Multi-Day Tour | Private

Turkey | Ultra-Luxe Tour | Istanbul, Cappadocia, Aegean Coast | Turkey (11 days)

Blue Parallel

Istanbul, Turkey To Istanbul, Turkey

Valid for Departures Now Through: 15 May 2018

Turkey | Ultra-Luxe Tour | Istanbul, Cappadocia, Aegean Coast | Turkey (11 days)

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Snack

Please note that the following itinerary is an example, as all of our journeys are custom-made.

You will arrive in the bustling city of Istanbul where you will be greeted at the airport and escorted through customs procedures to your private vehicle. You will be taken by private transfer to your hotel, an Ottoman palace on the Bosphorus, to relax after your journey on your first day. In the afternoon, have tea time on the patio with a scholar who will give you an introduction to the vibrant stages of Turkey's history and culture, which will give more life to your experiences over the following days.

In the evening, your host and driver will take you out for dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the city.

Day 2
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Breakfast

Experience Istanbul’s heritage from its Byzantine era (4th-15th centuries)

You will depart the hotel early to avoid the crowds, starting with a private tour of Hagia Sophia. On this once-in-a-lifetime experience you will have exclusive access to this fascinating structure, as it will open its doors strictly for your party! Please note: the private visit to Hagia Sophia is to be confirmed as we approach the travel date

Later, visit the other main sites from the Byzantine period, including the Basilica Cistern, the Alexander Sarcophagus, the Great Palace Mosaic Museum, as well as the city walls

At mid-day, you will drive up the Golden Horn to the quiet Fatih neighborhood which is home to the Chora Church, where we recommend lunch in the patio of Asitane Restaurant

After lunch, visit the Chora Church with your expert guide. The Chora Church is among the most famous of Turkey’s Byzantine churches, due to its immaculate interior frescoes and mosaics.

In the evening your host and driver will take you out to dinner at one of the city's finest restaurants.

Day 3
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Breakfast

Experience Istanbul’s Ottoman era (15th-19th centuries)

In the 15th century when the Ottomans overtook Constantinople and made it their capital, they made their mark on the city as it entered into a new era. This day will focus on the prominent attractions from this chapter of Istanbul's history. You will depart your hotel to head into the old city to visit the Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar, where we will book special appointments for you with reputable vendors in jewelery, rugs, or other items according to your interests.

At mid-day you will be taken for lunch in the city center, followed by a visit to the Rüstem Pasha Mosque with your personal guide, followed by the Spice Bazaar.

After visiting the Spice Bazaar, your guide will take you to the dock steps away, where you will take one of Istanbul’s famed public ferries up the Bosphorus to Beşiktaş where you will return to your hotel. Once there you may relax at your leisure

Day 4
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Breakfast

Experience Istanbul’s modern era (19th century onwards)

Even before the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Istanbul had begun to take on a more European face in the 19th century, reflected in its palatial architecture, street life, and commerce. You will depart your hotel to visit Dolmabahçe Palace nextdoor with your personal guide, followed by an exploration of the city’s lively Taksim district and its prominent pedestrian İstiklal Avenue. After lunch at a chic restaurant in the city center, return to the hotel to enjoy a traditional Turkish bath. First inspired by the Ottomans, Turkish baths later became popular throughout the empire, and today are found as far as Syria and Hungary. You will enter first into a steam room where you will adjust to the environment, following by a hotter room where you will have a bath and a massage by an attendant. Later, you move into a cooling room to relax

In the late afternoon, take a private boat up the Bosphorus as you admire the views of the green hills dotted by historical mansions, universities, and fortresses, including the prominent Rumeli Fortress. As you head back down the Bosphorus, you will have the option of stopping by the home that belonged to the personal physician of the Ottoman sultans. You will be shown the home by the descendants themselves.

For the evening, we will recommend dinner at a restaurant either on the European or Asian side of the city, according to your preference

Day 5
Cappadocia, Turkey
Argos in Cappadocia Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Kayseri, where you will be greeted by your guide and taken by private transfer to your hotel. Upon checking in and getting settled you will be shown the property and its caves. Then, enjoy wine tasting, and at the hotel where we recommend lunch.

Afterwards, depart the hotel for a private hot air balloon ride to admire the landscape from above, as you have a bird’s-eye introduction to the area. This is one of the best places in the world to experience a hot air balloon due to the composition of the terrain and the dramatic rock formations in the many valleys.

Later, experience the terrain for yourselves as you visit the White Valley and go on a 1-hour hike. Although the spectacular rock formations of the White Valley have made images of this region recognizable worldwide, it is an intimate experience with few visitors. You will hike through the rock formations with your personal guide as you are introduced to the region. During the hike you will stop for a traditional barbecue meal where you will enjoy cold appetizers known as meze as well as the kebabs. We will have a table set up for you and you will be attended by a private chef and a personal server.

Day 6
Cappadocia, Turkey
Argos in Cappadocia Breakfast, Lunch

Visit the Open Air Museum with your personal guide. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, this site is known for its “fairy-chimney” rock formations, in which many Christian churches were carved directly out of the rock. Within the complex, visit the 11th century Karanlık Kilise (or “Dark Church”), known for its beautifully-restored paintings. Afterwards, continue on to the Tokalı Kilise, 50 meters away. Tokalı is the largest church in Göreme and its keynote feature is its large, blue fresco depicting the crucifixion.

Later, your driver and host will drive you to the Ihlara Valley (one hour away), where you will go hiking. Ilhara contrasts from the rocky Cappadocian region with its greenery, bisected by rivers and creeks giving life to plants and beautiful flowers. The 7-kilometer stroll into the valley takes you along the riverbanks untul you reach the area known as Belisırma which is home to many Byzantine-era churches. At the last church, you will enjoy a boxed lunch, with fresh towels waiting for you.

Afterwards, you will return to your hotel to relax, before heading out to Avanos, where you will be able to witness a private demonstration of the local pottery techniques, as well as the silk-making techniques for rugs. For centuries, Avanos has, and continues to attract artisans and their talents.

Later, you will see an exclusive performance of whirling dervishes at Caravanserai. These performances are actually forms of prayer as the devotees enter into a state of meditation as they spin. The artistic religious expression has been recognized by UNESCO as masterpiece of humanity.

Afterwards, return to your hotel where we recommend dinner

Day 7
Selçuk, Turkey
Güllü Konakları Breakfast

You will fly to Izmir (either non-stop or via Istanbul, depending on flight schedules), where you will be greeted at the airport and taken to the town of Şirince in the Selçuk district, where you will check in to the Güllü Konak and have lunch with views of the valley.

Afterwards, visit the ancient Greek site of Ephesus with your personal guide. In its heyday Ephesus was one of the largest cities of the Mediterranean world, with over a quarter million inhabitants in the 1st century BC. The city is was the home of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The highlight of the site today is the Library of Celsus, built to honor a Roman senator of the same name. Your visit in the late afternoon is timed in order to avoid the heat and the crowds.

In the evening we recommend dinner on the terrace of your lodge. Later, rest as you prepare for the following day when you will continue your journey toward the Turkish Riviera

Day 8
Mugla, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast

You wıll depart Şirince and continue your journey to the coast, along the way visiting the ancient Greek sites of Priene & Didyma, seen by few foreign travelers, with your expert guide. Later continue to the Amanruya on the Aegean Coast

With its ancient ionic columns in tact, Priene is known not only for its architecture but also for the beautiful natural scenery which surrounds it. Didyma is a smaller site and offering a special experience due to the fact that it is less frequented by visitors. Both are idyllic examples of Greek architecture and are known for their temples to the various gods, including Athena and Apollo

Once you arrive, we recommend lunch at the Amanruya and spend the afternoon at your leisure to enjoy yourselves, either at your pavilion’s private pool, or at the Olympic-sized pool of the property itself

Day 9
Mugla, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast

Today you will enjoy the Beach Club of the Amanruya

A 15-minute walk from your pavilion gets you to the Beach Club, which is made up of several layered terraces surrounded by old trees which overlook the turquoise sea. There you can relax on the luxurious lounge chairs and go out to the pebble beach to swim

In the early evening you will be taken to the coastal jet-set destination of Göltürkbükü, featuring exclusive restaurants, and nightlife

Day 10
Mugla, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast, Lunch

You will go out for the day on your private gület, a traditional Turkish sailboat. You will explore the varied beaches, inlets, and their caves throughout the multi-faceted Aegean coast. Enjoy swimming in the turquoise waters and snorkeling. You will visit the noted islands of Karaada and Orakada. At mid-day lunch will be served aboard your gület.

Day 11
Istanbul, Turkey
None Breakfast

You will be taken to Bodrum Airport 40 minutes away for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul you will be greeted at the airport and assisted with check-in procedures for your international flight home.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

Blue Parallel is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator whose mission is to take discerning, time-constrained travelers to the most spectacular natural and cultural wonders of both Latin America and the Mediterranean. We create private, tailor-made journeys to UNESCO World Heritage destinations designed around the themes of insider access, privacy, breathtaking outdoor adventures, and white glove service. Virtuoso travelers receive amenities and VIP treatment on all Blue Parallel tours such as upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout (subject to availability).

Tour Features

Experience(s)

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Description

The journey focuses on the highlights of Turkey throughout the different periods of history.  You will arrive in Istanbul, a global city steeped in history and culture, where you will explore the city with each day focusing on a different civilization which had this city as its crown jewel, from the Byzantines, to the Ottomans, to the modern republic.  Later you will explore Cappadocia, with both its natural and cultural offerings, before heading to Ephesus where you will see some of the finest examples of the ancient Greek civilization which remain today.  Finally, you will travel to the welcoming turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera on the Aegean Sea.

About Us

Blue Parallel creates private, tailor-made journeys designed around the themes of World Heritage destinations, outdoor adventures, gourmet cuisine, exclusive lodging, white glove service and insider access. We operate in Latin America: the Amazon, Antarctica, Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Panama, Patagonia, Uruguay and the Yucatan Peninsula. And in the Mediterranean: the Adriatic Coast, Andalucia, Corsica, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Morocco, Sicily & the Aeolian Islands, Spain, Portugal and Turkey.

Insider Tip

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Terms & Conditions

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Argentina

By: Kate


Reviewed on: 31 Jan 2018

Blue Parallel was amazing! Our guides were outstanding and provided us with excellent service. Every detail was considered and thought of for us. We adored every minute of our trip.