Tour date: June 16-29, 2013
Tour Price: $7200 ***INCLUDES RT AIRFARE from USA gateway city
Registration Deadline: April 16, 2013
Single supplement $850
Guest tour guide: Meli from Melitour
Meli has been guiding cultural tours in Turkey for 39 years and leads tours for Rick Steves. She is also a text writer for PBS travel videos.
- Blue Mosque
- Bazaar Spice Market
What’s Not Included
- International RT airfare from USA gateway city
- Internal airfare
- Tour program and services for official 10
- Local Experienced English-speaking guides
- All hotel stays
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- Land transfer by air-con vehicle, comfortable for guests in the group
- Admission fees
- Any Passport and Visa arrangements
- Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
- Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
- Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program
- Tips for guides or baggage handlers
- Airport Taxes
Tour Itinerary – subject to change
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to Hotel. The tour starts at 4:00pm in the lobby of the hotel. After a short introduction we will visit the Blue Mosque Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Garden House.
- Blue Mosque inside photos might require tripod. Using a tripod at the mosque is allowed
- The outside photos of the Blue Mosque at this time is wonderful because the light of the setting sun will be illuminating the domes and the minarets.
Day 2: Full day in Istanbul
Start the tour at 08:15am. Photograph the Hippodrome Byzantine Cistern, Aya Sophia. Lunch.
Ortakoy : Cruise on the Bosphorus Ferry to Anatolian side for a sun set shot. Dinner.
- Byzantine cistern is an underground cistern. Reflections of the pillars in the water and the Medusa relief are major interest.
- Ortakoy has a variety of photo opportunities: street shots, traffic in the Bosphorus, good shot of the first bridge that connected Asia to Europe.
Day 3: Istanbul until 4:00pm Fly to Cappadocia
Leave the hotel at 08:30 with our luggage. Grand Bazaar Spice Market Istanbul street shots. Lunch. Transfer to the airport to fly to Cappadocia. Transfer from Kayseri to the Hotel in Cappadocia.
- In and around the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market will offer numerous photo opportunities.
- The group will be given free time in each market so everyone can discover their own interesting corner in these historic bazaar settings.
Day 4: Full Day Cappadocia
We will start the day at about 07:30 with a walk in the neighborhood of our hotel. Shoot the Rock fortress of Uchisar from the Pigion Valley Drive to Cavusin village to see the abandoned city carved on yellow and light brown rocks. A short hike in Zelve takes us to 10th and 11th century churches, monasteries, and houses carved into the rocks. Lunch. Visit a family who live in one of the ancient rock dwellings. Sunset shot at Red Valley. Overnight at Lalesaray Hotel in Uchisar Cappadocia.
Day 5: Full day Cappadocia
Open air Museum Cappadocia Art cooperative. Dinner & Overnight at Lalesaray Hotel in Uchisar Cappadocia.
Day 6: Guzelyurt
If the weather is good, we strongly suggest you consider the optional Hot Air Balloon ride today. Leave the hotel at 09:45 for the Avanos which is the traditional pottery center of Turkey since 4000 BC. We will visit the workshops of the potters to see them working at the wheels used by their ancestors for generations. A visit to the Kaymakli underground city of early Christians is also on our program. In Belisirma village we will have our best village shots. We will see the "Mother of Cappadocia" The volcano, Hasan Dag, which is one of the two volcanoes that had created Cappadocia. Overnight in Guzelyurt in a hotel that was built as a Christian girl's school in 1853.
Day 7: Konya
We will have breakfast at a home in the village to learn more about the village life, to see the unique architecture and to taste the best homemade breakfast.
We will start the day with a short walk to the most scenic location of Guzelyurt, where we will capture 10,000 years of history in the gorge where houses were built on arch upon arch. Hikers can take a morning hike to the oldest monastery valley in Christian history. If you do not hike, you can stay in town and enjoy locals absorbing the local atmosphere meeting with the locals with whom you can easily make friends. After Lunch, depart for Konya, stopping en route at a 12th century Caravanserai. Konya is the first capital of the Selcuks, the oldest Turkish Empire in Anatolia. It is also known for being the homeland of Rumi, a 13th century poet-philosopher and one of the earliest humanists. The ambiance of the city has not changed much for the past 800 years. Overnight at Hotel Rumi- walking distance to the Rumi Mausoleum and the market
Day 8: Egirdir
In the morning a stop at the mausoleum of philosopher and the poet, Rumi, 17th Century Mosque shots. We get to Egirdir in time to see how the fading sun makes this lake and mountains a photographer dream of dramatic effects unfolding right in front of the lens. Overnight stay by the lake.
- Our trip to Egirdir will be via a wonderful lake and through high mountains.
- Along the way, the old villages, black goats and their hospitable shepherds, homecoming of the cows are few cultural photo opportunities.
Day 9: Pamukkale
En route we will stop at the Kaklik Caves for stunning shots of this amazing cave which looks like an underground version of Pamukkale. The afternoon drive takes us to Pamukkale where we catch the setting sunlight magically illuminating the white cliffs as well as yellow travertine walls of tombs and monuments. Pamukkale (ancient Heirapolis) is singularly the most unusual natural phenomenon of Turkey. The Turkish name literally means - "cotton castle" - and refers to the extraordinary surface of the snow-white cliffs, shaped over millennia by accumulation of calcium deposited by mineral springs.
Day 10: Didyma Miletus Kusadasi
Through the Meander Valley we will drive to the Temple of Apollo. Biblical city of Miletus. Overnight at Kusadasi
- The Temple of Apollo is the largest standing Ionic temple of the world,
- For those who are interested in photography of architecture, these two sites will be overwhelming.
Day 11: Ephesus Kusadasi
Our first visit will be in the morning and for those who choose to return for the afternoon light, we will have time to enjoy photography of Ephesus. We will also visit the house of the Virgin Mary and the 13th Century Mosque of Isa Bey. Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and today ranks among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. While sitting in the theater of ancient Ephesus you can visualize 35,000 Ephesians listen to silversmith Demetrius shout..."great is Artemis of Ephesians"… in reaction to St. Paul's preaching… "there shall be no man-made gods." Overnight at Kusadasi
- Ephesus in the morning for morning shots
Day 12: Fly to Istanbul Departure
Morning flight to Istanbul to catch the international flight out of Istanbul.