is a land of
cultural diversity and artistic importance. Here, you will discover art, architecture and crafts that date
back 10,000 years. In ancient times, Turkey was a crossroads for many
civilizations. Today, it is a showcase of world history.
culture and history of Turkey
Visit workshops of Anatolian craftsmen
The nature in Anatolia
has granted the people a gift of beauty in everything that surrounds
them. The Anatolians did not take the heart warming splendors for
granted. They absorbed the colors of the wild flowers and imitated them
in their OYA, the crochet work that framed their head covers. The roots
of the plants, the minerals, the insects supplied the dyes and the
sheep gave the wool for the carpets and the kilims.
The creative women of
Anatolia added their patience to the looms and the stories woven in the
carpets and kilims became the main of records of their ethnic and
cultural identities. The dew shining on a clove leaf became an
inspiration for the jewelry makers. On this tour we will see the
"creators" of Anatolia and what inspired them
For 18 - 21 persons in a group
US$3,200.00 per person.
See below for details.
Reserve seats on any tour without obligation.
Day 1 - Istanbul
The tour starts with a short orientation meeting at 5 PM in the lobby
of Hotel Ayasofya
After visiting the Blue Mosque dinner will be at a nearby resturant
Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya, an old Ottoman house recently renovated to
an excellent condition located within walking distance to all the
must-see places in Istanbul.
Day 2 - Istanbul
In the morning, visit the Byzantine Cistern, and the Turkish Islamic
Art Museum. The art style of the muslim culture displayed in this
museum will be a nice introduction to what will be experienced in the
workshops of the artists and the craftsmen later on the tour. After
lunch visit St Sophia, the grandest standing monument from 1500 years
before our time and the first grand palace of the Ottomans. The Topkapi
Palace will be the last site to visit on this day.
Dinner will be served at a very colorful quarter of Istanbul where the
ambiance is just as memorable as the food we will be served in this
fish restaurant .
Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya
Day 3 - Istanbul
Drive to Sadberk Hanim Museum, the first private museum in Turkey with
a superior collection of ethnographic and archaeological artifacts.
After the museum, drive to Besiktas and take a short boat ride to
Uskudat on the Asian side of Istanbul to visit a batique artist at her
house-workshop. Bedia Hanim is a world famous artist of calligraphy who
combines the intricate work of batique and "hat" in a
on textile. (Sounds complicated but that is the beauty of her unique
The rest of the afternoon will be spent at the work shop of the Jewelry
artist Pinar Ivedi
Dinner will be served at Turkistan Restaurant near the hotel.
Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.
Day 4 - Istanbul
Visit the Covered Bazaar (GRAND BAZAAR).
Visit Chora Church /Mosque to see the Byzantine mosaics from the
11th-12th century. This site has the most exquisite mosaics and
frescoes of its era describing the theology of the orthodox world.
After lunch (on your own) spend some time at the 19th century quarter
of Istanbul and enjoy coffee at Pera Palas Hotel which was the
terminating point of the famous Orient Express. Agatha Christie wrote
her book " Murder On The Orient Express" in of the rooms of this hotel.
Visit the Spice Market where the precious goods of the Silk Road found
clients from the other of the Old world, Europe. Cruise on the
Bosphorus by our private boat
Dinner on the Asian side of Istanbul .
Leave for Ankara on the overnight train. The night train cars have been
recently renewed. Passengers will have their luggage with them in their
two person compartment. There are showers (one shower for 10
compartments) and breakfast is served in the elegance of the "Orient
Express" the train leaves at 10.30 pm and arrives in Ankara the next
day at 07.30 am
Day 5 - Ankara & Cappadocia
Breakfast on the train. In Ankara, visit the most beautiful museum of
Turkey, the Anatolian Civilization Museum. The 15th century building
houses the museum which was given the "Best Museum Of Europe Award." It
contains the displays of 23 civilizations of Anatolia going back
2,300,000 years before our time. After lunch visit the Mausoleum of
Ataturk, the father of the Turks.
4.5 hrs bus ride to Cappadocia.
Dinner & Overnight at Museum Hotel
Day 6 - Cappadocia
In Cappadocia the Creator and man competed in creating the most unusual
and the most beautiful. Enjoy the moon-like terrain of Cappadocia with
endless forms of work of art. The colors of the frescoes of the twelve
hundred year old churches are just as fresh as the colors of the
carpets woven in the region. The rock formations are just as striking
as the local pottery made of the clay obtained from the old river beds.
In the morning easy hike to Zelve to see the 10-11th century churches,
monasteries and houses carved in the rocks. Visit villagers at their
rock dwellings. Visit the astonishing GOREME monastary to see how each
monk had interpreted in their wall paintings the history of
Christianity St Paul had visited the region, Ceaseria, to pass the word
of God in his 1st Missionary Journey. As one visits the colorful
"churches" of Cappadocia, he/she will have no doubt in his/her mind
that what is surrounding you in forms of thrilling art form buried in
nature, is the ideas and teachings of St. Paul that had sproughted into
the life style of the Cappadocians for two thousand years. Visit the
carpet cooperative to learn more about the Turkish Carpets which are
inseperable part of the Turkish life.
Dinner and overnight at Green Motel
Day 7 - Nigde, Mersin,
Leave Cappadocia at 07.30 Drive over the beatiful Toros mountains The
grandeur of the mountans explains why they are called ''toro'' the bull
traditional symbol of power. Visit the underground city in Kaymakli.
The giant ant hole like underground refuge of the Christians explains
clearly how difficult it must have been to be a Christian hiding away
from the 2nd Century Roman Persecution. The road will take you through
the Cillician Gates mentioned in the Bible into TARSUS, the city where
St Paul was born. The strategic location of the city caught between the
Toros Mountains and the Mediterranean stands as a living witness to the
number of civilizations trespassed through this rich town. Alexander
the Great, the Persians and the Romans all left their marks in the city
and the vicinity of the town. But certainly the most important memory
of the city lies in the fact that Saul or St Paul was born in Tarsus.
Visit the Pompei of Anatolia, Pompeipolis. In this city, the remains of
the older Soloi superimposed with the impressive Roman aquaducts, baths
and temples will make it easy to picture what the cities were like at
the time of St. Paul.
Overnight at Tasucu.
Day 8 - Alanya
Drive along the Mediterranean. Visit Anemurium Castle which was built
in the 3rd Century AD. This fortress which is in a remarkable good
condition, stands as a monument to the conflict between the fierce
pirates of the Eastern Mediterranean and the endless resistance of the
land people who wanted to protect the riches of their lands from the
invaders from the sea. Today will be the longest bus ride. But driving
through banana orchards and the white sand beaches along the
Mediterranean might make this 6 hour drive tolerable.
Overnight at Alanya
Day 9 - Antalya
Today we will have a later departure. This will give enough time,
either to swim or to go to the castle and take pictures. On the way to
Antalya. visit the ancient city of Side, one of the most important
cities of Pamphylia region with its amphitheater, the stadium, the
temple of Apollo and the agora. Continue driving to visit the best
preserved theater of the ancient world - Aspendos. Visiting the ancient
site of Perge, where St. Paul preached during his 2nd missionary
journey. We will try to picture how Paul and Barnabas were thought to
be the God and the messenger of God!!
To give the tour members a break from the group feeling tonight's
dinner is NOT included in the price of the tour.
On Day 9 and 10 the group will split in half and experience the
Turkish bath which is a unique experience of Turkish traditions.
Overnight at Antalya. At this beautiful Meditteranean city we will
stay at a 200 year old renevated house, Atelya Pansion.
- Antalya (Boat)
Today will be a vacation in a vacation. We will sail and enjoy swimming
in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. The delicious lunch served on
board will add to the relaxation of the day. The joy of the evening
will be the experience in the Turkish Bath.
Dinner tonight is NOT included in the price of the tour.
Overnight at Atelye Pansion
Drive to Pamukkale, the most unusual natural phenomena of Turkey. Visit
nomads en route. Visit the ancient site of Hierrapolis and swim in the
natural pool which was a Roman spa. Enjoy feeling the roman ruins under
your feet while soaking in the bubbling waters of the pool giving you a
feeling of being in a champagne bottle.
Overnight at Pamukkale, Yoruk Motel
- Didyma, Miletos,
Drive to Selcuk. Along the way visit the ancient sites of Didyma and
Miletos. Didyma is an oracle center dedicated to Apollo. It was the 3rd
largest temple of its time. This 3rd Century BC monument is the best
standing building of its age. Miletos as mentioned in Acts 20 is where
St. Paul left his homeland Anatolia in his sail boat Teckla. St. Paul
had taught the elders of Ephesus one of the best teachings of Christ
"Giving is more blessed than taking."
Tonight Kusadasi offers a great variety of restaurants so we will not
include dinner in the tour. Dinner will be on your own.
Overnight at Kusadasi
Day 13 - Ephesus
Visit the ancient site of Ephesus, the Ephesus Museum and the house of
the Virgin Mother. Ephesus is the largest Roman excavation in Turkey.
The grand avenues and intact social buildings help one build the city
in their imagination with not too much of an effort. When one walks in
the theater which had a seating capacity of 24,000 people, the sounds
of the mad Ephesians led by Demitrius, the silversmith, can almost be
heard. According to Acts 19 St Paul, who visited Ephesus twice, was
never given an opportunity to speak in this theater when the Ephesians
were reminded that St Paul and his teachings were a threat to the way
they made their living. So Paul wrote everything he had to say to the
Ephesians in his letters. Thus Ephesus is mentioned not only in Acts
but there is a whole big chapter in the Bible named after the ''Epistle
of Apostle Paul to the Ephesians.''
Overnight at Kusadasi
Tour is over after breakfast
For 18 - 21 persons in a group US$2,600.00 per person
Tour price includes:
- Excellent English Speaking Guide
- 13 nights hotel, double occupancy
- Transportation Train/Bus/2 boats (Istanbul and Antalya)
- Transfers from the airport in Istanbul to the hotel and from the
hotel in Kusadasi to the Izmir airport at the end of the trip.
- All the meals (except 1 Lunch in Istanbul 2 Dinners in Antalya
and 1 Dinner in Kusadasi)
- All entrance fees to museums and ancient sites
- Tips at the hotels and the restaurants
- Turkish Bath in Antalya
Not included in the price:
- Flights to and from Turkey
- Tip for the driver
- Tip for the guide
- Beverages and drinks
- Cancellation insurance
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
(Single Room US$60, Double Room US$85 Tax Included)
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.