Hiking in Istanbul & Cappadocia
Day 01 - ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
Today, you will arrive in one of the most important and inspiringly beautiful cities of the world history: Constantinople! Our representative, will meet you at the airport and you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 02 - FULL DAY IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul boasts its monumental shrines of different faiths. You will begin your private tour in the Old City this morning from the breathtaking Blue Mosque standing in great prestige with its six minarets and perfectly proportioned dome. A short stroll will then take you through the famed Hippodrome Square which was the sporting and social center of Constantinople that hosted the chariot races until the Middle Ages. You will continue today’s sightseeing with a visit to the magnificent home of the Ottoman Sultans: Topkapi Palace! Today you will be having an intense tour of the palace going through corridors and different sections of the Harem where Sultan lived with his family members. Leaving the Harem through the “Golden Corridor” you will reach the inner courtyard to visit the Treasury. Afterwards you will walk to the bustling atmosphere of the Spice Market, dating back to the 17th century, but still the most popular bazaar visited by locals to shop for fresh ingredients to spice up the dishes prepared in the kitchens of Istanbul. Wandering through the aisles of the market led by the enchanting smells, you will find an opportunity to blend with the locals and will be greeted by eager merchants competing to show you their eye-dazzling displays of a selection of spices brought from different parts of the world. You will head on to the Galata Bridge where you can observe many locals from every age fishing from the bridge. In Istanbul, fishing from Galata Bridge has been a tradition of the city as well as a relaxing hobby for the grown-ups and a great fun activity for children. Then you will take a tram to Galata, the neighborhood that hosted non-Muslim European communities migrating to Istanbul during 18th and 19th centuries to profit from the capitulations granted by the Ottoman Sultanate. You will visit Mevlevihane of Galata, central institution of Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul. You will then walk through Istiklal Avenue where you may enjoy the view of the 18-19th century buildings of art nuovo and eclectic architecture that currently serve a variety of purposes such as hosting art galleries, restaurants or diplomatic centers and that reflect cultural profundity and richness of Istanbul. You may explore the local bazaars hidden by the side streets on the boulevard to catch the tradesman amongst the fast pace of their daily activities. Constantinople was a bustling city in 1800’s that was connected to the major cities of Europe by the famous rail road transporting nobles, merchants, writers, and adventurers, all with a single interest in common; the desire to explore the Life of the Orient. During your tour of the district of Beyoglu (Pera), you will perceive the dominating European feel of Istanbul as the once terminating point of Orient Express. The non-Muslim community in Pera formed a more occidental style of life that was a reflection of what was lived in London, Paris and Venice at the time. Passage Des Fleurs and Passage d’Europe stand out among the major venues where one can distinguish the joy and nostalgia expressed by the authentic ambience of them. After a coffee break at Pera Palace Hotel (Please note that coffee break expenses are guests own discreet) you will turn back to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 03 - FULL DAY ISTANBUL
After a refreshing breakfast, you will meet your private guide at the lobby of your hotel and start exploration with Suleymaniye Mosque, recently open to visitors following a lengthy renovation period. Suleymaniye Mosque is considered the most beautiful of all the imperial mosques in Istanbul and is designed by the Architect Sinan with four minarets that rise from each corner of the courtyard. Afterwards, you will find yourself drifting through one of the earliest shopping malls ever built in history, Grand Bazaar which maintains its charm and volume of business to the modern day with its indoor and outdoor sections. Istanbul has been the center of commerce and trade between the Orient and the Occident even before the arrival of Ottomans. Nuru Osmaniye District (Glamour of the Ottomans) was where the Genoese and Venetian merchants had their ware houses where they store their inventory of brass, copper, rugs and tiles before they were loaded on the ships to sail to Venice and Genoa. Later in the afternoon, you will carry on to the Basilica of Saint Sophia, one of the largest Christian shrines ever built in history. The more you listen to the in-depth lectures of your private guide today, the more you will comprehend the priorities the administrators of Constantinople had to execute to ensure that the city continues its existence in safety against external threats. As a city that was defended by its “inaccessible” fortifications, Constantinople needed to have endless water supplies to enable its inhabitants to resist sieges. To serve this purpose, a large number of underground water reservoirs were built through various neighborhoods of the city such as the Underground Cistern known by the locals as the Sunken Cistern. The impressive structure built in 6th century with 336 columns erected upwards underneath the streets running through the Old City to constitute ample space to store water, is now operating as a venue for cultural activities besides attracting visitors as a unique museum. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 04 - ISTANBUL - CAPPADOCIA
Early in the morning, you will be transferred to Istanbul Airport for your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Your expedition will start with the Monastic Center of Goreme. Then, you will be enjoying walking through the valleys of Zelve. You will then have time to leisurely hike. Locals used to occupy their dwellings carved into cliffs in Cavusin until the recent official notification to empty the caves due to safety reasons. Your hike will connect the village of Cavusin to Rose Valley, one of the most magnificent spots on earth to watch the sunset. The scenery of the sun disappearing behind the colorful landscape of Cappadocia will captivate you. It is this magical performance of light that gives the valley its name. The last stop of today’s touring before returning to the hotel is Avanos, the famous town of Cappadocia that was established by the Hittites on the riverbanks of Halys River. You will visit one of the studios of a pottery artist of Cappadocia and watch the interactive presentation of creating masterpieces of pottery and ceramics. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 05 - CAPPADOCIA
Your expedition will continue with Derinkuyu Underground City, a subterranean settlement composed of troglodytic cave dwellings, where early Christians lived protecting themselves from invaders. Once you start hearing your guide, you will be impressed by the self discipline of the ancient people living in the underground cities under such difficult conditions. You will carry on to the famed valley of Ihlara today. A fascinating destination offering anunforgettable experience of walking through its deep gouge that is cut by the Melendiz River. The deep valley was a monastic center during Byzantine Era. Discover some of the least visited Byzantine churches covered with frescoes of 12th century.You will return to your hotel at the end of your touring for your last overnight in the region. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 06 - CAPPADOCIA - ISTANBUL DEPARTURE
Today, you will be transferred to the Kayseri / Nevsehir Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul and you will connect your international flight back to home.Back To Home
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