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Western & Central Turkey Tour in 2010


Journey to the Mystical Land of Turkey

Come with us to the cradle of many civilizations;
Western and Central Turkey!!!

The most important reason for these dates is the weather. The spring is one of the most pleasant seasons for traveling in Turkey. It is not really too hot and very pleasantly warm all around Turkey in late May. Also hardly any of the European tourists are in Turkey in those days. Therefore we won't be traveling with a flow of people in these wonderful places.

The Fee: 2010 tour fee will be 1800 USD - 1270 Euro. This will be the ALL INCLUSIVE, LAND ONLY fee (Istanbul-to-Istanbul tour in Turkey between these dates).

The Contact: You can contact us in many ways: E-mail: hakan@istanbullife.org. You can see our adress in our Contact Page as well.

Thank you very much again for your interest in traveling to Turkey with us in those dates.

For Reservations: Please send us an e-mail at hakan@istanbullife.org

Western and Central Turkey Tour itinerary:
(There might be minor modifications for the betterment of the tour)

Day 1: DEPART FROM YOUR COUNTRY:
Arriving to Istanbul airport according to the flight schedule. ( Please let us know before confirming your flights from your home country for the arrivals )

Day 2: ARRIVE ISTANBUL:
After the passport and visa work at the airport, we値l meet you in the airport and board our luxury bus to go to our charming hotel in Aya Sophia district for our FIRST night in Istanbul. We値l relax and rest before we embark for a lovely dinner at an authentic Istanbul restaurant. There will also be plenty of time to stroll around Aya Sophia and the Sultanahmet district both in the afternoon and after dinner. We値l spend the night in a very conveniently located small but very charming hotel.



Day 3: ISTANBUL TO SAFRANBOLU:
This morning we値l begin our journey by traveling to Safranbolu, a 13th Century Turkish-Greek town. This is declared a World Heritage Site by UNICEF since it is a unique urban settlement with very democratic architecture ideals. Here we値l stroll thru the cobblestone streets during the sunset and enjoy the Turkish Bath 滴amam experience in a 13th century bathhouse. We値l be staying at an old Prince痴 house and have a lovely dinner in the beautiful courtyard.

Day 4-5-6: SAFRANBOLU
TO ANKARA AND CAPPADOCHIA:

After spending our morning visiting local craftsmen and beautiful old houses in Safranbolu, we値l travel to the Turkish capitol city of Ankara which is the home of the great Anatolian Civilizations Museum. This museum contains artifacts from the earliest communities in Catal Hoyuk to the Roman period. It is also known as the Hittite Museum and reflects the culture these people of 登ne thousand Gods. We値l also visit the ancient castle of Ankara. Here you can still witness the old lifestyle of the coppersmiths and carpet weavers.

After a 4-5 hour drive through the scenic Anatolian plateau to arrive at the one of the natural wonders of the world: Cappadocia. On the way, we値l stop in the village of Hacibektash, the village where the founder of the Bektashi order of dervishes; Hadji Bektas-i Veli lived during the time of Rumi and developed a heterodox lineage of Sufism which is known as one of the most tolerant and egalitarian sects in the Sufi world. We値l spend 3 full days in Cappadocia exploring the mysterious and mystical lunar landscape and rock hewn early Christian churches dating back to the 7th-13th Century AD all around the Valley. We値l tour the amazing underground cities and churches, and experience the life of these unique people from 1500 years ago. Goreme, Zelve, Ihlara, Derinkuyu are some of the amazing sites we値l visit. We値l spend our evenings at luxury accommodations and experience the local cuisine and local culture in the evenings. While in Cappadocia we will visit some carpet weavers and listen to their stories about carpet weaving. We値l make a campfire in an open field among the 吐airy chimneys and listen to the music of the Bektashis and the other Sufis performed by Latif and his musician friends from Turkey. We値l stay in a 4-star hotel in Urgup for a good night痴 sleep.



Day 7: ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST.PAUL:
We値l travel thru the magnificent Toros mountains, just like the Crusaders did several times in 12 and 13th centuries. Here we値l visit Mersin, Latif痴 hometown and have lunch with his family so you can experience a real traditional Turkish urban family. From there we値l go to Kizkalesi and enjoy the sun, history and beaches and we値l stay at a beachside resort. This is the perfect time to go into the Mediterranean Sea and swim to the mid-sea castle from the time of the Templars.

Day 8: KONYA: THE HOME OF RUMI AND YUNUS EMRE:
Today we値l head for the city of Rumi, Konya. On top of Toros Mountains, we値l visit a 5th Century Monastery, Alahan. Away from any tourist visits, this will be an impressive memory for you. Then, we値l visit the tomb of Rumi in downtown Konya. This is a great mosque and the Mevlevi Dervish lodge. Now it is a museum and you can feel the dervish spirit of 13th century. In this museum, there are exhibits of Dervish costumes, instruments, illuminated manuscripts, and various ethnographic artifacts. We値l also visit old Islamic universities and Seljuk mosques from 12th century. We will stay in Konya and experience the evening in this very mystical ancient city. The dinner will take place at a fine restaurant overlooking the beautifully lighted tomb of Rumi. After the dinner, we値l be treated with mystical music and whirling of the dervishes by our good friends from the Mevlevi order of Sufis in Konya. This will give you an idea how Rumi lived 800 years ago at the same spot, maybe 10 meters away!



Day 9: THRU THE LAKES REGION, PAMUKKALE AND APHRODISIAS:
From Konya, our journey will take us thru the mountains and valleys and we値l arrive at a small lakeside town of Egirdir. This is a beautiful town based on a narrow peninsula on the lake. Strolling along the shores of the lake and imagining the old life style existed here many hundreds years ago will be a memorable experience. We値l be watching the sunset in Pamukkale, literally means 田otton castle where ancients Romans and Greeks enjoyed hot springs for centuries. We値l visit the 2000 year old city of Hierapolis and admire the tombs of many traditions concentrated in this 塗ealing city. Then we値l visit the sacred city of the Goddess Aphrodite at Aphrodisias. Maybe the best kept secret of the entire Turkish sites, we値l be transported to the days of Mother Goddess.

Day 10-11: EPHESUS AND KUSADASI:
Thru the Pamukkale (Cottoncastle) region, we drive to the magnificent Ephesus and its colossal Greek theater. Ephesus has many great sites to see, such as the Marble Road, the Celsius Library and the Temple of Diana. During our stay in Selcuk, we値l also visit the incredible Ephesus Archaeological Museum where you can see many precious artifacts such as the one and only statue of Goddess Artemis. We will also visit the house and little chapel where the Virgin Mary lived during her final days. We will return to our hotel in Kusadasi, 20 minutes away and enjoy a very relaxing evening on the Aegean Coast. Kusadasi is a lovely tourist town with many happenings. The evening will proceed with a dinner of local cuisine accompanied with local folk music and dances at a very friendly restaurant. Then you can stroll along the beautiful shoreline of Kusadasi.



Day 12-13-14: BACK TO ISTANBUL:
A short morning flight from Izmir will take us back to Istanbul. (Please note that depending on the demand, we might decide to drive to Istanbul instead of the flight. In that case we'll visit Troy and Gallipoli, will stay in Canakkale for the night). After checking in our comfortable hotel in the Old City, we値l explore this ancient and exciting city from Museums to the streets to the bazaars and restaurants. Established on two continents, Istanbul has been a fascinating city for centuries for people from every walk of life. Once it was called Constantinople, it was conquered by the Turkish Sultan Fatih in 1453 AD. Since then it functioned as the cultural and economic center of Eastern Mediterranean. That痴 why you will be amazed with the variety of people, artifacts, food, and scenery in this wonderfully exciting city. During our stay here, we値l visit Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye and Rustem Pasha Mosques, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Military Museum, Islamic Art Museum, Whirling Dervishes ceremony and many other wonderful places. Every evening we値l be presented with music, food and good friendship of local colors.

Day 15: END OF OUR JOURNEY:
We will depart our hotel after a nice farewell breakfast and catch our planes to back home ! Have a great trip!

For Reservations: Please send us an e-mail at hakan@istanbullife.org



WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THIS FEE?

* This is a land only tour and all arrangements start andend at the airport in Istanbul.
* Professional Turkish tour guide & Our Music Master Mr. Latif Bolat will escort you on your tour.
* Breakfast and dinner every day throughout the tour,
except for the dinner on the last day in Istanbul.
* All hotel accommodations.
* All scheduled lectures, shows, performances.
(traveler pays for extra shows etc)
* All scheduled entrance fees to museums, ancient sites etc, extra entrance fees not included.
* All baggage handling for check-ins, check-outs,
in hotels and at airports.
* All hotel and local taxes are included.
* Bottled water during the tours on the bus.

SINGLE ROOM/ROOMMATE POLICY:
Indicated tour fees are on Per Person/Double Occupancy base. Some single rooms per tour are available at 20 Usd - 15 Euro extra per night (at cost). The sooner you sign up for a tour, the better the chances are that we will be able to find a roommate for you. If you wish to share your room and we cannot find a roommate, the single supplement fee will be waived. Once the tour commences, if you degide you no longer want to share a room, you will have to pay double the original singgle supplement fee in order to compensate for your roommate's single room as well.

INSURANCE:
Tour cancellation/protection, as well as luggage and accident insurance is highly recommended. OurTours do NOT sell such insurance Please note: Lat Tours is not liable for loss, damage or theft of luggage or personal belongings, for personal injury, accident or illness. If you need any medical service during the tour, we will happily help you get a doctor or take you to a clinic. However the passenger will need to pay the expenses to the doctor or clinic after or before the medical service provided.

ITINERARY MODIFICATIONS:

We'll make every effort to carry out all tours as planned. However, itinerary contained in this brochure is subject to modifications and change in order to create a better and safer tour if it is considered by our company if necessary

TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES CLAUSE:
The passage contract in use by airlines and other transportation companies whose services are used to arrive and depart from Turkey before and after the tour shall constitute the sole contract between the companies and the purchaser of a tour.

HEALTH RESTRICTIONS:
Please realize that Turkey is not like the US in terms of smoking and other allergy related issues. Even though we try to provide the best alternatives for non-smoking hotels, restaurants and other public places, you might still encounter some smoking. Therefore if you are severely allergic to smoking, please consult with us. Also, even though there is no heavy hiking involved in this tour, certain level of walking on uneven terrain will be required since most of the historical sites are scattered in wide areas. Since this tour covers half of Turkey, there will be some bus traveling involved every day. Even though we try to make it as pleasant as possible, you should keep this in mind. as well.

TOUR BUS INFORMATION:
Transportation will be by private air-conditioned new Mercedes, Volkswagen or Isuzu deluxe buses. These buses are for either 15 or 30 passenger capacity depending on the number of the participants.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Add-on International flights. All Lunches. Last night's dinner in Istanbul. Alcoholic and other beverages during the dinners, other than water. Tips for the guides (industry standard is 5 Usd - 3 Euro per person/per day). Tips for the bus driver (industry standard is 2 Usd - 1 Euro per person/per day). Airline insurance. Cost of Turkish Visa at the Istanbul airport, 20 Usd - 15 Euro (as of 2007). Luggage, personal and tour cancellation insurance. Room service, valet, laundry, telephone calls. Items of personal nature and other items not specifically mentioned above. Courtesy tips at restaurants and hotels. Performances like concerts and shows. Items of personal nature and other items not specifically mentioned above.

FREE AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Tour participants are entitled to airport tranesfers on scheduled tour arrival and departure days in Turkey between 7AM and 11PM. However if you are arriving early or departing later than the scheduled days you will need to take a taxi to/from the airport. Please provide your flight itinerary as soon as you have the necessary information.

CANCELLATIONS:
LAT TOURS reserves the right to cancel any tours prior to departure for any reasons, including insufficient number of participants and safety issues. If there is such a cancellation, participants will receive a full refund.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE:
* A deposit of 500 Usd - 350 Euro per person is required upon registration. Any deposit that is sent towards booking a tour constitutes full knowledge, acceptance and agreement of the cancellation policy.
* Full payment is due 6o days prior to departure, upon receipt of invoice.
* Application received less than 65 days prior to departure will require full payment at time of registration.

REFUND POLICY :
The below policy will be strictly adhered to regardless of the reason for cancellation. A written cancellation is required for all refunds for the following schedule:
* Up to 60 days prior to departure: Obligatory service charge of 100 Usd per person
* 59-45 days prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit (500 Usd per person).
* 44-10 days prior: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 50% of land costs.
* 9 days to 72 hours prior: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 75% of land costs.
* Less than 72 hours or during the tour: No refunds!

Please send me an e-mail message at hakan@istanbullife.org for the details and RESERVATIONS!

Tour Dates
May 15 - 29, 2010 | June 12 - 26, 2010 | Sept. 4 - 18, 2010




 

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