PRE-TOUR OPTION

Monday, August 31

Transatlantic flight from US to Istanbul

 

Pre-Tour Day 1— Tuesday, September 1—Arrive Istanbul

Following our transatlantic flight leaving the US on Sunday, August 30 arrive in the late afternoon in Istanbul. We (group’s arrival) will be met by an English-speaking guide and transferred to our hotel for overnight.

Dinner & Overnight: Barcelo Istanbul Hotel

 

Pre-Tour Day 2— Wednesday, September 2—Istanbul-Cappadocia

Following a leisure breakfast, we transfer to our domestic flight to Cappadocia. 

Cappadocia’smoonscape of curvy valleys and fairy chimneys initially steal the show, but its history is also remarkable. Over the centuries, folk including Byzantine monks, farmers and winemakers have carved cave churches, cottages, pigeon houses and underground cities in the soft rock. 

Cappadocia’srock valleys were an important site for early Christianity. Because it was easy to carve churches and houses in the soft rock by hand, Christians chose this area to live and teach safely. From about the 7th to the 12th century, Christian people in Cappadocia were unsafe because of armies from abroad mounting military attacks. They built hundreds of underground cities here to hide from their enemies. In some of the cities, you can go seven or eight levels underground, and they all have churches, kitchens, food storages, living rooms, and natural air ventilation. 

Afternoon arrival in Cappadocia, we transfer to our hotel and check in. 

Before dinner we will walk in the Rose Valley. It’s already beautiful hues of red become intensified at sunset. 

Dinner and overnight: MDC Cave Hotel, Cappadocia 

 

Pre-Tour Day 3— Thursday, September 3 —Cappadocia

Following a typical Turkish breakfast we begin our exploration of the hard-set honeycomb landscape with a walk through the amazing Devrent Valleyand visiting the surrounding region of Cappadocia including Pasabagi (Monk’s Valley).

Lunch at a local restaurant—included 

We will end the day visiting Avanosa community known for it pottery, a craft dating back to the Hittite period. The red clay, which is worked by local craftsmen, comes from the residue in the Kizilirmak River, the longest River in Turkey. 

Dinner and overnight: MDC Cave Hotel, Cappadocia 

 

Pre-Tour –Day 4 —Friday, September 4—Cappadocia--Istanbul

Following breakfast, we will visit the underground city of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Turkey with seven layers of cities underground including 100-meter tunnels between areas of the city. 

We will enjoy lunch at a Turkish restaurant where the meal is served with the flair and style of the traditional Turks. (lunch included)

 

Following lunch, we will proceed to the Goreme OpenAir Museum where we will see churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the fairy chimneys from the 10th to the 13th centuries. A time when many Christians were hiding due to persecution. 

 

In the late afternoon we will transfer back to the airport to return to Istanbul and meet up with the group arriving from the US to begin the main tour