May 7, 2024 thru May 21, 2024
We will indulge in the powerful history and vibrant beauty that is Turkey. Turkey has a rich cultural legacy shaped by centuries of history and the influence of the various peoples that have inhabited its territory over several millennia; it is home to 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is among the most visited countries in the world. On this tour, we take a deep dive into Istanbul and the many sites of interest, such as the Topkapi Palace, once the primary residence of the sultans and the center of Ottoman life, and the Archeological Museum of Istanbul, home to the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, one of the most triumphant rulers in history. You’ll be in awe at the unique and dramatic architecture of the area. Join us and experience this glorious land!
Roundtrip Air Transportation Included*
Deluxe Motorcoach Transport in Turkey
Activity Level 4
15 days, 13 nights
37 meals included
Roundtrip door to door transportation included
- Visits to archaeologic treasures, like the Temple of Aphrodisias and a Roman race course
- Cultural and culinary experience to be had in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul and beyond
- Natural scenery to experience in Ihlari Valley and the Salt Lake of Turkey
- Your professional and bilingual Tour Director to guide the group throughout the trip
- Wonderful local cuisine and lodging
- Roundtrip air transportation from Tucson to/from Istanbul
- Motorcoach transportation and transfers in Turkey
- Roundtrip door-to-door livery service
- 13 nights’ lodging in excellent hotels
- Baggage handling at hotels (for one piece)
- 37 meals
- Admissions and tours as described
- Your Professional Bilingual Tour Director
- Your Tour Escort (for groups of 20 or more)
- All taxes and gratuities for included items (except housekeeping)
DAY 1: Tucson To Istanbul
We depart Tucson and make our flight to noble Istanbul, Turkey, the cultural and financial center of Turkey.
DAY 2: Istanbul
We arrive in Istanbul and are transferred to our lodging in the historic Sultanahmet district, where we stay for three nights.
DAY 3: Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
After breakfast, we begin our exploration of this cosmopolitan city. We tour the Topkapi Palace, once the primary residence of the sultans and the center of Ottoman life. We will have the opportunity to stroll through the Roman Hippodrome with its ancient Egyptian Obelisk and Serpentine columns. Next, we proceed to the celebrated Hagia Sophia, a magnificent site representative of the city’s rich religious and cultural history. This major basilica of the Byzantine Empire is world-renowned and beautifully preserved after centuries of worship. We conclude our day with a view of the imperial Blue Mosque, which dominates Istanbul’s skyline with six slender soaring minarets. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: Mosque of Soliman the Magnificent
We begin our day touring the impressive Mosque of Soliman the Magnificent, constructed at the zenith of the Ottoman Empire by the royal architect Sinan. We delight our senses at the Spice Bizarre, a bustling Oriental Bazaar that provides fresh spices, dried fruits, Turkish delight, and caviar. After lunch, we will visit the Bulgarian Church, the “Iron Church,” named for its cast-iron elements in the Neo-Byzantine style that serves Turkey’s Bulgarian minority. The day is complete with some time on Istiklal Street, one of the premier shopping streets in the city that hosts the city’s best cafés, restaurants, shopping, and iconic red trolleys. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great
This morning we journey back in time to the Archeological Museum of Istanbul, home to the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, one of the most triumphant rulers in history. The artistic rendering on the Sarcophagus of Mourning Women is a masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture. After some time in the museum, we visit the Basilica Cistern, a unique and dramatic architectural site built to provide and protect water. This subterranean cathedral-sized space is supported by a forest of Ionic and Corinthian columns. Finally, we cruise the Bosphorus River on a privately chartered boat observing the scenery of the strait. (B, L, D)
DAY 6: Anatolian Civilization Museum
We depart Istanbul for Ankara, the capital of Turkey. One highlight of our tour is the Anatolian Civilization Museum, elected as the first “European Museum of the Year” in 1997. Here you can see an extensive collection of artifacts from excavations and exhibits of gold, silver, glass, marble, and bronze works that date as far back as the first millennium BC. After a meal, we pay our respects at the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the final resting place of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. (B, L, D)
DAY 7: Cappadocia and Ihlara Valley
We journey to the rugged natural beauty of Cappadocia along Salt Lake, the second-largest lake in Turkey. In the Ihlara Valley, we have the option to take a short hike along the river before enjoying lunch. We get to explore an underground city, subterranean dwellings, and secret tunnel passages that sheltered people across the centuries. (B, L, D)
DAY 8: Goreme Open Air Museum and Red River
Today we will explore Cappadocia’s best collection of cave churches at the Goreme Open Air Museum. This UNESCO site is adorned with fine frescos depicting biblical and apocryphal episodes in brilliant colors, created by Christians escaping persecution in Jerusalem and settling in the natural grottoes of the region. Today we also visit a traditional rug weaving center to learn about this three-thousand-year tribal art of the Turks. Beautiful landscape pictures can be taken at Pigeon Valley and Hunter’s Valley, where we visit a local pottery workshop in Red River, Avanos. (B, L, D)
DAY 9: Konya and Sultanhani Caravanserai
We bid farewell to the lunar landscape of Cappadocia for Konya, one of the most ancient settlements of Anatolia. We visit the Sultanhani Caravanserai, the largest and best-preserved Caravanserai or stopover for caravans in Turkey and a key point on the Silk Road. We also see the beautifully tiled Mevlana Museum, the original lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes. Rooted in the teachings of Rumi, one of the most celebrated Islamic poets, this Sufi order originated in Konya. (B, L, D)
DAY 10: "Cotton Castle" and Heirapolis
We depart Konya for Pammukale, where we can take in the splendid sight of the “Cotton Castle” – one-of-a-kind thermal pools nestled within thick layers of white limestone. This unique geologic feature is surrounded by a vista of gorgeous mountains. Later in the day, we tour the beautiful ruins of Hierapolis, a neighboring Greek city founded by the second King of Pergamon in 190 BC. (B, L, D)
DAY 11: Aphrodisias and Kusadasi
We continue to explore an area rich in history. Aphrodisias , a remarkably well-preserved Roman period city, hosts the sanctuary of Aphrodite. The site is renowned for its exquisite marble sculptures . A spectacular monument at the site is the stadium, which is believed to have seating capacity for up to 30,000 people, enormous for ancient times. We lodge in Kusadasi for one night. (B, L, D)
DAY 12: Ephesus and Temple of Artemis
We wake up on the coast of the Aegean Sea to tour the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Built entirely of marble, it is one of the largest Greek temples ever built, a tribute to the ‘Great Mother Goddess’. After lunch, we visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a Christian religious site that has received a steady flow of pilgrims since it’s discovery. We spend the afternoon in charming Sirince meaning ‘cute and adorable’. The town is full of character with lovely old wooden houses and red tiled roofs. We will enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant before retiring for the evening. (B, L, D)
DAY 13: Pergamon and transfer to Istanbul
Pergamon is our final exploration of the eastern coast. Once a rich and powerful ancient Greek city, it was the capital of the Attalid kings. The Acropolis of Pergamon, with its dramatically steep Hellenistic Theater, is a sight to behold. We enjoy lunch together before departing Izmir on a flight back to iconic Istanbul. (B, L)
DAY 14: Free Day in Istanbul
The choice is yours on our final day in this wonderful country. Our centrally located hotel serves as a good base for shopping, further sightseeing or just relaxing. We enjoy a farewell dinner together. (B, D)
DAY 15: Flight Home
After breakfast and a airport transfer, we fly home reflecting back on our exceptional journey. (B)
Itinerary is subject to change. Passport required.
$5,175 per person
$5,725 per person
Final Payment Due:
January 2, 2024
Roundtrip air transportation from Tucson to/from Istanbul
Motorcoach transportation and transfers in Turkey
Roundtrip door-to-door livery service
13 nights’ lodging in excellent hotels
Baggage handling at hotels (for one piece)
Admissions and tours as described
Your Professional Bilingual Tour Director
Your Tour Escort (for groups of 20 or more)
All taxes and gratuities for included items (except housekeeping)
- None Until January 2, 2024
- $250: January 3, 2024 January 30, 2024
- $2,900: January 31, 2024 March 5, 2024
- 100% After March 5, 2024
We pride ourselves on great service and an enjoyable experience for all and will go over our booking policies after you make your request for booking. If you’d like to learn more about our booking policies before your trip, give us a call at (520) 325-8839, or visit our Booking Policies page. Click here for more information on our booking policies.
In today’s changing travel environment, it’s important to protect your travel investment so you can relax and enjoy your trip. Unforeseen events such as flight delays, baggage loss or even a sudden sickness or injury could impact your travel plans. For your convenience, we offer the following Travelex Insurance Services protection plan for this tour:
360° GROUP CHOICE
360° Adult Group Choice Flyer – Provides an overview of benefits and coverage limits
360° Adult Group Choice Policy – Provides the full coverage term details, including exclusions and limitations
$373 covers trip costs up to $6,000. Cost may be more or less depending on your total trip cost. If you do not wish to purchase at booking, the plan can be purchased any time prior to final payment. Contact us to purchase. For questions regarding benefits or coverages, please contact Travelex Insurance Services at 888-574-7026 and reference plan number GCB-0521.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. CA Agency License #0D10209. Travel Insurance is underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company; NAIC #22276. X41
ACTIVITY LEVEL RATING
Level 4: Active
Expectations: The tour includes well-paced walking tours with regular breaks. Up to 2-3 hours of walking each day. To fully take advantage of all this tour has to offer, guests need to be able to walk longer distances, climb several flights of stairs and navigate steps and uneven terrain walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators). Your itinerary can include significant changes in temperature and altitude and may require a higher number of longer travel days with morning and/or evening activities. Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Excursions require standing and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited.
Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a vigorous pace and enjoy participating in two to three hours of physical activity per day.
Visit our Activity Level Ratings page under Plan Your Tour for full information on the ratings system.
For your reference, we send to you a detailed itinerary approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled tour departure. This has day-by-day times and events, hotel information where you can be reached in case of an emergency, and airline information.
The times listed on the itinerary are all approximate. We cannot be held responsible for schedule changes due to unforeseen circumstances with the weather, transportation agents, highway conditions, hotels or contracting agents.
It is always a good idea to carry on your person a list of medications that you are taking and an emergency contact phone number while you are traveling. And we suggest making a copy of the itinerary and provide it to a friend or family member.
GRATUITIES/ITEMS INCLUDED IN PRICE
All hotel baggage handling fees are included. We also include basic gratuities for the Tour Director, Coach Driver, Livery Drivers and local Tour Guides. If someone has truly gone above and beyond additional tipping is permitted, but never required.
For your convenience, we have a (round-tour) door-to-door pickup service with each multi-day tour. (This service is not available to all clients depending on your location.) Approximately 2 to 3 days prior to the departure date you will receive a call from our office and we will tell you your assigned pickup time. (These times can vary up to 15 minutes depending on traffic.)
With passenger health in mind, we are not currently offering daily seat rotation. You will have an assigned seat and boarding order to allow for social distancing among passengers. At booking let us know if you prefer Front, Middle or Back of motorcoach. Each section comprises 4 to 5 rows. We will try to accommodate all requests. If we are unable to honor all requests, preference will be given based on date of your tour deposit.
If you would like to request special accommodations at the hotel(s) where we are lodging, please call us as soon as possible and we will forward these requests for you. The phone numbers of the hotel(s) where we are staying are listed on the itinerary.
Many hotels around the country have instituted a "reconditioning fee" of $300 or more that is levied upon a guest that smokes in a non-smoking room. If this occurs during our tour you will be responsible for paying this fee to the hotel prior to check-out.
We pay close attention to your requests but please realize that these are merely requests and cannot be guaranteed.
Pleasurebent Tours acts solely as an agent in arranging hotels, transportation, sightseeing, baggage-handling, and other services and does not assume any liability for injury, damage, loss or delay due to any act or default of any company or person. We, along with our subcontractors, reserve the right to make changes to an itinerary if it is necessary for the proper handling of a tour.
You will be issued your boarding pass the morning of our departure, after your arrival at the Tucson International Airport. If you have a frequent flyer number, or a TSA number, please call our office at least 3 days prior to the tour to ensure we can note these in your reservation.
If you are joining the tour from locations other than Tucson, we make other arrangements for you to join the tour. Please call our office for more details.
Do not forget to bring your government issued picture ID to show at the airport. If you do not have the proper ID, the airline and border security will turn you away.
We have arranged for handling for one piece of luggage per person regarding the skycaps (where available) and hotels. If you check through luggage note that the maximum weight for the checked piece of luggage is 50 pounds and maximum size is 62 inches (length + width + height). If your bag weighs over 50 pounds the airlines will levy an extra fee that you will be responsible to pay. If you feel the need to lock your checked through luggage and your bag is searched, your lock could be damaged in the process. You can purchase a TSA (Transportation Security Administration) accepted and recognized lock at any luggage store. Make sure you ask for a TSA approved lock. These locks are the kind that TSA screeners can open by using a special tool without breaking. Passengers can carry-on 1 bag (dimensions are limited to 10x16x24 inches), plus a personal type bag, like a purse. We advise that you pack your carry-on lightly. There are restrictions regarding your carry-on baggage and contents due to enhanced security
measures.If you have further concerns, please visit the TSA's Web-site at www.tsa.gov. There is room inside the motorcoach for your hand carried bag.
CHECKED BAGGAGE FEES
Our airline for this tour is TBD, as is baggage fees.
Inquire About This Tour
Submit your inquiry for more information about a tour. We will get back to you with a (human) response as soon as possible. During the week that’s usually within a couple of hours. Evenings and weekends may take us a little bit longer. Please note that this is an inquiry for tour bookings only and does not constitute or confirm a reservation on a tour.
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