Sample Turkey Itinerary can be customized to fit your interests!
WHAT MAKES THIS TOUR DIFFERENT FROM THE REST?
Mass tourism has come to Turkey noisily and in a big way. Turkey now hosts over ten million holiday-takers from all over the world. The tourist industry has meanwhile grown in size and professionalism. The big resorts have become adept at feeding and entertaining several thousands of tourists at once, while the tour operators run numerous tours dealing with thousands of persons. Resort airports handle many charter landings a day.
In this rush for numbers, the individual traveler is often a casualty. We believe that the romance and excitement of travel for an individual is lost in such a rush. Therefore, to begin with, we prefer to accommodate our guests in the small, family owned Ottoman style hotels in the old part of the towns- the sort of place where the hotelier joins a guest for a drink after dinner and the cook actually cares whether you liked your food. The groups are limited to 10 guests each. This ensures that each guest receives the special attention he or she deserves.
The people of Turkey are exceptionally warm and friendly and your Turkey trip will allow plenty of opportunities to meet them personally. Unscheduled forays to places not usually found on a tourist’s itinerary such as a villager’s home, a firehouse, or a bread factory are frequent, unexpected surprises.
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You are met at the airport by your official guide. Drive into the city along the shores of the Sea of Marmara, by the Byzantine city walls; arrive in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet district- old Byzantium – to check in your hotel; one of the oldest among the renovated Ottoman mansions. Welcome cocktail and orientation.
The old Ottoman & Byzantine monuments are within walking distance of the hotel. Your guide will overview of Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Visit magnificent Topkapi Palace with its porcelain, miniatures, armor, calligraphy, Spoonmaker’s Diamond, Topkapi Dagger and Harem. Learn about Islam at Blue Mosque, a masterful Ottoman structure with marvelous turquoise tiles. Our optional lunch will be served at a typical Turkish restaurant with different varieties of Turkish Cuisine. Its magnificent setting will increase your appetite as you enjoy looking at the old part of the town. In the afternoon, visit St. Sophia Church (once Christianity’s grandest shrine) with its 6th century dome, and Underground Cistern with its 336 columns. Finally, visit the city’s oldest covered Grand Bazaar. Finalize the day by having tea at Piere Loti CafÈ over the banks of Golden Horn. We will dine out in Rami Restaurant – an exquisite Ottoman house next door to Blue Mosque – ex owner was a renowned expressionist painter; the whole house is decorated with his paintings, superb setting with excellent Ottoman Cuisine. ( B – D )
In the morning, tour the Spice Market – an aromatic cornucopia of exotic seasonings, then nearby visit R¸stem Pasa Mosque – designed by Ottoman architect Sinan – decorated with very fine Iznik tiles. Later, cruise on the Bosphorus. During the cruise, enjoy the view of the old wooden villas, marble palaces and ancient fortresses. Disembark at B¸y¸kdere on the European side for the optional fish lunch at Fuat Pasa Restaurant; an old sea front wooden mansion. Afterw ards, visit The Sadberk Hanim Museum, housed in two storied Ottoman Konak, includes the finest Ottoman art work of textile goods. Then drive over the intercontinental bridge to Asiatic side to visit Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer residence of Ottoman Sultans with its original furniture and magnificent gardens. Later drive to «amlica Hill to see a beautiful panoramic view of Istanbul and finish the day off having tea at the Ottoman Tea House. Dinner at Beyti Restaurant – the finest meat house in the city where many celebrities dined; among were some American Presidents. ( B – D )
Drive along the coast-line of Marmara. Our optional lunch will be at the typical fishing village of Gelibolu, by the strait of Dardanelles. Afterwards, we will visit the Anzac Bay and the Memorials of Gallipoli, the place where one of the fiercest battles of history were fought during World War I. We cross through the strategic strait of Dardanelles from Europe to Asia. Then, visit «anakkale’s Archeological Museum. Continue to Troy, the legendary city of beautiful Helen and the Wooden Horse. Drive through the Mt. Ida- where according to Homer’s Illiad Paris was residing. We will overnight in quite and a beautiful village on the foothills of Mt Ida. The hotel is rustic. The terrace overlooks a gorgeous pine forest- the ultimate treat for western Turkey – unassaulted by the debris of modern development. Dinner at the hotel. ( B – D )
Driving along the coast of the mythical Aegean Sea. We tour the dramatic hilltop Acropolis with its restored Temple of Trajan and steep hillside theater. Parchment was invented here to make books for the city’s great library. We also visit the Asclepion; a Roman Medical Center made famous by the Galen, the world’s first great doctor. Our optional lunch will be in the centrum of Bergama in a local restaurant with the local people. The specialty of the restaurant is pide; Turkish style pizza. We overnight in SelÁuk. Our small hotel is located SelÁuk’s old quarter below the Castle. Enjoy your dinner; the scrumptious cooking from the host of the hotel. ( B – D )
The city dedicated to Artemis, the best-preserved ancient city of Asia Minor. Visit Shrine of Virgin Mary. Later, see the ruins from the period of St. Paul, Odeon, Monumental Fountains, Brothel, Library and many others. After our optional lunch in SelÁuk, we visit the celebrated museum of SelÁuk. Continue to the Basilica of St. John, a massive 6th century edifice where the evangelist is said to be buried. Later in the afternoon, we drive to Sirince Village; the most beautiful village of the Agean. Sirince retains its traditional architecture almost wholly intact, mainly from the 19th century. We visit one of the village houses and two former Greek churches. Unusually for Turkey, most households in Sirince make and sell wine. Dinner in the village with their local wine. ( B – D )
Tthree classical sights. First visit Priene, the first planned city of the ancient world. Visit the theater, the Temple of Athena, the Prytaneum, the Agora and the Altar of Zeus. Proceed to Miletus, one of the principal Ionion cities and home of Thales, twice visited by St. Paul. Visit the Byzantine fortress, Faustina Bath and Ilyas Bey Mosque, proceed to Didyma and visit the best-preserved temple of Apollo. Optional lunch by the ruins of Temple of Apollo. Continue to Kapikiri Village / Bafa Lake; used to be arm of the Aegean Sea in antiquity. Our Hotel Club Natura Oliva is situated in a large olive grove which commands a mysterious and beautiful panorama of Lake Bafa. Dinner at the hotel.
After a very healthy breakfast on the terrace with a lake view, visit the ruins of Heraklia under the Mt. Latoms, mingled with the local village of Kapikiri. Walk along the sandy beach of the lake- not like sea beach – Lunch by the lake, try their delicious fish. In the afternoon, drive to Bodrum and en route visit the Temple of Zeus at Euromos. Arrive to Bodrum; ancient Halicarnasus. Check into hotel. ( B – D )
After breakfast, visit the Bodrum’s famous castle with its underwater archaeological museum. Then, drive to «^mlekÁi village. See the life style of the villagers and their handicrafts. Lunch in the village. Afterwards, drive to Dalyan. The unusual thing about Dalyan as a holiday town is that it is set on a riverbank rather than the more usual seashore. Upon arrival, we will have a boat ride on the Dalyan River to Iztuzu Beach – this beach became the hatching grounds of giant loggerhead turtles ( caretta caretta ) endangered by callous developers. The rock-carved tombs of the Lycian rulers from the 4th B.C. are visiable from a distance. Our hotel is on the riverbank in Dalyan. It has the ideal setting. Dinner in the hotel. ( B – D )
Today, we will drive through the most beautiful part of the Mediterranean Sea. We will drive near Gocek Bay. This bay is one of the best sailing spots in the Mediterranean. We will have lunch at ÷l¸ deniz or “Dead Sea”.Actually the sea is not dead, but is so called because it is not visible from the open sea. Pirates used this vivid deep blue lagoon with crystal clear water as a haven. En route visit the ruins of Xhantus which dates back to 600 B.C. This city is remembered especially for the bravery of its defenders who fought to the very last man against the invading Harpagus. Among the many ruins we can wander through are a Roman agora, theater, acropolis and temple of Artemis.
Arrival in Kalkan. This village is architecturally one of the most attractive villages of the Turkish Riviera. Our hotel is a restored house in the plain stone-and-timber manner of Kalkan’s traditional houses. Its lobby art gallery attracts well-known names of contemporary Turkish Art. Dinner at t he hotel. ( B – D )
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En route we will pay a visit to the church of St. Nicholas. Known to most as Santa Claus, his legend originated here. We also visit the ruins of Myra; the rock tombs located here as well as the ancient theater are some of the sites we will examine. Our lunch stop will be at Demre. Arrival Olympos. Beydagi is called as Mt. Olympos here in this region. The beach of Olympos is one of the most beautiful in Turkey – a 4 km stretch of white pebble bordered by pine forest and dominated by the imposing peal of Tahtali Dag, the Lycina Mt Olympos. What lies in the forest is the unexcavated Roman-Byzantine ruins of the city of Olympos.
We will check in our hotel at Kirali; Olympos Lodge. In the evening we will walk to see the perpetually burning flame of Chimarea is located in the hills above «irali. The fire burns in a natural vent in the ground and can be seen at night with the naked eye from far out in the sea. It can be extinguished by heaping it with earth, but reignites it self in a few minutes. The ancient Lycians saw in it the breath of the Chimarea, a fire-breathing dragon !!. Dinner at the hotel. ( B – D )
The capital city of Tourism in the Mediteranean region. On our way to Antalya, we will stop at Phaesilis where we can view ruins dating from Roman and Byzantine times. This was a favorite spot of Alexander the Great. The setting is overwhelmingly romantic, shaded by pines, perfect bays, and diminutive beaches. Drive nearby Kemer and arrival in Antalya. Our hotel is situated in the historic Old town of Antalya. The city’s Roman, Byzantine and Turkish history lie liberally scattered across the Old Town. Our hotel, a wonderfully stylish old-timer in the Old Town with glassed-in veranda and an orange garden hidden behind high walls. Its restaurant, set romantically under the orange trees of the garden, is one of the best in town. Dinner in the hotel. ( B – D )
A full day to enjoy the nearby Greco-Roman remains in the region by visiting the ancient cities respectively: Perge; with its Agora, Theater, Stadium and baths. Next comes the Amphitheater at Aspendos in southern Turkey still holds the secret of its perfect acoustics. As such, it is continued to receive the highest accolades since the second century. Our optional lunch at Manavgat waterfalls. Dinner at the hotel. ( B – D )
Transfer to airport for your homebound flight. ( B )
Call for pricing and air fare.
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