Day 01 - ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
Arriving at Istanbul Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 02 - FULL DAY ISTANBUL
After breakfast meet your guide at lobby of your hotel and start your day Hippodrome Square, once the sporting and social centre of Constantinople. Visit Blue Mosque known for its Turquoise colored tiles made of quartz minerals. Continue to explore home of the Ottoman Sultans; Topkapi Palace! Tour Harem and Treasury. Next will be Basilica of Saint Sophia built by Justinian the Great during 6th century. In the afternoon, narrow alleys will then get you to the bustling atmosphere of the Spice Market, dating back to the 17th century, but still the most popular bazaar visited by locals to shop for fresh ingredients to spice up the dishes prepared in the kitchens of Istanbul., Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 03 - FULL DAY ISTANBUL
You will meet your guide in the morning to experience how it feels to change continents within only minutes when you take the public ferry to cross to a central neighborhood on the Asian side bustling with activity and crowds, Uskudar for a private water marbling (Ebru) workshop at the Ebristan Arts Center of Hikmet Barutcugil, one of the rarely found true masters of this art. Your day will continue with a short ride to one of the oldest settlements of Istanbul and now a busy neighborhood on the Asian shoreline of the Bosphorus, Kadikoy. You will walk through the narrow pedestrian streets of Kadikoy to enjoy the open markets for fresh vegetables, fruits and seafood and purchase some of the ingredients you will need for the following cooking class at a local Turkish home. Your local host will welcome you at her house and share her wisdom and skill in preparing traditional dishes with you in an interactive environment which will engage you in the experience as well. After you enjoy your lunch composed of the dishes that you too will have contributed to, you will lead your way back to the European side of the city, driving over the Bosphorus Bridge. Later in the afternoon, you will find yourself drifting through one of the earliest shopping malls ever built in history, Grand Bazaar which maintains its charm and volume of business to the modern day with its indoor and outdoor sections. Istanbul has been the center of commerce and trade between the Orient and the Occident even before the arrival of Ottomans. Nuru Osmaniye District (Glamour of the Ottomans) was where the Genoese and Venetian merchants had their ware houses to store their inventory of brass, copper, rugs and tiles before they were loaded on the ships to sail to Venice and Genoa. Your guide will escort you back to your hotel at the end of your sightseeing. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 04 – ISTANBUL / CAPPADOCIA
Morning flight to Kayseri. Upon arrival, tour Kaymakli Underground City, a subterranean settlement composed of troglodytic cave dwellings, where early Christians lived protecting themselves from invaders. Afterwards, you will visit Monastic Center of Goreme serving as an open-air museum. You will then appreciate the breathtaking scenery of the Pigeon Valley. While you continue to Ortahisar where you can have photography opportunities of gorgeous valleys, you will stop at the Three Beauties, the conic rock formations that locals have created many legends about and enjoy taking pictures of the fairy chimneys and valleys with rustic colors. You will walk through the valleys of Zelve that was a town composed of hundreds of rock-carved houses occupied until 1942. Touring Pasabag Valley, you will adore the view of the tower-shaped hermitages that look as if they have been sculptured by contemporary artists! Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 05 – CAPPADOCIA
Your expedition will start with driving through the inspiring valleys and towns of Cappadocia that will captivate you with their beauty, you will reach Sinassos to visit its well preserved houses and rock-carved Byzantine churches. Today, you will be enjoying your lunch at a local home where you will be hosted by a local family living in Cappadocia. Another major site of interest on your route is Avanos, the famous town of Cappadocia that was established by the Hittites on the riverbanks of Halys River. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 06 – CAPPADOCIA / IZMIR
After your delicious breakfast, you will meet your guide to drive to Ihlara Valley. What makes the valley unique is the ancient history of its inhabitants. The whole canyon is honeycombed with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. Afterwards, you will move on to Soganli Village to see one of the early centers of monastic life and the most authentic dwellings that reflect the exclusivity of the region’s natural character. At the end of your tour you will be transferred to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Izmir. Arriving in Izmir, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Izmir.
Day 07 – IZMIR / BODRUM
This morning you will be having your first stop at the remains of Temple of Artemis Then, you will have a short drive and reach the city of Ephesus where history and archaeology will offer you their majesty with incredible richness. You will be walking on the Marble Road that runs through the city, having various structures resting on it: Temple of Hadrian is a unique beauty with its articulate facade while Library of Celsus has all the expression of the grandeur of “good old days” of the Roman Period. Today you will also tour the Terrace Houses, the ancient residential section of Ephesus. Among all the archaeological remains, the Great Theater of Ephesus bears the major Biblical importance. In the afternoon you will visit House of Virgin Mary. Afterwards, you will enjoy a private a scenic transfer to Bodrum by the shores of Bafa Lake and along the surrounding bays of the town. Your minivan will drop you off at the port and boarding the yacht in Bodrum. Information about the yacht and the tour program, overnight in Bodrum Harbor or in a nearby bay.
Day 07, 08, 09, 10 & 11
Overnight aboard your gullet.
Departure after breakfast. Cruising about 2, 5 hours, we arrive in the region of Seven Islands. After swimming stops here, we will cruise to Küfre for dinner and overnight. We suggest that you may enjoy a short walk through the storax (liquidamber) forest.
We arrive at Cleopatra (Cedreae) island after short cruise. On the west of the island, a wonderful little beach is situated. It’s said that the sand of this beach was brought for Cleopatra from the desert of North Africa. Late in the afternoon, we leave the island to anchor in Karacasogut. This small village is only 30 km from Marmaris. You can arrange your transfer from Karacasogut to Marmaris and from Marmaris back to Karacasogut. In case you decide to spend time in Marmaris, please let your captain know about it, so we can send the vehicle on time.
Leaving Karacasogut, we will drop anchor in one of the bays by Degirmenbuku A small creek on the west side of this bay is called Ingiliz Limani (English Harbour). This name is derived from the Second World War, where English torpedo boats hid in this cove.
Leaving English Harbour, we cruise to the northern side of the Gulf to Akbuk. Here we will spend some time swimming, surfing… etc. In the afternoon, we continue our trip to Cokertme Bay ( 2 hours).
Day 12 – BODRUM / ISTANBUL
Meeting your guide at the port of Bodrum, you will stroll through the Crusaders’ Castle of St. Peter’s, and explore the English Tower that is decorated as feast-hall of the knights of St. John who were once the masters of this gigantic edifice. Inside the castle, there are individual small museums displaying attractive works of archaeology such as the skull of Carian Princess and relics of underwater archaeology. After visiting the St Peter’s Castle of Crusaders, you will continue to the site of Mausoleum built in 4th century BC going through the narrow streets that are reflecting very much of Mediterranean architectural tastes. After touring the site of the Mausoleum, you can have leisurely time in the Market area of Bodrum, hunting for bargains in handmade rugs, jewelry and leatherworks. Later in the afternoon, you will be transferred to Bodrum Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul. Arrive in Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 13 – DEPARTURE FOR HOME
In the morning, you will be transferred from your hotel to Istanbul International Airport for your flight back home.
- Airport transfers in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Izmir and Bodrum.
- Accommodation at the suggested hotels.
- Services of the same English speaking professional guide throughout the program.
- Transportation by A/C nonsmoking brand new vehicles throughout the program.
- Domestic flight tickets.
- Private water marbling workshop.
- Private visit to the studio of a pottery artist in Cappadocia.
- Cost of private gullet for 5 nights.
- Lunch at a local home in Cappadocia.
- Cooking class at a local Turkish home in Istanbul.
- All entrance and parking fees for the sightseeing in the mentioned program.
- Meals except for the breakfasts at the Hotels, lunch at a local home and cooking class in Istanbul.
- Honorary gratuities for guide and driver.
- Porterage at airports and hotels.
- Personal expenses.
- Visa fees.
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