Day 01: Arrive Istanbul
This evening you are scheduled to arrive Istanbul International Airport. Once clearing through Customs & Immigration, you will be met & transfer to the hotel. Dinner is on your own.
Overnight: Novotel Hotel (2 nights)
Day 02: Istanbul
Start your day with the visits of the Blue Mosque, built between 1609 and 1616 for Sultan Ahmet I and inside is decorated with 21,043 tiles from Iznik in a dominant blue color; and the Hippodrome where political, cultural, and sports activities took place during Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman times. Embark on your cruise on the Bosphorus Strait that separates Asia from Europe and connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. You will get the best views of the city and most of the historical monuments in Istanbul. Lunch at a seafood restaurant along the sea. In the afternoon, visit the imposing Haghia Sophia, which marked the apogee of Byzantine Emperor Justinian's reign and you will end the day at the historical Grand Bazaar. Dinner is on your own. (B, L)
Day 03: Istanbul/Bolu (Drive)
In the morning visit the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman sultans from 15th to 19th centuries, with its treasures, terraces overlooking the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. Lunch during the sightseeing. In the afternoon, drive to Bolu.
Overnight: Koru Hotel (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 04: Bolu/Ankara/Cappadocia (Drive)
Drive to Ankara, the Turkish capital since 1923. Visit The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations for its rich and unique collections from the Hittites and the others who settled in Anatolia. Make a brief stop for taking pictures at the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey. After lunch, continue to Cappadocia.
Overnight: Mustafa Hotel (3 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 05: Cappadocia
Early in the morning, possibility to participate an optional Hot Air Balloon Ride over the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia. After breakfast, a full day tour to explore Cappadocia. Visit the Goreme Valley, an open-air museum with rock-cut churches (7th-13th centuries) adorned with biblical frescoes. Learn about the art and crafts of rural Turkey at a handicraft center, and attend a lecture on Turkish hand-made rugs. Drive back to hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Underground City, a multi-level labyrinth for protection during invasions. Admire the impressive rock formations at sunset. (Possibility of an optional folklore show with dinner). (B, L)
Day 06: Cappadocia
In the morning, depart to Soganli Valley to visit its rock-cut churches. Barbecue lunch in Soganli. In the afternoon visit the Avcilar Valley and the Kiliçlar Valley with their old cave-dwellings and fairy chimneys. Photo stops at Uchisar and Pigeon Valley, best vista points on the way to the hotel Dinner and overnight at hotel. (Possibility to participate to an optional Ceremony of Whirling Dervishes). (B, L, D)
Day 07: Cappadocia/Konya/Sagalasso (Drive)
After breakfast, drive to Konya. En route, visit the Sultanhan Caravanserai, a hotel for merchants during the Seljuk period (13th century) on the Silk Road. In Konya, visit the Museum of Mevlana, the famous mystic poet, and founder of the Sufi Order of the Whirling Dervishes. After lunch, continue to Sagalassos.
Overnight: Sagalassos Lodge Hotel (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 08: Sagalassos/Perge/Aspendos/Antalya
In the morning, visit Sagalassos - Greco-Roman city, a recently excavated archeological gem of Turkey. Continue to Antalya for lunch. In the afternoon, two magnificent Roman sites are on our agenda; Aspendos with the best preserved Roman Theater and Perge, a spectacular Greco-Roman city. On the way to Antalya, discover the tradition of jewelry making on this soil while visiting one of the largest jewelers of Turkey. (B, L, D)
Day 09: Antalya/Pamukkale
Leaving Antalya, travel over the Taurus Mountains to Pamukkale. Admire the surreal landscape at the “Cotton Castle” of Pamukkale with its white terraces of limestone deposited by thermal waters through the ages. See the ancient spa, Hierapolis, still used today. Discover the necropolis, one of the largest cemeteries from antiquity to the present.
Overnight: Tripolis Hotel (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 10: Pamukkale/Aphrodisias/Selcuk/Kusadasi
Drive to Aphrodisias, the ancient site dedicated to the goddess of beauty, love, and fertility. Appreciate Anatolia’s best-preserved stadium. At this site, which drew artisans to its famous school of sculpture, enjoy the Temple of Aphrodite, the Tetrapylon and the Theater. Following lunch, continue to Selcuk to enjoy a mini fashion-show, which let us appreciate the fine quality of leather production in Turkey.
Overnight: Kalehan Hotel (2 nights) (B, L, D)
Day 11: Kusadasi/Ephesus/Kusadasi
After breakfast, discovery of another World Heritage; Ephesus. The site today is one of the best places of the world to visualize an ancient Roman city: Explore the Marble Street, Agora, Odeon, and Theater, as well as the Fountain of Trajan, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Library of Celsius. View the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After lunch, drive to Sirince Village with its old 19th century Greek houses which have been restored to its original content. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Kusadasi/Pergamum/Troy/Canakkale
In the morning, depart for Pergamum, the capital of the Attalid dynasty. Visit this ancient city where parchment was invented. Highlights include the Acropolis with the ruins of the agoras, temples, palaces, the library which contained 200,000 volumes, the podium on which stood the Zeus Altar which was sent to Berlin, and the impressive theatre built into the steep hillside which provides a wonderful panorama of the surroundings. In the lower part of the ancient city, visit the Asclepion, a sanctuary and a healing center dedicated to the god of healing, Asclepius. Lunch and drive to explore the ancient city of Troy whose history covers a period of about 3,400 years with nine layers of settlements. A reconstruction of the infamous Trojan Wooden Horse stands at the entrance of the site. Continue to Canakkale for overnight.
Overnight: Akol Hotel (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 13: Canakkale/Istanbul
In the morning, cross the Strait of the Dardanelles by ferry to Gallipoli and depart to Istanbul. Lunch on the way. Free time in istanbul in the afternoon. Farewell dinner.
Overnight: Novotel Hotel (1 night) (B, L, D)
Day 14: Departure Istanbul
Check out by 1100 hrs. Transfer to the airport for your flight out. (B)