Four Nights Journey to Cappadocia & Istanbul
(4 Nights – 5 Days)
Day 1: Istanbul – Cappadocia
Welcome to Turkey! Meet your guide at the port. Continue straight to the airport for your short flight to Cappadocia. Turkish Air TK#2026 leaving at 09:50am and arrives at 11:10am. Upon arrival meet your guide & vehicle and start exploring this magical land…
During the time you spend in this magical fairy land, you are able to explore the three faces of Cappadocia: By plenty of panoramic viewings and several opportunities for hiking and ballooning that will take you off the road into the very heart of the landscape, you will meet the face created by Nature. By guided visits to its fascinating rock-carved churches and subterranean settlements, you will marvel at the face created by faithful and industrious men. And by scheduled and optional wonderings, that of its fascinating culture today; the art, creativity and endeavor of its men and women manifest in its pottery and its weavings. Later in the day, visit a marvel of the region: the ‘underground city’ (as the locals call them) at Kaymakli. Check in you hotel in the late afternoon/evening.
Day 2: Cappadocia
Today, early in the morning (pick up time from hotel will be advised by your guide a day before), Hot Air Balloon ride over the Cappadocian landscape (subject to weather conditions). Many report this to be an experience of a lifetime and recommended by National Geographic as the most suitable landscape and climate…
After breakfast, meet your private vehicle and guide and explore Cappadocia to encounter an extraordinary treasure of sacred art; Rock-carved churches of Goreme, today an ‘open-air museum’ including the most famous of those rock temples, “Dark Church” with stunning fresco art on the walls. After lunch, continue with breathtaking vistas and visit Avanos town on the Red River (river Halys) – time allowing – visit a potter’s workshop carved in the rocks and learn about this timeless art of Cappadocia, giving life to the clay from the riverbeds.
Day 3: Cappadocia – Istanbul
After your breakfast, transfer to Kayseri Airport at 9:30am for your domestic flight on TK#2027 leaving at 11:55am and arriving Istanbul at 13:25pm. Upon arrival, meet your guide and driver and drive straing to Old Town.
‘New Rome’, as Constantine the Great meant to name her, Constantinople was the center of the greatest political power of the ancient and medieval world. In the grounds of the city Roman builders exhibited the best of their talents, and their efforts were reflected in monumental achievements during the long saga of the creation of a new world religion and its imperial capital. Constantinople was not at all less impressive than Rome, and due to its unequaled natural setting, even more fascinating to the visitors.
Step into the Blue Mosque and you’ll see why it carries the name. Inside are 21.000 shimmering blue tiles broken by 260 stained-glass windows. The light-filled mosque is an elegant tribute to Ottoman genius of the 17th century. With six graceful minarets adorning the imperial building, this masterpiece is one of the city’s most recognized landmarks.
Contuinue to the Topkapi Palace which was the center of Ottoman government and the court, the Turks ruled most of Europe and the Middle East from here. Covering the prime property on the peninsula, the court-defined grounds of the Palace express in the architectural sense the Ottoman ideal of the perfect life balanced between its formative components. Explore the breath-taking grounds, domes, porticos, terraces, great halls of the Palace.
Stroll through the busy market area into the Spice Bazaar where you will find all manners of wonderful things. This charmingly busy neighborhood perfectly narrates the Ottoman ideal of a balanced social existence. Stroll through the busy market area to find all manner of wonderful things. At the end of the tour, transfer to your hotel in the evening.
Day 4: Istanbul
After breakfast, meet your guide and vehicle and ‘enjoy another day of touring Istanbul’. Visit “The Hippodrome” which was a colossal stadium where the socio-political life of the Roman capital was centered.
Visit 6th century Basilica Cistern– perhaps the most unusual structure in Istanbul, exhibiting the engineering marvels that solved water supply problems. It comprises more than two acres and 336 columns over 8 meters high support its ceiling. It can hold 18 million gallons.
Next is the Hagia Sophia (The Church of Divine Wisdom), which is one of the extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture. When a previous church on this site was burned during the Nikka Revolt in 532, Justinian ordered to build a structure worthy of his empire. The building inspired countless generations by its colossal definition of what the interior space in a domed basilica was to be and by its innovations in weight-support and construction techniques- and what a dome it was: the popular belief was that ‘the dome was suspended from Heaven by an invisible golden chain’. In reality it was work of men, but a worldly simulator of the Heavens.
In the afternoon, visit the most dazzling of all the bazaars; the Grand Covered Bazaar; built in 1461, and in service ever since…Along with magnificent mosques and complexes, undoubtedly, the mother of all bazaars was a monument of rise of Istanbul. It contains more than 3.500 shops and employing more than 20.000 people under same roof. Everything imaginable: gold & silver jewels, old & new rugs, antiques, tiles, leather & souvenirs. Just seeing and experiencing this venue is worth the trip. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon/evening.
Day 5: Istanbul – USA
After breakfast, meet your vehicle and transfer to airport for your international flight.