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Cook, taste, and eat Turkish cuisine! During this holiday, you will enjoy first class service and guided transportation through the historical and picturesque sites of Istanbul and the underground cities of Cappadocia. At the same time, you will be traveling to traditional Turkish villages, the historical sides of Turkey, and make a lot of friends. Join this unique holiday that you will remember for your lifetime!
During this holiday, you will stay in the following four-star hotels. All have been carefully selected to guarantee that every aspect has been taken into account for your enjoyment.
Today you will arrive in Istanbul, Turkey. Transfer from Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) and check into your hotel. You will be offered a welcome drink and a chat with gourmet experts on Turkish cuisine. Tonight, you will have a welcome dinner and be introduced to TravelShopTurkey's friendly crew and other travelers while enjoying traditional Turkish food and the mystical atmosphere of Istanbul at night. You will then spend the night in Istanbul. Today, a welcome dinner is included.
After a morning orientation and sightseeing tour of Istanbul, you will participate in your first Turkish cooking lesson and prepare lunch, which you will later enjoy. During your Istanbul cooking tour, you will taste various flavors from different regions.
After lunch, you will visit the Topkapi Palace, this was the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries, housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, as well as robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, and the Holy Mantle, which is enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
You will also visit the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque. Located across from St. Sophia and built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, it is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.
You will also make a visit the Hippodrome. The ancient Hippodrome is the scene of chariot races with the three monuments, which are the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. You will then spend the night in Istanbul. Today, breakfast is included.
After breakfast at 08:30, you will depart for the Bosphorus cruise tour. Enjoy the array of sites you can see from the boat including the Egyptian spice bazaar. Bosphorus is a traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia.
After the tour, you will transfer to Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) for a domestic flight to Antalya. Transfer from Antalya Airport (AYT) and check in to your hotel in Antalya. You will have dinner and spend the night in Antalya. Today, breakfast and local dinner are included.
After breakfast, you will visit the Duden Waterfalls. The Duden Waterfalls make a pleasant side trip from Antalya and its surrounding gardens are a popular picnic spot among the locals. The Duden River extends from the Taurus Mountains all the way to the Mediterranean and creates two cascades known as the upper and lower Duden Waterfalls.
Today, you will taste the Mediterranean flavors. The Mediterranean kitchen is famous for its salads and mezzes. You will then spend the night in Antalya. Today, breakfast and dinner are included.
After breakfast, you will check out at 12:00 and have free time till your departure. Then, you will transfer to Antalya Airport (AYT) for a domestic flight to Cappadocia. Transfer from Kayseri Erkilet International Airport (ASR) to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Cappadocia. You will then have dinner and will spend the night in Cappadocia. Today, breakfast and local dinner are included.
After breakfast, participants will take part in another cooking lesson in Cappadocia. You will have the opportunity to taste great food of central Turkey, including pancakes and tasting kebab. In the afternoon, you visit Goreme Open Air Museum at the heart of Cappadocia. Goreme Open Air Museum is famous for frescoes dating back to the 10th century, describing the life of Jesus Christ and monks.
Your next stop is the Cavusin, which is an abandoned village with old cave Greek houses. You will also visit a pottery workshop to see how pottery is made. Then, you will go to Pasabag, where you can see three-headed fairy chimneys. You will then spend the night in Cappadocia. Today, breakfast and dinner are included.
After breakfast, you will have free time for shopping in Cappadocia. Then, you will depart for Kayseri Erkilet International Airport (ASR) for the domestic flight to Istanbul and then you will head back home. Today, breakfast is included.
Antalya is located on the Mediterranean coast of southwest Turkey, between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Antalya is the center of Turkey's tourism industry, attracting 30% of foreign tourists visiting Turkey.
The province of Antalya corresponds to the lands of ancient Pamphylia to the east and Lycia to the west. It features a shoreline of 657 kilometers with beaches, ports, and ancient cities scattered throughout, including the World Heritage Site Xanthos. The provincial capital is Antalya city, with a population of 714,000.
The highest point of the Taurus mountains is Akdag, at an altitude of 3025 metres. Located to the northwest of the city center and at a distance of 50 kilometers, is the Saklikent ski and recreation center on Beydaglari.
Here, one can ski and then go down to the shore and into the sea during the months of January to April. In Saklikent, there are two teleski and ski courses, along with villas and accommodation facilities available in the area. Situated on Bakirli Hill, behind Saklikent, is the Antalya National Space Observatory.
It is possible to watch meteor showers and shooting stars on certain days of the year. In the rivers, rafting and canoeing sports and on the Taurus mountains, jeep safari, hunting, and trekking tours are organized. Alternatively, there is rock-climbing, bird watching tourism, photo-safari, mountain tourism, line fishing, and health tourism at the thalasso and dialysis centers in Geyikbayiri.
Holy tourism activities are organized in Myra and Patara, where St. Nicholas was born and lived. The eternal flames of Chimaera, the inspiration for the Chimera myth, are also located in Antalya. In the area of Belek, 30 kilometers east of Antalya, there is a big potential for golf tourism with the bonus of the cultural, historical, and natural sightseeing of the region.
There are five golf facilities already operating in Belek. There are underwater diving centers on the coast, primarily in Kemer, Camyuva, Olympos, Adrasan, Kas, Kalkan, Ucagiz, Kekova, Side, and Alanya. In addition, yacht tours are organized from the port of Antalya to Duden Waterfall-Karpuzkaldiran and Kemer, from Side to Alanya, from Demre-Cayagzi to Kekova, from Kas to Kekova, and from Kemer to Cirali-Olympos-Adrasan and Cape Gelidonya.
There are also boat tours on Manavgat creek and canoe tours on Xanthos creek. In addition, Blue Cruise, which covers the south-western Anatolian coast, ends in Antalya. There are ferry boat trips from Alanya to Cyprus and from Antalya to Italy. Antalya today is a world tourism center with its unique touristic accommodation facilities, nature, and historical beauties.
The strange, but beautiful formation of Cappadocia has had this appearance for millions of years. When the volcanoes in the region were active, the lava which poured out, covered all previously formed hills and valleys, forming a high plateau. It is estimated that there are more than 600 rock-cut churches in Cappadocia. Walls were covered with beautiful frescoes and they were also influenced by the Iconoclast period in the eighth and ninth century.
The underground cities in Cappadocia are unique too. No one knows when the underground cities of Cappadocia were built, perhaps in the Hittite times or as late as the sixth century AD. Another region worth to visit in the area is the famous Ihlara Valley. Ihlara Valley (Canyon) is a deep, narrow river gorge cut through the tufa by the Melendiz River.
The canyon runs for 20 kilometers or 12 miles, offering one of the most enjoyable trekking routes to those who can spare the minimum of half a day. In the canyon, there are about 60 churches, monasteries, and cells of anchorites. There are also loads of activities available in Cappadocia, such as hot-air ballooning, horse and camel riding, trekking, biking, and much more.
Istanbul is the pearl of the east and the jewel of the west. Istanbul stands on the division between two very different cultures, religions, and social views. Historically and geographically, this great city has the weight of a nation behind it and a country that still claims several of the wonders of the world.
Accepting and fascinating, Istanbul is a city not to be taken lightly. Every street corner has a story and every building has a past. Istanbul is an amalgamation, where east meets west, and the division between the two.
Istanbul is the starting point for tourism in Turkey and the crossing point from Europe to Asia, all bundled together elegantly by its founder, Ataturk. The history of this man and the love from his nation is truly defining.
Istanbul has always been a popular visiting place for travelers and now it is preparing for its rendezvous with the 21st century. Its new ports and marinas facilitate arrival by the sea. For visitors who prefer air travel, the existing modern airport has been enlarged and a second airport is under construction on the Asian side.
By a lucky coincidence, the maintenance and repair projects realized for the 75th year of the Republic of Turkey, in 1998, turned into a blessing for the initiatives to get Istanbul ready for the 21st century. Istanbul is now a city with adequate supplies of energy, no major infrastructure problems, clean air and seas, unproblematic transportation, a sufficient number of five and four-star hotels, and minimized traffic jams.
In addition to the neat covered bazaars, a new development for the city is the large, modern, and luxurious shopping malls that include outlets for well-known international brands.
You will have the opportunity to learn and discover traditional Turkish food through the cooking tour and lesson. Each region of Turkey has its own distinct taste, so you will certainly taste various flavors. In Cappadocia, you will have the chance to taste delicious food of central Turkey, which includes pancakes and kebab. Additionally, you will also enjoy the taste of the Mediterranean flavors at the Duden Waterfalls area, in Antalya, where you will try the famous salads and mezzes.
There are optional tours for you to join during your time in Turkey, with transfers included. If interested, please send TravelShopTurkey an inquiry.
Please book your flight to arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST). Transfer from and to the airport is included. TravelShopTurkey will pick you up from the airport.
Alternatively, you can also book your flight to arrive at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), which is 55 kilometers away from the city center. However, transfer from and to this airport is not included in the price, but it is available upon request. Please contact TravelShopTurkey for transfer rates.