Turkey: Colors of the Horizons, November 9-November 20, 2015

 

Trip Cost: $ 5989.00 pp (group of 6-8 passengers, sharing DBL)  (12 Days in -country )

While Turkey bridges Europe and Asia, it is far more than a border between West and Orient. Its numerous, extraordinary and natural wonders plus historic treasures are unparalleled: truly a kaleidoscope of ancient times, diverse cultures & new adventures.  From Cave dwellings, ancient cities, and mystic dervishes to time traveled waterways, scenic hikes and Turquoise coastlines, we show you the depths of this wondrous civilization.

Day Zero:  (Depart your hometown)

Day 1: Depart your hometown, such that you arrive @ Istanbul, Turkey (international airport) no later

than 2:00 pm November 9, 2015. Pass thru immigration; change money & on to baggage claim.  Once you have your luggage, in baggage area, where you will be met by Gavriel Jecan, Emily M. Wilson and our National Turkish guide.  We will then follow signs to the Domestic Terminal (about a 5-10 minute walk).  You will check into a flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the hotel. D (Cappadocia)

Day 1-4: (Nov 9, 10, 11, and 12): It’s your first full day in Turkey and the best place to begin! Cappadocia. Following breakfast we sightsee and photograph around the Cappadocia region which is the breadbasket of Turkey and contains remarkable regions of natural, religious and cultural interest – unique in the world. Successive eruptions of now extinct volcanoes have left this part of the central Anatolian plateau covered in volcanic tuff. This soft rock has been transformed by intense erosion into a haunting, surrealistic landscape of caves, columns and canyons. Cappadocia flourished as an important Christian monastic center and remained a zone of cultural fusion between eastern and western cultures. We explore and photograph the unusual landscapes, twisting passageways, underground cities, painted churches hollowed into the hillsides…and more. Day 2 in Cappadocia, you’ll have a memorable early morning experience (optional): a private hot-air balloon flight, a very unique experience to see the region from the air-where there is almost no sensation of motion. Traveling at heights of up to 1500 feet, it is like a dream to gently float over the countryside in complete harmony with your surroundings; a feeling of peace and tranquility. Within moments after lifting off you become at ease while you effortlessly drifting above the deep canyons and lush fertile valleys of Cappadocia; Definitely an excellent opportunities to photograph the spectacular Cappadocian landscape. Flying time from 1 to 1.5 hours with 2 way transfers (to/from the hotel) totally about 3-4 hours. This is a private flight for our group of photographers; you’ll return to hotel for breakfast. Now it’s time to explore the area: seeing an underground city; visit a pottery center in a cave and a rug (carpet-viewing) center, for photographs and information about traditional Turkish carpets. Day 3 will include exploring, photographing, and a photographic session with a small group of Whirling Dervishes.  Day 4 Special photographic opportunities with local people. (Cappadocia) (B), (D), lunches on own with suggestions

Day 5 (Nov 13): It’s off to Kayseri airport for an early morning flight to Antalya. Upon arrival in Antalya, we’ll catch some photo shoots along with our city tour. A major city of the Byzantine Empire, its historical evolution (of the region) started from the Middle Paleolithic Era (50,000 B.C.) and continues until the present. The old-city of Antalya was founded by Attalus II, the King of Pergamum in the second century B.C. (Antalya) (B, D, lunches on own with suggestions)

 

Day 6 (Nov 14): A photographic day at the Antalya waterfalls, plenty of outdoor landscape photography. If weather permits, late afternoon drive to legendary Chimera, a sacred area, at an elevation of 300 meters, whose mountain (hillside) is named Cirali. There are holes on the ground where gas comes out. People light this gas and it burns constantly. The gas, which emerges naturally between the rocks here, burns as it combines with the oxygen in the air. According to mythology, the flames come from the mouth of the monster that was killed by Bellerophon, the Lycian hero. (Optional) walk/climb about half an hour of a pathway which is not so hard to climb and medium steep, (note: definitely bring flash lights/headlamps, because there is limited lighting.) It will be already dark in the evening.  Interesting experience. Drive back to the hotel after 10pm. (Antalya) (B, D)

 

Day 7 (Nov 15) Photograph Aspendos and Perge, a very famous Roman-Ruin city with its best-preserved Roman Bath, fountain, Hellenistic Gate, avenue divided into lanes by a pool and the Agora. We’ll also drive for a photographic visit of the most beautiful amphitheater Aspendos. (Antalya) (B, D, lunches on own with suggestions)

 

Day 8(Nov 16) early a.m. flight to Istanbul, ferry to Bursa. Drive along to Bursa, as time allows, photograph (1) Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami), a most interesting example of early Turkish architecture. It has 20 domes in four groups of five and is supported by 12 great pillars decorated with huge inscriptions from the Koran in stylish calligraphy. Nearby, the old market district still retains its medieval character. The complex, which was constructed between 1424/ 1426, composed of a mosque, theology school, charitable establishment, hamam and tombs. (Bursa) (B, D, lunches on own with suggestions)

 

Day 9 (Nov 17)  Then we ae off to Cumalikizik village for photographic opportunities of a well- preserved Ottoman village, which punctuates some of the few remaining examples of the Ottoman rural architecture. Perhaps we’ll catch the baker in action selling the morning’s production or a small street market. In spite of the fact that it is very close to Bursa metropolitan area, due to socio-economic factors based on agriculture and socio-cultural factor deriving its sources from nomadic life style, it managed to preserve its character until today. Cumalikizik village is declared to be a natural and urban protection zone since 1981. Return late evening by ferry to Istanbul. (Istanbul) (B, D, lunches on own with suggestions)

 

Day 10 -11(Nov 18, Nov 19) We explore the exotic, enchanting city of Istanbul. Our hotel is located in Old city for ease of walking; close proximity to most sites.  Istanbul, once known as Constantinople was Europe’s largest and wealthiest city. It was the Imperial capital of the Roman Empire. The Byzantine Empire/Eastern Europe, The Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empires throughout most of the middle Ages. Among the places and sites we’ll tour and perhaps photograph during our few days in Istanbul: the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior, built between 1609 and 1616; Saint Sophia, a sixth century masterpiece and Christendom’s largest cathedral for almost a thousand years; Underground Cistern, with its hauntingly lit sixth-century columns and vaulted ceilings; the largest of several hundred ancient water reservoirs beneath Istanbul; Sultan Süleyman’s Mosque, Chora Church considered one of the finest Byzantine churches in Turkey with the best preserved mosaics and frescoes; The Old City Walls; The ancient Spice Market within the Grand Bazaar, established for camel caravans traveling the Silk Road. This market bazaar is a labyrinthine of more than 3,000 shops established in 1461 by Mehmet the Conqueror. Group Farewell dinner (Istanbul) (B, D, lunches on own with suggestions)

 

Day 12 (Nov 20) Thinking about all the wonderful times and adventures we have enjoyed together in Turkey, sadly it is Departure day. Group transfer to the airport. Our representative will be ready at your hotel for your departure transfer three hours prior to your flight departure times. (B)

 

Optional Extension: Should you desire to stay in Istanbul a few extra days at the conclusion of our tour, perhaps visiting local islands with our guide, we are able to handle those requests. Approx. additional $400/ pp, based on a minimum of 4 participants, Dbl occupancy. Single sup available at additional rate of $125/pp. Please advise us if you wish to extend.

 

PRICE & INCLUSIONS: Tour price ($  5989.00 per person) is based on a minimum group of 6-8 pp, single occupancy available at $700.00/pp.

 

NOTE:  Tour specifics, such as sequence of itinerary or daily events are approximate and subject to change, at any point in time as local schedules change or the local guide or instructor and or escort deem(s) necessary. There can be additional costs increases and tour price variances caused by devaluation of local or USD$ values/exchanges. Further, tour prices are subject to Turkish price increases, and not guaranteed until final payment is received, from entire group.

 

Included:  All hotels, dbl occupancy, Meals as noted on the itinerary (B-L-D).  (no beverages except we will provide 2 small bottles of water pp/per day, where water is not provided free-of-charge by hotels,) PLEASE advise any dietary restrictions, including diabetic or vegan; we will do our best to provide options to meal plans where possible, but cannot always guarantee this. All entrance fees historical sites, as listed in the itinerary. Group transfers (arrival /departure) to and from airport when individuals arrive and depart at/on similar times/ air flights. All land Transportation. Baggage assistance, porterage: 1 bag + carry-on per person. (English speaking) National, Local guides & driver; TIPS: “Thank you” tips for guides & drivers; for meals included in the program.  When meals & drinks are on own, tipping is not included.  Internal domestic air. Services of Photography Instructor:  Gavriel Jecan & Tour Leader services: Emily M. Wilson.

NOT INCLUDED: Passport & Visa costs (note: Turkey VISA’s must be purchased prior to departure.  http://e-visaturkey.net/english/    You cannot get a VISA at Istanbul airport). International airfares,  Extension/Optional tours, Laundry, hotel incidentals such as movies, room service, all beverages (other than water) including alcoholic beverages or Mini-bar, phone, fax, internet fees and excess baggage charges. Any items not specifically listed. Also not included:  travel insurance (It is highly recommend that you purchase travel/tour cancellation insurance!) extra costs due to unanticipated changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control. You must advise us of any special electronic medical equipment you are bringing, (i.e. Cpap/Sleep Apnea electronics). Certain medical devices may result in the necessity of a single room or special electrical supplements and services.

Deposits & Payments: $1000.00 ASAP w/tour application to reserve your place on this tour. All deposits are non-refundable, unless overall tour is cancelled. It is highly recommended that you purchase travel & cancellation insurance, upon making a deposit for the tour. Payments are accepted via Bank Transfer (wire transfer), Pay Pal*, Personal checks and cashier’s checks; Credit Cards are not accepted. *Note: if you chose to make your payment using Pay Pal services, and additional 3% is charged by PayPal to make payments using their service to me, and must be included in your payments.

Cancellation Policy:  In case of cancel­lation, the following penalties apply:

  1. Initial deposit: non-refundable
  2. Cancellation made 120 to 90 days before tour departure — 50% of price paid
  3. Cancellation made 60 -90 days before tour departure— 80% of price paid
  4. 59 days or less before tour departure — no refund.

* *(In case that an individual cancellation reduces the group size to below the minimum on which costs are based (currently 6 paying PAX), we reserve the right to either (a) offer the program with certain cost-reducing alternatives in accommodations, itinerary and/or services, or (b) charge a supplement based on the actual costs for the final number of participants.]

All cancellations have to be in writing and valid as of the day of receipt in our office.

 

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