Day 1 Istanbul
Arrival Istanbul mid-morning. Transfer to hotel and get acquinted with the city on a relaxing walk.
Day 2-3 Istanbul
Full day of sightseeing visiting the magnificent Blue Mosque Of Sultan Ahmet, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Roman Hippodrome, underground cistern and Aya Sofya Museum (St. Sophia), considered one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels. Visit Dolmabahce Palace, a lavish Turkish baroque masterpiece built as the new residence of the Ottoman sultans.
Kariye Museum (St. Savior in Chora) with its spectacular Byzantine frescoes and mosaics and the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, designed by the master Ottoman architect Sinan. Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans and center of the imperial government from the mid-15th to the mid-19th century. Treasury with its jeweled thrones and other incredible riches, the legendary Harem Quarters, and the kitchens where one of the greatest Chinese porcelain collections in existence is on display.
Day 4 Gallipoli/ Canakkale
Drive to Gallipoli thru Thrace to see the WW I battlefields and ferry cross the Hellespont to Canakkale and overnight. Troy could be seen at the end of this day or the morning of the 27th. Depending on time of arrival.
Day 5 Troy/ Pergamon/ İzmir
A drive southbound will bring you to Pergamon, one of the greatest ancient sights of Helenistic world. Its Acropolis once rivaled Parthenon. Red Basilica, possible site of the church where ‘letter of truth’ was addressed, the theater on a steep hillside and remains of Pergamon Library, once second largest to the one in Alexandria offer stunning visit. Overnight in İzmir with a a late afternoon at its promenade called Kordon along the shore of Aegean.
Day 6 Ephesus
Full day touring Ephesus and its environs. Ephesus, the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world was founded in the 11th Century B.C. and brought to full flower under Roman rule, was always an important religious center. The Greeks replaced the cult of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with Artemis, and built a fabulous temple in her honor. With the coming of the Romans, it became the Temple of Diana and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We can see the vast amphitheater where St. Paul preached and marvel at the gymnasium, baths, and wonderfully restored Library of Celsius. Little touches make Ephesus a very human place; the traffic of chariot wheels has worn two grooves in a narrow gateway on the marble st Priene, Miletos and Didyma reet. Close by is the last home of the Virgin Mary, who legend has it came here accompanied by St. John, and lived out her days in this beautiful spot. St. John wrote his Gospel here, and a tomb believed to be his was chosen by the Emperor Justinian to be the location for the magnificent St. John Basilica.
Day 7 Priene, Miletos and Didyma
Miletos was the city of many scientists and philosophers such as Thales, Anaximander, Hippodomos and Isidorus, the architect of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Miletos had its alphabet recognized by the ancient Greek world as the official Greek alphabet, basis of the current Latin alphabet.
Priene located at the shoulder bluff of Mt. Mykale was planned by the famous city planner and architect, Hippodamos based on the right-angled streets called grid system. All the buildings were turned to the south in order to benefit full daylight. The roads cross perpendicularly to provide winds to cool the town in summers.
Ancient sanctuary and oracle of Apollo was in the charge of the Branchids, a priestly caste. In the Archaic period the oracle of Apollo had great fame. The most important of the temples dedicated to Apollo were the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece, and the Didymaion in Anatolia. The temple, an 87.65 meter long and 40.89 meter wide with a total number of columns added up to 112.
Day 8 Aphrodisias/ Gocek or Dalyan
Drive to Aphrodisias, we tour the site excavated with help from National Geographic Society and NYU and see the museum. Dedicated to the worship of Aphrodite, the spectacular city of Aphrodisias was also a center for sculpture and the arts, and its museum has a collection of exceptional statuary excavated at the site. A large and impressive place, reminiscent of what it must have been like in its heyday, the city boasts a huge, still-complete stadium that held 30,000 people and was the site of all games and arts competitions.
Day 9 Caunos and Iztuzu Beach
A relatively relaxing day to cruising by small motor boat down the river of Dalyan viewing the impressive 4th C B.C. tombs cut into the sheer lime stone cliffs And Caunos site. Dalyan beach is where logger-head turtles lay eggs an the whole shore is under wildlife preservation. Water is very pleasant for a swim or stroll at the shore.
Day 10 Antalya
Turquoise Coast via Xantos, Myra to Antalya.
Small islands, fishing and holiday towns crown the one of the cleanest coastline of Mediterranean. We can visit some historic sights like Myra and Xantos on the way.
Days 11-12 Antalya
We can have a relatively easy day in and around Antalya. The old city with classic ottoman style stone-timber houses within the 2nd C Roman Walls, small yacth harbor, award winning Archeology and Ethnography Museum and nearby ancient city of Perge and Aspendos offer plenty to fill the day with leisure.
Days 13 Istanbul
Morning flight will take you back to Istanbul for a final day before flying home.