Travel to Turkey's breathtaking places, beautiful landscape, historical sites, charming villages and unique natural areas with independent tours. Take a look at our most popular travel package, you can modify these itineraries according to your interests, budget & time frame.Highlights
Upon arrival to Istanbul Airport, you will be met by our staff & accompanied during your transfer to your hotel. At a convenient time, your travel consultant will visit you at your hotel lobby to answer any questions you may have & to go through the itinerary in person. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast, with a small guided group you will criss-cross the city centre, taking in its modern & ancient history on foot. First visiting the spectacular Blue Mosque with its six minarets, a great cascade of domes & a striking blue Iznik tiled interior. Then stroll around the historical Hippodrome where chariot races were once held during the Roman era. Continue with the Hagia Sophia which is more than just historic architecture; it is about the rare sight of two of the world's biggest belief systems coming together under one roof. Then continue to Topkapi Palace which is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire & home to the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 4 centuries, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience. Overnight in Istanbul.
Breakfast at hotel, joining a small guided group for a short drive to Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar), heaped with various sweets & spices it is one of the world’s largest spice bazaars since 1665. Soon after, we embark on a ferry to cruise along the Bosphorus, the beautiful strait that divides Europe from Asia. Winding between green hills, it is lined with mosques, castles, 19th century mansions, picturesque villages & the extravagant baroque palaces of the late Ottoman Sultans. After lunch break, we cross from Europe to Asia via the Bosphorus Bridge. Free time at Camlica Hill which offers 360° panoramic views of Istanbul overlooking the Sea of Marmara. Driving back to Europe, we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 250 rooms, 8 Turkish Baths the imperial residence of the last six Sultans, is sure to impress its visitors.
After breakfast check out & transfer to Istanbul Airport for Kayseri (Cappadocia) flight (1.2hr). Transfer(1hr) & check in to your cave hotel, which was first carved out in the landscape possibly 3000 years ago by its inhabitants. We start our day with a gentle hike through orchards, unusual volcanic rock formations, rock-cut houses at Red Valley & Pasabagi where you will find the world known fairy chimneys. Visit the old Christian Village of Cavusin where the village streets, houses, churches were dug entirely into the surrounding landscape. We will then drive to Avanos for lunch, a town on the banks of Kizilirmak (Red River) & the source of clay which local artisans have been using in their workshops since 2000 B.C. Then continue on to Goreme Open Air Museum where you will find numerous rock carved churches, monasteries decorated with striking frescoes from early Christianity. Our last stop today will be Uchisar panoramic view point with spectacular views of the moon like landscape. Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast, we will drive first to pigeon valley enroute to Derinkuyu. Throughout the Cappadocian plain pigeon lofts can be found near landmarks such as rock citadels which helped the pigeons navigate their way to deliver postal messages. We then visit the famous Derinkuyu Underground City, we'll walk through the underground city where an entire community of Christians lived in a system of subterranean caves & tunnels for centuries without being noticed. Afterwards a short hike through the green Ihlara Valley along the stream & visiting some of the churches dug into the walls of the gorge. Rock-cut churches, spread across a wild plantation, surprise you with their successfully painted representations from the Bible. Then continue on to Selime, a troglodyte city with rock cut churches of which the most important Cathedral has been hollowed out of the rocks on a rather elevated site for a panoramic view. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Free day at leisure. Possible activities;
1) Hot air balloon ride over the lunar landscape early in the morning
2) Horseback riding in the valleys
3) ATV 4*4 off road 2hr ride
Transfer to Kayseri by noon (1 hr) for the flight to Izmir at 15:35. Upon arrival to Izmir at 17:10 you will be transferred to Kusadasi (1hr). Check in to hotel. Kusadasi was much-frequented place of birds during the seasonal migrations, during Ottoman reign it was named as Kusadasi (Bird Island). Bird island is connected to the mainland with a mole. Centuries ago the island was used for securing the shores & for preventing the attacks from the sea. Today, it is an ideal place to watch the panoramic view of the city & the approaching & departing cruise liners. You can also sip your drink at one of the cafes on the island or shop at the nearby local markets. Overnight in Kusadasi.
After breakfast today we visit the Ancient City of Ephesus which is among one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world enabling one to genuinely 'soak in' the atmosphere of Roman times. A slow downhill guided tour will take you through the paved streets to see the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the five terraces of the apartment houses, the Steam Baths of Scholastika, the Temple of Hadrian & the impressive Library of Celsius. The Grand Theatre is where St. Paul preached & is the largest theatre in antiquity with a capacity of 25,000 seats. After lunch, we depart to visit the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to be brought here by St. John & have spent the last of her days. We will see the shrine & small chapel which is a pilgrimage sight just recently visited by Pope Benedict. A brief stop at the site where Artemis Temple once stood, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Overnight Kusadasi.
Early afternoon transfer to Izmir Airport for Istanbul flight (1hr), transfer to your Istanbul hotel upon arrival. Afternoon free at leisure. If you haven’t already seen the Grand Bazaar this is the perfect opportunity to visit (Kapalicarsi), worlds oldest shopping centre where you can shop or haggle with local merchants over unusual antiques, colourful spices, beautiful jewelry or carpets, richly textured fabrics & jus about anything. With over 4000 shops & several km's of lanes, as well as mosques, banks, police stations, restaurants & workshops, it’s a covered city all of its own. Overnight Istanbul.
Depending on your flight schedule, check out (12:00) from hotel & free day until your transfer to Istanbul Airport for your next flight.