1. Day : Arrival
Upon your arrival we will pick you up from the airport and transfer to Hotel in Sultanahmet area. Overnight in Istanbul
2. Day : Istanbul Full Day City Tour Full Day (B,L)
We begin our tour of the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul, at Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian in the early 6th century AD and designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodore of Miletus, the church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Converted into a mosque in 1453, it is now a museum. Its massive dome still dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is also famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses and a poignant Virgin and Child.
Next we visit the Blue Mosque which takes its name from the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Built by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century and designed by a pupil of Sinan, the greatest of Ottoman architects, it is the only imperial mosque with six minarets. Its courtyard is especially grand. 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.
Topkapı Palace, which, from the 15th to the 19th century, was the principal residence of the Ottoman Sultans. We will visit the fabulous Imperial Treasury and the Baghdad Kiosk. Topkapı Palace is now a museum and has unrivalled collections of jewelry, including the Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the 3rd largest in the world. It also possesses numerous Ottoman court costumes and ceramics, notably including one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese celadon ceramics, many of which were gifts from other rulers. Interestingly, some of the ceramics have a special glaze that was said to change color in the presence of poison.
We also visit the Imperial Armory, displaying centuries of Ottoman weaponry. But perhaps the loveliest feature of Topkapı Palace are its courtyards with their ancient trees; it is easy to imagine the sultan strolling here far from the cares of state and empire. Overnight in Istanbul
3. Day : Bosphorus Cruise and Spice Bazaar Half Day (B)
>Half-Day Morning Tour
Golden Horn (from the bus), the arm of the Bosphorus and a natural harbour of the historical peninsula separating the old and the new parts of İstanbul where the first colonies settled during the Byzantines.
The residential area for Byzantine Jews, Italian traders and other non-muslim minorities. Drive along the traces of history at Balat viewing Metal Church of St. Stephen the Bulgarian, Jewish Hospital (Or-Ahayim), Fener Orthodox Patriarchate and 22 kms. long Byzantine City Walls, strongest fortification of the middle age. Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), mystical smells of different aromas of various spices. Shops selling fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers etc.
Bosphorus Cruise through the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia, with a possibility to take photographs of marble palaces, ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture besides modern residentials and luxurious apartments. Rumeli Fortress (from the boat – no interior visit), historical armament built by the Conqueror to control and protect the Bosphorus. A unique example of military architecture. After the tour you can discover Taksim Square.
THIS TOUR TERMINATES AT TAKSİM SQUARE Overnight in Istanbul
4. Day : Airport Transfer for flight to Cappadocia (B,D)
Today we check out and transfer to Airport for our flight to Cappadocia. Cappadocia name was probably derived from Katpatuka, land of the beautiful horses, in Hittite language. Cappadocia is generally regarded as the plains and the mountainous region of eastern central Anatolia around the upper and middle reaches of the river Kizilirmak (Red River). It was here that several ancient highways crossed and different cultures came into contact with each other. It was also the land of the Hittites. The sparsely inhabited landscape of Cappadocia is characterized by red sandstone and salt deposits of the Miocene (Tertiary) period. However, the relatively small areas of fertile soil on volcanic tuff is where the population tends to concentrate. This southern part of Cappadocia, the more densely populated, is often spoken of as the heart of the region and yet it lies in the extreme south-western corner. At Cappadocia Airport you will welcome and transfer to your Hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia
5. Day : Cappadocia Full Day Tour (North Red Tour) (B,L,D)
Tour start in the morning from the hotel. Firstly, you will stop to take photos at Uc Guzeller which are famed fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. Next, visit to DEVRENT Valley has various types of fairy chimneys. Among these are those with caps, cones, mushroom like forms pillar and pointed rocks.We will take a walk through this amazing valley. Then, you will visit PASABAGLARI (Monk’s Valley) where you will see many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps can be found here, this style being unique to this area. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit’s shelter is built into one such fairy chimney with three heads. After visiting Pasabag, we will drive to AVANOS which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak river. The Kizilirmak, which divides Avanos into two, is Anatolia’s longest river. And we will have a rest to have lunch in a local restaurant. After having lunch, we will proceed to GOREME Open Air Museum where this religious education was started. You will visit the churhces, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimmeys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Before we take you to your hotels, we will have a rest to take some photos in UCHISAR Castle and ESENTEPE. UCHISAR CASTLE is the highest point in the region. The castle and its surrounds used to be the most populated area this settlement. As for Esentepe, this hill provides a magnificent panorama of the surrounding area. After the tour, you will be transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia
6. Day : Ihlara Valley, Derinkuyu Underground City and Selime (Green Tour) (B,L,D)
It is a full day tour with a professional licensed guide. Pick up time from the hotel is around 09:30 am depending on your hotel location. The highlights of Green tour are listed below in the order you will visit them:
Derinkuyu Underground City is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey, and the deepest one in Cappadocia. Inside there are food stores, kitchens, stalls, churches, wine production places, ventilation chimneys, water wells and a missionary school. With the depth of 85 m this multi-level city could accommodate up to 20,000 people at the same time.
Derinkuyu Underground City was opened to visitors in 1969 and about half of it is accessible to tourists. Continuing on you will visit Ihlara Valley (4 km trekking) which begins at Ihlara village and ends with the Selime Monastery at Selime village. It was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago. The total length of the canyon is 14 km and the depth is approximately 100 m. Ihlara Valley has many cave churches dated from the 7th to 11th centuries. Most of them are decorated with frescoes in bright colors and display scenes that are different to the scenes depicted in other Cappadocian churches.
Belisirma Village is situated in the middle of Ihlara Valley. It’s a typical Anatolian village which is of great interest to tourists. There are so many cafes and restaurants nearby the Melendiz River that offers fresh fish and very delicious local food. You will have a nice lunch at one of this local restaurants. From 100 churches of Ihlara Valley only 14 are open to visitors now and 7 of these churches are situated around the Belisirma village.
Selime is a town established at the end of Ihlara Valley. It’s famous for rock-cut churches and Selime Monastery – one of the biggest rock-cut monasteries of Cappadocia with a cathedral sized church. Selime monastery was carved by the monks in the 13th century and apart from the church it has the monks quarters, a large kitchen, and stables for animals.
At the end of the tour you will be dropped off back at the hotel. The tour finishes around 6:00 pm. If you have time you are recommended to join another tour around the North Cappadocia so that you can cover all the Cappadocia’s highlights. Overnight in Cappadocia
7. Day : Departure (B)
Checkout and we will transfer you to Cappadocia airport according to your international flight schedule. Goodbye!
Legend: B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner