Turkey(Istanbul / Cappadocia / Izmir / Kusadasi / Ephesus / Pamukkale)
Duration: 09 Days/ 08 Nights
Day 1 : Mumbai – Istanbul
- Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, depart for a half-day Bosphorus Cruise. Take in the sights and sounds of this legendary waterway lined with historic villages, grand wooden mansions, imposing fortresses, and the Baroque summer palaces of the late Ottoman sultans. After the cruise, visit the Spice Bazaar, a thrilling riot of colours, sounds, and the rich smells of exotic spices Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Istanbul
- We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Saint Sophia*. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets.The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar, was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style. Then we continue our tour at Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principle residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabolous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world, Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably one of the world’s finest collection of early Chinese ceramics, much of it gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison. We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest features of Topkapı Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees, and it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Last but by no means least, we visit the Rüstem Pasha Mosque, completed in 1563. A masterpiece designed by Sinan the Magnificent, it has the most exquisite and extensive Iznik tile decoration of any mosque in Istanbul. The large quantities of exquisite Iznik tiles, arranged in a wide variety of beautiful floral and geometric designs, as well as the spacious central courtyard, make this mosque a must-see Istanbul attraction. Overnight in Istanbul.
On Mondays, when Saint Sophia is closed, we visit the Chora Church, famed for its mosaics and frescoes.
- On Tuesdays, Topkapi Palace is closed .On Sundays, Grand Bazaar is closed.
Day 3 : Istanbul
- Cruise in Marmara Sea to Prince Islands, stop at Buyukada, the popular summer resort with sandy beaches and pinewood scenery, once the pleasure island of the Byzantine Princes. Tour of the island with horse-drawn carriages before lunch at a fish restaurant. In the afternoon return to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4 : Istanbul - Cappadocia
- Early in the morning transfer to airport to catch flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir. Upon landing transfer to Cappadocia .the Devrent Valley to see the unique fairy-chimneys. Drive to Pasabagi (Monk's Valley) to see the most interesting mushroom-shaped pinnacles. Drive to the city of Avanos. In the afternoon visit Open Air Museum at Goreme where the remains of rock-cut churches and Christian settlements date back hundreds of years. Lastly, before returning to your hotel, visit the natural castle at Uchisar. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5 : Cappadocia
- OPTIONAL BALLOON - After breakfast depart from the hotel for a tour with 4 kms hike through the Rose Valley with visits to the churches. Afterwards visit to the old Christian village of Cavusin. Stop for lunch near Pigeons Valley and then continue on to see the Kaymakli Underground City. You will also visit the Ortahisar natural rock castle. Transfer back to the hotels. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 6 : Cappadocia - Izmir - Kusadasi
- After breakfast transfer to airport to catch Izmir flight. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel, check-in and rest of the day free at leisure. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7 : Kusadasi - Ephesus - Kusadasi
- After breakfast depart for the sightseeing of Ephesus, the cradle of early Christianity. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent her last days. Proceed to visit Ephesus, and see the spectacular ruins from the period of St. Paul, some of which are recently excavated. After lunch, visit the Archaeological Museum,Temple of Diana (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world). Overnight in Kusadasi.
*** Archaeological Museum is closed because of under construction.
Day 8 : Kusadasi - Pamukkale - Kusadasi
- Drive to Pamukkale, “Cotton Castle”, famous for its healing thermal / mineral Baths and beautiful snow-white “petrified” waterfalls. After lunch, visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, including the magnificently preserved Necropolis, the main Street and Gates, the thermal Baths, the devil’s hole, and masterpiece theater. Pamukkale's terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs. In the afternoon, free time for swimming or a therapeutic bath in the hot spring mineral waters. Return to Kusadasi . Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 9 : Kusadasi - Izmir - Istanbul - Fly back
- After breakfast free till check-out (latest check-out time is 1200 hours) and departure transfer to the airport to catch the flight to the next destination via Istanbul.