Day 1 - Arrive Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul, where you are met and transferred to your
Day 2 - Istanbul
Meet with your Resident Tour Director this morning, and
then stroll to the timeless Hagia Sophia for a private, before-hours
opening, exploring in peace and quiet. Take in the
structure’s imposing façade, matched only by the grandeur of
its towering, vaulted ceilings within. Next, visit the Basilica
Cistern, its marble columns standing since the sixth century.
Then, enjoy an exclusive private opening of Topkapi Palace.
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 Halicarnassos before visiting
the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in the
Castle of St. Peter, which houses the oldest shipwreck ever
discovered. Continue on for a 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 stunningly restored
Dark Church at this enchanting open-air museum.
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 volcanic rock.
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.