August/September 2022

It’s TURKEY TIME! Join Ryan & Malaka Hilton for a 6-night journey from ‘Constantinople’ to Cappadocia!

Upon arrival into Istanbul, the sights & sounds of this magical city that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.  Enjoy your time exploring the city prior to a flight to Cappadocia – a semi-arid region in central Turkey, that is known for its distinctive “fairy chimneys,” tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and more.

Post Trip Option: Upon completion of our time in Istanbul and Cappadocia, we invite you to consider a 5-night cruise on the Turquoise Coast by Gulet.  – OR – perhaps you prefer to sail the Greek Islands with one of our luxury ocean line partners.  Let us know & we are happy to coordinate for you!

Call 1.888.722.3401 to inquire.

Istanbul, Turkey

Day 1 – You will be met at the gate of the aircraft in Istanbul by our VIP hosts with a sign with your name. You will have VIP Airport Service upon arrival at the airport for assistance with the airport formalities, luggage handling, and escorted to your waiting transfer vehicle where your Admiral Travel representative will handle your transfer to your hotel.

Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Proudly standing on the shores of the scenic Bosphorus – the storied strait that links Europe and Asia – the lovingly restored, 19th-century Ottoman palace brings together Istanbul’s ancient architecture, warm Turkish hospitality and contemporary accommodations. Relax in one of the traditional hammams, spend an afternoon lounging around the outdoor pool, and savour Anatolian delicacies as you admire the soaring minarets and towers of the city’s inimitable waterfront skyline.

Guest Room

Guest Bathroom

“The Club” at the Four Seasons Istanbul

Aqua Restaurant

Day 2 – Half Day City Tour

You will visit the magnificient Topkapı Palace, the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. It is located on the promontory jutting out between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. This setting provides a magnificent view. The construction of the Topkapı Palace was completed between 1465 and 1478. Being the imperial residence of the sultan, his court and harem, the palace was also the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire. 4,000 people lived in the Palace.

Next, you will visit St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom. The architectural marvel of all time. It was built during Emperor Justinian reign ( AD 537 ) and it remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II who ordered to convert Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. In 1934, Atatürk proclaimed it a museum. The walls of this beautiful piece of architecture are decorated with gorgeous mosaics.

Last, you will visit the Grand Bazaar. Before arrival to the Grand Bazaar you will have an opportunity to learn about the art of carpet weaving. The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops. A variety of Turkish Handicrafts, oriental carpets, rare jewels, textiles, cotton towels, Iznik tiles and inexpensive souvenirs all sold in small shops next to each other. The streets are named according to the trades, such as gold and silver sellers, carpet sellers, booksellers, etc. The most oriental atmosphere in Istanbul is found in the bazaar.

Topkapı Palace

St. Sophia | Hagia Sophia

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Day 3 – Old City Tour

Your private tour of Istanbul will start with a visit to the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. Istanbul’s Byzantine Hippodrome was the heart of Constantinople’s political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history as well. This was the largest hippodrome of the ancient world with a design that was conceptually based on the Circus Maximus in Rome. You will see Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, Constantine Column which are remained from the original Hippodrome.

You will take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The mosque was a part of a complex also including, tombs, fountains, kitchens, and a bath. Its colorful 260 windows enables the sunlight to reach inside. This makes the interior unusually light. The blue Iznik Tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque.

Blue Mosque

Day 4 – Check-out of your hotel at 10:00am and meet your ATI representative at your hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia.

Upon arrival, you will meet your ATI representative, holding a name sign outside of the luggage claim area at the airport and drive to your hotel in Cappadocia.

Museum Hotel

‘Unique…’ There is no other word that better describes Museum Hotel. Situated in a very special geographic region in Cappadocia, Museum Hotel has been designed and created from a distinctive combination of the land and historical features and ruins, some intact and some beautifully restored to their original glory. The hotel features 30 rooms & suites—each of them exceptional in their own inimitable way. No room can be alike, with each bringing its own special ambiance, contributing to Museum Hotel’s evident character and charm.

‘Cave’ Guest Rooms

Guest Bathroom

Suite Terrace

Museum Hotel Pool

Day 5 *OPTIONAL* – Early in the morning (exact pick-up time will be advised the night before), you will wake-up to get ready for your ballooning experience. You will float over Cappadocia and see the fantastic landscape, going down into the valleys. It is an unforgettable experience!

After your tour, you will return to your hotel for breakfast.

After your breakfast, at 9:30am meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby for your private full day of sightseeing.

You will start your day descending below the earth’s surface into the Kaymakli Underground City, where five levels extend below ground and include; living quarters, kitchens, wine presses, storage rooms, stables and ventilation shafts. Early Christians carved out these subterranean complexes to avoid invaders who swept across the plains of Anatolia from the 6th to the 9th Century.

Next, visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum where icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. The 11th century represents the “golden age” of religious art in Goreme. Then, you will visit the Goreme Valley, which has been occupied since the dawn of history. It is the valley of the churches. The wonderful and primitive 11th and 12th century frescoes cover the walls of these churches. The oldest churches in the area date back to the 6th century. Among the 356 of churches, the most important ones are The Karanlık Kilise, Yılanlı Kilise, The Elmalı Kilise and The Tokalı Kilise.

Underground City

Goreme National Park

After your lunch, you will visit Devrent Valley. One magical corner in the countless panoramic valleys of Cappadocia, here is an unbelievable landscape with its rock formations and savage feeling; one of the best introductions to understanding the formation of fairy chimneys.

Next, you will stop in the Pasabag Valley where the formation of “fairy chimneys” can be best observed. Pasabag, the Pasha’s Vineyard, is surrounded by incredible natural rock formations; a spectacular scene.

Last, visit pretty town of Avanos, which has long been a center for pottery artisans as it lies on the banks of the Red River where clay supplies are abundant. Enjoy a visit to a pottery workshop to meet the artisans and see their collections displayed in a vast underground cave complex.

Devrent Valley

Day 6 – Pigeon Valley, Mustafapasa, & Sobesos

After your breakfast, at 9:00am meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby for your private full day of sightseeing.

First, you will have a morning hike in the Pigeon Valley to enjoy the fresh morning air and have an opportunity of seeing the landscape closer. The valley’s name comes from the pigeon-cotes carved on its walls.

Next, you will visit the picturesque village of Mustafapasa which is a perfectly preserved Greek village in the heart of Anatolia. The former Greek inhabitants left the village in 1923 during the population exchange between Turkey and Greece. The houses exhibit a wealth of carved stonework, wall paintings and many reminders of their former inhabitants. There will be free time for exploring in the village to enjoy the old Greek architecture.

Lunch is suggested at the Old Greek House Restaurant serving local cuisine in an old mansion.

After your lunch, you will be visiting the excavations at the Sobesos Ancient City. The earliest evidence of settlement dates from the neo-Roman period and excavations have also revealed the city was occupied in the Byzantine period. Of particular interest are the rare mosaics in geometric designs and the fascinating bath complex.

Last, you will visit the Keslik Monastery, it is estimated that the refectory could seat over 200 students at one time. Visit the Archangelos Church, which shows scenes from Christ’s entombment and Stefanos Church displays the Saint Euphemia cross from the iconoclastic period. At the Keslik Monastery you can enjoy a glass of tea in the caretaker’s garden.

At the end of your day, you will return to your hotel

Pigeon Valley

Day 7 – Check out of the Museum Hotel for your transfer.

Call Isabelle Finly at 941-951-1801 at extension 105 now to reserve your space on this unique journey today!

Rate is still being finalized.

Included Services:

  • VIP Airport Service for international arrival in Istanbul.

This service is provided inside the airport to expedite airport formalities.

  • Private arrival and departure transfers with baggage handling
  • Hotel accommodation at Four Seasons Istanbul & Museum Hotel Cappadocia.
  • All private touring as described in program
  • Licensed professional tour guide in English language.
  • Entrance fees to all museums, parks, and historic sites as marked on the itinerary.
  • Domestic Airfare – (Turkish Airlines-Economy Class)

Excluded Services:

  • OPTIONAL: Hot Air Ballooning Experience on Small Group (8) Balloon for 1 hour.
  • Gratuities to drivers and guides
  • International airfare
  • Meals unless specified
  • Personal expenses of the guests

Note: Turkish Visas are required for travel. You can get it online through the following link with just 3 easy steps:

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • Founder’s Journey will always be priced at or below published rates, but never higher.
  • Travel with like-minded individuals on these exclusive departures.
  • Enjoy a welcome cocktail party to meet your fellow travelers.
  • A hosted dinner will be offered during one night of the trip with the Hiltons.
  • On many occasions, optional shore events are offered as an option that only our group is invited to join.
  • Special global relationships that the Hiltons have formed over the years will allow you privileged access opportunities.
  • Trips are offered well in advance to give ample time for your future planning.
  • Minimum numbers must be met in order for the Hiltons to host the journey.
  • The Hiltons reserve the right to adjust the duration of their participation should any schedule conflicts arise.