EXPERIENCE REAL TURKEY! You’ll be hard-pressed finding a country that can provide all the goods of a true cultural crusade. Experience everything Turkish on this 7-day adventure which not only includes the Blue Mosque, Spice and Grand Bazaars, Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Strait and the ultimate relaxing Hammams (Turkish Baths) and sights & sounds in the magical city of Istanbul, but also the unique atmosphere and excitement of CAPPADOCIA!
After three wonderful days exploring Istanbul with our local guide, we move on to the semi-arid region of central Turkey, to CAPPADOCIA, famous for its distinctive fairy chimneys – tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and dotted elsewhere in the region. Other notable sites include Bronze Age homes carved into valley walls, the 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses and numerous rock-face churches. You’ll never have seen anything like it!
Erosion shaped the incredible landscape of Turkey’s Göreme valley, but thousands of years ago humans took a cue from Mother Nature and began carving an incredible chamber and tunnel complex into the soft rock. Beginning in the fourth century A.D., an urbanized, but underground, cultural landscape was created here.
Ancient volcanic eruptions blanketed this region with thick ash, which solidified into a soft rock tens of metres thick. Wind and water went to work on this plateau, leaving only its harder elements behind to form a fairy tale landscape of cones, pillars, pinnacles, mushrooms, and chimneys, stretching as far as 40 metres into the sky.
The rocky wonderland is honeycombed with a network of human-created caves; living quarters, places of worship, stables, and storehouses,all dug into the soft stone. Tunnel complexes formed entire towns with as many as eight different stories hidden underground! An historical wonder for us to discover!
The monks excavated extensive dwellings and monasteries and created Byzantine frescoed paintings in cave chapels beginning in the seventh century, which endure in well-preserved isolation to this day.
Göreme is rich with history, but not all of Cappadocia’s troglodyte dwellings are museums. Some still serve as homes and others as hotels, which offer a truly unique hospitality experience.
The primary threats to this World Heritage site come from the forces that created it in the first place. Erosion is returning some human endeavours to a more natural state, and extensive preservation efforts are meant to ensure that the wonders of Göreme survive for another millennium. With a slowly increasing tourist trade, however, humans have brought modern development and damage or destruction to some of the ancient sites they once created.
This exclusive and unique, Solent Events tour has been designed for a comfortable, maximum of just 15/25 passengers, so if you would like to be one of the first to experience this great-value holiday in the heart of Turkey, please book as soon as possible.
With a deposit of £350pp, why not join us before everyone else discovers this wonderland …… and spoils it. Our Earlybird price may help you decide! Earlybird price is available until 28 February 2022!
EARLYBIRD PRICE JUST £2,099pp
Save £40 until 28 February 2022
Half-board Tariff & ALL Excursions
Deposit only £350pp. Balance 01July22
This fantastic, unique holiday has been arranged with our preferred and trusted Tour Operator, Success Tours, who, for your peace of mind and financial protection, are fully bonded.
Day 1 – Sunday 11 September – Luxury executive coach pick-up from our four normal pick-ups at Stokes Bay, Gosport, Lee on the Solent, Stubbington & Fareham.
Coach will also pick up Depot at Shamblehurst Lane N, Hedge End. Southampton. Enjoy the comfort of an airport lounge at London Heathrow.
Scheduled flight to Istanbul – approx 3hrs 40mins.
Upon arrival we will be met by our local coach and guide for the transfer to our centrally situated 4*plus Levni Hotel in Istanbul. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 2 – Monday 12 September – After breakfast, we will depart on a full day guided tour of Istanbul, including visits to St. Sophia, the Byzantine Hippodrome with its various monuments including a 3500-year-old red granite obelisk. The Ottoman Empire produced marvelous architecture and we’ll also see two of its finest works: Topkapi Palace, home of the sultans and the famed Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I. Afterwards, we will
visit the labyrinthine of hte famous Grand Bazaar for some retail therapy! Dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 – Tuesday 13 September – Today we have a half-day guided tour of Istanbul starting with a visit to the Dolmabahce Palace: This area was originally the bay where the navy anchored in the early periods when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. We cross the Bosphorus Bridge for the chance to step from one continent (Europe) to another (Asia) within a few minutes, visiting Camlica Hill, one of the highest point of the Bosphorus & Istanbul boasting a wonderful panorama and vistas which include the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, Historical Peninsula and numerous islands. Later, we return to the hotel for some much needed relaxation. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 4 – Wednesday 14 September – After breakfast and check out, we transfer with our guide to Istanbul Airport for the internal flight to Kayseri Airport. Upon arrival we will be met for the local transfer to our unique and beautiful 4*plus Tafoni Cave Hotel in Cappadocia. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 5 – Thursday 15 September – After breakfast we visit the Devrent Valley to see the unique fairy-chimneys. The small fairy-chimneys mysteriously erupting from the valley, form a lunar landscape, or by their strange look, a moonscape. You may also notice the many ‘animal shaped’ rocks! We continue onto Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley) to see interesting mushroom-shaped pinnacles which rear up from the surrounding vineyards. In the afternoon we visit the Open Air Museum of Goreme where the remains of rock-cut churches and Christian settlements date back hundreds of years to the 10th-12th centuries. Return to the hotel for dinner.
Day 6 – Friday 16 September – After breakfast our guide will lead us on a walking tour through the Rose Valley, an incredibly unique area of Cappadocia with sharp tinted pink ridges, especially colourful during sunset. We also visit fabulous little rock-cut churches, boasting vibrant fresco fragments and intricate carvings in the stone. Afterwards we visit the old Christian village of Cavusin, one of the oldest villages in Cappadocia. We continue on to see the Kaymakli Underground City, which features a maze of tunnels and rooms carved deep into the earth. We also visit the Ortahisar natural rock castle, an 18m-high rock outcrop which was used as a fortress in Byzantine times. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 7 – After check out of our hotel (time TBC with flight times), we transfer to Kayseri Airport for the internal flight back to Istanbul and onward flight back to the UK.
On arival at London Heathrow, we will be met by our Panache lUxury coach for the journey home after a truly memorable and enjoyable holiday in REAL Turkey!
NB. The exact order of excursions may be subject to change and flight time dependent.
A brief outline of our special hotels in Istanbul and Cappadocia:
Istanbul: 4*plus Levni Hotel
This luxurious hotel has an ideal location set in the heart of the old town of Istanbul, approx 12 minutes walk from Topkapi Palace. Conveniently located in the very heart of the old town of Istanbul, it is easy to reach the must-see attractions and to further discover local spots in both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul with little effort.
After a day full of visits, you will be able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of our well-being spa center as well as discover a variety of tastes from Istanbul cuisine from our Gourmet Restaurant. The hotel features its own bar, restaurant and spa including Turkish Hammam, sauna and indoor pool. Each of the modern en suite bedrooms come equipped with TV, telephone, safe box, hairdryer and tea/coffee maker. Hotel Website: http://www.levnihotel.com/en
Cappadocia: 4*plus Tafoni Houses Cave Hotel
The unique and luxurious Cave Hotel is situated in a small town. With its unique location in Ortahisar Village, literally meaning Middle Fortress, Tafoni Houses offers the discerning traveler convenience of being minutes away from major sites as well as proposing an ambience of seclusion and tranquility.
Having thirteen spacious suites that are hosted in ancient cave dwellings, accommodation at Tafoni Houses expresses finess and elegance accessorized by objets d’art and art deco furniture. With its spacious outdoor terraces and lush landscaping, Tafoni Houses offers the aura of a private club where guests can enjoy socially inviting ambiences, or else, they may prefer to disappear for an intimate getaway. The hotel features its own indoor and outdoor restaurant and each of the ensuite rooms are unique in style and size and come equipped with TV and free WiFi.
As soon as the sun rises, upon hearing the ballads of chanting sparrows and hoopoes, you will feel that you are at a fabled place …immersed in an enchanting ambience of pastoral life located in the midst of cave homes of local villagers. Taking a morning stroll through the narrow streets and alleys of Ortahisar Village, as a gesture of traditional hospitality, you may be invited into homes of locals who will greet you with warm smiles, offering you a glass of home-made lemonade or a slice of halva. Embraced by Greco-Mediterranean stone-built houses, you will be exposed to a non-commercialized, authentic ambience of daily life of the indigenous people that may walk by you with their mules, or flocks of sheep and cattle.
The Story of this unique cave hotel: In 2006 a series of ancient cave dwellings, and stone-built houses that were inhabited continuously by the descending civilizations, have been purchased from the current owners, locals of Ortahisar, for the purpose of developing an authentic cave property that would reflect the “culture of cave living”. Since Cappadocia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, necessary projects were done with utmost attention paid to remain loyal to authenticity of architecture. After the approval of the “resurrection projects” by the Historical Monuments Council of Ministry of Tourism and Culture, in 2008 an arduous work has started to create one of the most elegant cave properties of Cappadocia. By the end of 2012, Tafoni Houses was born with a chic, effeminate and eloquent identity presenting itself as a unique cave accommodation for the discerning traveller.
The word “Tafoni” has two distinct meanings: One is a geological term that refers to features on various kinds of rock including tiny pits, soft-ball sized cavities and larger caves. These Tafoni are created by weathering and erosions on the surface of the rock structure.
The second is also a Turkish word of significance to Cappadocia. The local residents refer to the bird nests that appear on top of mystical fairy chimneys as Tafoni.
As a homage to Cappadocia, its nature and its wonderful people, each and every single one of the hotel suites are named after birds of Cappadocia.
Tafoni Hotel are waiting anxiously for our visit to our Nest and host us with the utmost diligence and everlasting hospitality!
Hotel Website: http://www.tafonicavehotel.com/Levni Hotel
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