The Grand Tour
Starts in Istanbul Weekly on Saturday : April- Oct
Click here for the Private Touring including King Midas Extension :
Arrive Any Day .
16-day Grand Tour shows you all of Turkey's best cities, sites
Istanbul, Troy, Izmir, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias, Antalya,
Side, Perge, Aspendos, Konya, Cappadocia, Ankara.
1- ISTANBUL- Saturday - Weekly : Apr - Oct
Our local rep. meets your plane and escorts you to your hotel. Rate
doesn't include international air fare from / to home country, please
let's know if we may assist with the air fare.
2 - ISTANBUL- Sunday (BL)
We tour historic Istanbul, including the Hippodrome, Museum of
Turkish and Islamic Arts, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Süleymaniye
Mosque, and the 4000-shop Grand Bazaar. Lunch is included
at a charming local restaurant.
3 - ISTANBUL- Monday (BLD)
After a visit to the aromatic Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar on the Golden
Horn, we board a ferryboat and cruise northward along the Bosphorus,
the strait which separates Europe and Asia. Sipping Turkish coffee or
tea, we pass waterside palaces, mansions, forests and parks. Disembarking
at a fishing village, we have a seafood lunch at a local restaurant,
then drive south to tour fabled Topkapi Palace, where we will stroll
through the palace gardens to see the Treasury and Chinese porcelains.
In the evening, we go out for dinner with live music and belly dancing.
4 - DARDANELLES & TROY- Tuesday (BLD)
We drive through Thrace (European Turkey) to Gallipoli, scene
of famous battles in WWI. After lunch we cross the Dardanelles
(Hellespont) and drive to legendary Troy to see the famous walls
and a replica of the Trojan Horse before settling in at our hotel in
5 - PERGAMON & IZMIR - Wednesday (BLD)
Driving south through the fields and olive groves along the Aegean shore,
we come to Bergama, ancient Pergamon. Ascending its lofty acropolis,
we see the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Dionysus and the remains of the
200,000-volume library which was surpassed only by Alexandria's. A few
miles away, we tour the asclepion, the early medical center where Galen
was a physician, before continuing to Izmir for the night.
6 - EPHESUS & KUSADASI - Thursday (BLD)
In the morning light we ascend Kadifekale, Izmir's hill crowned
by a fortress built by Alexander the Great, to enjoy the view. Then
it's off to biblical Ephesus to see the Basilica of St John the
Evangelist, who came here with the Virgin Mary. Passing the ruins of
the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient
world, we reach Ephesus, the most impressive ancient city on
the Mediterranean. After our tour, we continue to the fine Ephesus Museum
and the hilltop House of the Virgin Mary, said to be her last home on
earth. We spend the night in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi.
7 - PRIENE, MILETUS & DIDYMA - Friday (BLD)
A short drive brings us to the well-preserved ruins of Priene,
a very ancient city perched above the aptly-named Meander River. We
next tour Miletus, where the philosopher Thales was born. Finally,
we tour the gigantic oracular temple at Didyma, which challenged
the primacy of Delphi, before returning to our hotel in Kusadasi.
8 - APHRODISIAS & PAMUKKALE - Saturday (BLD)
Driving east along fertile river valleys crowded with fields and fruit
orchards, we reach Aphrodisias, the City of Aphrodite, goddess
of love. After our visit, we continue to Pamukkale, the "Cotton
Fortress," where cascades of gleaming white calcium cover a hillside.
The warm mineral-laden waters attracted the Romans, who built the spa-city
of Hierapolis here. We tour its ruins, and enjoy the swimming pool at
our hotel here in the evening.
9 - ANTALYA- Sunday (BLD)
We drive back to Izmir Fly to Antalya, "capital" of the
Mediterranean Turquoise Coast. After settling in at our hotel, there's
time for a swim.
10 - PERGE, ASPENDOS & SIDE - Monday (BLD)
We tour three ancient cities close to Antalya, including Perge,
with its great gates and colonnaded street; Aspendos, with its
perfectly-preserved theater; and Side, with its creamy marble
temples of Athena and Apollo, where Cleopatra once met Marc Anthony
for a romantic tryst.
11 - LAKE DISTRICT & KONYA - Tuesday (BLD)
Climbing up onto the Anatolian plateau, we drive through Turkey's lake
district on our way to Konya, the capital of the 11th-century
Seljuk Turkish Empire and the home of the mystical whirling dervishes.
We visit the Mevlana Museum, with the tomb of Jelaleddin Rumi, founder
of the Whirling Dervish order, and also the Karatay Museum, a 13th-century
12 - KONYA & CAPPADOCIA- Wednesday (BLD)
We travel eastwards along the ancient Silk Road, stopping at the camel
caravanserai of Sultanhan for a look at this "caravan motel."
Entering biblical Cappadocia, we descend into the ground at Derinkuyu
or Kaymakli to explore an entire city carved from the soft volcanic
rock by ancient Christians.
13 - CAPPADOCIA - Thursday (BLD)
Continuing our explorations of Cappadocia, we tour the Göreme
Valley, filled with brightly-painted cave-churches hollowed from
the rock. Next is the monastic Zelve Valley, and then the farming
towns of Avanos and UÇhisar.
14 - ANKARA- Friday (BLD)
Driving north, we come to Ankara, known to the Romans as Angora,
and now the modern capital of the Turkish Republic. We visit the renowned
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the monumental mausoleum of AtatÜrk,
founder of the republic, before flying to Istanbul.
15 - ISTANBUL - Saturday (BLD)
" Imperial Constantinople in the Belle Epoque" (late 19th century),
the exotic romance of the "Paris of the East:"
Morning walking tour : We start with our guide in Karaköy where
the foreign bankers and shipping companies had their headquarters, then
take the Tünel up to istiklal Caddesi; stop in the whirling dervish
tekke, and walk past the various old embassy buildings (now consulates),
and point out the architecture. Stop for tea (included) at the
famous Pera Palace Hotel.
Walk at least as far as Galatasaray Square, and have lunch in
the Çicek Pasaji (Flower Passage); then walk up to Taksim Square and
be picked up for the afternoon tour.
In the afternoon the tour visit Yildiz Palace Park and the Ihlamur Kasri,
a mini-palace south of Yildiz, and finish up with a visit to the Military
History Museum in Harbiye in time to hear the "Mehter," or Ottoman military
band (mid-afternoon) . Return to the hotel for a leisurely dinner.
16 - DEPARTURE - Sunday (B)
We escort you to the airport for your flight home. Bon Voyage.
Add Egypt and Jordan?
person in USD $
on Saturday : May - Oct
here for the Private Touring including King Midas Extension : Arrive
Any Day .
The Grand Tour" does include:
airfares in Turkey as per itinerary in economy class, tax included
or coffee with each meal.
meals, preset menu, as per itinerary: BLD : Breakfast/lunch/dinner.
class , 4 star hotels with tax. Upgrade to 5 star hotels is available
transfers in Turkey.
sightseeing , entrance fees.
Locally escorted throughout Turkey.
private touring : Air conditioned Mercedes Sedan in Istanbul &
Air conditioned van outside Istanbul.
Visa Fee payable in cash upon arrival at the airport in Istanbul,
or contact any of the Turkish Consulates near you .
shore excursion while cruising/sailing.
Insurance. Please ask us for the flyer
Gratuities (at your discretion)
Hotels used or similar:
Istanbul Madison Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Canakkale Tusan Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Izmir Princess Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Kusadasi Pine Marina Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Pamukkale Lycus River Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Antalya Golden Ring Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Konya Dundar Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
Cappadocia Perissia Hotel or similar (local 4 star)
your stay in Turkey on board a comfortable Gulet
airplane/train/bus or end-of-the-day reading? Turkey: Bright
Sun, Strong Tea, my humorous travel memoir: