Magic Line tour of Turkey
Mention Turkey and visions of sultans and harems, amazing mosques, belly-dancers, ancient ruins and stunning coasts spring to mind. During your stay in Kusadasi, visit the ancient city of Ephesus and the mineral-rich thermal waters in Pamukkale.
At a glance
|Day 1||Welcome to Istanbul. Transfer to hotel|
|Day 2||Full Day Istanbul tour|
|Day 3||Morning Bosphorus Cruise. Flight to Izmir|
|Day 4||Spend the day in the ancient city of Ephesus|
|Day 5||See the gleaming calcite terraces in Pamukkale|
|Day 6||Return flight to Istanbul. End of tour|
> Daily departures
> Spend a day touring in Istanbul with a professional guide - Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome
> Shop at the famous Grand Bazaar
> Visit Ephesus where Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman once ruled over the city
> Spend the day in Pamukkale, the center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties
Best time to go
The best times to visit Turkey’s archaeological sites and cities are in spring (Apr-May) and autumn (Sep-Oct) as the temperature is warm, but not too hot.
High summer (Jun-Aug) can be hot: best time for beach holidays. Winters can be cold and many hotels though city breaks are still an option. Turkey does offer ski options during the winter months
Turkey food & drink
Turkish food is varied and delicious. It’s often meze style – lots of small dishes to sample, including aubergine dips, calamari, borek (stuffed pastries), mashed broad beans and stuffed vine leaves – plenty of options for vegetarians, too. Local food involves a lot of meat, often in kebab form – the smell of charcoal-grilled beef, lamb and chicken permeates Turkey.
A Turkish menu includes wonderful breads, super-sweet baklava (pistachio and syrup pastry) and salty white cheeses. Despite being a Muslim country, alcohol is easy to find in Turkey, especially in the touristy coastal regions. Efes is the Turkish beer of choice. Raki, grape spirit, is potent.
Turkish coffee is pitch black, very strong and often sweet. Tea is widely drunk and served black
Culture and Language
Turkish is the official language, however, English, French and German are widely spoken in all major cities and tourist areas. Shaking hands is the common form of greetings. Hospitability is a top priority. Pointing fingers at a person a considered rude. Declining an offer is done by putting your hand over your heart. Observe dress code when visiting Islamic sites
Train travel is a very popular mode of transport between the major cities. It may be slow but can sometimes offer you some inspiring scenic moments. Coach travel is the most used way of getting around Turkey. Bus routes are relatively cheap and are most comfortable. Just about any city is connected by coach. On certain upmarket coaches, extra legroom and Wi-Fi is offered. If your journey is more than 5 hrs, a 30-minute stop is made about every three hours. Taking a taxi is by far the most convenient way of travel in major cities, but not always the quickest way. Taxis can easily be hailed on the street. Important: only take the official bright yellow taxis. If they do not have a meter, then it is a no go
The basic rule is: tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafes and bars. Hotel staff does, however, expect a tip between 5 and 20 Turkish Lira. Do not tip taxi drivers but round up the fare. Tour Guides do not depend on tips, however, if a tour has really gone beyond what your expected, a tip of between 20 and 30 Tl will be greatly appreciated
Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage. Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures. Attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you’ll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation’s most precious heritage.
Istanbul Arrival Day (D)
- Meet at the airport Transfer to your hotel.
- You will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul.
- Overnight in Istanbul.
There are two airports in Istanbul.
- Istanbul Ataturk airport is 20 km away from city center and;
- Sabiha Gokcen airport is 55 km away from city center.
- Transfer from Ataturk airport to your hotel is included. If you arrive to Sabiha Gokcen airport please contact us for transfer rates.
Istanbul City Tour (B-L)
- Pick up from your hotel around 8:00 am and travel to the Sultanahmet district, the oldest, most historic part of the city.
- The first stop of the day will be the Hagia Sophia. As our tour guide explains the significance of this massive building that was once a Christian church, then a mosque, and now a museum.
- Continue to the Hippodrome of Constantinople, where we will see the impressive obelisk, before reaching the Blue Mosque. Make sure to take pictures of both the interior and exterior of this impressive building.
- Next, we continue to the Grand Bazaar: a massive, bustling complex housing clothing, decorative furnishings, food, and so much more. On the way to the bazaar, pass by other historical monuments, such as the Tomb of Sultan Ahmet I, the Firuz Aga Mosque, and the exterior of the Tomb of Mehmed II.
- After our shopping spree at the Grand Bazaar, stop for some lunch.
- The afternoon includes visits to the Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years and Little Hagia Sophia
- After the tour return to your hotel
- Please Note: St. Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays, Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays and The Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays
Istanbul to Izmir (B-D)
- Half Day Bosphorus Cruise Tour: (08:00-12:00)
- First visit the Spice Bazaar, one of the city's most colorful and bustling attractions and in operation since the 17th century. It still remains a very popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.
- The tour guide will give us tips on the best stalls and kiosks to visit as to not be overwhelmed by the busy market. Spend some 45 minutes exploring the Bazaar and shop.
- Then head to the shores of the Bosphorus Strait for a cruise, learning about this important, strategic waterway that straddles the Asian and European continents.
- On our voyage, see impressive historic Istanbul buildings: the decadent façade of Dolmabahce Palace; 15th-century fortress Rumelihisari; the Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer home of Ottoman sultans; and many more. After the tour, you will be transferred to the airport for onward flight to Izmir.
- Arrive and transfer to hotel.
- Meet and assist on arrival and departure by our local representative
- Transfer and intercity transportation as per itinerary in AC vehicle
- Domestic Airfares (subject to conditions)
- Accommodation in selected hotels in double/twin sharing
- Meals: as mentioned
- Local English speaking Guide
- Entrance fees
- International flights – Departure & Fuel taxes (Contact us for best airfares)
- Personal expenses, meals and drinks unless otherwise specified
- Travel insurance
- Turkey Visa fee
- Services not stated in the itinerary
- Rate valid for travel between 01 NOV 18 and 28 feb 19
- Seasonal supplements applicable for travel between 25 DEC 18 and 03 JAN 19