IstanbulCappadocia Tours  Istanbul & Ephesus (5 Nights & 6 Days)

Istanbul & Ephesus (5 Nights & 6 Days) 

Istanbul & Ephesus (5 Nights & 6 Days)
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Istanbul & Ephesus Tour (5 Nights & 6 Days)
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Istanbul & Ephesus ( 5 nights / 6 days )
Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
We meet at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul and transfer to our hotel
located in the modern city center, just a few steps away from Taksim Square.

After check-in we meet for a welcome briefing and orientation tour of the hotel
area. We proceed to Taksim Square for a walking tour of Istiklal Street. Here is
where we end our tour, leaving the rest of the day to enjoy at our leisure.

 Day 2: Istanbul
We meet this morning and transfer to Sultanahmet for a full-day tour. Our day
begins with a visit to the ancient Hippodrome, an area that was once the center
of Byzantine civic life. We continue to Sultan Ahmet Mosque, more familiarly
known as the Blue Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent paneling
of blue and white 17th century Iznik tiles. Next we visit Hagia Sophia, often
described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. After these visits, we
break for lunch on our own before proceeding with the rest of our tour.

Our next stop is the Basilica Cistern, the largest and most ornate of several
hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. In its
construction, columns and capitals of earlier temples were used, providing a
very decorative appearance. We finish the day at the famous Grand Bazaar. This
bazaar will tempt even non-shoppers with nearly 4,000 shops exhibiting a rich
collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather, antiques, and
souvenirs.

Included meals: Breakfast
Day 3: Istanbul
This morning we meet again for another full day of sightseeing. We begin at
Topkapi Palace. Today it is a spectacular museum with one of the largest
collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and the very famous treasury of
the Ottoman Sultans. Next we visit the Spice Market which was built as part of
the Yeni Cami complex and has since been an exciting covered market filled with
the fragrant scent of spices from the Orient. Here is were we break for lunch on
our own at one of the nearby restaurants overlooking the Golden Horn.

Our tour continues as we embark on a public boat and start our cruise of the
Bosporus Strait. The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and
Asia connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. This boat ride takes us past
the late Ottoman palaces, Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful wooden
mansions and modern villas of the 19th and 20th centuries which form this
elegant section of the city. After the cruise we transfer to the hotel for an
evening at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast
Day 4: Istanbul / Kusadasi
After departing from Istanbul in the morning, we arrive in Izmir where we meet
our guide and begin our drive to Kusadasi. On the way we stop and visit the
village of Sirince. This pretty, old Orthodox village of perfect Turk-Greek
culture is located on the top of a mountain where we enjoy impressive views of
the vineyards and peach trees. As we wonder the narrow streets of the village
lined with typical Greek houses, we come across woman selling handcrafts of all
kinds and other local village products. Here we have chance to socialize with
locals and taste the simple but delicious meals of Aegean cuisine at a
home-hosted lunch. After lunch we visit the House of the Virgin Mary. The chapel
is built on the foundation of the house where the Virgin Mary is believed to
have lived. Finally we arrive in Kusadasi. Kusadasi is set in a superb gulf and
is known for its sparkling water, broad sandy beaches, and large marina. Here is
where we enjoy an evening at leisure on our own.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5: Kusadasi
This morning we depart for a full day of sightseeing. First we visit the Ephesus
archaeological site which is perhaps the world’s best preserved ancient city and
its ruins attract visitors from across the globe. The most significant relic of
the site is the immense amphitheater. We walk along the Sacred Way, see the
Temple of Hadrian, a Corinthian-style building with the head of Medusa on the
porch, and the Library of Celsius. After this visit we drive to the local
village of Sultanköy. Here we break for a grilled lunch and have the opportunity
to learn about some local crafts, such as rug-weaving. We may also be able to
see demonstrations performed by local craftsmen. Next, we continue to the town
of Selcuk and visit the Ephesus Archeology Museum. Almost all of the exhibits
are findings from Ephesus, the most spectacular being two life-size statutes of
Artemis Ephesia, both dating from the middle Roman imperial era.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6: Return home

After breakfast we transfer to the Izmir airport for the return flight to
Istanbul.

Included meals: Breakfast
NOTE: For those who would like to extend their stay in Kusadasi, we can suggest
day-trips to the sites of Aphrodisias, Pamukkale (Hierapolis), Miletus, Didyma,
Priene, Izmir, Pergamum, Bodrum.

Price of the package includes:
  Accommodation in hotels :
  3 nights Istanbul: 4 STAR HOTEL BB
  2 nights Kusadasi: Kismet Hotel or similar
  Domestic flights within our program itinerary (Istanbul-Izmir, Izmir-Istanbul)
  Meals: 5 breakfasts and 2 lunches
  Services of a professional tour guide (private)
  Modern, A/C, comfortable minibus for land transportation and driver (private)
  Admission fees to sights and museums
  Parking, portage, ferry, toll road
  Gratuity (except guide & driver)