Asia Minor 1


Day 01) Arrival at Istanbul

Meet & greet at Ataturk Airport and transfer to the hotel. (Eresin Crowne, Four Seasons or Anemon Hotels) Time at leisure. Welcome cocktail and introduction lecture.

Day 02) Morning : Istanbul

Archaeological Museum; home to one of the richest collections of Classical articacts in the world, the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul is well worth a visit, and also contains important treasures from pre-Classical times. The museum houses 20 separate galleries, so plan on taking some time to view the pieces of history on display here, spanning over 5,000 years. Lunch After lunch, Golden Horn Orientation and City Walls Tour The Church of Chora, also known now as the Chora Museum. This church, whose name means “outside the city”, was built here in some form before the 5th century Roman city walls were built. The existing structure, however, dates to the 11th-14th centuries, and is renowned for its exquisite interior decora- tions, with paneled frescoes and mosaics that are true masterpieces of “the Renaissance” of Byzantine art. The mosaic panels depict scenes from the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary. When the church was converted into a mosque, these incredible works of art were covered over and whitewashed, but have since been restored and cleaned, after 1950, by the Byzantine Institute of the USA. Tekfur Palace (with previous permission) The palace was built adjacent to the land ramparts of İstanbul between Edirnekapı and Haliç. According to the researches, it was determined that the palace belonged to the 13th century. It was used for various aims after the conquest of İstanbul in 1453. It was restored between the years 1955 - 1970. Tekfur Palace is the only sample that remained from the Byzantine Period. Return to the hotel

Day 03) Morning: Visit to Four Seasons Excavation site

The excavation site is also home to kilometres-long ancient sewage pipes, still in seemingly good condition, and relics of a hamam (bath). Just next to the site stands a container. Millennia-old relics preserved in it have not lost many of their original char- acteristics. The colour and unique type of ornaments were described as “striking” by those who have seen them. And Yenikapı Excavation site Yenikapi mainly commercial, harbor, in use from the 5th-10th centuries AD, has been found on the south shore of the peninsula, on the Sea of Marmara. Yenikapi was discovered four years ago during construction of a rail link between Eu- rope and Asia across the Bosphorus: it had become filled in with silt and forgotten. Excavations is one of the largest archaeological investigations in Europe, Yenikapi has produced waterlogged finds ranging in date from 7,000 years ago to the Ottoman age. (Above mentioned two sites are not open to public yet. A visit to those places are only possible with a special permission). Lunch After lunch Bosphorus tour; a visit to Istanbul just isn’t complete without a cruise on the famous Bosphorus, the storied waterway separating Istanbul’s two sides, European and Asian. This tour also includes a panoramic drive across to Asia and visits to two outstanding museums. Tea brake at Çengelköy Çınaraltı or Lemonade brake at the Hekimbaşı Salih Efendi Yalı (Waterside Residence of Surgeon General Salih Efendi), Salih Efendi, a graduate of the first medical school in the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II, was the head physician for three sultans. He was interested in botany. He developed a special kind of rose named after him, which he personally grafted, and this rose was called “Hekimbasi”. During the spring, the mansion’s garden became a paradise of colours. It is one of the rarest man- sions on the Bosphorus which still keeps its original architectural style and its original furniture. The present occupants of the mansion are the family members of Salih Efendi, who died in 1905.

Day 04) We have an early morning flight to Ankara.

Drive from the airport to the city. Visit the Mouoleum of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Drive to Ulus and visit the temple of Augustus. Have lunch at an old Otoman House at the citadel: Zenger Pasa Konağı. After lunch visit The Museum of Anatolian Civilisations housed at Kursunlu Han and the old bazaar . Today, Kurşunlu Han, used as an administrative building, houses the work rooms, library, conference hall, labo- ratory and workshop. The old bazaar building houses the exhibits. Within this Ottoman building, the museum has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archeology. They start with the Paleolithic era, and continue chronologi- cally through the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenis- tic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. There is also an extensive collection of artifacts from the ex- cavations at Karain, Çatalhöyük, Hacılar, Canhasan, Beyce Sultan, Alacahöyük, Kültepe, Acemhöyük, Boğazköy (Gordion), Pazarlı, Altıntepe, Adilcevaz and Patnos as well as examples of several periods. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Ankara

Day 05) Drive to Hattusa after breakfast.

Hattusas was the capital of the Hittite empire in the 2nd millenium BCE. The city was located on a mountain slope at the southern end of a small fertile plain. It lay between two deeply-cut streams which converged on the plain (at an elevation of about 3,100 ft), forming the northernmost point of the city. The city then stretches to the south, rising about 1000 feet over a distance of 1-1/4 miles. In some places the eastern valley narrows to a deep gorge. It seems surprising that such a remote city could have been the capital of an empire, but besides tradition there were the factors of plentiful water and good natural defenses that kept the Hittite kings there. The first set- tlement at the site dates from the Early Bronze Age, but no documents exist that could identify the people who built them. They lived on the top and northwest foot of the high hill which dominates the east side of the city, called Büyükkale (“Great Fortress”). This hill later became the Hittite Acropolis Lunch at a local restaurant and proceed to Alacahoyuk. Alacahöyük, one of the oldest sites of residence in Anatolia, is 28 kilometres (18 miles) from Boğazköy. It was rediscovered in 1839. The excavations undertaken up to 1932 revealed finds, which brought to light the Hittite immigration; the oldest finds are from the Hattians era, (4th millennium B.C.) the people who lived in this region at the time. Drive to Cappadocia late afternoon.Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 06) Cappadocia

We spend the day exploring the surreal landscape of volcanic tuff sculpted by time and the elements, including fairy chimneys, troglodyte dwellings, sweeping vistas and the picturesque towns of Orta- hisar and Uchisar. We visit the Open Air Museum, which is home to literally dozens of rock-carved monasteries and churches adorned with brilliant Byzantine frescoes. We stop at numerous spots to admire the view and take photographs. then we visit rock formations in Pasabag, Zelve’s deserted monastery complex. Dinner & overnight at the hotel in Cappadocia

Day 07) Cappadocia

After breakfast, we will visit to Sobessos Excavations Sobessos is located in the southeast of Cappadocia near Sahinefendi village. It was found by a group of people by chance. Following searches and excavations showed us that this is an ancient city build in 4th century A.D. The excavations in Sobessos hold by Cultural Ministry, will light a dark part of Cappadocian history. In a few years of time, the Sobessos would be a part of the tours we conduct in Cappadocia.

Day 08) Konya

After breakfast, we drive to Konya. We will visit to Ancient Iconium is located at the extremity of the great depression of central Anatolia at the edge of a vast and rich plain which makes it the granery of Turkey. The origins of the city are very old, but its most brilliant period dates back to the Seljuk Turks who made it the capital of their empire from the end of the 11th century. The Place remained an important religious, cultural and trade center with beautiful monuments until the Seljuk sultans were defeated by the Mongols in the 13th cen- tury. In 1228 the famous poet and mystic Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi, native of Balkh, came and settled in Konya where the Mevlevi order with the Whirling Dervishes was founded.

Day 09) Konya

Visit the excavation sites around Konya see also 1001 Kilise (churches). The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük was first discovered in the late 1950s and excavated by James Mellaart between 1961 and 1965. The site rapidly became famous internationally due to the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and other art that was uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people that inhabited the site. In ancient times, Laranda was located in a stategic place controling one of the acces roads to the Anatolian Plateau. In the region of Karaman is ancient Derbe which was visited by St Paul. It is located at the foot of Mt Karadağ (2288 m/ 7,505 ft), now an extinct volcano. Located near Madenşehir on the northern slope of the mountain, the Valley of Bin Bir Kilise (1001 Churches) houses the remains of numerous Byzantine churches and chapels. Also at the top of Mt. Karadağ , a long cut-rock Hittite inscription in hieroglyphic scripts has been discovered in a grotto-sanctuary. Near Taşkale, 50 km / 31 miles east of Karaman, are the fascinating remains of Manazan. Built during Byzantine times, the entire city-monastery was carved into the rocky hillside of the valley. Today, parts of the city are still used for wheat storage.

Day 10) After breakfast, drive to Antalya.

Perge, a prosperous city in the time of Alexander the Great, is thought to have been in existence since the 4th century BC, and is home to the most extensive display of ruins of any of the Pamphlyian cities. Walk down cob- bled streets grooved by the wheels of chariots and horse-drawn carts and into a broad, colonnaded street leading to a giant theatre and stadium, an impressive complex of ancient baths, enormous Hellenistic and Roman gates, an agora, an acropolis, and a necropolis scattered with ancient tombs. A walk through Perge will no doubt bring visions of a glorious and tempestuous past to life. Antalya Archaeological Museum, one of the best museums in the country, is definitely worth a visit for those who have time to appreciate its many sights. With exhibits ranging from the Stone Ages to Hellenic times, arranged chronologically with nice descriptions in both English and Turkish, the display is rich and interesting throughout. The Roman statuary is especially impressive, with all 15 classical gods represented. There are older pieces, and some newer ones as well, among them many Phrygian pieces and some impressive religious icons, including pieces from the skull and jaw of Old St. Nicholas. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 11) Antalya

After breakfast, we will visit to Termessos Northern necropolis, rockcut tombs ©Stefan Brenne, 2006Termessos is located on a natural plateau flanked by two mountains at 1050 meters above sea level; it is one of the best pre- served archaeological sites in Turkey and the only town that Alexander the Great never managed to conquer. Certain inscriptions lead us to believe that its townsmen were emigrants from Lycia, who thought this was an ideal place to build a town. Walled only on two sides, Termessos’ best defence lies in the mountain and the steep valley below. Its natural impregnability is enhanced by its exceptional water supply, which is quite unique if you think of the place and conditions under which it was built: a series of five tanks (7m deep and at the most 11m wide) were fed by a duct cut into the rock. In 334 B.C., Alexander decided that it was too risky to tackle the town and passed on. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C., Termessos was at the peak of its glory and boasted as many as 150,000 inhabitants: most of its buildings also date back to this period. Later on, it was severely damaged by an earthquake and gradually became less populated until it was completely deserted in the 7th century A.D. Dinner and overnight in Kemer.

Day 12) Explore Kizilbel & Karaburun tombs.

There are tombs in Karaburun and Kizilbel. The walls of the King’s Tomb in Karaburun, on the Antalya - Elmali road, is decorated with frescoes of scenes of hunting and war. The tomb in Kizilbel is west of the city on the El- mali - Yuvayol road, and is a single room made of limestone blocks. Dinner and overnight at the hotel in Egirdir

Day 13) Visit Sagalassos.

The ancient ruins of Sagalassos are 7 km from Ağlasun in the province of Burdur, on Mount Akdağ, in the West- ern Toros mountain range, at an altitude of 1450-1700 metres. In Roman Imperial times, the town was known as the ‘first city of Pisidia’, a region in the western Taurus mountains, currently known as the Turkish Lakes Region. Already during the Hellenistic period, it had been one of the major Pisidian towns. The urban site was laid out on various terraces at an altitude between 1400 and 1600 m. After having suffered from a major earthquake in the early sixth century CE, the town still managed to recover, but a cocktail of epi- demics, water shortages, a general lack of security and stability, a failing economy and finally another devas- tating earthquake around the middle of the seventh century forced the inhabitants to abandon their town and resettle in the valley. Large-scale excavations started in 1990 under the direction of Marc Waelkens of the Katholieke Universiteit Leu- ven. A large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed, document- ing the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine history of this town. Return to Antalya for diner and overnight.

Day 14) Fly to Istanbul in the moning

See Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia Museum & Grand Bazaar Topkapi Palace; walk in the footsteps of Courtesans and Eunuchs, Grand Viziers and Sultans, and glimpse a way of life that redefines decadence. Topkapi Palace, powerful seat of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years, is a sprawling complex that tells the story of a tenuous balance of power where everyone watched his or her own back. Today you can only imagine the activities of the cast of characters who played a part in one of the world’s most powerful dynasties. You can, however, feast your eyes on where they lived, on gilded swords, ornate crowns, over 12,000 pieces of porcelain, and ravishing displays of jewellery, including one of the world’s biggest diamonds. Wander around the Harem, gaze at sacred religious relics including hand-written letters from the Prophet Mohammed as well as his cloak, swords, and hairs from his beard, the rod of Moses and the sword of David, peek into the circumcision room, or simply sit in the peaceful gardens and contemplate the majesty of it all. St Sophia Museum; The Haghia Sophia is one of the most famous structures in the world, and if any one building can be said to give a real sense of Istanbul’s history, then this is it. Built nearly 1,500 years ago and completed in 537 under Emperor Justinian, this towering, beautiful edifice has seen the changing for- tunes of the city from earthquakes, to torching by rebels, to the plundering and desecration of marauding Cru- saders. Once the largest enclosed space in the world, it was built as a cathedral by the Byzantines to illustrate the strength and wealth of the empire, and it still stands today as a fantastic testament to their accomplishments. Later Ottoman architects, including the most famous, Mimar Sinan, spent most of their careers trying to emulate the technology and proportions of this enormous building. Nowadays, while standing and gazing upwards into the massive dome with daylight piercing through the small windows, visitors, catching glimpses of the sparkling mosaics, can easily understand why the Haghia Sophia remains one of the most inspiring buildings in the world. Having a lunch at a nice kebab restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 15)

Transfer to the airport for the flight back to home


Asia Minor 2

Asia Minor 2

Meet & greet at Ataturk Airport and transfer to the hotel. (Eresin Crowne or Four Seasons or Anemon Hotels) Time at leisure. Welcome cocktail and briefing.


Meet & greet at Ataturk Airport and transfer to the hotel. (Eresin Crowne or Four Seasons or Anemon Hotels) Time at leisure. Welcome cocktail and briefing.

Nomadic Arts & Textile Tours
Anatolian Rugs
Hand Wowen Rugs of Asia Minor
Anatolian Tribal Arts & Textile
Culinary Culture
Aegean Cuisine
Central Anatolia
Southeast Turkey
Asia Minor 1
Asia Minor 2
Religious Tours
A Trip Through Secrets of Asia Minor
Travelling to Biblical Sites of Turkey
The Seven Churches of Revelation
Steps of St.Paul in ASIA MINOR
Highlights Of Capital Anatolia By High Speed Train
Special Interest Tours