HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR ITINERARY
DAY 1: MAY 11
DAY 2: MAY 12
THE AGORA OF IZMIR
Izmir’s ancient agora was once a bustling Roman bazaar and
today you can still see Colonnades of Corinthian columns, v
aulted chambers and a reconstructed arch making it one of
the best preserved agoras in the world.
Visit the KIZLARAGASI HAN BAZAAR in Izmir
for shopping. This Ottoman town bazaar offers
sumac carpets, water pipes, camel bone,
DAY 3: MAY 13
IZMIR AND SUROUNDING AREAS
Admire the spectacular ancient sights of Ephesus, site of one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” and a highlightof 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 also visit the Fountains of Trojan, Polio, The Temples of Hadrian and Domition, Private House, and the Library of Celsius.
Visit the VIRGIN MARY ’S HOUSE.
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. 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. During his visit, Pope John-Paul II declared this house as the Shrine of Virgin Mary and a pilgrimage place for Christians.
Proceed to TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS and the ST. JOHN’S BASILICA. The Temple of Artemis is identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, while the Basilica of St. John was constructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century.
DAY 4: MAY 14
IZMIR - ISTANBUL
Upon arrival in Istanbul, enjoy a panoramic driving tour through the Old City and the Bosphorus, and a visit to the MOSQUE OF SOLEMAN THE MAGNIFICENT. 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.
DAY 5: MAY 15
Visit TOPKAPI PALACE AND MUSEUM. 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.
Visit the SPICE BAZAAR. 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, saffront, mint and thyme.
Also visit the GRAND BAZAAR. 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.
DAY 6: MAY 17
Visit the BLUE MOSQUE. 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.
Visit the AYA SOFYA , one of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world. This former basilica and mosque is now the Saint Sophia Museum, and it’s often called it as the 8th wonder of the world.
Visit the HIPPODROME. 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.
DAY 7: MAY 18
ISTANBUL - HONG KONG
Visit TAKSIM SQUARE, Istanbul's main shopping district, and the DOLMABAHCE PALACE. The 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.
In the evening, catch your Turkish Airlines flight back to Hong Kong.
As with our previous tours, we'll be offering cultural shows and fine dining options every evening in Istanbul.
Included in the price:
*Roundtrip international flights
between Hong Kong and 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 or dinners as listed in the itinerary
*All porterage fees in Turkey
*All entrance fees and guided tours listed in the itinerary
*Private sunset cruise and dinner along the Bosphorus