GETAWAYS: Istanbul & Cappadocia

Tour Code :PER046GAW
City :ISTANBUL
Tour Name :Istanbul & Cappadocia
Tour Dates :ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL ANY DAY
Duration :4 Nights | 5 Days
Available Languages :EN

WONDERS CREATED BY PEOPLE AND NATURE

This program gives you a good opportunity to visit two most unique places of Turkey, one of which is a creation of human genius, the other - a masterpiece of the Mother-nature; Istanbul and Cappadocia.
Istanbul, a country inside the country, draws millions of visitors every year offering inexhaustible treasures of history & architecture, while Cappadocia combines the bizarre handmade structures of rock-cut churches, monasteries and underground dwellings, and erratic natural formations of fairy chimneys.

Day 1 - ISTANBUL | 2 Nights

ARRIVAL

Arrival in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, make your own way to the hotel for overnight

Meal (s): no meals
Hotel (s): ST, FC, SF, MF * (see hotel class key below) 

Day 2 | ISTANBIL

DOLMABAHCE PALACE MUSEUM, YILDIZ ROYAL GARDENS, BOSPHORUS CRUISE, EYUP DISTRICT, CABLE CAR RIDE

Breakfast at the hotel and join a full day tour in Istanbul.

First visit will be to the Dolmabahce Palace Museum (closed on Mon & Thu), a recent residence for Ottoman Sultans built by two Ottoman architects Karabet and Nikogos Balyan on a 110.000 m² area and served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. Famous with great collection of European antiquity, furniture and 4.5 tons chandelier, the palace has 285 rooms and 46 halls.

Next, see the Yildiz Royal Garden, a nice oxygen break from the noise and rat-race of the city. Take a walk in the imperial gardens ornamented with some kioks and beautiful vegetation in the middle of Istanbul. Witness the beauty of Yıldız Royal Garden as reminder of the formidable Ottoman Empire.

Lunch will be provided at one of the Turkish local restaurants.

After lunch drive to the 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 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 Ortaköy 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.

Then drive along the coast line of the Golden Horn, the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbor of the historical peninsula separating the old and the new parts of İstanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantines. The residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-Muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history at Balat viewing Metal Church of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), Fener Orthodox Patriarchate and 22 km Long Byzantine City Walls, strongest fortification of the middle age. Then, take a Cable car (funicular) to Pierre Loti. After tour, return to the hotel for overnight.

Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3 | ISTANBUL | CAPPADOCIA | 2 Nights

HIPPODROME, HAGIA SOPHIA, BLUE MOSQUE, GRAND BAZAAR| FLIGHT TO CAPPADOCIA

After breakfast join a half day tour of the City Old Quarters and first, visit Hagia Sophia Cathedral Museum (closed on Mon between end of Oct & beginning of Apr). The church of Holy Wisdom built by the Emperor Justinian circa AD 535, is undoubtedly 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. 
Then, stroll through the former Imperial Hippodrome and see the impressive granite Obelisk of Theodosius carved in Egypt around 1450 BC; so-called Serpentine Column, brought from the Temple of Apollo Delphi Greece; 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.

Directly facing Hagia Sophia, raises another architectural masterpiece, the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet or better known as Blue Mosque (closed on Fridays morning & will be visited afternoon), 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.
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 the tour, be transferred to the domestics for a flight to Cappadocia; TK2020 departs IST 17:10/ arrives ASR 18:35. 
Upon arrival meet and greet and transfer to the hotel for overnight

Meal (s): Breakfast
Hotel (s): ST, MF, SF * (see hotel class key below) 

Day 4 | CAPPADOCIA

GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM, DERVENT VALLEY, PASABAG, VILLAGE OF AVANOS

Breakfast at the hotel and join the tour to explore one of the most unusual landscape in the world and first visit Göreme open air museum, a nicely packaged instant version of what the whole area has to offer with its bizarre and charming churches and chapels carved into stone. It also holds the region's best collection of painted cave churches.

Next, see Devrent Valley, which is also known as Imaginary Valley and also as Pink Valley does not have cave churches like the other valleys of Cappadocia. There are no Roman castles or Roman tombs in Devrent Valley, either. Actually it was never inhabited. So what makes it so famous?  The lunar landscape!.

Then on to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” with twin and even triples rock caps. This style is unique even for Cappadocia and these “fairy chimneys” are named mushroom shaped fairy chimneys.

Lunch will be provided at one of the Turkish local restaurants.
Then, stop at the artisans’ village of Avanos. This village is famous for its’ red pottery and traditional Turkish carpets. In one of the most famous potteries guests will first see a demonstration from the professionals before they will have a chance to make their own ‘Symbol of art’ – let that artist free inside you!
At the carpet factory guests will be introduced to the fascinating process of the weaving of the famous Turkish carpets and then, enjoy unforgettable show of the demonstration of the most beautiful sample. Return to the hotel for overnight

Meal (s): Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 | CAPPADOCIA | ISTANBUL | DEPARTURE

UNDERGROUND CITY, RED VALLEY, PIGEON VALLEY, CAVUSIN VILLAGE, ORTAHISAR TOWN

Breakfast at the hotel and join another day tour of this fascinating region. Our first visit will be to the Red Valley where you explore the famous rock-cut churches and hike 2 km through the Gulludere Valley.
Then, visit a small village of Cavusin. Like many ancient villages of Cappadocia, old Cavusin was abandoned several decades ago due to avalanches. The current village of Cavusin is located on the road. Old Cavusin, with its rock-cut dwellings and stone houses, had several hermitages. The two most important churches in Cavusin are the Great Basilica dedicated to St. John the Baptist located on the cliff above the village, and the Great Pigeon House commemorating a visit of the famous Cappadocian Emperor Nicephorus Phocas. The beautiful and elegantly carved facades of the houses of old Cavusin furnish evidence of how impressive the village once was.

Have lunch at one of the local restaurants and continue to the Pigeon Valley, one of the most amazing places ever been seen; the rock formations, combined with awe inspiring views. The Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia consists of plenty of pigeon houses. In ancient days, pigeons were trained in this region to deliver letters and messages which was a major mode of communication. The pigeon droppings were also used as fuel and fertilizers. Travellers come to this place to see a wide variety of architectural structures constructed amidst the idyllic landscape, which makes them a magnificent sight. Chimneys have been craved in the rocks. The chimneys consist of caves which were used as hiding places for Christians who escaped from the Romans.
Continue to one of the Underground cities that, like other underground structures was carved out underneath a rock hill where the local people found refuge during the invasions. Not for claustrophobic
Our last stop will be in the village of Ortahisar, which means middle castle and is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named. This 90m high natural fortress, a prominent landmark in the region, offers a magnificent panorama over the fairy chimneys of Hallacdere and the snowy peak of Mt. Erciyes. 
After the tour be transferred to the airport for a flight to Istanbul, TK2015 departs ASR 19:45, arrives IST 21:20.

Upon arrival in Istanbul either make your own arrangements or choose extension of our services (i.e. hotel booking, transfer, extension tour packages, etc.)

Meal (s): Breakfast, Lunch

INCLUDES

- Professional English speaking guide on the tours
- Entrance fees to the museums featured on the itinerary
- 4 nights of accommodation at the featured hotels or similar with an open buffet breakfast daily
- 4 lunches at the local Turkish restaurants during the tours (all drinks are excluded)
- Airport transfers for domestic flights in Istanbul & Cappadocia

EXCLUDES

- Any personal expenses
- Meals unless specified above and any kind of drinks except for tea/coffee/juice during breakfast
- Airport transfers on the first & the last day of the trip
- Airfare Istanbul - Cappadocia - Istanbul
- Tips and 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. Note that flight times must be provided to Pera-Kaktüs Travel no fewer than 21 days before flight departure.

Air
All featured 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 MINI group
- Group might consist maximum of 16 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

Please note: 
- On Mondays, when Hagia Sophia is closed, we visit the Yerebatan Museum (the Underground Roman Cisterns), built by Emperor Justinian in 532, possibly as an enlargement of an earlier cistern of Constantine. The vast awesome columned cavern was the water source for both the Grand Palace of the Byzantine and for the Ottoman’s Topkapi Palace. It is 140 meters long by 70 meters wide with 336 columns. 
- In winter the Dolmabahçe (Bezm-i Alem Valide) Mosque is visited instead of the Yildiz Royal Gardens 
- Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, during Ramadan Festivities (5-6-7 July 2016), Kurban Festivities (12-13-14-15 September 2016), National Republic Day (29 October 2016), and will be replaced by other authentic shops. 
- Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar is closed during Ramadan Festivities (5-6-7 July 2016) & Kurban Festivities (12-13-14-15 September 2016) 
- Other languages are available with an extra fee upon request

*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), MD = Moderate Deluxe (5* Deluxe), and D = Deluxe (5* Boutique or Luxury)
- Hotels are subject to availability upon definite booking and might be changed to the similar ones 
- 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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