Turkey: Istanbul, Blue Mosque, Ephesus, Acropolis, Whirling Dervishes, Troy!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6:00 AM to Monday, November 22, 2021, 10:30 PM MST
DAY 1: Depart Tucson
DAY 2: Istanbul Welcome Dinner
DAY 3: St. Sophia (Byzantine Basilica: 6th century), Spice Market, underground cistern, Grand Bazaar, Bosphorous cruise.
DAY 4: Ankara (2nd largest city), Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk (brick courtyard & monumental ave. Lined with Neo Hittite stone statues/ cenotaphs beneath its colonnades). Anatolian Civilization Museum.
DAY 5: Cappadocia (striking & bizarre rock formations/underground cities). Short stop at the biggest salt lake in Turkey (flamingos). Visit a private cave home (traditional Turkish life). Wine tasting:-)
DAY 6: Open Air Museum (Goreme Valley): see Christian churches decorated with beautiful frescoes. Next, the Kaymakli Underground City, hollowed out of volcanic rock and extends 7-9 floors deep into the earth. See Avanos, famous for its beautiful old houses, pottery & onyx workshops.
DAY 7: 13th century Sultan Han: located on the ancient Silk Road between Aksaray & Konya. It was used as a caravanserai during the Seljuk period when trade flourished, requiring roads for caravan transport & inns for traveling traders/camels. On to Konya, lush forests, orchards & olive groves on the sloping hills downward to the splendid Mediterranean.
DAY 8: Our seaside resort hotel overlooks Turkey’s fabled Turquoise Coast. We head to ancient Perge, the most attractive/well-preserved Pamphylian city that reached its apex during the reign of Alexander the Great. Then to Aspendos, founded by the colonists from Argos & best known for its huge theater. Then, Antalya’s Archaeological Museum that houses artifacts/antiques from 2500 years of Anatolian culture.
DAY 9: Off to Pamukkale, the Necropolis & the ancient city of Hieropolis (“Holy City”), situated atop the Pamukkale hot springs. These hot springs have served as a thermal bath since the 2nd century B.C. Drive to Izmir, believed to be the birthplace of Homer.
DAY 10: Ephesus: the world’s best-preserved classical city. Famous throughout history for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. See the Library of Celcus, Temple of Hadrian, the Great Theater & the Odeon. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, a shrine said to be the final home of the Virgin Mary. Return to Izmir. Enjoy a lecture about life for women in Turkey.
DAY 11: Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period, the Acropolis, an impressive structure that houses the Temple of Trajan, the Heroon Shrine, the Sanctuary of Athena & the Altar of Zeus. View the Theater and Library of Pergamum, whose collection came second only to that of Egypt’s Alexandria. Off to Cannakale & an olive oil museum. Here’s Troy (4,000-year-old city and legendary center of the Trojan War), made immortal by Homer’s epic poem the Iliad. Arrive in Canakkale.
DAY 12: To Istanbul (Constantinople: the seat of the Eastern Roman Empire). Ferry the Dardanelles, a narrow strait connecting the Aegean/Black Seas. Visit the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 600 years & now a museum (with crown jewels & porcelain). View the Hippodrome, home of Roman chariot races & athletic events. Blue Mosque: 17th century Ottoman, famous for its 6 minarets & magnificent interior with blue tiles. Farewell dinner.
DAY 13: Early flight home
Roundtrip economy airfare from Tucson (price adjusted for your airport)
1 Checked bag
11 Nights First class hotels
10 breakfasts, 9 dinners
Daily tours, guide
Meals not mentioned
Travel Insurance (I can get this for you)
Air upgrades (Comfort, Premium, Business/First): I can arrange this
$3999.00 (double occupancy) Single add $699
$2000.00 Deposit due asap. Final due on/before July 31.
A signed waiver is due from each traveler. Prices accurate at time of posting: subject to increase. Valid passport/visa required. All monies are non-refundable. No marijuana/animals. Monthly payments required. There are Covid requirements to be met in each direction.