TransAnatolie TA3414: 16 Day Cultural Tour in Turkey: Istanbul-Western
Turkey-Central Anatolia- Mediterranean: Cultural and Natural Heritage
Tour with Blue Cruise in Turkey
Day 1: Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul
Day 3: Istanbul
Day 4: Istanbul
Day 5: Izmir-Ephesus-Pamukkale
Day 6: Pamukkale-Konya-Cappadocia
Day 7: Cappadocia: Aksaray-Selime-Ihlara-Saratli
Day 8: Cappadocia
Day 9: Cappadocia-Lake Beysehir-Mount Taurus-Antalya
Day 10: Explore Antalya Region
Day 11: Blue Cruise in Antalya Region
Day 12: Blue Cruise in Kemer-Phaselis
Day 13: Blue Cruise in Antalya-Myra-Saint Nicolas-Kekova
Day 14: Blue Cruise in Alanya
Day 15: Blue Cruise Fethiye
Day 16: Istanbul-Europe
Suleiman the Magnificent
TransAnatolie Tour: Multilingual Cultural Tour Provider and Operator.
Arrival in Istanbul. Sightseeing city tour, dinner and overnight at our
4 star hotel.
In the morning, discovery of the Golden Horn and of the Pierre Loti
area. Visits to Ottoman Imperial Cemetery and Eyüp Mosque. Walks along
the Roman-Byzantine city walls and visit the Chora Church and Mihrimah
The great Mosque of Eyüp lies outside the city walls, near the Golden
Horn, at the supposed place where Eyüp, the standard bearer of the
Prophet Mohammed, died in the Islamic assault on Constantinople in 670
A.D. The first mosque built after the Ottoman conquest of the city, this
greatly venerated shrine attracts many pilgrims.
The Kariye Museum (Chora Church), the 11th century church of "St. Savior"
in Chora, is, after St. Sophia, the most important Byzantine monument in
Istanbul. Unremarkable in its architecture, inside, the walls are
decorated with superb l4th century frescoes and mosaics. Illustrating
scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, these brilliantly
coloured paintings embody the vigour of Byzantine art. Restored wooden
houses in the area surrounding the church offer tea and coffee in a
relaxed, atmosphere far removed from the city's hectic pace.
Walls of glass fill the four immense arches that support the central
dome at the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque inside the Edirne gate of the old
city walls. One hundred and sixty-one windows illuminate this mosque,
built by Sinan for Mihrimah Sultana, the daughter of Süleyman the
Magnificent in 1555.
Lunch is next to the Roman Circus in a well known Turkish-Greek
Afternoon: We visit Aya Sophia (Hagia Sophie) and Topkapi Palace Museums
and end up at the Grand Bazaar. Free dinner and overnight at the hotel.
The Basilica of St. Sophia, now called the Ayasofya Museum, is
unquestionably one of the finest buildings of all time. Built by
Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century,
its immense dome rises 55 meters above the ground and its diameter spans
31 meters. You should linger here to absorb the building's majestic
serenity and to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics.
On a spot of land at the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn
and the Marmara Sea, stands Topkapi Palace, a maze of buildings at the
center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. In
these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court lived and
governed. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, court.
To the right of the second court, shaded by cypress and plane trees,
stand the palace kitchens, now galleries exhibiting the imperial
collections of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. To the left, the
Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of
the sultan, charms visitors with echoes of a centuries old intrigue.
Today, the third court holds the Hall of Audience, the Library of Ahmet
III, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their
families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection
of miniatures from medieval manuscripts. In the center of this innermost
sanctuary, the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle enshrines the relics of the
Prophet Mohammed brought to Istanbul when the Ottomans assumed the
caliphate of Islam
The cascading domes and four slender minarets of Süleymaniye Mosque
dominate the skyline on the Golden Horn's west bank. Considered the most
beautiful of all imperial mosques in Istanbul, it was built between 1550
and 1557 by Sinan, the renowned architect of the Ottoman golden age. On
the crest of a hill, the building is conspicuous by its great size,
which the four minarets that rise from each corner of the courtyard
emphasize. Inside, the mihrab (prayer niche) and the mimber (pulpit) are
of finely carved white marble; fine stained glass windows color the
incoming streams of light. It was in the gardens of this complex that
Süleyman and his wife Hürrem Sultan, Roxelane, had their mausolea built,
and near here also that Sinan built his own tomb. The mosque complex
also includes four medrese, or theological schools, a school of
medicine, a caravanserai, a Turkish bath, and a kitchen and hospice for
We dine at Istanbul By Night at Kumkapi and overnight at the 4 star
hotel with high QoS.
In the morning, visit the Hippodrome, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
located at the Ibrahim Pascha Palace, ass well as the Ethnographical
Museum in Istanbul. Not to forget to explore the Master Piece Blue
The dark stone building that houses the Museum of Turkish and Islamic
Art was built in 1524 by Ibrahim Pasa; Grand Vizier to Süleyman the
Magnificent, as his residence. It was the grandest private residence
ever built in the Ottoman Empire. Today, it houses a superb collection
of ceramics, metalwork miniatures, calligraphy, textiles, and woodwork
as well as some of the oldest carpets in the world.
Then we visit the sixth century Byzantine citern known as the Yerebatan
Sarnici. Three hundred and thirty-six massive Corinthian columns support
the immense chamber's fine brick vaulting.
Walking along the Sultan Ahmet Square we arrive in the famous Blue
Mosque. Facing St. Sophia stands the supremely elegant, six-minaret,
imperial Sultanahmet Mosque. Built between 1609 and 1616 by the
architect Mehmet, the building is more familiarly known as the Blue
Mosque because its interior gleams with a magnificent paneling of blue
and white Iznik tiles. During the summer months an evening light and
sound show both entertain and inform.
Before lunch we become familiar with Turkish Cultural Products: carpets
and kilims, jewellery and leather. Delicious lunch is at the
Afternoon: visit the Egyptian and Second-hand markets. We then fully
enjoy the wonderful Bosporus Cruise between two continents Asia and
A stay in Istanbul is not complete without the traditional and
unforgettable boat excursion up the Bosphorus, the winding strait that
separates Europe and Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past
and present, grand splendor and simple beauty. Modern hotels stand next
to yali (shorefront wooden villas), marble palaces abut rustic stone
fortresses, and elegant compounds neighbour small fishing villages.
During the journey, you pass in front of the magnificent Dolmabahçe
Palace; farther along rise the green parks and imperial pavilions of
Yildiz Palace. On the edge of this park, on the coast, stands Çiragan
Palace, now restored as a grand hotel. Refurbished in 1874 by Sultan
Abdülaziz, it stretches for 300 meters along the Bosphorus shore, its
ornate marble facades reflecting the swiftly moving water. In Ortaköy,
the next stop, artists gather every Sunday to exhibit their works in a
streetside gallery. The variety of people create a lively scene; sample
a delicious bite from one of the street vendors. In Ortaköy, there is a
church, mosque and a synagogue that have existed side by side for
hundreds of years - a tribute to Turkish secularism and tolerance.
Overshadowing Istanbul's traditional architecture is the Bosphorus
Bridge, one of the world's largest suspension bridges linking Europe and
We finally dine and enjoy the night at our 4 star hotel with high QoS.
Morning: visit the Citern-Basilica, Istanbul Archaeological Museum and
Oriental Antiques Museum in Cinili Kosk. Then cruise on the Bosporus via
the suspension bridge to have lunch in the Asian part of Istanbul; the
The Archaeological Museums are found just inside the first court of
Topkapi Palace. Included among the displays are the celebrated Alexander
Sarcophagus among its treasures of antiquity.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient displays artifacts from the Sumerian,
Babylonian, Assyrian, Hatti and Hittite civilizations.
Originally built as a kösk or pavilion by Mehmet the Conqueror in the
15th century, the Çinili Kösk, which houses the Museum of Turkish
Ceramics, contains beautiful Iznik wares from the 16th century and fine
examples of Seljuk and Ottoman pottery and tiles
Afternoon: discovery of the Beylerbeyi Ottoman Imperial Palace. Walk up
to the Camlica Hill: higher point of the city: Back to Europe in the
hotel. Free dinner and evening.
In the 19th century, Sultan Abdülaziz built the Beylerbeyi Palace, a
fantasy in white marble amid magnolia filled gardens, on the Bosporus's
Asian Shore. Used as the Sultan's summer residence, it was offered to
the most distinguished foreign dignitaries during their visits. Empress
Eugenie of France was among its residents.
After a rich Turkish Breakfast, transfer to Istanbul Airport to fly to
Temple of Artemis Ephesus
Drive early in the morning towards Ephesus; the capital of Ionia,
home-town of Heraclite. Note that Ephesus is one of the wholly places
where one of the first 7 churches of the Apocalypse of St John is
We discover the Ephesus site, the Eastern Academy, Agoras, Stoa, the
street of Curetes, the Gate of Esculape, the Odeon, the market place of
Domitien, the Monument of Memius, the Fountain of Trajane dated from the
Pax Romana period, the Baths, the Hadrianus Temple, the House of the
Worthy, the Library of Celcus, the Closed Houses, Marble Street, the
Agora of Demos, the St Paul Theater, Arcadian Street, the Church of the
Virgin Marry of the Ecumenical Councils, the Roman Stock Exchange and
the Antique Harbour. Stop in a leather factory. (see Ephesus Museum)
Lunch is in Ephesus, the capital of Ionia and the city of Artemis.
In the afternoon, Pamukkale Castles next to the Hieropolis site are
explored. Here women were committing suicide, after their husbands
deaths, to demonstrate their love and loyalty to their husbands.
Dinner and overnight in our hotel. Thermal swimming pool with Jacuzzi is
at our service.
Early in the morning drive from Pamukkale to Konya; enjoy the nature and
beauty of landscape and visit Caravanserai of Horozluhan. Lunch on the
In the afternoon, in Konya, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, the
Mevlana Mausoleum and Museum of the founder of the Dancing Dervishes are
explored. Here one finds a rich collection of ethnographical works,
including one of the few Turkish carpets in the world dated of 16th
century (each cm2 contains 144 double knots). In the late afternoon,
arrival in Acemhoyuk, the first capital of Ancient Hittites and visit
Sarikaya and Hatiplar Palaces.
Dinner and overnight in Aksaray, at Agacli Motel (4*) or at Eras Hotel
After a delicious Turkish breakfast, the Seljuk city of Karamanoglu,
Aksaray is explored: exceptional Pizze Tower and The Great Mosque from
the 13th century. Walk through the Melendiz Canyon and visit typical
Anatolian villages Selime, Yaprakhisar, Belisirma and arrive in the
Peristrema-Ihlara Valley and discover primitive Syriaq churches dated
from the 1st period of the Christian campus in Cappadocia. Possibility
to walk in nature for those who love nature and birds.
Lunch is at the Melendiz Canyon in Ihlara. In the late afternoon, pay a
visit to the underground town of Saratli, the town of Simone and Jean
Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Cappadocia.
"The land of beautiful horses..."
"The holly land of Christians..."
"The heartland of Anatolia... "
The beauty of the unique landscapes of Cappadocia (valleys, fairy
chimneys with caps) carved during ages by the nature-air, flood water
and the fire of the volcanic mountains (Mt. Erciyes, Mt Hasan, Mt.
Gollu) is spectacular. Light and time sensitive, continuously colour
changing capped chimneys, curved paths along the trees, cultural
heritages of Christians, Jews and Muslims decorated with natural
coloured icons and dugout in rocks, animated by Saint Basile in Kayseri,
Saint Gregoire in Nevsehir, Haci Bektas Veli in Haci Bektas...
A trip of this nature of its own unique character gives you the
opportunity to discover the cultural richness of this area and enables
you to interact with each other and with the hospitable local
After breakfast, we visit the old Troglodyte houses of Urgup, Uc
Guzeller, the Pigeons Valley, Uchisar, Avcilar, the Goreme Valley and
its Rupestrian churches.
Lunch at the hotel or at the buffet Koru. In the afternoon, possibility
to relax and discover different handworks (carpets). Dinner and
overnight in our hotel in Cappadocia.
Early in the morning, after breakfast in Cappadocia, we drive towards
Antalya. Time out for Turkish Tea along the Lake Beysehir and visit the
Beysehir Mosque-a famous sample of Seljuk architectural heritage.
Proceed through the Taurus Mountains and enjoy the nature and beauty of
landscape with poppy fields, nomads and goats.
Lunch is on the way to Antalya.
Imaginations, admirations and confused feelings are interleaved as we
walk through the small streets of Antalya and see the small houses of
the poor fishermen in the old harbour while also looking at the Gulets
of the Turkish aristocrats and at the
Dinner and overnight in Antalya, the city of Attale (cousin of Alexander
Kursunlu waterfalls, Perge and Ancient Aspendos Theatre are explored.
Lunch is in a restaurant along the Aspendos River.
Diner and overnight at our hotel in Antalya.
Sailing Paradise: Turkey
The azure waters of the Mediterranean, the Aegean, and the Black Sea, as
well as the Sea of Marmara, surround Turkey to the south, west and
Full day Blue Cruise with lunch in Antalya region. Diner and overnight
at our hotel in Antalya.
After breakfast, we enjoy full day Blue Cruise with lunch in
Kemer-Phaselis region. Diner and overnight at our hotel in Antalya.
In the morning, after breakfast at our hotel, we drive to Myra, explore
Myra, Saint Nicolas and onwards Blue Cruise covering Kekova region. The
cruise is around 3 hours. Subsequently, we drive back to Antalya for
diner and overnight in our hotel.
In the morning, after breakfast at our hotel, we drive to Alanya,
explore Alanya and Alanya Castle. Afterwards Blue Cruise (with lunch on
board) covering Alanya region. Diner and overnight is at our hotel in
After breakfast, the group drives to Fethiye and explores Kas, Xsantos,
Letoon and Fethiye; Lunch is in Fethiye. Diner and overnight is at our
hotel in Fethiye. (Or, in the evening transfer to the boat for Blue
Cruise in Fethiye, Gocek and surroundings for one week, option).
After breakfast, free time until transfer to the Istanbul airport. (Or
Blue Cruise in Fethiye and surroundings continued for one week).
For Pricing Click
List of TransAnatolie Turkey Tours, Services and Pricing or
Contact Information for TransAnatolie Tour
Cruise on the Bosphorus
Istanbul by Night
Evening with fishermen + Istanbul by Night
Evening with typical dances in Cappadocia
Discovery of Cappadocia in hot air balloon
Evening with Dancing Dervishes
Special Dinner with show at the Caravanserai Night Club at
Galata Tower or at the Orient House Istanbul.
Turkish Belly Dance
Free Lunch in Mata Hari area in Galatasaray
Visits Beyoglu, Galatasaray
Transportation in Turkey: air-conditioned bus Mercedes
Sprinter, WW Wolt, Mercedes 304-403, Mitsubishi Safir, Isuzu
Accommodation in Hotels: in Istanbul 4*, in Canakkale 3 or
4*, in Boylat, Emet and Pamukkale 4*, in Selcuk-Kusadasi 4*, in Antalya
4*, in Cappadocia 4*, in Ankara 3*+.
Lunches in traditional restaurants
All admission fees for museums and sites mentioned
Services of Professional Certified Guide
The Marmara Region of Turkey
The Aegean Region of Turkey
The Mediterranean Region of Turkey
The Central Anatolian Region of Turkey
Read more about Yachting in Turkey (pdf)
Roxelana, Roxolana, Roxelane, Rossa, Ruziac, known also by her Turkish
name of Hürrem (or Khourrem or Karima), meaning "the cheerful one", (c.
1510 - April 18, 1558) was the Ukrainian ("Ruthenian" in the terminology
of the day) and only legal wife of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the
Magnificent2 of the Ottoman Empire. Sixteenth century sources are silent
as to her maiden name, but much later Ukrainian and Polish traditions,
especially Ukrainian folk traditions first recorded in the nineteenth
century, give it as Anastasia (diminutive: Nastia) or Aleksandra
According to late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century
sources like the famous Polish poet, Samuel Twardowski, who actually did
research on the subject in Turkey, Hürrem was born to a father who was a
Ukrainian, or Ruthenian, Orthodox priest, in the town of Rohatyn which
is located 68 km, south east of Lviv, a major city of Galicia which was
then part of the Kingdom of Poland, today in western Ukraine. She was
captured by Crimean Tatars during one of their frequent raids into this
region and taken as a slave, probably first to the Crimean city of Kaffa
(Kefe in Turkish, Caffa in Italian), a major centre of the slave trade,
then to Istanbul, and was selected for Süleyman's Harem. She quickly
came to the attention of her master, and attracted the jealously of her
rivals. One day Süleyman's former favorite, the concubine Mahidevran,
also called "Gul Bahar" (The Flower of Spring), got into a fight with
Hürrem and beat her badly. Upset by this,Süleyman sent Mahidevran away
from Istanbul to the provincial capital of Manisa together with her son,
the heir apparent, Prince Mustafa. Thereafter, Hürrem became Süleyman's
unrivalled favorite or Haseki. Many years later, probably at the
instigation of Hurrem, the Sultan ordered Mustafa to be strangled.
Hürrem's influence over the Sultan soon became legendary; she was to
bear Süleyman five children and, in an astonishing break with tradition,
eventually was freed and became his legal wife. This strengthened her
position in the palace and eventually led to one of her sons, Selim
inheriting the empire. Hürrem also may have acted as Süleyman's advisor
on other matters of state, and seems to have had an influence upon
foreign affairs and international politics. Two of her letters to the
Polish King Sigismund Augustus have been preserved and during her
lifetime, the Ottoman Empire generally had peaceful relations with the
Polish state. Some historians also believe that she may have intervened
with her husband to control Crimean Tatar slave-raiding in her native
Aside from her political concerns, Hürrem engaged in several major works
of public buildings, from Mecca to Jerusalem, perhaps modeling her
charitable foundations in part after the caliph Harun al-Rashid's
consort Zubaida. Among her first foundations were a mosque, two koranic
schools, a fountain, and a women's hospital near the "Women's Slave
Market" (Avret Pazary) in Istanbul. She also commissioned a bath, the
Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı, to serve the community of worshipers in the
nearby Hagia Sophia. As well, some of her embroidery, or at least
embroidery done under her supervision, has survived, examples being
given in 1547 to the Shah of Iran and in 1549 to King Sigismund
Hürrem died on April 18, 1558. She is buried in a domed mausoleum (türbe)
decorated in exquisite Iznik tiles depicting the garden of paradise,
perhaps in homage to her smiling and joyful nature. Her mausoleum is
adjacent to Süleyman's, a separate and more somber domed structure, at
the Süleymaniye Mosque.
Hürrem, or Roxelana, as she is better known in Europe, is well-known
both in modern Turkey and in the West, and is the subject of many
artistic works. She has inspired paintings, musical works (including
Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 63), an opera by Denys Sichynsky, a ballet,
plays, and several novels written mainly in Ukrainian, but also in
English, French, and German.
Suleyman the Magnificent (Kanuni Sultan Suleyman)Suleiman I (Ottoman
سليمان Sulaymān, Turkish: Süleyman; formally Kanuni Sultan
Süleyman in Turkish) (November 6, 1494 September 5/6, 1566), was the
tenth and the longest serving Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning
from 1520 to 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent
and in the Islamic world, as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni), deriving
from his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Within the
empire, Suleiman was known as a fair ruler and an opponent of
corruption. As well as being a capable goldsmith and distinguished poet,
Suleiman was also a great patron of artists and philosophers, overseeing
the golden age of the Ottoman Empire's cultural development.
Suleiman was considered one of the prememinent rulers of 16th century
Europe. Under his leadership, the Ottoman Empire became among the
worlds' foremost powers. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to
conquer Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary, laid the Siege of Vienna,
and annexed most of the Middle East and huge territories in North Africa
as far west as Algeria. For a short period, Ottomans achieved naval
dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf. The
Ottoman Empire continued to expand for a century after his death...Read
Turkey has a magnificent past, and is
a land full of archaeological, architectural, historical and cultural
treasures from thirteen successive
Ancient Anatolian Civilizations
spanning 10,000 years! Even if one spends only a short time in Turkey,
one gets by the Multi-lingual Cultural Tour Operator TransAnatolie Tour
the opportunity to discover and explore a lot of these cultural,
historical, archaeological, architectural and belief/biblical heritages
with specially designed superb itineraries and with high QoS.
Turkey is also a paradise of sun, sea,
sand, mountains, forests, lakes and natural thermal resorts to
practice Blue Cruise, Hobby Eco Nature & Wildlife Tourism as well as
From April to October, most places
in Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on
sandy beaches or enjoying the tranquility of forests, mountains and
There is no doubt that one visit
will not be enough, and you would like to come back again and again
as you discover one extraordinary place after another. All of them,
no matter how different, have one thing in common: the friendly and
hospitable people of this unique country of civilizations.
Turkey offers, via TransAnatolie
Tour (Multilingual Cultural Tour Operator in Turkey and abroad), the
vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday
TransAnatolie Tour (Multi-Lingual
Cultural Tour Operator in Anatolia (Asia Minor) Turkey) is a leading provider
and operator of archaeological, historical, belief (biblical) and
cultural heritage tours and specialty travel with high Quality of
Service (QoS) concept.
The heart of TransAnatolie tourism spectrum
comprises organization, provision and operations of
(Biblical) Tours (holidays/trips/travels) in Turkey
(Sailing) along the wonderful Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of
Mini Tours (holidays/trips/travels)
Hobby Eco & Nature
Tours (holidays/trips/travels) to Turkey
Incentives, Workshops and Congress
Each TransAnatolie Tour itinerary
has been carefully planned, architected and designed by our
experienced tour program developers together with our outstanding
scholars around the world.
TransAnatolie Tours are executed in
five languages (Dutch, English, French, German and Turkish) with
high QoS concept by Tourism Professionals of valuable experience,
intelligence and high intellectual and social capacity.
TransAnatolie Tour executive and operations teams have been at the
cutting edge of international tour (holiday) operations and
specialty travel since 1990s, working with organizations,
universities and museums to provide unique travel experiences,
cultural and belief (biblical) tours (holidays/trips) to their
TransAnatolie has immersed travelers in Anatolia's most
fascinating ancient cultures and provided enriching travel
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