Spires and Spice: The Wonders of Turkey

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Day 1

    

Istanbul

Day notes

Welcome to Turkey!

You will receive a VIP welcome on arrival with Fast-track assistance through Customs and Immigration.  Once you have completed your formalities, you will be greeted by your localhost/guide who will be with you for the duration of your journey. 

Transfer to your luxury hotel and settle in.  The remainder of the day and evening are at leisure to rest after your international travel. 

Scheduled Flight from Los Angeles International Airport [LAX] to [CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Details  
Mode

Scheduled Flight

Departure

Los Angeles International Airport [LAX]

Arrival

[CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Scheduled Flight

Transfer from [CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL] to Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

[CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Drop off

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Transfer

Check-in to Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Planned

Day 2

    

Istanbul

Day notes

Enjoy a full day private tour exploring some of Istanbul's most prominent sights including the Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Spice Market, and Byzantine Cisterns.

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch at Hamdi Restaurant

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 3

    

Istanbul

Day notes

Your day begins at Dolmabahce Palace. Considered the Turkish Versaille, it is a prestigious palace which the Turkish nation takes great pride in.

Continue by boarding your private boat for an unforgettable cruise on the waters of the Bosphorus, the famed strait running between Asia and Europe! During your cruise between the two continents,  your guide will share with you all the legends and myths about the Bosphorus and its impressive palaces. As well as the scenery of the historical mansions and palaces, you will also be captivated by the city iconic skyline adorned with domes and minarets of the Byzantine and Ottoman cultures. 

Your cruise will end on the Asian shoreline at the charming neighborhood of Anadolu Hisari.  You will be the guests of the yali owners will visit offer your personal tour of the historic mansion before enjoying tea and some personal time with your hosts. 

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 4

    

Istanbul

Day notes

Istanbul has been the center of commerce and trade between the Orient and Europe even before the arrival of the Ottomans.  This morning experience this history for yourself as you enjoy ample time at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the most famed markest in the world!  Take in the lively atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar with a sip of Turkish coffee while browsing through the exhilarating array of streets and alleys lined with shops as it has been for centuries. 

The afternoon will unplanned so that you may choose any museums, sights or attractions you wish to visit.  Your guide and driver will be available to you for the day.  Or, you may simply wish to enjoy a spa appointment or some time to relax.

Included:

Breakfast

Excluded:

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

    

Istanbul

Day notes

Today is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip as invite you to engage with the local community in a truly authentic way with our Evolved Experiences. The Evolved Traveler believes travel is “evolving” into something more than we have previously experienced or knew it to be. There is a desire for it to be more meaningful, more impactful, more enriching, and certainly more engaging, and that is why we have created the Evolved Experience.

Evolved Experiences are a core and unique component to all our journeys that allow our guests the opportunity to make a lasting impression on the communities they visit, extend their hand in a gesture of global community, and create memories that can be cherished for years to come, not only for themselves but for those they visit. Today, we have not one Evolved Experience but two!

One of the most authentic ways to feel like a local is experience part of their everyday life. This morning depart for Beyoğlu, Istanbul’s former European Quarter, and one of the city’s most iconic neighborhoods, for a “hidden food and walking tour.”  The former aristocratic tenants of the belle ‘époque buildings have been replaced by artistic Anatolians and global bohemians, creating an eclectic blend and hidden treasures of cultures both past and present like nowhere else in Istanbul. With Beyoğlu’s engaging backdrop, this special walking tour will have you sampling specialties from all around Turkey while engaging with locals in a truly fun and meaningful way.

This afternoon, we'll provide our second Evolved Experience with a visit to the Livelihoods Innovation through Food Entrepreneurship (LIFE) Project, which provides training and support in Istanbul to would-be entrepreneurs including disadvantaged Turks as well as Syrians, Yemenis, Iraqis and other refugees wanting to enter the commercial food sector in Turkey.  You will not only visit the facility to see the program in action but have time to sit and talk with the students about their lives and aspirations as well. 

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 6

    

Uchisar

Day notes

Depart Istanbul this morning for one of Turkey's most extraordinary natural sights, Cappadocia.  

Cappadocia will thrill you with its unique landscapes formed by erosion from wind and water. Today’s inactive volcanoes of Erciyes and Hasan used to be active thousands of years ago and erupted continuously covering the region with a blanket of turf that is subject to being eroded easily. Cappadocia has been occupied by various civilizations including Hittites, Greeks, Romans, and Turks living in rock dwellings for centuries. 

Your exploration of Cappadocia today will include Kaymakli Underground City, a subterranean settlement composed of troglodytic cave dwellings, where early Christians lived protecting themselves from invaders,  the Monastic Center of Goreme, and the rock town of Zelve.

 

Check-out from Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Transfer from Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet to [CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Drop off

[CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Transfer

Scheduled Flight from [CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL] to Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Details  
Mode

Scheduled Flight

Departure

[CLOSED April 2019] Istanbul Ataturk Airport [ISL]

Arrival

Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Scheduled Flight

Transfer from Erkilet International Airport [ASR] to Museum Hotel

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Drop off

Museum Hotel

Transfer

Check-in to Museum Hotel

Planned
Planned

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch

 

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 7

    

Uchisar

Day notes

This morning enjoy an unforgettable memory of Cappadocia as you take to the skies in a hot air balloon ride over the nature‐formed valleys. You will appreciate the tranquility of the morning over the colorful valleys and rock formations, gliding in your balloon. Concluding your experience, toast with a glass of champagne to celebrate this breath-taking experience of Cappadocia from the air. 

Later, visit Sinassos to see the well‐ preserved rock‐carved houses and Byzantine churches. The town was a summer resort town for the rich fishermen of Istanbul. Strolling through Sinassos will make you feel as though you are walking through a movie set of the 19th century.

Today, you will enjoy lunch at a local home where you will be hosted by the family. 

Dinner this evening will be at Elai Restaurant for dinner. Meet the restaurant's renowned chef, Kubilay,  who will join you to give a presentation of the cuisine of the region.

Planned

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

    

Bodrum

Day notes

Depart Cappadocia this morning for Izmir, the northern end of Turkey's Turquoise Coast.

After arriving in Izmir, you will make your way to Ephesus, through the world’s best preserved Roman city! Your first visit will be the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before continuing to the remnants of this extraordinary archaeological wonder.

After your Ephesus exploration, drive a short distance along the coast to the port city of Kusadasi for some time to wander through the colorful and lively bazaar.

 Finally, continue following the beautiful coastline to Bodrum where you will arrive late this afternoon. 

Check-out from Museum Hotel

Transfer from Museum Hotel to Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

Museum Hotel

Drop off

Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Transfer

Scheduled Flight from Erkilet International Airport [ASR] to Adnan Menderes International Airport [ADB]

Details  
Mode

Scheduled Flight

Departure

Erkilet International Airport [ASR]

Arrival

Adnan Menderes International Airport [ADB]

Scheduled Flight

Transfer from Adnan Menderes International Airport [ADB] to Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

Adnan Menderes International Airport [ADB]

Drop off

Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Transfer

Check-in to Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Planned

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 9

    

Bodrum

Day notes

Set out to enjoy the highlights of Bodrum today beginning with the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Bodrum’s impressive medieval Crusader castle, built by The Knights of Rhodes, guards the city’s dazzling blue bay at the confluence of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.  Bodrum Castle now houses the Museum of Underwater Archeology, displaying artifacts dating as far back as the Bronze Age. You will enjoy a curator‐led tour through the castle and fascinating museum.

Enjoy time in town wandering along the beautiful bay lined with cafes and gülets and, the town's bazaar.  The remainder of the day is at leisure. 

Included:

Breakfast

Excluded:

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

    

Bodrum

Day notes

Enjoying a leisurely morning before departing early this afternoon on your private gület to sail along the Turquoise Coast. 

Once on board your gület*, the itinerary is yours to decide for.  Snorkel over shipwrecks and colorful coral reefs, or sail along the coast and drop anchor in a remote, white-sand cove and make it your own for the day.  Finally, enjoy an evening cocktail, or depending on the time of year,  a spectacular sunset before returning to Bodrum early in the evening.

Lunch on board.

 

*Please note the gület shown here is just a sample and is not guaranteed to be the vessel used.  The gület used will be based on the size of your party and availability at the time of booking. 

Included:

Breakfast

Lunch 

Excluded:

Dinner

Day 11

    

Bodrum

Day notes

Enjoy a full day at leisure to enjoy time for spa appointments, swimming and snorkeling,  or simply relaxing. 

Included:

Breakfast

Excluded:

Lunch

Dinner

Day 12

    

End of Itinerary

Day notes

You will be transferred this morning to Bodrum airport for your flight to Istanbul and your ownward flight home. 

Check-out from Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Transfer from Mandarin Oriental Bodrum to Milas-Bodrum International Airport [BJV]

Details  
Mode

Transfer

Pick up

Mandarin Oriental Bodrum

Drop off

Milas-Bodrum International Airport [BJV]

Transfer

Included:

Breakfast

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