Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Join this Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Turkey

In commemoration of its third year anniversary, TRAVELIFE MAGAZINE and award-winning Turkish Airlines, with the cooperation of Philippine Airlines, are offering a one-week, all-inclusive tour to Turkey at a price impossible to match elsewhere for this quality.

There are regular tours, and there is the kind of non-commercial tour arranged by Travelife Magazine, the Philippines' leading travel and lifestyle publication, simply because we want our readers, FB fans and friends to experience the joys of travel and the magic of Turkey in the same way we have done.

Five-star hotels, all the major sights,
most meals, enough free time

This tour will cover the major sights in Istanbul and the Izmir so that you won't leave Turkey feeling you didn't see enough of it; while at the same time leaving you with free time to do what pleases you -- whether it's shopping at the bazaar, visiting the museum, or just hanging out in one of Istanbul's quaint cafes for some apple tea. You'll also be staying at quality five-star hotels that are actually in the city center -- you won't just be driven into the city to see the sights.

This is especially important in Istanbul, where we're sure you'd like to maximize your short stay and free time by avoiding travel time and being right in the Old Town. This way, you can walk around the town on a free night, return to the Grand Bazaar on your free afternoon, or even just skip one day's tours and wander around on your own. Visit the Istanbul Modern, watch the fishermen along Galata Bridge, or take a boat ride on the beautiful Bosphorus. All these are walking distance from the hotel.

We decided to talk to Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Embassy about organizing a trip to Turkey after having such a fabulous time there in June. Turkey is just too amazing to keep to ourselves. Fortunately, all parties agreed. The Turkish Ambassador has even very kindly agreed to host a meeting for tour participants prior to departure, to meet everyone and literally talk Turkey.

Your kind of non-commercial tour

No one's making any money on this tour, in case you're wondering. In particular, Travelife Magazine, Turkish Airlines and our land operators in Istanbul all just want to give Travelife readers and friends a great time in a fantastic country. We could've had a party to celebrate our third (successful) year in business -- but instead we decided to help organize a charity ball for Gawad Kalinga (GK) and to offer this very special tour of Turkey at an incredible price.

We guarantee you will not get this value for this price anywhere. This is a tour we ourselves want to go on (in fact, we'll be going along), these are places we loved and want you to see. This is our own way of thanking you, dear readers, friends and fans, for your invaluable support for Travelife Magazine -- and for helping make us the country's leading travel and lifestyle publication. Yes, we're very grateful for your wonderful support and we're that passionate about travel, and about sharing the experience of travel.

November 13-20, 2010 (40 pax)
November 17-24, 2010 (40 pax)

Visit the amazing city of Istanbul,
the Virgin Mary’s house at Ephesus,
and the historical sights around Izmir.

Included in the price:

*Roundtrip international flights to and from Turkey
*Roundtrip domestic flights between Istanbul and Izmir
*Five-star hotel accommodations on a twin-sharing basis
*All guided tours
*Daily buffet breakfasts
*Three-course lunches and dinners
*All porterage fees in Turkey
*All entrance fees and guided tours listed below
*Private sunset cruise and dinner along the Bosphorus

Note: Most sights will involve moderate walking so please bring comfortable walking shoes and warm clothing. Daily attire is casual and the weather in November can be cold and ocassionally rainy, so please bring jackets for daytime and evening.


In ISTANBUL, visit the following places:

The Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style, with six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.

The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire, featuring a harem, treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn.

Built in 1660 with the taxes collected from the trade of Egyptian herbs and spices, the exotically domed bazaar is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint and thyme.

In operation since the 14th century, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world's largest covered markets, with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. The bazaar is specially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and carpets.

One of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world. This former basilica and mosque -- it became a mosque in 1453 -- is now the Saint Sophia Museum, and it’s often called the 8th wonder of the world. Considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture, the Aya Sofia was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the Seville Cathedral in Spain was completed in 1520.

The Mosque of Soleman the Magnificent is the biggest and the most exquisite of the Ottoman mosques in Istanbul. If the Mosque of Soleman the Magnificent is not available for a visit because of a religious day, you will visit instead the Rustem Pahsa Mosque, known for its vivid display of Iznic tiles.

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. Monuments decorating the Hippodrome include the 3500-year-old Egyptian granite Obelisk of Theodosius, brought to Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius in 390 AD.

Dolmabahce Palace was the last residence of the Ottoman sultans, and is famous for its impressive collection of European antiques, furniture and a massive chandelier given to the sultan by Queen Victoria. The enormous palace has 365 rooms, one for every day of the year, and 22 saloons.

Beylerbeyi Palace was constructed in the 1860s by Sarkis Balyan, a famous Armenian architect. Beylerbeyi is the largest and most elegant Ottoman palace, located right by the Bosphorus Bridge and the waterfront, on the Asian side of Istanbul. Our visit here will enable you to cross back and forth between Asia and Europe in a matter of hours!

A major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, and is the location of the Cumhuriyet Anıtı (Republic Monument), which was built in 1928 and commemorates the formation of the Turkish Republic.

One of the prettiest and wealthiest neighborhoods of the city, situated along the Bosphorus, before going to the hotel.

High-end outlet mall for local specialty retailers like Vakko.

* * *

In IZMIR, visit the following places:

Admire the spectacular ancient sights of Ephesus, site of one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World" and a highlight of any visit to Turkey. Learn about the rich history and heritage as you walk through 2,000 year-old marble streets, the Great Theater, Library of Celsius and Hadrian's Temple. You will visit the Fountains of Trojan, Polio, The Temples of Hadrian and Domition, Private House, and the Library of Celsius.

Located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain 9 km ahead of Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come here with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. The house is a typical Roman architectural example, entirely made of stones. In the 4th century AD, a church, combining her house and grave, was built. Paul VI was the first pope to visit this place in the 1960's. Later, in the 1980's, during his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared the Shrine of Virgin Mary has a pilgrimage place for Christians.

Pergamum, an ancient city dating before the 4th century BC, is home to the second largest library in the ancient world, the steepest Theatre of Anatolia, the monumental Altar of Zeus and the Roman Medical Center ruins of Asklepion, work site of the great physician, Galen. Pergamum is one of the finest archaeological sites in Turkey. The city was a great center of culture and the capital of East Roman Empire. Asklepion is where the world’s first psychological treatment was used.

Izmir's ancient agora was once a bustling Roman bazaar and today you can still see Colonnades of Corinthian columns, vaulted chambers and a reconstructed arch making it one of the best preserved agoras in the world.

This Ottoman town bazaar offers competitively-priced sumac carpets, water pipes, camel bone, and jewelry.


You will also have the option of doing the following:

Turkish dinner at KOSEBASI LEVENT

Kosebasi was voted as one of the "World's 50 Best Restaurants" by the 14,000 members of Conde Nast Traveler magazine and was awarded with the "International Tourism, Hotel and Catering Industries Prize" as the best representative of traditional Turkish cuisine. Kosebasi was also cited as "the best kebab restaurant in Istanbul" by Time Magazine.

Whirling Dervish Show and
Ottoman Imperial Dinner at ASITANE

The Whirling Dervish Show performed by the Mevlevis lasts for one hour. ASITANE Restaurant serves imperial Ottoman cuisine, resulting from intensive research undertaken at Istanbul's three famous palace kitchens (Dolmabahce Palace, Topkapi Palace and Edirne Palace) to test and recreate long-forgotten imperial dishes, whose recipes were traditionally kept secret. This is a restaurant for the serious culinary adventurer.


*Tips for driver and guide
*Drinks during meals
*Any additional orders at restaurants
*Any additional orders or services at hotels
*Visa fees
*1 Lunch during the free time in the Old City


What clothing should I bring?
The attire for the tour will be casual and comfortable, and there will be walking involved. Please bring comfortable clothing and walking shoes. In November, Turkey can be cool and occasionally rainy, so please bring overcoats or sweaters, and a raincoat and folding umbrella.

What will the meals be like?
Breakfast will almost always be buffet, with a choice of Turkish and Western food. Lunches and dinners included on the tour will usually be a three-course Turkish meal consisting of soup or salad, a main dish of meat or fish, and dessert. Turks eat a lot of grilled fish and meats, although no pork is served.

Why are there evening optional tours when dinner is already included in the tour package?
The optional tours are for participants who would like a more exclusive dining experience. These optional tours will be held at some of the best-known restaurants in Istanbul. In addition, we are offering a whirling dervish show on one evening, which is a performance that one should not miss.

What is the luggage allocation?
Each economy class passenger is entitled to 20 kgs, while business class passengers are entitled to 40 kgs. As Turkey is a great shopping destination, please pack sparingly on the way to Turkey to avoid overweight charges on the return flight.

Note: This scedule and the above arrangements are subject to change without prior notice.

For more information or to reserve a space in this once-in-a-lifetime tour, please contact:

Rachel Ramos
Tel. 813-8400/ 892-2620



  1. I have just been to Turkey and got to say it is one amazing country to visit. Certainly underrated!

    Hey, how about organizing tours to Asian countries like Laos, or Vietnam or Myanmar? Would love to join.

  2. Hello! Yes, we are planning other tours for next year including to Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, India and Japan. Please keep posted via our magazine, website and blog for upcoming travel opportunities with Travelife Magazine.

  3. Wow, this is super tempting...seems like a better investment vs. buying a new bag LOL. When's the deadline to confirm? If ever I'll be joining alone, will I be rooming with someone else to save on costs?

  4. I have just been to Turkey and got to say it is one amazing country to visit. Certainly underrated!
    thank blogs İstanbul Travel Ayasofia Museum Sultanahmet Topkapı Place