Istanbul and Cappadocia
Program only valid for private groups of 20 or more people
DAY 1: Arrival to Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! The land of culture, faith and mystery! Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be transferred to the hotel and enjoy rest of the day at leisure. Discover the beauty and hidden gems of this magnificent city!
DAY 2: Full Day Istanbul
Our journey begins in Istanbul, the only city in the world located on two continents! Visit the Hippodrome Square where chariot races used to take place and proceed to nearby Hagia Sophia, built in AD 532 by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Visit the Blue Mosque, which is famous for its beautiful blue Iznik tiles. We will continue walking to Topkapi Palace, which was not only the residence of the Ottoman sultans, but also the administrative and educational center of the state. Before our tour ends, we visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops.
DAY 3: Full Day Istanbul
After breakfast, our tour stars at the Spice Bazaar(Egyptian Bazaar). The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. Later, we enjoy a traditional excursion by boat on the Bosporus along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, marble palaces, fortresses, and small fishing villages. After the cruise, we will drive to the old city and visit the Underground Cistern which was the largest covered water reservoir in Istanbul, built by Justinian I.
DAY 4: Istanbul – Cappadocia
Transfer to Istanbul airport for a morning flight to Cappadocia. Arrive in Nevsehir airport and check-in at the hotel. First we visit the popular Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup and then we head on to Pigeon Valley. Pigeons have always been important for Cappadocian people. They carved houses to keep them in specific areas. You will see that the pigeons’ homes are very similar to the locals’! Descend into the center of the earth in the Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and deepest of 200 others in Cappadocia. We drive to the old Greek town of Mustafapasa (Sinasos), through the unspoiled villages of Cappadocia, surrounded by the “table-top” mountains. On the way, we also visit Ayvali Village. Hotel accommodation provided in a cave hotel.
DAY 5: Cappadocia – Istanbul
Optional Hot air Balloon tour (early morning tour). Drive to Devrent Valley and take a walk through this lunar landscape where a variety of rocky formations can be seen. After viewing the best examples of the fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys, we drive further to Avanos Town, famous for its tile and pottery workshops. Our next stop is Goreme Open Air Museum where you will enjoy the fine rock-cut churches and beautiful frescos. Continue to the Uchisar Rock Castle, which is the highest and most dominant point, giving us a breathtaking panoramic view. Today’s tour ends with Esentepe Windy Hill for a glorious view and photo opportunities. Transfer to the airport for flight back to Istanbul.
DAY 6: Home
After breakfast check out from the hotel and private transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight back home. Your trip ends here, but we hope that we have inspired you to select Aristotle Travel for your next vacation!