Cappadocia is a land of fairytale rock chimneys, cavernous underground
cities, vineyards fruit orchards, and centuries-old Christian
monasteries and churches. Stay in an extraordinary cave residence,
carved deep into the mountain. Istanbul was built on two continents and
still stands today stands between two worlds. This magnificent city
boasts 2500 years of history, ancient palaces, exotic markets, museums,
street vendors, gold and silver boutiques and fantastic restaurants.
Overview of days 1-4: Cappadocia,
land of fairytale rock chimneys, cavernous underground cities and
Turkish carpets, vineyards and fruit orchards, and centuries-old
Christian monasteries and churches. Stay in an extraordinary cave
residence, carved deep into the mountain. Experience this, and much
more, as a cave dweller yourself on this tour to Cappadocia.
Overview of days 4-7, Istanbul:
History goes back 2500 years in Istanbul, but is alive as never before!
Built on 2 continents, Istanbul (the former capital of the Byzantine
Empire) today stands between two worlds. It is the city belonging to
both Europe and Asia. This is why it offers so much more than mosques.
There are ancient palaces, exotic markets, splendid museums, street
vendors, gold and silver boutiques and fantastic restaurants.
Masterful examples of fairytale cave-hotels in Ürgüp's Cavern Hill. Our
guest rooms are designed with your comfort in mind and provide a
relaxing atmosphere. Some come with a private terrace carved into a nook
of the cliff and a gorgeous view over the Cappadocian dreamscape. The
interiors are fitted to a high standard with a complete array of modern
conveniences to ensure that you enjoy your stay.
Flight via Istanbul to Kayseri and transfer by bus to Cappadocia, known
as "the 8th Wonder of the World”. Check in at the wonderful and
extraordinary cave residence.
After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you by the formations
and geology, which make Cappadocia a colorful paradise. Tour the Göreme
Open-air Museum (which is in the World Heritage List of UNESCO) with its
soft stone cliffs, churches and cloisters. Local gastronomic specialties
in restaurants nearby will delight your senses, as your eyes glance at
the shops and vendors of the region. Pasabag, formerly Monk's valley was
instrumental in the early age of Christianity, and has one of the
world's first monasteries, Saint Basil. Red Valley, known for its
beautiful views and mythical landscape will be the last stop for the
Visit the local carpet factory and discover the history and tradition of
Turkish carpets. At Üchisar Castle guests see the beautiful views and
rock formations from the highest point of the region. Visit Avanos,
famous for the red clays (potteries) before you adventure at the
Underground City, built in the late Hittite era and used as a monastery
in Christian times. Take a break at the jewel and semi-prescious stones
factory in Göreme.
After breakfast, transfer to the Kayseri airport for your flight to
Istanbul. Upon arrival your guide will take you to a four-star hotel in
the old city of Istanbul. After check-in there may be some time to
explore the city on your own or relax and enjoy the hotel ambience.
After breakfast, depart for the city sightseeing tour. First stop will
be at the Topkapi Palace, a city-like complex with buildings and annexes
dating back to 633 B.C. See the famous Imperial Treasury, and most
valuable collections of porcelain in the world, along with the infamous
harem of the Sultans. Continue on to Istanbul's most famous land mark,
the Hagia Sophia. Built in 537 A.D., it is one of the greatest surviving
examples of Byzantine architecture, rich with mosaics and a total of
twelve different varieties of marble pillars and coverings. Afterwards
visit the Blue Mosque, whose name derives from the extensive blue-tiled
interior decoration. In front of the Blue Mosque is the site of the
ancient Hippodrome, once the scene of chariot races and the center of
Byzantine civic life. After seeing the antique ruins, use your free time
strolling through the Grand Bazaar until returning to the hotel.
This day, you will be visiting the Dolmabahce Palace on the banks of the
Bosphorus. This museum was one of the last homes to pre-democratic
Turkish rulers. Afterwards Süleymaniye Mosque, perhaps the most grand
and superb example of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul is on your
schedule. It stands as a tribute not only to the greatest ruler of the
Ottoman Empire, but also to its finest architect, Sinan. Built between
1550 and 1557, the second largest mosque in Istanbul remains the crown
jewel of Sinan's lifelong service to Süleyman. Spice Bazaar and shopping
in the City Center is also on the agenda for today. Free time for dinner
and evening activities.
After breakfast, check out at the hotel and transfer to the airport for
your return flight.