TURKISH CULINARY ADVENTURE
Day 1 - ARRIVAL TO ISTANBUL - Welcome to Istanbul, the city on two continents. You are met by your tour manager and escorted to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 - ISTANBUL - Start with a visit to Hippodrome (UNESCO World Heritage List-1985), see the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Attend a special culinary course about Ottoman Cuisine and visit the Egyptian Spice Market. Take the scenic Bosphorus cruise. Disembark at Kanlica known for its excellent yogurt and enjoy the view from Camlica Hill at the end of the day. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 3 - ISTANBUL - Morning visit to Topkapi Palace and Harem. Visit the Beyoglu fish market in the modern section of the city. Short walk to Galata Tower and gourmet lunch at a local restaurant. A tempting experience at the famous Karakoy Gulluoglu Baklava shop will close the day. Return your hotel for overnight.
Day 4 - ISTANBUL - Grand artifacts of Byzantine and Ottoman artists today; Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent and Chora Church with the world's finest Byzantine mosaics. Gourmet lunch at the esteemed Asitane Restaurant. Visit the Grand Bazaar and return your hotel for overnight.
Day 5 - BURSA - Early departure for Iznik- former Nicea. Visit the Iznik Foundation Tiles and the Green Mosque. Proceed to Bursa; visit the Grand Mosque, the Green Mausoleum, and the historical Covered Bazaar. Today's specialty is Iskender (Alexander's) Kebap which is an excellent type of doner kebab. Overnight in Bursa.
Day 6 - CANAKKALE - Drive via Manyas Bird Paradise and hike in the untouched terrain. Continue to Troy (UNESCO World Heritage-1998), the dream city of the history lover. Visit the remains; free time to take pictures of the wooden Trojan Horse. Continue to Canakkale for overnight.
Day 7 - ASSOS - Take a ferry to Bozcaada- ancient Tenedos; taste the famous wine and fresh fish from sea to your table. Time to swim or hike around the vineyards. Continue to Assos; visit the remains; free time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. Dinner is at a local restaurant where you will be served delicious examples of mezes and olive-oil dishes. Overnight in Assos.
Day 8 - KUSADASI - Morning trip to Adatepe Village by Mt. Ida. Visit the Olive Oil Museum and learn about Aegean olive culture. Continue to Pergamon. Visit the Acropolis and Asclepius' Sanctuary; the god of healing. Drive to Selcuk and visit the old Greek village Sirince. See the Ayios Ionnades Prodomos Church. Free time for wine tasting and strolling in the colorful village center. Drive Kusadasi for overnight.
Day 9 - EPHESUS - Visit one of the best-preserved ancient cities; Ephesus along with the Temple of Artemis and Selcuk Museum. Lunch at Yedi Bilgeler Vineyards and end the day with a visit to Virgin Mary's House before driving back to your hotel.
Day 10 - CAPPADOCIA - Transfer to Izmir Airport for your flight to Kayseri. A short orientation trip and end the day with a glass of fine Cappadocian wine at sunset overlooking the surreal terrain. Optional hot air balloon flight is possible early in the morning. Overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 11 - CAPPADOCIA - These two days excursion in Cappadocia will enable you to visit the natural and historic museums, savor the splendid panorama, trek in the hidden valleys, take fantastic pictures, meet the locals and see the pottery making. Also visit the award winner Turasan Wine Factory, where you will be briefed by the manager and invited for wine tasting. Overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 12 - CAPPADOCIA - Highlights will be Goreme Open Air Museum (UNESCO World Heritage -1985) with the best examples of Byzantine frescoes in rock-cut churches, Uchisar Rock Castle, Zelve, Pasabagi and a staggering underground city. You will meet a local family and learn to make Manti- traditional Turkish ravioli while enjoying your wine from the vineyards of the region. Overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 13 - SAFRANBOLU - Drive via Ankara today and visit Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and Mausoleum of Ataturk, the founder of Turkish Republic. Continue to Ottoman town Safranbolu for overnight. You will enjoy the unique local -historic cuisine and famous Safranbolu lokum (Turkish Delight) tonight.
Day 14 - ISTANBUL - Safranbolu (UNESCO World Heritage – 1994) is entirely under protection with its more than thousand registered artifacts. Visit the Cinci Hani, Asmazlar Konagi, Hidirlik Hill, Seljuk mausoleum, Torumtay Turbesi with Mongol mummies and colorful bazaars with blacksmiths and shoemakers all the while enjoying the photographic looks of the town. Drive Istanbul for overnight.
Day 15 - DEPARTURE - Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.