Istanbul – Cappadocia 7 Days

Day 1
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2 – Sultanahmet – Old Istanbul (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit to Topkapi Palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed.(Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch break we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. At the end of the tour, at request, free time to see the Grand Covered Bazaar (except Sundays). *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise with St. (Haghia) Sophia & Beylerbeyi (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:45am
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market on the Golden Horn. Board your cruise of the Bosphorus, the waterway, which separates the continents of Europe and Asia. Pass Rumeli fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prepare for his conquest of Istanbul. Cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia and visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill for a magnificent view of Istanbul. Time for lunch in a seaside fish restaurant. Cruise is done by public boat unless other arrangements are made. Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Order of visits may be reversed.. Return to Hotel around 17:00pm (Option to fly to Cappadocia in the evening, please request!)

Day 4 - Istanbul- Cappadocia (B.L)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Take the early morning flight from Ataturk Airport in Istanbul to Cappadocia. Arrival at the airport and meeting just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name with your driver. Transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Drive to to Sahinefendi ( Sobesos )- Sobessos is newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides it’s frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Lunch break. Visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture. Visit to Saruhan Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. Continue with panorama of the Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations, is in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowd. Overnight Cappadocia

Day 5 – Cappadocia (B.L)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; a journey into the past with its troglodyte houses, visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Lunch in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight Cappadocia

Day 6 – Cappadocia (B.L) Please choose one of the options below:
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am

OPTION 1 : TURKISH VILLAGE LIFE & CULINARY TOUR Starting the day with a visit to local market ( available only on Monday, Friday and Saturdays ) or a morning walk to the fruit orchards of Ayvali Village. We will collect and taste fresh fruits from the trees (harvesting between June and October) or visit the cave storages for lemons and potatoes. The tour continues with a walk through the narrow streets of the village. Each door opens for an invitation as the villagers invite you for a cup of tea, a plate full of dessert or fruit from their house. Depending on the season, we join the villagers to learn and help make grape syrup , tomato sauce productions and pumpkin seed collecting. Visiting the local meeting point, Kahvehane,(coffeehouse) to learn more about their lifestyle and local games while drinking the Turkish coffee and tea.Visit the mosque in the village and learn more about the religious customs. For lunch, we are invited to a real village house to join a Turkish family. We’ll collect the ingredients from their garden and we will participate in cooking of the delicious Turkish meals. We are going to have the lunch by sitting together with the family in a traditional Turkish fashion. After the lunch, a walk through the beautiful hidden valley near the village. Drive to see a cave wine house to watch the process of making delicious and famous Cappadocia wine. Before going back to the hotel, there may be an optional stop to see an art and handicraft center of Cappadocia. Overnight Cappadocia

OPTION 2 : IHLARA CANYON HIKING Drive to Ihlara, walking thru Ihlara Canyon, a “mirage” in the Steps of Anatolia up to Belisirma village, the ancient Peristrema: “Valley of the Sky” along the Melendiz River. Rock-cut churches, spread across a wild plantation will surprise you with their successfully painted representations from the Bible. Lunch in Belisirma, a local restaurant by the river. Stop by Selime a village with cave houses at the end of the canyon and a “star wars” like landscape.

Day 7 – Cappadocia – Istanbul (B)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Transfer to Kayseri airport and leave Cappadocia- END OF SERVICES (B)

Abbreviations

B = Breakfast L= Lunch D = Dinner (Lunch excluded on private tours)

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