Day 1 - Istanbul
clearing customs you will be met by your guide. There will be
a short drive to hotel where there will be some time to rest
and settle in. We will have a dinner at a nice local Turkish
will visit Roman Hippodrome (where ancient chariot
races were held, and then visit the world famous
and Blue Mosque (unique with its 6 minarets, and famous for its
blue Iznik tiles).
Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 – Istanbul (B)
has been a capital for three empires. the visits to the
Cistern, the Chora Church will
reveal this unique city's glorious past and the Church of St. Sophia.
The Basilica or St. Sophia, now
called the Ayasofya Museum is unquestionably one of the finest
buildings of all time. Built by Constantine the Great and
reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century. You are free to explore the
labyrinth tunnels of the Grand Bazaar. One could visit
Istanbul for the shopping alone. The Grand Bazaar, in the old
city is the logical place to start. This labyrinth of streets
and passages houses more than 4,000 shops. The names
recall the days when each trade had its own quarter: the
goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers' street, and the street
of the skullcap makers. Still the commercial center of the old
city, the bazaar is the original shopping mall with something
to suit every taste and pocket. The Spice Market
(MISIR CARSISI) was the end of the Silk Road where spices,
essential oils and herbs of Asia were distributed to their
final destination in Europe. There we will see the best of the
henna, the biggest variety of oils and rose water being sold
next to natural sponges, hand woven kese (used in Turkish
baths for scrubbing) and herbs. Dinner at a fish restaurant in
the historic district of the old city.
Kutahya - Afyon
Drive to Afyon via Kutahya.
Kutahya is the tile making center of Turkey since the 16th
century. Visit tile makers and hear about traditional designs
and techniques. Relax at our Spa hotel enjoying the curative
waters of the hot springs. Dinner and overnight at Afyon
Orucoglu Thermal Spa Hotel.
Day 4- Pamukkale (B)
The towel that is used in the
Turkish bath is called Pestamal. The art of weaving these
colorful pestamals is as old as the joy of taking a bath in a
Turkish Bath. Every house in Pasalar Village weaves miles and
miles of cotton thread in their houses to meet the demand of
the Turkish baths not only in Turkey but also all around the
world. Will the village continue to have this reputation with
the next generation is the big question. And the obvious
answer is No! Once the old ones in the town pass away, no
young ones will sit by the loom to throw the shuttle by hand
when they know that the complicated machines can do it faster.
This will be an opportunity to see a dying craft.Dinner and over night at a Spa Hotel in Pamukkale (UNESCO
world heritage site with its unique spa and rock formations).
Day 5- Pamukkale
– Didyma – Kusadasi (B)
Drive from Pamukkale to Selcuk.
Visit Miletus where we can see the best example of a
2,000-year-old Roman bath and the breath taking architecture
of a perfectly intact Roman Theater. Visit Didyma to see the
3rd largest temple of its time. This 2,300 year old temple was
where the oracles prophesized about future and changed the
destiny of empires. End the day at a 300-year-old Turkish bath
in Kusadasi. Dinner and over night at Kusadasi.
Day 6- Ephesus –
Ephesus is the biggest excavation
in Turkey. It is the city of St. Paul and St. John. For many
people visiting Ephesus becomes a spiritual experience. Ephesus, capital of Roman Asia Minor, and
a jewel in Turkey’s archaeological crown. It is here where
history comes truly alive. Walking towards the ancient harbor,
down a marble road rutted by the wheels of countless chariots,
you pass architectural masterpieces like the Library of
Celsius, Heracletes Gate, many marble columns, before arriving
at the Great Amphitheater where silversmith Demetrius and his
friends started a riot against St. Paul, finally we will end
up at the Ephesus Museum. In the afternoon visit the nearby
Basilica of St. John and the Virgin Mary’s stone cottage,
where she is believed to have spent her last days. Lunch in Selcuk.
will see the
statue of Ephesian Artemis while touring the Archeological
Museum of Ephesus in Selcuk. We
will enjoy the site and the museum in a very relaxed manner
and appreciate how nice it is to be at this great place
without the crowds of the high season. Dinner and overnight at
Day 7- Pergamum -
Turkey is like an open-air
museum. When excellent ancient sites are right on your way we
will certainly not miss the opportunity and stop at the
acropolis of Pergamum and visit the ancient hospital the
Ausculapion to learn about how spa theraphy was used thousands
of years before our time. Ayvalik is in the midst of an
"ocean of olive trees." The Turkish bath is not
complete with out a good bar of olive soap. We will see where
they are made. Overnight in Ayvalik.
Visit Troy on our way to Gonen.
Standing on the windy hills of Troy, it is not difficult to
imagine the hair of the beautiful Hellen blowing as described
by Homer. The Trojan horse is not 3,000 years old but it
certainly sits at the right place to welcome the visitors to
this city of all ages. (The ancient city of Troy was built on
9 main levels over more than 4,000 years. Gonen is a popular
Day 9- Bursa (B)
Three hour Drive to Bursa. Bursa
was the capital of the Ottoman Empire before the capital was
moved to Istanbul. The city is resplendent with monuments to
the early Ottoman period and a number of Ottoman Sultans
remain buried in Bursa. The imperial nature of the town becomes
more exciting with the crowded, lively markets where the
famous Turkish Towels, keses, copper bowls and olive oil soap
is being sold. Our Hotel tonight is built on the spring of the
natural hot waters. Enjoy the stupendous pools of the hotel
where you will go back to the early Ottoman time while you are
enjoying the curative waters of this spa.
Day 10- Iznik - Istanbul (B)
Visit the ancient city of Nycea (Iznik) to see the
Iznik tile making and the church where the Nycean Eucemenic
Council had their first meeting. Take a ferryboat to Istanbul.
Free time for shopping. Farewell Dinner. Overnight in
to the Ataturk airport for your flight.