Concerts, Operas, 
Art Galeries & Gourmet Food

I have organized many tours to Western Turkey, Eastern Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Karakalpakistan in Central Asia. We took our groups to Mongolia, West China, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on the Silk Road. We have covered Morocco from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sahara desert. We have always had wonderful people travel with us. We had laughter. We had tears of joy . We always celebrated the wonderful crafts and works of the women that we have met on our travels. This time, we have decided to treat our selves to a unique experience of living the cultural life  of Turkey through concerts, opera, movies, spas and of course history and crafts.  Join us on this tour to appreciate Turkey through art.  

For more info please contact :
 Meli Seval of MELITOUR

Please click here for the tour hand book

B a l l e t

Ottoman Art

W h i r l i n g     D e r v i s h e s

O  p  e  r   a

We do not have the 2009 weekly programs for the performances. As soon as the programs are made public, we will let you know what the program for our tour will be for the Opera, concerts and ballet.

Tour Dates: Day 01  Saturday  Oct 10, 2009  -   Friday Day 14 Oct. 23, 2009
Tour Extension (Post Tour) :Day 01  Friday Oct 23, 2009  -   Monday Day  4 Oct, 26, 2009              



DAY 1  Saturday Oct 10, 2009   ISTANBUL 

Arrive in Istanbul. Transfer to the Hotel.PLEASE READ THE ARRIVAL INFO
Welcome group meeting at 04:00 PM at the lobby of the hotel. Ten minute walk to the Blue Mosque, the 17th Century wonder of engineering.

Dinner at a roof top where you can experience a great feel for the past 2000 years of Istanbul and her unique geographic location - connecting Asia  and Europe. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya located in the neighborhood of Aya Sophia. This hotel is a renovated 18th Century Ottoman House with only 23 rooms and a very friendly personnel. Dinner is included at the Blue House

DAY 2 October 11, 2009 Sunday    ISTANBUL
Full day tour - Istanbul to and back from the Black Sea coast of .
The Bosporus of Istanbul divides Asia from Europe. As we are cruising up towards the Black  Sea, we will witness the beauty that has been an inspiration to many artists. The sea gulls will dance around our boat while we are admiring the houses lined around the shore. The two- three hundred year old wooden houses will cast their shadows on the dark blue waters of the
Black Sea and the Sea of  Marmara rushing north and south trying to hug as if they have not seen each other for ages. The grand fortress on the shore will rise as a witness to the hardships that city had gone through for ages. When we finally arrive at the  northern most point of the Bosphorus, we  will be welcomed  to the small fishing village where the fishermen will be mending their nets. Some will be unloading the silver colored creatures still wiggling in the bottom of the blue painted boats.  there will be no sign of the big city here. The restaurants trying to compete with each other will serve the best of any thing caught in the Black  Sea. Lunch is included. At this town, if you do not finish the meal with an excellent ice cream , unique to this village, they say that  "the fish you have just eaten will not rest in peace in your stomach "
On the way back from our cruise, we will stop at Orta Koy , the square next to the picture on the left. The local artists display their art work at this square This will be your chance to walk the streets on your own and  experience  what  some people of Istanbul like to do for their Sunday afternoon with their families. We will drive back to the hotel. After you freshen up and rest  we will leave for dinner. To continue with our Bosporus experience , to night we will have dinner at  an excellent restaurant on the water.

DAY 3 October 12, 2009 Monday  ISTANBUL
For those who have not been to Istanbul before, we will visit some of the see must sites of Istanbul . Since on Monday the other museums are closed, we will visit  Chora Church today. Chora Church was built in the 12th Century and was used as a Mosque for 500 years after the fall of Istanbul. The frescoes and the mosaics were perfectly well kept over centuries. They are the best examples of Christian art of the Byzantine era. We will be able to trace the lives of Jesus and Mother Mary through the eyes and the hearts of the artists who had created the images to be the models for the Renaissance Artists.
We will have an excellent lunch at the 450 year old building built by  the Master Architect of the Ottoman Palace , Mimar Sinan. After lunch
( included) we will stroll around the old neighborhoods of Istanbul which are being renovated  to have the right face lift for 2010, when Istanbul will be honored the title of "THE CULTURAL CITY OF EUROPE" . We will witness what it takes for a city to gain this title. The rest of the day will be your choice. You can take time to rest, to shop or do few more site seeing. At 06:30 PM we will leave from the hotel to go to a Whirling Dervish performance. The Whirling Dervish are the followers of Celalettin Rum-i, a 13th Century Philosopher, poet, humanist who had celebrated the beauty of the human beings  : in his words

                      " The Human beings are the master piece of perfect art"

The performance will be over at 08:15 PM. The dinner will be on your own. You can either have dinner before we leave for the performance or after the performance, for those who would like to have dinner , MELITOUR will provide transportation to restaurant and back to the hotel.

DAY 4 October 13, 2009 Tuesday ISTANBUL
Visit Quilt makers at night Concert

his morning, we will start with few more site seeing. We will first  explore the underground of Istanbul. The Basilica Cistern was built with no concern of art but only t
o make sure that there was enough water supply for the construction of Aya Sophia. However, when you walk down the steps and catch the first glimpse of the 1500 year old building, you will  think that  it was built to top the most artistic edifice of the world of that time. Our next stop will be Aya Sophia. When this building was completed in 532 AD The emperor who had ordered the church to be built was so proud of his accomplishment that he had  claimed that his church was better than the one built by Solomon. He said,
  " I surpassed thy fame Solomon"

After lunch ( included) we will visit the Istanbul guild of quilters. You will get a chance to interact with the ladies and share with them about what you do for your crafts. To night we will go to a concert at the new part of the town and we will have dinner close to the concert hall. This meal will not be included so every one can order what ever sounds good to you. This restaurant had been graded as the top 5 restaurants of Istanbul.

DAY 5 October 14, 2009 Wednesday ISTANBUL
 Visit an artist concert or opera or jazz festival
Since 2008 Fall schedules are not yet published we do not know exactly what the activity  we will  choose for this day.
 But in Istanbul there is no shortage of activity. Today in the morning we will have free time at the Grand Bazaar. Meli would love to show you the little shops owned by the refugees from Afghanistan. Their shops are full of  in expensive but very colorful nick knacks  that can make excellent Christmas gifts. We will see the colorful dresses of those women who have to hide underneath Burkas. After lunch  we will experience a Turkish Bath. Free time after the bath. Leave for the concert and dinner from the hotel at night.
DAY 6 October 15, 2009 Thursday, ISTANBUL - TRAIN
Movie during the day and continue to Ankara on the night train
Today is our last day in Istanbul. You can either choose to have free time in the morning or you can join the tour to the Topkapi Palace and the Harem. We will meet at the hotel to go to Lunch. We will load our luggage on the bus. Leave the hotel for lunch and afternoon activities before we get on the night train for the evening. The train leaves at 10:30 pm. the next morning arrives at Ankara at 08:00am.
DAY 7 October 16, 2009 Friday ANKARA-
Anatolian Civilization Museum in the morning concert at night
We will have breakfast on the train. We will visit the Anatolian civilization Museum. The museum has been given the "Best Museum of Europe " award not only for the way it is exquisitely designed but also for the amazing content. The displayed objects  help one to understand the evolution of the culture of the man kind. From the time when the Man Kind started domesticating the animals and cultivating the land  to the times when over natural resources they have made wars, traded and created multiple deities to protect  themselves. The building where the museum display is , is a superb 15th century caravan sarai which naturally adds to the pleasure of visiting this museum.  After lunch, we will check in our hotel. The hotel is in the middle of the city which is the capital of Turkey. So in the next couple of hours which will be free time, you can either take a rest and catch up your sleep if you could not sleep well on the train or you can walk the streets of Ankara to get the feel for how different this city is from Istanbul. We will meet at the hotel . We will visit a work shop of a lady who uses ethnic craft work for her creations. After an early dinner in the Embassy Quarter of Ankara, we will go to Presidential Symphony Orchestra's concert. This Orchestra was established by Ataturk, the founder of our republic. Overnight in Ankara.

DAY 8 October 17, 2009 Saturday ANKARA-
Visit Ayas an old Ottoman village where they do silver weaving and have an excellent cuisine.


Ayas is a village not too far away from Ankara. the Women of Ayas are known for being the most talented cooks of Turkey. They have created a cooking cooperative so that they can make their cuisine world famous. The village also takes pride in having the most number of Ottoman houses still intact. In Istanbul we will see the imperial Ottoman Architecture. Here in Ayas we will see what the civilian architecture was like in the country side. Ayas is also known for their hand made silver jewelry. We will have lunch in Ayas and return to  Ankara for an other excellent meal

DAY 9 October 18, 2009 Sunday   CAPPADOCIA-
After Breakfast we will leave for Cappadocia.
After breakfast, we will have four hours of bus ride through a wonderful landscape where nature will be changing colors to sleep over the winter. Cappadocia is a   is a land where nature and man have competed with each other to create the most unusual and the most beautiful. We will walk  to 10th and 11th century churches, monasteries, and houses carved in the rocks, and visit a family living in one of these rock dwellings. The moon-like terrain of Cappadocia with its endless artwork is a photographer's delight. But we will cover all the wonders of Cappadocia at a very slow pace so that you can enjoy the time in Cappadocia at your own pace. We will arrive Cappadocia for lunch. After check in the Hotel, just to get oriented with the terrain,  we will have a short site seeing to village which has been accepted as the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. Cappadocia is know and the wine country. we will make a stop at the wine factory and we will have wine tasting. The dinner will be served at the hotel. The chef has been given many awards and has international recognition for his delicious local food.
DAY 10 October 19, 2009 Monday CAPPADOCIA-
Magical Balloon ride ( Optional)
Cappadocia with her spectacular landscape offers the most magical Balloon ride. The sun rises behind the volcano which gave life to Cappadocia . The 13000 foot mountain creates a wonderful view of sunrise. Those who choose to have the Balloon ride will return at 08: 30 am. Today we will not leave the hotel  until 10:00.  In the afternoon we will visit homes and learn how to crochet oyas. Bring your own crochet and thread. We will visit the Goreme Monastary and some less visited churches of Cappadocia.
Dinner will be served  at a local restaurant where we can listen to local music. Overnight at the same Hotel.

DAY 11 October 20, 2009 Tuesday  CAPPADOCIA-

Since Cappadocia is the carpet center of Turkey, we will schedule a  demonstration at a factory where the art of making carpets by hand and dying with natural dies is being kept alive. We will see Turkish folk dancing this evening at dinner.  



 For those who are interested in learning how to knot Turkish carpets we will have a class taught by the teacher of the local cooperative. Those who are interested in pottery making can take a class of pottery making. If you want to sign up for both classes we can arrange it too. Lunch at Avanos, dinner at the hotel.

DAY 12 October 21 ,2009 Wednesday  Fly to KUSADASI, EPHESUS
We will fly to Izmir this morning. Before we check in the hotel we will visit Ephesus. Check into our hotel. Tonight dinner will be on your own.

Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the eastern Mediterranean and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. Certainly, the climax of the trip will be at the city of Ephesus, sitting in the theater visualizing 35,000 Ephesians following the silversmith Demetrius shouting "...great is Artemis of Ephesians..." in reaction to St. Paul's preaching "there should be no man-made gods."

Kusadasi has many restaurants and the hotel has an excellent buffet dinner. So this night can be a more relaxing evening if you choose what you want to do with your time.
DAY 13 October 22 , 2009 Thursday  KUSADASI
Breakfast will be served at a village house restaurant. Surrounded with flowering fields of Cherry trees, figs and vines and olives, the village is a traditional Turkish village of narrow twisting streets stone and white washed houses and terra cotta roofs. Cooled by fragrant  pine  scented breezes, Kirazli is a world away from  the bustling coastal strip. After breakfast, we will  go to Meli's farm by Ephesus . Those of you who are interested in cooking, you can have a cooking class. Those of you who like to take a walk you can walk in the forest. If any one is interested n horse back riding you can have a ride. Our early dinner will be at the farm. For those who are interested in a belly dance class we can also have  fun learning to wiggle our tummies.

DAY 14 October 23, 2009Friday  END OF THE TOUR Transfer to the air port
For those who are leaving the tour today, we will transfer to the air port after breakfast. Those who will take the tour extension to bursa will continue to Bursa.
The flight ticket to Istanbul is not included in the tour price. But if you are not taking the extension, please let anta Mayer know so we can arrange for your flight to Istanbul. with an early flight out of Izmir to Istanbul, you can catch your international flight leaving around noon.

T O U R       P R I C E

The price of the tour is:
10 pax ......... US$ 4873.-
15 pax ......... US$ 3846.-
20 pax ......... US$ 3332.-
Single Room supplement  440,- US$

If you want MELITOUR to arrange for your flight from Izmir to Istanbul
The air plane ticket cost between US$ 80 - US $100 depending on the day we purchase the ticket.

The price includes:

  • 13 Nights Hotel double occupancy

  • 35 meals
    13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 10 dinners
    ( Please check the tour hand book for the list)

  • Ferry in Istanbul

  • Train to Ankara

  • All the entrance fees

  • Turkish Bath in Istanbul

  • Whirling Dervish Performance in Istanbul

  • 2 Concerts/opera/ballet (?) in Istanbul,

  • 1 Movie in Istanbul

  • 1 Concert in Ankara

  • Plane tickets from Cappadocia to Izmir

  • Transfers on arrival in Istanbul

  • Transfer to the air port in Izmir

  • Pottery class in Avanos

  • Carpet Making class in Cappadocia

  • Crochet class in Cappadocia

  • Cooking class at Meli's farm

  • All the transportation

  • Guiding by Meli

  • Water served with the meals

  • Tips at the hotels/restaurants/bell boys

  • Tip for the driver in Istanbul

Not included in the tour price


DAY 01 October 23 ,2009 Friday  BURSA
From Izmir to Bursa it takes apprx 6 hours. The road is wonderful very different from any thing else that we have so far seen in Turkey. We will have lunch along the way .
Bursa was the First capital of the 'ottoman empire and the summer capital of the Byzantine empire. The presence of these two empires  however, did not make Bursa as an imperial city as Istanbul. The monuments of bursa are more down to earth, decorated with breath taking Hat art and tiles. bursa is also known for the spas and therapeutic hot waters. Our  hotel is a spa hotel. For today and tomorrow, MELITOUR  can arrange for massage . The Turkish Bath at the hotel is a wonderful experience.You can have private bath or you can go as a group. You will love the experience

DAY 02 October 24 ,2009 Saturday  BURSA
ursa is known for her Old Makets  excellent mosques, Silk production and towels.  we visit the grand Mosque, ULU CAMII , you will have free time to explore the covered bazaars and silk shops.
Bursa is also famous for a special kebab called Iskender kebab named after Alexander the Great.  We will try this dish for our lunch today. In the afternoon , you can enjoy more of the Turkish bath and the spa. the dinner will be at the hotel.

DAY 03 October 25 ,2009 Sunday    ISTANBUL
Iznik is ancient Nicea. t is a small town built by the lake which gives its name to the town. We will visit the Iznik Tle Foundation , an organization which is trying to revive the ancient tiles of the Ottomans. After the visit to the Church of Aya Sophia where The Eucemenic council had decided Jesus was God we will visit  Azize Hanim's farm and see her dolls.
We will take a ferry to Istanbul across the sea of Marmara. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner  at the Golden Horn Fish restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Ayasofya.

DAY 04 October 26 ,2009 Monday    The end of the tour
After breakfast transfer to the air port.