M E D I T E R R A N E A N TOURS
T U R K E Y & C Y P R U S
Day 01 Wednesday ISTANBUL
Meet at the lobby at 05.00 PM
Visit the Blue Mosque - A 17th Century monument built to immortalize Sultan Ahmet.
Dinner at the roof top of a renevated 18th Century Ottoman house. Make sure you have your camera with you for the stunning view of Aya Sophia and blue Mosque, the Sea of Marmara nad Asia
Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya
Day 02 Thursday ISTANBUL
(OPTIONAL TRIP TO EPHESUS -not included in the tour price)
Leave the hotel at 08:45 Walk to the Byzantine Hippodrome.Visit the Basilica Cistern and Aya Sophia, After lunch visit Dolma Bahce Palace, the palace which stands as a symbol f "Westernization" of the Ottoman Empire in mis 19th Century.
Dinner at a fish restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 03 Friday ISTANBUL
Today we will experience the Byzantine History living in Istanbul. We will start the day with a visit to the Rum patriarchate. After Lunch , visit Kariye cami ( Chora Church) Istanbul as Constantinople was where the Byzantines accepted Christianity as the state religion 1700 years ago. The imperial recognition of Christianity can best be seen at the breathtaking mosaics of Chora Church. Enjoy the earliest interpretations of Nativity, Dormission, Resurrection and Jesus the Creator.
For the royalty, the entrance to the city of Constantine was the Golden Gate at the Seven Towers. We will visit the site to see how Byzantines and the Ottomans had made different use of this site.
Dinner at the Bosphorous. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya
Day 04 Saturday CAPPADOCIA
We will take an early morning flight to Cappadocia. We will arrive at Kayseri ( Ceaseria) (The city of St. Basil of Caesarea 329 – 379 AD) at 0900 and drive to Cappadocia. ( 1hour 15 minutes) We will be in the region where Gregory of Nyssa was born. Cappadocia where cliff dwellings and several hundred churches are hollowed out of the of the cones which are eroded remnants of volcanic land. Frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible or the Apocrypha are amazingly well preserved. Enjoy Rural Byzantine art
Dinner & Overnight at Museum Hotel in Uc Hisar
Day 5 CAPADOCIA
Immerse into the depths of Cappadocia to understand how the early Christians lived and worshiped in the land where the seeds of Christianity were planted by St. Paul. Visit the locals in their houses. Witness the local craft at potters wheel and at carpet makers looms. Opportunity to buy the best Turkish carpets.
Dinner & Overnight at Museum Hotel in Uc Hisar
Day 6 GUZELYURT
Visit the underground city of Kaymakli
Visit the churches scattered in the Ihlara valley and the churches (385 AD) of Gregory of Nazianzus,Aya Anargiros and Gregorios Teologos
Dinner and Overnight at Hotel Karballa
Day 7 ANTIOCH- ANTAKYA
Visit the most stunning monastery of GUMUSKESEN where there is a fabulous fresco of smiling Virgin Mary . Drive through the Cilician Gates, just like Paul and his disciples did. Continue to Antakya (Antioch on the Orentes) This is where the followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11:26) It was from the Church in Antioch that Paul and Barnabas started their first journey and to which Paul returned from both his first and second journeys. Dinner at Anadolu Restaurant , fameous with their local dishes. Overnight at Antakya, HOTEL ANTIK BEYAZIT, ANTAKYA
Day 8 ANTIOCH- ANTAKYA
Visit St. Peter's church and the fabulous Mosaic Museum which clearly displays the glamour of Antioch of St. Paul's time. After lunch drive to the Monastary of St Simon
Dinner at Daphne Overnight at Hotel Antik Beyazit
Day 9 MERSIN
After visiting the city, TARSUS, where Paul was born . Visit Toprak Kale Sis, Tarsus Armenian Church
Dinner and overnight at Mersin Hilton Hotel
Day 10 SILIFKE
To day we will visit grand ancient cities: Sabastiapolis and Kanli Divane
Overnight at in Silifke
Day 11 SILIFKE
Trip to ala Klise in Mut , Aya Tekla’s monastery
Overnigt in Silifke This will be the best Day of the tour!!
Incredible huge churches of the Earliest Byzantine Era all in superb condition!!
Baptismal fonts of the 6th Century!!!
Day 12 CYPRUS
Ferry to Cyprus Lusignan palace, the shipwreck museum, the monastery of Bellapais and the castle of St. Hilarion..
Day 13 CYPRUS
Driving through Nikosia, there is the Gothic cathedral and Bedistan and then to Magusta to the old town., a visit to ancient Salamis
Day 14 ANTALYA
Ferry back to Turkey Anamurium ( not just the castle but a huge city superb)
Overnight in Side
Day 15 ISTANBUL
Visit Side, Perge Aspendos
Evening flight to Istanbul Overnight in Istanbul
Day 16 Thursday
Fly Back to the USA
US citizens need a visa to travel in Turkey. You may obtain this visa upon your arrival at the Istanbul airport. The fee is $ 20 in US currency for the USA citizens. The visa is valid for three months.
When you come out of your plane please proceed to the Visa Booth. They only accept cash.
POLICE CHECK AND LUGGAGE /
MEETING MELITOUR REPRESENTATIVE FOR TRANSFER
After paying for your visa please proceed to police control. Baggage claim is immediately down the ramp after the police check. If you need a cart, you will need to pay one US dollar cash to a person who stands by the carts. It will be nice if you have a change. The Melitour representative for transfer to the hotel will meet you out side the custom area. Look for a MELITOUR sign as soon as you leave the customs gate.
EMERGENCY INFO FOR TRANSFER
In case of unexpected delay or change of your flight, should there be a problem in meeting the person who should be waiting for you at the airport please call Hotel Ayasofya at 0212-51694-46 or take a taxi to Hotel Ayasofya. Your taxi fare will be refunded.
Kucuk Ayasofya Mahallesi
Demirci Resit Sokak
Sultan Ahmet Meydani Alti
PRE TOUR ARRANGEMENTS
If you plan to arrive a few days before the tour to get over jet lag we can reserve a room at Hotel Ayasofya (Single US$50, Double US$70)
We can suggest itineraries for those who want to explore on their own or with a guide before or after the tour. Simply send us an e-mail with your request.