DAY 01: FRI - Upon arrival at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, meeting and greeting by our representative and proceed to Istanbul for the hotel to check-in. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 02: SAT - We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Saint Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets.The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100,000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire. Of these, an Egyptian obelisk and a bronze sculpture of three entwined serpents from Delphi survive. The Grand Bazaar, was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4,000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons, and leather goods. Wandering through the Grand Bazaar, indulge in some shopping, Ottoman style. Overnight in Istanbul. (B/L)
DAY 03: SUN - In the morning proceed to the Ataturk airport to take our flight to Ankara. After arrival in Ankara, visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum at which numerous remnants from Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians and many others are on display; Mausoleum of Ataturk, the burial place of the national hero who founded modern Republic of Turkey. Then continue on to Cappadocia. After a picturesque trip along the Salt Lake pass by the 13th century Seljukian Caravanserai Agzikarahan. After visiting Kaymakli Underground City, the place early Christians hid from persecutors, proceed to the hotel in Cappadocia for overnight. (B/L/D)
DAY 04: MON - An optional Balloon Tour is available this morning. Depart from the hotel this morning and visit the valleys where animal-like natural formations like camels and fair chimneys are abundant. Drive on to Pasabagi in Zelve area where monks used to live in seclusion in rock cut rooms. Proceed to the pottery town of Avanos where Kizilirmak (Hallys), the longest river of Turkey, meanders leaving the red clay on its banks that has been the raw material of pottery for centuries. In the afternoon visit to Open Air Museum in Goreme to visit to the early Christian churches decorated with unique frescoes depicting various scenes from the Bible. Stop by Pigeon Valley near Uchisar. Shopping time for the well-known merits of the area. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B/L/D)
DAY 05: TUE - Today’s ride will be fairly long and tiring due to the long distance between Cappadocia and Pamukkale and lack of convenient lodging location. Drive to Konya to visit to the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic figure. Then continue on to Pamukkale and overnight. (B/L/D)
DAY 06: WED - Tour the ruins of Hierapolis including the magnificently preserved cemetery "Necropolis", the Main Street and Gates, the Thermal Baths, the Roman Theatre and the Museum. In the afternoon tour Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite; visit the Museum, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Theatre, the Stadium, the Agora, the Hadrian Baths, the Odeon, and the Bishop's Palace. Proceed to the hotel in Kusadasi for overnight. (B/L/D)
DAY 07: THU - Morning tour to Ephesus area with Ephesus Antique City (Hillside Houses are excluded; entrance requires additional admission fee), one of the most popular ancient sites of Turkey with many acres of carefully excavated ruins; Virgin Mary’s House, where St. Mary is supposed to spend her last years together with St. John. In the afternoon Selcuk Ephesus Museum or St. John Church. Time for shopping and drive to Izmir and transfer to the airport to fly to Istanbul. After landing in Istanbul, transfer to hotel and check-in. Overnight in Istanbul. (B/L)
DAY 08: FRI - You will be transferred to the airport in time for your return flight. (B)