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TURKEY

The Best of Turkey: A Journey by Land and Gulet

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Road Scholar
Program #18761RJ
17 Days | 16 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Yes. Max Elevation roughly 3,100 feet. No risks of lack of oxygen.

Itinerary for May 19 — Jun 4, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, May 19 - Departure
Evening: Overnight flight.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Ataturk Bulvari 183 Kavaklidere
06680
Ankara, Turkey
phone: +90 312 410 55 00
web: http://www.rixos.com/en/rixos-grand-ankara-hotel

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: info@baltactours.com
Please contact the program provider; info@baltactours.com .

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, May 20 - Arrival and Check-in/Registration and Welcome Mee...
Note: Upon arrival in Ankara Airport, clear passport control, claim your bags, go through customs and the sliding doors and look for the Road Scholar sign.

Arrive To: Arrive in Ankara Airport, clear passport and customs.

Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel.

Evening: We will gather in our private meeting room at the hotel at 6:00PM where your group leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedules, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Lodging: Rixos Grand Ankara Hotel

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Yunak Evleri is a cave hotel typical of the region, where some caves date from as early as the 6th century AD. The rooms, with a balcony or patio, are carved from the rock, and are tastefully decorated with modern amenities.

Contact info:
Yunak Mahallesi
Cappadocia, 50400 Turkey
phone: +90 384 341-6920
web: www.yunak.com

Room amenities: Non-allergenic beds, direct-dial phone, hair dryer, private bathroom with shower, heat, safety deposit box, CD player, mini-bar, teakettle.

Facility amenities: Reading room, library, internet connection.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Three: Wednesday, May 21 - Lecture and Excursion to the Anatolian Civilizati...
Lecture and Excursion to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and the Mausoleum of Ataturk.

Note: Walking up to ½ mile during excursions and at the Mausoleum of Ataturk

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Start your day with a lecture on the ancient civilizations of Anatolia with emphasis on Hittite & Phrygian cultures. Lecture will be delivered by Prof Thomas Zimmerman, head of the Department of Archeology at Bilkent University of Ankara. Continue to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, an award-winning Museum to have a general overview about the civilizations of Turkey. The Museum exhibits boast artifacts from the Paleolithic era and continue chronologically through the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. The Museum is renowned especially for its artifacts from the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk. The collection includes Mother Goddess sculptures, wall paintings, clay figurines, stamps, earthenware containers, and agricultural tools made from bones. The most impressive parts of this exhibit are a hunting scene on plaster from the 7th millennium BC, a reproduction of a Çatalhoyuk room with wall-mounted bull heads, a Mother Goddess Kybele (later Cybele) sculpture, obsidian tools, wall paintings of the (now extinct) volcano Mount Hasan erupting, and wall paintings of a leopard.

Lunch: In a restaurant in the old city.

Afternoon: A visit to the Mausoleum of Ataturk will provide a good background to modern Turkey and enable you to get a deeper understanding of this revolutionary character that shaped modern Turkey. for a visit that introduces the ancient civilizations of Turkey. Walk to the Mausoleum of Atatürk. The mausoleum's museum provides insight to the history of modern Turkey and the personality of Atatürk. Later on, depart for Urgup, Cappadocia, a landscape of spectacular volcanic pillar formations.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yunak Evleri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Yunak Evleri is a cave hotel typical of the region, where some caves date from as early as the 6th century AD. The rooms, with a balcony or patio, are carved from the rock, and are tastefully decorated with modern amenities.

Contact info:
Yunak Mahallesi
Cappadocia, 50400 Turkey
phone: +90 384 341-6920
web: www.yunak.com

Room amenities: Non-allergenic beds, direct-dial phone, hair dryer, private bathroom with shower, heat, safety deposit box, CD player, mini-bar, teakettle.

Facility amenities: Reading room, library, internet connection.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Thursday, May 22 - Through the Countryside in the magical formations...
Note: Walking in uneven terrain, for up to 1 mile. Sturdy walking shoes highly recommended. Some caves/churches require crouching to enter.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: There will be an optional hot air balloon flight this morning for those interested in discovering this unique geography from the air. Ballooning is a sunrise activity but you will return to the hotel for breakfast and join the excursions during the rest of the day. This morning we shall visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, a monastic center comprised of caves carved out of the soft volcanic rock of Cappadocia and decorated with frescoes and paintings. You will learn about the history of Christianity and monasticism in the area and discover the artistic and religious significance of frescos in these churches.

Lunch: At a local restaurant carved out of rock that was once home to the hosting family.

Afternoon: We will visit the workshop of a local artisan that specializes in pottery making, using the clay from the nearby Halys River. You will learn about this 5,000 year old craft and have your chance to work on the potter's wheel. Before going back to the hotel, we will attend a Whirling Dervish ceremony, performed by local Sufis at a restored caravansaray (ancient camel motel on the Silk Road) from 13th century.

Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Yunak Evleri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Boutique Hotel

Description: The Yunak Evleri is a cave hotel typical of the region, where some caves date from as early as the 6th century AD. The rooms, with a balcony or patio, are carved from the rock, and are tastefully decorated with modern amenities.

Contact info:
Yunak Mahallesi
Cappadocia, 50400 Turkey
phone: +90 384 341-6920
web: www.yunak.com

Room amenities: Non-allergenic beds, direct-dial phone, hair dryer, private bathroom with shower, heat, safety deposit box, CD player, mini-bar, teakettle.

Facility amenities: Reading room, library, internet connection.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Friday, May 23 - Cappadocia, Miracle of Nature
Note: An optional hike through the formations of Cappadocia will be offered to those interested. Good walking shoes are a must.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We will visit and explore the village of Sinasos. This village had a largely Greek population in Ottoman times. Today it is a thriving town with a small university lots to see and do nearby.

Lunch: Lunch on your own

Afternoon: This afternoon will be dedicated to more exploration in the gorges and valleys of Cappadocia. We will visit an impressive underground city, carved out of the ground to provide shelter from the attacking armies. There will be a short optional hike and various photo stops at some important vantage points to get an overview of this magical landscape?

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant in Avanos, located on the southern bank of the river Halys.

Evening: On your own

Lodging: Yunak Evleri

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hilton Garden Inn Konya hotel, is a modern business hotel designed in perfect harmony with the folklore and traditions of the Anatolian city of Konya and is located next to the Mevlana Culture Center and within walking distance of a range of shopping and business districts.

Contact info:
Aziziye Mahallesi, Kislaonu Sokak No:4
Konya, 42020 Turkey
phone: +0911 0332 221 60 00
web: hilton.com.tr/en/Hilton-Garden-Inn-Konya/default.aspx

Room amenities: TV and complimentary wired and wireless internet access.

Facility amenities: 24 hr Pavilion Pantry Market, Baggage Storage, Bar Area, Coin Laundry, Foreign Currency Exchange, Room Service, Safety Deposit Box.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Saturday, May 24 - From Cappadocia to Konya on the Silk Road/Sultanh...
From Cappadocia to Konya on the Silk Road/Sultanhani Caravanserai (ancient camel motel on the Silk Road). Sufism and the Whirling Dervishes.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Drive west to Konya, on the central plateau of Turkey, following the . ancient Silk Road. We wll visit Sultanhani, a 13th century Seljuk caravanserai built on the Silk Road to accommodate the caravans of trade. Sultanhani is the largest and best preserved of the existing caravanserais.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Konya, specializing in local dishes from the area.

Afternoon: Once in Konya, we will visit the Museum/Mausoleum of Mevlana Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervish sect of Islam. You will learn about the mystic aspect of Sufism and hear some beautiful poetry by Rumi. Your group leader will discuss the principles of Sufism with the group and enlighten you about their beliefs and rituals.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure

Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn Konya

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Contact info:
Sakip Sabanci Bulvari
Konyaalti Sahili
Antalya, 07050 Turkey
phone: +90 242 249 49 49
web: http://www.rixos.com/en/rixos-downtown-antalya-hotel

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Sunday, May 25 - The Magnificent Roman Theater of Aspendos & the a...
The Magnificent Roman Theater of Aspendos & the ancient Greek-Roman city of Perge.

Note: Walking at ancient Greek/Roman sites up to ½ mile. Occasional uneven pavement at ancient sites.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We will depart Konya after breakfast and head south towards the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey by crossing the impressive Taurus Mountains.

Lunch: In a restaurant en route.

Afternoon: This afternoon, you will visit the stunning theater of Aspendos and your group leader will give you a detailed on-site lecture about Roman theaters. You will also visit Perge, an important city of the Roman province of Pamphylia and wonder at its impressive Hellenistic city gates.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Rixos Downtown Antalya

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Step aboard an exclusively chartered gulet for a four-night cruise. Constructed of teak and oak, the gulet is a motorized sailing vessel unique to Turkey. A maximum of 18 Road Scholars are accommodated in twin-bedded cabins with private toilet and shower. Observation sundecks fore and aft provide ample room for relaxing underway. Meals aboard are prepared with fresh ingredients and feature typical Turkish cuisine, and are served in both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The gulet has a crew of at least three: captain, cook and deckhand(s). As there is no telephone service aboard the gulet, the telephone number provided, in case of emergency, is the Program Provider's office.

Contact info:
100/1 Mesrutiyet Cad
Istanbul, 34430 Turkey
phone: +90 532 284-2552
Room amenities: Comfortable twin cabins with modern, private facilities and hot water.

Facility amenities: Air conditioning, a variety of water sport equipment, and deck chairs.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Monday, May 26 - Explore Phaselis, the gem of the Mediterranean an...
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart Antalya and head south along the lush Mediterranean coast. Stop at Phaselis, a beautiful Greek-Roman city, located right on the Mediterranean. The city has three harbors and thrived on commerce in Greek and Roman times.

Lunch: In a restaurant en route in Demre

Afternoon: Visit Myra, the hometown of St. Nicholas, patron saints of sailors, adapted by Western and Nordic cultures as Santa Claus. Then, embark on a Turkish gulet in Ucagiz/Kekova for the four-night cruise along the coast. Cruise to Simena Island and its unique Sunken City, now 10 feet below the water's surface. Ancient amphoras and other ruins on the sea bottom can be seen as you slowly motor above the ruins of the city by dinghy. On the mainland, hike up through the charming village of Kale (ancient Simena) and explore its citadel and ancient cemetery, dotted with thousand year old olive trees. At its summit, enjoy the sunset views over the bay.

Dinner: Aboard the gulet.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Exclusively Chartered Gulet (yacht)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Step aboard an exclusively chartered gulet for a four-night cruise. Constructed of teak and oak, the gulet is a motorized sailing vessel unique to Turkey. A maximum of 18 Road Scholars are accommodated in twin-bedded cabins with private toilet and shower. Observation sundecks fore and aft provide ample room for relaxing underway. Meals aboard are prepared with fresh ingredients and feature typical Turkish cuisine, and are served in both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The gulet has a crew of at least three: captain, cook and deckhand(s). As there is no telephone service aboard the gulet, the telephone number provided, in case of emergency, is the Program Provider's office.

Contact info:
100/1 Mesrutiyet Cad
Istanbul, 34430 Turkey
phone: +90 532 284-2552
Room amenities: Comfortable twin cabins with modern, private facilities and hot water.

Facility amenities: Air conditioning, a variety of water sport equipment, and deck chairs.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Tuesday, May 27 - Discover Kas, a small resort town on Mediterranea...
Breakfast: Aboard the gulet.

Morning: Cruise to Kas, (pronounced 'Kash'), a small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town. Free time to explore the town.

Lunch: Your choice to explore local fare.

Afternoon: Cruise further on to a quiet cove for anchoring overnight.

Dinner: Aboard the gulet.

Evening: At leisure. Opportunity to discuss various subjects/topics about Turkey with your group leader.

Lodging: Exclusively Chartered Gulet (yacht)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Step aboard an exclusively chartered gulet for a four-night cruise. Constructed of teak and oak, the gulet is a motorized sailing vessel unique to Turkey. A maximum of 18 Road Scholars are accommodated in twin-bedded cabins with private toilet and shower. Observation sundecks fore and aft provide ample room for relaxing underway. Meals aboard are prepared with fresh ingredients and feature typical Turkish cuisine, and are served in both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The gulet has a crew of at least three: captain, cook and deckhand(s). As there is no telephone service aboard the gulet, the telephone number provided, in case of emergency, is the Program Provider's office.

Contact info:
100/1 Mesrutiyet Cad
Istanbul, 34430 Turkey
phone: +90 532 284-2552
Room amenities: Comfortable twin cabins with modern, private facilities and hot water.

Facility amenities: Air conditioning, a variety of water sport equipment, and deck chairs.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Wednesday, May 28 - Xanthos, Capital of the Lycian League
Note: Walking on uneven terrain at ancient sites

Breakfast: Aboard the gulet.

Morning: Cruise to Kalkan and get back on shore to drive to Xanthos. This city was besieged by the Persians in 540 BC. The heroic inhabitants of this city destroyed their own acropolis, killed their wives, children, and slaves, then proceeded on a suicidal attack against the superior Persian troops. Thus, the entire population of Xanthos perished but for 80 families who were absent during the fighting.

Lunch: At a local restaurant during excursion

Afternoon: Drive to Oludeniz, Fethiye to get back on the gulet for dinner

Dinner: Aboard the gulet.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Exclusively Chartered Gulet (yacht)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Other

Description: Step aboard an exclusively chartered gulet for a four-night cruise. Constructed of teak and oak, the gulet is a motorized sailing vessel unique to Turkey. A maximum of 18 Road Scholars are accommodated in twin-bedded cabins with private toilet and shower. Observation sundecks fore and aft provide ample room for relaxing underway. Meals aboard are prepared with fresh ingredients and feature typical Turkish cuisine, and are served in both indoor and outdoor dining areas. The gulet has a crew of at least three: captain, cook and deckhand(s). As there is no telephone service aboard the gulet, the telephone number provided, in case of emergency, is the Program Provider's office.

Contact info:
100/1 Mesrutiyet Cad
Istanbul, 34430 Turkey
phone: +90 532 284-2552
Room amenities: Comfortable twin cabins with modern, private facilities and hot water.

Facility amenities: Air conditioning, a variety of water sport equipment, and deck chairs.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Thursday, May 29 - Gemiler Island
Breakfast: Aboard the gulet.

Morning: Cruise to Gemiler Island. On the island are the remains of several churches built between the fourth and sixth centuries AD, along with a variety of associated buildings. Archaeologists believe it was the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas.

Lunch: Aboard the gulet.

Afternoon: Relax aboard the gulet or choose either a hike to the top of the island to explore its ruins, or to Kayakoy, a now-abandoned village used during the "Exchange of Citizens" between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s. There, learn more about the history of the village and talk to some locals from a nearby village that was inhabited by Turks sent from Greece.

Dinner: Aboard the gulet.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Exclusively Chartered Gulet (yacht)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Contact info:
AKYAR MEVKII NO:5
Aydin, Turkey
phone: +0 256 6183266
web: www.charismahotel.com/Default.aspx?BolumId=19&DilId=2

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Twelve: Friday, May 30 - Hands-On Experience/Lecture on Turkish Carpets
Breakfast: Aboard the gulet.

Morning: Cruise to Gocek and disembark the gulet following breakfast. Travel to Selcuk, near Ephesus.

Lunch: At a local carpet weaving center

Afternoon: Hear a lecture on the centuries old craft of hand-made Turkish carpets and silk production at a local carpet center. Opportunity for a hands-on trial of carpet weaving. During this in-depth visit with the women weavers, share tea and coffee and learn about their lives, families and work.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure

Lodging: Charisma Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Five-Star Hotel

Contact info:
AKYAR MEVKII NO:5
Aydin, Turkey
phone: +0 256 6183266
web: www.charismahotel.com/Default.aspx?BolumId=19&DilId=2

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Thirteen: Saturday, May 31 - Ephesus, the Jewel of Asia Minor
Note: Walking up to 1 mile on uneven terrain in the ancient city of Ephesus. Climbing a few stairs will be necessary to visit the unique Terrace Houses.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Begin with a lecture on the Graffiti of Ephesus delivered by a British professor of antiquities. Discover the ruins of Ephesus, the jewel of Greek-Roman cities and capital of Asia Minor. Explore the Terrace Houses, once inhabited by the wealthy Ephesians.

Lunch: In a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the Basilica of St John, dedicated to St.John, the Apostle. Stop at the Temple of Artemis, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Charisma Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Armada hotel is centrally located in the old city of Istanbul, on the city's historical peninsula. It is surrounded by the ancient city walls and is within walking distance and has views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii). Open since 1994, the building was constructed on the site of a series of row houses which were built for the marine soldiers of the famed Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa) in the 16th century. The hotel's façade replicates the original structures.

Contact info:
Ahirkapi Cad, 24
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, 34400 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
web: www.armadahotel.com.tr

Room amenities: 110 rooms, decorated in the Ottoman style with traditional Edirnekari woodwork painting, are a graceful blend of past and present and offer all modern amenities, including air conditioning, central heat, hair dryer, mini-bar, cable TV, direct-dial telephone, Internet connection and safety-deposit box.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, bars, rooftop terrace, room service and laundry service.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact info@baltactours.com
Contact the Program Provider to inquire about availability and prices at info@baltactours.com.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Fourteen: Sunday, June 01 - Introduction to Istanbul, the Imperial City
Note: Some walking in the old city of Istanbul during the orientation

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Izmir Airport to take a morning flight to Istanbul.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Istanbul upon arrival.

Afternoon: Enjoy an orientation tour of the old city, including a visit to the famous Blue Mosque, one of the most important landmarks of the city, dating back to 1616.

Dinner: At the hotel's restaurant

Evening: On your own

Lodging: Armada Hotel Istanbul

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Armada hotel is centrally located in the old city of Istanbul, on the city's historical peninsula. It is surrounded by the ancient city walls and is within walking distance and has views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii). Open since 1994, the building was constructed on the site of a series of row houses which were built for the marine soldiers of the famed Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa) in the 16th century. The hotel's façade replicates the original structures.

Contact info:
Ahirkapi Cad, 24
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, 34400 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
web: www.armadahotel.com.tr

Room amenities: 110 rooms, decorated in the Ottoman style with traditional Edirnekari woodwork painting, are a graceful blend of past and present and offer all modern amenities, including air conditioning, central heat, hair dryer, mini-bar, cable TV, direct-dial telephone, Internet connection and safety-deposit box.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, bars, rooftop terrace, room service and laundry service.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact info@baltactours.com
Contact the Program Provider to inquire about availability and prices at info@baltactours.com.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Fifteen: Monday, June 02 - Jewels of Istanbul
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Start your day with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, once the seat of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years and a great testimony to the power and wealth of the Ottoman Empire. You will also be able to visit the amazing Treasury and the intriguing Harem and catch a glimpse of daily life behind closed doors.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Sultanahmet

Afternoon: Continue to Taksim Square for a stroll on vibrant and colorful Istiklal Avenue, which demonstrates Turkey's position between the East and the West and the forces that affect it. This pedestrian street is always young and dynamic.

Dinner: On your own to explore the local fare

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Armada Hotel Istanbul

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Armada hotel is centrally located in the old city of Istanbul, on the city's historical peninsula. It is surrounded by the ancient city walls and is within walking distance and has views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii). Open since 1994, the building was constructed on the site of a series of row houses which were built for the marine soldiers of the famed Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa) in the 16th century. The hotel's façade replicates the original structures.

Contact info:
Ahirkapi Cad, 24
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, 34400 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
web: www.armadahotel.com.tr

Room amenities: 110 rooms, decorated in the Ottoman style with traditional Edirnekari woodwork painting, are a graceful blend of past and present and offer all modern amenities, including air conditioning, central heat, hair dryer, mini-bar, cable TV, direct-dial telephone, Internet connection and safety-deposit box.

Facility amenities: Restaurants, bars, rooftop terrace, room service and laundry service.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: Contact info@baltactours.com
Contact the Program Provider to inquire about availability and prices at info@baltactours.com.

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Sixteen: Tuesday, June 03 - From the Palace to the Bazaar
Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning you will start your day with a field trip to the breathtaking Church of Hagia Sophia. You will learn about the architecture of this unique 1,500 year old building and awe at its size and glamour. Continue to visit the Underground Cisterns, built in 532 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in order to store water for his city. You will then drive along the ancient City Walls of Istanbul and learn about their strength and history.

Lunch: At a local restaurant serving Ottoman food straight from the court of the Sultans.

Afternoon: A visit to Kariye (Chora) Museum will reveal the most exquisite examples Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, dating to pre-Renaissance. Later on in the afternoon, the small but gem-like mosque of Rustem Pasha will demonstrate the stunning masterpieces of Iznik tiles from 16th century. Spend the rest of the afternoon at the Spice Bazaar that immediately captures visitors with its exotic aromas and the Grand Bazaar, a maze of 3,000 shops from the 15th century, literally the first shopping mall in history. End the day and the program with a cruise on the Bosphorus, on a privately chartered boat and enjoy the palaces, mansions, yalis, fortresses built along the shores of the Bosphorus.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant within walking distance to the hotel

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Armada Hotel Istanbul

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Seventeen: Wednesday, June 04 - Departure
Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: There will be group transfers from the hotel to Istanbul Airport, depending on the departure times of flights. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Cappadocia
Hot-Air Balloon RideThis unique type of ballooning is called "contour ballooning." See the fascinating formation of Cappadocia from the air, as skilled pilots steer the balloon to float through the ravines, gorges and valleys, just above the treetops and land formations. The flight follows the contours of the unique landscape of Cappadocia. The flight begins at sunrise and lasts up to 1.5 hours. The cost is approximately €250 and includes round-trip transportation to and from the hotel and a champagne breakfast. A preliminary reservation form is included in the program materials and should be returned to the Program Provider prior to departure, however actual booking and payment is made on-site directly with the balloon operator.
Konya
Karatay Tile MuseumThe Tile Museum in Konya is housed in the Karatay Madrasa, which was built in 1251 as one of the first universities of the Ottoman Empire. The museum was opened in 1955. Constructed of stone and ceramic, the building has tile decoration on the massive dome squinches in turquoise, indigo and black.
For additional information, visit: www.kultur.gov.tr
Turquoise Coast Cruise
Hikes AshoreThe group leader will offer a hike for those interested to sites that are not accessible by other transportation. These may include ancient sites, a ghost village abandoned 80 years ago, or viewpoints with spectacular scenery. For those who do not wish to hike, other leisure activities on the gulet include relaxing, swimming, sunbathing and reading.
Town of KasAncient theater of Antiphellos.
KalkanA small and quaint resort town.
Istanbul
Archaeological MuseumThe museum houses artifacts from Turkey spanning 5,000 years of history. The exhibits are from Byzantium, the Ottoman Empire and the many civilizations of Anatolia and ancient Egypt. Nineteenth-century archaeologist Osman Hamdi Bey's finds include the famous fourth-century Alexander sarcophagus discovered at the royal necropolis of Sidon in Lebanon. The Museum of the Ancient Orient contains artifacts from Egypt and Mesopotamia, including a magnificent frieze of a bull from the Ishtar gate in Babylon. Located at: Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Telephone: +90 212 5207740.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
15 nights of accommodations
41 meals: 15 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 14 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
32 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Flights during the program

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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