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Turkish Baklava (Sarma)TURKISH COOKING TOURS

Culture, Cuisine and Fun Tour of Turkey, June 2016

Turkish Cuisine Tours are scheduled tours operated by Turkish Heritage Travel agency aiming to teach guests, one of the most famous cuisines of the world.

You will learn to cook the delicious tastes of Turkey, in which the tastes of the Silk Road, Byzantine, Greek and Ottoman Empire are mixed. During the tour, you will stay in the most unique place located at the heart of Turkey, Cappadocia, which is composed of centuries old cave houses. Your hotel has all the modern conveniences, but is built into these ancient caves, and decorated with traditional Turkish artifacts.

Organic Food:
Among the days you will learn secrest of Turkish Cuisine, you will also learn how to grow organic food. All the fruits and vegetables that are used in Turkish Cuisine are grown by organic fertilizer instead of chemicals.

Farmers in Cappadocia have carved many pigeon houses into caves and still use pigeon droppings as fertilizer for their vineyards. Organic food is the only food we know in Cappadocia.



Day 1:
Upon arrival to Ataturk Airport, our driver will meet you at the exit gate with a sign bearing your name. Then you will have a free day in Istanbul. Dinner on your own and overnight at Ferman Hotel

Day 2:
Meet at Ferman Hotel in Sultanahmet area of Istanbul at 2 pm. Sultanahmet, the old city, is the home to most of the major historical sites in Istanbul. The hotel is within walking distance of the Sea of Marmara, Grand Bazaar, Arasta Bazaar and most historical sites.

Tour The Hagia Sophia Museum, built in 537 by Emperor Constantine and the greatest Church in Christendom until 1453 when it was turned into a Mosque as part of the Ottoman Empire. Also visit The Blue Mosque, one of the largest and most famous mosques in the world. We will also visit The Hippodrome and discuss and learn about Byzantine and Islamic religious traditions.

Special Dinner:
A rare opportunity will be ours for dinner as a welcome to Istanbul, a city with over 2700 mosques. We will have a traditional Ottoman dinner at Daruzziyafe Restaurant right in the courtyard of Suleymaniye Mosque, the largest mosque in Istanbul. After dinner, you have the option of sipping tea and listening to music in a traditional tea garden.

Overnight at Ferman Hotel

Day 3:
Morning Tour: Morning tour of Topkapi Museum, one of the most famous museums in the world. The subject of many colorful stories, Topkapi offers a glimpse of over 500 years of Ottoman history. The intrigue of the harem and the gifts from governments around the world to the Ottoman Empire are some of its treasures.

Afternoon Tour: We will have our lunch at Konyali, the restaurant at the Topkapi where the menu has recently been totally redone and the chefs instructed by our friend, Nevin Halici, one of the foremost experts on Turkish food. Nevin will join us if she is available and explain the traditional menu served to the Sultans of Topkapi Palace.

After lunch we will embark on a tour of the Bosporus, one of the highlights of any trip to Istanbul to see the palaces and mansions along the strait that divides Europe from Asia. Following the cruise, we will visit The Egyptian Spice Market, constructed in the 1600’s and famous for centuries for its spices, perfumes, baklava, fruits and nuts and of course, Turkish delight.
Dinner on your own and overnight at Ferman Hotel

Day 4:
Morning: Transfer to airport for flight to Cappadocia. After our 1 hour flight, guests check into one of the lovely Kelebek Hotels (highly praised by many international guidebooks, TripAdvisor and Turkey Travel Planner

Welcome lunch and orientation to Cappadocia by our host Mr. Ali Yavuz. Kelebek was Ali’s family cave home before he turned it into one of the most architecturally unique hotels in all of Turkey. Now hotels in the area try to copy the style and service of Kelebek. With no formal architectural training, Ali is now sought after to design homes, restaurants and hotels throughout Turkey.

Afternoon: After lunch we will tour Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will explore a cluster of rock-cut Byzantine churches chapels and monasteries. Guests will receive an orientation to Cappadocia’s unique geography, lunar-like landscapes, ancient churches and dwellings carved into caves throughout the region, and picture postcard villages steeped in tradition. Once the home of the Hittite Empire (2000BC), this “other worldly” area of Cappadocia will provide the backdrop to explore traditional village life, Turkish cuisine, and famous Turkish hospitality.

Evening: Dinner will be a traditional homemade local stew called Guvec that cooks all day on an open fire. We will have Guvec at our friend Mehmet’s home/shop where we will also have a lecture-demonstration and learn about the art of Turkish rug making. This is one of the best places in Turkey to buy a kilim or carpet at good prices.

NOTE: In addition to the tour itinerary, while in this part of Turkey, optional experiences unique to this area are available at an additional fee such as horseback riding (Cappodocia means “the land of beautiful horses”) through the Fairy Chimneys and a hot air ballooning. Our hotel has a marvelous hammam (Turkish-Bath) carved into cave! It's also possible to have massage in this unique hammam.

Overnight at Kelebek Hotel (Junior Suite Room)

Day 5:
Early Morning: Optional Hot Air Balloon Flight in one of the most unique landscapes in the world with sunrise.

Morning: After breakfast, we will stop at Goreme vista point to view the magnificent area that is the heart of Cappodocia. Then we will tour Kaymakli Underground City, built 8 levels below ground, it is one of the best of 200 underground cities in the region. Some archeologists date some of the cities back 4000 years but certainly there is proof that dates back at least to the 7th century.

Afternoon: We will have lunch at Aravan Evi, a traditional village house. We will go to the Ortahisar Museum of Cultural Life. Through discussion and diaroramas, we will explore many aspects of local Turkish village life that have been in existence for many centuries. We will then stop at Devrent Valley, Monks Valley and then proceed to Avanos for a pottery demonstration. Here, we will try our hand at it, under the supervision of a master potter. Potters have handed down the craft and used the red clay of the region to produce famous artisan earthenware for centuries. Avanos pottery is famous throughout Turkey and of course there is a beautiful shop if you are interested. Free Time and Dinner on own.

Evening Entertainment: Whirling Dervish Performance in a 13th Century Caravanserai on the historical Silk Road.

Overnight at Kelebek Hotel (Junior Suite Room)

Day 6:
Morning: Drive to Guzelyurt Village to see one of the oldest churches in Cappadocia, St. Gregory Church and old Greek Houses. Two miles hike in the beautiful Ihlara Valley along a stream and a sea of greenery and birds as well as ancient churches. Lunch at Belisirma Village by the river and then visit Agzikarahan Caravanserai and Pigeon Valley. Dinner on own and free evening.

Overnight at Kelebek Hotel (Junior Suite Room)

Day 7:
Morning: Visit local weekly market and shop for ingredients for our cooking lesson.

Return to Goreme to cook our lunch under instruction of several village women who are outstanding cooks.

Afternoon: We will eat our handiwork for lunch and then take a Jeep Safari through the Rose Valley, the highlight of our last trip for many guests.

Overnight at Kelebek Hotel (Junior Suite Room)

Day 8:
Morning: After Breakfast depart around 8:30 for Konya by coach. Brief tour of Mevlana Museum, the former lodge of Rumi, the great mystic philosopher, poet, and founder of Sufism and home of the Whirling Dervishes’ community.

Afternoon: We will further learn about sufi cuisine as we go to "Konya Kosk Mutfagi" for lunch (hopefully with our friend Nevin Halici a famous local "Rumi" chef and PhD nutritionist written about in Saveur Magazine) for a Rumi tasting lunch.

Evening: Arrive in Antalya for dinner and check into Mediterra Art Hotel where we will have a light dinner

Overnight at Mediterra Art Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 9:
Morning: After breakfast, check out of hotel and visit Old Citadel, Mosque and the lovely view of the Mediterranean Sea from the old walls of Antalya. Drive to Kas and check into the Medusa Hotel. Kas is not only the quintessential Turkish coastal fishing village, but the home of Turkey’s growing adventure travel center. Boating, scuba diving, swimming, mountain biking and hiking are all available. Our hotel will provide easy access to restaurants, bars and the sea so guests can also just relax, go to a hammam or Turkish bath and enjoy themselves as they explore this Mediterranean village by the sea. Also for those who wish, there are daily boat trips to the Greek Island of Meis only 20 minutes away.

Afternoon and Evening: Free time to relax or explore Kas. Lunch and dinner on your own in one of Kas many lovely restaurants.

Overnight at Medusa Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 10:
Boat trip to Kekova and the Sunken City submerged 6 kms below the Mediterranean. We will swim off the boat, sun-bathe as well as view ancient Lycian ruins and tombs for an interesting and relaxing afternoon. Evening free and dinner on own.

Overnight at Medusa Hotel (Standard Room)

Day 11:

Morning: Drive to Sirince Village with visits to Miletus Ancient City and Didyma. This journey will take our full day and we will have our lunch on a lovely restaurant on the way. Arrive in Sirince and check-in to Kirkinca Houses. Welcome local fruit drink served at our lodging Kirkinca Houses.

Overnight at Kirkinca Houses

Day 12:
Day Tour: After breakfast we will depart for Ephesus, one of the best preserved ruins of an intact Roman city. We will also visit The Virgin Mary House where Apostle John brought her and is said to be where she died. We will have lunch in Selcuk and visit the lovely town and Selcuk Museum.

Evening: Dinner on your own in Sirince

Overnight at Kirkinca Houses

Day 13:
After breakfast, drive to Izmir for a noonflight to Istanbul. Check-in to Ferman Hotel

Afternoon: Lunch will be near Grand Bazaar. Visit Grand Bazaar, one of (if not the) biggest covered markets in the world with over 4000 shops. Get ready to start bargaining (owners and customers have bargained here for centuries) and enjoy yourself. After a brief introduction to the Bazaar, you will be on your own and also have a free evening in Istanbul.

Overnight at Ferman Hotel

Day 14:
Morning: Visit the impressive Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum in the Hippodrome area which in 1524 was the palace built for Ibrahim Pasa, close friend and brother-in-law of Suleyman the Magnificent. The building, garden area and collection itself are magnificent. We will then walk to the underground Basilica Cistern, built in 532 AD by Byzantine Emperor Justinian.

Afternoon: Lunch on own and free afternoon in Istanbul.

Early Evening: A walk through Istiklal Street to experience the Taksim and Beyoglu areas. This is where all of Europe would arrive in the 19th Century on the Orient Express. It is the home of the Pera Palace hotel where Agatha Christie wrote her famous mysteries. Wandering the Cicek or Balik Passages, lined with permanent stalls selling fish, fruit, vegetables, olives we also will see modern Istanbul full of designer boutiques, coffee houses and hip clubs.Most of the area is closed to traffic and you can see a microcosm of modern Istanbul strolling the streets.

We will have our farewell dinner at a traditional Meyhane, an outdoor (and indoor) Turkish Tavern, where it’s traditional mezza or plates of many vegetable dishes, melons, cheeses, fish, seafood and meat are a staple of Turkish cuisine. You can also try Raki, the anise flavored national alcoholic drink.

Overnight at Ferman Hotel

Day 15:
Breakfast is available at Ferman Hotel depending on your departure time. Optional transfer to the airport can be arranged.

Depart for Home, other parts of Turkey or the world -- or linger on your own in fabulous Istanbul!

  • Cooking classes with village women using traditional recipes passed down through hundreds of generations.
  • Visits to the must-see Grand Bazaar and Spice Market in Istanbul, as well as countryside organic farmer markets.
  • Tours of Turkey: Illustrious monuments, including the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and Ephesus.
  • Stay in one of the country's boutique "cave hotels," beautifully sculpted from areas used by Christians for centuries as homes and churches in Cappadocia.
  • Visiting 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • Outings to observe the process of local crafts including carpet weaving, pottery-making, and jewelry creation.
  • The rate of Turkish Cooking Tour is 3300 Euro including:
    14 Nights accommodation in special class hotels.
    2 Domestic flights and coach transportation. 
    Food and cultural tours including a cooking class, Bosporus boat tour, Kekova sunken city tour, whirling dervishes ceremony and several other special scheduled and unscheduled food and cultural activities.
    Daily breakfast, 4 dinners and 9 lunches.
    Professionally-licensed English speaking guide
    Museums and all entrance fees
    Transportation to and from all sights, cities, cultural outings, hotels etc. (over 2000kms). 

    Accommodation costs are based on per person on double room. 
    Please click here to send us an email (info@goreme.com) for further information and booking

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