Hagia Sophia

UNCHARTED TURKEY

PRIVATE AND LUXURY 

Unique Experiences

Istanbul | Cappadocia | Ephesus

This itinerary gives you a great opportunity to explore the musts of Turkey in a unique way. You will be able to explore the highlights of Turkey with unique experiences and learn about the culture, history and much more in 7 days.

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5* Luxury Hotels

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Exclusive & Tailor-made 

Sightseeist's Luxury Tailor Made Travel means seeing the Turkey exactly how you want to see it, on an itinerary fashioned for you by the Turkey’s foremost experts.

DAY 1 – ISTANBUL, TURKEY

 

Arrive in Istanbul, you will be met at Istanbul Airport, our representative will handle your luggage and escort you to your luxury vehicle and transfer to the hotel.

Upon arrival to the hotel enjoy a welcome cocktail and check in.

 

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus | www.fourseasons.com/bosphorus

DAY 2 – ISTANBUL, TURKEY

 

After breakfast, you will meet your tour guide at the lobby for your private full day tour.

 

Start with a visit to the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. 

You will take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance.  The mosque was a part of a complex also including, tombs, fountains, kitchens, and a bath. Its colourful windows enables the sunlight to reach inside. This makes the interior unusually light.  The blue Iznik tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque.

Then you will visit the Underground Cistern.  It was built by Justinian in the 6th century. It has 336 beautiful columns that support the cistern, two of which are carved with the head of Medusa on the plinth.

Then, you will visit St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom.  The architectural marvel of all time.  It was built during Emperor Justinian reign and it remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II who ordered to convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. 

The walls of this beautiful piece of architecture are decorated with gorgeous  mosaics.

 

Then, you will visit the magnificient Topkapı Palace, the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries.  It is located on the promontory jutting out between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.  This setting provides a magnificent view. In the Treasury section, you will see breathtaking displays, including the 7th largest diamond in the world, the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”.  As you enter the Harem section you will see how the sultan's lived in a most magnificant residence.

Last you will visit the Egyptian Bazaar, also know as the Spice Market, the second largest covered market in Istanbul and constructed in the 1660s. The name derives from the herbs, and spices imported from or through Egypt. It is still the best place to buy Turkish delight, dried fruit, exotic spices and herbs.  At the end of your day, you will return to your hotel with a short stop for some baklava tasting.

For dinner, private transportation will be provided to/from the restaurant.

 

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus | www.fourseasons.com/bosphorus

DAY 3 – ISTANBUL, TURKEY

After breakfast, you will meet your tour guide at the pier of your hotel and embark on a private motor yacht to enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus, the narrow strait of water separating the Asian and European continents and the life blood of Istanbul.  Passing along the shores of the Bosphorus you will view magnificent palaces, restored Ottoman villas, impressive fortresses and the waterside residences of Istanbul’s elite. During your cruise you will see a different perspective of Istanbul, described by a Byzantine visitor in the 12th century as “the city of the world’s desire. Cruise will take approximately 2 hours.


Then you will visit the Suleymaniye Mosque. Built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan on the order of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Suleymaniye Mosque dominates the third hill of old Istanbul, and is strikingly graceful and less ornate than many other imperial mosques, thus lending itself to meditation and quiet reflection.
 

Then, visit the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Built in the 11th century, the walls of this Byzantine Church are decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes. The mosaics depict the life of Virgin Mary and the infancy, genealogy and ministry of Christ. 

After your lunch, visit the Grand Bazaar, the largest and oldest covered bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops.  A variety of handicrafts, carpets, rare jewels and souvenirs all sold in small shops next to each other. If you want, join in a carpet demonstration where you will learn about the art of carpet weaving with an opportunity to make a purchase of that special treasure.

 

For dinner, private transportation will be provided to/from the restaurant.

 

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul At The Bosphorus  www.fourseasons.com/bosphorus

 

 

DAY 4 – ISTANBUL  CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

 

After your breakfast, you will meet your profesional guide at the lobby and transfer to Istanbul Airport for your domestic flight. Arrive in Kayseri and transfer to your hotel with visits on route.
 

The region of Cappadocia, the jewel of Central Anatolia, and home to a bewitching landscape of spectacularly eroded tuff (hardened volcanic ash). 

The most famous and characteristic features of the landscape are the remarkable conical rock outcrops know as fairy chimneys.  The softness of the tuff made it easy to excavate and create dwellings; whole cities were constructed underground as well as hundreds of rock-cut chapels, beautifully frescoed churches and monasteries.  


Have a panoramic drive by Zelve, where three canyons meet in the Valley of Monks. The rock face at Zelve is honeycombed with caves and churches, and much of the decoration inside the churches is symbolic.

Next you will drive through the spectacular Pasabag Valley, enjoy a photo stop and capture wonderful images of the unique landscape.

 

Arrive in the pretty town of Avanos, which has long been a center for pottery artisans as it lies on the banks of the Red River where clay supplies are abundant.  Enjoy a visit to a pottery workshop to meet the artisans and see their unique collections.


After dinner visit a Caravanserai to see the sema ritual performed by Whirling Dervishes, this is a mystical and very special experience.  

 

Museum Hotel Cappadocia | www.museumhotel.com.tr

 

 

DAY 5 – CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY

 

An early start for an optional hot air balloon flight, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience and there is no better way to see the distinctive landscapes of Cappadocia than by gently floating overhead in a hot air balloon.  

Your skillful pilot will skim the basket across fruit trees and rise up over the fairy chimneys, before ascending to great heights for breathtaking views.  

Return to your hotel for a local Turkish breakfast.


Today, you will enjoy hiking through the Guvercinlik Valley (The Pigeon Valley) is one of the most famous valleys of Cappadocia and its name comes from the pigeon-cotes carved on its walls.

 

Next, visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum where icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. The 11th century represents the “golden age” of religious art in Goreme. Then, you will visit the Goreme Valley, which has been occupied since the dawn of history.  It is the valley of the churches.  The wonderful and primitive 11th and 12th century frescoes cover the walls of these churches.  The oldest churches in the area date back to the 6th century.  

Among the 356 of churches, the most important ones are Karanlık Kilise, Yılanlı Kilise, Elmalı Kilise and Tokalı Kilise.  

 

Then, visit the Mustafapasa Village (Sinassos), an ancient Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses: very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.  
 

You will complete your day descending below the earth’s surface into the Kaymakli Underground City, where five levels extend below ground and include; living quarters, kitchens, wine presses, storage rooms, stables and ventilation shafts.  Early Christians carved out these subterranean complexes to avoid invaders who swept across the plains of Anatolia from the 6th to the 9th Century.

Lunch will be served in a private home where you can taste the local cuisine prepared especially for you.  Meet the family and hear all their family stories.  Your meal is homemade with local in season ingredients.

Museum Hotel Cappadocia | www.museumhotel.com.tr

 

DAY 6 – CAPPADOCIA  EPHESUS, TURKEY

 

After an early breakfast depart your hotel and transfer to Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight. Arrive in Izmir and drive approximately 45 mins to the ancient site of Ephesus.

 

After your lunch, visit Ephesus, famous throughout the ancient world for its Temple of Artemis.  You will first visit Odeon Theatre where the state affairs used to be held. Then, view the Hadrian Temple, It was dedicated in 118 AD to Hadrian, Artemis, and the people of Ephesus but greatly reconstructed in the 4th century. This impressive Corinthian style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch.  According to the belief of Ephesians, the Medusa head on the porch, would protect the city from its enemies.

Next, you will be escorted by an archeologist that worked in the newly excavated spectacular Terrace Houses (Villas) located on top of the hill within the City of Ephesus. These were inhabited by wealthy Ephesians, and are finely decorated with mosaics and frescos. The Terrace Houses were brought to light in excavations carried out since the 1980s. Along with those in Pompeii, they constitute some of the most vivid examples of Roman domestic architecture to survive to the present.

 

Proceed to Celsus Library, The library is the best preserved  structure of its kind. The inscription on the side of the building’s front staircase says that the library was build by Julius, in his father’s honour, after his death. His father, Celsus was the Roman governor of Asia Minor early in the 2nd century AD.

The Great Theatre, dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD it was succesfully reconstructed, expanded by the Romans until it reached the seating capacity of 25,000. This is also the place where St.Paul preached.  Marble Road, runs between the Library of Celsus and the theater and is a part of the sacred  walk way.  

 

Then visit the House of Virgin Mary, where the Virgin is said to have lived the last years of her life. The building was rediscovered in the late 19th century by Lazartis from Smyrna based on the vision of a German nun.

The site is officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church and visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.

 

Gullu Konaklari  | www.marti.com.tr/gullukonak-sirince/en    

 

 

DAY 7 – EPHESUS  ISTANBUL,TURKEY

After your breakfast, you will meet your profesional guide at the lobby and explore picturesque and famous village of Sirince.


In the afternoon transfer to Izmir Airport for your domestic flight. Arrive in Istanbul. You will have a short walk to the international terminal for your departing international flight.

 

Last day’s programme and domestic flight to be determined according to your international flight.

Tailor this itinerary / ask for price and details : sightseeist@parostravel.com

  • Travel with the best tour guides and 2021 model VIP Mercedes Benz vehicles.

  • No waiting in lines for tickets – Your private guide will arrange everything for you.

  • Decide when you want to start and finish your tour.

  • No large groups of 30 – 40 people who have different interest – it’s your own private tour.

We're Here to Help

Our dedicated team is available to answer all your questions. Contact us by e-mail, by WhatsApp or call us.

Merkez Mah. Abide-i Hürriyet Caddesi Blackout A Blok Kat:1 Sisli, Istanbul / Turkey

Tel: +90 (553) 609 9043  |  sightseeist@parostravel.com | www.sightseeist.com

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