Istanbul & Cappadocia

8 Nights from R47,860 pps



Find your local Travel Counsellor and quote Peak4Aug for more details or to book

Departure Date: 01/10/2019

Experience the best of both cities and enjoy an 8 night tour through Istanbul and Cappadocia. Your trip will begin in Istanbul the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. Your welcome meeting will be at 6 pm today. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend.

Day 1:
Includes: Arrival Transfer
Accommodation: Pera Palace Hotel

Day 2: Istanbul
You'll start this Istanbul walking tour by exploring Istanbul’s ancient Hippodrome. Following this, you’ll make our way to Divanyolu, a historical thoroughfare originally mapped out by Emperor Constantine in the early 300s AD. You’ll then wander through some of the backstreets of the Grand Bazaar, internationally known as the first-ever shopping mall and showcasing an incredible array of goods in its 4,000 shops (but we recommend you save your shopping for later when you have more time to explore at your leisure). You’ll also stop by the book bazaar, where the first printed book in Turkey was sold in 1729.

Your Istanbul tour will then take you to the magnificent Süleymaniye Külliyesi, where you’ll stop off at the original Turkish baths built as part of the mosque complex, and learn all about this ritual of times past. Your guide will give you local insight into Islam before whisking you off to try Turkish tea in a tea house that has amazing views of the city.

You’ll then pay a visit to the small and stunning Rustem Pasa Mosque — a highlight for sure! The first octagonal plan mosque by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, the interior is covered with some of the most exquisite iznik tiles ever produced. You’ll finish this Istanbul tour in the Spice Bazaar area, where your leader will direct you to a local lokanta (small restaurant) for lunch. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Included activities: Hippodrome; Grand Bazaar; Suleymaniye Kulliyesi; Rustem Pasa Mosque; Spice Bazaar
Accommodation Pera Palace Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch

Day 3: Istanbul
The day is free for you to enjoy yourselves.
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Pera Palace Hotel

Day 4: Istanbul
Today you will be free till 5 PM. Your leader will come to pick you up late in the afternoon. A short journey from Karaköy on the world’s second oldest funicular will take you to the heart of Istanbul’s food scene on this culinary city tour, where you’ll wander through back streets and hidden laneways, feasting as you go. Your local guide will offer insight into the intricacies and traditions of Turkish food culture, and explain about the ingredients and origins of Turkey’s most popular dishes.

Start your Istanbul food tour with some borek, a delicious flaky pastry consisting of several thin layers filled with local cheeses, potato, or meat. Wash it down with a cup of ayran, a yogurt drink that’s considered by many to be the national beverage of Turkey.

Next, you’ll take part in a true local tradition; at the end of a long work day, many Istanbulites sit down for some drinks, tasty food, and good conversation with friends. We’ll pull up a seat at a traditional meyhene (tavern) and join the local scene as we sample meze served with a glass of raki, and learn about the fascinating history of these Turkish restaurants and dishes.

Filled up with snacks, you’ll get a break to let it all digest with a stop at a hidden tea house that’s also the famous meeting place of the Young Turks, a political reform movement from the early 20th century that brought multi-party democracy to Turkey.

Hungry from all that discussion? Fill yourself up again with delectable treats from locals’ favourite street food carts, including içli kofte (deep-fried meat balls) and midye dolma (mussels stuffed with rice).

Next, you’ll cleanse the palate with a sample of Turkish delight in the gorgeous, historic Cicek Passage, before grabbing some of Turkey’s famed baklava and çikolata (chocolate) or ice cream from Maras.

Of course, you can’t visit Istanbul without stopping at the famed entertainment district of Taksim Square, where late-night revellers flock for the delicious Islik Burger — guaranteed to defeat any hunger!

You’ll stroll the atmospheric backstreets and finish at an alfresco café and bar that’s a popular local haunt with awesome street art and graffiti. Order a coffee and dig into your purchases of chocolate and baklava. Linger as long as you like and soak up the nightime vibe of Istanbul.

Meals included: Breakfast, progressive dinner
Accommodation: Pera Palace Hotel

Day 5: Istanbul
The day is free for you to explore at your own leisure
Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Pera Palace Hotel

Day 6: Istanbul - Cappadocia
On this morning you will be transferred to the airport for your Cappadocia flight. Upon your arrival you will be greeted by your driver. After having some rest in your hotel, your leader will take you to the marvellous Red Valley to enjoy the sunset with your wine in hand.

Included Activities: Sunset wine at Red Valley
Accommodation: Cappadocia Cave Suites
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7: Cappadocia
Early in the morning you will have the hot air balloon experience. The spectacular surrealistic landscapes combined with excellent flying conditions 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. After having your breakfast, you’ll get to delve underground and discover the secret city of Mazi. It’s one of those adventures you cannot miss while visiting Cappadocia, and you’ll learn all about its significance as well as explore its passages.

Your leader will pick you up from your hotel, and your first stop on this Cappadocia caves tour will be straight to Mazi, known in ancient times as Matazai. Discover underground Cappadocia with your guide as they take you on an adventure through the corridors and rooms of this fascinating part of the city.

From here on this Cappadocia tour you’ll head to Soganli Valley, where you’ll find a tiny Turkish village that lives a very traditional lifestyle, the perfect spot to experience authentic local life in Cappadocia. Here you’ll find caves, churches, monasteries, and the spot where the famous handmade dolls of Cappadocia are made. You’ll visit a small market where you can see local women selling their dolls and other handmade crafts.

After a local lunch in the village, you’ll continue on the Keslik Cave Monastery, an early Christian cave complex located in the garden of a local villager. The owner of the garden guides visitors to show them the monastery and offers tea and local fruits – an experience you’ll not be forgetting in a hurry, we’re sure of it! We’ll also pay a visit to Sinasos, an old Greek town with spectacular old Greek houses — fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.

Then you will visit a local handicraft centre where you will have the opportunity to see local woman weaving carpets utilising traditional methods unique to the area. As a government-sponsored centre, the locals are able to learn and practice an art form that is slowly disappearing due to modern development. You will be encouraged to interact with the local woman and experience the true Cappadocian hospitality, giving you the opportunity to really experience Cappadocia from a local perspective. Once you’re filled with Cappadocia local life and culture, your leader will drop you back off at your hotel in Cappadocia.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Included Activities; Hot air balloon ride; Mazi Underground City; Soganli valley, Keslik Monastery, Sinassos village

Accommodation: Cappadocia Cave Suites

Day 8: Cappadocia
After being picked up from your hotel, you’ll arrive in Devrent Valley after a short 10-minute drive. This is where you first meet the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, a moment you won’t be forgetting in a hurry after this Cappadocia tour.

After some explanation from your leader who knows all the local stuff about the history, culture, and the geological formations of Cappadocia, you’ll set out to get right to the heart of this fairytale land. Up first, Devrent Valley — also known as “imagination valley.” The unbelievable rock formations make this is a geology nerd’s paradise! Next is Pasabag Valley (or Monks Valley) where we’ll climb into a fairy chimney chapel to check out the three heads dedicated to St Simeon.

You’ll continue on to visit the famous Zelve Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia.You’ll also make stops at the Geyikli Kilise (the Church with the Deer) and Uzumlu Kilise (The Church with Grapes) before giving you some free time to explore this deserted cave village now part of UNESCO heritage sites.

With all that exploring, you’ll be hungry and ready to rub shoulders with locals and enjoy a pide or gozleme for lunch!

After lunch, you’ll check out the abandoned city of Cavusin with its cave mosque, pigeon houses, church, and homes. Everything manmade in Cavusin was carved into the rocks in this area, giving you the chance to see a truly fascinating way of life and ancient tradition that you might not find on other tours in Cappadocia.

Avanos, the centre of terracotta artworks since 3000 BC, will be your next stop on this Cappadocia tour. Here you’ll see traditional pottery workshops and demonstrations, and glimpse into the world of pottery as it was thousands of years ago. This is such an integral part of local culture in Cappadocia that you would be crazy not to see it during your visit, and what makes this tour so special is that you will have the opportunity to make your own clay pot if you wish, with the local craftsmen to help you polish up your skills.

You’ll make your final stops at the Uchisar and Pigeon Valley, and Estentepe, where you’ll be able to taste some Turkish tea and enjoy the stunning views of Goreme Valley — what a way to finish this adventure! As this Cappadocia tour comes to a close, you’ll be taken back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Included Activities; Devrent valley; Zelve open air museum; Cavusin village; Avanos village; Uchisar, Guvercinlik valley and Esentepe
Accommodation: Cappadocia Cave Suites

Day 9
Cappadocia - Istanbul
After the breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight back to Istanbul at the scheduled time frame. Your tour finishes upon your arrival at the Istanbul Airport.

Meals included: Breakfast
Includes Departure Transfer

What's Included

Return flights ex Johannesburg to Istanbul, approx. airport taxes, arrival transfer, a 4 night stay at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul and a 4 night stay at the Cappadocia Cave Suites, meals and sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary.

8 Nights from R47,860 pps

The Small Print

These offers are brought to you by Travel Counsellors (Pty) Ltd. Valid: 1 - 10 October 2019. Offers are per person sharing. Rates for other periods are available on request. Packages and airfares are subject to availability, airfare increases, seasonal surcharge; high season supplements and currency fluctuations. Supplier's terms and conditions are available on request. Offers include airport taxes. Packages exclude items of personal nature, travel insurance, tips and gratuities, meals & drinks not indicated. Additional information available on request. Valid for SA residents only. Terms and conditions apply. Prices and information correct at time of publishing. E&OE.

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