12 Days , 7 Cities
Maiden's Tower at night in Istanbul, Turkey
Welcome "Merhaba" to Istanbul!
Welcome to the Istanbul!
Upon arrival, meet with your driver and transfer to your accommodating hotel. Spend the day at leisure to relax and rest after your overseas flight in this stunning city.
One of many Palaces in Istanbul, Turkey, Kucuksu Palace
Istanbul - Full day tour in 'Old Town'
Following breakfast, we drive to the Old City, where we will visit the Hippodrome, The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, and Saint Sophia. This church-turned mosque-turned museum and then turn mosque again takes the breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome. Next, we will visit the spectacular Topkapi Palace.
Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn. It was the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire for many centuries (1453 – 1852), and we will see the extravagant Treasury, the priceless Chinese porcelain. Finally, the Grand Bazaar; explore the Grand Bazaar’s labyrinth tunnels that house more than 4,000 shops. The names recall the days when each trade had its own quarter: the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers’ street, and the street of the skullcap makers. Still the commercial center of the old city, the bazaar is the original shopping mall with something to suit every taste and budget.
Ayasofya Hagia Sophia Basilica at night in Istanbul
Istanbul - Feel the history
After breakfast, visit the Blue Mosque, distinguished by six minarets and walls covered with unique blue Iznik tiles. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful mosque in the world. Then visit the former Church of St. Saviour in Chora, now the Kariye Mosque), which contains the finest collection of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. After lunch, the Rustem Pasha Mosque, the exquisite interior of the mosque, is covered with the finest examples of Iznik tiles. Finally, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, then the Tiled Kiosk of Sultan Mehmet with its fine ceramic collection.
Gorgeous Iznik Ceramic Tile in Turkey
Bursa - Admire the quality of Iznik potteries
Departure by ferryboat to Yalova then drive Iznik Former Nicea), an important artistic and cultural center during the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods; was known worldwide for its quartz tiles. Around the middle of the 17th century, the quality of the Iznik potteries began to feel the impact of the economic distress and political upheavals that the Ottoman Empire had started to suffer. The colors become dull, and the famous tomato red turns brown and disappears entirely. Designs become crude and haphazardly executed. Pastes become coarse, and glazes suffer from cracking. During this period, the Iznik manufacturers turned their attention more and more to the demands of customers, who were less demanding than the Istanbul court and its circles. In the form of written complaints, there is even evidence that orders placed by the court in Istanbul were being delayed. Proceed to Bursa to visit the Grand Mosque, the Green Mausoleum famous for its Iznik tiles. Enjoying lunch in a unique “Iskender Kebap” restaurant. Also, visit the historical Covered Bazaar and old silk Market. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Turkish ceramic tile Kutahya
Afyon - Excursion to Tile and Porcelain Production Center in Kutahya
Kutahya is still a very important Tile and Porcelain Production Center in the country at present. As far as its tile industry history is concerned we know that by the 18th century, the ceramic and tile industry in Iznik had died out completely and Kutahya replaced it as the leading center in western Anatolia. Indeed, Kutahya had been in operation as a secondary center along with Iznik since the 14th century 9 but its production always paled in Iznik’s brilliance. But when production at Iznik was discontinued, Kutahya plodded on.
For a while, the Kutahya potters produced inferior copies of Iznik blue and whites but they also began producing ceramics whose forms, colors, and techniques are quite distinct. Among them are a group of Christian liturgical utensils and tiles with religious themes that were made by Armenian potters for their churches. 18th-century Kutahya ceramics are made with a white paste and are usually decorated with underglaze applied designs in yellow, red, green, cobalt blue, turquoise, black, and violet. The designs are freely executed. In addition to polychrome wares, examples of blue and whites are also encountered. Forms, which can be elegant, include thin-walled small cups, saucers, bowls, ewers, pitchers, flasks, incense burners, lemon squeezers, and ornamental eggs. There we will pay a visit to a Production Center.
Mausoleum of Mevlana in Konya, Turkey, who was a Muslim saint and Anatolian mystic known throughout the world.
Konya - Explore the Mevlana Celaleddin Mausoleum
The Karatay’s Medrese, now the museum of tile works, houses some of the loveliest pieces of 12th-century Seljukian Glazed Tiles. Emir Celaleddin Karatay built it during the reign of the Seljuk ruler Izzedin Keykavus. Today, it is one of Turkey’s modest but best tile and ceramic museums. There, we will see numerous tiles with mythological representations reflecting the early days of Turks in Asia Minor. And the Mevlana museum In 1247, a mausoleum was built in a rose garden presented to Sultan Ulema ( the chief scholar ) Bahaddin Veled Mevlana’s father ) by the Seljuk ruler, A conical hat (Külah), covered with green tile was added in 1396. This place, Mevlana Celaleddin’s mausoleum, was first opened to the public as a museum in 1927.
Properties and works belonging to Mevlana and the Mevlevi Order, such as Mevlevi musical instruments, specimens of calligraphy, fabrics, and carpets, are displayed in the museum.
Hot air balloons flying in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Cappadocia - Experience the open-air museum at Goreme
Morning departure for Cappadocia. En route, we will see a 13th-century Caravaserail of the famous Silk Road built to accommodate the traveling merchants of past times. When Christianity came to Cappadocia, cave churches were carved in the rock, complete with elaborate decoration. Large Christian communities came into being, and their rock-hewn churches became a unique art form. During our visit to the open-air museum at Goreme, we will visit a selection of churches dating from the 8th century and decorated with murals illustrating biblical scenes. There you will see the superb 900-year-old frescoes. Subject to weather conditions and time of year, you will have an opportunity to watch the sunset from the Kizilvadi valley. Today, we will arrange a home visit to a traditional Turkish Family’s cave house.
Dinner and overnight in Nevsehir.
The incredible archaeological sites of Cappadocia in Turkey
Cappadocia - Visit an ancient underground city, the one-time refuge of early Christians
All day we will be traveling through the fair beauty of the volcanic Cappadocian landscape. We will visit an ancient underground city, the one-time refuge of early Christians. When Arab armies passed through in the 7th century, Christians retreated to the underground cities where they rolled stone wheel doors across the entrances. At Uchisar, we will enjoy panoramic views from the Kale, a tall volcanic rock outcrop riddled with tunnels and windows and a dominant landmark. By way of relaxation, we will see displays of some of the traditional oriental handicrafts of Turkey. Dinner and overnight in Nevsehir. Total driving 50 miles.
The natural rock citadel in Uchisar, Cappadocia Turkey
Cappadocia - Pottery production center
A full-day workshop in the pottery production center with Masters of the Art is also an opportunity to shop masterpieces in the same center.
Adana kebab is a Turkish dish with seasoned minced lamb.
Adana - Visit St Paul‘s well and Aphrodite‘s Triumphal Arch in Tarsus
A leisurely drive to Adana through the Taurus Mountains. The range and passing so-called famous Cilician Gates where the Alexander the Great also proceeded on his conquests in Asia Minor and arrived at the famous City of Tarsus. We will visit St Paul‘s well and Aphrodite‘s Triumphal Arch. Overnight Adana.
Impressive Sculpture Mosaic Museum of Antakya, Turkey
Gaziantep - Visit Mosaic Museum, Antakya
Antakya is one of the most exciting and entertaining cities in southern Turkey. The city is culturally diverse, with its mixture of Arab and Turkish speaking people and a Christian minority. The French years (1919-1939) left behind beautiful boulevards, and the city seemed to have its own architectural style. The ancient Orontes River (Asi River) divides the town in half. The main reason to visit the city is its marvelous Antakya Archaeological Museum, or Mosaic Museum, where a great collection of Roman and Byzantine mosaics. The Grotto of St. Peter, a cave church where St. Peter is believed to have preached and where Christians met in secret, is also a popular site.
World's oldest covered market, Grand Bazaar, located in Istanbul
Istanbul - Visit the archeological museum to see the Zeugma Mosaics
Gaziantep is one of the modern provinces of the South-Eastern Anatolian Region and also one of the oldest of Hittite origin. Being the center of pistachio nut cultivation in Turkey and its extensive olive groves and vineyards, Gaziantep is one of the important industrial centers.
Before departing for Istanbul, we will visit the Gaziantep Archaeological Museum, significantly extended in 2005.
You will find and admire the excellent mosaics from Zeugma. This antique city will disappear under the growing lakes formed due to huge dams the government is building to generate energy and for irrigation purposes. The building is well designed and shows the mosaics nicely. After the visit to the museum, transfer to the airport to take a flight to Istanbul.
Departure from Istanbul Airport
Today is the final day of our journey. Morning is yours to relax and have breakfast until your departure. Later, private transfer to Istanbul Airport for your departure flight.
Starting from $4,705 per person
Price per person in double occupancy
The rate is based on 4-star and luxury/boutique accommodation
Price excluding international flights
This trip is customizable for your private travel.
Please inquire to request a quote for your custom trip!
Request a quote for a trip fully customized to your preferences.
- 12 nights accommodation at 4-star and luxury/boutique hotels, centrally located
3 nights in Istanbul
1 night in Bursa
1 night in Afyon
1 night in Konya
3 nights in Cappadocia
1 night in Adana
1 night in Gaziantep
1 night in Istanbul
- BB accommodation in Istanbul / Half Board Basis during the tour (breakfast and dinner in hotels)
- Domestic flight Gaziantep – Istanbul in economy class
- Transfers & Transportation by an A/C vehicle as per program (Mercedes Vito)
- Professional English-speaking guide services.
- Entrance fees to the museums/sites as mentioned in your program
- Porterage at the hotels
Sightseeing Highlights Included
- Visit The Hagia Sophia Mosque
- The Blue Mosque
- Topkapi Palace
- The Grand Bazaar
- Visit the former Church of
St. Savior in Chora (now the Kariye Mosque)
- The Rustem Pasha Mosque
- The Museum of the Ancient Orient.
- The Tiled Kiosk of Sultan Mehmet with its fine ceramic collection
- Ferryboat to Yalova then drives to Iznik
- Visit the Grand Mosque, the Green Mausoleum famous for its Iznik tiles
- Visiting the historical Covered Bazaar and old silk Market
- Visit the tile and Porcelain Production Center
- The Medrese of Karatay, now the museum of tile works from the 12th century
- Visit, Mevlana Celaleddin’s mausoleum
- Visit the open-air museum at
- Visit a selection of churches dating from the 8th century and decorated with murals illustrating
- Visit a traditional Turkish Family’s cave house
- Visit an ancient underground city
- At Uchisar, we will enjoy panoramic views from the Kale
- A workshop in the pottery production center with Masters of the Art is also an opportunity to shop masterpieces in the same center
- Visit the open-air museum at
- Adana, Antakya, Gaziantep
- Drive to Adana through the Taurus Mountains range
- In the famous City of Tarsus where we will visit the St Paul‘s well and Aphrodite‘s Triumphal Arch and
- Visit the city of Antakya.
- Visit the marvelous Antakya Archaeological Museum or Mosaic Museum.
- Visit the city of Gaziantep
- Gaziantep Archaeological Museum
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