From the world’s most fascinating city, Istanbul, where ancient traditions and modern cultures span the bridge between two continents . . . to the astounding ruins of Ephesus, standing guard over time and cultures, your journey to Turkey is filled with unparalleled experiences. Sail in a romantic gullet from Bodrum, where you can dive into the crystal Aegean, and enjoy a traditional lunch on board – just for you. Sail over Cappadocia’s distinctive ‘Fairy Chimneys’ in a hot air balloon and sleep in one of the world’s most stunning hotels there. Travel through Kusadasai, Ephesus and Izmir, investigating churches, museums, palaces and the archeological sites of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Discover the intricate underground city of Kaymakli, and stay in a luxury cave museum hotel. Journey Pace: Active

Tour Details


Starts any day. January to December

10 days from $7545.00

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Day 1

Arrive Istanbul, Turkey

Welcome to Turkey. You are met on arrival in mystical Istanbul and taken directly to your luxury hotel with views of the Bosphorus.

Istanbul, romantically known as Constantinople, is a vast, historic city where the Europe and Asia continents meet. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure; your guide can assist you in choosing a restaurant or perhaps some nearby sites to explore on your own.

Day 2


Spend today exploring the most important historic landmarks of Istanbul, one of the most inspiringly beautiful cities in the world. Visit the most famed masterpiece of Ottoman religious architecture, the Blue Mosque. Named for its impressive turquoise colored tiles, this Muslim complex is unique, being one of only two mosques in the world with six minarets. Next, explore the fabulous Topkapi Palace, the center of the Ottoman Empire in 1453, when the Ottoman Turks conquered this region. Your comprehensive tour of the palace includes the Harem with its walls of beautiful Iznik Tiles, and the Treasury filled with exquisite jewelry and gifts made to the Sultans.

Across from Blue Mosque, sits a massive structure with a gigantic 93-foot diameter dome - the Basilica of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), built by Justinian the Great during 6th century. Now a museum displaying Byzantine art and architecture, your guide gives you a personal tour through this massive structure filled with gold mosaics, Arabic calligraphy and thousands of years of history. Next, visit the Roman Hippodrome. Once the center of Byzantine life, it houses the impressive granite obelisk of Emperor Theodosius. Carved in Egypt in 1500 B.C., the obelisk is covered with hieroglyphs. Theodosius brought the obelisk to Constantinople in 390 A.D. and added military engravings of his likeness.

This evening enjoy a special dinner at one of Istanbul’s finest restaurants savoring the local delicacies and views of the Bosphorous. ​(B,D)

Day 3


This morning, board a private boat for a scenic cruise on the River Bosphorus, the waterway that separates the European and Asian sides of the city. Cruise this beautiful river and admire the skyline of the city - adorned with domes and minarets of numerous edifices. View the Galata Tower, a former stronghold of Genoese merchants, and Dolmabahce Palace. Pass typical fishing villages, water-side wooden mansions, palaces of the Ottoman Sultans, and the 15th century fortress of Rumeli Hisar, built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror.

Back on land, explore the Nuru Osmaniye District, where the Genoese and Venetian merchants stored their inventory of brass, copper, rugs and tiles before they were loaded on the ships to sail to Italy. Today it is home to the famous Grand Bazaar. Build in 18th century as horse-stables for the Ottoman cavalry, today this labyrinth of streets and passages houses more than 4,000 shops. Stroll through and explore the plethora of wares for sale, including perfumes, local handicrafts, spices, native delicacies, beautifully colored fabrics, fine leather goods, jewelry, and stunning tapestries. ​(B)

Day 4

Istanbul to Bodrum

This morning, fly to the resort city of Bodrum, on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

This afternoon, discover Bodrum’s Mediterranean architecture and historical monuments on a private tour. Visit medieval Peter’s Castle of Crusaders, an impressive castle, built by the Knights of Rhodes, set at the confluence of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. See the Mausoleum of King Mausoleus, and Bodrum Castle, which now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, home to artifacts dating as far back as the Bronze Age. ​(B)

Day 5


This morning, board a Turkish gulet for a delightful day’s private sailing experience.

A Turkish gulet is an all wooden handcrafted motor sailing yacht equipped with 1 or 2 masts, built for cruising the Mediterranean Coast. Gulets were originally built and used by fishermen and sponge divers to transport their catch. The classic gulet has a rounded aft, low-to-the-water profile and roomy hull. Gulets are typically built of pine wood and styled with a pointed fore and round aft. The spacious aft deck is designed for dining and lounging in the shade of a sun awning and a forward deck invites with numerous sunbeds.

A delicious lunch is served on-board. Take the opportunity to take a swim in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. (B,L)

Day 6

Bodrum to Kusadasai

Today, travel up the scenic coastline, stopping first at the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, one of three identical temples of the ancient Greek civilization. Next visit Miletus, the center of Classical Hellenistic civilization and Priene, where you can see precious ruins dating back to Hellenistic period.

Late afternoon arrive in the seaside town of Kusadasai, where you spend the night. ​(B)

Day 7

Kusadasai to Cappadocia

This morning, discover the glorious past of Ephesus, the world’s best preserved Roman city, and the most important archaeological and historic city in Turkey. Walk along the Marble Road to view the imposing structures – the Temple of Hadrian, with its articulate façade, and the Library of Celsus, displaying the grandeur of the Roman Period. Among all the archaeological remains, the Great Theater of Ephesus bears major Biblical importance, as it was the scene of an uprising by a merchant named Demetrius against St. Paul. See one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis. The goddess’ enormous temple was rebuilt several times, and in its latest form, dates from the 3rd century B.C. This temple was the site of goddess worship well into the Christian era. Next visit the 4th century House of Virgin Mary, made entirely of stones, and a wonderful example of Roman architecture. The site includes a church, Mary’s house and grave.

In the afternoon, you are transferred to Izmir Airport for your flight to Kayseri, via Istanbul. Upon arrival, you are met and then taken to Cappadocia, in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey. Enjoy the next two nights in this magical region, staying at a luxurious rock-carved cave hotel. ​(B)

Day 8


Arise early this morning for an unforgettable memory - a Hot Air Balloon ride over the nature-formed valleys of Cappadocia. Soar above the unique lunar-like landscape - formed by wind and weather eroding the rock mountains, leaving behind pillars, cones and the famous “Fairy Chimneys.”

Back on the ground, visit the Monastic Center of Goreme, the first Monastic center of Christianity; founded during 4th century, it is one of the earliest centers of monastic life. Tour the Monastic Center, an open-air museum, with well-preserved Byzantine rock churches, all decorated with 12th century frescoes. Next, walk through the valley of Zelve, filled with the incredible ‘”fairy chimneys,” volcanic rock pinnacles with pointed tops and large trunks. It is a town composed of hundreds of centuries-old rock-carved houses occupied until 1942.

The last stop of your afternoon touring is in Avanos, a town known for its earthenware potteries symbolizing the traditional character of the region.

This evening enjoy an enchanting presentation of Whirling Dervishes, entertaining and mystic philosophers who dance into a trance. This 13th century art form is mesmerizing. ​(B)

Day 9

Cappadocia to Istanbul

This morning, tour the Gumusluk Monastery, then, descend below the earth’s surface into the Kaymakli Underground City, a subterranean settlement of caves. Early Christians carved out these subterranean complexes to avoid Arab invaders who swept across the plains of Anatolia from the 6th to the 9th century.

Mid-afternoon you are driven back to Kayseri for your flight back to Istanbul, where you are met upon arrival and taken to your luxurious hotel in a quiet neighborhood of Istanbul near the many shops for a relaxing evening at leisure. ​(B)

Day 10

Depart Istanbul

Today you will head to the airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination. ​(B)


The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

Located at the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Asia, —The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is a practice in culture, hospitality and luxury. Featuring exceptional accommodations, world-class cuisine, a nurturing spa and impeccable service, this Istanbul luxury hotel’'s amenities and services provide an unforgettable retreat in the heart of one of the world’'s most fascinating cities. The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul hotel in Taksim Square stands in the center of this fascinating, flavorful city, epitomizing its welcoming spirit and the harmonic convergence between East and West, and past and present. Bathed in Ottoman-inspired splendor that pays homage to the rich historical traditions of Turkey, this stunning Bosphorus hotel features 244 well-appointed guest rooms, including 23 suites and 57 Ritz-Carlton Club Level rooms, exceptional restaurant and bars offering delectable experiences, Laveda Spa featuring indoor pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, authentic Turkish Hamam, fitness center and nine treatment rooms including two Couple Suites as well as outdoor Spa during summer months. A 2015 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel

Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay, Bodrum

Nestled on the bluffs overlooking pristine Barbaros Bay, the 173-room Kempinski Hotel has a secluded private beach on one of the most magnificent bays in the Aegean is lapped by pure, crystal blue waters. A plethora of water sports and activities are available including catamaran sailing, water skiing, hiking, volleyball, and yoga. There is also a full-service spa, fitness center, indoor pool, hair salon, library, convenience stores, business center and laundry services. There are two full services restaurants, plus a pasta bar, beach grill, poolside dining and two bars. Travcoa has reserved Deluxe Sea View rooms, all with Aegean Sea views from your terrace or balcony. All rooms are air-conditioned, and equipped with satellite TV, a minibar, in-room safe, a hairdryer and free wireless internet.

Korumar Hotel, Kusadasi

The Korumar Hotel has a superb location, where guests witness the most incredibly beautiful sunsets. Commanding the most beautiful sea views and presenting the highest level of style, the Korumar Hotel offers an unforgettable holiday to guests of all ages. The Korumar Hotel holds the highest standards for deluxe accommodation and a wide range of modern facilities offer guests a wide array of options. Enjoy the warm climate, beautiful sea, and close proximity to historical locations.

Museum Hotel, Cappadocia

Museum Hotel of which restoration was initiated by Omer Tosun, the chairman of Indigo Tourism, became operational after inaugurated by Erkan Mumcu, the tourism minister then, in 2002. Museum Hotel, established in a beautiful area of Uchisar, came into existence after the restoration of old ruins, paying utmost attention to the preservation of their originality. Due to its unique location all the rooms, restaurant and terraces overlook the unique panorama of Cappadocia. The Museum Hotel which has aimed to serve its distinguished guests in the best way is the sole preference of the majority of prominent guests visiting Cappadocia. Because of incomparable location, all rooms, restaurant and terraces have a grand view of amazing Cappadocia, Avanos, Goreme, Guvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley) and Kizil Vadi (Red Valley), the important sights of Cappadocia which can be viewed from above. From the beginning, Museum Hotel has provided the best special services to its guests and is the choice hotel for guests in Cappadocia. Today, all the rooms, restaurant, reception office and exterior areas of the Museum Hotel are decorated with various valuable antiquities registered at the Museum of Nevsehir.

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Visit this one-of-a-kind luxury hotel retreat in Istanbul’'s oldest district. Travel in time with visits to the 6th-century St.Sophia, the 15th-century Topkapi Palace and the 17th-century Blue Mosque, just a five-minute walk from our Sultanahmet luxury hotel in Istanbul's Old City. With 65 luxury rooms and suites surrounding a manicured courtyard and a fragrant herb garden, Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet provides an intimate enclave in the heart of the city. Each luxury room is designed around the building's unique architecture, and amenities are plentiful, including a refrigerated private bar, large plasma television, MP3 player docking station and a DVD and CD player. The lavish marble bathroom includes a deep soaking tub and separate shower -– a perfect way to end the day. A 2015 Travel+Leisure World's Best Hotel