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A Journey Tour

Day 1 Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be met by your personal VIP service representative to assist you throughout all the airport procedures and let you meet your private guide to transfer you to your hotel by your private vehicle. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 2 Istanbul
Istanbul's unique geographic setting was the primary reason for founding Constantinople here. Explore the Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. Emperor Justinian built the sixth-century Basilica to expand one previously built by Constantine the Great. Continue to the Hippodrome, which during Roman times held
horse races, gladiator contests, inaugurations and parades. Continue to visit the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, set in the Ibrahim Pasa Palace, containing an extraordinary collection. Following a Turkish lunch, take a refreshing stroll in the Pera District, the present-day heart of Istanbul. Later this afternoon, embark on a private cruise along the Bosphorus, a strategic waterway that links the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Overnight at your hotel. (B L)

Our Suggestions:
- You may also dine onboard your private boat viewing the magnificent city of
  Istanbul by night with all the famous monuments lit up

Day 3 Cappadocia
Centuries of volcanic activity and erosion have left Cappadocia with a unique landscape of soft, porous stone called tufa. Fly to Kayseri and transfer to Goreme to see the valleys of tufa filled with "fairy chimneys" that were transformed into cave dwellings, monasteries, chapels and underground villages by expert carvers. Explore the rock-cut churches with
  their dazzling medieval wall decorations at Goreme Open Air Museum, a large monastic complex of many refectory monasteries placed side by side, each with its own fantastic church. Then visit the Dark Church, with stunning frescoes that depict the life of Christ- the colors still retaining their original freshness. Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 4 Cappadocia
The region is also known for the "underground" city of Kaymakli, one of the unique cellar villages. Several levels were built underground as stables, cellars, mills and galleries. The Turks of Cappadocia have always made the most of the natural elements of the region, including the clay from the beds of the Red River. Drive to Avanos and visit a potter's
workshop, where you see some of these clay creations. Overnight at your hotel.
(B L D)

Our Suggestions:
- You may consider an optional hot air balloon ride over the unusual landscape
  early in the morning
- Famous Whirling Dervishes Show in the evening
- Dinner in a restaurant outside your hotel to taste the local dishes and the
  famous wines of the region
- Test your culinary skills during a cooking lesson at a family-run country
- Experience Cappadocia culture first hand when you join a local family for
  lunch in their home (and even learn how to cook village bread and Turkish
  coffee with them)

Day 5 Konya
Follow the ancient Silk Road and cross the Central Anatolian Plateau to visit the 13th-century caravansaray (inn) at Agzikarahan. Continue to Konya, the ancient capital of the Selcuk Kingdom, ancestors of a line of Turkish empires that included the Ottomans. After lunch visit the Mosque of Alaaddin Kaykoubat and the 13th-century Mevlana Memorial and
Museum. Mevlana was a poet and founder of the Whirling Dervishes, a mystic order of Islam whose members whirl in an ecstatic dance. Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 6 Antalya
Travel across the Konya Plain through the pine-forested Taurus Mountains and along the coast to ancient Aspendos, home to a well-preserved antique theater. Continue to Perge, an ancient city founded by the Hittites. During the Hellenistic period it was home to many sculptors and artisans. Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 7 Antalya
This morning drive to Antalya to explore the Antalya Museum's archaeological and ethnographical exhibits, displayed in chronological order from the Stone Age. Continue to the ancient seaport of Phaselis. Founded by Greeks during the seventh century BC, its three harbors made it an important center for commerce between Greece, Asia,
Egypt and Phoenicia. The city fell first to the Persians and then to Alexander the Great. Later, pirates used Phaselis as a base to roam the Mediterranean Sea. After lunch, you have the balance of the afternoon at leisure to relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel. Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 8 Kusadasi
Cross the Taurus Mountains to Aphrodisias, one of the world's most complete and extraordinary excavations of a classical lost site. Dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, it flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but in the 13th century it was abandoned and buried by a series of earthquakes. What has been unearthed includes the stadium with
  more than 30,000 seats, the Temple of Aphrodite and Baths of Hadrian. After a country lunch, continue through the Meander Valley to the port city of Kusadasi, set on the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)
Day 9 Kusadasi
Ionia, the region around Ephesus, was the powerhouse of ancient science and philosophy, and Ionian communities pioneered Western thought, favoring rational observation over myth and dogma. Explore ancient Ephesus that lies at the foot of Mount Pion. Unmatched as an archaeological site, the sheer size and grandeur of the ruins make this the best
preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. Visit the site of the Temple of Diana, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to the theater, Library of Celsus, the Public Baths, Arcadian Way and the Marble Street. You have the opportunity to privately visit the breathtaking Terrace Houses.
Overnight at your hotel. (B L D)

Our Suggestions:
- Kusadasi is also known with specialties of Aegean kitchen including fishes of
  the region. You may consider dining in one of the local restaurant in Kusadasi
  for tasting their delicious foods
- In the evening dine privately under the stars within the splendid ruins of
  Ephesus, accompanied by a quintet from the Izmir Symphony Orchestra.
  (This is an optional package)

Day 10 Istanbul
Fly back to Istanbul. Because the city was so important, each ruling empire did its best to fortify it. Theodosius II was the first, and he constructed the impressive City Walls that went up just in time to turn back Attila the Hun. Topkapi Palace, the center of Ottoman government and now a vast museum, opens its doors just for you to explore its great halls and
breathtaking grounds. It was from here that the Turks ruled most of Europe and the Middle East. In 1468 Mehmet the Conqueror began building this summer palace where the Golden Horn meets the Bosphorus. Successive sultans created additions to Topkapi, with many of the existing buildings dating from the 18th century. Suleyman the Magnificent was the first sultan to move here permanently and later sultans simply were captives in residence, isolated from the world. Overnight at your hotel. (B L)

Our Suggestions:
- Turkish Bath experience in a very famous The Cagaloglu Hamam, constructed
  in 1741, is the last hamam (bath) to be built during the Ottoman Empire
- Dinner in a restaurant by the Bosphorus

Day 11 Hagia Sophia - Istanbul Istanbul
This morning, visit the 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace, a fine example of Ottoman Baroque architecture that was built for and by the Sultan Abdul Mecit in the mid-19th century when European nationalism was growing and Muslim rulers adopted more European styles. As you explore the city,
notice how the later palaces and art are more like that of the rest of Europe. The Ottoman Empire reached its zenith in the 16th century, their Golden Age. The greatest architect of the 16th century was Sinan, acclaimed by Frank Lloyd Wright as the "master builder of all time." Explore his dignified Suleymaniye Mosque, symbolizing the glory of the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, who sought to create a rival to Justinian's famed Hagia Sophia. Its design also mirrors the Dome on the Rock, constructed on the former site of the Temple of Solomon. The massive complex dominates Istanbul's skyline, and its imposing dome is the center point. Continue to the Rustem Pasha Mosque, also the work of Sinan, known for its outstanding Iznik tiles. Wander among the stalls of the Spice Bazaar and the 3,500-stall Grand Covered Bazaar, where you have lunch in a shopkeeper's restaurant. Overnight at your hotel. (B L)
Day 12 Home
You will be met by your guide at your hotel and transferred to Istanbul International Airport. Your personal VIP representative will assist you throughout all the airport procedures for the flight home. (B)
  Meander Travel Advantages
- Avoid long lines with express visa acquisition and private VIP meet and greet on arrival and departure
- One expert local guide travels with you throughout the program, understanding your interests from day one
- Explore the tuff-filled landscapes of Cappadocia, with its underground villages
- Stay in a unique, boutique cave hotel, adorned with antiques from the Seljuk, Ottoman, Roman and Hittite eras
- View the stunning frescoes in the Dark Church at the Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia
- In Cappadocia, visit the rock-carved churches at Goreme and the underground village of Kaymakli
- Pay a visit to the center of Sufism, Konya
- Listen to the great acoustics of Aspendos and the wealthy ancient city of Perge
- Pay a visit to the stunning Aphrodisias ancient city dedicated to the goddess of love; Aphrodite
- Discover ancient Ephesus, the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean
- You will be impressed with a visit to the stunning Terrace Houses in Ephesus
- Enjoy the beautiful skyline of Istanbul on a private afternoon cruise on the Bosphorus
- Stay in two different Istanbul hotels for the opportunity to experience both the old and the new sides of the city
- Explore Istanbul's magnificent Hagia Sophia, sixth-century Underground Cistern, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace along with the Chora Church, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
- We can shorten or extend the above itinerary according to your interest
- You may start your tour with Istanbul instead of Cappadocia


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