CULTURAL TRIANGLE TOUR
Tour Name: Cultural Triangle Tour
Duration: 7 Days, 6 Nights (Departs every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday)
Transportation: Domestic Flights*
Visited Places: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus
ITINERARYDay 1 (Istanbul - Half day Bosporus Cruise)
Picking up about from your hotel (free pickup from hotels in the Sultanahmet/Taksim area) the tour starts with Rustem Pasha Mosque constructed by Architect Sinan and decorated with the best examples of Turkish tiles. Rustem Pashawas the Grand Vizier of Sultan Suleiman and was married to his daughter. Later, you will walk through the Hasircilar Street leading to Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar). This area is one of the most crowded sites of Eminonu since there are many shops selling cheese, olives, eggs, meat products, dried fruits and peddlers everywhere. You can have a short stop on your way to drink a glass of “Tursu Suyu – Pickle Juice”. There is Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi, the famous Turkish coffee store at the end of the street. This is an excellent place to but Turkish coffee in the city. Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) is one of the most colorful sites in the city.
Once the Bazaar was the last stop of the Silk Road from where the staff carried on camels from India and Far East was delivered to Europe with ships. Today, it is still very popular among the local whom want to buy spices, delight, cheese and dried fruits. There are also shops selling souvenirs and gold. When you come out of the Spice Market, you will see Yeni Cami (so called The New Mosque or the actual name Valide Sultan Mosque) constructed in 1665. There are bird seeders in front of Mosque and the people sitting on the marble stairs viewing the Golden Horn bridge. Later, you will embark the boat for Bosporus Tour. This a large, safe and comfortable public boat with open and covered areas convenient for any weather conditions. There is also a bathroom in the boat. You may buy snacks and drinks in the boat too. The tour taking about 2 hours and you will see Ciragan Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Bosporus Bridges, Maiden’s Tower and fabulous Ottoman Yalis (sea-side Mansions) during your tour. Your guide will be with you on the yacht to give you information about the places you see on the tour. The boat tour takes about 1.5 hours. The tour ends with free time in Eminonu from where you may either visit Spice Market again for shopping or have a walk over the Golden Horn Bridge. The guide is going to recommend you the best way to get your hotel.
Our cruise will end at Kabatas around 6 pm and you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 (Istanbul full day tour)
We will pick you up from your hotel at around 08:30 and to day begins with a visit to the amazing Topkapi Palace – home to the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years. Today, the palace houses amazing artifacts from the Ottoman period as well as many religious pieces and the famous Harem. The next stop is the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque – built in the 16th century, this working mosque gets its names from the intricate blue Iznik tiles which adorn the inside. On to the Roman Hippodrome – this Byzantine scene was home to Constantinople's sporting and political life. Today we can see many monuments including a 3500 year old Egyptian Obelisk. Our next destination is a local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we continue with our walking tour by visiting the famous Aya Sofia (Hagia Sophia) museum – this architectural wonder was built in 360 A.D. and was used as a house of worship by different religions until finally being converted to a museum in 1935. The Basilica Cistern is our next stop – also known as the Sunken Water Palace, the Cistern has 336 marble columns and was built in 532 A.D. We continue on to the Tomb of Sultan Mahmud and the ancient Ottoman cemetery, the Cemberlitas – known as the Banded Column and finally onto the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar – the ultimate Old World shopping center with some 4000 shops. Around 4:30pm, we will transfer you back to the hotel.Overnight in Istanbul
Day 3 (Cappadocia Tour)
Around 5 am, we will transfer you to Istanbul airport and at 07:00 you will fly to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival to Nevsehir airport, we will transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia. The History and Adventure Tour starts at 10:00 by pick-up from your hotel. After a 5 minute drive we will start our hike in the beautiful Rose Valley which will take slightly more than one hour.
We will see fairy-chimneys, local farms, pigeon houses and cave chapels – as well as take in the wonderful range of rose-colored hues in the valley, changing in intensity depending on the season, time of day and weather conditions. Your guide will give information about the history and the unique formations of Cappadocia during the hike. At the end of the hike, we will have a quick stop at the picturesque old Cavusin cave village.
Our next stop will be Monks Valley (Pasabag), where we will see the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys and St. Simeon's monk cell. Then, we will drive to Goreme for the lunch.
In the afternoon, we tour the Kaymakli underground city, the first and most popular underground city in Cappadocia. This complex carved underground is used for hundreds of years by locals to hide from Romans, Persians and Arabs. We will then drive back to your hotel.
Overnight in Goreme.
Day 4 (Cappadocia full day tour)
On your fourth day, you may have an optional hot air balloon flight with sunrise. After the breakfast, you will join a full day Cappadocia tour (at 09:30). To south Cappadocia with an introduction up on the Goreme panoramic view point. Then a one hour drive to Guzelyurt, historically populated with Christians until the 1923 population exchange, and into the Underground City famous for the tandir ovens and the squat toilet!
And now to the most spectacular gorge in Turkey: Ihlara. A one and a half hour walk along the Melendiz River passing Byzantine rock chapels. Our hike concludes at the base of Belisirma Village and lunch on the river. Selime Monastery and Cathedral are next - used historically as a fortress during 10th to 12th centuries being the largest rock-cut settlement in Cappadocia.. We will then drive back to your hotel.
Overnight in Goreme.
Day 5 (Flight to Ephesus)
After your breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer you to Kayseri Airport and you will take direct flight to Izmir.** Our driver will be waiting for you at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport and will drive you to your hotel in Ephesus area (either Selcuk or Kusadasi). You will have free afternoon. Overnight in Ephesus region.
Today, you will take a full day tour to Ephesus and Virgin Mary's House. During your 2 to 3 hours visit in Ephesus, you will see Odeion, Goddes Rome temple, Hadrian temple, Divine Ceasar temple, Pollia and Trajan fountains, Celsius library, more than thousand year old public toilets, Ephesus Theatre, harbour street and many other highlights of city of Ephesus. After your lunch the tour will continue with Artemis temple which is one of the "Seven Wonders of the World". After the temple you will visit The Virgin Mary's House. The tour will finish at 16:00. Then, we will drive you to Izmir airport for evening flight to Istanbul. Our driver will pick you up from Istanbul airport and drive you to your hotel in Istanbul.
Day 7 (Istanbul)
You will have free time in Istanbul until the transfer to airport for your international flight. Optional activities can be arranged in Istanbul as well.
** Direct Flights to Izmir may not be available in winter. We will offer connecting flight options in those cases.
The rate of Cultural Triangle tour is 1050 Euro per person including;
Istanbul Yusuf Pasa Konagi Hotel or similar (Boutique Style - 3 Nights) with breakfast,
Cappadocia Sultan Cave Suites or similar (Junior Suite Room, 2 Nights) with breakfast,
Selcuk Nilya Hotel or similar (Boutique Style, 1 Night) with breakfast,
Professional guiding, transportation, lunch and all entrance fees in the tours,
3 domestic flights (Istanbul - Kayseri and Izmir - Istanbul) and 8 airport transfers
Accommodation costs are based on per person on double room. Single Supplement cost is 250 Euro.
Please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for booking and further information