Day 1 - Arrive Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul, where you are met and transferred to your
Day 2 - Istanbul
Rise early for a private, before-hours opening of the Basilica
Cistern, with its marble columns dating to the sixth century.
Continue to the timeless Hagia Sophia, marveling at the
structure’s imposing façade and towering, vaulted ceilings.
Next, revel in the ornately decorated ceilings and spectacular
tile work of Topkapi Palace, on an exclusive private opening
of this one-time imperial residence of Ottoman sultans.
Ride Like a Local on a public ferry across the Bosphorus
to explore the food markets of the Asian side. After lunch,
embark on a private cruise of the Bosphorus. Later this evening, gather with your fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
Day 3 - Istanbul
Delve into the distinctive Pera district and visit a
coffeehouse, learning the story of this uniquely Turkish
tradition. Marvel at the Byzantine architecture and mosaics
of Chora Church. Fly to Bodrum and check in to your hotel
to relax before dinner.
Day 4 - Bodrum
Stop by the ancient Theater of Halicarnassus before visiting
the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in the
Castle of St. Peter, which houses the oldest shipwreck
ever discovered. Next, savor a Chef ’s Table cooking
demonstration showcasing local dishes and an exploration of
the local farmers market’s vibrant produce stalls. Enjoy the
rest of your day at leisure.
Day 5 - Euromos
Journey to Euromos to explore the ruined yet magnificent
Temple of Zeus. Continue to Didyma to discover the Temple of
Apollo, dating to at least 300 BC. Stop for lunch at a local seaside
restaurant. Then, proceed to Priene for a walking tour at the
age-old Temple of Athena before continuing to Izmir, where you
enjoy dinner overlooking the sea.
Day 6 - Ephesus
Embark on a day trip to Ephesus, where Saint Paul once
lived. Explore the renowned archaeological park and
museum here before enjoying a special lunch in a nearby
village. Return to Izmir for an afternoon and evening at
Day 7 - Cappadocia
Fly via Istanbul to Kayseri to explore the nearby volcanic stone “fairy chimneys.” View frescoes at the rock-carved
churches of Goreme, and visit the restored Dark Church at
this stunning open-air museum. Afterward, return to your
hotel for a refreshing Scenic Sundowner experience before
Day 8 - Cappadocia
This morning, enjoy an optional hot air balloon excursion
over Cappadocia. Then, visit the Goreme Weavers
Association on an engaging artisan visit. Next, sit down
with a local family for lunch in their home. In the afternoon,
explore the fascinating underground city at Kaymakli, which
dates to as early as the eighth century BC and includes
chapels, kitchens, air vents and living quarters carved out of
Day 9 - Istanbul
Today, fly back to Istanbul. This afternoon, visit Dolmabahce
Palace, once a seat of Ottoman power, and see the collection
of Ottoman royal barges, a hidden gem of the city.
Day 10 - Istanbul
Explore Suleymaniye Mosque and Istanbul’s fabled Grand
Bazaar, meeting local craftspeople along the way. After lunch
at a local restaurant, stroll the fragrant stalls of the spice
market. Tonight, gather with your fellow guests for a farewell
Day 11 - Depart Istanbul
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart.