See the best of the best on our tour of all 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Turkey. From prehistoric settlements to Ottoman excess, from the capital of the Hittite Empire to ancient Roman cities, from masterpieces of the built environment to otherworldly landscapes, these 15 UNESCO World Heritage sites have it all. And you get to see parts of the Turkish countryside which are not normally seen by tourists.
After breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up for a morning of discovering the Old Peninsula(Sultanahmet) Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpentine Column, the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. After lunch, we will tour Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, and the Suleymaniye Mosque, one of Mimar Sinan’s masterpieces. Overnight in Istanbul.
Note: Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. The Basilica Cistern will replace them.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will pick you up at your hotel for the three- hour drive to Edirne to visit the Selimiye Mosque, Edirne’s crowning glory. It was built for Selim II (1566-74) by Miramar Sinan. We will also visit the other two mosques for which Edirne is known: Eski Camii built between 1402-14, known for its white marble portal and decorative calligraphy on the interior walls and pillars; and Üç Serefeli Camii whose name comes from the three balconies on its southeast minaret. We will also visit Meric Bridge (New Bridge); Kule Kapisi (12 Tower Gate), which is all that remains of the tower which once protected the principal gate of the citadel; and Beyazit Kulliyesi, a hospital, famous for the skill of its surgeons and where the insane were treated by musical therapy. We will depart from Edirne at 4:30 PM for our return to Istanbul, returning you to your hotel between 7 PM and 8 PM, depending on traffic. Overnight in Istanbul.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will take the ferry to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. We will visit the Muradiye, the Mausoleums of Osman and Orhan Bey, the Grand Mosque (Ulu Camii), the Green Mosque, Koza Han (the silk bazaar), and the Covered Bazaar. We will have lunch in a traditional restaurant in the old town. We will leave Bursa at about 3 PM to drive to Canakkale. Overnight in Canakkale.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will tour the ancient city of Troy, a much-excavated site that has yielded pieces of history from 4,000BC to about 300AD. We will see the 3700-year old city walls, the houses from Troy I (3000 BC-2500BC), the Bouleuterium (the Senate Building), The Odeon (Concert Hall), sacrificial altars, the remains of cities from Troy I through Troy IX, current excavation sites, and, of course, the replica of the Trojan Horse. We will depart at about noon for Pergamon. After lunch in Pergamon, we will tour Pergamon’s Acropolis, the Library, the Temple of Athena, the Temple of Trajan, the Gymnasium, the lower Agora, the Theater, and the Temple of Dionysus. Then we are on our way again to Selcuk. Overnight in Selcuk.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will tour the ancient city of Ephesus, dating back to 2000BC, one of the most magnificent and best-preserved excavations in the world. We will walk along the sacred marble street connecting the Great Theater with the library of Celsus. We will see the Commercial Agora and walk along with the marble Curetes Street which has beautiful mosaic-paved sidewalks. We will explore the gymnasium, visit the Temple of Hadrian, the Temple of Artemis, and the Fountain of Trajan. After lunch, we will go to Aphrodisias, Aphrodisias has been under excavation off and on since 1892. However, it was only in 1959 that excavation began in earnest after Professor Kenan T. Erim came upon some exposed ruins on a visit to a nearby village. Excavation continues under the auspices of New York University. Aphrodisias was a center for the worship of Aphrodite, Mother Goddess of Fertility. Her ancestor is Cybele, Earth Mother to the Phrygians. On your walk among the ruins, you will see one of the best-preserved theaters of the ancient world, the Temple of Aphrodite, the Tetrapylon, or monumental gateway, the Sebasteion, a sanctuary devoted to the worship of the Roman Emperor Augustus as well as the goddess Aphrodite, the Bouleuterion, where the city council met, and the Stadium, the largest and best-preserved stadium of antiquity. Overnight in Pamukkale.
After breakfast at your hotel, Pamukkale, famous for its healing thermal and mineral baths and snow-white petrified waterfalls, we will visit Hierapolis-Pamukkale, an ancient city with a magnificently preserved Necropolis, Main Street, the gates and the thermal baths we will depart from Pamukkale and head to Fethiye. Overnight in Fethiye.
After breakfast, we will tour Xanthos, the one-time capital of the Lycian world; and Letoon, the site of temples to Leto, Artemis, and Apollo. Xanthos-Letoon reflects the influence of the Hellenistic and Lycian cultures on each other. We will depart from Xantos-Letoon at about 11 AM for Konya, arriving at about 7 PM. Overnight in Konya.
After an early breakfast at your hotel, we will head to Cappadocia and its unique geographical landscape. We will visit the Devrent Imagination Valley and its fairy chimneys; the Zelve open-air museum; Pasabaglari and its mushroom-shaped pinnacles; and Avanos, for a pottery demonstration. After lunch in the Pigeon valley, we will continue to Uchisar and its rock castle, Esentepe, and the Goreme Open Air Museum. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Optional: Whirling Dervish Ceremony at a historical caravanserai from Seljuk era 1249, on the ancient Silk Road.
Optional: Hot Air Balloon Tour
After breakfast at your hotel, we will visit the Greek Village of Mustafapasa, the Keslik monastery, Taskinpasa medresesi (Ottoman theological school), the Soganli valley, Cemil (a Greek-orthodox church), and Kaymakli underground city. Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast, we will depart for Adiyaman. Nemrut Dag before sunset in order to watch the sunset from the top of the mountain. The summit of Nemrut Dag is the location of the 1st century BC tomb of Antiochus. After arrival at Adiyaman, the rest of the evening is yours to relax or explore. Overnight in Adiyaman.
After breakfast, We head south to near Sanliurfa and visit the newest of Turkey’s Unesco sites, Gobeklitepe. This mysterious temple forced the anthropologists to rethink the theories as this 12,000-year-old temple should not have been possible to be built by people that far back, to be organized enough to have priests, temples, and rites, we will depart for Diyarbakir. We will tour the Diyarbakir Fortress and the Hevsel Gardens. Overnight in Diyarbakir.
Breakfast at the hotel before heading for Sivas, We will visit the Great Mosque in Divrigi and its adjoining hospital built-in 1299 en route. Overnight in Sivas.
After breakfast at our hotel, we will depart from Sivas and head to Hattusa, once the Hittite capital. Hattusa is notable for its preserved temples, royal residences, and fortifications. After touring Hatussa, we will head to Yozgat. Overnight in Yozgat.
After breakfast at our hotel, we will head to Safranbolu. Safranbolu has 1008 preserved and registered buildings and artifacts. The architecture of Safranbolu influenced urban development during the Ottoman Empire. Overnight in Safranbolu.
After breakfast at our hotel, you will have the morning free to explore Safranbolu, its streets, its architecture, and its market. After lunch, we will depart from Safranbolu and head back to Istanbul. We will return you to your hotel.
After breakfast, your tour ends.
This is a private tour and must be booked in advance. The tour can also be done with a reverse route. We also offer a shortened tour, by visiting fewer World Heritage Sites or you can always combine with Grand Eastern Turkey Tour
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