Venture into a land thousands of years old. Your first experience with this ancient and captivating country will be in the " Jewel of Central Anatolia "- Cappadocia. Home to a bewitching landscape of spectacularly eroded tuff, Cappadocia's most famous characteristic features are the remarkable " fairy chimneys ". Explore this enchanting city for the first three nights, then on to Turkey's largest and most densely populated city - Istanbul.
Bridging the gap between two different worlds, Asia and Europe, Istanbul makes for a completely unique cultural experience. Every turn around the corner on the bustling streets is another glimpse into history. What will strike you more than the meeting of East and West in Istanbul, is the juxtaposition of the old and the new, of tradition and modernity. This itinerary will highlight the most notable historical landmarks as well as give you an introduction to present day Istanbul.
The third option for discovery is a Silversea cruise, embarking in Istanbul and dotting down the magnificent Aegean coast to ports in Greece. See Itinerary here: All Along the Aegean Coast
- June 14, Tuesday arrive ISTANBUL / CAPPADOCIAYou will be greeted at the airport by your Admiral Travel Representative who will assist with baggage and escort you to your accommodations
- June 15, Wednesday CAPPADOCIAAfter breakfast, you will meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby for your private full day of experience.First, you will visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum where icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. Then, you will visit the Goreme Valley, which has been occupied since the dawn of history. Continue on to see the Pasabag Valley where the formation of “fairy chimneys” can be best observed.Break for LunchAfter your lunch, you arrive in the 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. Then, you will view Devrent Valley, a magical corner in the countless panoramic valleys of Cappadocia. Last, you will stop on the best spot to have a panoramic view of the Uchisar Castle on the way to your hotel, full of towering rock houses typical of this area.**Optional Tour**: Rise early this morning for your magical hot air ballooning experience. You will enjoy a bird's eye view of the fantastic lunar-like landscapes and gently float among the contours of the valleys.
- June 16, Thursday CAPPADOCIAAfter breakfast, you will meet your professional local guide at the hotel lobby for your private full day experience. Descend below the earth's surface in the Kaymakli Underground City, visit the excavations of Sobesos Ancient City, jump back in history at the Keslik monastery and take in the picturesque village of Mustafapasa.
- June 17, Friday CAPPADOCIACheck out of your hotel, at 7:15am you will meet your Authentescapes representative at the hotel lobby and transfer to the Kayseri Airport for your domestic flight to Istanbul. At the airport you will be met by your professional guide to take you on your full day of private sightseeing.Your private tour of Istanbul will start with a visit to the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. You will take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance.Break for LunchAfter your lunch, you will visit the magnificent Palace, the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. Next, you will visit St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom and considered the architectural marvel of all time. Last, you will visit the descend underground into the Basilica Cistern, constructed in 532 AD.
- June 18, Saturday ISTANBULAfter your breakfast, meet your professional guide at the hotel lobby for your private full-day of sightseeing.First, visit the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Built in the 11th century, the walls are decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes. Next, you will visit the Suleymaniye Mosque. Built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan on the order of Sultan Suleiman. Following you will make your way to Spice Bazaar, the second largest covered market in Istanbul.Break for LunchAfter lunch you will visit the Grand Bazaar, the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops.
- June 19, Sunday ISTANBULDay at leisure.
- June 20, Monday depart ISTANBULAt 1:00pm, check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport for your onward flight. For those taking the post cruise extension: transfer to the port to join others in embarking on your 7 day Silversea cruise to Athens.