19 Days Turkey Package Tours ( Istanbul, Cappadocia, Nemrut Mountain, Urfa (Edessa), Harran, Gobekli Tepe, Antalya, Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Athens, Crete, Santorini. )

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Regular
Multiple Days
19 days

Eastern Turkey & Greece – 19 Days

Main sites Visited: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Nemrut Mountain, Urfa (Edessa), Harran, Gobekli Tepe, Antalya, Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Athens, Crete, Santorini.

Day 1 Istanbul
Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Overnight Istanbul.

Day 2 –Sultanahmet – Old Istanbul (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:00am
Visit to Topkapi Palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed.(Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch break we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. At the end of the tour, at request, free time to see the Grand Covered Bazaar (except Sundays). *May be done as a walking tour if your hotel is centrally located. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 3 –Bosphorus Cruise with St. (Haghia) Sophia & Beylerbeyi (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:45am
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market on the Golden Horn. Board your cruise of the Bosphorus, the waterway, which separates the continents of Europe and Asia. Pass Rumeli fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prepare for his conquest of Istanbul. Cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia and visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was the summer residence of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill for a magnificent view of Istanbul. Time for lunch in a seaside fish restaurant. Cruise is done by public boat unless other arrangements are made. Visit The St. (Haghia) Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years. See its intricate mosaics and huge central dome. Order of visits may be reversed.. Return to Hotel around 17:00pm

Day 4 –Istanbul- Cappadocia (B.L)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Take the early morning flight from Ataturk Airport in Istanbul to Cappadocia. Arrival at the airport and meeting just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name with your driver. Transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Soğanlı Valley, an Open Air Museum in a wild natural setting near a typical Cappadocian village with its different style Rock-Cut churches and frescoes. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Lunch break and Visit to Sahinefendi newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides its frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Our tour finishes with a visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.
Overnight Cappadocia

Day 5 Cappadocia (B.L)Hot air balloon flight with sunrise (extra)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses, visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Lunch break in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight Cappadocia

Day 6 – Cappadocia – Kahta (B)
Departure from your hotel in Cappadocia at 08:30.
Drive to Karatay Caravanserai and visit the caravanserai. On the way to Kahta (Nemrut) stop at Kahramanmaras for lunch and a taste of its famous ice cream. Arrive to the hotel in Kahta city.
Evening at leisure and overnight in Kahta.

Day 7 –Mt. Nemrut – Urfa (B)
In the morning 03:30 am departure. Hike to the summit of the Mt. Nemrut (one of the most popular UNESCO world cultural heritage sites), watching the sunrise, be amazed by the colossal heads and statues of ancient deities, as you step into mythology. There we will hire small mini-buses to drive up the mountain. This extraordinary landmark rests at an elevation of 8000 ft. The mountain top complex is composed of two flattened areas strewn with statues and separated by a false peak of crushed rock. Antiouchus built the entire complex approximately 2000 years ago as a monument to his divine ancestry. Also definitely take time to visit the old castle, Arsemeia, cross over the still functioning Cendere Bridge (Septimius Severus bridge) dating all the way back to the 3rd century and Tumulus Tomb of Karakus. Then drive back to the hotel for breakfast. Drive to Urfa on the way visit Ataturk dam and look over to the Ataturk Dam; a modern day wonder .You will also see Gobekli Tepe which is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Sanlıurfa.

Day 8 – Urfa (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Urfa, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Urfa has been occupied since the Babylonians followed by the Hurrites, Hittites, Assyrians, Greeks. We will visit nearby Harran and see the incredible beehive houses. Harran according to the Bible was the site where Prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family before moving on to Israel, the Promised Land. We will also visit the holy sites in Ainzelha, a lake
with millions of domesticated fish. While in Urfa we will visit the cave where the prophet Abraham was born and visit a bustling sheep market as well. There are exceptional photo opportunities in this area. Overnight Urfa.

Day 9 – Urfa – Antalya (B)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Take the early morning flight from Urfa Airport to Antalya via Istanbul (or Gaziantep- Antalya direct on certain days). Arrival at the airport and meeting just outside the arrival’s gate with a sign bearing your name with your driver. Transfer to your hotel. Leisure afternoon, overnight Antalya.

Day 10 – Antalya (B)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 09:30am
Visit to Perge – Aspendos and Kursunlu waterfalls or Antalya Museum .Overnight Antalya

Day 11 – Antalya – Ephesus (B.D.)
Pick-up from hotel 2 hours before flight departure.
Take the morning flight from Antalya to Izmir (direct). Arrival and meeting at the airport and Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. First visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world. Impressive structures we will see include the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, Theatre and Odeon. We also visit the House of the Virgin Mary and church of St. John. Overnight Kusadasi near Ephesus.

Day 12 – Ephesus – Pamukkale (B.D)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive to Pamukkale, on the way, visit to Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world. Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders you will ever see, from various mineral springs in a vast white cliff side, about 200 m overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels and created a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. It looks like creations from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle): “pamuk” for cotton and “kale” for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its color according to how the light enters. Return to Kusadasi and Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 13 –Izmir – ATHENS (B)
Pick-up from hotel 3 hours before flight departure.
Transfer to Izmir airport for your Direct flight to Athens Greece.(or via Istanbul) Upon arrival, (at 12 :10 noon time), you will be met and transferred to your selected hotel. Balance of Day at leisure.
Overnight Athens

Day 14 Athens (B)
Morning sightseeing tour of Athens, including all famous monuments & the Acropolis with its Museum (the Museum is closed on Mondays). Balance of the Day at leisure.

Overnight Athens

Day 15 – Athens / Santorini (B)
Early morning transfer to the port to board the ferryboat to Santorini. Upon your arrival on the island, transfer to your selected hotel.
Overnight Santorini

Day 16 Santorini (B)
Day at leisure at the most breathtaking island. Enjoy a half Day cruise to the small islands of Nea Kameni & Palea Kameni located inside the caldera, the Hot Springs with the green and yellow waters (with free time for swimming) and the island of Thirassia. Admire the town of Fira’s whitewashed houses, narrow streets and open air cafes that cling to a steep cliff accessible by cable car or mule.

Day 17 Santorini/Crete (B)
Morning transfer to the port to board the ferryboat to Crete. Upon your arrival on the island, transfer to your selected hotel.

Day 18 – Crete (B)
Day leisure in Crete.

Day 19 – Crete/ Athens (B)
According to your departure flight, you will be transferred to the Airport Crete for your flight to Athens-END OF SERVICES.

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