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The Best of the Turkish Coast

Sept 5-24 2021

Istanbul Pre-Pre-Trip

Sept. 5th-8th

  • Day 1 - We will arrive in Istanbul and be transferred to the Kybele Hotel, one of the nicest boutique hotels within walking distance of most of the major tourist sites in the old town.

  • Day 2-4 - We take full advantage of our Hotel's Steller location and travel via walking tour to see the old city's major sites, such as the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya, The famous Spice Bazaar, The Grand Bazzar, The Suleymaniye Mosque, and many other sites. We'll also take a cruise through the Bosphorous, the famed waterway that separates the continents of Europe and Asia.

    Throughout our stay in the Kybele, breakfasts will be included, but for the other meals each day we will of course take full advantage of the city's fabulous food fare, ranging from small family restaurants to fancy dining. The dessert displays will likely also tempt us into sampling!

  • Day 4 - Late in the day on the 8th we fly to Cappadocia.

Cappadocia Pre-Trip

Sept. 8th-11th

  • Day 1-4 - We arrive in Cappadocia and transfer to the Cappadocia Cave Suites Hotel, widely considered the best Cave Hotel in the region. This part of Turkey is a land covered in wind-carved pinnacles that were hollowed out by early Christian monks starting in the fourth century. As Turkish tribes arrived from Central Asia, they settled along side these Christian communities. 

    We'll visit one of the underground cities and see its winding halls, multi-storied rooms, wineries, and large stone doors used at the time of its construction to protect the peoples living their from marauding enemies. We'll visit a plethora of early cave churches ranging from the early Christian period with their simple symbols to late Byzantine which have spectacular frescoes.

    There are two optional activities, not included in the tour, but are highly recommended. 
     

  • See a real performance of Whirling Dervishes. Although tourists may witness this, it is not put on for the tourists, but is an actual ceremony. 

  • Go on an early morning Hot Air Balloon ride over the Cappadocian landscape, one of the world's natural wonders, and see the world heritage site from above, truly one of the only ways of seeing it in it's entirety. 
     

  • We depart on the 11th to Antalya where we begin the main trip.

Main Trip

Sept. 11th-24th

  • Day 1 - We arrive in Antalya and check into our hotel. We'll have the rest of the day free to explore the town.

  • Day 2 - In the morning we will take an excursion to Perge and Aspendos where we see some exquisite ruins of Hellenistic and Roman towns, including some of the best remains of ancient theaters.  In the afternoon, we will explore Old Antalya and the Museum with its fine collection of Greek statuary.  Later we will drive to Kemer where we will embark on our Gulet.

  • Day 3 - In the morning we'll cruise to Phaselis and in the afternoon sail on to visit Chimera, and then Olympos, famous for its beautiful gardens. For the night, we'll harbor in Ceneviz Limani, known in ancient times as the Port of Siderus.

  • Day 4 - In the morning,  enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Gelidonya Cape. In the afternoon, we'll visit some beautiful Turkish villages, including Lmyra and Arykanda.  In the evening, we overnight in Finike.

  • Day 5 - This morning’s excursions to Myra and Demre bring us to the ancient kingdom of Lycia.  Here we see the famous tombs carved directly into the mountainside. This is where the real St. Nicholas lived and worked during his life.  We’ll be amused to see new Turkish carpets and other weavings depicting Santa Claus in his red suit and white beard.  In the afternoon we'll cruise further down the coast and visit the small and colorful Turkish villages of Kekova and Kas, where we will spend the night.

  • Day 6 - In the morning we'll cruise to Kalkan where we will take a excursion to Patara, the birthplace of St. Nicholas.  Here we will have a chance to swim at one of Turkey’s most beautiful white sand beaches.  In the afternoon we'll travel to Xanthos and Letoon.   Xanthos is famous for its ancient acropolis with its theater and agora.  Unfortunately, most of the statuary was carried off by the British during the 19th century.  Letoon was named for Leto, who was loved by Zeus.  Here we see three temples side by side: one to Apollo, one to Atremis, and one to Leto herself.

  • Day 7 - In he morning we will be cruising across to the Oludeniz Lagoon, famous for its beaches.  From here you will visit the village of Kayakoy, famous for its stone houses. The former inhabitants of this village were Greeks who left Turkey in the 1920s population exchange resulting from the Greco-Turkish war. We will then visit Fethiye, known for its beautiful bay and swimming possibilities.

  • Day 8 - Well cruise up the Ekincik river to the town of Kaunos, a beautiful village with great views of carved Lycian Tombs.  In the afternoon we'll continue to Marmaris.

  • Day 9 - Disembarking from our gulet, we'll board coaches for a ride to Aphrodisias and Pamukkale.  Aphrodisias, as obvious from its name, was the site of the great city devoted to Aphrodite and her son Eros.  In ancient times, this city was renowned for seekers of love and pleasure, making it one of the most popular cities in the entire Roman Empire!  From there, we drive to Pamukkale, famous for its huge calcite formations and thermal baths.  The calcite formations rival the ones at Yellowstone National Park.

  • Day 10 - We begin our morning by enjoying the thermal baths of Karahayit.  We then visit the World heritage Sites of Hierapolis and Laodicea, famous for their ruins and thermal baths.  In the afternoon we'll drive to Aydin.  When we enter the region, we'll have reached one of Turkey’s most famous agricultural areas, famous for its figs, cotton, fruit, and grains.

  • Day 11 - From Aydin we travel to Priene, Miletus, and Didyma.  Priene is considered one of the finest examples of an ancient Greek city.  It is located on the Meander River, whence we get the term "meander".  The ruins of Priene are amongst the best in Turkey.  Miletos has a magnificent theater, and Didyma has one of the best surviving temples of Apollo.  At the end of the day, we reach Kusadasi, where we will be staying for the rest of the trip.

  • Day 12 - Today we explore the ruins of the great City of Ephosos with its magnificent ruins of the library and great theater as well as homes of wealthy merchants.  Included in our visit will be the house that Christians claim was where Mary went after the crucifixion and to the Archaeological Museum which houses statuary of Artemis and her temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. 

  • Day 13 - This last full day, we will spend the morning visiting two small villages inhabited by Turkish people expelled from Greece after World War I. These villages appear to have been frozen in time with their stucco facades and red-tiled roofs. In the afternoon we'll drive to Dilek National Park where we can swim and relax.  In the evening we'll celebrate the end of our journey by having a farewell dinner in Kusadasi.

  • Day 14 - Departures home from Izmir Airport.

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Natural travertine pools and terraces in

Details

Prices:

  • Istanbul pre-Trip - $700 per person/shared ($210 Single Supplement)

  • Cappadocia Pre-Trip - $1,200 per person/shared ($250 Single Supplement)

    • Includes airfares from Istanbul to Cappadocia and from Cappadocia to Antalya. ​

  • Main Trip - $6,800 person/shared ($3,000 Single Supplement)

Tour price includes:

  • Accommodation as per itinerary with daily breakfasts.

  • Tours and transfers as specified including entry fees for included museums and other activities.

  • English Speaking local Guides

  • All meals aboard Gulet

  • Government tax and services charge

Tour price does not include: 

  • ​International and domestic airfares, except those noted above

  • Visa fee (Visa should be obtained online prior to travel or at the airport upon arrival in Turkey. (currently $30 for US citizens)

  • Meals other than specified as included.

  • Drinks during included meals.

  • Travel Insurance

  • Personal expenses such as laundry and beverages, wines, liquors, or refreshments additional to meals provided; room service; meals not specified; excess baggage fees; communication charges; personal insurance coverage.

  • Gratuities and Tips

Cancellations:

  • 30 days or less prior to departure date, no refund is possible

  • 31 - 45 days prior to departure date, 25% is refundable.

  • 46 – 60 days prior to departure date, 50% is refundable.

  • More than 60 days prior to departure date, 100% (less $1000 non-refundable deposit) is refundable.

Changes of Itinerary: 
The itinerary of the tour may be modified if flight schedule or any events beyond our control make such alterations necessary. 

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