August 26 – September 2, 2022
It’s TURKEY TIME! Join Ryan & Malaka Hilton for a 7-day 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.
Pre Trip Option: Join us for a French wine tour from Champagne, Cognac, and Bordeaux
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.
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.
“The Club” at the Four Seasons Istanbul
Day 2 – You will meet your professional guide holding a name sign for your private full-day of sightseeing.
Hagia Sophia is mostly known as one of the most valuable and fascinating structures in the world of art and architecture. It deserves to enter to the collection of the rare works by challenging to the time. The walls of this beautiful piece of architecture are decorated with gorgeous mosaics. UNESCO accepts Hagia Sophia as The World Heritage because of architectural beauty.
You will visit the Hippodrome Square which was built by Septimius Severus to entertain the public at the beginning of A.D 2 century, In 196. Pretty attractive Thedosius I Obelisk is the product of Egypt. This alone should give you some idea of how impressive the Hippodrome of Constantinople’s architecture was.
Blue Mosque, this breath-taking building is one of the most majestic Ottoman mosques in all of Turkey. The blue Iznik Tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque. Make sure you will spend some time in silence inside the magnificent mosque to admire its prayerful atmosphere and superb blue tiles. * It is advised to dress respectfully when visiting, although scarfs and outer garments are given at the door if necessary.
Lunch is suggested at Matbah Restaurant serving traditional Turkish cuisine
You will visit the magnificent Topkapi Palace which was completed between 1465 and 1478. The Topkapi Palace Museum is notable not only for its architecture and collections but also for the history and culture of the Ottoman Empire that it recalls. Opulent, decadent and steeped in history, it offers visitors a chance to get to know the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire rather more intimately.
The largest surviving Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, it was constructed using 336 columns, many of which were salvaged from ruined temples and feature fine carved capitals. Its symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite breathtaking. One of the two Medusa sculpted columns from the Roman period was placed underneath one of them and the other in the opposite direction.
St. Sophia | Hagia Sophia
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Day 3 – You will meet your professional guide for your private full-day of sightseeing
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. One of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar dates from the 15th century. The world famous handmade carpets and kilims of Turkey, some of the most beautiful examples of Turkish silver art, souvenirs and decorations made of copper and bronze and high quality ceramics, onyx, and leather goods are for sale.
Suleymaniye Mosque, or better known as the mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, was built in the 16th century by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Suleyman the Magnificient, also known as the Legislator. The Süleymaniye crowns one of Istanbul’s seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the entire city. The mosque is the largest mosque of Istanbul.
The Chora Mosque has one of the best examples of Byzantine mosaic art. The mosque today is located at Kariye neighborhood near Edirnekapi city walls over the Golden Horn. Originally a Christian church, it was converted into a mosque after the Conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans, and after the Republic it became a museum. *Chora Museum turned into a mosque again by Turkish government on October 30, 2020.
Lunch is suggested at Hamdi Restaurant, located on the Golden Horn. You can taste traditional Turkish kebabs.
The historical Egyptian / Spice Bazaar is a colorful and mystical covered spice market lined with spice stalls in Eminonu coast, near the Yeni Mosque, in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul. Spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts and seeds, Turkish delight and other edibles fill most of the shops. You are able to find about every kind of herbs and spices at the market, and as well as ingredients for cooking, Turkish delight and Turkish coffee.
Istanbul Spice Bazaar
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 with stops en route!
En route to the hotel, 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.
Lunch recommended in Dibek Restaurant serving traditional home-cooked food. The restaurant also serves homemade wine
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.
You will visit Zelve Open Air Museum, where three valuable valleys meet. This glorious natural beauty consists of numerous pointed and large fairy chimneys, incredible cave town, honeycombed structures, religious and secular chambers.
At the end of your visits, you will continue to your 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
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.
Lunch is suggested at Old Greek House Restaurant serving local cuisine in an old mansion.
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 underground cave complex.
You will stop on the best spot to have a panoramic view of the Uchisar Castle, full of towering rock houses typical of this area. Uchisar is a small town and it is situated at the highest point in Cappadocia. It is named after the enormous piece of rock in the center of the town, which was once used as a castle.
At the end of your tour, you will return to your hotel.
Goreme National Park
Day 6 –Check-out of your hotel, you will meet your ATI representative at the hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Izmir.
You will meet your guide holding your name sign outside of the terminal building. En route to your hotel, we will visit Ephesus. The drive takes approximately 1 hour.
En route to your hotel, You will visit Ephesus, famous throughout the ancient world for its Temple of Artemis. You will first visit Odeon Theatre that had double function in use. First it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or the Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum as a concert hall for the performances. Then, view the Hadrian Temple, It was dedicated in the beginning of the 2nd century AD to Hadrian, Artemis, and the people of Ephesus but greatly reconstructed in the 4th century. This impressive Corinthian style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch. According to the belief of Ephesians, the Medusa head on the porch, would protect the city from its enemies.
Proceed to Celsus Library, the library is the best preserved structure of its kind. The inscription on the side of the building’s front staircase says that the library was build by Julius, in his father honour, after his death. His father, Celsus was the Roman governor of Asia Minor early in the 2nd century AD. Celsus Library is probably the most distinctive building commonly associated with Ephesus.
You will visit the newly excavated spectacular Terrace Houses (Villas) located on top of the hill within the City of Ephesus. They were inhabited by wealthy Ephesians, and are finely decorated with mosaics and frescos. In the year 1960, the excavation process was started. The excavated frescoes parts as well as the mosaics that were successfully uncovered were displayed into a museum to put all these under protection and for restoration reasons. In later years, it came to a point, the terraced houses were displayed for the public. The restoration of the houses is an ongoing process and every year there is something new to admire there
The Great Theatre which is the biggest ancient theater in Turkey, dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD it was successfully reconstructed, expanded by the Romans until it reached the seating capacity of 25.000 people; 24.000 seats and 1000 standing places. Marble Road, runs between the Library of Celsus and the theater and is a part of the sacred walk way.
Lunch recommended at Selçuk Koftecisi serving local meatballs accompanied by salad, rice and onions
You will visit the Ephesus Museum. Many of the artifacts displayed here were found in Ephesus and other ancient sites in the region. Highlights include a few artifacts from Ephesus‘s great Temple of Artemis (the Artemision), and finds from some of the many other significant ancient Hellenic, Hellenistic and Roman cities in the region, the fresco of Socrates, statues and heads of Eros, crosses, coins and the works of the 1st century AD such as glass trays and theatrical masks, and much more.
At the end of the tour, transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy your overnight at Hotel Swissôtel Büyük Efes in Izmir
Day 7 – Check-out of your hotel, you will meet your ATI representative at the hotel lobby and transfer to the airport for your onward flight back to Istanbul
Call Isabelle Finly at 941-951-1801 at extension 105 now to reserve your space on this unique journey today!
Cost: Being Finalized / Please inquire
We request $250 per person as a ‘good faith deposit’ to secure space on this departure until pricing is available. Once pricing is available, this will be applied to your final balance. Should you decide to remove your space, these funds will remain on file for a future ATI travel experience.
Once bookings are finalized, a $50 per person Admiral Travel Booking Fee will apply.
- Private arrival and departure transfers with baggage handling.
- 5 full-days of private sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with a professional driver.
- Officially Licensed professional tour guide in English language throughout the tour program
- Entrance fees to all museums, parks, and historic sites as marked on the itinerary.
- Domestic Airfare
- Istanbul to Kayseri
- Kayseri to Izmir
- Izmir to Istanbul
- Bottled water provided throughout the tour.
- Welcome Package.
- OPTIONAL: Hot Air Ballooning Experience on Small Group (8) Balloon for 1 hour.
- Gratuities to drivers and guides
- Recommended lunches & dinners at own expense
- International airfare
- 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:
- 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.