Multi-Day Tour | Private

Turkey - In the Lap of Luxury (12 days)

Heritage Tours

Istanbul, Turkey To Istanbul, Turkey

Valid for Departures Now Through: 20 Dec 2018

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet None

Arrival at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, where you will be welcomed by your expert guide, private driver and vehicle and escorted to your hotel.

A short walk from the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, the Four Seasons Sultanahmet is an intimate, romantic hotel located in a historic building evocative of a long-lost Istanbul. Its status as the finest hotel in the city was reconfirmed when Condé Nast Traveler voted it the “Best Hotel in Europe.”

You will be staying in a deluxe room.

Rest and refresh at your hotel.

When you are ready, begin exploring the historic streets and dramatic backdrops of Istanbul with your expert guide, private driver and vehicle. Take a leisurely stroll on Istiklal Street, filled with stores and private galleries with exhibitions.  

 

Day 2
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet Breakfast

This morning, your expert guide will meet you at your hotel for a full-day walking tour of historic Sultanahmet.

Your day begins at the magnificent Hagia Sophia.  Built at the command of the Emperor Justinian during the Golden Age of Byzantium, Hagia Sophia was the greatest church in Christendom for centuries. Visit the restored second floor to see the spectacular Byzantine mosaics up close.

Continue on to the Blue Mosque - one of the major monuments of Old Istanbul – with six minarets and its famous turquoise tiles.Near the Blue Mosque is the small but rich Museum of Mosaics, many of which date from the 6th century.

Stroll through the Hippodrome - the center of Byzantine civic life for 1000 years.  Over that time, it was home to coronations, Roman chariot races and more than one royal execution.

Explore the mysterious and surreal 6th century cistern under the streets of ancient Constantinople. Supported by over 300 Corinthian Columns and still filled with water, it is so extensive that the means of transport was once small boats.

Your afternoon concludes in the largest covered marketplace in the world - the Grand Bazaar in the heart of old Istanbul, boasting more than 3,000 shops.

 

Day 3
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet Breakfast

Enjoy a full-day walking tour with your expert guide.

This morning, climb down the steps into the mysterious and surreal 6th century cistern.  For your once-in-a-lifetime morning, the cistern will be closed to the public, as you climb beneath the streets of ancient Constantinople.

Begin your day at Topkapi Palace, the legendary home of the Ottoman Sultans, and now one of the finest museums in Turkey. Your visit includes the once secret harems where the sultan’s many concubines were kept.

Visit the outstanding Treasury Museum at the Topkapi, which is filled with spectacular objects from the era of the sultans.

The little-known, but magnificent Museum of the Ancient Orient has a remarkable collection, including many ancient artifacts from ancient Babylon, Persia and Mesopotamia.  

Visit the stunning Archaeological Museum adjacent to Topkapi Palace, which includes the celebrated Alexander Sarcophagus.

Enjoy a visit to the famous Spice Bazaar. This colorful, covered bazaar has shops selling all sorts of exotic goodies.

Day 4
Kayseri, Turkey
Argos Breakfast

This morning, you will be met at your hotel in Istanbul and escorted to the airport for your flight to Kayseri, about an hour from the heart of Cappadocia.

Upon arrival, you will be met by your expert guide, private driver and vehicle, and will begin exploring the surreal lunar landscapes of Cappadocia.

Begin your visit in Goreme Valley, an open-air museum comprised of dozens of early Christian chapels and churches carved from the soft stone and covered with millennium-old frescoes.

Visit the restored “Dark Church” at Goreme – just opened to the public after years of painstaking restoration of the frescoes.

See the natural citadel of Uçhisar, strategically cut into an entire mountainside, with a 60-foot, rock-carved Byzantine fortress on top.

Check in at Argos, a carefully restored historical property on the site of an ancient monastery. The beautifully landscaped grounds further enhance the stunning views of Pigeon Valley and Mt. Erciyes.

You will be staying in a suite.

 

Day 5
Kayseri, Turkey
Argo Breakfast

Very early this morning, enjoy a special private hot air balloon ride. The spectacular surrealistic landscapes allow the balloons to gently drift over and between fairy chimneys, pigeon houses hewn into the unique rock formations, orchards and vineyards – through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations, colors and features – and then float up over rippled ravines for breathtaking views over the region.

Your private transport will escort you from your hotel to the launch site. Enjoy drinks and refreshments while the balloon is being inflated.  

Private balloons are different from the other passenger balloons flying in Cappadocia. These only have room for the pilot and a few passengers in the basket, so your flight will be a very personal experience, tailored for you.

After your hot air balloon experience, your private transport will escort you back to your hotel.

Enjoy a full-day tour with your expert guide and private transport.

Begin your day at Sinasos, Mustapha Pasha in Turkish. The village’s Greek inhabitants left during the population exchange in 1923, but the village remains well-preserved.

From there, visit the village of Soganli, so quiet and undisturbed it’s as if the village has been frozen in time.

Depart for the vast underground city of Kaymakli, a virtual city buried beneath the surface of the earth, designed to shelter and protect up to 15,000 civilians against the Arab raids of the 7th century.

Continue to Pasabag Valley, containing some of the region’s most striking fairy chimneys. Here you will see a chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit’s shelter built into one of the three-headed fairy chimneys.

Day 6
Izmir, Turkey
Key Hotel Breakfast

This morning, you will be met at your hotel by your private driver and vehicle and escorted to Kayseri’s airport, where you will board your flight to Istanbul.

Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will transfer to your flight to Izmir.

Upon arrival in Izmir, you will be met by your expert guide, private driver and vehicle to begin touring.

Explore the ancient city of Ephesus. Its renowned ruins are among the most extensive in the world. In its heyday, Ephesus rivaled Rome in its splendor.

Visit the Gymnasium, Odeon, Prytaneion, Nymphaion, Domitian Temple, Thermal Baths, Octagon House, Celsus Library, Agora, Serapeum, Arcade, and Double Church. The Temple of Artemis is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Explore the terrace houses situated on the slopes of Mt. Coressus. The houses, occupied from the 1st to 7th centuries AD, offer a fascinating look at family life during the Roman period. The houses were abandoned after Arab raids during the 7th century and slowly fell into decay. They were preserved over time by soil from landslides.  

Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where the mother of Jesus is said to have lived for eleven years and where she died. Also make a stop at the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers.  The Basilica of Saint John is a very important pilgrimage site, as it is believed to contain the remains of the Apostle John.

Check in at the Key Hotel, one of the top accommodations in Izmir. This well-located hotel is close to the seaside Kordon Promenade and has a fantastic restaurant known for its international cuisine.

 You will be staying in a deluxe suite.

Day 7
Bodrum, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast

This morning you will travel south to Bodrum.

En route, stop at the magnificent ruins of Euromos.  A treat for dedicated ruin enthusiasts, the Euromos boasts a Corinthian Temple of Zeus.

Continue to the nearby site of Labranda. Labranda is home to the sanctuary of Zeus, arguably the most beautifully set, and one of the least visited, archeological sites of ancient Anatolia.

During your visit to Labranda, indulge in a private picnic lunch while you relax in your beautiful surroundings.

When you are ready, continue (about 2 more hours) south to Bodrum.

Check in at Amanruya, a quiet, luxurious resort on the pine-clad shores of the Aegean. Each cottage has a garden with private swimming pool, garden, covered pergola and outdoor shower.

You will be staying in a pool terrace cottage.

Overnight: Amanruya – pool terrace cottage.

Day 8
Bodrum, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast

Full day at leisure (no services provided) to enjoy Amanruya.

 

Day 9
Bodrum, Turkey
Amanruya Breakfast

Enjoy a relaxing day aboard our private wooden gulet (traditional Turkish sailing vessel handcrafted as they were centuries ago).  Sail in your private boat among the scenic bays and coves of the peninsula, stopping to visit little villages.  Enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Aegean.  

 Bring your bathing suits (and sunscreen).  

 Lunch will be served on board.  

Day 10
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Breakfast

This morning, you will be met at your hotel by your private driver and vehicle and escorted to Bodrum’s airport for your flight to Istanbul.

Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be met by your private driver and vehicle and escorted to your hotel.

Check in at the Four Seasons at the Bosphorus.  Taking its place among Istanbul’s elite accommodations, the Four Seasons on the Bosphorus will give you the chance to spend time on the shores of this historic waterway between Asia and Europe.

 You will be staying in a Four Seasons junior suite.

Rest and refresh at your hotel.

This afternoon, meet one of Istanbul’s culinary experts for a walking tour.

Explore the regional cuisine of Turkey by visiting and tasting from the street food stalls in and around Istanbul’s vibrant neighborhoods.  Learn about the vendors and their specialties with the help of your expert guide.  

Day 11
Istanbul, Turkey
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus Breakfast

This morning, drive across the first suspension bridge over the Bosphorus to the often overlooked Asian side of the city.

Visit the Beylerbeyi Palace, built by Sultan Abdulmecid on the site of another wooden mansion.  The decorations on the seaside façade, the well-kept gardens, the hall with a pool in the central section and the spiral staircase are some of the eye-catching features of the palace.

Continue at the Sakirin Mosque. It is the first mosque in all of Islamic history whose interior was designed by a female.

Discover Kadikoy, a populous cosmopolitan district that is the cultural center of the Asian side of Istanbul.

We suggest a brief stop at the highly recommended Sabanci Museum, a lovely villa housing Turkey’s finest private collection of Ottoman calligraphy.

This evening, embark on a luxury private boat celebration up the Bosphorus. Spend your last evening in Istanbul gazing at Istanbul’s historic skyline, while exploring the waterways where Europe and Asia collide.  Sail under the illuminated Bosphorus bridges connecting the two continents, while gazing at the coastlines, littered with elegant Ottoman palaces and landmarks.  Watch the sun set while you indulge in a farewell dinner including some of Turkey’s signature dishes.

Day 12
Istanbul, Turkey
None Breakfast

You will be escorted to Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport for your departing flight. Your VIP departure will include access to the private passenger lounge, assistance checking in for your flight, passport control and escort to your plane.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

All benefits at Virtuoso Properties, fast and courteous attention by account manager, 24/7 emergency contact in the U.S. and abroad.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Discover the most exciting sites of Turkey by day, while returning each evening to Turkey’s finest hotels on this 12-day, 11-night private trip.

Istanbul - 5 nights

Cappadocia - 2 nights

Izmir - 1 night

Bodrum - 3 nights

About Us

Heritage Tours sets the standard in custom-designed private travel to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and sub-Saharan Africa. You are invited to experience the magic of some of the world’s most exciting destinations with an authenticity of experience and insider access that is normally unattainable.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions vary by program; details will be provided upon booking.



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Reviews and Recommendations for Heritage Tours

94%

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recommend


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Perfect from the start

By: Betsy


Reviewed on: 11 Mar 2014

From the time we got off the plane, and were ushered through customs, until the minute we were escorted back on the way home, each part of our Moroccan experience was perfect!  The driver and guide were professional and attuned to our needs and wants throughout the 10 days.All the hotels (except one) far exceeded our expectations. (The one hotel was experiencing a sewer issue-not our travel agency fault)The restaurant recommendations were all wonderful!Overall an amazing trip!  Memories of a lifetime!   
Travel Advisor:  Kim Davis-Smith

Very helpful, created a great trip for us

By: Scott and Rebecca


Reviewed on: 16 Jul 2014

Jane put together a great trip for us and made everything fantastic.  From helping us create out itinerary, to adjusting based on our feedback, to getting us great places to see and stay, and to just making it VERY EASY and VERY RELAXING for us.    Everything was great.   Really enjoyed all the places we saw and the places we stayed.   Lisbon and Barcelona were our favorites for places to visit.  Morocco was a great mix of 3 different place with Marrakesh, then the mountains, and then the ocean.   And quite frankly we were very spoiled being picked up every where and transported to hotels and on tours.   Couldn’t have been any easier.  Thanks for putting this all together and making it such a great experience and great memories for us.  
Travel Advisor:  Jane Martz

Great way to travel

By: NYFAM


Reviewed on: 06 Aug 2015

We had never travelled with a guide or driver before, preferring to be a bit more spontaneous. We loved both our guide and our driver from Heritage-- we learned SOO much; easily went in and out of places that we either wouldn't have found, or known of, or been able to handle logistically (ie parking). It was fun to spend time with both driver and guide; we enjoyed their company, and they could not have been more accommodating when we wanted to skip something, add on, etc. We also loved the accommodations booked thru Heritage- all quite comfortable, clean, and with plenty of character. We will certainly consider Heritage for another trip in the future.
Travel Advisor:  LuAnn Frisina

Beyond outstanding

By: LICcouple


Reviewed on: 18 Jun 2016

Heritage made sure the details -- big and small -- were handled thoughtfully. Our guides and driver made the 25th anniversary vacation to Morocco very special. Michael Diamond, Amine and Alae, and all their co-workers are amazing. It was a major travel event for us and Heritage made sure it would be trouble free, fun and educational,
Travel Advisor:  Ken Neibaur

fun day

By: sunsfanatic


Reviewed on: 01 Oct 2016

Good whole day private tour of Lisbon with good guides and a fun itinerary including motorcycle side-car ride and foodie tour. Did not get to private castle we were supposed to see, however.
Travel Advisor:  Leah Bergner

Great guides and itinerary

By: Farmington Hills couple


Reviewed on: 01 Nov 2016

Definitely would use Heritage Tours again. Guides were knowledgeable, organized and fun! The itinerary they suggested was perfect. Hotels were unique and comfortable with great locations. Wonderful to take a vacation where all logistics were arranged. Can't wait to see Morocco with them next!
Travel Advisor:  Roseann Konke

A good way to see Spain

By: Pistoleros


Reviewed on: 07 Nov 2016

We had very good local guides in a number of cities. The itinerary called for us to walk or drive around much of the northeast of the country. We wanted to see architecture and sample the restaurants. We especially enjoyed the Basque country, where it helps immensely to have a native educate you about the area. During the week, we needed to make a slight adjustment to one of the planned excursions. Heritage did it readily. We would happily work with Heritage again.
Travel Advisor:  Sandra Ortiz

Great trip to morocco

By: Sjsugs


Reviewed on: 08 Apr 2017

Great guide, great hotels, well planned and executed.
Travel Advisor:  Rachel Dicker

Morocco

By: Ingrid


Reviewed on: 12 Jul 2017

In a word - wonderful! Our private guide, Driss, and driver Zayd, made our first Moroccan experience over and above what we expected. I was a bit skeptical about being in a car with two strangers for ten days because there is a lot of driving if you want to really see the country. However, any doubts were erased immediately as we all fell in a comfortable, relaxed relationship. They both provided incredible insight and knowledge while maintaining the right balance of fun and adventure. One of the best things about Heritage Tours is their flexibility and Driss and Zayd were more then willing to alter our schedule when we wanted and suggested new things based on what they learned about us. Driss also knows all the best local places to shop and eat! Originally we planned the trip thinking we would only be going to Morocco once but now we're looking forward to returning and will absolutely use Heritage, Driss and Zayd again.
Travel Advisor:  Ginny Mabry

Good guides and knowledgable driver

By: Mae


Reviewed on: 04 Sep 2017

Very friendly guide with vast knowledge of the local history. He was a little hard of hearing and we had to repeat our questions a lot. They screwed up our VIP treatment at the airport and left one of the passengers off the list so we had to wait a long time to get through airport security. We probably could have done it faster the regular way and wasted our money.
Travel Advisor:  Krista Wissinger

AMAZING Tour Group

By: Kelli


Reviewed on: 16 Dec 2017

My husband I could not have been more happy with our experience with Heritage Tours and specifically our guide, Rehad. We enjoyed and appreciated the luxury vehicle, the knowledge and expertise of Rehad. I highly recommend Rehad and Heritage Tours!
Travel Advisor:  Jessi Cook

Sensory overload in Morocco

By: Kent D


Reviewed on: 07 Dec 2017

Our travel agent linked us up with Heritage for our trip to Morocco. We utilized their tour guide (Saeed) and driver (Moncef). Both were incredible men; professional, knowledgeable and experts in their trade. The itinerary Heritage put together was absolutely amazing. Jaw-dropping hotels, great restaurant recommendations and one of a kind experiences while we were in Morocco. We've traveled to all 7 continents and this trip was one of the best we've had.
Travel Advisor:  Michelle Bemis

Kenya

By: Zinnia


Reviewed on: 20 Mar 2018

Excellent! Accommodations were wonderful and all details were handled and the trip was very smooth. Only detail we didn’t enjoy was the restaurant choice the last evening before our long journey home. A quieter, more relaxing atmosphere would have been more enjoyed.
Travel Advisor:  Jennifer Hicks

We found a little paradise in Morocco

By: Jacqui


Reviewed on: 06 Mar 2018

Heritage tours did a wonderful job arranging tour guides for us in Marrakech, a trip to the Sahara via Dar Ahlam and a coupe of days of relaxation at Kasbah Tamadot in the high Atlas Mountains. In our 8 day trip there, we fell in love with Morocco in large part because of the care taken arranging this trip. In addition to amazing tour guides, Heritage is there for you the entire time. They provide a cell phone when you arrive, which has the numbers of the guides, drivers and main office programmed in. Our guide made it clear from the first day, that he was available to us whenever we needed him. The trip to the dessert was phenomenal, and we would never have been able to plan it on our own. When we embarked on this journey, we thought this would probably be our only trip to Morocco. By the time we left, we were already talking about when we could return. When we do, we will be sure to make our plans with Heritage!
Travel Advisor:  Ginny Mabry

Fabulous Tour Guides

By: Christine


Reviewed on: 17 Apr 2018

We have used Heritage tours on several occasions and each time have been thoroughly impressed with our guides. They are full of wonderful information from fun facts to historical details. They are flexible - working with you to create time that is of interest to you. We also love that they take you to places that are not alway touristy so you can really see the cities or places from a local perspective. We would HIGHLY recommend Heritage Tours.
Travel Advisor:  Shawna Owen
Not Recommended

Parts were great...other parts, not so much.

By: Sarah Catterson


Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2018

We enjoyed our time in South Africa -- Cape Town, Hermanus, Franschhoek, and the Kruger Safaris. But I didn't feel like Ginger properly inquired about the specific things we were interested in during the trip planning stages. Plus, there were several activities on our itinerary that were completely skipped, i.e., the Botanical Gardens and Table Mountain (our scheduled time slot was missed due to weather and not rescheduled). And it was very unclear what wine tastings were included. The Safari lodges were good. And the transportation on the small craft airlines were well arranged. We do expect to return to South Africa one day ... but I would ask Barbara to select a different travel arranger for Africa. I think Heritage was a bit challenging for both of us. A special note about Heritage's Philine van Blommestein, located in Cape Town. She followed up with us while we were in South Africa a few times and this was much appreciated. She seemed to really care about our trip.
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Morocco

By: Betsy


Reviewed on: 09 Jun 2018

Driss was one of the best guides we have ever had. Very knowledgeable and flexible, also very friendly. Great drivers too
Travel Advisor:  Shawna Owen