1st Day: You will arrive in Istanbul, the biggest city of modern Turkey. We will welcome you and you will relax in your hotel.
2nd Day: We will have an extensive tour of Istanbul. Istanbul is the only city located in 2 continentsand was the capital city of 3 empires. Our first visit will be to the legendary St. Sophia which was built 1,500 years ago as the first cathedral of the world. It was the biggest and last construction of The Roman Empire. Following we will visit the famous Blue Mosque. After lunch you will have free time in one of the oldest shopping places in the world, the Grand Bazaar. In the afternoon we will visit the Chora Museum which is one of the most beautiful samples of Byzantine art. Overnight in Istanbul.
3rd Day: In the morning we will have a Bosphorus cruise tour and you will see the beauty of Istanbul. Next we will visit the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans used to rule the Empire. After lunch you will see the Underground Cistern and have free time in the famous Spice Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
4th Day: Today we will fly to Izmir. After one hour driving from Izmir airport, we will be in Ephesus. We will have an extensive tour of this ancient site where you will see the Hadrian’s, Trajan’s and the Domitian’s Temples, the huge Roman bath, the Celcus Library and the biggest amphitheater of Turkey. Also in the site we will see the first church ever dedicated to the Virgin Mary, where the 3rd ecumenical council met. After lunch we will visit the tomb and Church of St. John and the Virgin Mary’s house which is on the mountain. Overnight in Kusadasi.
5th Day: After flying from Izmir to Kayseri, on the way to Cappadocia we will have a walk along the Soganli Valley. Overnight in Cappadocia.
6th Day: We will see dreamlike Cappadocia, Goreme open air museum, monasteries and churches, founded by St Basil, with the most beautiful frescos inside. Cappadocia is the best place for hot-air balloon tours, which areas optional. Overnight in Cappadocia.
7th Day: After breakfast we will again spend the whole day in Cappadocia. We will see Uchisar, Urgup, Avanos, Zelve and the famous underground city where early Christians lived and hid. Overnight in Cappadocia.
8th Day: Leaving Cappadocia, on the way to the capital city Ankara we drive to Hattusas which was the capital city of the Hittite Empire, where iron was used for the first time in the world. Hattusas is the biggest Hittite city which can be visited today. We will visit the biggest open air temple of the Hittite world, “Yazil Kaya”. Overnight in Ankara.
9th Day: We will visit the Anatolian Civilization Museum which was awarded the title of the best European museum in 1997. You will see the richest and most unique collections of Hittite and Frig civilizations. Later we will visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, who was the founder of the Modern Turkey. Finally a visit to Kocatepe Mosque, which is one of the modern mosques. Overnight in Ankara.
10th Day: Today our bus will drive on the historical Silk Road and will stop at the biggest Caravanserai Sultanhan, situated on that road. After lunch we will reach to Konya and check in our hotel. Before dinner our guide or and academician will give you a brief conference about Rumi and his philosophy. After dinner we will watch the dance of the Whirling Dervishes. Overnight in Konya.
11th Day: Today our fist visit in Konya is the museum and tomb of Mevlana Celalettin Rumi who was a very famous philosopher who lived in the 13th century A.D. Next we will see the dervish Semsi Tebrizi’s tomb who became Rumi’s best friend and turning point in his life. Then we will drive to Sille where we will have lunch and visit the Cathedral of Virgin Mary. In the afternoon we will see 2 historical universities where Rumi used to teach; Karatay and Ince Minare Madrasahes. Overnight in Konya.
12th Day: Transfer to Konya airport. Fly home via Istanbul.