Turkish Riviera History & Cuisine (13 days)

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specialDepartures May – October
Did you know that by 7th century BC nomads had already started to form settlements in what we now know today as the Turkish Empire? That’s how old this country is which straddles Europe and Asia! Now you can discover the ancient Ottoman’s contributions and the culture which has evolved through many centuries of change. Did you also know that Turkish cuisine is rated as one of the top three world cuisines along with French and Chinese? Learn about exotic spices and vegetables. Try your hand at cooking lunch. Discover the Turquoise Coast. Turkish Riviera History & Cuisine combines the best of both worlds, food for body and soul.
Photo courtesy of Erkan Karpuz

Day 1- Arrival to Istanbul
Our staff will greet you at the Ataturk Airport and transfer to your hotel individually. Overnight in Istanbul. (D) Kent Hotel or similar, Istanbul http://www.kenthotel.com

Day 2 – Istanbul
Today’s included excursions are Topkapi Palace, once home to the great Sultans and filled with treasures and antiquities including twelve thousand pieces of fine Chinese porcelain; and Blue Mosque, built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet. The interior walls are covered with twenty thousand blue Iznik tiles. In the afternoon explore Hippodrome and Basilica of St. Sophia, which has inspired religious leaders for over fifteen hundred years. Constructed in 326 by Constantine the Great, it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and now a museum. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)

Day 3 – Istanbul
Spend the morning with exploring of one of the local market and then enjoy cooking class with lunch. Our sightseeing continues with Chora Church with its amazing frescos and Spice Bazaar where the scent of hundreds of spices permeates the air. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, D)

Day 4 – Istanbul – Fly to Cappadocia
Transfer to airport to have a direct flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir. Our sightseeing tour today is focused on Ihlara Valley, the small canyon which has rock-carved churches and dwellings belonging to the Byzantine era. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D) Yunak Houses or similar, Cappadocia http://www.yunak.com

Day 5 – Cappadocia
Our sightseeing begins with a visit to the hidden monastic valley of Pasabagi, which has a large number of carved rock houses and churches and then enjoy a visit to local municipality carpet cooperation, sort of a carpet farm where you will get the chance to explore the district from a cultural perspective. In the afternoon visit fascinating Goreme Valley. The lunar like landscape of this region is eerie, yet beautiful. Over thousands of years, the rain has eroded this landscape to give rise to strange rock formations known as “Fairy Chimneys”. Many of these have homes and churches carved into them. Some of the grottos are magnificently decorated with colorful frescoes depicting biblical scenes. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D)

Day 6 – Cappadocia
You may have an Optional Hot Balloon ride, a dream to gently float over the countryside in complete harmony with the deep canyons and lush fertile valleys of Cappadocia, in an early morning today. Gentle winds carry you over places that could never be reached except by balloon. Today’s included excursion is Zelve, which became one of the most important settlements and religious centers for the Christian community between the ninth and thirteenth centuries. Continue our tour with having lecture on ancient potter from one of the crafter in Avanos, ceramic art dating from 12th B.C. to 3rd B.C. periods. Then explore Ozkonak Underground City. Around the sixth century the Christian inhabitants of the region began to tunnel into the soft volcanic rock of large hill. As deep as two hundred and seventy five feet with eight different levels, several thousand people lived in this subterranean city. In the evening witness the Whirling Dervishes Ceremony! They use music and dance to induce themselves into a mystical state. As the ceremonial music plays, they begin to whirl and their long skirt billows, giving the impression that they are floating on air. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, D)

Day 7 – Cappadocia – Antalya
On the way of Antalya, visit Mevlana Museum and learn about the mystical religious sect known as the Whirling Dervishes. Overnight in Antalya. (B, D) Best Western Khan Hotel or similar, Antalya http://www.khanhotel.com

Day 8 – Antalya
Today’s sightseeing tour will show us the ancient ruins of Perge, the best example of a complete Roman city on the southern coast and its stadium could accommodate fifteen thousand spectators; and Aspendos, the Roman Theater best preserved Roman Theatre on the southern coast. Overnight in Antalya. (B, D)

Day 9 – Antalya – Fethiye
You will be impressed by the striking blue and green colours while we drive on the coast of Mediterranean. You’ll visit ancient Myra, the death place of Saint Nicholas, which became the object of pilgrimages with rock tombs overlooking the magnificent Roman Theatre. Stop in at St. Nicholas Church where, during the 4th Century, he served as bishop of this Mediterranean city. Overnight in Fethiye. (B,D) Alesta Yacht Hotel or similar, Fethiye http://www.alestayachthotel.com

Day 10. Fethiye – Bodrum
More breathtaking scenery waits as we travel through the mountains and the pine forests. We stop en route at Dalyan, and then take a trip to Caunos, which in ancient times was a busy harbor town. Ancient Caunos has nearby beautiful Turtle Beach on one side and a lake on the other. Overnight in Bodrum. (B, D) Manastir Hotel or similar, Bodrum http://www.manastirhotel.com

Day 11- Bodrum
Enjoy an included half-day tour of the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, home of the remains of the oldest known sunken ship in the world and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, built in 350 BC. Overnight in Bodrum. (B, D)

Day 12. Bodrum – Ephesus – Fly to Istanbul
Today’s excursion takes us to Ephesus, the largest ancient city ever uncovered. Once populated with 300,000 people, it has an enormous amphitheatre, which can still hold 24,000 spectators. As you walk down the marble covered streets, see gymnasiums, bath houses, public latrines, the library of Celsus. Then transfer to Izmir airport to have a flight to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul. (B, D) Kent Hotel or similar, Istanbul http://www.kenthotel.com

Day 13 – Istanbul Departure
Your transfer to the Airport will be done by our staff individually 3.5 hours before of each flight.

Cost is $4295, per person
Based on twin share, single supplement applies

This tour needs a minimum of 6 persons to guarantee departure

CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791

Includes:
- Welcome Cocktail
- Transportation by modern, Air-Conditioned Vehicle
- Baggage Handling at the hotels
- 12x Breakfast and 12x dinner
- English speaking Professional Tour Guide (Specialist on History and Archaeology)
- All entrances Fees
- All applicable Taxes
- Tips at the hotels
- 2 Domestic Flights
- Whirling Dervishes Ceremony
- 2 Culinary Lessons

Does not include:
- Beverages
- Customary tips for guide, driver and Chief

CALL for MORE DETAILS 415-331-3791