GUARANTEED DEPARTURES: Best of Turkey

Tour Code :PER050GDT
City :ANATOLIAN TOUR
Tour Name :Best of Turkey
Tour Dates :ARRIVE ISTANBUL ANY THURSDAY
Duration :10 Nights | 11 Days
Available Languages :EN

ISTANBUL (3 Nts) - CAPPADOCIA (2 Nts) - PAMUKKALE (1 Nts) - KUSADASI (2 Nts) - CANAKKALE (1 Nts) - ISTANBUL (1 Nts)

Experience the best of Turkey. From the magnificent Hagia Sophia in bustling Istanbul to the underground city of Kaymakli in Cappadocia and the excavations of ancient Troy to the "Cotton Castle" springs near Pamukkale; explore the diversity of this ancient land.

Day 1 - THURSDAY |ISTANBUL | 3 nights

Arrival

Arrival at Ataturk International airport.
Optional: meet and greet and be transferred to the hotel for overnight.
Transfer to the Hotel along the Sea of Marmara with orientation en-route (according to traffic, from 30 to 45 minutes…). The panorama of the seaside transfer road is really beautiful: drive along the Sea of Marmara, where hundreds of cargo ships anchor, waiting to sail through the straits of the Bosphorus. The shoreline is made up of a series of gardens and tea-houses.

Meal (s): No Meals
Hotel (s): MF* (see hotel class key below)

Day 2 | FRIDAY |ISTANBUL

INTRODUCTION TO BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN HERITAGE

Breakfast at the hotel, pick up from the lobby for a full day tour.
This tour covers the main sites, which belong both to Byzantine & Ottoman Empire periods and are located around Sultanahmet Square: the former Imperial Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, which once could hold 100.000 spectators and features objects from all corners of the Empire.
Stroll around this witness of the bygone epochs and see the impressive granite Obelisk of Theodosius carved in Egypt around 1450 BC; so-called Serpentine Column, the three intertwined bronze serpents form the column; the Colossus or the column of Constantine Porphyrgenitus; the German Fountain or Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II that commemorates the alliance of German Empire and Ottoman Empire against the allied powers of Russia, Great Britain, France and Japan before the World War I.
Next, see Hagia Sophia Cathedral Museum (closed Mon between end Oct - beginning Apr), the church of Holy Wisdom built by the Emperor Justinian circa AD 535, it was converted to a mosque by the conquering Ottoman armies in 1453. For a thousand years its dome was the largest in the world - 30 m in diameter, surpassed only in the 16th century with the construction of St Peter's in Rome.
Directly facing Hagia Sophia, rises another architectural masterpiece, the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet or better known as Blue Mosque, perhaps the most instantly recognizable and unforgettable silhouette on Istanbul's skyline. It was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 1600s to rival the grand old lady of Christianity. Peek inside to see the wall-to-wall over 20,000 glazed blue porcelain Iznik tiles, predominantly in shades of blue, that have given the mosque its popular name.
Then, spend some time on the Istanbul’s legendary Grand Covered Bazaar (closed on Sundays), a labyrinth of over 4,000 little shops, occupying 30.7 hectares. It is everything one dreams an oriental market could be and indeed one of the most fascinating and irresistible attractions of Istanbul. Established by Mehmet the Conqueror in mid-15th century, it is a small city in itself. Its shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, icons, and leather goods.
After having lunch at one of the local restaurants visit the Topkapi Palace Museum (closed on Tuesdays), the Great Palace of the Ottoman Sultans built between 1459 and 1465 as the seat of government of the newly installed Ottoman regime. It contains superb and unrivalled collections of porcelains, armour, fabrics, jewels, illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy and many objects of art formerly belonging to the Sultans.The highlights of the museum are the Imperial Treasury, Palace Kitchens and Sacred Relicts Pavilion.
Tour will be completed by visiting the Little Hagia Sophia Mosque, formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus erected in the 6th century by Justinian, is a former Eastern Orthodox Church converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire.Return to the hotel for overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 | SATURDAY | ISTANBUL

BOSPHORUS TRIP AND CITY ON TWO CONTINENTS

Breakfast at the hotel, pick up from the lobby for a full day tour.
Your first visit will be to hustling and bustling Spice Market, also known as Egyptian Bazaar, built in 1665. Spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles fill most of the shops.
Then, walk to the nearest pier to take a regular touristic ferryboat that will take you for 1h30m enjoyable trip on the Bosphorus Strait. From your cruise boat, you will view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus’ wooded shores: mosques, the Bosphorus Bridge that for a time was the world’s longest and the massive Rumeli Hisari, a fortress built by Fatih the Conqueror in just three months as he did preparations to conquer  Istanbul. The 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultan’s fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges; most famous of them is Dolmabahçe Palace, yet another residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Pass by the Ortakoy area with its restaurants, bars and cafes. It was also an area were, through centuries three religions have peacefully coexisted: there are still active church, mosque & synagogue at the same area.
After lunch at one of the local restaurants, drive via the Intercontinental Bosphorus Bridge to the Asian Continent. The First Bosphorus Bridge is one of the two bridges in Istanbul, spanning the Bosphorus strait and thus connecting Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus Bridge had the 4th longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1973, and the longest outside the United States. At present, it is the 19th longest suspension bridge span in the world.
While on the Asia Side, enjoy an absolutely magnificent site of the whole city from the Çamlica Hill, the highest natural point in Istanbul, at about 267 meters above sea level. The panorama around embraces the Bosphorus almost as far as the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea with the Princes Islands, and behind that, the great snow covered ridge of  Mt.Uludag, the Bithynian Olympus.
Next, visit the Beylerbeyi Palace Museum (closed on Mondays & Thursdays), a famous summer residence of Ottoman Sultans, built on the Asian side in 1861-65 of white marble to host Princess Eugenie (Napoleon III’ wife) on her long visit in Constantinople. In recent years the palace has been splendidly restored, one can admire the elaborate furniture and decoration as Hereke silk carpets, Bohemian crystal chandeliers, French clocks, vases from China and some superb murals.After the tour, be transferred back to the hotel.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4 | SUNDAY| ISTANBUL - ANKARA - CAPPADOCIA | 2 nights

FLIGHT TO ANKARA| TOUR OF ANKARA| DRIVE TO CAPPADOCIA

After early breakfast at the hotel (or package breakfast), transfer to Domestic Airport for a short, 1 hour flight to Ankara. Flight arrives in Ankara 08:30. Upon arrival meet & greet and transfer to the tour starting point.
Start your tour of the capital of the modern Turkish Republic visiting Atatürk Mausoleum, the resting place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of today’s secular Turkish Republic and one of the great figures of the 20th century and the father of the modern Republic of Turkey.
Then continue to Anatolian Civilization Museum (closed on Mondays) of Ankara that has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archaeology. They start with the Paleolithic era, and continue chronologically through early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, and Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods.

After the tour, have lunch at one of the local restaurants on the way and drive to Cappadocia (approx. 4 hours). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Meal (s): Package Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel (s): FC* (see hotel class key below)

Day 5 | MONDAY | CAPPADOCIA

PIGEON VALLEY, UCHISAR CASTLE, GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM, KAYMAKLI UNDERGROUND CITY, AVANOS

After breakfast at the hotel depart to visit the Pigeon Valley and the natural citadel of Uchisar, followed by the Goreme Open Air Museum, a complex of several painted cave-churches. Visit some caves on the cliffs to see Byzantine frescoes decorating early Christian churches.
Have lunch at one of the local restaurants. In the afternoon, visit Kaymakli Underground City, carved out of rocks by early Christians to evade invading armies and completely self-contained. More than 200 people lived on each of seven floors with the last one 250 feet underground; then, Avanos Village. You have some free time here for shopping. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 | TUESDAY | CAPPADOCIA - KONYA - PAMUKKALE | 1 night

DRIVE TO KONYA | SULTANHANI CARAVANSERAI, MEVLANA MAUSOLEUM | DRIVE TO PAMUKKALE

Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Konya. En route, visit the 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai Sultanhani, an ancient fortified way station, where caravans found safety during night.
Continue to Konya and visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana. After lunch at the local restaurant in Konya, continue to Pamukkale, called the cotton fortress, which rises above the fertile Menderes Valley. Hot mineral waters burst from the earth and cascade over steep cliffs forming pools, channels and stalactites. The therapeutic waters here are known for ages. Arrive in Pamukkale for dinner and overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Hotel (s): FC* (see hotel class key below)

Day 7 | WEDNESDAY| PAMUKKALE - KUSADASI | 2 nights

HIERAPOLIS, APHRODISIAS | DRIVE TO KUSADASI

Breakfast at the hotel and depart to visit the ruins of ancient Hierapolis, a place with amazing hot mineral springs and spas, where Paul introduces Christianity to the local population. Visit the ruins of one of the largest Roman cities in Asia Minor. See the amphitheater, the city gates, and the columned streets, in an area of over one mile.
Continue to the Aphrodisias, one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey. Dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess and then the Greek goddess Aphrodite, it was the site of a magnificent Temple of Aphrodite and the home of a renowned school of marble sculpture. Aphrodisias also offers ruins of a large theater, a stadium and other structures, as well as an on-site museum displaying artifacts. Have a lunch at one of the local restaurants and then, drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Hotel (s): MF* (see hotel class key below)

Day 8 | THURSDAY | KUSADASI

EPHESUS OPEN AIR MUSEUM, SAINT JOHN BASILICA, HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant and depart for today’s visits and see the Ephesus Open Air Museum, the only Greco-Roman site in the world that gives an idea of the grandeur of bygone centuries. Ephesus is another city of the Seven Churches of the Revelation and an ancient largest port with a population over 250.000. The city played major role in the development of architecture, religions, economic systems and arts. St. Paul lived here, and walked through the marble streets. Tour the ancient city with its legendary marble streets, the magnificent theater, Hadrian’s temple and the library of Celsius.
Next, visit Saint John Basilica; it is believed that the evangelist St.John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of Saint Paul, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century. The church of St John was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527 -565 AD). The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes.
After having lunch at one of the local restaurants, continue to the House of Virgin Mary, now Chapel. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote place rather than living in crowded place.
Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 | FRIDAY| KUSADASI - PERGAMUM - ANAKKALE |1 night

ASCLEPION OF PERGAMUM, DRIVE TO ANAKKALE

Breakfast at the hotel restaurant and drive to visit Bergama (ancient Pergamum). Parchment was invented here. The library once held 200,000 books - all parchment. This was the hometown of Galen, renowned doctor and surgeon and site of his temple devoted to healing. Visit the Asclepion.
After lunch continue to Çanakkale for dinner and overnight. 

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Hotel (s): MF* (see hotel class key below)

Day 10 | SATURDAY | ANAKKALE - ISTANBUL |1 night

SITE OF ANCIENT TROY, GALLIPOLI WW I MEMORIAL | DRIVE TO ISTANBUL

Breakfast at the hotel and first, visit Troy, the immortal city of the legendary Helen of Troy and Trojan Horse; this was destroyed and rebuilt nine times. Then, depart for Istanbul by crossing the Dardanelles Strait.
On the way, stop to visit the site of the Gallipoli Historic National Park and Battlefields (upon request), which commemorates the Gallipoli Campaign, now considered a defining moment in the modern history of not only Turkey but of Australia and New Zealand as well. Arrival to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast 
Hotel (s): MF* (see hotel class key below)

Day 11 | SUNDAY | ISTANBUL -

DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the hotel. This morning bid a fond farewell to this wonderful country as your memorable holiday comes to an end.
Optional: transfer to Ataturk Airport for your outbound flight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast

INCLUDES

- Transportation in fully air-conditioned, non-smoking vehicle through the itinerary
- Professional English-speaking tour guide throughout
- Entrance fees to the museums featured on this itinerary
- 10 nights of accommodation at the featured hotels or similar with buffet breakfast daily
- 8 lunches during the tours
- 6 dinners at the hotels outside of Istanbul
- Airfare Istanbul - Ankara in economy class
- One Way Transfer to/from domestic flight Istanbul & Ankara

EXCLUDES

- Any personal expenses
- Meals unless specified above and any kind of drinks except for tea/coffee/juice during breakfast at the hotels
- Transfers on the first and last days of the trip
- Tips & gratuities
- Optional activities cost
- Turkish visa fee
- Travel and Health insurance

NOTES

Airport Transfers
Pera-Kaktüs Travel pleased to offer complimentary airport transfers at any time either on the first or last day of the holiday or on other days in conjunction with pre- and post trip accommodation booked through Pera-Kaktüs Travel.
ote that flight times must be provided to Pera-Kaktüs Travel no fewer than 21 days before flight departure.

Domestic Flights
All featured domestic flights are indicative; the airline and flight number can change on the time of the actual booking but the flight times will be similar or very close to those featured on the itinerary.  

Disclaimer
- These prices are LAND-ONLY. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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- This is a scheduled motor-coach group
- Group might consist of up to 40 people
- Group might include the people of different nationalities, cultures, ages and interests
- The regular tour is of a good value, but may not be the best choice for those who have special interests and/or concerns about keeping up with, or being held back by, a group.
- Touring is paced to allow the average traveler reasonable time to enjoy each site

*Hotel Class Key
- ST = Superior Tourist (3*), MF = Moderate First Class (classic boutique, ranked as 4*), FC = First Class (4*), SF= Superior First Class (5* classic or boutique ranked as 5*), MD = Moderate Deluxe (5* Deluxe), and D = Deluxe (5* Boutique or Luxury)
- Hotels are subject to change.
- Twin-share option is not available for trips unless you travel with your own partner or travel companion.

- Star ratings are used to symbolize the overall quality, level of service, food standard and range of facilities available in any given property. They may differ from international standards but the outlines in our "Terms & Conditions" section (clause 13) will give a general understanding of what can typically be expected within each category: (THESE RATINGS ARE FOR GUIDANCE PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT A GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY OF ANY KIND BY PERA AIR AND TOURISM). 

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Kakts Tourism Travel Agency - Pera Air and Tourism
Cumhuriyet Mah. Nakiye Elgn Sok. No: 22 Osmanbey Apt. D.1 ili 34380 Istanbul / Turkey
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