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Ephesus Tour by Ephesus Excursions
Istanbul; the capital of cultures, a city not only uniting the Asia with Europe but also East with West, old with new, tradition with modern, talisman with knowledge, magnificence with modesty, dogma with pragmatism, universal with locals...
 
 
5 Nights Istanbul Pre & Post Cruise Tour     Istanbul Pre&Post Cruise Tours
PRE TOUR

Day 1
You will be met by your guide at Istanbul International Airport and transfer to your hotel by private vehicle. Check into your hotel with some time to relax. At approximately 2:30 pm, you will start your half-day tour of the wonderful highlights of Istanbul. You will visit the magnificent Topkapi Palace-residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. It is located on the promontory between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. This setting provides a magnificent view. As the imperial residence of the Sultan and his court, the palace was also the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire. 4,000 people lived here. Visit the general exhibitions and the Treasury Section displaying the priceless pieces of jewelry that once belonged to the Ottoman Sultans.

Next, you will enjoy an orientation drive around the old city with its many ancient monuments and city walls, and the new city with its modern buildings and squares. At the end of the day, you will return to your hotel.

 

Day 2
After breakfast, meet your guide at the lobby for a full-day tour and continue exploring Istanbul. Today's first stop will be at the 16th-century palace of the sultan's Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Pasa, which today houses the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, containing what many consider to be the finest collection of Islamic artifacts in the world. The museum is well laid out and contains more than 40,000 examples including ceramics, Koran cases, calligraphy, textiles, metalwork and illuminated manuscripts. Its antique carpet exhibit is renowned-the carpets, kilims and prayer rugs form one of the richest and oldest collections in the world.

Then you will visit the Byzantine Hippodrome, along with its famous Egyptian Obelisk, the Obelisk of Constantine, the Serpentine Column and the German Fountain.

Proceed to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616-a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The mosque was a part of a complex that consisted of a mosque, tombs, fountains, kitchens and a bath. Its colorful 260 windows enable the sunlight to reach inside. The blue Iznik tiles covering the walls lend the mosque its name.

You will stop for lunch at the Green House Garden -an old Ottoman house- to taste traditional Turkish cuisine in a lovely atmosphere.

Next, you will visit one of the greatest buildings in the world: Hagia Sophia, the Church of the Divine Wisdom. It was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian (AD 537) and remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Sultan Mehmet II ordered the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. The great dome, the semi-domes, the north and south tympana and the vaults of the narthex, aisles and gallery were all covered with gold mosaics, many of which are still intact today.

Continue to the famous Grand Bazaar, where you will explore some of its 92 streets. The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered bazaar in Turkey, with more than 4,000 shops. A variety of Turkish handicrafts, oriental carpets, rare jewels and inexpensive souvenirs are all sold here. The streets are named according to the trades, such as gold and silver sellers, carpet sellers, booksellers, etc. At the end of the day, return to your hotel.

 

Day 3
After an early breakfast, you will meet your guide at the lobby and transfer to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Arrive in Cappadocia and begin exploring this interesting region. Cappadocia is the jewel of Central Anatolia, and home to a bewitching landscape of spectacularly eroded tuff (hardened volcanic ash). The most famous and characteristic features of the landscape are the remarkable conical rock outcroppings know as fairy chimneys. The softness of the tuff made it easy to excavate and create dwellings, so whole cities were constructed underground as well as hundreds of rock-cut chapels, beautifully frescoed churches and monasteries.

Lunch will be served at the lovely restaurant serving traditional Turkish cuisine.

After lunch you will visit the Goreme Open-Air Museum. The 11th century represents the Golden Age of religious art in Goreme. The Goreme Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has been occupied since the dawn of history, is the Valley of Churches. Wonderful and primitive 11th- and 12th-century frescoes cover the walls of these churches. The oldest churches in the area date back to the 6th century. You will view the village of Uchisar, a small town situated right in the middle of Cappadocia, full of towering rock houses typical of this area. It is named after the enormous piece of rock in the center of the town, which was once used as a castle. At the end of your day, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in.

 

Day 4
Get an early start for your optional (extra cost) one-hour hot air balloon flight. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and there is no better way to see the distinctive landscapes of Cappadocia than by gently floating overhead in a hot air balloon. Your skilled pilot will skim the basket across fruit trees and rise up over the fairy chimneys, before ascending to great heights for breathtaking views.

After breakfast, you will meet your guide at the hotel lobby for your full day tour. You will drive down to Kaymakli Underground City to visit this interesting settlement. It has eight stories and was built during the period of the spreading of Christianity, as a city of defense and hiding.

Next, you will view the lovely village of Cavusin and continue to the restaurant for a lunch of traditional food.

After lunch, continue to Avanos, famous for its pottery craft dating back to the Hittite period. You will have a chance to see how pottery is made in this region, then you will drive to Pasabag Valley where the formation of "fairy chimneys" can be best observed. Pasabag, the Pasha's Vineyard, is surrounded by incredible natural rock formations-a spectacular scene.

Continue to visit Zelve, where three canyons meet in the Valley of Monks. The rock face at Zelve is honeycombed with caves and churches, and much of the decoration inside the churches is symbolic. At the end of the day, you will return to your hotel.

 

Day 5
After your breakfast, meet your guide in the lobby for your airport transfer and flight to Istanbul. After arriving in Istanbul, you will visit the Underground Cistern. This amazing underground cavern measures roughly 210 feet wide and 420 feet long, with a capacity of 80,000 cubic meters of water. The 336 beautiful columns that support the cistern were salvaged from pagan temples destroyed during the Roman Empire's conversion to Christianity.

Then, you will visit the Rustem Pasa Mosque, built in 1561 by the imperial Architect, Sinan. The mosque was built for Rustem Pasa, son-in-law of and Grand Vizier to Suleyman I. The interior of the mosque is adorned by a magnificent blanket of Iznik tiles.

Lunch will be served at the nearby Hamdi Restaurant, located on the Golden Horn. You will taste delicious Turkish kebab while overlooking the Bosphorus. After lunch you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and the afternoon at leisure.

 

Day 6
After breakfast you will check out of the hotel. Meet your guide at the lobby for a half-day tour. A short drive will bring you to the pier where you will board a private motor yacht for a cruise along the Bosphorus Strait. The Bosphorus bisects Istanbul, separating Europe and Asia, and connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Its shores showcase Istanbul's beauty. Your motor yacht will pass by magnificent palaces, old seaside mansions, and impressive fortresses. You will be surprised to see that the old Ottoman buildings harmonize perfectly with the more modern architecture. Watch for the Imperial Pavilions of Yildiz Palace, the famous Ciragan Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge, Ortakoy, Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace and the Rumeli Fortress, built to control the Bosphorus and protect Istanbul from its enemies.

Disembark from the yacht and visit the Egyptian Bazaar to explore the second-largest covered market in Istanbul. It was named for the herbs, and spices imported from or through Egypt, and although the Egyptian market dates back to the 1660s, ironically it is part of the "New Mosque" complex! This is still the best place in the city to buy Turkish Delight, dried fruit, exotic spices and herbs.

In the afternoon, you will transfer to your ship.

 
 
POST TOUR - The above package will begin with your disembarkation from your ship and end with a transfer to the Istanbul airport.
 
 
Duration
6 days


Rates
Please kindly contact us for rate details as the above program is to be tailored according to your preferences of accommodation type, date of your travel, number of participation, meal inclusion and for the other requests that may be required.


Includes
* A deluxe air-conditioned VIP vehicle with a professional driver
* All arrival and departure transfers
* Professional licensed tour guide in preferred language
* Entrance fees of all the sites and museums as marked on the itinerary
* Accommodation at your preferred style hotel
* Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner where indicated on the itinerary
* VAT taxes


Notes
* As the number of participant increases the certain amount of discount will be applied.
* Group Tour: Please contact us for your group requests.


Sites to Visit
Topkapi Palace
Turkish and Islamic Art Museum
Hippodrome
Blue Mosque
Hagia Sophia
Grand Bazaar
Cappadocia
Goreme Open-Air Museum
Uchisar
Kaymakli Underground City
Cavusin
Avanos
Pasabag Valley
Zelve
Underground Cistern
Rustem Pasa Mosque
Cruise along the Bosphorus Strait
Egyptian Bazaar


Shore Excursion Points of Distinction
* Professional English-speaking experts to guide you through your journey.
* Peace of mind in knowing that your excursions are monitored by our staff.
* A staff of experienced, excursion specialists expertly plans each tour and is dedicated to maximizing your time in each port.
* Travel with premier, licensed and insured, best available, climate controlled luxury transportation.


Remarks
* Guests must be able to walk approximately 1-1.5 miles over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, inclines and 40 to 65 steps thus the
   guests must be cautious to watch their step at all times in order to avoid injuries.
* Comfortable clothing, flat walking shoes, sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen are strongly recommended.
* Please expect dense traffic conditions in Istanbul.
* The order of the sites visited may change to avoid the crowds.
* Temperatures can reach extreme highs during summer months; we recommend that you drink a lot of water and use suitable sun
   protection.

 

 
   
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Ephesus Tour from Istanbul
Ephesus Tour from Istanbul
A day trip to the ancient city of Ephesus. You will be met by one of our representative at your hotel and transferred to Istanbul airport for your morning flight to Izmir where you will meet your private guide and driver to explore Ephesus.
 
 
Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul
Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul
Cappadocia Tours organized on daily basis from Istanbul includes the visit to Cappadocia, Goreme Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley, Pasabag, Avanos, Kaymakli Underground City.
 
 
Create Your Tour
Create Your Own Istanbul Tour
Check the "Sites to Visit" page where we display the short descriptions of the sites and museums we visit during our tours both in Istanbul and Ephesus and chose those most interests you, let us know about them, then we will organize your accordingly.
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Beylerbeyi Palace Turkish & Islamic Art Museum    
Galata Tower Rustem Pasha Mosque