ARRIVE ISTANBUL, TURKEY
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to your beautiful boutique hotel in a neoclassical mansion.
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, then tour Chora Church (subject to renovations). Ride a historic funicular to the district of Pera to see its beautiful buildings from many eras, followed by a visit to a local coffeehouse, where you discover how coffee changed world culture.
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.
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 heady aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Continue to Istanbul’s fabled Grand Covered Bazaar, a world unto itself. Later, hop on the tram to Karaköy.
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. Tonight, enjoy panoramic views from your hotel’s unique cave rooms.
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.
ANKARA | The Silk Road and Ataturk
Trace the ancient Silk Road on a drive to Ankara, where you visit a caravansary (inn and market). In Ankara, tour the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and stroll the Old Citadel and the Memorial of Ataturk, revered reformer of Turkey. Check in to your incredible hotel, once an ancient Ottoman caravansaray on the Silk Road.
IZMIR & KUSADASI | Sojourn on the Aegean
Fly to Izmir and visit a local winery. Eat lunch at a country restaurant and meet the local couple that created a success story from their own kitchen. 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.
EPHESUS | Wonders of the Ages
Visit the small but fascinating Ephesus Museum. Continue to Turkey’s largest weekly farmers’ market in Tire, where you meet traditional craftsmen. Lunch nearby at an area rich in natural beauty. Stop by the old town of Birgi to see its 13th-century early Turkish riches. Return to your beachfront hotel in Kusadasi. Later, have dinner at leisure.
KUSADASI | Craggy Ports of the Ancient Greeks
Explore the superb ancient Ionian sites of Priene, Miletus and Didyma, where you find the incredible Temple of Apollo. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport in Izmir and depart.