Turkish Riviera, Cappadocia
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ANTALYA
Arrival in Antalya, where you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Dinner and overnight near Antalya.
DAY 2: A DAY AT YOUR DISPOSAL, AFTERNOON FACULTATIVE MANAVGAT RIVER BOAT CRUISE
After breakfast expect a thorough information meeting on the course of your stay and on facultative offers. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a day at your disposal, or you can participate in a trip to Manavgat River. You will take a boat-trip to arrive to the point where the river pours into the sea after sailing over the Manavgat River and by the fish-farms. You will have a delicious lunch (freshly caught fish or a BBQ) and a chance to swim. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.
DAY 3: ANTALYA - KONYA - CAPPADOCIA
At ca. 8 am you will get on your comfortable bus to Cappadocia. While you will be able to admire the passing beautiful scenery, your experienced tour guide will provide you with thorough information on Turkey, social relations, people, culture etc. Against noon you will reach Konya, the city of Whirling Dervishes. The most important place to visit in Konya is the Mevlana's Mausoleum. After lunch you will continue to Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight in overnight in Cappadocia. Evening (facultative): Witness a performance of Whirling Dervishes, the members of the Mevlevi Order from Konya. The ritual whirling of the dervishes is an act of love and a drama of faith. It possesses a highly structured form within which the gentle turns become increasingly dynamic as the individual dervishes strive to achieve a state of trans.
DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA
Today is your first day in Cappadocia, a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. You will visit Pashabag, where the fairy chimneys were used by hermits who spent their days in meditation, sitting perched between earth and sky, the Fairy Chimneys, and the Pigeon Valley, its name comes from the pigeon-cotes carved on its walls. A magnificent natural phenomenon awaits you here, a peaceful nature, where past and present meet. Then you can admire churches in the Göreme Valley, which were dug into the rocks and were richly decorated with colourful frescoes. Göreme Valley belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage. In the afternoon you will visit a long-established carpet school, and will be acquainted with history, dying, techniques etc. The Turkish carpets have exuberant colours, motifs, and patterns, and are traditionally woven by women. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. Evening (facultative): Enjoy the evening and relax after a day full of walking at a Turkish Night Show, an unforgettable evening in a local bar caved in a fairy chimney. The show highlights the dance traditions of various regions of Turkey (e.g. traditional Turkish wedding, Anatolian fire dance, Caucasus dance with knives and drums), complete with traditional costumes and of course, exhilarating belly dancers. Dinner and local wine or raki included.
DAY 5: CAPPADOCIA
Dont miss the one of life's great thrills, Cappadocia hot-air balloon flight (facultative). The spectacular surrealistic landscapes combined with excellent flying conditions allow the balloons to gently drift over and between fairy chimneys, pigeon houses hewn into the unique rock formations, orchards and vineyards through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations, colours and features and then float up over rippled ravines for breathtaking views over the region. The flight takes ca. 1 hour and you will be comfortably back in your hotel to take your daily tour. Your todays Cappadocia discoveries will start in the Red Valley, one of the most spectacular valleys of Cappadocia with its different kind of rock formations in variety colours. The hidden rock-cut churches in the valley surprise the visitors. Further, an underground city and the Open Air Museum of Zelve, are waiting for you. Zelve is an amazing cave town, honeycombed with dwellings, religious and secular chambers. Here, the Christians and Muslims lived together in perfect harmony, until 1924. Then Christians had to leave the Valley because of the exchange of minorities between Greece and Turkey, and the Muslims were forced to evacuate the Valley in the 50's when life became dangerous due to risk of erosion. At the end of the day you will visit one of traditional crafts workshops: an onyx workshop, since Cappadocia has onyx mines where the highest quality onyx is found, or a pottery workshop, since the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kizilirmak (Red River) has always been used even centuries back by the Hitties. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia. Evening (facultative): Enjoy the evening in a wine cellar by tasting local wines from Cappadocia, a region known as one of the oldest for grape and wine production for 4000 years.
DAY 6: CAPPADOCIA - SULTANHANI - ANTALYA After breakfast you will set forth your return trip to Antalya. On the way you will stop at the Sultanhani Caravanserai, a monumental caravanserai which looks like a fortress, built during the Seljuk period in 1229, and the largest of all Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia. Another stop will be done in a jewellery manufactory. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.
DAY 7: ANTALYA CITY TOUR
Todays sightseeing is devoted to the provincial capital of Antalya. On the way to Antalya you will visit a jewellery manufactory, in Antalya you will first take a bus panoramic city tour up to the Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall, then you will visit the traditional market area, and after the lunch you will stroll through Kaleici, the restored historical city centre which retains much of its historical character. Depending on weather conditions you will have an opportunity to take a boat cruise along the Antalya Bay. On your way back to the hotel you will visit a leather fashion show. Dinner and overnight in Antalya.
DAY 8: DEPARTURE Transfer to the airport for departure to your homeland.