Istanbul and Turkish Riviera - 9 Days
Day 1 : ISTANBUL
Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to hotel. Rest of the day and evening at leisure.
Day 2 : ISTANBUL
In the morning drive to the old town. Visit the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome where chariot races were held in Roman times and Hagia Sophia, Church built by th emperor Justinian in the sixth century. After lunch, tour the Topkapi Palace museum with its priceless jewelled objects and the Porcelain Collection. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: ISTANBUL
Enjoy a cruise along the shores of the Bosphorus in the Morning with views of summer palaces of the sultans and old Turkish houses, as well as the fortresses built by the Ottomans. Stroll the Asian side of Istanbul and view the city from Camlica Hill then visit Beylerbeyi Palace. Return to the old city for shopping at the Grand Bazaar.
Day 4: ISTANBUL - EPHESUS
Flight to Izmir, Turkey’s major city on the Aegean coast. Begin a full day excursion to Ephesus. Tour the ancient city with its legendary marble streets, the magnificent amphitheatre, Hadrian Temple and Celcus Library. Then visit the Archeological Museum, St. John’s Basilica and the House of Virgin Mary. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 5: KUSADASI - BODRUM
After breakfast depart for Bodrum, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, was the birthplace of Herodotus and the site of King Mausolus's Tomb (4th century B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Visit an impressive medieval of St. Peter, is a fine example of 15th century, build by the Knights of Rhodes, and guards the entrance to Bodrum's dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet, and has been converted into the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with remains dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Ovenight in Bodrum.
Day 6: BODRUM - FETHIYE
After breakfast we will drive to Fethiye. The drive takes approximately 5 hours. Drive through the streets of Fethiye and up into the coastal muntains for a visit to the village of Kayaköy. Once a major settlement with 25.000 inhabitants, it was deserted in 1922 when the League of Nations organized an exchange of populations between Turkish and Greek territories. Located in a beautiful valley, Kayaköy is now a whitewashed ghost twon of extraordinary proportions. Climb through its silen streets to see the old Greek Orthodox church, its small courtyard is paved with black and white pebbles. Explore its former houses and businesses or just relax and enjoy this serene spot. Rebord your coach and head south through fertile fields and pine forests to Saklikent, a ten mile long river gorge with steep and narrow walls. Walk through a wooden boardwalk fixed to one side of the gorge until it opens out onto a series of wooden platforms suspended over the churning waters. Here you may enjoy a box lunch from the ship, while overlooking the swift, icy blue water of the river below. After lunch, continue on to Tlos, one of the oldest and most important cities of ancient Lycia. Dramatically set high up on a rocky outcrop, it is an imposing sight. Then make your way back to Oludeniz through tiny villages and farms for a glimpse of local color. End of the day return to Gocek for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: FETHIYE - Kekova - Demre - ANTALYA
In the morning depart for Kekova. See the picturesque islands, numerous bays and ancient sunken cities. Afterwards conrinue to Myra to see the finest examples of Lycian funerary architecture. Continue to Demre which houses the world famous St. Nicholas church. Finally visit the ancient seaport city of Phaselis. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.
Day 8: ANTALYA
Board your vehicle this morning and journey back in time to the ancient city of Perge, founded by Greek settlers following the Trojan Wars. Alexander the Great used by Perge briefly as a base of operations, and St. Paul visited the city during his missionary journeys. The site was abandoned during the Arab invasions of the 7th century. As you approach, the 2nd century Roman amphitheater comes into view. Visit the stadium, one of the best preserved in all Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the city ramparts and the Roman city gate complex, the most fascinating part of the city. Also see the Nymphaion, the Propylaion, the baths and the agora. Continue by coach to Aspendos, which boasts a complete aqueduct system, parts of which are still standing and the most well-preserved ancient Roman Theater in the world is here. As many as 20,000 people can be seated here and the acoustics is so good that a whisper or even a pin drop can be heard from the very top gallery. The theater is still used today for concerts and theatrical presentations. After lunch drive back to Antalya, the ancient Attalia. Visit the Antalya Archeological Museum. See the artifacts from the excavations at the ancient sites of the region and the ethnographic collection of the nomads of Anatolia. Later drive through the modern day town and the old town. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 9: Departure
Transfer to the airport for your transfer back home or your next destination.