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Cappadocia tour with one way domestic flight

Day 1 Arrival at Istanbul and transfer to hotel for overnight.

Day 2 After the breakfast departure for a full day city tour of Istanbul starting with an introduction to the city's imperial history by driving around the Golden Horn and great walls of the old city. After this short orientation tour, continue on to the major city highlights: the famous Blue mosque, one of the biggest mosques and principle adornments of the skyline of Istanbul dating from 17th century and well known for the magnificent examples of blue-green Iznik tiles used for its interior decoration; The Hippodrome, the former center of sportive and political activities of Byzantine Empiere era; St. Sophia, the magnificent Byzantine church of all times, one the finest and largest architectural works of art considered to be the 8th wonder of the world by many people; Topkapı Palace, the former imperial residence from where the great Ottoman Empire was ruled for almost 400 years; last but not the least, the world famous Grand Bazaar, a maze of approximately 5,000 shops and one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

Day 3 Early in the morning, departure to Ankara by bus. On the way, comfort stop at a nice café on the Bolu Mountains. Upon arrival to Ankara, check-in to Sheraton Ankara hotel (5 stars). After check-in departure for the half-day sight seeing tour in Ankara. Lunch will given in the Castle of Ankara at a traditional Turkish Restaurant . Visit of Anatolian Civilisations Museum that is one of the most beautiful and richest museums in the world with regard to its exhibits. The whole flow of Civilisations of Anatolia is summarised in chronological order in this museum with many fine examples from the sites. The next stop will be Ataturk's Mausoleum. Overnight at Sheraton Ankara hotel.

Day 4 In the morning, departure to Cappadocia. En route visit Agzikarahan that is a Seljuk Caravanserai from the 13th century. Once 13th century caravanserai where camel trains of merchants carrying goods from the east and Asia minor used to stop to water their camels and find a nights' accommodations. Continue to Cappadocia and check-in to Cappadocia Lodge Country club hotel. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After the lunch, departure for the half-day tour of the area includes Goreme valley, the tiny settlement of Zelve.

The strange but beautiful formation of Cappadocia has had this appearance for million years. When the volcanoes in the region were active, the lava that poured out covered all previously formed hills and valleys forming a high plateau. This newly formed plateau consists mainly of tuff and some rare layers of basalt. Because of the destruction of the tuff and the basalt layers by heavy rains, melting snow in the spring and sharp temperature changes, these different materials have produced capped columns, pyramids, caves conical formations with dark-colored caps known as fairy chimneys. The early Christians used this region to hide from their enemies and live in confidence. Also they dug many caves into the soft rocks and constructed chapels and monasteries. Those chapels and monasteries are very famous today for their frescoes and paintings.

Zelve was the name of a village that was inhabited until the 1950's in the Zelve valley. The open-air museum of Zelve contains of three canyon intersections at the entrance of the museum. In the canyons two rock faces are honeycombed with caves of dwellings, dovecotes, a monastery, storage rooms, chapels and tunnels leading to the other canyons. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 5 After the breakfast at the hotel, departure for the full-day tour of the area. Visit of Goreme open air museum that consists of steep cliffs and many hidden churches dating from the second half of the 9th century and later. Later the guests will be visit the town of Avanos located on the banks of Red River. Avanos is world famous for pottery and handicrafts. There will be some free time for shopping. The lunch will be at a local restaurant. After the lunch continue to the tour with a great underground city of Derinkuyu. It is 200-300 ft deep with 53 airshafts. The original ventilation system still functions remarkably well. The first two floors under the surface housed a missionary school with two long rock cut tables, baptismal place, kitchens, storehouses, living quarters, wine cellars and stables. Third and fourth floors were for the tunnels, place to hide and armories. The last floor had water wells, hidden passageways, a church, graves and confession place. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Day 6 After the breakfast at the hotel, departure for the scheduled domestic flight from Ankara to Istanbul. Upon arrival at Istanbul airport, the guests will be transferred to the vessel for embarkation.

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