PRE - MYSTICAL CAPPADOCIA
Tour the icons of Istanbul and Turkey's enthralling Cappadocia region, a bizarre landscape of volcanically formed rock chimneys, houses carved out of sheer cliffs and sprawling underground cities.
Upon arriving at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, you will be met and transferred to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Istanbul for check-in. The remainder of the day will be spent at leisure, allowing time for you to settle in or explore the city on your own.
After an early breakfast at the hotel and then check out, you will drive through Istanbul to one of its marquee attractions. Depending on the day, it may be the former mosque and now museum Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque and adjacent Hippodrome.
Following your visit, you will transfer to the airport for a short flight to Kayseri, which lies in the Cappadocia region. The landscape here is stunningly surreal, almost lunar-like. Created by volcanic eruptions and shaped by thousands of years of erosion, the terrain features soaring fairy-tale rock chimneys and ancient dwellings carved out of the rocks. Few places on earth are so visually arresting.
You will then tour two towns in the region, beginning with Uchisar, whose natural rock citadel is the highest point in Cappadocia and visible from a great distance. Avanos lies nearby and, as you will discover, is known for pottery making. The clay has a beautiful reddish hue and comes from the banks of the Kizilirmak River that flows through town.
After visiting, you will check in to the Lykia Cappadocia Lodge Hotel in nearby Nevsehir, where you will dine and spend the evening.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you will depart for a full-day, all-encompassing tour of the area. A scenic drive brings you to the Derinkuyu underground city, a massive living complex beneath the surface that includes churches, stables, wineries and storage rooms. It is the deepest of the 36 underground cities in the Cappadocia region and has airshafts carved at least 300 feet into the rock. Although the city was probably never used for long stays, it served as an excellent defensive hideout during the early Christian period. There are approximately 600 doors leading into the underground city, all of them hidden in courtyards on the surface.
After Derinkuyu, you will continue to the Goreme Open Air Museum, which contains the best-preserved examples of cave churches. You will notice that the frescoes adorning the walls are still brightly colored, even after centuries of exposure. More cave architecture awaits you in nearby Zelve, which was an important settlement and religious area between the 9th and 13th centuries. The now abandoned settlement is spread over three valleys, which also contain numerous pointed chimneys with large stems.
Then, it's on to Derbent to see its unusual Three Sisters rock chimneys and to shop for a bit. By evening, you will return to the hotel for dinner and spend the rest of the night at leisure.
Following breakfast, you will drive to the Nevsehir airport for your return flight to Istanbul.
Upon arriving in Istanbul, enjoy a full-day tour, starting with the opulent Topkapi Palace, where Turkey's sultans lived from 1453 until the middle of the 19th century. Then, you will visit the Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque, according to which site you didn't visit on Day 2.
Finally, you will have the opportunity to browse through the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar, the largest and the oldest covered market place in the world. It contains more than 5,000 shops selling an absolutely amazing range of merchandise. Jewelry, carpets, antiques, old coins, furniture, prayer beads and copperware are only a few of the items in the bazaar, which has been operating since the 15th century.
Afterwards, you will transfer to the pier and embark on your cruise.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The flights and times indicated are only approximate and are given here for general reference purposes.
Arrive in Istanbul via your international flight and transfer to the hotel.
Check-in time is at 2:00pm; early check is not guaranteed.
Overnight at the Ritz Carlton Hotel or similar
9:00am-9:30am Depart for Istanbul's Old City (SultanAhmet area)
9:30am-10:30am Visit the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome or Hagia Sophia
10:45am-11:15am Transfer to the Ataturk airport
12:15pm-1:45pm Fly to Kayseri (TK2012 IST-ASR HK20), flight subject to change
1:45pm-2:00pm Drive to Kayseri for lunch
2:00pm-3:00pm Lunch at Elmac?o?lu restaurant
3:00pm-3:45pm Transfer to Cappadocia
4:00pm-4:30pm Visit Uchisar
4:45pm-5:30pm Orientation tour of the area
5:30pm-6:15pm Visit Avanos
6:45pm Drive to the hotel for dinner and to overnight
Overnight at the Lykia Cappadocia Lodge Hotel or similar
9:00am After the breakfast, depart for the Derinkuyu underground city
9:30am-10:30am Visit the underground city
10:30am-10:50am Drive to the Goreme Open Air Museum
10:50am-12:30pm Visit the Goreme Open Air Museum
12:45pm-2:00pm Lunch at Ala Turca restaurant
2:00pm-2:20pm Drive to Zelve and Pa?aba?
2:15pm-3:00pm Visit the Zelve Museum (Byzantine Monastery)
3:15pm-4:00pm Panoramic tour of Derbent and the Three Sisters chimneys
4:15pm-5:30pm Shop in the area
6.00pm Return to the hotel
Overnight at the Lykia Cappadocia Lodge Hotel or similar
7:00am-7:45am Depart for Nevsehir airport
9:05am-10:25am Fly back to Istanbul (TK2007 NAV-IST HK20), flight subject to change
10:45am-11:15am Drive to Old Town
11:15am-1:15pm Visit Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque
1:30pm-2:30pm Lunch at Nar restaurant
2:45pm-3:30pm Visit the Grand Bazaar
4:00pm Embark on the ship
Expected Weather: Expect significant temperature differences between day and night in Cappadocia. Spring begins in March and lasts until May, and the average temperature for this season is approximately 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). This is also when the region gets most of its rainfall. However, the rain usually comes in short intervals and lasts on average for only two hours. Summer is between June and August. Summers in Cappadocia are very hot, with daytime temperatures approaching 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). However, nighttime temperatures fall into the 20's Celsius (in the 70's Fahrenheit). Autumn starts in September and ends in November, and is the high season for Cappadocia travel. Average temperature at this time is in the 20's Celsius (in the 70's Fahrenheit).
What to Bring: Due to the uneven walking surfaces, sport shoes are highly recommended. Also, pack sunscreen, light comfortable clothing and shoes, and a light jacket for the evenings. Please ensure suitable clothing is worn in the mosques. Shoulders and legs should be covered.
Currency: Turkish Lira (TL). One U.S. dollar is worth approximately 1.8 TL.
Electricity: 220 Volt AC/50 Hz throughout Turkey.
Luggage: For the domestic flights, the luggage allowance is 15 kilograms (33 pounds) per person. We advise you to pack a smaller bag for the extension, allowing your main luggage to be stored in a secure office in Istanbul until your return.
Documents and Visa Requirements: There are no extra requirements for the land program, as the existing immigrations and custom procedures are valid.
Accommodation: Ritz Carlton Hotel in Istanbul and the Cappadocia Lodge Hotel in Cappadocia or similar. We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Closed days of attractions:
If an attraction is closed on one of the dates, it will be replaced in the following manner:
o Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays. It will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi
o Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays. It will be replaced with the Chora Church.
o Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. It will be replaced with the Spice Bazaar.
" All airport transfers
" Porterage at the airport
" Service of an English-speaking tour guide throughout the program or local guide
depending on the number of guests booked on the package.
" Service of an air-conditioned vehicle
" Entrance fees to the visited sites and museums
" Two lunches in Cappadocia and one lunch in Istanbul
" Accommodations, including breakfast
" Domestic flights
Please Note: Guests booking their own flights (independent of the cruise line) are responsible for ensuring that the cruise line has the most current and updated arrival information so your transfer can be arranged. Should you book any additional nights independently of the cruise line, an arrival transfer is not provided.
Program Excludes for guests: Alcoholic beverages on the tours, gratuities, personal expenses, meals not listed above, and hotel incidentals.
Lykia Cappadocia Lodge Hotel
Cappadocia Nev?ehir, 48 Nev?ehir/Cappadocia, Turkey
Tel: +90 384 213 9945
Ritz Carlton Hotel Istanbul
Süzer Plaza 34367 Istanbul, Turkey
Tel: +90 212 334 4444
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
$1,499 Per Guest