6 Days/5 Nights Package Deal – ISTANBUL and CAPPADOCIA Combo
Day 01: Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 02: Istanbul (09:00-17:00)
A full day walking tour with Topkapi Palace – Harem section is excluded – (Closed on Tuesdays); built in 1468 on one of the seven hills of Istanbul by Mehmet the Conqueror, the seat of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years and a huge complex serving as a museum today facing superb views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
The palace houses the treasures of the Sultans including the extravagant Treasury with its magnificent jewels, and the priceless Chinese porcelain, one of the best collections in the world, weapons, calligraphy section, and more…
Continue to St. Sophia (Closed on Mondays during winter months. If still closed on the tour date for one reason or another, it will be replaced with Yerebatan Underground Cistern), one of the great architectural marvels of the ancient world, constructed as a basilica in 536 AD by Emperor Justinian, turned into a mosque in 1453 and now into a museum, takes the breath away with the sheer size of its interior and its magnificent dome.
In the afternoon, Blue Mosque (Closed on Friday mornings and may still be entirely or partly closed on some days due to the ongoing restoration process and for some last minute occassions beyond our control and therefore it may also be seen only from exterior), famous for its mosaics with some 20.000 blue Iznik tiles and its six minarets, built in the name of Sultan Ahmet in the 17th century, one of the best examples of classical Turkish art.
Cross through the Hippodrome, the scene of Byzantine chariot races, athletic events, victory celebrations and political activities of the old city where one can also see the “Obelisk of Egypt”, “Serpent Column” from Delphi, the “German Fountain of Wilhelm II” and the “Colossus”
Thereafter proceed to Grand Covered Bazaar (Closed on Sundays), which is the biggest “souk” in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewelry, gold, carpets, ceramics and leatherwear (B, L).
Day 03: Istanbul (08:45-12:45)
A morning tour to visit the aromatic Spice Bazaar from 1663 with its domed and vaulted shops selling spices and herbs along with a wide variety of commodities, also known as Egyptian Bazaar as it was once endowed with the Cairo imposts.
Then proceed to the pier so as to embark the public boat. Sailing through the waterway separating the two continents – Asia and Europe – with a possibility to take pictures of the marble palaces, ancient wooden villas of Ottoman architecture besides modern residentials.
During this trip Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridges as well as Rumelian Fortress, historical armament built by the Conqueror in 1452 to control and protect Bosphorus, will be visible from the sea. Leaving the boat and getting into the coach for the afternoon at leisure (B)
Day 04: Istanbul-Cappadocia (07:00-17:00)
Transfer to the airport for the late morning/early afternoon flight to Nevsehir or Kayseri. Visit Kaymakli (or Ozkonak) Underground City where early Christians lived in fear and faith. On the way back visit to panoramic Pigeon Valley where pigeons contributed to the lives of locals with their manure to fertilize the vineyards. You may also like to taste Cappadocia wine before checking-in to the hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia (B).
Day 05: Cappadocia (09:30-17:30)
Optional (extra) balloon tour
If taken, the tour departs at 04:00-04:15 early morning.
Meet at the hotel and visit to Devrent Valley where various types of fairy chimneys are abundant. We will walk through this amazing valley. Thereafter visit Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) with multiple stems and caps, peculiar to this area. After visiting Pasabagi, drive to Avanos which is known for the pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period.
The red clay which is worked by local craftsmen comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak River, the longest river of Turkey. Further to the time for lunch proceed to Goreme Open Air Museum (Dark Church is excluded; entrance requires additional admission fee) to visit the churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries with frescos painted on the walls. Thereafter time to take photos in the neighbouring valleys before going back to the hotel (B, L)
Day 06: Cappadocia-Istanbul
Transfer to the airport in Nevsehir or Kayseri for the late morning/early afternoon flight and end of our services
For more information about this package, please visit Parasol Tours or contact Tracey Cooper on 0402 184 461