20/06/2017 at 6:00 pm #8738
The first 4 days of the tour will focus on the history of the places that are going to. The next 4 will the exact same route but this time focus on the cultural aspect. This is a very special itinerary.
Concept: History vs. Culture in Turkey
Tour Type: Private
Departure Point: Istanbul
Price: Please Ask
History vs. Culture
Day 1: Morning flight from Istanbul to Izmir, arrive in an hour. In the morning, explore the ruins of Ephesus (2 to 3 hours). Lunch and visit Ephesus Museum, Saint John Basilica, Isa Bey Mosque (all in the center of Selçuk). Dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Breakfast and then drive to Aphrodisias (2 hours). Tour the ruins of Aphrodisias (1-1/2 to 2 hours), drive to Pamukkale (1-1/2 hours) and lunch in Pamukkale. After lunch, drive from Pamukkale through Turkey’s lake country stopping at Eğirdir for lunch, and in Beyşehir to see the Eşrefoğlu Mosque, then arriving in Konya (450 km, 280 miles, 7 hours). Overnight at the Hotel Rumi has the best location: right across the street from the Mevlana Museum in the city center.
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Day 3: In the morning, visit the whirling dervish Mevlana Museum and other Seljuk Turkish monuments (1200s) on and around Konya’s Alaettin Hill (2 to 3 hours), then drive east along the ancient Silk Road to Sultanhanı (1-1/2 hours) for a brief look at the grandest of Seljuk Turkish caravanserais (built in 1229), and lunch. Continue through Aksaray (40 minutes). Then, we will explore the Ihlara (Peristrema) Valley, turn right (south) 11 km east of Aksaray for Selime, Belisırma, and Ihlara (23 km). Spend an hour or two at Ihlara, then head east to Derinkuyu to see its underground From Derinkuyu drive north to Nevşehir, then east to Göreme; to our Cappadocia hotel.city, though if you don’t watch your time carefully on this day you may arrive after it is closed for the day (17:00/5 pm).
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Day 4: Rise before dawn for your hot-air balloon flight (thrill-of-a-lifetime experience). We’ll be back at our hotel in time for breakfast. After breakfast, visit the Göreme Open Air Museum in the morning (no guide necessary; 2 to 3 hours). Then drive to the nearby Zelve Valley, Avanos and/or Uçhisar, exploring Cappadocia until it’s time to get back to our hotel.
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Day 5: Early depart for the flight back to Izmir Airport. We shall go back and do the exact same route but see things from an entirely different perspective this time. The next 4 days will be ONLY CULTURAL! Arrive in Izmir and drive down to a village called Kemalpasa just outside the city to have breakfast with a Turkish family in their home. Around noon, we head off the elementary school of the village. We go into their classroom and interact with the students. In the afternoon, we go to a nearby local KAHVEHANE (A local hangout place) and learn to play a Turkish board game and play it with locals. For a late lunch, we go to a local restaurant and have the famous IZMIR MEATBALLS! After discovering some more of the local life on our way down to SIRINCE VILLAGE, we go to a local winery in SIRINCE
and try different Turkish wines. We also spend the night in this lovely village.
Day 6: After having a wonderful breakfast in our hotel, we depart early and head towards DENIZLI and PAMUKKALE through the countryside. On the way, we stop by a village and learn how to ‘make Turkish bread’. We arrive in Denizli and head to a local thermal springs facility and relax before we head out to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we go to an art workshop where we’ll see a demonstration of a traditional Turkish art form called EBRU (Paper Marbling). We’ll even have a chance to try! We start driving to another village near KONYA. This one is very important! We’ll learn to cook Turkish meals, we’ll have dinner with local people in their home and we’ll even spend the night in Turkish families’ homes as their guests. This will give us a great opportunity to really understand the local life of the region, therefore Turkey!
Day 7: After breakfast at HOME with the family, we head off to see a bit more of Konya before we start driving up to Cappadocia region. We try to catch a glimpse at the Sufi lifestyle and watch a Whirling Dervish Show. On the way up to Cappadocia, we’ll also stop by a vineyard and gather grapes. We’ll have the famous Turkish ravioli in Kayseri. We’ll also have a chance to see a famous bird sanctuary before we head off to our hotel in Urgup, Cappadocia.
Day 8: Breakfast at our hotel and depart to discover the cultural life of Cappadocia region. We’ll go to another special village near Cappadocia. Interact with the locals, learn how to make pottery. After the pottery workshop, we’ll go to a very old local Turkish Bath and relax before we have lunch in the village with the locals. In the evening, we’ll fly back to Istanbul from Kayseri Airport. Estimated time of arrival:10 pm.
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