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Itinerary

Signature Turkey

Day 1: Arrive Istanbul, Turkey

Arrive in Istanbul, former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, where you are met and provided VIP assistance through immigration and customs procedures. Transfer to your hotel.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Day 2: Istanbul | Byzantine Wonders

Today, visit the sixth-century Basilica Cistern and the timeless Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Discover Topkapi Palace, the headquarters for the Turks who once ruled most of the Mediterranean. Later, stroll the Pera District, an ancient section of city also called Beyoglu that today is a thriving center of arts and entertainment. Enjoy visiting a coffeehouse, before embarking on a private cruise of the Bosphorus.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet   |   Meals: B

Day 3: Istanbul/Bodrum | Turkish and Islamic Arts

This morning, visit the newly renovated Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Sultanahmet Square to view its extensive collections of tiles, rugs and calligraphy. See the nearby Hippodrome as well. Briefly visit the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, and tour Chora Church (subject to renovations). Fly to Bodrum and check in to your hotel, enjoying breathtaking views of the Aegean coastline.

The Marmara Bodrum   |   Meals: B

Day 4: Bodrum | Maritime Archaeology

Explore picturesque Bodrum, the home of Herodotus, the “Father of History,” and visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which honors the crucial role that maritime activities have played in the history of civilization. Your afternoon is at leisure to continue exploring Bodrum, with its stunning harbor and whitewashed houses, or relax at your hotel.

The Marmara Bodrum   |   Meals: B

Day 5: Euromos/Izmir | Temples of Zeus, Apollo and Athena

Journey to Euromos to explore the ruined yet magnificent Temple of Zeus. Continue to Didyma to discover the Temple of Apollo, dating to at least 300 BC. Then, proceed to Priene for a walking tour at the age-old Temple of Athena before continuing to Izmir, where you enjoy an evening at leisure.

Swissôtel Grand Efes   |   Meals: B

Day 6: Ephesus | Archaeological Grandeur

Explore the remains of the great Ionian city of Ephesus, where St. Paul once lived and preached, with access to the breathtaking Terrace Houses (provided excavation work is not taking place). Unmatched as an archaeological site, the sheer size and grandeur of the ruins make this the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, complete with stunning frescoes that reveal aspects of ancient life here. Also believed to be the place where Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived out her later years, Ephesus is adorned with temples.

Swissôtel Grand Efes   |   Meals: B

Day 7: Istanbul/Kayseri | Open-Air Museum

Fly to Kayseri, to explore its volcanic stone “fairy chimneys” — curved slopes and pointy spires sculpted by wind and rain. View frescoes at the rock-carved churches of Göreme, and visit the stunningly restored Dark Church at this enchanting open-air museum.

Museum Hotel   |   Meals: B

Day 8: Cappadocia | Incredible Underground City

This morning, enjoy an optional hot-air balloon excursion over Cappadocia. Then, visit the Göreme Weavers Association on an engaging Artisan Visit. In the afternoon, explore the fascinating underground city at Kaymakli, which dates to as early as the eighth century BC and includes chapels, kitchens, air vents and living quarters carved out of volcanic rock.

Museum Hotel   |   Meals: B

Day 9: Istanbul | Tea with the Locals

Today, sit down to tea with a local family in their home before flying back to Istanbul this afternoon, with time at leisure to explore independently if you like.

Shangri-La Bosphorus   |   Meals: B

Day 10: Istanbul | Suleymaniye Mosque & the Grand Bazaar

Ride Like a Local on a public ferry and then enter the beautiful domed 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque, created by the great Ottoman architect Sinan, whom Frank Lloyd Wright called “the supreme master builder of all time.” Afterward, explore the dazzling Grand Bazaar, a monument to the “Rise of Istanbul.” Wander, shop and bargain among its 3,500 shops. Explore the Spice Bazaar as well as the Rustem Pasha Mosque, also built by Sinan, to marvel at its breathtaking tile decorations.

Shangri-La Bosphorus   |   Meals: B

Day 11: Depart Istanbul

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Meals: B





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