GUARANTEED DEPARTURES: Classical Highlights

Tour Code :PER051GDT
City :ANATOLIAN TOUR
Tour Name :Classical Highlights
Tour Dates :ARRIVE ANKARA ANY SATURDAY
Duration :8 Nights | 9 Days
Available Languages :EN

ANKARA (1 Nts) - CAPPADOCIA (2 Nts) - KONYA - PAMUKKALE (1 Nts) - KUSADASI (1 Nts) - ISTANBUL (3 Nts)

See the classical highlights of Turkey on this ultimate 9-days tour from Ankara! Visit the country's cultural capital - Istanbul - to see its top attractions like the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museum. Stroll through the mesmerizing lunar landscape of Cappadocia, ancient ruins of Ephesus and Hierapolis. See incredible travertine at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pamukkale. With airport or hotel-to-hotel transfers plus eight nights of first class accommodation included, this tour enables you to see Turkey’s impressive highlights with ease and comfort.

Day 1 - SATURDAY | ANKARA | 1 Night

ARRIVAL

Arrival at Ankara International Airport; meet and greet and be transferred to the hotel for overnight.

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

Day 2 - SUNDAY | ANKARA | CAPPADOCIA (2 Nights)

ATATURK MAUSOLEUM, ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATION MUSEUM | DRIVE TO CAPPADOCIA

Breakfast at the hotel, pick up from the lobby and drive to the tour starting point

Visit 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, Anatolian Civilization Museum (closed on Mondays) of Ankara that has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archeology. 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.
Have lunch at one of the local restaurants on the way.
After the lunch, drive to Cappadocia (approx. 4 hours). Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

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

DAY 3 - MONDAY | CAPPADOCIA

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

After breakfast at the hotel depart to visit the Pigeon Valley and the natural citadel of Uchisar, followed by the Göreme 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 4 - TUESDAY | CAPPADOCIA | KONYA | PAMUKKALE | 1 Night

DRIVE TO KONYA| MEVLANA MAUSOLEUM | DRIVE TO PAMUKKALE

Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Konya. En route, visit the 13th century Seljuk Caravanserai Sultan Hani, 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, 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 5 - WEDNESDAY | PAMUKKALE | KUSADASI | 1 Night

ANCIENT 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 6 - THURSDAY | FULL DAY TOUR OF EPHESUS | FLIGHT TO ISTANBUL | 3 Nights

EPHESUS OPEN AIR MUSEUM, ST.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. After the tour, be transferred to Izmir airport for a short, 1 hour flight to Istanbul.

Upon arrival in Istanbul, be transferred to the hotel for overnight

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

DAY 7 - FRIDAY | ISTANBUL

BOSPHORUS 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, locum (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 longest and the massive Rumeli Fortress, the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultan’s fanciful palace of Dolmabahçe Palace, 
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 and was built in 1973.
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. Hera one can admire the elaborate furniture and decoration as Hereke silk carpets, Bohemian crystal chandeliers, French clocks, vases from China and some superb murals. Return to the European side and to the hotel for overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 - SATURDAY | ISTANBUL

HIPPODROME, HAGIA SOPHIA, BLUE MOSQUE, GRAND BAZAAR, TOPKAPI PALACE, LITTLE HAGIA SOPHIA

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 and the central square of ancient Byzantium. Stroll around this witness of the bygone epochs and see the impressive granite Obelisk of Theodosius, so-called Serpentine Column, the Colossus or the column of Constantine Porphyrgenitus; the German Fountain or Fountain of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Later, visit Hagia Sophia Cathedral Museum (closed on Mon between end Oct & beginning Apr), the church of Holy Wisdom is considered one of the greatest architectural creations in the world. Nowhere is Istanbul's exceptional status as former capital of both the Christian and Islamic empires more evident than in this monumental basilica crowned with four minarets. Built by the Emperor Justinian circa AD 535, it was converted to a mosque by the conquering Ottoman armies in 1453.
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 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 (closed on Tuesdays), the Great Palace of the Ottoman Sultans and the most extensive and fascinating monument of Ottoman civil architecture in existence.It contains as a museum, superb and unrivalled collections of porcelains, armour, fabrics, jewels, illuminated manuscripts, calligraphy and many objects of art formerly belonging to the Sultans. Topkapi was built between 1459 and 1465 as the seat of government of the newly installed Ottoman regime. The highlights of the museum are the Imperial Treasury, Royal Kitchens and Pavilion of Sacred Relics.
Tour will be completed by visiting the Little Hagia Sophia Mosque, formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus, a former Eastern Orthodox Church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire. Return to the hotel for overnight.

Meal (s): Buffet Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9 - SUNDAY | ISTANBUL | ...

DEPARTURE

Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning bid a fond farewell to this wonderful city 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
- 8 nights of accommodation at the featured hotels or similar with buffet breakfast daily
- 7 lunches during the tours
- 4 dinners at the hotels outside of Istanbul
- One Way Transfer to/from domestic flight in Istanbul

EXCLUDES

- Any personal expenses
- Meals unless specified above and any kind of drinks except for tea/coffee/juice during breakfast
- Transfers on the first and last days of the trip
- Airfare Izmir - Istanbul
- Tips & gratuities
- Optional activities & services 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. Note 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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*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.

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Kaktüs Tourism Travel Agency - Pera Air and Tourism
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