June 16 (Fri) Flight from US
June 17 (Sat) Istanbul Airport
Meet and greet in Ataturk Airport at Meeting Point 2. Upon arrival, after you go through Turkish Immigration, claim your luggage and pass the Turkish Customs, you will go through sliding doors into the International Arrivals Hall where you will see many people greeting passengers. To avoid the crowds and any confusion, we would like for you to turn right immediately after the sliding doors and proceed to the Meeting Point 2 sign. Our representative will be waiting for you at this point with a sign “Tutku / TURKISH & OTTOMAN ART TOUR” on it. Transfer to the hotel in city center. A short briefing about your tour. Dinner & overnight in Istanbul.
Jun 18 Sun ISTANBUL
Today we start our tour with a visit to the Istanbul Archeological Museums. These museums contain a wealth of artifacts from the 50 centuries of Anatolian History. From the Hellenistic and Roman to the ancient Orient and Islamic arts, an extensive collection can be seen. After the Archaeological Museums we continue with the famous Hagia Sophia (Divine Wisdom) which was the greatest church of Christianity until the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans. It was through the Imperial Door that Mehmet the Conqueror came through in 1453 to take possession of this greatest religious edifice in the World, for Islam. Continue with Turkish Islamic Arts Museum which is a treasure house of beautiful objects from the Seljuks (11th – 13rd centuries) to Ottomans (14th – 20th centuries) period. As well as earlier periods dating back to the 8th century. Today’s last visit will be Sultan Ahmet Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque, which is the central element of the complex built by Ahmet I (1603 – 1617) . This mosque is considered to be the last example of Ottoman classical architecture. Back to the hotel. Dinner & overnight.
Jun 19 Mon ISTANBUL
Morning visit to Topkapı Palace Museum, the residence of the sultans for 4 centuries. You will see a splendid collection of Ottoman Arts in the palace in which some holy objects are presented in a magical atmosphere; in particular the mantle of the Prophet Muhammadwhich was brought back from Cairo by Sultan Selim (until the abolition of the caliphate in 1924, this mantle was presented for the veneration of the imperial family and court dignitaries by the sultan in person, once in a year on the fifteenth day of the month of Ramadan.) We will continue the tour with Sehzade Mosque designed and built by The Great Architect Sinan as one of his masterpieces and is considered one of the most remarkable buildings of its day. Architect Sinan is considered to be the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire’s Architectural heritage. Sinan acquires a reputation as a valued military engineer and is brought to the attention of Sultan Suleyman who appoints Sinan as head of the office of Royal Architects. Sinan is promoted to the position of State Architect after a while. After Sehzade Mosque, we will proceed to the great Suleymaniye Mosque. The Legendary Suleymaniye Mosque is referred to as “the crown on the hill“, dominating the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn with its silhouette, slender minarets, & lofty dome. It is one of the defining features of the skyline of Istanbul. We will attend a lecture about Islam and Islamic Art.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Jun 20 Tue ISTANBUL – BURSA
Departure for Bursa. Visit the Green Tomb, the mausoleum of Mehmet and the Green Mosque also known as the mosque of Mehmet the 1st, the perfect blend between architecture and embellishment of Turkish Art. Then end of the day visit the Ulu Camii (Ulu Mosque) have free time at the Silk Bazaar. Dinner & overnight in Bursa.
Jun 21 Wed BURSA – ANKARA
Early departure for Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum which is one of the finest museums in the world. This museum is situated in an old covered bazaar dating back to the Ottoman period of 15th century. We will proceed to Ankara State Museum of Paintings and Sculpture, to observe the introduction of European painting to the Ottoman Empire. Dinner & overnight in Ankara.
Jun 22 Thu ANKARA – CAPPADOCIA
In the morning we will visit Ataturk’s Mausoleum, which is the eternal resting place of Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. The mausoleum was built by Turkish Architects Emin Onat and Orhan Arda. It was completed in 1953. The Mausoleum is adorned with statues, reliefs and embellishments created by many of Turkey’s fine artists. Later we will continue on to Cappadocia. During the journey, we will visit the beautiful Agzikarahan Caravanserai of 13th century. In Seljuk’s period commercial caravans were spending nights in caravanserais which have beautiful architectural structures. Dinner & overnight in Cappadocia.
Jun 23 Fri CAPPADOCIA
Experience Cappadocia with its natural moon–like landscape which adds to the unique character of the region that is known for its history. We will see the valleys of Uçhisar, & Nevşehir around this region. We will also visit a Turkish Carpet production center. The art of carpet weaving which the Turks brought to the Islamic World, extended the technique of single knotted wefts as far west as Spain. These pieces were greatly admired by the Europeans which can be attested by the frequency of their representation in the paintings by artists of the period. Before going back to the hotel we will see a Whirling Dervish Ceremony. Dinner & overnight.
Jun 24 Sat CAPPADOCIA – CATALHOYUK – KONYA
This morning Optional Hot Air Balloon tour is available (please contact your tour guide for more information). Departure for Konya via Catalhoyuk, one of the oldest city of the world. Proceed to the Mevlana Museum, the great Anatolian philosopher and mystic of Islam also known as Rumi. His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. Mevlana Dergahı (Whirling Dervishes’ Lodge), formerly the Rose Garden of Seljuks’ Palace, was given as a gift to Mevlana’s father Sultanül–Ulema Bahaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat, and is now a museum. After the museum visit, we will see the tomb of Mevlana as well. Dinner & overnight in Konya.
Jun 25 Sun KONYA – BEYSEHIR - PAMUKKALE
Departure for Pamukkale via Beysehir village where we will admire the 13th century Esrefoglu Mosque, unique with its wooden interior decorations. Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis in the afternoon. Pamukkale is one of the most interesting places in the world, justly famous not only for the entrancing beauty of its unique geological formations but also for its historical remains. At the end of the day, arrival to your spa hotel and Dinner & overnight in Pamukkale.
Jun 26 Mon PAMUKKALE – EPHESUS – KUSADASI
Departure for Ephesus. The site of a succession of great ancient civilizations Ephesus, on the south–west coast of modern Turkey, embodies a fertile synthesis of architecture and culture. After the site we will go to visit Isa Bey Mosque. Isa Bey Mosque is one of the most delicate examples of Seljuk and Seigniory architecture. The mosque was built by the master Syrian architecture Ali, son of Mushimish al Damishki, between the years of 1374 and 1375. You will also have an opportunity for shopping at a pottery maker in the area. Dinner & overnight in Kuşadası.
Jun 27 Tue KUSADASI – BIRGI – TIRE – IZMIR
Drive to Birgi to see the beautiful, traditional Turkish houses, followed by a visit to Tire to see the town and visit different Seljuk and Ottoman period mosques such as; Hafsa Hatun Mosque, Karahasan Mosque, Yahsi Bey Mosque. A 15th century Turkish Bath is still in use in the city. We will also visit the famous Tire bazaar where we will see local produce of the region including handmade artifacts. After Tire, we will continue on to Izmir. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight in Izmir.
Jun 28 Wed IZMIR
Today we will visit Izmir the third largest city of modern Turkey. We will visit Konak mosque and the clock tower next to it, then proceed to Kizlaragasi Han built in 1744. We will also visit a marbling workshop. Marbling is the art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper. It is believed to be invented in the thirteenth century Turkistan. This decorative art then spread to China, India and Persia and Anatolia. Seljuk and Ottoman calligraphers and artists used marbling to decorate books, imperial decrees, official correspondence and documents. Dinner at a local restaurant & overnight.
Jun 29 Thu IZMIR – ISTANBUL
Transfer to Izmir airport. Fly to Istanbul TK2317 at 11:00 am arriving in Istanbul at noon. Drive to Eminonu. We will proceed to the Rustem Paşa Mosque with its magnificent tiles. Then we will have free time at the Egyptian Bazaar. Spices, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds are among the many treasures to be found at this bazaar also known as the Spice Market. Then we will take a boat for a Bosphorus cruise to admire both Asian & European shores of the city. Dinner & overnight in Istanbul.
Jun 30 Fri ISTANBUL
On our final day in Istanbul we will visit Dolmabahce Palace, the second residence of the Ottoman dynasty built in 19th century, on Bosphorus. Then we will proceed to the Yıldız Park, that houses the Yıldız Palace and Yıldız porcelain factory, which was founded by Ottomans. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Istanbul.
Jul 01 Sat ISTANBUL
Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your flight back to the USA.
*Flight times may be changed by the airlines beyond our control. Please confirm your departure time before going to the airport.
• Round–trip International flights from New York JFK Airport, Chicago, Houston, or Washington DC, or Boston, Los Angeles, based on Turkish Airlines Economy Class. *Flight times can be changed by the airlines. This is beyond our control. Please double check. Additional cost of LA & San FranciscoExcluding
flight is $200.
• 14 nights hotel accommodation as below: (or similar)
• Istanbul Marriott Maçka 4 star
• Bursa Tiara Thermal Hotel 4 star
• Ankara Radisson 4 star
• Cappadocia Dilek Kaya Hotel 4 star
• Konya Anemon 5 star
• Pamukkale Doğa Thermal SPA 5 star
• Kuşadası Marina 4 star
• Izmir Mövenpick 5 star
• Lecture by an Art Historian
• Comprehensive sightseeings as specified in the program
• Professional Licenced Turkish Tour Guide throughout the tour
• Daily open buffet breakfasts
• 14 Dinners (bottled water included)
• Marbling workshop visit in Izmir
• Whirling Dervish ceremony in Cappadocia
• Bosphorus boat tour in Istanbul
• Transportations with AC Bus or Minibus depending the size of the group
• All entry fees to the sites & museums
• Local taxes & service charges
• Tips to Hotel staff, Restaurants, Driver and Tour Guide
• Meals which are not listed at the itinerary
• Lunches & drinks
• All personal expenses
• Turkish Visa Fee (to be obtained online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr )