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Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey
Welcome to the splendor that is Istanbul – home to the masterpieces of Byzantine and Ottoman art, culture, and history.  As you are driven to your hotel, enjoy views of Istanbul’s skyline along the Sea of Marmara before passing through the ancient city walls into old town. After checking in, take time to explore the neighborhood around your hotel and feel the vibrant pulse of the city. Your Turkish adventure is just beginning.

 
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Istanbul Guided Tour
After enjoying a Turkish breakfast, meet with your tour guide. Today you will see the highlights of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Your first stop is the Hagia Sophia, which served as the cathedral of Constantinople for over 1,000 years.  Next, head underground to see the dramatically lit 6th century Basilica Cistern built by Emperor Justinian. Continue past the Blue Mosque to the nearby Hippodrome, which served as the center of Byzantine social life. The Hippodrome was used during Roman times for horse races, gladiator contests, and public celebrations. Step inside the Ibrahim Pasa Palace to see the extraordinary collections of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.  Following lunch at a historic Sultanahmet eatery that specializes in kofte (tasty flame-grilled meatballs), take a stroll through the less-touristy streets of Istanbul to a coffee shop to enjoy a rich Turkish coffee. Browse through the Spice Market to sample the different flavors of Turkey, from Turkish delight to varieties of olives and cheeses. Later, explore the blue tiles in the magical Rustempasa mosque, built by Sinan, architect for Suleyman the Magnificent.

 
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Istanbul Guided Tour
Today’s tour begins with Topkapi Palace, from where Ottomans ruled over most of Europe and the Middle East. Admire the riches of the Treasury and the sultans’ private quarters in the Harem. Continue onto Eminonu to enjoy a fish sandwich – freshly caught and grilled and served from a boat near the shore. Walking past locals fishing off of the Galata Bridge, we proceed to Europe’s first metro which carries you to a whole new Istanbul. Climb up Galata Tower; in the 17th century, an Ottoman inspired by DaVinci ‘s drawings strapped on wings and flew over the Golden Horn to Topkapi Palace. Meet the modern face of Istanbul as you join the thousands of people on the pedestrian walkway of Istiklal Street.  Board your craft for an afternoon cruise between Europe and Asia along the Bosphorus Strait. Take advantage of the afternoon light to photograph palatial estates and Ottoman palaces along the water as you sail past the Bosphorus Bridge.  

 
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Fly Istanbul - Cappadocia
An early morning transfer takes you from your hotel in Istanbul to meet your flight to Kayseri (Cappadocia), where you are greeted by your licensed tour guide. Your introduction to local culture begins with a drive from the airport through the farmlands of Kayseri with gorgeous views of Mount Erciyes. The lava that poured from this 12,851-foot mountain formed the spellbinding landscape of the Cappadocia Valley. Your first stop is a little known site of rock-cut churches and monasteries, in a natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village. A drive through potato fields and mesa mountains takes us to an obscure underground city to be explored by oil lamp with a local guide. Adventurous types (with appropriate footwear) can climb up through the tunnels using ancient footholds worn into the stone. Enjoy a drive on the back roads through unspoiled villages to a traditional lunch cooked in a tanduri oven. After lunch, transfer to tonight's accommodations at one of our select hotels in Cappadocia.

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Cappadocia Guided Tour
After an early breakfast at your hotel, Your first stop is Devrent Valley, where you walk among the animal-like natural rock formations. Next, head to Pasabaglari to explore the distinctive fairy chimneys Cappadocia is known for. A short drive takes you to the pretty town of Avanos for an a la carte lunch at a restaurant along the Kizilirmak (Red River). After lunch, drive to Uchisar Castle, the highest point in Cappadocia's moonscape. Climb up the castle to enjoy a breath-taking view of the surrounding valleys and Mt. Erciyes. Your next stop is a visit to a six floor cave house in the Uchisar Valley. Explore the cave house, browse the wares of nearby street vendors, or enjoy the serene environment over a cup of Turkish tea. A stop at Esentepe allows you to enjoy scenic views of the town of Goreme. The highlight of the day is the Goreme Open Air Museum, showcasing beautiful Byzantine art in churches carved into the rock.The stunningly well-preserved frescoes in the Dark Church are sure to make a lasting impression. Transfer to tonight's accommodations at one of our select hotels in Cappadocia.

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Cappadocia Hot Air Ballon Tour and Fly to Ephesus
Rise and shine before dawn today and enjoy an unforgettable balloon ride. You are picked up from your hotel and transferred to the take off site to watch the balloon being prepared for flight. As the sun rises, float peacefully over Cappadocia, enjoying this unique perspective from above. This is one of the best places in the world to experience a balloon ride. Be sure to have plenty of memory (or film) in your camera. Upon landing, celebrate the flight with a champagne toast. You are then transferred back to your hotel for breakfast and a free morning. You are then transferred to the Kayseri Airport to board an afternoon flight to Ephesus (Izmir ADB Airport), where you are greeted and driven to one of our select hotels in Kusadasi or Selcuk.  

 
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Ephesus Guided Tour
After breakfast, meet your tour guide and start today's explorations at the Temple of Artemis, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient world. Next, head to the Isa Bey Mosque for an impressive display of 14th century Turkish architecture. Continue on to visit the Basilica of St John, part of the magnificent church built over the tomb of St. John the Evangelist by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century. St. John is said to have lived in Ephesus with the Virgin Mary up to the time of his death. Following lunch at a local eatery specializing in Cop Sis (tasty flame-grilled lamb skewers), visit the superbly presented Ephesus Archaeological Museum. This collection of artifacts from Ephesus includes furniture and personal items from the Terrace Houses, fabulous marble statuary, and a gladiator exhibit featuring skeletal remains showing evidence of these warriors' fatal injuries and the weapons that inflicted them. A short drive takes you to the House of the Virgin Mary, authenticated by Pope Paul II in 1967 and a pilgrimage site for many religions. Next, we explore the unmatched archaeological site of ancient Ephesus. The sheer size and grandeur of the site make this the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. As you wind your way down through the city of colonnaded avenues, you will see the magnificent façade of the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, City Hall, the public baths, marketplaces, courthouses, fountains, the theater, as well as a brothel and public latrine. Your tour also includes a visit to see the Terrace Houses - well-preserved private homes of the Roman upper-class with many intact mosaics and frescoes.

 
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Aphrodisias - Pamukkale - Hierapolis Guided Tour and Fly to Istanbul
Today we drive through the fertile Meander Valley to Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful (and least visited) ancient cities in Turkey. Named after Aphrodite, the goddess of love, this Greco-Roman site was once an important cultural and intellectual center renowned for its school of sculpture. See the well preserved monumental gateways, the thirty-thousand-seat stadium, and a rich array of public buildings, all of which offer important clues to the city's high standard of living. With a fine supply of quality marble nearby, the school at Aphrodisias cultivated the finest master sculptors, whose coveted works were found all over the Roman empire. Most of the magnificent statues found in the public buildings in the city are on display at the Aphrodisias Museum inside the ancient city. After enjoying the splendors of Aphrodisias, lunch at a local eatery in an unspoiled Anatolian town. From there, a short drive takes us to the unique natural wonder of Pamukkale. Enjoy walking in the warm mineral waters of Pamukkale, where sparkling white basins formed by limestone deposits cascade dramatically down the mountainside. As you can see by the remains of marble columns in the picturesque Baths of Cleopatra, the thermal waters here have been used for their therapeutic powers since the Roman period. We will also explore the surrounding area of Hierapolis with its 2nd century Roman TheaterApollo Temple, and the largest and best preserved Necropolis in Anatolia. At the end of the day, you are transferred to Denizli (Pamukkale) Airport for an evening flight to Istanbul, where you are greeted and driven to your hotel.

 
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Istanbul at Leisure
Enjoy a free day at Leisure in Istanbul, explore the local bazaars for last minute shopping. Stay overnight in Istanbul.

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Fly Istanbul/Home
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

3 Day Cappadocia Explorer Trip Features

 

  • An incredible experience without the hordes of tourists
  • 9 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Domestic Flights
  • Air-conditioned vehicle with non-smoking private driver
  • Entrance to all sites
  • Guided tour at sites by licensed, non-smoking private tour guide
  • A la carte lunches with beverages
  • Airport transfers in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale
  • Complimentary bottled water throughout the day tours
  • Taxes

 

 

 

This tour can be customized for you, adding or omitting places as you wish. Final pricing will depend upon your personal selections.

Please allow upto 24 hours for a reply.

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"I have traveled quite a bit over the years and you are perhaps the best travel agency I have ever dealt with. Cappadocia should be on everybody’s travel list, and you really made it possible to really get as much as possible out of a short visit. The small group size of your tours and personal attention from staff makes the trip much more satisfying than a “big bus” experience. I would recommend a trip to Cappadocia with you to everyone." 
Danielle from USA

 

 

Ozgur Guker

 
Questions
Hello! I am Ozgur, your travel agent and government-licensed tour guide in Turkey. Let me create a personalized itinerary for your trip to Turkey.From November through March, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, Call me at 510.418.4486 or email me, I will be happy to help...

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