Western Turkey 101
13 Days / 12 Nights
Day 1: Istanbul. (D - dinner)
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel. Welcome group meeting in the afternoon in the
lobby. This afternoon we will walk to the Blue Mosque, the 17th century wonder of engineering
and have dinner. Overnight at Hotel And.
Day 2: Istanbul. (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner)
Start the day with a short walk to the Basilica Cistern, and then the Turkish Islamic Art Museum.
After lunch, visit the Ayak Sophia and Topkapi Palace. Dinner will be at a popular seafood
Day 3: Istanbul overnight train to Ankara. (B, L, D)
Our first visit will be to the Grand Bazaar. We will visit the Chora Church to see the exquisite
Byzantine mosaics from the 12th century. If you are interested in early Christian art and dogma,
you will be overwhelmed by this museum. Visit Suleymaniye Mosque. Lunch will be at a small
sidewalk restaurant that is famous for its homemade dishes. We will end the day with a cruise
on the Bosphoros abroad our own private boat. The views of the city at dusk with its 600
mosques are unforgettable. In the evening, we will take an overnight train to Ankara, arriving at
Day 4: Ankara/Cappadocia (B, L, D)
In Ankara, visit the most beautiful museum of Turkey, the Anatolian Civilization Museum, which
displays 26 different civilizations. It was given the “Best Museum of Europe” award, and will
inform you of the cultural and historic layers of Turkey. After lunch we visit the mausoleum of
Ataturk, the father of the Turks, then take a bus to Cappadocia over a beautiful country road for
a taste of lovely Turkish landscapes and farms. We will overnight at Lale Saray Hotel in the
heart of Cappadocia. Waking up in the morning to magnificent natural sights is one of the
unique aspects of this fabulous hotel.
Day 5: Cappadocia (B, L, D)
Cappadocia is a land where nature and man have competed with each other to create the most
unusual and the most beautiful. We will hike to 10th and 11th century churches, monasteries,
and houses carved in the rocks, and visit a family living in one of these rock dwellings. The
moonlike terrain of Cappadocia with its endless artwork is a photographer’s delight. As
Cappadocia is famous for its carpets, we will participate in a factory demonstration where the
art of carpet weaving by hand and natural dyeing is still practiced.
Day 6: Cappadocia (B, L, D)
After visiting the underground city of early Christians, we will drive to Guzelyurt, where we will
have lunch at a village home. Next, we will visit the oldest Christian monastery, built in 385 CE
and still standing—though it has since been converted into a mosque. In the village home, we
will sit around and discuss Islam peaceably.
Day 7: Konya (B, L, D)
People have been making pottery in Cappadocia since the time of the Hittites (2nd millennium
bce). We will visit a local potter who is keeping his art alive, and learn about kilims. We then
depart for Konya, stopping en route at a 12th century Caravanserai. Konya is the first capital of
the Seljuks, the oldest Turkish Empire in Anatolia. It is also known for being the homeland of
Rumi, the 13th century poet-philosopher and one of the earliest humanists. The ambiance of the
city has not changed much for the past 800 years. We will sleep overnight at a hotel in the
center of town.
Day 8: Antalya (B, L)
The morning will kick off with a lecture on Rumi and his philosophy, followed with a visit to the
Mevlana Museum. Next comes the most scenic drive of our trip—five hours to Antalya. You will
be able to see how the flora changes as we drive over the grand Taurus Mountains. Poised
between these jagged mountains and the shimmering sea, Antalya is the principal city on
Turkey’s central Mediterranean coast. In this beautiful city we’ll stay at a 200-year-old stone
house that has been renovated into a pension. You’ll be on your own for dinner.
Day 9: Antalya (B, L)
Weather permitting, we’ll take a five-hour cruise on the Mediterranean to the ancient site of
Phaselis, located on a peninsula with ancient harbors on both sides. This will be our first Roman
site. The ancient stones are scattered among the reed pine trees, which grow right out from the
sea in an incomparably romantic setting. Tonight you’ll have the option of going to a Turkish
bath (included in trip cost). We’ll overnight in Antalya, with dinner on your own.
Day 10: Pamukkale (B, L, D)
Today we visit Pamukkale (ancient Hierapolis), whose name literally means “cotton castle”. This
refers to the extraordinary surface of the snow-white cliffs, shaped over millennia by the
accumulation of calcium deposited by mineral springs. We will have dinner and overnight in the
Day 11: Kusadasi (B, L)
Today we will head to Seljuk, or Ephesus, driving through the valley of Meander. We’ll visit the
oracle temple of Apollo and visit Miletus. This will be a pleasurable day of hiking in an ancient
city, ending with an overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 12: Kusadasi (B, L, D)
This will be our big day in Ephesus, the best-preserved classical city on the eastern
Mediterranean and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in
Roman times. There will be a tasty and terrific lunch at Meli’s farm.
Day 13: End of the Tour
The trip ends after breakfast, with a transfer to Ixmir Airport.
THE PRICE INCLUDES
* Excellent Tour Guide for the entire Tour
* 11 nights hotel, double occupancy
* Private boat in Istanbul for Bosporus Cruise
* All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the above itinerary
* Train ride from Istanbul to Ankara
*Tips at the hotels and the restaurants
*Transportation with private AC Bus
*Water with the meals
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
* Flights to and from Turkey
* Domestic flight
* Beverages and drinks
* Cancellation insurance
* Tip to the Driver
* 2 Dinners in Antalya and 1 dinner in Kusadasi