A TOUCH OF TURKEY - ISTANBUL & CAPPADOCIA
PRIVATE TOUR - 5 Nights / 6 Days
Land Only price includes double occupancy and two Turkey domestic flights:
2 PERSON MINIMUM - $1,590 per person
4 PERSON MINIMUM - $1,490 per person
DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN ISTANBUL
Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be met by a driver, who will then take you to the 5-star Barcelo Eresin Topkapi hotel to check-in. You will have the rest of the day to relax. Dinner will be on your own.
DAY 2 – ISTANBUL
In Istanbul, we will start the day in the morning and visit several of Turkey's most famous museums and mosques. Topkapi Palace was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and was the home of the sultan until the 19th century. St. Sophia was built by Roman Emperor Justinian and was completed in 537 A.D. It was the greatest Christian church in the world for more than 1000 years. The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603 and was constructed with the deliberate intention of rivaling the St. Sophia. In addition, we will visit the Underground Cistern, the Hippodrome and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque with its exceptional tiles. In the afternoon, the guide can take you to the location of your choice such as the Spice Market or the Grand Bazaar. Our stay will again be at the Barcelo Eresin Topkapi hotel. Dinner will be at a seafood restaurant with lots of live music and entertainment by a gypsy orchestra.
DAY 3, 4 - CAPPADOCIA
After breakfast, we will take a morning flight from Istanbul to the Kayseri Airport. While in Cappadocia (one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World), we will enjoy the unique landscapes of wind and rain-eroded volcanic rock formations. Also amazing is the incredible underground cities of Cappadocia. We will go to Derinkuyu where ancient people from 3 to 4,000 years ago started carving layers of living quarters into the bedrock connected by catacombs. In the region of Cappadocia, a 10,000 square mile area, there are 1,000 churches carved by early and later Christians. About 100 of them still have frescoes from the Old and the New Testament at the Open Air Museum in Goreme (Less than a mile from our hotel). We will visit this site with churches, living quarters, refectories, storage areas, etc. It is a very impressive site. We will also visit ancient handicraft shops and see a caravanserai, an ancient caravan motel. Going off the “tourist track”, we will have wonderful strolls where we visit small villages and discover the unknown Cappadocia. We will also enjoy an excellent lecture-demonstration on Turkish kilims and carpets.
Your stay will be at the spectacular Cappadocia Cave Suites, the newest and most “luxurious cave living” in Cappadocia. In 2005, Abercrombie and Kent rated the Cave Suites one of the most boutique hotels in the World. Located in Göreme, a World Heritage site, the hotel’s thirty six spacious units almost all have windows with views to the outside and most feature a Jacuzzi. Some units have beautiful 200-year-old wooden ceilings and one unit is decorated in original 8th century painted frescoes showing the Maltese cross. The views are spectacular with the Fairy Chimneys in sight (www.cappadociacavesuites.com). Breakfast and dinner will be at the Cave Suites restaurant.
- Hot air balloon rides over Cappadocia at reduced rates. A balloon ride in Cappadocia (for people of all ages) is safe and nothing less than spectacular. It costs $200 in cash or $210 if paid by credit card. These rates are 30% less than standard rates.
- Attend a Whirling Dervish ceremony at a 12th century caravanserai. There will also be an opportunity to take cooking lessons from the Cave Suites chef. A Cappadocia Cave Suites Turkish cookbook will also be available for sale. All proceeds from the Whirling Dervish ceremony, the cooking lessons and the cookbook’s sales will go toward scholarships for underprivileged girls from Yassical and Cappadocia to attend high school.
DAY 5 - ISTANBUL
We will begin the day with breakfast in the Cave House. This morning you will then be taken to the Kayseri airport for your return flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, a driver will take you to the Barcelo Eresin Topkapi Hotel to check-in. The remainder of the day will be free to explore the city on your own. Dinner will also be on your own.
DAY 6 - DEPART
Today, a driver will take you to the airport for your departing flight.
Please Note: The order of events may vary and if time permits we will do much more.
WHAT IS INCLUDED:
- Private tour with guide/driver/mini-van or car
- All hotel accommodations throughout the tours
- Dinner (except on Day 5 in Istanbul)
- All scheduled lectures, shows and performances
- All entrance fees to museums, ancient cities and sightseeing excursions as set forth in the itinerary
- Domestic air from Istanbul to Cappadocia
- All baggage handling for check-ins and check-outs in hotels and in the airports
- All hotel tips to hotel services
- All local and hotel taxes
- One show with all drinks included
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Tips for guides and driver
- Wine and beverages on most meal menus
- Visa (($20 (required for all U.S. citizens) to be paid in advance online at www.evisa.gov.tr)
- Tour cancellation insurance
- Room service, laundry, telephone call and personal items