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8 Days Christmas Culture and Culinary Vacation in Turkey

8 Days Christmas Culture and Culinary Vacation in Turkey

  • Istanbul - Kusadasi - Cappadocia

Holiday Adventure Wine and Food Tour Turkey

Dine, explore, and discover Turkey this Christmas! This exquisite tour with all the bells and whistles takes you to Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia. No long bus rides! Relax on board domestic flights taking you to your destination. You will stay in the comforts of five-star hotels during this tour and dine in the best Turkish restaurants around Turkey!

Highlights

  • Turkish wine tasting in Sirince village
  • Explore Turkish cuisine in Turkish restaurants
  • Visit Turkish vineyards and learn to make fruit wine
  • Visit the Turkish village and workshops for handwoven carpets, kilims, and more
  • Marvel at ancient architectural structures during guided city tours
  • Enjoy Bosphorus cruise, tour the Underground City, and more
  • All meals with buffet breakfasts
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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During this holiday tour, you will stay in three five-star hotels in Turkey. You will stay at Dosso Dossi Hotel in Istanbul, at Charisma Hotel in Kusadasi, and at Luxury Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Cappadocia.

Day 1 - Istanbul arrival day

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be picked-up at the airport to be transferred to your hotel. You will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul.

You will spend the night in Istanbul and dinner will be served.

Dinner is included in this day.

Day 2 - Istanbul city tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 08:30 for the day tour of the old Istanbul city. You will visit Saint Sophia, an ancient basilica built by Constantine the Great in the fourth century and re-constructed by Justinian in the sixth century. It is one of the architectural marvels of all time.

You will have breakfast at the Turkish restaurant and continue the day tour to visit the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque located across from Saint Sophia. It was built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet. It is also known as the blue mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.

You will also visit the ancient Hippodrome where you will find the scene of chariot races with three monuments including the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.

The lunch break is at 13:00 followed by the Murtis tour taking you to the grand covered bazaar. In this labyrinth of streets and passages, there are more than 4,000 shops, and each trade have its own area such as goldsmith’s street, the carpet sellers, and Turkish arts and crafts such as hand-painted ceramic plates, hand-honed copperware, brassware and trays, water ewers, onyx-ware and meerschaum pipes.

After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel and spend another night in Istanbul. Dinner will be served.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this day.

Day 3 - Istanbul - Izmir - Kusadasi with Bosphorus Cruise

After breakfast, depart to enjoy a magical Istanbul Bosphorus boat cruise and spice market tour starting at 08:30. Also have fun sightseeing from the boat including the spice bazaar or the Egyptian Bazaar. Bosphorus by boat is a traditional excursion along the waterway separating Europe and Asia.

You will have lunch break at the Turkish restaurant. After lunch, depart for Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) to arrive to Izmir. Your airport transfer to the hotel in Kusadasi will be arranged. You will check-in at the hotel and prepare for dinner. You will spend the night in Kusadasi.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this day.

Day 4 - Kusadasi - Ephesus - Sirince

You will tour Ephesus and visit the Turkish village in Sirince after breakfast. At 08:30, you will depart from the hotel for a fully guided tour of Ephesus. It is one of the best preserved ancient sites in the world en-route, visiting the Temple of Artemis, Curetes street, famous Roman baths, Celsus Library, grand theater, and House of the Virgin Mary.

Lunch break is around 13:00 and after lunch, you will visit a carpet weaving center. It is a place that continues to perform one of the oldest arts in Turkey. Then, you will tour the Turkish village located in Sirince.

Sirince's construction style today belongs to Anatolian Greeks. The houses on the slope are all original with their white paints. Sirince Village also has a fantastic reputation for making some of the best wines in Turkey, especially fruit wines. You will visit the vineyards and it is time to learn how to make fruit wine with Turkish wine makers.

In the evening, you will be tested about your knowledge of making fruit wine. On the way, you will visit one of the famous leather production centers of the region, where you will have the opportunity to get a good factory rate. On this guided tour, you will avoid the constant nagging and sometimes bullying that is well-known in the markets of Turkey. You will enjoy the shopping experience while gaining the knowledge of the ancient craftsmen. You will spend another night in Kusadasi.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this day.

Day 5 - Kusadasi - Pamukkale

You will depart for Pamukkale at 08:30 after breakfast. You will check-in at the hotel around 12:00 and have a lunch break until 13:30.

After lunch, you will visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale or cotton castle and the ruins of Hierapolis. You will experience a walk around this natural phenomenon and can opt for a refreshing splash in the waters of the natural springs.

After the Pamukkale tour, you will return to Kusadasi and spend the night there.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this day.

Day 6 - Kusadasi - Izmir - Cappadocia

After breakfast, you will depart for İzmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) and from Izmir you will take another domestic flight to Cappadocia. You will either arrive at Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV) or Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR). From the airport, transfer to your Cave hotel will be arranged.

The rest of the day is yours to explore Cappadocia and you will spend the night here. Dinner will be served.

Breakfast and dinner are included in this day.

Day 7 - Cappadocia Tour

You will visit the underground city and Goreme Open Air Museum after breakfast. You will be picked-up at approximately 09:30 at the hotel and take you to Derinkuyu underground city. It is one of the best preserved and deepest underground cities in Cappadocia. Derinkuyu underground city is 55 meters deep and eight levels are open to visitors.

You will also visit the Uchisar Castle, which is the highest point of Cappadocia. After Uchisar, you will visit Goreme Open Air Museum, the heart of Cappadocia. It is famous for frescoes dating to 10th century, describing the life of Jesus Christ and monks.

The next stop is Cavusin, which is an abandoned village with old cave Greek houses. After Cavusin, you will go to the restaurant in Avanos to have lunch.

After lunch, you will visit a pottery work shop, to see how to make potteries. Then, you will go to Pasabagi where you can see three-headed fairy chimneys. You also visit another work shop to see Cappadocian hand-woven carpets and kilims.

You will visit Devrent Valley, which is also called Imagination Valley, where you can see natural rock formations looking like animals. You will head to a wine shop in Urgup for wine tasting.

The last stop is the Three Beauties, made of three beautiful fairy chimneys with their hats. This is the symbol of Cappadocia.

This tour will end approximately 18:00 and you will be returned back to your hotel. You will spend another night in Cappadocia. Dinner will be served.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in this day.

Day 8 - End of tour

The end of the tour takes you back to Istanbul. After breakfast, you will have free time shopping in Cappadocia. Today, you will depart for Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) for your domestic flight to Istanbul and then back home.

Breakfast is included in this day.

You will enjoy an exciting tour and wine tasting experience as you explore the Turkish flavors and culture in different cities around Turkey.

Cappadocia

  • Enjoy wine tasting in Urgup wine shop
  • Explore Cappadocia
  • Explore natural rock formations with animal shapes in Imagination Valley or Devrent Valley
  • Visit Derinkuyu underground city
  • Visit Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Visit Uchisar Castle
  • Visit the old cave Greek houses in Cavusin
  • Visit the symbol of Cappadocia, the Three Beauties
  • Visit the three-headed fairy chimneys in Pasabagi
  • Visit work shop for hand-woven carpets and kilims
  • Visit work shop for pottery and learn pottery-making

Ephesus

  • Stroll Curetes street
  • Tour the Temple of Artemis
  • Visit Celsus Library
  • Visit the carpet weaving center
  • Visit the famous Roman baths
  • Visit the grand theater
  • Visit the House of the Virgin Mary

Istanbul

  • Enjoy the Murtis tour
  • Experience traditional excursion via Bosphorus boat cruise for sightseeing
  • Visit the ancient basilica, Saint Sophia
  • Visit the ancient Hippodrome
  • Visit the blue mosque or the Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque

Pamukkale

  • Take a splash in the natural springs
  • Visit the calcium terraces or cotton castle

Sirince

  • Visit the famous leather production centers
  • Visit the Turkish village
  • Visit vineyards and learn fruit wine-making with wine tasting experience

Please note that Hagia Sophia is open every day. Meanwhile, Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.

This retreat will take place in Turkey. You will visit Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Sirince, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia. The lands of Turkey are located at a point where Asia, Africa, and Europe are closest to each other, and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet. Geographically, the country is located in the northern half of the hemisphere at a point that is about halfway between the equator and the north pole, at a longitude of 36 degrees north to 42 degrees north and a latitude of 26 degrees east to 45 degrees east. Turkey, as a country is roughly rectangular in shape and has a width of approximately 550 kilometers with a length of approximately 1,500 kilometers.

Because of its geographical location, the mainland of Anatolia has always found favor throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.

You will enjoy seven breakfast buffets at the hotels where you will stay, five lunches, and seven dinners. You will also explore the Turkish flavors in Turkish restaurants.

Turkish food

For those who travel in culinary pursuits, the Turkish cuisine is a very curious one. The variety of dishes that make up the cuisine, the ways they all come together in feast-like meals, and the evident intricacy of each craft offer enough material for life-long study and enjoyment. It is not easy to discern a basic element or a single dominant feature, like the Italian "pasta" or the French "sauce". Whether in a humble home, at a famous restaurant, or at a dinner in a Bey's mansion, familiar patterns of this rich and diverse cuisine are always present. It is a rare art, which satisfies your senses while reconfirming the higher order of society, community, and culture.

The Turkish cuisine has the extra privilege of being at the cross-roads of the far east and the Mediterranean, which mirrors a long and complex history of Turkish migration from the steppes of Central Asia, where they mingled with the Chinese, to Europe, where they exerted influence all the way to Vienna.

The Turkish cuisine has a rich and varied number of dishes, which can be prepared and combined with other dishes in meals of almost infinite variety, but always in a non-arbitrary way. The cuisine is also an integral aspect of culture. It is a part of the rituals of everyday life events. It reflects spirituality, in forms that are specific to it, through symbolism and practice.

  • 1 Christmas gift box
  • 7 breakfast buffets, five lunches, and seven dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All airport transfer services mentioned in the itinerary
  • All domestic flights included in the program
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bosphorus Cruise
  • Guided tours with professional English-speaking tour guides
  • Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
  • Wine tasting
  • All types of insurance
  • International airfares
  • Personal expenses such as lunches, extras at hotel, or additional meals
  • Tips for guides and drivers

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). Transfer from and to Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) is included. TravelShopTurkey will pick you up from the airport.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) is 20 kilometers away from city center and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is 55 kilometers away. If you arrive at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), please contact TravelShopTurkey for transfer rates.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.