© Carolien Geurtsen

Explore Turkey in 22 Days and 21 Nights – The Once in a Life Time Experience


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After we organised a private party for our clientèle last year as an exclusive All Inclusive, we decided to make this 22 day adventure in Turkey also available as a package.

So yes, we have made the most exquisite, once in a life time experience available in a way which most people either will never have at all or which took them years of weekly or two weekly tours and visits to Turkey, never coming close to this 3 weeks experience of what indeed for you and your company could be the first Month of the rest of your Life.

This as you will be so met in all variations of both Turkish Past and Present Delight, and both the best possible cultural and natural sense of beauty will be your share.

Underneath is only to give you an idea of what we consider the most complete expore Turkey  initiatory.
Please contact us for more information on pricing and availability.

In this scenario the arrival is at Istanbul, with a Personal Welcome at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. The second day is at leisure on your own account,  to relax and acclimatize with one more night in Istanbul. 

Adiyaman, Mount Nemrut, Karakus and Arsemeia

At Day 3 you fly out  to Adiyaman where you are met and welcomed and will continue with a private transfer to your hotel followed by a visit to Mount Nemrut, Karakus and Arsemeia (with the Cendere Bridge).

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We will check into our hotel and start the tour having a brief information meeting either in the hotel or at lunchtime.
Than we will leave for Mt. Nemrut, passing over the still functioning Cendere Bridge, built by Septemus Severus in the 2nd Century.
We will visit the Tumulus Tomb of Karakus, and Arsemeia and continue driving to the peak to get to the top of Mnt. Nemrut in time  for the stunning Sunset, visiting both East & West galleries.

Urfa Gobekli Tepe & Harran, Abraham’s Cave and Beehive Houses

On Day 4 we will depart early and visit Urfa for Gobekli Tepe – an ongoing excavation site famous for it being the earliest known temple of mankind (dating back 13000 years).
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hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km Northeast of the town of Urfa. After the visit, we will drive to Urfa center to see Abraham’s Cave and The Holly Pool.
Lunch will be at a nice local restaurant. We will continue our drive to Harran to see the incredible Beehive Houses.
Harran was- according to the Bible-  the site where the Prophet Abraham spent a few years with his family.

 

 Cappadocia via Mosaic Museum, Gaziantep

Day 5 ~ After an early breakfast we will depart for Cappadocia, passing through Gaziantep where you can see the amazing Mosaic Museum which became after the discoveries of Zeugma. Passing through Nizip and Birecik, we will have a lunch break at Kahramanmaraş which is famous for its ice cream and wooden art objects that became a tradition since the time of the Selcuks.
After arrival to Cappadocia we will overnight.

Devrent Valley, Zelve and Göreme Open Air Museum & Avanos

Which makes Day 6 into a full day Classical Cappadocia tour with another overnight stay in Cappadocia

In the morning, waking up in the lunar landscape often referred to as the Fairy Chimney province of Cappadocia, we will explore this vast fairytale-like self shaped landscape, starting with the rock formations beyond imagination in Devrent Valley; we will visit the Zelve Open Air Museum: a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses; then to Paşabag – three coned fairy chimneys” where the voice of the wind mixes with the “songs of the fairies”.
Lunch is in Avanos, centre of terra cotta art work and pottery since 3000 BC. In the afternoon we will visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Göreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in the rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th & 13th century). Depending on the period of the season, the Göreme Open Air Museum visit time can be altered to avoid crowds of tour buses. The Dark Church is also included in this tour.

 

The hidden dwellings of Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloon
© Carolien Geurtsen

On Day 7 at sunrise, you will participate in the world-famous Hot-air Ballooning experience, which does not know its equal beautiful breathtaking sight.

After breakfast is it off to the Red Valley, with its fabulous vulcanic rock formations, is in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowd.
Rock-Cut hermit churches with frescoes and paintings fit with the Valley’s meditative atmosphere, and remained intact since its the beginning of their existence. Our lovely hike will start from a beautiful panoramic view point presenting us with the great morning light so excellent for beautiful pictures. After our walk we will have a refreshment break in Çavusin Village which will be complemented by a visit to the first church we know to be built in the region; the Church of John the Baptist.
Çavusin Church is also in our list while we keep on making it an effort to avoid the Tourist buses.
After lunch, a 20 minute drive will take us to the least visited Underground City of Özkonak which was discovered by a villager while he was looking for the water disappearing from his irrigation system in his field. Unlike other underground cities, Özkonak has different ventilation and security systems and 4 of the 8 floors are open to visitors and believed to have offered shelter to 60,000 people from persecution and loothing. Overnight in Cappadocia.

 

Konya, via Sultanhan Caravanserai & Mevlana Mausoleum

On Day 8 we will have an early departure for Konya.
On the way we visit the 13th century Selcukian masterpiece the Sultanhan Caravanserai and will arrive in Konya in time for lunch.
After visiting the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic, we proceed to the Karatay Theological School in which beautiful ceramic tiles are on display.
Overnight in Konya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pamukkale & Aphrodisias

On Day 9 we head to Pamukkale, also known as ‘’The Cotton Castle’’. One of the natural wonders of Turkey is the Thermal Spa of Pamukkale, and it has abundant supplies of remarkable hot spring waters laden with calcareous mineral salts. It is claimed to benefit heart- and bloodcirculation complaints, as well as digestive disorders and rheumatic and kidney diseases. Nobody can dispute its excellent stress-relieving properties: a half-hour wallow will certainly relax you.

In Hierapolis we will walk around the Ancient City, the monuments and the thermal baths. We will visit the architectural genius of the Amfi Theater, the magnificently well preserved Necropolis and the worldwide famous Devil’s Hole.
Year round there is swimming possibility in the natural hot spring pool.
Overnight in Pamukkale

Drive to Antalya and the day at ones own leisure

Day 10:
Antalya
has been a residential area ever since the Paleolithic Times. The city was under the reign of Lydia in the 7th century B.C., of Persians in 456 B.C., and of Alexander the Great in 333 B.C.
After the death of Alexander, during the reign of the Bergama King Attalos, a new city called Attaleia was founded. Then the city was conquered by the Selcuks in 1207.
The most important historical buildings to see in the city:  ‘Hadrian’s Gate’, ‘Castle Gate’, ‘Clock Tower’, ‘City-walls’, ‘Inner Castle’, ‘Broken Minaret’, ‘Antalya Archaeology Museum’ and ‘Yivli Minaret Mosque’, which is the landmark of the city.
Overnight in Antalya

Termessos and Karain Cave 


DAY 11 is for Termessos, one of the best preserved Ancient cities of Turkey.
It lies 30 kilometres to the North-West of Antalya. Founded on a natural platform on top of Gulluk Dagi, it is soaring at a height of 1.665 metres above the surrounding travertine mountains of Antalya, which are on average only 200 metres above sea level.
Concealed by a multitude of wild plants and bounded by dense pine forests, the site, with its peaceful and untouched appearance, has a more distinct and impressive atmosphere than other ancient cities. Because of its natural and historical riches, the city of Termessos has been included in a National Park bearing its name.

Karain Cave: This is 27 km from Antalya and is reached from the Burdur highway, turning left at the Karain sign. Digging and excavating have been continuing there since 1946. These have revealed a settlement at that spot originating 50.000 years ago. It is the largest cave in Turkey we know to to have been inhabited. Some of the finds are on display in the little Karain Museum and others in the Pre-History Section of the Antalya Museum.
Overnight in Antalya.

 

Kas Tour & Overnight 

Today, on Day 12 you can just relax around the town or beach and get an optional diving tour as this is one of the places in Turkey to dive. Another alternative is a mountain hike on the Lycian way, which can be done on your own as well. Kas is a great place to dive, para-sail or sea-kayak around the sunken city of Lycians. The sea of Kas is pretty gentile and you will love swimming there.


A Full Day Sea Kayaking Tour at/above the Sunken City of Kekova

Sea Kayaking on Day 13  in the calm waters of the Kekova Preservation Area is the best and ecologically right way to visit the Sunken City and the home of Monk Seals. The Kekova area offers quiet bays and un-spoilt scenery to discover.
The natural beauty of the surrounding area guarantees that the complete beginner will love to paddle here as much as the experienced kayaker. There is no previous kayaking experience needed, it just needs some adventure spirit and reasonable fitness.

Today, you can just relax around the town and get an optional diving tour as this is one of the places in Turkey to dive. Another alternative is a mountain hike of Lycia way which can be done on your own as well. Kas is a great place to dive, parasail or sea-kayak around the sunken city of Lycians. The sea of Kas is pretty gentile and you will love swimming there.

 

Saklikent & Xanthos Tour 

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Drive to Saklikent on Day 14 in the late afternoon, after checking in to our hotel, we see the entrance to the 100 m. Canyon (18 km) formed through the centuries by the melting snow.
We visit the Hidden Saklikent Canyon, with its waterfalls and icy torrents of water to fresh up before returning to Fethiye.
Enjoy the scenic drive by the seaside towards Kaş.

An alternative early morning walk in Kayaköy which is a small village located on 8 km south of Fethiye in Southwestern Turkey where Anatolian Greek speaking Christians lived until approximately 1923.
The ghost town, now preserved as a museum village, consists of hundreds of rundown but still mostly intact Greek-style houses and churches which cover a small mountainside and serve as a stopping place for tourists visiting Fethiye and the nearby Ölüdeniz.
Overnight in Bodrum 

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Didyma, Miletos & Priene 

33_Early in the morning on Day 15 we proceed to to Didyma which served as an oracle center and a religious sanctuary to the God Apollo.
Among the highlights are the Temple of Apollo and the Stadium.
Antique Strabon regards Apollo Temple the most magnificent and Grand temple in the world. Next we visit is Miletus where the Philosopher Thales was born.
He coined the phrase “Know Thyself”.

We will inspect the Delphinion, the Baths of Faustina and the Council Chamber. Last visit of the day is to Priene which is considered the Pompei of Anatolia by historians. Highlights include the Temple of Athena Polias, the Ecclesiasterium and the Agora.
Overnight in Şirince 

 


Full Day Ephesus Tour

On Day 16 we take off to the ancient City of Ephesus and first visit the Basilica of St. John, who came here with the Virgin Mary and wrote his Gospel. To the Southwest of the Basilica stands the Isa Bey Mosque and further in the same direction is the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world.
You will see impressive structures including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, Theater and Odeon.
Terrace houses which opened to visit recently will be also included in our itinerary.
Close by is the House of the Virgin Mary where she is believed to have spent her last years.
On August 18th, 1961, Pope John XXll proclaimed the House of Virgin Mary at Ephesus to be sacred.
You will have a chance to take a phial of Holy Water from the Sacred Spring.
Overnight in Şirince. 


Pergamon 

Departure on Day 17 is in the morning from the hotel and we drive to Pergamon, once the ancient world’s major power and center of education and arts. A visit to the Library which once held 200.000 books, the Temple of Athena, the Temple of Troi, the Altar of Zeus,  the Gymnasium situated on terraces, the lower Agora and the Red Basilica dedicated to the God Serapis. After lunch, we visit the Archeological and Ethnographic Museum, to complete the days tour with the Aesclepion, the ancient health center.
After visiting this ancient site, we will drive to our restaurant on the way and get back to our hotel after lunch. Overnight in Izmir 


Flight to Istanbul on Day 18 where you will be met at the airport for a private transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 19 is at your own leisure with Overnight  in Istanbul


Private Old City of Istanbul walking tour 

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In the morning of Day 20 we start a sightseeing tour in the Old City of Constantinople now  known as Istanbul.

First we will visit the Hippodrome Square where chariot races were once held in the Roman Age and today one can see the Obelisk from Egypt, the Fountain of Wilhelm II and the Colossus, Serpentine Column from Delphi and the marvelous Underground Cistern Basilica built in order to solve water supply problems in the old times.

This is followed by a visit to the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture the Agia Sophia, which operates as museum today.
The splendor of the interior decoration, the massiveness of its architectural proportions being unusual for a church and the most important of all, the height of its central dome has amazed everyone since it was first constructed.
Then only a short walk away, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the only mosque with six minarets in Istanbul. it is called the Blue Mosque by foreigners because of the dominant color of more than 20.000 Iznik tiles decorating the spacious interior.
The Mosque is regarded as the peak achievement of Ottoman architecture. The highlight of the afternoon is a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace which is the only palace remaining from the Ottomans, reflecting the splendor of the once so mighty empire.

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Bosphorus Cruise with Private Motor Yacht & visit Dolmabahci Palace

Pamper yourself today! Day 21 is to enjoy a morning Bosporus motor-yacht tour for 2 hours, passing half a dozen Ottoman imperial palaces, traditional Yalis (waterside villas) and shore-villages.

Disembark at Sariyer for lunch at a seaside restaurant. Then we drive south and stop to visit the Castle of Rumeli Hisar and then we stop at the renowned Yildiz Park, harboring four Ottoman Palaces and enjoy a sip of Turkish coffee or tea if you wish.
Then we will enjoy a visit to the sumptuous imperial Dolmabahce Palace.
The rest of the day is at leisure.

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On Day 22 it is time to say goodbye and a Private Transfer brings you to the Airport for your flight back home with possibly mixed feelings of joy to go home and melancholy to leave behind. Please contact us for prices and further details, pending high or low season and possible adaptions as it is for example also possible to exclude the last two days in Istanbul.

 

We look forward to meet your inquiries and hopefully will be able to welcome you soon! 

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