SUPER DISCOUNTED CFT TURKEY TOUR
This tour will be led by one of our excellent,
English fluent guides (Bora will not lead this tour)
LAND & AIR COST (from JFK*): 13 days
$2,580 per person 14 members
*$200 to $400 extra to fly from any other city such as LAX, SAN DIEGO or SFO
Day 1 - DEPART USA
Your international flight will depart the U.S., arriving in Istanbul the next day.
Day 2 - ARRIVE ISTANBUL
After passport and visa procedure, you will be taken to the 5-star hotel Barcelo Eresin Topkapi in the old city. There will be time to relax and rest before meeting the group in the evening for an early dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 - CANAKKALE (Troy)
In the morning, we will drive to Gallipoli to see the World War I memorial and battle sites. Afterwards, we will take a ferry to Çanakkale, a small city on the Dardanelles across from Gallipoli. We will stay at the best available Tusan Hotel, which overlooks the Dardanelles straight.
Day 4, 5 – KUSADASI (Ephesus)
This morning, we will visit the legendary city of Troy and have the opportunity to see a replica of the Trojan Horse. To date nine different Troy's have been discovered; each built one on top of the other. We will have a chance to see this site still in the process of excavation. Afterwards, we will drive to Pergamon to see the Asklepion, an ancient hospital complex. We will then drive 1½ hours to Izmir where we will stay at a 4-star hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel.
The next day we will drive to the incredible city of Ephesus and see its colossal Greek Theater, which is still used for performances today. Among the many things we will be seeing are the Marble Road, the Celsus Library and the Temple of Diana. We will also visit the house where Virgin Mary lived her final days.
Day 6 - PAMUKKALE (One of the Natural Wonders of the World) Hierapolis
Today we will drive to Aphrodisias, the city of art dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite. The marble theatre there is beautiful and the immense stadium, which is the largest and best preserved in the world, seats over 35,000. We will also visit the museum there. Afterwards, we will continue to Pamukkale. Also called “Hierapolis”, this city has an incredible necropolis, the city of the dead, and is world famous for its calcium-travertines. We will stay at the 5-star Colossae Hotel and spa. At the hotel, you can swim in the heated pools of enriched mineral water that can cure many illnesses including stomach ailments and skin diseases.
Day 7, 8, 9 - CAPPADOCIA (One of the Natural Wonders of the World)
Along the way to Cappadocia, we will stop briefly in Konya to visit the Whirling Dervish Museum, a very holy place for Turkish Muslims. There are exhibits of Dervish costumes, instruments, illuminated manuscripts and various ethnographic artifacts. Arriving in Cappadocia, we will enjoy the unique landscape of wind and rain eroded volcanic rock formations. We will tour the amazing underground churches and cities carved into the rocks by early Christians. We will visit handicraft shops and 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. In Cappadocia there will be an excellent lecture and demonstration on Turkish carpets and kilims as well as a lecture/demonstration on pottery. A doll maker from Soganli will also demonstrate how their World-famous Cappadocia dolls are made.
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, this hotel’s thirty six spacious units almost all have windows with views to the outside and most feature a Jacuzzi. Several rooms have fireplaces, 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.
OPTIONAL: 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.
OPTIONAL: 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 10 – ANKARA
Early in the morning, we will drive to Ankara where we will visit the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the father of modern Turkey, and the magnificent Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Our stay will be at a 5-star Barcelo Altinel hotel. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 11, 12 - ISTANBUL
Early in the morning, we will depart Ankara and drive to Istanbul. In the afternoon, we will take a city ferry cruise, which touches both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus. Afterwards, we will visit the Military Museum to enjoy a concert performed in traditional costumes by the world’s first established military marching ensemble before having dinner at a local Turkish restaurant.
Istanbul, once called Byzantium in the 7th century B.C., was renamed Constantinople in 326 A.D. by Constantine the Great when he moved the capital of the Roman Empire to what is now Istanbul. Istanbul received its current name from Mehmet II in 1453 and is the only city in the world that spans two continents. Here, we will 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 largest 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. We will also visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque with its exceptional tiles, the spice market and the mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent. On one of the evenings, we will have dinner with lots of live music and entertainment by a gypsy orchestra. We will stay at the 5-star Barcelo Eresin Topkapi Hotel.
Please Note: The order of events may vary with each tour depending on the availability of various museums on certain days of the week.
Day 13 - DEPART FOR USA
We will depart the hotel shortly after breakfast. We will have a morning flight, returning to U.S.A. in the afternoon of the same day.
**Flight schedules and itinerary are subject to change**