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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
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
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
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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Fly Cappadocia/Istanbul
Today’s tour takes us to the most beautiful valleys of Cappadocia, Red and Rose Valleys, where we have a pleasant walking tour of 2 hours among the volcanic rock formations, rock-hewn churches and monasteries. The difficulty of anbulthe walk can be adjusted to your comfort level, including a path that is primarily flat and downhill. Our walk also takes us to Cavusin Village to see the troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the mid-20th century. We then explore Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest underground settlements in the region. This underground city acted as a short term shelter for early Christians who fled persecution from the Romans, and then later from raiding Muslims. We then drive to Urgup for an a la carte lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, you can choose to spend a free afternoon in Urgup and take the evening flight to Istanbul, or you can be transferred directly to the Kayseri Airport to board the 4:25 pm flight to Istanbul. With either option, you are greeted in Istanbul and driven to your hotel.

 
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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 horde of tourists
  • 6 Night accommodation with breakfast at a Select Room of your choice
  • Exclusive Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • 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 and Cappadocia
  • Complimentary bottled water throughout the tour
  • 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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Comments
 

 

 

"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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