turkey travel
*** Ultimate Turkey, Greece and Egypt: 21 days ***

(This tour can depart on any day of the week!)

Itinerary:

Tuesday - 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

Wednesday - Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast, 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.
After the tour, return to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul

Thursday - Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
This will be a half-day tour exploring the historical sites 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

Friday - Day 4 - Istanbul to Ephesus then to Pamukkale - (B/L/D)
Early in the morning, we will provide a transfer to Istanbul's domestic airport for your 1-hour flight to Izmir. After arrival, we will continue on the guided 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.
Overnight in Kusadasi

Saturday - Day 5 - Kusadasi to Pamukkale - (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will leave Kusadasi and continue on with our guided tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis.
Sites you'll see today:
* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish), is a natural site that contains hot springs and travertines, and terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the Menderes River valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
Pamukkale's terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs.
The former Roman Bath is the site of the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum. In this museum, alongside historical artifacts from Hierapolis, there are also artifacts from Laodiceia, Colossae, Tripolis, Attuda and other towns of the Lycos valley. In addition to these, the museum has a large section devoted to artifacts found at Beycesultan Hüyük that includes some of the most beautiful examples of Bronze Age craft.
* 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 commercial centers of the Roman Empire. Over time, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents. Overnight in Pamukkale

Sunday - Day 6 - Pamukkale to Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast we will drive to Cappadocia, stopping at the Mevlana Museum in Konya on the way.
* Mevlana Museum is an Islamic holy site as it was the former official lodge for the whirling dervishes.
(A tour of the museum is not included, but you may explore on your own.) In the afternoon, we will provide a transfer to Cappadocia; after arrival you will check in the hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening on your own. Overnight in Urgup -Cappadocia

Monday - Day 7 - Cappadocia - (B/L)

Today will be spent walking through an underground city where ancient people once fled for their lives escaping the Arab invaders, wandering through Ihlara Gorge and spending time in an Anatolian village.
Sites you’ll see today:
* 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 Cappadocia

Tuesday - Day 8 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
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 there is time, we'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of dollmaking and traditional pottery. Overnight in Cappadocia

Wednesday - Day 9 - Cappadocia to Athens (B)
After breakfast we will provide a transfer to the Cappadocia airport and put you on a flight for Athens (via Istanbul).
*******************************************
KALOS ORISATE! Welcome to Greece!
We will 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 rest and explore Athens. Overnight in Athens

Thursday - Day 10 - Athens - (B)
After breakfast around 8:30 AM, we will meet you at your hotel for your guided tour of Athens.
You will explore Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathinaiko Stadium (where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896). After that, we will drive by the Prime's Minister's residence, the Royal Palace, (guarded by colorful Evzones), Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall), National Garden, Hadrian's Arc, St. Paul's Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schlieman's House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Academy, University, National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square, and the impressive Russian Orthodox Church.
At the Acropolis, you will visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Museum of the Acropolis.
In the early afternoon, we will provide a transfer to your hotel, or we can also drop you off at the Plaka so you can wander and explore.
Overnight in Athens

Friday - Day 11 - Athens to Mykonos - (B)
Very early in the morning, you will be transferred to Rafina Port for your fast ferry to Mykonos. After arriving, you will be transferred to your hotel, and then given the rest of the day to relax and explore the island on your own. Overnight in Mykonos
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* Mykonos' crystal clear beaches, quaint windmills, waterfront structures, archeological sites and lively nightlife make Mykonos simply picture-perfect. Archaeological finds indicate that the Ionians settled on Mykonos in the early part of the 11th century BC. More recent discoveries have uncovered ruins on Ftelia Beach from the (Neolithic) Kares tribe dating back as far as 3000 BC.

Saturday - Day 12 - Mykonos to Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will depart Mykonos for a 2-hour, 30-minute ferry to Santorini. Upon arrival, you will be met at the ferry port and transferred to your hotel where you will check-in and have the rest of the day free. Overnight in Santorini

* Santorini is one of those places that will be permanently etched in your mind. Everywhere you turn, you will find another photo opportunity. This island is the result of an enormous volcanic eruption (which destroyed all of the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island). The aftermath of the explosion created what you see today, a caldera.
The classic picture of the charming, white-washed houses that cling to the high cliffs, along with the impossibly- blue Aegean Sea hundreds of feet below, has rightfully made the island a perennial tourist favorite.

Sunday - Day 13 - Santorini - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will take you on a full-day tour of Santorini: we'll visit Acrotiri, enjoy a boat trip to the caldera, see hot springs and the ruins of Thirrassia, and wrapping up the day watching the romantic sunset from Oia.
You will then be taken back to your hotel. Overnight in Santorini

Monday - Day 14 - Santorini to Athens then to Cairo - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Santorini Airport and put you on a 50-minute flight to Athens. Upon arrival in Athens, you'll walk to the International Departures 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

Tuesday - Day 15 – 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

Wednesday - Day 16 – 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

Thursday - Day 17 - Cairo to Luxor - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to Cairo Airport for your 1-hour flight to Luxor. You will then be met at the airport and transferred to your boat. After boarding, 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 Luxor

Friday - Day 18 - Luxor to Edfu - (onboard) - (B/D)
In the morning, you will have free time to look around; after lunch, you will depart for Edfu, on a relaxing and comfortable cruise.
Overnight onboard

Saturday - Day 19 - Edfu to Aswan - (onboard) - (B/D)
After breakfast, you will visit the Ptolemaic-era temples of Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Sobek.
*Edfu city and its Temple of Horus, is one of several temples built during the Ptolemaic period, was completed in 57 BC, and is dedicated to the most important god, Horus. Additionally, Edfu temple is one of the best-preserved in all of ancient Egypt. 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

Sunday - Day 20 - Aswan - (onboard) - (B/D)
After breakfast, we'll begin our tour of Aswan and its adjacent sites.
* 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

Monday - Day 21 - Aswan to Cairo then to home - (B/L)

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 Izmir
* Flight tickets from Cappadocia to Istanbul
* Flight tickets from Istanbul to Athens
* Flight tickets from Athens to Santorini to Athens then 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


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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