Limited to 18 guests | Days: 11
From Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and the volcanic rock “fairy chimneys” of Cappadocia, to a private cruise on the Bosphorus and a visit to the Temple of Artemis, enjoy a journey rich in historical detail.
Independently explore Turkey, from its Greek and Roman roots to its Ottoman Empire architecture, visiting Istanbul, Izmir, Ephesus and Bodrum as well as the marvelous fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.
Explore Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in peace, on private visits arranged exclusively for your group by Africalink
Discover the newly renovated Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum located in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square
Visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, in historic Ephesus
Privately cruise the Bosphorus, serenely passing palaces, mansions and gardens along the shore
Experience the Cappadocian culture firsthand when you join a local family for tea in their home
Day 1: Arrive Istanbul, Turkey
Arrive in Istanbul, where you are met and transferred to your hotel for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet | Meals: D
Day 2: Istanbul | Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, in Private
Begin with a private, before-hours opening of timeless Hagia Sophia, exploring in peace and quiet. Next, visit the Basilica Cistern, its marble columns still standing since the sixth century. Then, enjoy an exclusive private opening of Topkapi Palace. Later, stroll the Pera District and visit a coffeehouse, before embarking on a private cruise of the Bosphorus.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet | Meals: B L
Day 3: Istanbul/Bodrum | Ancient Arts and Artifacts
Today, visit the newly renovated Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum to view its extensive collections, and see the nearby Hippodrome. Briefly visit the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, and then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Tour Chora Church (subject to renovations). Fly to Bodrum and check in to your hotel, where you dine tonight.
The Marmara | Meals: B L D
Day 4: Bodrum | Shipwrecks and Their Bounty
Stop by the ancient Theater of Halicarnassos before visiting the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum in the Castle of St. Peter, which houses the oldest shipwreck ever discovered. Sit down to lunch at an Aegean courtyard restaurant. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure.
The Marmara | Meals: B L
Day 5: Euromos/Izmir | Temples of Zeus, Apollo and Athena
Journey to Euromos to explore the ruined yet magnificent Temple of Zeus. Continue to Didyma to discover the Temple of Apollo, dating to at least 300 BC. Stop for lunch at a local seaside restaurant. Then, proceed to Priene for a walking tour at the ageold Temple of Artemis before continuing to Izmir, where you enjoy an evening at leisure.
Swissôtel Grand Efes | Meals: B L D
Day 6: Ephesus | Historic Archaeological Dig
Embark on a day trip to Ephesus, where St. Paul once lived. Explore the renowned archaeological park here before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, visit the Museum of Ephesus before returning to Izmir.
Swissôtel Grand Efes | Meals: B L
Day 7: Kayseri | Fairy Chimneys and Frescoes
Fly via Istanbul to Kayseri, where you explore its volcanic stone “fairy chimneys.” View frescoes at the rock-carved churches of Göreme, and visit the stunningly restored Dark Church at this enchanting open-air museum.
The Museum Hotel | Meals: B D
Day 8: Cappadocia | The Ancient Art of Weaving
This morning, enjoy an optional hot air balloon excursion over Cappadocia. Then, visit the Göreme Weavers Association on an engaging Artisan Visit. In the afternoon, explore the fascinating underground city at Kaymakli, which dates to as early as the eighth century BC and includes chapels, kitchens, air vents and living quarters carved out of volcanic rock.
The Museum Hotel | Meals: B L
Day 9: Istanbul | Tea with a Local Family in Their Home
Today, sit down to tea with a local family in their home before flying back to Istanbul this afternoon, with time at leisure to explore independently if you like.
Shangri-La Bosphorus | Meals: B
Day 10: Istanbul | Ottoman Architecture and the Grand Bazaar
Ride Like a Local on a public ferry and then explore Suleymaniye Mosque. Visit the Spice Bazaar and Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Then, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before experiencing Istanbul’s fabled Grand Bazaar. Tonight, gather with your fellow guests for a farewell dinner at your hotel.
Shangri-La Bosphorus | Meals: B L D
Day 11: Depart Istanbul
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to depart.
Prices are in USD, per person, based on double occupancy.