turkey travel
*** Cultural Treasures and Ancient Splendors: Turkey, Egypt & Jordan - 20 days ***

Program

Day 1 - Istanbul

HOS GELDINIZ! Welcome to Turkey!
We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing about your tour, you will have the afternoon free to rest and/or explore Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 2 - (B/L) - Istanbul
After breakfast, we will meet you at your hotel and start your full-day tour of Istanbul.
* The Spice Bazaar/Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) transports you back to the Silk Road days with its mystical aromas of various spices. Here, you'll also find other shops selling fruits, vegetables, teas, flowers, fish, and Turkish Delight (lokum).
* Bosphorus Cruise takes you though the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia, and no trip to Istanbul is complete without a boat trip here! Along its shores, you can take photographs of marble palaces and antique wooden Ottoman-era villas that sit beside luxurious modern residences.You will also see Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque.
We'll take a break for lunch; afterwards, we'll continue our tour by visiting Topkapi Palace, the world-famous Grand Bazaar and equally-impressive Suleymaniye Mosque.
* Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence and administrative heart of the massive Ottoman Empire, beginnng with Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, in 1453, until 1856. It was converted to a museum in 1924. Parts of the palace such as the Harem, Baghdad Pavilion, Revan Pavilion, Sofa Pavilion, and the Audience Chamber distinguish themselves with their architectural assets. The museum also has collections from the Imperial Treasury, as well as Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy, etc. The Treasury also houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat "Spoon Maker's Diamond", and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
* Grand Bazaar (Kapali çarsi - covered bazaar) is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.
The bazaar began construction in 1455 and opened in 1461. It is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of good: leather coats, gold jewelry and the like.
After the tour's conclusion, we will return you to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 3 - (B/L) Istanbul
Sites you’ll see today:
* Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya is a truly awe-inspiring, 1,400-year-old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and is still seen as one of history's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
* Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque (Camii) built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
* Hippodrome: the backdrop of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
The Obelisk is in the Egyptian style and was erected in 1547 BC and stood 60m tall. The German Fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul; it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
After our tour, you will have the option of going back to the Grand Bazaar for more shopping.
Overnight in Istanbul

Day 4 - (B/L/D) - Istanbul to Ephesus then to Pamukkale
Very early in the morning,we will transfer you to the domestic airport for a 1-hour flight south to Izmir on the Aegean coast - we will then continue our tour.
Sites you’ll see today:
* Ephesus is the best-preserved classical cities from ancient times, and was inhabited by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks. St. Paul lived here circa 60 AD, when it was at its most populated at 250,000.  During your visit, you’ll walk its stony boulevards, stand in the grand theatre, marvel at the beauty of the Celsus Library, the agora, as well as the baths, giving you the unique chance to get up-close-and-personal with history by literally being able to walk into it.
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th century Ecumenical Councils. It is also the site of a large gladiators' graveyard.
* The House of the Virgin Mary, (Turkish: Meryemana Evi), high on a hill overlooking the town of Selcuk, is where it is believed that St. Mary came to live with St. John the Baptist in the later years of her life.  Masses are held here on Sundays.
After the tour we will provide a transfer to Pamukkale, and, after arrival, you will check into your "thermal spa" hotel. (Why not pamper yourself with some spa treatments tonight?) Overnight in Pamukkale -

Day 5 - Pamukkale tour then to Cappadocia
We'll enjoy breakfast before setting out for Pamukkale. Our drive will be a scenic one, taking us through rich farmland, teeming with cotton fields and fruit orchards.
* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish) is the result of limestone formations created over thousands of years. Warm, calcium-rich mineral water from nearby thermal hot springs flowed over these cliffs and, as these waters cooled, they deposited the calcium that we see today.
* Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded as an ancient healing care center in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral waters. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and co
After the Pamukkale tour, we will put you on a comfortable overnight bus to Cappadocia.

Day 6 - Cappadocia
You'll arrive early in Cappadocia, and we'll head to the hotel to check in. After some time to rest, we will continue on a full day tour of Cappadocia.
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is a charming and ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); here, you'll explore Byzantine-era churches, chapels and monasteries which house wonderfully-preserved 11th- and 12th-century cave frescoes.
* Fairy Chimneys--This strange geological phenomenon was created over millions of years, and were formed during regional volcanic eruptions. Reaching at times 40 meters in height, they are conical in shape and have a whimsical "hat" top to them.
* Devrent Valley--This valley is known as "the pink valley" because of the color of its soil. This is a lovely place to wander about and really take in the magical rock formations indicative to Cappadocia, including the Fairy Chimneys.
* Uchisar Castle, also known as Uchisar Fortress, is actually a formation of two gigantic rocks surrounded by smaller ones that together, form a natural fortress with towers. These formations were inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
We'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia

Day 7 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will continue touring more of the region's most famous sites.
* Underground City of Derinkuyu--You'll gradually make your way down into the depths of the earth of this ancient settlement that has 18-20 floors which boast depths as long as 40 meters. (Don't worry, we'll only go down to the 8th floor!) Youll marvel at the fact that Derinkuyu is just one of 36 Cappadocian underground cities, which archaeologists date back to the time of the Hittites around 4,000 years ago.
* Ihlara Gorge is an oasis in the middle of the Anatolian plain. We'll explore the canyon and take in the beautiful green scenery as we stroll casually alongside the river. Here, you'll see ancient monasteries complete with pigeon holes carved into the cliffs by the monks; the pigeons acted as messengers to communicate with neighboring monks!
* Traditional Anatolian village -- You'll see head-scarved women in the fields (where they work from sun up until sundown) and the mustachioed, vest-wearing men hard-at-work playing cards or tavla (backgammon) in the kahvehane (coffee shop). You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play.
Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia

Day 8 - Cappadocia to Istanbul then to Cairo, EGYPT - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Nevsehir Airport for your 1-hour flight back to Istanbul. After arriving, you'll depart from the International Terminal for your flight to Cairo.
MARHABAN! Welcome to Egypt!
We'll meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing about your tour, you will have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Cairo on your own.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 9 – Cairo - (B)
After breakfast we will meet you at the lobby of your hotel and continue your guided tour.
Sites you will see today:
* Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren & Mycerinus: The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Giza's Necropolis, and is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that has survived substantially intact. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for 4th dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Greek: Cheops) and was constructed over a 20-year period and concluded around 2560 BC.
* The Great Sphinx is a zoomorphic mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head. It has its origins in sculpted figures dating back to the Old Kingdom, to which the ancient Greeks applied their own name for a male monster: the "strangler", a figure from Greek mythology.
* The Valley Temple was built during the reign of Pharaoh Chefren and features core masonry of limestone and granite.
After the tour's conclusion, we will bring you back to your hotel and you'll have the evening free.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 10 – Cairo – (B)
After breakfast, we will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and continue on with your fully-guided tour.
* Egyptian Museum : the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, in Cairo, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, is home to an extensive collection of priceless Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, with the remainder in storerooms.
The museum's Royal Mummy Room, containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times, was closed on the orders of President Anwar Sadat in 1981. It was reopened, with a slightly curtailed display of New Kingdom kings and queens in 1985. Today, there are about 9 mummies on display - one recent acquisition being the newly-discovered mummy of Queen Hatshepsut.
After visiting the museum, you will be taken to Old Cairo and given plenty of free time to explore this colorful and bustling area.
* Old Cairo contains the ruins of capital cities before Cairo, such as Fustat. It also encompasses Coptic-era Cairo and its many old churches, as well as ruins of Roman fortifications.
After the tour's conclusion, we will take you back to your hotel. You will have the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 11 - Cairo to Luxor for cruise - (B/L)
After breakfast, our team will provide a transfer to Cairo Airport for your hour-long flight to Luxor.
After arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your boat; after boarding, we will start with the cruise portion of your tour.
Sites you will visit today:
* The Valley of the Kings: for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed here for the pharaohs and the most powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (modern Luxor), and within the heart of the Theban Necropolis. The wadi consists of two valleys, East Valley (where the majority of the royal tombs situated) and the West Valley.
* The Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is situated beneath the cliffs at Deir el-Bahari on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings. Designed by the architect Senemut, the temple is dedicated to the sun god, Amon-Ra, and is located next to the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, which served both as an inspiration, and later, a quarry. It is considered one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt."
* The Colossi of Memnon are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. For the past 3400 years (since 1350 BC) they have stood in the Theban necropolis, across from the city of Luxor.
* Luxor Temple is a massive complex located on the east bank of the Nile in the city of Luxor; it was founded in 1400 BC.
After the tour, we will provide a transfer back to your hotel; you will then have the evening free to explore or relax.
Overnight onboard

Day 12 - Luxor to Edfu - (by ship) - (B/D)
In the morning, you will have free time to explore Luxor; after lunch, we will be departing for Edfu. Overnight oboard

Day 13 - Edfu to Aswan - (B/D)
After breakfast, you will visit Horus at Edfu then the Temple of Sobek.
*Edfu is the site of the Ptolemaic Temple of Horus and is an ancient settlement. About 3 miles north are ruins of more ancient pyramids that are constructed of sandstone and rise to a present height of 3.2 m. One pyramid has been loosely attributed to King Huni of the Third Dynasty.
*The Temple of Kom Ombo is an unusual double temple built during the Ptolemaic dynasty in the Egyptian town of Kom Ombo. The building is unique because its 'double' design meant that there were courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms duplicated for two sets of gods. The southern-half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world (along with Hathor and Khonsu). After visiting these sites, we''ll set sail for Aswan. Overnight onboard

Day 14 - Aswan - (B/D)
After breakfast, we'll begin our tour of Aswan.
Sites you will visit:
* Aswan High Dam, completed in 1970 was built to regulate river flooding, provide storage of water for agriculture, and later, to generate electricity. The former cataract and the Old Aswan Dam are nearby.
*"The Unfinished Obelisk" is the largest known ancient obelisk, located in the northern region of the stone quarries of Aswan. It was ordered by Queen Hatshepsut commemorating her 16th anniversary on the throne. It is nearly one-third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected.
* Philae is an island in the Nile River and the previous site of an ancient Egyptian temple complex. The complex was dismantled and relocated to an nearby island when the building of the Aswan Dam threatened to flood the site. Overnight onboard

Day 15 - Aswan to Cairo - (B/L)
In the morning, we will provide a transfer to Sharm Airport and put you on your 50-minute flight back to Cairo. After arrival, we will then provide a transfer to your hotel. The day is then yours to relax and explore Cairo on your own.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 16 – Cairo to Amman, JORDAN– (B)
MA AS SALAAMA! Goodbye! It's time to go home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well as you continue your journey to Jordan.
In Amman, our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel. After checking in, you will have a free day to relax and explore Amman on your own. Overnight in Amman

Day 17 - Amman to Petra - (B)
After breakfast, you will start the day visiting key sites of Amman: the Citadel, the Archeological Museum and Umayyad Palace. We'll depart for Petra and arrive late in the afternoon. We'll then take you to your hotel. You'll have the evening free to rest or explore the city. Overnight in Petra

Day 18 - Petra - (B)
After breakfast, we will meet you at your hotel and begin your fully-guided tour of Petra.
* Petra is one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World", and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, was the capital of the ancient Nabataean culture, who prospered in trading due to their control of regional oases and the trade routes that linked them. They were eventually conquered by Trajan's Roman army. At its largest, Petra was home to about 20,000 people.
The desert city of Petra - built in Hellenistic style - sits in a mountain basin which forms the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. You will be impressed with El Deir Monastery, the ancient theatre, and Urn Tomb.
After visiting Petra, we will take you back to your hotel. Overnight in Petra

Day 19 - Petra to Amman - (B)
After breakfast we will bid farewell to Petra and set out for Amman. If you wish, we can stop for a short swimming break in the Red Sea. After arrival in Amman, you will check into your hotel. Overnight in Amman

Day 20 - Amman to Home - (B)
After breakfast, we will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, asking that you keep Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and all those you have met and the beauty you've witnessed in your heart. We hope our paths will cross again.

Prices are starting from $______ per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates

Includes:
* Flight tickets from Istanbul to Cairo
* All hotels
* All land transfers in comfortable vehicles
* All of the meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* All taxes and service charges

Excludes:
* Drinks with meals
* Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia
* Optional Turkish Night Show in Istanbul
* Optional Sound & Light Show in Egypt
* Tips

*****************

CUSTOMIZE IT!

Wny not add a couple more days in Turkey and/or Egypt to your itinerary, such as Ephesus and Cappadocia in Turkey and
Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and Aswan in Egypt?

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