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Istanbul to Istanbul
Breakfast at the hotel . Drive from your hotel to Spice Market for shopping . Free time. Then meet and proceed to take 1,5 hrs Bosphorus Cruise excursion along the Bosphorus , that is dividing the 2 continents Asia & Europe . During the excursion you will enjoy the beauty of Istanbul , with its forest , Palaces and wooden old houses built on both continents . Lunch at local restaurant . After lunch visit Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) , Hippodrome and the famous Hagia Sophia . Free time at Grand Bazaar .
Breakfast at the hotel . Visit Anatolian Civilizations Museum where you will see the Neolithic & Paleolithic ruins from Urartu , Hatti, Hittite, Phrygia civilizations, then proceed to Mausoleum of Ataturk , the founder of Turkish Republic. In the afternoon drive to Cappadocia . En route visit the Underground city that is one of the biggest underground city in the region, constructed by the first Christians to protect themselves from the attacks …We dcontinue to proceed to the Derwish House to attend Whirling Dervishes Ceremony which represents the mystical journey of spiritual ascent of man using love, the search for the truth and get to the “Perfection”.Overnight at the hotel . Check in to the hotel at Cappadocia .
Breakfast . Drive to Pergamum ( Bergama ) region and visit the ruins of Asclepion which is the first hospital of Asia Minor in human history . Then continue to Troy , visit the famous city that evokes the poetic name of Homer’s Iliad. Continue to Canakkale .
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for your onward flight or extend in Istanbul. (B)
This was the best guided trip we have ever taken and we have visited over 35 countries. It exceeded all of our expectations. The tour included areas of natural beauty and historical and spiritual significance. The restaurants for the included meals were all top quality with excellent Turkish food, fresh fruits and vegetables, and exceptional levels of cleanliness. The hotels were all very good and well located with very helpful staffs. On days that we had to leave before breakfast, the hotels packed us boxed meals, when requested. Some hotels were in beautiful locations with charming rustic character, such as that in Uzungol, the Inanlar Hotel, and in Camlihemsin, the Dere Hotel. While appearing rustic, they still had all modern comforts. We had the best fresh trout dinner of our lives and a fantastic view at the Dere hotel. Our guide Gokhan made it possible for us to attend a Turkish wedding reception at the Dere hotel, an experience of a lifetime!
There is much more to be said of the beautiful and moving areas we visited, however, the outstanding part of the tour was the guides. Gokhan Demir in the Black Sea region and Nadir in Istanbul and the central and western parts of our trip.
Gokhan was a great guide. In addition to his excellent knowledge of all the areas we visited, he went out of his way to give us experiences beyond what was included in the tour. At the Ayder Plateau, he talked to the owner of an authentic cabin behind all the new buildings, who told to us about her life and invited us into her home. He also arranged for us to attend the Turkish wedding reception at our hotel. Another delightful part of the Black Sea experience was the music playlist he used during our traveling times. It was a mix of all types of music and included Turkish music. It was all very positive and uplifting.
Nadir was our guide for the rest of the trip. He is an incredible man with a depth of knowledge that few possess. A true renaissance man that speaks many languages and is well versed in science, history, literature, and spirituality. He also has a wealth of personal experience that made him a fascinating guide. He has a refreshing sense of humor and went out of his way so MANY times to find us authentic Turkish restaurants and recommend various Turkish foods and experiences. He was always concerned for our welfare and made the transportation, accommodation and other arrangements effortless for us.
Before the trip, I had been concerned about how we were going to get our PCR tests and other COVID requirements met. All of this was made easy for us by Nadir. He personally took us to the labs and talked with the staff for us. We also had the option of having the testing done at the hotel. For people concerned about COVID (which I am not), all the venues were very, very clean and took extra steps to reduce contamination, such as buffet food served by restaurant employees rather than self serve.
The bus driver for the main part of our tour was excellent too. A very good driver, we always felt very safe and the bus was very new including WiFi and charging ports at every seat (that really makes longer bus trips fly by). However, the best part of the bus trip was the big smile the driver always had for us!
The logistics of a fairly complicated trip were seamless and easy for us due to the arrangements made by Ismail (Eskapas) before and during the trip. Communication with him was excellent and quick. He helped me make adjustments to our trip and helped with insurance and other items. All communication with Eskapas was very efficient. We were able to plan our trip with ease and include special experiences such as the Hamam and the Cappadocia balloon ride. We highly recommend both of these optional add-ons. Transportation to and from the airports were all on-time, comfortable and reliable.
Our experience in Turkey was incredible due to the friendliness and exceptional hospitality of the Turkish people. It was also enhanced by the very small group size. We expected a small group of up to 16. However, our first days in Istanbul and the Black Sea part were just my husband and me. Then the rest of the tour included about 20 Spanish speaking people and only one other English speaker. Because of this, the 3 English speakers had a private guide (Nadir).
We had a GREAT time! Culturally relevant! Excellent guide (Nedril) and guide! Flexibility as necessary or requested! Especially appreciated the help as our flight reservations kept changing and your involvement kept us satisfied to remain on this Turkey tour. We loved the whole thing, including textile, leather, carpet showroom / presentations. We loved the viewings, the history lessons, the other travelers! The small group size, the Mercedes van, most hotels ,especially the ones on the water/lake /sea fronts with views and with 4 star .
We are are very pleased with Eskapas and all the excellent help from you and your office.
Priscilla and Martin Kuhn, Tucson, Arizona USA