(Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, Izmir, Canakkale)
As you descend into the dark underground city the lies beneath the streets of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, the 7th-century ghosts of this ancient subterranean settlement stir in restless corners of the eerie labyrinth.
Turkey is a rich treasure chest of significant ancient sites, and you’ll experience a great deal of them on this extensive tour. In Istanbul, you’ll visit the Hippodrome which served as the center of Byzantine civic life for 1000 years; explore the surreal Underground Cistern that supplied water to ancient empires; pay your respects at the elegant 17th-century Blue Mosque; and marvel at the well-preserved Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture that jostles for attention in the vibrant old town. Elsewhere, explore the natural citadel carved in rocks at Ortahisar; journey beneath the surface to 7th-century subterranean villages; visit the church of St. Nicholas – otherwise known as Santa Claus – in historic Myra; tour the ancient city of Troy; and step foot on the famous World War I battlefields of Gallipoli.
From sipping wine in the fertile vineyards of Cappadocia to enjoying a hot air balloon ride over the 30-million-year-old volcanic rock formations of the ‘Valley of the Fairy Chimneys’ and bathing in the hot mineral springs at Pamukkale, this extensive tour showcases the many faces of Turkey. Your team of private guides and drivers will enthusiastically share their deep local knowledge of some of the most historically significant sites in the world, and you’ll be treated to a collection of premium hotels that feature the finest in contemporary luxury.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle, driver, and assistant is provided.
A welcome package with a city map, e-tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Meet your guide for a full day tour of Istanbul. Our first stop is at the Church of Divine Wisdom, Aya Sofya was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th Century and reigned as the grandest church in Christendom until its conversion into a mosque by Sultan Mehmet II just after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Next stop is at The Hippodrome which served as the center of Byzantine civic life for 1000 years, including coronations, Roman chariot races and more than one royal execution. At the opposite end of the Hippodrome (At Meydani) is the elegant 'Blue Mosque' of Sultan Ahmed I, with its six minarets. Built in the early 17th century, its popular name is derived from the 20.000 predominately blue Iznik tiles lining the interior walls. In the afternoon explore the mysterious and surreal Underground Cistern which is also known as Yerebatan Sarayi, one of the Grand underground cisterns which were an important source of water for the city during the Byzantine and Ottoman times. In the afternoon, return to your hotel.
After breakfast, meet your guide at the lobby and depart from your hotel. Enjoy a full day exploring Istanbul. In the afternoon visit Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans for three centuries. Now a museum, it consists of gardens and buildings of the former palace restored to hold a wealth of treasures. Among the most notable are one of the world’s finest collections of Chinese porcelain, a spectacular collection of jewellery, gems and gold, and the wardrobes of the Sultans, consisting of more than 13,000 customers. Our last stop will be the famous covered Grand Bazaar; the largest covered marketplace in the world where a dazzling array of items-from Furniture and carpets to jewellery and clothing are sold in the bazaar’s more than 4,000 shops.
A transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel with a private vehicle and driver is provided.
Enjoy a direct flight from Istanbul to Capadoccia. The flight duration is about 1 hour.
During this full day tour, you will be driven to Devrent Valley and then to Pasabagi Valley, to see the amazing fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. From here you will be driven to Avanos, the famous pottery town, to have lunch. After lunch you will depart from Avanos to see the beautiful examples of Byzantine art in the churches of the Goreme Open Air Museum. Then you will be driven to Uchisar Castle, the highest point of the region, with a fabulous panoramic view over Cappadocia. The tour will be concluded with a visit to Pidgeon Valley.
Enjoy a full day tour in Capadoccia and visit the Ortahisar, a natural citadel carved in rocks. Then visit the subterrenean city of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu, established in the 7th century by Christians fleeing persecution, in which a visitor is able to descend several levels underground. You will be driven to Cavusin Valley to see the troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the mid 20th century. After lunch a visit to the Red Valley and Wine House, Cappadocia is famous for its fertile vineyards due to the mineral-laden volcanic soil of the area.
Early depart from hotel. Today we drive to Konya which once served as the capital of the Seljuk Empire and which is adorned with elaborate monuments of the 12th and 13th century. First visit will be the Mevlana Museum, a sacred Islamic shrine which is object to pilgrimage from all over Turkey. It also houses the tomb of the world famous mystic philosopher Mevlana.
Today we drive south to Antalya, the most famous resort center on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Continue to Aspendos, visit the best preserved Roman Theatre built by Marcus Aurelius in Asia Minor. Then we drive to the impressive aqueducts of the city better preserved than the ones in France, Campagna. Drive to Perge which was once the greatest learning center and visited by St. Paul. It is still one of the most impressive Greco-Roman sites of Turkey. In the evening you arrive in Antalya.
Consider exploring Myra and Demre with a private guide and vehicle today where you can visit historic Lycian tombs at Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas, otherwise known as Santa Claus. Sailing over turquoise waters to the picturesque Kekova Island one would discover the extraordinary underwater ruins of the sunken city of Simena and visit the noteworthy Lycian necropolis at Teimiussa. There would be opportunities to swim and snorkel if desired, so a bathing suit and towel are recommended. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like to add this optional tour to your itinerary.
After breakfast at your hotel, we drive north to Pamukkale. We’ll explore the ancient city of Hierapolis overlooking the Lycus river valley with its well-preserved theatre and large necropolis. Pamukkale is very popular for its pools and hot mineral springs that overflow to cover the rocks beneath with white deposits of lime that give the appearance of a frozen cascade. It is to these formations that the Turkish name Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) is probably due.
After breakfast, depart hotel to drive to the ancient city of Aphrodisias which is dedicated to Aphrodite and rewarded by Augustus. This beautiful site was the most sophisticated school of sculpture ever founded in Asia Minor and was also famous for its high quality white marble. We also visit a local museum which solely displays artifacts found in the city.
Enjoy a full day tour to Ephesus with private car and guide. Drive to Selcuk, to visit the world-famous Antique City of Ephesus, including the Arcadian Way, the Antique Theater, the Roman Baths, and the Celsus Library. In the afternoon a visit to the Shrine of Virgin Mary, where she lived her last years and Basilica of St. John. At the end of the tour you'll be dropped at your hotel.
Enjoy a full day tour to Pergamum where you'll visit the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the Pergamum Acropolis, where you can find the Altar of Zeus (said to be the place where Satan has his throne). Other spectacular relics are the Temple of Trajan and the world's steepest ancient theater. After the drive back to Izmir you will be brought back to your hotel.
Enjoy a tour of Troy, immortalized by Homer in his stories of King Priam, Hector, Paris and the beautiful Helen. Archaeological excavations have revealed nine separate periods of settlements including ruins of city walls, house foundations, a temple and a theatre. A symbolic wooden Trojan horse commemorates the legendary war. The outing concludes with a tour of Canakkale.
Enjoy a half day tour of Gallipoli before you return to Istanbul. Visit Anzac Cove is a small cove on the Gallipoli peninsula, which became famous as the site of World War I landing of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) on April 25, 1915. The cove is a mere 600m long, bounded by the headlands of Ari Burnu to the north and Little Ari Burnu, known as Hell Spit, to the south. Following the landing at Anzac Cove, the beach became the main base for the Australian and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Battle of Gallipoli.
Boasting a wonderful location, the Sultanhan Hotel (4*) is a warm guest house reflecting Turkish hospitality, authentic décor, and oriental east culture. Located on one of the most popular streets in Istanbul, Sultanhan Hotel is close to the tram stop and all the major attractions in the city. The hotel is within walking distance of the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Golden Horn, Archaeology Museum, Obelisks, Suleymaniye, underground cistern, and the covered bazaar.
Gamirasu Cave Hotel is an exquisitely restored 30 room, troglodyte cave house in Ayvali Village near Urgup in the heart of Cappadocia, Turkey. The hotel is located in a restored thousand-year-old Byzantine monastic retreat that offers modern conveniences without distracting from the spiritual feeling of the area, which has been known to be inhabited for more than five thousand years. Gamirasu Cave Hotel is featured in major international travel guides as one of the best cave hotels of Cappadocia.
The Dedeman Hotel (5*) enjoys panoramic views of Konya and is located on the central plateau of Anatolia, and is close to most business and culture districts of the city. The Dedeman Konya has a total of 207 rooms, including 37 executive rooms, 20 suites and 2 presidential suites. With its exquisitely furnished guest rooms, trend-setting restaurants and bars, fully equipped conference and banquet rooms and a stylish health centre, Dedeman Konya responds to the needs of the most demanding travellers.
The Marmara Antalya Hotel (5*) is located on the famous Falez Hills of Antalya in the Lara district which is just 5 minutes away from the city centre and also close to Antalya International Airport. The Marmara Antalya is a modern hotel housed in a towering building that offers magnificent views and a unique revolving loft, which is a part of the building that slowly revolves to give guests different views of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The hotel features 238 air-conditioned guestrooms decorated in a bright, contemporary style. Food with organic and local ingredients are served nearly customized for each guest, bringing a new perspective to the “buffet”. Guests can take advantage of the private beach or take a dip in the outdoor pool with a separate pool for children. In the Wellness Center, the sauna, steam room and massage treatment room help guests unwind.
Colossae Thermal is located just next to the ancient thermal city of the Hierapolis ruins and travertine of Pamukkale which remains a pile of cotton. It is the first 5 stars Thermal Hotel of Denizli. Its name comes from Colossae ancient city, which is one of the most important settlements of Phrygia. Colossae regards precedence of its guests as its own. It carries on furnishing services beyond expectations with its well-educated and experienced staffs. The hotel is located 2 kilometers from the Pamukkale ancient city, 1 kilometer to Karahayit red water source and 22 kilometers to Denizli city center. Transportation to the hotel from the city center is available.
Korumar (5*) located on a cliff protruding the Aegean Sea. Located off Kusadasi, a getaway to explore nearby Kirazli, a traditional Koy village and the Hellenistic remains of Pygale, both within a 20-minute drive. The hotel is constructed on its own private bay which overlooks the nearby Pigeon Island. Rooms open out onto private furnished balconies with sea views. Each room is fitted with satellite TV channels, an intimate seating area and includes en suite bathrooms with either shower or bathtub. Guests can choose among Turkish cuisine and international classic dishes. Food can be enjoyed overlooking the sea on the terrace, or indoor in a more elegant ambiance, both complemented by a varied wine selection. Facilities of the hotel include tennis courts, gym, a traditional hammam, a jacuzzi pool and massage treatments.
The KEY Hotel has a prime location with 21 of its rooms either with direct or partial views of the sea. Set in the heart of the city, the KEY Hotel is a luxury-driven lifestyle hotel. The hotel is located in the commercial hub of Izmir, along the Aegean Sea. Surrounded by traditional buildings from the 1930s. The Hotel is by the promenade of the Gulf of Izmir and within walking distance to the shopping districts of Konak as well as Alsancak. The hotel offers 34 elegantly appointed rooms with state of the art technology; 31 guest rooms, 1 Executive Suite, 1 Deluxe Suite and 1 Grand Suite. Overlooking Kordon, the promenade by the bay of the city, The KEY Restaurant and Bar showcase international cuisine with an Aegean flair in a contemporary setting. The hotel also offers a fitness room for guests.
Kolin Hotel is a luxury hotel on the beach just out of the center of town. This incredible hotel has rooms, which are fully air-conditioned, satellite T.V. safe box, mini-bar, bathtubs, and hair dryer. There are large grounds and plenty of sports and activities. There is an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, water sports, billiards, darts, tennis courts, basketball, volleyball, football, mini golf. The hotel also has an in-house doctor, beauty and skin hair, fitness room, Turkish bath, Steam Bath, Sauna, massage rooms and more.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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