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*** Egypt & Turkey: 10 days ***

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CUSTOMIZE IT!
Wny not add a couple more days in Turkey and/or Egypt to your itinerary, such as Ephesus in Turkey or Alexandria in Egypt?
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Itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrival in 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 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast, around 8:30 AM, we will meet you at your hotel for a full-day tour of Istanbul.
Sites you will see:
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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. consists of 12 major buildings and has 22 doors. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast around 8:30 am, we will meet you at your hotel and continue on the 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.
After our tour, you will have the option of going back to the Grand Bazaar for more shopping. Overnight in Istanbul

Day 4 - Istanbul to Cappadocia - (B/L)
Early in the morning, we will provide a transfer to Istanbul's domestic airport for your 1-hour flight to Cappadocia. After arrival, we will start our guided tour of Cappadocia.
Sites you'll see today:
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is an ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); 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.
If time permits, we'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia

Day 5 - Cappadocia to Cairo
Today, we'll stroll through an amazing subterranean city where ancient Christians once hid from Arab invaders; we'll then wander through the Ihlara Gorge and spend time in a classic Anatolian village.
* 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.
After the tour, we will transfer you to Kayseri Airport for your 1-hour flight back to Istanbul, and then transfer to International Departures for your flight to Cairo.
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MARHABAN! Welcome to Egypt
!
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 explore Cairo on your own. Overnight Cairo.

Day 6 – Exploring Cairo - (B)
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.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 7 – Exploring Cairo – (B)
After breakfast, we will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and being your full-day 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 free time to explore.
* 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 8 - Cairo to Luxor - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Cairo Airport for your 1-hour flight to Luxor. After arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After checking in, we will begin the tour.
Sites you will visit:
* 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 in Cairo

Day 9 - Luxor to Cairo - (Nile cruise) - (B/L)
Today at around 2:00 PM, we will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and take you on a 2-hour cruise on the world-famous Nile River.During the cruise, you will enjoy the most spectacular views of Cairo, while enjoying a fine Egyptian-style buffet lunch. After the cruise, we will provide a transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Cairo

Day 10 – Cairo to Home – (B)
MA AS SALAAMA! Goodbye! It's time to go home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, and look forward to seeing you on a future trip.

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
* Optional day or night tours
* Tips

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