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Turkey - 14 Nights Escorted Tour

Western TurkeyWestern Turkey contains the oldest monumental structures in the world, built by hunters and gatherers a thousand years before the development of agriculture. This was also one of the earliest locations where humans domesticated animals.  The Akkadians, Assyrians and Hittites are just a few of the early conquerors.  Whether on a group tour or with an individual guide, this itinerary highlights the best!

Friday -
Depart U.S. on overnight flight to Istanbul.

Saturday – Welcome to Istanbul. You will transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is yours, free to explore Istanbul. Overnight Istanbul (D)

Courtyard of the ConcubinesSunday – Tour the exotic city that truly spans both Europe and Asia - the ends of the Bosphorus Bridge sit on each continent. We start with the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace (home to the Ottoman Sultans for over 600 years), the Basilica underground cistern and the Hippodrome.
Overnight Istanbul (L, D)

Monday - Visit the Spice Market for a real experience of an oriental food bazaar. Then we board a private boat for a 1 1/2 hour cruise on the Bosphorus River. Luch is at a seafood restaurant on the riverfront. We return to the old city to visit Chora Church with unique biblical mosaics from the Byzantine era. Our last stop is the Grand Bazaar for some shopping. (B, L)

Tuesday - After breakfast we drive towards the nation's capital, Ankara to visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations for its rich and unique collection from the Hittities and other early conquerors. We will also briefly visit the Mausoleum of the Mustafa Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. (B, L, D)

Wednesday - Drive to Bogazkale-Hattusas, the capital of the Hittities, where numerous cuneiform tables were discovered. A visit to the rock sanctuary of Yazlikaya reveales friezes and reliefs depicting Hittite divinities. We continue south into central Anatolia and the volcanic region of Cappadocia. (B, L, D)

Goreme Rock ChapelThursday - Cappadocia - The name Cappadocia was traditionally used throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders. There are natural landscapes here not seen anywhere else. Today we tour the Goreme open-air museum, a series of churches and buildings carved out of the natural rock in the 10th, 11th and 12 centures, including Pasabag and the scenic Uchisar Castle, from where you have a magnificent view of the entire region. We will also visit the ancient Derinkuyu Underground City, a city eight stories deep featuring a uniquely large room with a barrel vaulted ceiling. In the evening you participate in the Whirling Dervishes Ceremony, Turkish folklore featuring belly dancers - a night you won't forget! Overnight Cappadocia (B, L, D)

Friday - An optional hot air balloon ride at dawn over this impressive landscape is highly recommended. We will also have a short hike before lunch. Then we head south along the ancient Silk Road just as the ancient traders did. We will stop at the original Sultanhani Caravanserai, the largest camel way-station built in 1229 and still active today.  We will stop at Konya to tour the Mevlana Museum, an impressive mausoleum and the final resting grounds of Rumi, one of Persia's most popular poets and philosophers.  Overnight Pamukkale (B, L, D)

Saturday - Drive to Beysehir, a small settlement on the shores of Lake Beysehir. Visit Esrefoglu Mosque - a unique wooden masterpiece from the 13th century. Continue to Egirdir for lunch at the lakeshore. We end with our drive to Antalya for overnight. (B, L, D)

AspendosSunday - Today we visit two magnificent Roman sites - Aspendos with the best preserved Roman Theater, and Perge, a spectacular Greco-Roman city. We will visit Old Antalya to stroll through picturesque streets of the historic old port city. Dinner at a seafood restaurant (B, L, D)

Monday - Our first visit is to the ancient city of Myra with impressive Lycian rock-cut tombs. In Demre, we will visit the amazing Church of St. Nicholas. After lunch, we will stop at Phaselis, another ancient city on the sea where you can also enjoy a swim in the Mediterrenean (weather permitting). (B, L, D)

Tuesday - We cross the Taurus Mountains to Sagalassos, a recently-excavated Greco-Roman city and a gem of Turkey archeology. After lunch we drive to Pamukkale the "Cotton Castle",  Hierapolis an antique spa still in use today where white terraces have been created of limestone by the thermal waters through the ages, and the necropolis, the largest ancient cemetery from the ancient world. (B, L, D)

Wednesday - Drive to Aphrodisias, the ancient site dedicated to the goddess of beauty, love and fertility and famous for its school of sculpture.  We also visit the impressive Roman stadium and the Temple of Aphoridte, the Tetrapylon, the Theater and the Museu. After lunch we stop at another recent excavation - the city of Laodicea before returning to Pamukkale to enjoy a hot spring spa.  (B, L, D)

Thursday - We visit Ephesus, a World Heritage site, where you can truly visualize an ancient Roman city. Several of the houses, temples, fountains and the impressive library have been partially restored, and signs by each of the restorations clearly depict how these homes and temples looked several thousand years ago.  We visit the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  After lunch we visit the House of Virgin Mary on the heights of Ephesus, a site delcared as a pilgrimage site by the Vatikan. We will learn about Turkish leather. Farewell dinner to share the memories of the unforgettable trip. (B, L, D)

Friday - Transfer to Izmir Airport for your flight to Istanbul. Day at leisure. Other optional tours available. (B, L)

Saturday - After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your return home. (B)

Price Includes

Inbound and outbound transfers from/to Istanbul airports
Transportation in a fully air conditioned , non smoking coach
 - Maximum of 24 passengers for increased comfort and personalized service
Professional English-speaking tour guide for the duration of the tour
Entrance fees to various sites

Price Does Not Include

 - International Airfare from U.S.

Guaranteed Friday departures between March and December.

Request additional information and/or availability.