CLASSICAL TURKEY AND CAPADOCCIA
FIRST DAY: ISTANBUL ARRIVAL
Arrival Istanbul airport. Meet & greet with a local representative and bus drive to the city, where two continents meet. Overnight in the hotel.
SECOND DAY: ISTANBUL – ANKARA
Bus drive to the capital of Turkey – Ankara. On arrival visit archeological museum of Anataolina civilisations, fortress and mosque Haji Bayram. Dinner, overnight in the hotel.
THIRD DAY: ANKARA – HATTUSA – CAPADOCCIA – AVANOS
Breakfast. Bus drive direction Hattusa, former capital of Hittit empire and to Yazilikaya (Turkish for “inscribed rock”). Yazilikaya was a sanctuary of Hattusa. Most impressive today are the rock-cut reliefs portraying the gods from the Hittite pantheon. There were also shrines built adjacent to the rocks. Visit old city, double walls, Lion gate and shrines. Afternoon travel to the central Capadoccia. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Avanos.
FORT DAY: CAPADOCCIA (AVANOS – GÖREME – ZELVE – URGUP)
Full day visit of Capadoccia, »The Moon land«: The natural rock citadel of Uçhisar is the tallest point in Cappadocia, visible for a great distance from the region’s other towns such as Ürgüp and Avanos; visit open air museum in Göreme where soft rocks were carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from this period. Short stop in typical turhish village Urgup, known by rock dwellings. Dinner, overnight in the hotel. We invite you to join as to visit a typical turkish night club firth folclore and belly dancers.
FIFTH DAY: CAPADOCCIA – DERINKUYU – KONYA
After breakfast bus drive to Konya. On the way visit underground city of Derinkuyu. With its eleven floors extending to a depth of approximately 85 m, it was large enough to shelter thousands of people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is part of a network of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia. Stop in canyon Ihlara, the longest, deepest and most famous valley of Cappadocia. Ihlara canyon has 105 cave churches and monasteries, out of which approximately 20 have Byzantine frescos on the interior. In addition to this, there are over 1000 old cave dwellings and pigeon houses. Visit Sultanhani Kervansaray, where stopped travelers and merchants, travelling by »the silk road«. Arrival to Konya, former capital of Seljuk empire. Visit mosque and mausoleum of Mevlana. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
SIXTH DAY: KONYA – PAMUKKALE
After breakfast bus drive by Beysehir and Egirdir lakes direction Pamukkale. Arrival to Pamukkale – ”cotton castle«, one of Turkey’s top attractions and a precious in the world with its cotton-look terraces. Visti famous cotton-look terraces and Hierapolis, the ancient Greek city on top of hot springs. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi, including the Sarcophagus of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dinner, overnight in the hotel.
SEVENTH DAY: PAMUKKALE – EFES – IZMIR – BERGAMA
Bus drive to Selčuk – Efes, an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor. Visit one of the reachest and the most important ancient towns: the city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Basilica of St. John, was built in the 6th century AD, under emperor Justinian, the house of the Virgin Mary, is believed to have been the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus. Afternoon panoramic drive through Izmir, former Smyrna and evening arrival to Bergama. Dinner, overnight in the hotel.
EITGH DAY: BERGAMA – BURSA
Morning visit Pergamon, ancient Greek city in Mysia and capital of Kingdom of Pergamon where the second best library in the ancient Greek civilization was established. The library at Pergamon was believed to contain 200,000 volumes, which Mark Antony later gave to Cleopatra as a wedding present. Visit Acropolis with tempels and the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of healing. In this place people with health problems could bathe in the water of the sacred spring, and in the patients’ dreams Asclepius would appear in a vision to tell them how to cure their illness. Galen was born here. After the visit bus drive to Bursa, the first capital of Otoman empire, »town of silk« or »Green Bursa«. Traditionally, Bursa was famous for being the largest center of silk trade in the Byzantine and later the Ottoman empires, during the period of the lucrative Silk Road. Visit the Green mosque, the architectural gem commissioned by Sultan Mehmet I Çelebi and finished in 1424, set on a promontory overlooking the valley. It takes its name from the green-blue tiles of the interior. Later on visit Green mausoleum of Mehmed I. covered entirely in blue green tiles and hence the name Green Mausoleum was given to it. Dinner, overnight in the hotel.
NINTH DAY: BURSA – BOSPHORus STRAIT – ISTANBUL
Bus drive to Istanbul. We will cross by ferry the Gulf of Sea of Marmara and after crossing the evroasian bridge above Bosphorus strait arrive to Istanbul. Visit of the major cultural and historical monuments of two Empires, Eastern Roman and Ottoman. Sultanahmet area with Blue mosque, Aya Sofya – now museum and the most famous monument in Istanbul but in 6.century the biggest Christian church on the world; former Hippodrome and Topkapi palace (Topkapi Saray) from where Otoman Sultans ruled the empire more that 400 years. Overnight in hotel.
TENTH DAY: ISTANBUL DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and flight back home.