Here are the details of the tour:
Day 1 – Sat – Istanbul (L)
Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Meet by Orion representative and proceed to “Old City” for full day tour including the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue tiles and unique with its six minarets built in the name of Sultan Ahmet I. Next we will have a look at the Hippodrome of Constantinople where horse and chariot races used to take place. Then visit the Haghia Sophia museum which is one of the greatest religious and architectural marvels of all times. Finally the famous Topkapi Palace museum will be visited which was built as the home of the Ottoman sultans. The world famous Treasury will be visited. Last stop will be Grand Bazaar. Following our return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 2 – Sun – Istanbul / Canakkale (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast, we will begin our scenic drive down to Gallipoli, historically famous for being the site of many battles during WWI. Following a lunch break, we will cross the second strategic waterway, the Dardanelles, and land in Asia and proceed to Troy. Referred to in Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey”, Troy has in fact nine cities superimposed one upon another. Troy Vl pertains to the famous Trojan War of Homer where the legendary heroes included Agamemnon, Achilles, Ulysses and Nestor on the Greek side and Priam, Hector and Paris on the Trojan side. We will check-in to our hotel in Canakkale for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Mon – Canakkale / Kusadasi (B,L,D)
Depart for Kusadasi, en route we will have lunch in Bergama before visiting Pergamon to see the Acropolis, the Temples of Trajan, Dionysos, Zeus and Athena and the theater overlooking to the plain of Bergama with a picture break for one of the Seven Churches of Revelation in downtown Bergama. Then drive to Kusadası for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Tue – Kusadasi / Pamukkale (B,L,D)
Following breakfast we drive to Selçuk to visit the House of Virgin Mary on top of Mt. Coressos. Then our memorable visit to Ephesus will begin as well as viewing one of the Seven Churches of Revelation from the Temple of Artemis (One of the Seven Wonders of Antiquity). Then continue to Pamukkale. You will tour the Antique City of Hierapolis where calcareous hot springs descending over cliffs have created fascinating travertine in the form of white terrace and basins. After a picture break, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Wed – Pamukkale / Konya / Cappadocia (B,L,D)
Following an early breakfast we will drive through an interesting landscape where peasants make their living, to have lunch en route before arriving in Konya. Konya was the center of the Selcuk Empire as well as the city of Mevlana and his Whirling Dervishes. After visiting the Mevlana Museum we will continue to Cappadocia viewing the Sultanhani Caravanserai en route. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
OPTIONAL: Belly Dance show at Cave Restaurant
Day 6 – Thu – Cappadocia (B,L,D)
Today we visit one of the incredible Underground Cities (Ozkonak or Kaymakli) where early Christians lived secretly in order to survive and keep their faith. Then picture stops will be given at the Pigeons Valley and at the foot of the Uchisar Castle. Then proceed to the Goreme Valley to visit the rock carved churches hollowed out of volcanic ash. Lunch will be at Avanos Village followed by the famous local pottery and carpet shows allowing ample time for shopping in the afternoon. Also time will be allocated for the local souvenirs. Dinner and overnight.
Day 7 – Fri – Cappadocia / Istanbul (B,L)
In the morning we start our journey to Istanbul bypassing Ankara over the mountains on a scenic road. . Lunch will be on the way. Overnight in Istanbul.
OPTIONAL: Belly Dance Show
Day 8 – Sat – Istanbul (B)
Free until transfer time. Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport International Lines for flight to home.
For more information about Orion Tour, click here.