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Antalya is a city where three out of four seasons are spring & the other is summer. When King Attalos first set eyes on Antalya he called it “Paradise on Earth”. Its fertile soil & natural harbour made it favourable for settlers throughout the ages. It is the largest city on the Turkish Mediterranean coast with a shoreline of 630 km's. Having entered the scene in 150 B.C. as Attalia, named after its founder, Attalos II, king of Pergamon, Antalya has ever attracted a wide array of travellers, including Paul the Apostle & Ibn Battuta among others. Everything relating to history, nature, culture, tradition, shopping, dining & nightlife exists in this region – combined with the cordial hospitality of the Turkish people.

 

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Antalya Tahtali Mt. on the Turkish Mediterranean. Antalya tours, Antalya vacation packages & itineraries.

 

Istanbul Galata Bridge, tours to unknown & less popular places in Istanbul

 
 
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Fascinating Turkey Tour

 
Antalya & its environs enjoyed a golden era in the early centuries A.D. reflected in the magnificence & multitude of cities of that epoque, like Side & Aspendos in the east & Phaselis, Olympos & Xanthos in the west.

Introduction
Istanbul & Ephesus
Best of Turkey
Veni Vidi Vici Turkey
Wonders of Turkey
Fascinating Turkey
Turkish Delight
Ancient Aegean
The Turquoise Coast
Grand Tour Turkey
South Eastern Turkey
East & Southeastern Turkey
The Black Sea
Off the Beaten Track
Odyssey / Turkey & Greece
Turkey & Greek Islands

Turkey & Egypt
Turkey / Greece / Egypt
Turkey & North Cyprus

Turkey & Jordan
 
 

Day 01 : Arrival Istanbul

Upon arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport & clearing customs, you will be met at the exit gate of arrivals hall & accompanied during your transfer to your hotel.

Day 02 : Istanbul
Today, on your own you can criss -cross the centre of the city, taking in its modern & ancient history on foot. First visiting the spectacular Blue Mosque decorated with beautiful 17th century Iznik tiles. Then stroll around the historical Hippodrome where chariot races were once held. Continue with the Hagia Sophia which is considered as the jewel of Byzantine architecture. Enjoy lunch in the Topkapi Palace - Konyali Restaurant which offers spectacular views of the Bosphorus. Continue on visiting Topkapi Palace complex, the residence of the legendary Ottoman Sultans, now converted into a museum. All within less then a mile distance between each other.

Day 03 : Istanbul
Breakfast at hotel, then meet your guide at hotel lobby for a short drive to Spice Market, Egyptian Bazaar heaped with various sweets & spices is one of the world’s largest spice bazaars since 1665. Soon after, we embark on the Bosphorus ferry for an unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the beautiful strait that divides Europe from Asia. After lunch break, we continue driving across the first Bosphorus Bridge & head for the summit of Camlica Hill, which offers 360° panoramic views of Istanbul overlooking the Sea of Marmara. Driving back to Europe over the Bosphorus Bridge, we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 340 rooms & eight Turkish Baths the Imperial Residence of the last 6 Sultans is sure to impress. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 04 : Istanbul / Kusadasi
Noon transfer to Istanbul Airport for Izmir flight. Transfer to Kusadasi hotel upon arrival. Free day at leisure. Kusadasi was much-frequented place of birds during the seasonal migrations, during Ottoman reign it was named as Kusadasi (Bird Island). Bird island is connected to the mainland with a mole. Centuries ago the island was used for securing the shores & for preventing the attacks from the sea. Today, it is an ideal place to watch the panoramic view of the city & to witness breathtaking sunsets. You can also sip your drink at one of the cafes on the island.

Day 05 : Ephesus
You will be picked up from your hotel lobby to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus which is among the best places in the world enabling one to genuinely 'soak in' the atmosphere of Roman times & one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world. After lunch, we depart to visit the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to be brought here by St. John & have spent the last of her days. We will see the shrine & small chapel which is a pilgrimage sight just recently visited by Pope Benedict. The tour also includes a visit to the remains of Artemis Temple which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Overnight Kusadasi.

Day 06 : Kusadasi / Pamukkale
We will check out from hotel & drive for 2.5 hours to reach Pamukkale, world famous for its volcanic spring water that cascades over steep, natural terraces to form pools, channels & stalactites which give rise to Pamukkale's modern name ’Cotton-castle’. But first we'll visit Hierapolis, which is adjacent to Pamukkale. The ruins of the ancient city cover more than a mile. We see the impressive amphitheatre with seats still in perfect condition, the city gates, & column-lined streets & arches which have stood through time & earthquakes. We visit the Martyrium of St. Philip where the apostle is said to be buried in a worship chamber surrounded by eight chapels. After the tour of Pamukkale, you will be transferred to your hotel in Pamukkale village.

Day 07: Pamukkale / Antalya
Free time in Pamukkale village. Check out at noon & transfer to Central Bus Station for 3.5 hrs coach journey to Antalya. Upon arrival check in to hotel at historical Kaleici quarter. If you are feeling more active, after a short walk from your hotel you will reach the restaurants & bars area, each combine delicious meals with a stunning environment where you can find entertainment to suit most tastes. Other places which are at a walking distance; Hadrianus Gate from the time of Roman Emperor Hadrian, Clock Tower, Palm Street, Old Town with Marina, Republican Square will be the perfect introduction to Antalya on the Mediterranean Sea, an area known as the Turquoise Coast. Overnight Antalya.

Day 08 : Side / Perge & Aspendos / Antalya
Depart in the morning to visit Perge, an important city of ancient Pamphylia, originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 B.C. St. Paul visited Perge on his first missionary journey. The theatre stage has finely carved marble reliefs & other carvings from around the city are displayed in the stadium. Then proceed to Aspendos, which bears one of the best preserved Roman theatres in Asia Minor. After lunch by the river, we visit Manavgat Waterfalls before continuing to Side. Side is one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey. It was an ancient harbour, today Side is a pretty resort town with its ancient ruins, two sandy beaches & numerous tiny souvenir shops. The magnificent theatre of the ancient city, built on colonnaded arches, is the largest in the whole area.

Day 09 : Antalya / Cappadocia
After breakfast, transfer to Antalya Airport for Kayseri (Cappadocia) flight. Transfer to Goreme or Urgup hotel. Walking around you will experience the feeling of living in a Turkish village, where houses are built in caves & life goes on as it has for centuries. You may see villagers baking bread, drying fruit on their rooftops or riding on donkeys to their fields. Overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 10 : Cappadocia
After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel to visit the enchanting fairy chimneys in Devrent Valley. We continue to the Goreme Open Air Museum, which was once a Byzantine monastery. See the finest examples of religious frescoes in rock-cut churches from the 10th century. Lunch at a local restaurant. We will also visit Cavusin Village & see abandoned troglodyte houses cut high up in the rock face. We'll drive you to Rose Valley, where mineral deposits have given beautiful colours to the weathered stones & then continue to Avanos, centre of terra cotta work since 3000 B.C. See a pottery demonstration using the ancient kick-wheel technique before returning to Goreme for overnight stay.

Day 11 : Cappadocia
After breakfast check out from hotel, another full day tour this time to visit the famous Derinkuyu Underground City, we'll walk through the levels where an entire community of Christians lived in a system of subterranean caves & tunnels for centuries without being noticed. Afterwards a short hike through the green Ihlara Valley along the stream & visiting some of the churches dug into the walls of the gorge. Stop in Belisirma village for lunch break & then continue on to Selime for a panoramic view. Our last stop will be at the Agzikarahan Caravanserai built by the Seljuk Turks to accommodate travelers on the ancient Silk Road. Returning to Goreme for overnight stay.

Day 12 : Cappadocia / Istanbul
Check out from hotel & transfer to Kayseri Airport for Istanbul flight. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. If you haven't already seen the Grand Bazaar, this is the perfect opportunity to visit the worlds oldest & biggest shopping mall. Overnight Istanbul.

Day 13 : Istanbul Departure
Check out from hotel & depending on your flight schedule free day until your transfer to Istanbul Airport for onward flight.
 
 
Duration:
12 nights / 13 days
Transport:
Flight & coach
Highlights:
Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia
Sightseeing:
Small group &/or private option
Stay:
Budget / Comfort / Deluxe or combination of either hotels
Operates:
All year-round
Rates:
Please tell us your dates & choice of hotels & special requirements if any. 'Fascinating Turkey' itinerary can be customized to suit your interests, budget, time frame & comfort zone
   
 
 


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