Daily tours to Ephesus and Istanbul, two of the “must see” sites while in Turkey, are popular and “do-able” for those who have limited time in this fascinating country. Come and experience the “best of Turkey!”
EPHESUS: Meet group at airport and drive to Selcuk to Tour Ephesus, St. John’s Basilica and the Ephesus Museum. Transfer back to Izmir airport.
ISTANBUL: Meet group and tour Topkapi Palace, St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Underground Cisterns, and Grand Covered Bazaar. Transfer group back to pick up point. Second day option: Bosphorus Cruise, St. Savior Chora Church,Egyptian Spice Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
Ephesus Daily Tour
Our drive to Selcuk to visit Ephesus brings us to the most impressive archeological site in Turkey. As we stroll the streets of the ancient city, it is easy to imagine the city in ancient times. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world, Ephesus has special significance for Christians. From here Paul preached, Timothy taught, while later, John warned the church at Ephesus “…you have abandoned the love (you had) at first.” (Revelation 2:4). We will also visit St. John’s Basilica built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and believed to contain the remains of the Apostle John. The Ephesus Museum is one of Turkey’s best. Marble and bronze statues are displayed along with jewelry, coins and other artifacts of the Ancient World.
Istanbul Daily Tour
Today we begin our tour at the Hippodrome. Listen to the roar of 100,000 voices as they cheer their favorites to victory in the athletic competition of antiquity. We follow the street around to the Blue Mosque, mingle with the Islamic worshippers and stare with wonder at the marvelous blue-tiled dome and walls from which the mosque gains its name. Across the way we visit St.Sophia with its unparalleled majesty—stories told of the history of Christianity, Islam and rulers through the ages in the mosaics and frescoes that line the walls. From here we make our way to the Yerebatan Sarayi (Underground Cisterns) built during the time of the Byzantine Empire to provide the most often besieged city in the world with water. Constructed with columns and capitals from ancient temples, it is most decorative, thus referred to as a saray (Turkish for palace). We crown the morning sightseeing with the Topkapi Palace, poised on the hillside of the Golden Horn. The most eastern and Turkish of the palaces, it is a show place of Ottoman grandeur.
After lunch, eaten in one of the numerous restaurants along the way, we enter another world, the Grand Covered Bazaar with its 4,000+ stalls—a shopper’s perfect delight. Smell the scents and listen to the sounds of the traditional life of Turkey; bargain with the merchants and move on if the two of you cannot agree—there is another offer just down the aisle.