Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Arrive at Ataturk Airport and enjoy an included transfer to your centrally-located
hotel. Late in the afternoon, we will meet for a walking tour along Istiklal
Street, the heart of modern Istanbul. This world-famous, two-mile-long
avenue, bustles with people enjoying its restaurants, bars, theatres, art
galleries and boutiques. (“Istiklal” means independence in
Turkish.) Stretching from Taksim Square to Galata Tower, the street offers
some of the best well-preserved examples of late-nineteenth century Art
Nouveau architecture. As we stroll along, you will marvel at landmarks
such as: the French Consulate, the Greek Orthodox Church (Hagia Triada),
the Armenian Catholic Church (Surp Hovhan Vosgeperan), the Greek Consulate,
The Flower Passage, The Produce & Fish Market as well as Galatasaray
High School. We will also stop to taste some local “street food” and
your guide will point out some restaurants that you may wish to have enjoy
tonight’s dinner at.
||Day 2: Istanbul – Full day tour
Our morning begins with a tour of Topkapi Palace, former residence
of the Ottoman Sultans. Topkapi is very child-friendly, with
vast gardens and different displays to explore. Next, we visit
Sirkeci Railway Station, the final destination of the Orient
Express. We then continue to the Spice Market, one of Istanbul’s
many mesmerizing sights. The Spice Market is a wonderful place
to buy edible gifts such as nuts, coffee and Turkish delight.
After some free time for lunch, we enjoy an hour-long Bosphorus
Cruise along the shores of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
Disembarking at Uskudar, one of the largest towns on the Asian
side of the Strait, we will visit the produce & fish market
and view the Mihrimah Sultan’s Mosque as well as Maiden’s
Tower, the symbol of the city. Finally, we return to our hotel
with a steamboat ride of twenty minutes, crossing the Bosphorus
once more from Asia to Europe. (B)
Day 3: Istanbul – Full day tour
This morning, we visit more iconic sites in Istanbul, including the
Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern.
In the afternoon, we visit the Grand Bazaar then drive over the
Galata Bridge to the colorful and bohemian Cihangir neighborhood.
The very narrow, maze-like streets of Cihangir are lined with
cafes, vintage clothing and second-hand shops. Here we also find
a toy store called Prof Zihni Sinir, a shop named after a very
popular cartoon character created by the artist Irfan Sayar.
In this wonderful toy workshop, Sayar and his assistants build
fantastic machines and toys and offer tinkering workshops for
local children. We then continue our walk from Galatasaray to
Pera. Notable buildings along the way include: the British Consulate,St.
Antoine's Catholic Church, the Consulates of the Netherlands,
Russia and Sweden, Galata Whirling Dervish Hall, the Tunel area,
The Galata Tower and Neve Shalom Synagogue. We end our walk at
The Pera Palace Hoteland have a short drive back to the hotel.
You may also wish to stay back and dine on your own at any of
the local restaurants such as: Kivahan or Guney (Turkish/Ottoman
cuisine), Fureyya (small fish restaurant) or the Pera Palace
Hotel’s own Agatha Restaurant. (B)
Day 4: Istanbul
/ Izmir / Ephesus / Sirince / Kusadasi
We depart Istanbul in the morning and fly to Izmir. Upon arrival,
we will drive for about an hour to the Ephesus(Selcuk) area. Our
visits today include the village of Sirince where we will have a
chance to socialize with the locals and taste the simple, yet delicious
cuisine of the Aegean at a lunch hosted in a private home. This pretty
village is a perfect blend of Turkish-Greek culture and is located
in the hills where you can enjoy the authentic atmosphere and impressive
views of the vineyards, and the peach and olive orchards. After lunch,
we will visit thearchaeological site of Ephesus, which is perhaps
the world's best-preserved ancient city. Ephesus attracts visitors
from across the globe with its immense open-air theater, the Sacred
Way, and Temple of Hadrian, a Corinthian-style building with the
head of Medusa as the "keystone". We also see the newly
opened ''Terrace Houses'' and the Library of Celsius. We then head
towards our hotel in Kusadasi. You and your children can enjoy the
swimming pool and nice view from your hotel if you choose. (B, L)
Day 5: Seferihisar / Train Museum in Camlik / Sultankoy / Dalyan / Caunus / Iztuzu Beach / Ekincik
This morning, we depart for our gulet docked on the Mediterranean coast.
On the way, we will make some stops including the Camlik village
with its small train station museum where you can find more than
30 old locomotives from the 1930s and 40s. We will also view Ataturk’s
favorite private train, the founder of modern Turkey, as he very
much enjoyed travel by train. Children usually delight in this
place as they are allowed to enter and climb onto the trains. Next,
we visit Sultankoy in Camlik village for an excellent grilled lunch
and the opportunity to learn about local handicrafts, such as rug
weaving. We may also be able to see demonstrations performed by
local craftsmen. We then continue our drive to Dalyan town and
chug up the Dalyan River on a local boat through a maze of bamboo
and cattails while viewing the king's rock tombs. We can also visit
the nearby Dalyan Estuary, home to many species of birds, including
kingfishers, herons, and egrets. The Iztuzu Beach forms a natural
lagoon and is protected for the loggerhead sea turtles that lay
their eggs here in mid-summer months. After the river trip, you
will embark on your gulet yacht and enjoy dinner and overnight
in a nearby beautiful cove. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Tersane / Agalimani / Cleopatra’s Cove
This morning, after breakfast, we sail to the gorgeous Gocek Bay
and enjoy the morning swimming and relaxing at Tersane and Agalimani
coves. Later, we will visit the cove at Cleopatra’s Sunken
Baths, which, according to tradition, is the spot where the fabled
Egyptian queen and Mark Antony carried on their romance. Later,
winds permitting, we raise the sails and wind our way to a private
cove for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Gocek Coves
This morning we have time for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and
relaxing in this lovely cove. Following lunch, we’ll set
on foot to explore ancient Lydea, a rarely-visited and unexcavated
site, which is reachable only by sea or by hike. Lydea was once
the home of the Lycian civilization’s oracle. You’ll
see monumental tombs, a sacred spring, Byzantine cisterns, and
ruins of shrines dedicated to Apollo. Black stone pieces of a
broken cult statue are still plentiful here, hidden as they have
been for untold centuries among the bushes. The views during
this hike on pine- and laurel-shaded trails are magnificent and
include vistas of Fethiye Bay and sparkling Gocek Lagoonas well
as a dozen islets. This afternoon, sail to Gemiler Island where
we’ll anchor for the night. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Gemiler Island and Kayakoy
Following breakfast, explore Gemiler Island and its Byzantine monastic
remains. Along the way, we’ll be rewarded with fine views
of 6,400-foot Mount Babadag, ancient Mount Mendos, broad vistas
over the Bay of Belcegiz, and several ancient churches, tombs,
and a lovely arched and ventilated street. Later we’ll have
a chance to cool off in the cobalt-blue lagoon between the island
and the mainland. This afternoon, we’ll set out for a hike
over the hills to the Greek ghost town of Kayakoy. A thriving town
of 3,500 until 1923, when Ataturk instituted the exchange of Greek
and Turkish populations, Kayakoy became deserted overnight, destroyed
furthermore over the years by earthquakes. Only a few Turkish families
inhabit houses in the foothills; it’s an eerie and marvelous
place. We’ll continue along a trail graced by pine tree-
studded seascapes and herb-scented breezes. You’ll hike a
trail toward the Soguk Su cove where you meet up with your boat
for another tranquil night in a cove near Fethiye. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Fethiye and Return to Istanbul
This morning we’ll sail briefly to the harbor of Fethiye where
you’ll bid farewell to your crew. Then, we’ll transfer
to Dalaman Airport for your return flight to Istanbul, where you
will connect with your international flight. (B)
Note : We have created this summer trip
for families who wish to experience all the excitement and splendor of
Turkey within a limited time frame. Your family’s trip can be further
customized in any way you like, including adding extra time and destinations.
PRICES WHEN THIS ITINERARY IS CUSTOMISED FOR YOUR FAMILY AS A PRIVATE TRIP:
Prices are per person, in USD and based on double occupancy at hotels:
Subject to availability and dates selected
Child discount: Please check with us for discounts available for triple
accommodation and for very young children who can share a room or cabin
with you. Please call for details.
Single Supplement: $700
Price of the trip package includes:
3 nights Istanbul: Hotel Grand Hyatt (or similar)
1 night Kusadasi: Hotel La Vista (or similar)
4 nights aboard a traditional hand-made wooden gulet yacht (in and
around Fethiye Bay)
• Domestic flights in coach class within the program (Istanbul to Izmir
or and Dalaman to Istanbul).
• Meals as indicated by (B, L, D) - B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
17 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners (including bottled
• Service of a private, licensed, professional English-speaking guide throughout
• All transfers and travel by private, modern, air-conditioned, chauffeur
- driven vehicles appropriate to the size of your group.
• All entrance fees to the sites and museums mentioned in the program.
• Parking, ferry, and toll road fees. (Not applicable if driving a rental
• Gratuities at restaurants where a meal is included in the program.
• Porter fees at airports when our guide travels with you.
Price of the trip package excludes:
• Airfare for international flights.
• Beverages other than water during included meals.
• Optional gratuities to the tour guide(s), driver(s) and the gulet crew.
Also the gulet crew when applicable.
• Tipping for porters at hotels.
• Travel insurance.
• Visas, laundry, and personal items.