WESTERN TURKEY TOUR WITH BLUE CRUISE

ITINERARY

2018

  • ISTANBUL - CAPPADOCIA
  • KUSADASI - EPHESUS
  • PAMUKKALE - FETHIYE (MARMARIS)
  • BLUE CRUISE
  • ISTANBUL

12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS | FREQUENT DEPARTURES EARLY MAY – LATE OCTOBER

WESTERN TURKEY TOUR WITH BLUE CRUISE (CODE: CC12) | GROUP SIZE VARIES

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DAY 1 ARRIVAL
Arrival in Istanbul and transfer (optional) to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 2 ISTANBUL OLD CITY TOUR (FULL DAY WALKING TOUR – EXCEPT ON TUESDAY)
8:00 – 8:45 Departure from your hotel. We will first visit the Hippodrome, a stadium for chariot races and other events in Byzantine times and also see the Serpent Pillar from Delphi and the Egyptian Obelisk. We continue to the Blue Mosque, which was built in the 17th century and is the only imperial mosque with 6 minarets. We also see the ornate German fountain which was a gift of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Finally, we see the magnificent Saint Sophia (Hagia Sofia) which was built by the emperor Justinian in the 6th century A.D and stands over much older remains of a church, which can still be seen. We will see both levels of the former church with intricate mosaics of biblical scenes and the Byzantine emperors and empresses, then on to the Grand Bazaar, which has over 4000 shops full of treasures where you will see a demonstration of Turkish handicrafts. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then explore the Topkapi Palace including four courtyards. It was the home of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th-19th centuries A.D. We see the Imperial Treasury with the famous Spoonmaker Diamond. Also the Baghdad Kiosk, Audience Hall, and Divan. We will also have a view of the Haghia Irene Church from outside. (Harem section is optional and due an extra entry fee). We continue to the Caferaga Medrese which was designed by the architect Sinan and built in the 16th century, now used as a learning center for traditional Turkish arts. We will also take a stroll down Sogukcesme Street with its cobblestones and charming Ottoman Houses. *Note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday and on Fridays the Caferaga Medrese is visited in the morning and Blue Mosque in the afternoon. This tour is a combination of two half-day tours and is done all or partially as a walking tour. *Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday and is replaced by the Chora Museum. Overnight in Istanbul. B. L.
DAY 3 ISTANBUL – CAPPADOCIA
Today is at leisure until afternoon or evening and transfer (optional) to the airport for flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir and transfer (included) to Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia. B.
*For budget option you will make your own way to the bus station or shuttle point and overnight bus to Cappadocia – upon arrival you will make your own way to the hotel (no breakfast or accommodation included with overnight bus).
DAY 4 CAPPADOCIA – UNDERGROUND CITY AND ANATOLIAN VILLAGES
10:00 Departure. Visit Kaymakli Underground City and explore four levels of this underground city which is a maze of tunnels where it is believed up to 3500 people may have lived. You will see storage rooms, kitchens and living areas with ventilation shafts. There are also wineries, stables and “millstone” doors which could be rolled to seal tunnel entrances from invaders. Parts of the underground city may be from the Hittite era but were also used by early Christians as a refuge as there is a small church. We continue to Sobessos ancient site near Sahinefendi Village with its fascinating “mosaic” house, meeting hall and chapel from around the 4th century AD. You will also see traditional villages in the valleys which are flanked by flat tabletop mountains. Continue to Keslik Monastery near Cemil Village that has frescoes veiled by a thin layer of smoke. After lunch, we visit Mustafapasa (Sinasos) which was originally a Greek settlement. Walk in the picturesque town with churches and houses in the Greek architectural style. We will also see the Saruhan Caravanserai which is built of the local volcanic stone and was an inn for travelers on the ancient trade route. The tour will end with a panoramic view of Red Valley with its colorful volcanic rock formations. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B). L.
DAY 5 CAPPADOCIA – GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM AND FAIRY CHIMNEYS – KUSADASI/SELCUK
10:00 Departure. Visit Devrent Valley - natural rock formations with fantastic shapes, some of which are reminiscent of people and animals. Visit the Zelve area with Pasabagi for a walk in the vineyards among strange multiple "mushroom-capped" fairy chimneys, then continue to Avanos, which has been a center of terra cotta work since 3000 BC. See a pottery demonstration using the ancient kick-wheel technique. We will also visit Goreme Open Air Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the best examples of Byzantine frescoes and symbols inside the rock-cut churches that date roughly from the 10th to the 13th along with the kitchens and dining halls of the monks in this extensive early Christian complex. The last stop will be Uchisar Village where we climb up tunnels inside the rock citadel for an extensive panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia and even Mt Erciyes on a clear day. Transfer to the airport and flight to Izmir (very late arrival). Transfer and overnight in Kusadasi or Selcuk. B. L.
*For budget option you will make your own way to the bus station and overnight bus to Selcuk – upon arrival you will be picked up to join the Ephesus tour (no breakfast or accommodation included with overnight bus).
DAY 6 EPHESUS – HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
8:30 - 9.00 Departure. We start our tour with a visit to the house where the Virgin Mary allegedly spent her last days, which is a pilgrimage site. We continue to Ephesus, which was one of the largest and most interesting ancient cities of Asia Minor. The tour of Ephesus includes the Library of Celsius, Temple of Hadrian, Agora and fantastic Greco-Roman theater. After lunch in a local restaurant, a visit is made to a cooperative weaving center to see how the Turkish carpets are made by hand. We will also see the Isabey Mosque which is a beautiful example of Selcuk architecture and the remains of the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Overnight in Kusadasi or Selcuk. B. L (D)
DAY 7 PAMUKKALE – FETHIYE OR MARMARIS
8:00 - 8.30 Departure (Take your luggage). We will drive through the Meander Valley. On the way, your guide will give information about the towns we pass through such as Aydin, Nazili, and Sultanhisar. Arrival in Pamukkale, which has been a thermal spa center since before the Roman era. After lunch, we visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is said to have been founded by King Eumenes II of Pergamon. We visit the great Roman baths, the Temple of Apollo and the well-preserved theater. You will see the tomb of St. Phillip from a distance. It is possible to bathe in the Cleopatra antique thermal pool with ancient columns (an extra fee is due) or you will have some free time at the terraces or to explore more on your own. We will also visit the calcium terraces and pools for which Pamukkale is named “Cotton Castle”.  Transfer (included) to Denizli Bus station and bus (tour bus or long distance bus) to Fethiye (or long distance bus to Marmaris), upon arrival, take a taxi to your hotel if not arriving by tour us. (Depending upon departure date of the gulet, you may need to do the gulet tour starting from Marmaris – Please let us know your preference for the gulet itinerary). B. L.
DAY 8: FETHIYE – GOCEK GULF – YASSICA ISLANDS (BLUE CRUISE) *WEDNESDAY ONLY
You make your own way to the gulet and will embark in from Ece Saray Marina before 9:00 a.m.  After breakfast, we will cruise to world-famous Gocek Gulf. While moving through uniquely beautiful islands, we finally anchor at Yassica Islands. Lunch will be taken in this beautiful chain of little islands. Lunch will be taken in this beautiful chain of little islands. Snorkeling in the crystal clear water is recommended. Dinner and overnight in a bay amongst the islands of Gocek. B.L.D.
DAY 9: BEDRI RAHMI BAY – SARSALA – AGA LIMANI 
After breakfast, sail to the spectacularly stunning BedriRahmi Bay, named after a famous Turkish artist and then to Sarsala Bay. Cruise to Aga Limani before lunch and an overnight stay in this lovely bay. B.L.D.
DAY 10: KUMLUBUK BAY – CENNET ISLAND – MARMARIS
After breakfast, depending on the weather, depart early for Kadirga Cape with swim stops along the way. Kadirga Bay is a quiet picturesque location where we'll spend ample time swimming. This little bay is a paradise for snorkeling fans. Tea is served at 5 pm somewhere in the vicinity of Cennet Island.  Afterwards, we sail to Marmaris port. Overnight stay in Marmaris Harbor. Guests wishing to see more of Marmaris are recommended to go to the city center and experience the lively nightlife. B.L.D.
DAY 11: MARMARIS – ISTANBUL
The guests will leave the boat with precious memories by 10:30 after breakfast and be transferred to the Dalaman Airport for the flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer (optional) to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul. B.
*For budget option you will make your own way to the bus station and overnight bus to Istanbul – upon arrival you will make your own way to the airport – tour service ends (no breakfast or accommodation included with overnight bus).  
DAY 12: DEPARTURE
Transfer to airport (optional) for departure (B)

 

**ALTERNATIVELY THIS ITINERARY STARTING ON DAY 8: MARMARIS TO FETHIYE
-With this option, you can stay the night in a thermal spa hotel in Pamukkale and take a bus the following morning to Marmaris.
 

DAY 8 MARMARIS *SATURDAY ONLY
Boarding starts at 15.30 in from Marmaris Harbor. You will have to visit the old town and bazaar of Marmaris with its small streets and hundreds of shops, bars and restaurants. The castle of Marmaris, dating from 1577 is situated on the old town hill and offers a beautiful view across the harbour. Marmaris was built upon one of the antique Carian cities called Phyckos and has been under the rule of many different civilizations. Dinner and overnight on the gulet in Marmaris. B. D.

DAY 9: EKINCİK GULF – DALYAN (OPTIONAL TOUR TO BEACH AND MUD BATHS)
After your breakfast, you will be informed about the cruise itinerary and the boat. The cruise will move towards Ekincik Gulf where you are at leisure to enjoy swimming and sunning. Dinner and overnight in Egincik Gulf. You may also join our Optional Dalyan excursion, where you will be taken from your gulet by a small boat called “piyade” and arrive at Caretta-Caretta (Turtle) Beach for a swimming break, enjoy the natural beauty of the delta as you cruise along the river. You will see the ancient Rock Tombs and finally arrive at mud baths to relax and be rejuvenated then continue to the town of Dalyan. B. L. D..

DAY 10: TERSANE ISLAND – SUNKEN BATH – KIZIL ISLAND
Because of the wavy seas of Disibilmez and Kurtoglu capes that we have to cross, we may cruise out quite early and reach the beautiful Gulf of Gocek.  We will anchor at Sunken Bath for breakfast and swimming break. This place is also known as Cleopatra Bay or Sunken Bath Bay due to the underwater ruins of an ancient bath.  Then we will cruise to Tersane Island. This naturally protected harbour was used as a shipyard in Byzantine and Ottoman times. Dinner and overnight stay will be at Kizil Island. B. L. D.

DAY 11: FETHIYE (OPTIONAL JEEP SAFARI) – SAMANLIK BAY(DALAMAN) - ISTANBUL
Early departure from Kizil Island and arrival in Fethiye  Harbor. Fethiye was known as Telmessos in ancient times, was the most important city situated on Lycia's western border with Caria. It is believed that the city's name comes from Apollo’s son Telmessos. The ancient city was known as the city of light and was famous for its prophets. Today you have the option of a jeep safari tour in Fethiye (extra) or for those who will not join the Safari, the boat will cruise to Samanlik Bay for lunch and swimming. Afterwards around 16:00 the boat will anchor at Ece Saray Marina in Fethiye harbor and your captain and crew will bid you farewell as you disembark from the gulet you will be transferred to the Dalaman Airport for flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival transfer (Optional) to your hotel and overnight in Istanbul. B. L. *For budget option you will make your own way to the bus station and overnight bus to Istanbul – upon arrival you will make your own way to the airport – tour service ends with arrival in Istanbul on day 11 (no breakfast or accommodation included with overnight bus).

DAY 12: DEPARTURE
Transfer to airport (optional) for departure (B)


INCLUDED FOR LAND TOUR: 
Accommodation in hotel category of your choice
Meals as mentioned only (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Main museum entry fees, transport in non-smoking A/C car, mini, midi or coach buses with professional English speaking guides on tours (Istanbul Old City is a walking tour)
Kayseri/Nevsehir, Izmir and Dalaman Airport transfers (Except for Budget program)
Bus tickets Istanbul – Cappadocia – Seluk + Fethiye/Marmaris – Istanbul only if taking budget option


NOT INCLUDED: International or domestic flights, Istanbul airport transfers, drinks, tips to guide and driver and items of a personal nature.  


OPTIONAL: Domestic flights, 4 x Istanbul airport transfers 180 EUROS total - up to 3 passengers (Valid for Istanbul Ataturk Airport only), additional nights in Istanbul,  domestic flights, Turkish Night or Cappadocia Balloon Tour


INCLUDED FOR GULET CABIN CHARTER CRUISE: Accommodation on wooden gulet in double cabin (twin cabins with separate beds and triple cabins are generally unavailable) - Private toilet and shower in the cabin on Full Board basis traditional A/C 


NOT INCLUDED FOR GULET CABIN CHARTER CRUISE:
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including bottled water which can be purchased on board (please do not bring your own), tips to crew of the gulet. Captain and crew accompany you on the cruise and prepare your meals


OPTIONAL: Optional excursions or any entry fees to historical sites or anything not specifically mentioned.
                      
Depending on sea and weather conditions, we reserve the right to make necessary changes to the tour itinerary to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests.

 

A FLEXIBLE TOUR OF TURKEY THAT COMBINES THE HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL, CENTRAL, AEGEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN TURKEY WITH A THREE NIGHT BLUE CRUISE!

ENJOY A COMBINATION OF DAILY GROUP TOURS INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL GUIDES AND MAIN ENTRY FEES CONNECTED SMOOTHLY BY FLIGHTS AND/OR OTHER MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. WE CAN CRAFT YOUR TOUR TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS WITH HOTELS OF YOUR CHOICE – UPGRADES TO PRIVATE TOURS, EXTRA ACTIVITIES AND MORE! 

TOUR AND HOTEL PACKAGES CAN START FROM, OR OUTSIDE OF ISTANBUL SUCH AS THE GREEK ISLANDS OR ANOTHER AREA OF TURKEY

GET OUR BEST QUOTE SPECIFIC TO YOUR DATES, BUDGET AND TASTES!

PLEASE INQUIRE FOR A QUOTE AS PRICES VARY DEPENDING UPON DATE AND ACTUAL TOUR ITINERARY 

 

FEATURED HOTELS: M=MODERATE/F=FIRSTCLASS/ S=SUPERIOR

   ISTANBUL  CAPPADOCIA  KUSADASI/SELCUK
 M GRAND NAKI HOTEL
ILKAY HOTEL
NILES HOTEL 
NOWY EFENDI HOTEL
ORIENT EXPRESS 
SAKLI KONAK
CAPPADOCIA INN 
CAVE KONAK 
DERICI HOTEL 
MARY'S HOUSE HOTEL
LIMAN HOTEL
NICEA HOTEL
SAINT JOHN HOTEL
 F ALMINA HOTEL
AMBER HOTEL 
DERSAADET HOTEL
HOTELLINO 
RECITAL HOTEL
SABA SULTAN HOTEL 
ZEYNEP SULTAN
RIVERSIDE MANSION 
JACOBS CAVE 
ELIKA CAVE SUITES
CARINA HOTEL
ILAYDA AVANTGARDE
LAVISTA HOTEL 
NEA EFESSOS HOTEL
 S AMIRA HOTEL
ANTUSA PALACE
DOSSO DOSSI OLD CITY
HILTON SIRKECI
FER HOTEL 
PREMIER ACROPOL
IBRAHIM PASA 
KYBELE HOTEL
LEVNI HOTEL
NEORION HOTEL
PIERRE LOTI HOTEL
SIRKECI MANSION
YASMAK SULTAN 

FRESCO CAVE 
KALE KONAK HOTEL
YUNAK EVLERI 
KAYAKAPI PREMIUM

CHARISMA HOTEL (HB)
KORUMAR HOTEL (HB)


NOTES ON HOTELS: Breakfast included in all hotels. HB = breakfast and dinner included/ Hotels usually offer coffee and tea at breakfast but drinks are extra at dinner as is use of hotel mini-bar/Hotels have been grouped together according to price category and are a mixture of 3 star/4 star/5 star and boutique hotels. All hotel prices are for standard rooms unless otherwise mentioned. Upgrades are available for most hotels at extra cost.