Istanbul

Istanbul Ephesus Pamukkale Head of Medusa mosaic at Kybira St Nicholas Island and Gemiler Bay Kaya Typical wooden gulet for your mini-cruise Sunken city of Kekova Uchisar, Cappadocia Cappadocia Hotel Celal Sultan, Istanbul Mandarin & Mango Boutique Hotel, Faralya Kale Konak Cave Hotel, Cappadocia

Discover the homeland of Father Christmas

TurkeySpecial Interest Holidays & Escorted Tours

Although nowadays we associate Father Christmas (or Santa Claus as he is known in some countries) with the North Pole or at least the Nordic countries, the real-life bishop upon whose generosity this figure is based - Saint Nicholas of Myra - actually came from Asia Minor. In addition to his home town, this tour visits some of the other sites associated with Saint Nicholas, as well as many of Turkey's most important sights, including Istanbul and Ephesus. Those opting for the full 20-night itinerary will also enjoy a three-night cruise along the beautiful Turquise Coast aboard a traditional wooden gulet and discover the unique region of Cappadocia.

Itinerary

PART 1

Day 1; 15 May Saturday
Flight to Istanbul airport and transfer to hotel. Stay for 3 nights in a boutique hotel in Sultanahmet district on BB (bed & breakfast) basis
Day 2; 16 May Sunday
Visit Underground cistern, Topkapi Palace, Saint Sophie, Blue Mosque.
Day 3; 17 May Monday
Visit the grand bazaar and the spice market. Bosphorus cruise.
Day 4; 18 May Tuesday
Early departure flight to Izmir. Stay for 3 nights in a 4/5 star hotel in Izmir on BB Basis
Day 5; 19 May Wednesday
Free day to explore Izmir, the Agora, Saint Polycarpe, and shopping in Kemeralti.
Day 6; 20 May Thursday
Visit Sardis, the capital of ancient Lydia
Day 7; 21 May Friday
We drive south from Izmir via Ephesus, where we visit the main site, the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of Saint John, to the ancient spa town of Pamukkale, famed for its travertine terraces, Overnight in a 4/5 star hotel in Pamukkale on HB Basis (breakfast & dinner).
Day 8; 22 May Saturday
We drive via Aphrodisias and the newly excavated ruins of Kybira to Faralya. Stay the next 7 nights at Mandarin & Mango Boutique Hotels on HB basis (breakfast & 5-course dinner)
Day 9; 23 May Sunday
Day at leisure, but plenty to do for those who would like to walk, try paragliding or diving, visit Fethiye town or just laze by the pool.
Day 10; 24 May Monday
Boat trip to the bay of Gemile and the island of Saint Nicholas, with a BBQ-lunch on the boat.
Day 11; 25 May Tuesday
Day at leisure, with optional visit to the nearby town of Fethiye for Market Day.
Day 12; 26 May Wednesday
Visit the ghost village of Kaya, old Greek village called Levissi, known as Karmylassos during Lycian time, then drive to Lycian ruins of Tlos, Xanthos, and the gorge of Saklikent.
Day 13; 27 May Thursday
Day trip by hydrofoil/ferry to the Greek Island of Rhodes, to visit the medieval Old Town.
Day 14; 28 May Friday
Another day at leisure to relax, walk along the Lycian Way or shop in Fethiye town.

PART 2

Day 15; 29 May Saturday
For those leaving us at this point, depart from Dalaman Airport, whilst those staying on will board a traditional wooden Gulet at Fethiye harbour for a 3-night mini-cruise to Kalkan, Kas, Kekova & Demre. Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner). Overnight Kalkan
Day 16; 30 May Sunday
Cruise towards Kas & Kekova. Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner). Overnight Kas
Day 17; 31 May Monday
Cruise to Kekova, sunken city, Ucagiz and castle. Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) Overnight Demre
Day 18; 01 June Tuesday
We leave the boat and visit Myra, the home of Father Christmas, and Olympos, before driving on to Cappadocia. Stay three nights in a traditional cave hotel on BB Basis.
Day 19; 02 June Wednesday
Visit open air museum at Goreme, pottery at Avanos and whirling dervishes.
Day 20; 03 June Thursday
Optional hot-air balloon ride in the early morning for a bird's-eye view of Cappadocia's unique landscapes. Then visit underground city, Roman ruins, Uchisar.
Day 21; 04 June Friday
Depart from either Nevsehir or Kayseri Airports via Istanbul.

Price includes:

PART 1

PART 2

Not included:

For those with limited time, we can also offer a shortened version of this tour comprising the first 11 nights/12 days (3 nights Istanbul, 3 nights Izmir, 1 night Pamukkale, 4 nights Faralya at The Mandarin & Mango Boutique Hotels).
Other options are to join the tour on 22 May flying into Dalaman for 11 days until 1 June (including the Gulet cruise) or for 14 days until 4 June to include the Cappadocia section. Prices for these shortened itineraries on application.


To book, please call us on 020 8847 8700 or contact us by email.