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Turkey: Istanbul & the Aegean Coast (2016)

Connections Group Journeys: Authentic A&K small-group travel at unbeatable value

Limited to 24 guests
Days: 11  |  From: $4,895


Turkey: Istanbul & the Aegean Coast

Day 1: Arrive Istanbul, Turkey

Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul   |   Meals: D

Day 2: Istanbul / Hagia Sophia and City Walls

Visit the Basilica Cistern and the extraordinary Hagia Sophia. View the city walls that turned back Attila the Hun. Tour Chora Church (subject to renovations) and, later, walk the district of Pera to see its beautiful buildings from many eras, and then visit a local coffeehouse and learn how coffee changed world culture.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul   |   Meals: B L

Day 3: Istanbul / Palace Splendors

Explore Topkapi Palace and the Dolmabahçe Palace, then ride the ferry across the Bosphorus at sunset. Go to Kadıkoy to roam its public market.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul   |   Meals: B L

Day 4: Istanbul / Sinan’s Magnificent Legacy

Explore the dazzling Suleymaniye Mosque, created by master architect Sinan. Time permitting, stop by the Vefa Boza, a local culinary landmark. Visit Rustem Pasha Mosque and taste the town’s best baklava amid the mingled aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Continue to Istanbul’s fabled Grand Covered Bazaar, a world unto itself. Hop a tram and then ride a funicular to Taksim.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul   |   Meals: B

Day 5: Cappadocia / “Fairy Chimneys” and Dervish Dances

Fly to Cappadocia to tour buildings carved from “fairy chimneys.” Explore Göreme Open Air Museum and privately visit the Dark Church. Later, attend a Whirling Dervish presentation for an energetic Spiritual Connection.

Argos in Cappadocia   |   Meals: B L D

Day 6: Cappadocia / An Underground City

Enjoy the early-morning option to go hot air ballooning. Visit the underground city at Kaymakli. Stop for lunch with a local family. Tour a potter’s workshop and visit the Göreme Village Weavers Association for a lecture on rug weaving.

Argos in Cappadocia   |   Meals: B L

Day 7: Ankara / The Silk Road and Ataturk

Trace the ancient Silk Road on a drive to Ankara, where you visit a caravansaray. In Ankara, tour the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and stroll the Old Citadel and the Memorial of Ataturk, revered reformer of Turkey.

Lugal, Ankara   |   Meals: B L D

Day 8: Izmir / Sojourn on the Aegean

Fly to Izmir and visit a local winery. Enjoy a country lunch and the region’s famous olive oil. Time permitting, stop by Clazomanae to see the world’s oldest olive oil press. Embark on a boat ride on the Aegean Sea.

Renaissance Izmir Hotel   |   Meals: B L D

Day 9: Sardis & Tire / A Kingdom’s Currency

Explore Sardis and see the site of its mint. Behold the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, and then journey through olive groves and apricot orchards to Tire. Taste local treats: kofte for lunch and tea at a kiraathane (tea house).

Renaissance Izmir Hotel   |   Meals: B L

Day 10: Ephesus / Wonders of the Ages

Journey to the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus. Visit the Temple of Diana and the recently excavated Terrace Houses to view (by special permission) their mosaic floors and frescoed walls. Eat lunch at a country restaurant and meet the local couple that created a success story from their own kitchen. Tonight, enjoy your farewell dinner.

Renaissance Izmir Hotel   |   Meals: B L D

Day 11: Depart Izmir

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and depart.

Meals: B

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