince - Alacati Other departures: Manchester - £2715, Birmingham - £2705, Edinburgh - £2709 Hotels:
Istanbul - Grand Hotel Gulsoy or similar 4*
Cappadocia - Yunak Evleri or similar 4*
Sirince - Gullu Konaklari or similar 3*
Alacati - Chigdem Hotel or similar 4* Unique Moments & Activities:
- Turkish Blue Eyed Bead
- Turkish coffee from Sark Kahvesi
- Baklava from the masters Unchanging taste in Karakoy Gulluoglu Baklavicisi
- Turkish Delight at Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir’s shop
- Lunch at a local village house in Cappadocia Itinerary: Day 1: Istanbul
Following our arrival in Istanbul we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Overnight at our hotel in Istanbul. Meals: No Meals Day 2: Istanbul
Welcome Gift, Nazar Boncuk ( Turkish Blue Eyed Bead ) Nazar Boncugu is a glass bead that protects the holder from evil eye. It is pretty common in Turkey. Have a look around and you might discover countless Nazar Boncuks dangling from cars, from rear-view windows, backpacks, on necklaces and bracelets, pinned to the sweaters of babies and small children, and hanging above doors in restaurants, hotels, stores, and apartments. We set off on a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul. We will start off with a visit to the renowned Sultanahmet Mosque, known popularly as The Blue Mosque, an incredibly beautiful mosque known for its blue Iznik (Nicaea) tiles are unique for the fact that it has six minarets. We continue on to the Hippodrome, once the vast arena that functioned as the heart of sporting (chariots races and athletics) events and political activities of the old city. From here we go to the nearby Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom. Ranking as one of the greatest marvels of world architecture, this awe-inspiring building was constucted as a basilica in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. From here short walk to the Underground Cistern, the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water. This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures—capital heads and columns- that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at us from her watery home. We continue our tour with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. This visit to the imperial palace of the Ottoman Sultans will include tours of the imperial treasury, the Chinese porcelain section, the calligraphy section and many more. We will also visit the jewelry collection segment of the palace. The tour will end with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry and carpets. Overnight stay at our hotel in Istanbul. Unique Moments:
During the visit of the Grand Bazaar we will be experiencing Turkish coffee from Sark Kahvesi, historical coffee roasters located in the Grand Bazaar. Each variety has been prepared with a blend of traditional knowledge, experience and an abiding “Love of Coffee” Meals: Breakfast Day 3: Istanbul
This morning we visit the renowned Dolmabahce Palace, was built between the years 1843 and 1856 by the armenian architects the Balyans. The design contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassic styles blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis.  It is the largest Palace in Turkey, its monoblock building occupies 45.000 m2. Continue our tour with a visit to the Rustem Pasha Mosque. Designed by the Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for Grand Vizier ''Son-in-Law'' Rüstem Pasha (husband of Princess Mihrimah Sultana, one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent), the construction was carried out from 1561 to 1563. The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is famous for its many exquisite Iznik tiles that depict a wide variety of beautiful floral and geometric designs. These priceless tiles have been used to decorate the mihrab, minbar, walls, columns and the interior and exterior façades of the enclosed portico. These tiles use the cherry red that is characteristic of the early Iznik period (1555-1620). No other mosque in Istanbul makes such a lavish use of these tiles. Take a short walk to Spice Market. Built in 1664, this large, old stone building includes a large number of shops (and a restaurant on the second floor that has long held a venerable place in the life of the city). This collection of shops was actually part of the complex of the adjacent Yeni Camii (the “New Mosque,” whose construction started in 1597 and finished decades later). Since its construction, the Egyptian Spice Market has specialized in the sale of exotic spices. Today, these lovely small shops continue to sell spices and now also sell dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and other edibles. Some of the shops are gradually being transformed into shops featuring jewelry and other high margin items. During the visit of Spice Market we will have a short break at Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir’s shop – the inventor of Turkish delight. From the time of its founding during the Ottoman Empire, the name Haci Bekir has become a legend in Ottoman and Turkish confectionery and a leading symbol of this art. Late afternoon we will have a Cruise on the Bosphorus with a regular boat. We’ll cruise up Istanbul’s winding straits and relax and admire the shoreline of beautiful mosques, lavish palaces, and decadent yalıs. You’ll see Dolmabahçe Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Ottoman summer mansions, the Ortaköy Mosque, the defensive Rumeli Fortress, and the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, all while passing fishing boats, yachts, huge cargo ships, and tankers. Overnight at our hotel in Istanbul. Meals: Breakfast Day 4: Istanbul / Cappadocia
After breakfast, we will drive to the Istanbul (Ataturk) Airport to catch our morning flight to Kayseri (Cappadocia). Arrive in Kayseri Airpory and private transfer to our hotel in Cappadocia on the way we will visit the following sites; First, we will visit Devrent Valley. One magical corner in the countless panoramic valleys of Cappadocia, here is an unbelievable landscape with its rock formations and savage feeling; one of the best introductions to understanding the formation of fairy chimneys.Then, we will continue to Pasabag Valley where the formation of “fairy chimneys” can be best observed. Pasabag, the Pasha's Vineyard, is surrounded by incredible natural rock formations; a spectacular scene. Then, drive down into the village of Urgup, where you will see the blending of landscape and buildings.Last, we will walk through the Guvercinlik Valley. The Pigeon Valley is one of the most famous valleys of Cappadocia and its name comes from the pigeon-cotes carved on its walls. We will spend night at our hotel in Cappadocia. Meals: Breakfast Day 5: Cappadocia
After breakfast, our first stop at Uchisar where is situated at the highest point in Cappadocia, The top of the Uchisar Castle, provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area with Mount Erciyes in the distance. Many rooms hollowed out into the rock are connected to each other with stairs, tunnels and and passages. At the entrances of the rooms, there are millstone doors, just like the ones in the underground settlements, used to control access to these places. Due to the erosion in places of this multi-leveled castle, it is unfortunately not possible to reach all the rooms. Most of the rooms, located on the north side of the castle are in use as pigeon houses (dovecuts) today. Farmers used these cave pigeon houses to collect the droppings of pigeons which is an excellent natural fertilizer for the orchards and vineyards. We will continue with visit of Goreme area. The small town of Goreme is situated in the middle of the Valley of Fairy Chimneys, surrounded by the eerie shapes and fantastic rock formations that have made the region famous. It is one of the few remaining villages where fairy chimneys and rock-hewn houses are still inhabited, and several restaurants and cafes are carved into the rock. Its biggest attraction is the Goreme Open-Air museum with over 30 beautifully frescoed Byzantine rock churches. The town makes an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding rock formations, villages, vineyards and attractions. For shoppers, carpets and Kilims are plentiful. Goreme National Park which was the official state during the period of the Roman Empire, was named “Cappadocia”, which means “ The Country of White Horses” in Persian. The Goreme Open-Air Museum is the most visited of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-hewn churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries. Inconspicuous from the outside, the interiors are characteristically Byzantine with a central dome and a floor plan in the shape of a cross. Overnight at our hotel in Cappadocia. Unique Moments:
We will have lunch at a local village house where you see may groups of women are cooking  local bread together, these lovley people invite you to join them and to sit together. If you want you may try to cook traditional Turkish bread. Than you are going to be taken to a traditional Turkish house,to meet the members and to interact with the family.If you have already learned a little Turkish this is the right time to use local language. After lunch, we will continue our day descending below the earth’s surface into the Kaymakli Underground City, where five levels extend below ground and include; living quarters, kitchens, wine presses, storage rooms, stables and ventilation shafts. Early Christians carved out these subterranean complexes to avoid invaders who swept across the plains of Anatolia from the 6th to the 9th Century. Shopping time for the well-known merits of the area before returning to the hotel. Meals: Breakfast & Lunch Day 6: Capapdocia / Izmir / Sirince
After breakfast, we will drive to the Kasyeri Airport to catch our flight to Izmir via Istanbul. Arrive in Izmir, transfer to your hotel in Sirince. Overnight at our hotel in Sirince. Meals: Breakfast Day 7: Sirince / Alacati
After breakfast drive to Ephesus, famous for its Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Its cult to Artemis and its Hellen civilization with Heraclites the “Skotinos” philosopher of “Panta Rei”. During the years of the Roman Empire, the Greek port of Ephesus became the greatest city in Asia Minor. Upon arrival at Ephesus follow your guide to enter this ancient site through the Magnesian Gateand discover innumerable monuments including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika and the Great Theatre built in the Hellenistic period, which is still noted for its remarkable acoustics, and is where St Paul preached. We will also visit Virgin Mary’s House. Afternoon drive on to Alacati. We will spend our night at our hotel in Alacati. Meals: Breakfast Day 8: Alacati
Remainder of the day at your own leisure. Overnight at our hotel in Alacati. Meals: Breakfast Day 9: Alacati
Remainder of the day at your own leisure. Overnight at our hotel in Alacati. Meals: Breakfast Day 10: Alacatı (Izmir) / Istanbul / UK
After breakfast we will drive to the Izmir Airport to catch our flight to Istanbul. Upon our arrival in Istanbul you will connection flight on your own. Meals: Breakfast

Offer Includes

Flights from London Heathrow with Turkish Airlines
Airport taxes
3 nights accommodation in Istanbul in a Standard Room
2 nights accommodation in Cappadocia in a Standard Room
1 night accommodation in Sirince in a Standard Room
3 nights accommodation in Alacati in a Standard Room
Sightseeing as per itinerary
Entrance fees of the specified museums as per itinerary
Private transportation by air-conditioned deluxe vehicle
Private English speaking professional tour guide
Tips to the hotel and restaurant staff
Service charges & local taxes

Meal Plans

  • As per Itinerary