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Istanbul

5 days, 4 nights
Code: PHLTR05YY
Sofia-Istanbul-Sofia
Day 1. Arrive to Istanbul and transfer to the hotel. Free day at leisure.
Day 2. After breakfast full day old city tour and visit St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hipodrome Square, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar.
St. Sophia, officially the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia, is a Late Antique place of worship in Istanbul, designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. Built in 537 as the patriarchal cathedral of the imperial capital of Constantinople, it was the largest Christian church of the eastern Roman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church, except during the Latin Empire from 1204 to 1261, when it became the city's Latin Catholic cathedral. In 1453, after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque. In 1935, the secular Turkish Republic established it as a museum. In 2020, it re-opened as a mosque.
Topkapi Palace, or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih district of Istanbul in Turkey. In the 15th and 16th centuries it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is an Ottoman-era historical imperial mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. A functioning mosque, it also attracts large numbers of tourist visitors. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque's interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque's five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. It sits next to the Hagia Sophia, the principal mosque of Istanbul until the Blue Mosque's construction and another popular tourist site. The Blue Mosque was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1985 under the name of "Historic Areas of Istanbul". Sultanahmet Square, or the Hippodrome of Constantinople is a square in Istanbul, Turkey. Previously, it was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m2, attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among the world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors. The Grand Bazaar at Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the World.
Day 3. After breakfast full day Bosphorus tour and visit Spice Market, Eminonu, Dolmabahce Palace and Cruise on Bosphorus. A leisurely cruise along the fabulous Bosphorus, starting near the Black Sea and taking us past Ottoman palaces, wooden 19th century waterfront mansions, modern pleasure palaces and fortresses. The perfect opportunity for taking photographs along both shores of this fabled waterway. The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, currently a quarter within the Fatih district, which is the capital district of Istanbul and of Istanbul Province. Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to 1922.
Day 4. After breakfast full day Princes Islands Tour. Take a leisurely 28-kilometer cruise through the Sea of Marmara to the unspoiled charms of Buyukada. The largest of the Prince's Islands, Buyukada boasts lush foliage, pine forests, turn of the century wooden mansions and incomparable views of Istanbul. Best of all, cars are banned, so you travel by horse-drawn carriage.
Day 5. After breakfast free day at leisure then transfer to the airport and flight back home.




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Ayvalik

Ayvalik is situated on the shores of the Bay of Edremit (Adramyttion) and its favourable geography, superb architecture and famous hospitality make it a truly special and tranquil holiday destination. Ayvalyk is located between important cities such as Izmir (2 hours drive), the metropolitan centre of the Aegean, Canakkale (3 hours drive), which is on Canakkale Strait, connectiong Europe and Asia, and Bursa (4,5 hours drive), one of the captal cities of the Otoman Empire.
The highway connection from Istanbul to Ayvalik via Tekirdag, Eceabat, Canakkale, Ezine, Ayvacik and Edremit is 489 km. The closest airport to Ayvalik (40 km) is the Edremit Korfez Airport. The Izmir Adnan Menderes International Airport is 175 km from Ayvalik. During the summer season the county is connected to the Greek island Lesbos by ferry (2 hours).
Ayvalik is also a county of Balikesir Province in the Aegean Region of Turkey, and it is one of the country’s fast emerging but still largely untouched tourism destinations. The county is under Mediterranean climate. The Thracian tribe of Mysians built the first known settlements in Ayvalik. Called as Cisthene, Talian and Cydoniae throughout history, Ayvalik was successively ruled after that by Persians, Thracian Empire of Macedonia (330-30 BC), the Romans (30 BC-395 AD) and the Byzantines (395-1453 AD). After that, Ayvalik goes under rule of the Turks.
After the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, a mutually-agreed compulsory population exchange took place between Greece and Turkey. As a part of that exchange the Christian population living in Ayvalik was moved to Lesbos and Crete and the Muslim population of those islands moved to Ayvalik.
Ayvalik has the unique atmosphere of a historical city set amid remarkable natural beauty. The vestiges of the XXVIII and XIX century life are still visible in the streets.
Here you may see: Saatli Mosque (Hagios Ioannis Church), Ciarli Mosque (Hagios Georgios Church), Hamidiya Mosque, Hayrettin Pasha Mosque (Kato Panagia Church), Kucukkoy Central Mosque (Hagios Athanasios Church), Taxiarchis Church, Ayazma (Holy Water) Church, Hagios Triad (Holy Trinity) Church, Alibay (Cunda) Island, Ayvalik Islands, the torist resort Kucukkoy, the archeology place Altinova (III millennium BC). Here you may enjoy: Nature Activities (Sea, Sun and Sand), Water Sports and Yachting, Turkish Cuisine, Shopping, Handcrafts, many festivals.

Didim

At the entrance to the Aegean resort of Didim, lie the historical ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Didim (Didyma in antiquity) was not just city of Miletus but it had also home to one of the most famous oracles of antiquity. The Temple of Apollo, built to honor Apollo, The God of Sun, Arts, Music, and Prophecy stood one of the most respected sanctuaries in the ancient world, where visitors eagerly listened to cryptic omens of the future passed down by oracles.
Didyma was also called Branchidaes’ State. The king of Lydia Croesus consulted the oracle of Apollo Temple before attacking Persian Empire. The Oracle told him that one empire will be defeated as a result of the war. Croesus attacked Persia but finally not Pesian but Lydian Empire was demolished.
In Didim, you can find: Sea, Sun and Sand on Altinkum (Golden Beach – 1,5 km beach having Blue Flag), walking, cruise and caravan tourism facilities in Akbuk (district of Dididm, having 11 km coastline), camping facilities (in Didim Forest Camp), market places and festivals (in Dididm and near villages Mavisehir, Akkoy, Akyenikoy), nature and nature trecking (in Dilek Peninsula Buyuk Menderes National Park, Bafa lake) bird watching (Dalmatian Pelicans, Flamingos, Fish Eagle), water sports (Didim Marina), festivals and summer nights, culinary, boat trips and many attractions.
The unique ancient city of Milet (Miletus) is located on the road between Didim and Soke. Milet maintained its strategic importance for centuries as a harbor city. Soke Plain was the sea 2000 years ago and Lake Bafa was called “Latmos Bay”. Milet is renowned for the Miletus School of philosophers – Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes. The Grand Theatre of Miletus, founded in IV century BC, has seating capacity of 15 000 people, gorgeous acoustic and 140 meters width stage. Othe buildings are: Faustina Bath (built by Marcus Aurelius for his wife Faustina, size 50x80 meters), Capito Bath, Nymphaion, Delphinion, Ritual street, Stadium, Bouleterium (City Council), Agoras, Temple of Athena… Priene is another ancient Grek city in the area. It was member of the Ioniam league, comprising twelve cities: Miletus, Myus, Priene, Ephesus, Colophon, Lebedus, Teos, Clazomenae, Phocaea, Chios, Erythrae and Samos. Where the league of Ioniam cities held cogress here, Prienes governed them. The Temple of Athena Polias at Priene is a classic example of pure Ionian style. The architect of the building was Pythius who also constructed the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

Kusadasi (The Island of the birds)

Kusadasi is a major Aegean resort town on the southern Aegean coast. It is situated amid splendid coastal scenery and several significant archeological sites, including the three well-preserved Ionian settlements of Miletus, Pirene and Didyma.
The tourists in summer enlarge the year-round population several times. Once a small fishing village, today Kusadasi is center of frenzied tourism. Its proximity to Ephesus makes it an ideal base for Aegean cruise ships.
Places to see:
1. The Ephesus Antique City 18 km/15 min.
Ephesus is the biggest and best preserved ancient city in the country and is one of the world’s spectacular historical sites. The city was established with a harbor on the mouth of the Cayster River, and in 2nd century BC, it became the most important port and commercial trading center in Anatolia. Among the amphitheatres, murals and mosaics, baths, fountains and columns, the chariot-wom streets lead to some of the highlights, including the enormous Library of Celsus, the impressive Temple of Hadrian, a row of public latrines and the Grand Theatre where Paul preached to the Ephesians.
2. The Temple of Artemis 19 km/15 min
Measuring 125 by 60 meters, the Temple of artemis is among one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Today, one can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely built of marble and full of sculpture columns, capitals and shafts.
3. Miletos 55 km/45 min
It is one of the oldest cities of Ionia, located north of Soke, about 55 km away from Kusadasi. Miletos was also the city of many scientists and philosophers such as Thales, Anaximander, Hekataios (principal source to Herodotos) and Isidorus who is the architect of Agia Sophia in Istanbul. The most important monuments to be seen at Miletos are: the Bath of Faustina, the Delphinion (small temple dedicated to apolo Delphinion, protector of ships and harbours) and the amphitheater.
4. Priene 35 km/30 min
Priene is worth being visited for its Athena Temple, the Stadium, the Prytanion, the Temple of Demeter and Persephone, the Bouloterion, the Gymnasium and the Amphitheatre. The first establishment in Priene go back till 2000 BC.
5. Aphrodisias 170 km/ 2 hours
Aphrodisias, the capital of Caria, is one of the most significant sites discovered by modern archaeologists. The name Aphrodisias is derived from Aphrodite, the goddess of nature, beauty and love has reigned supreme in this area for many centuries. Aphrodisias was famous for the school of sculpture and the Aphrodisias stadium is the best preserved of all the ancient stadiums in the Mediterranean region with a capacity of 30 000. The Museum of Aphrodisias is one of the most outstanding museums of Western Anatolia.
6. Pamukkale 220 km/3,5 hours
Pamukkale, meaning cotton castle in Turkish, derives its name from its physical appearance.Pamukkale lies 19 km north of the town Denizli and 200 km east of Kusadasi. The breathtaking white travertines of pamukkale have been shaped layer upon layer by the frozen limewater which pored out from the nearby termal springs. The water from the springs has a temperature of 35 °C and has a scientifically proven positive effect on vascular and heart diseases, rheumatism, hyper-tension, urethra and kidney diseases. The healing waters of Pamukkale, which the Roman emperor once came to bathe, now serve local and international visitors.
7. Caravanserai 6 km/7 min
It is located in the center of the town, near the harbor. It was built by Grand-Vizier Okuz Mehmet Pasa in 1618 and was restored in 1966. It was an Otoman castle built for overseas trade.

Antalya

Antalya is flanked by the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea and has been witness to a remarkable past. Antalya was founded in the 2nd century BC on the orders of the king of Pergamon, Attalos 2nd, who was seeking an earthly paradise. The city was established as Attaleia where Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycia intersect – the location of the most fertile area of Anatolia. This area has witnessed several civilizations and has been center of culture, art, mythology and architecture through history.
Juniper, cedar, pine forests as well as hundreds of endemic species that exist only in this region of the world, are found in Antalya. These fertile lands, richly endowed with a generous array of nature and a pleasant climate, have served as an important source of inspiration for artists. A mosaic found in the ancient city of Seleukia, east of Anatlya portrays the Thracian poet Orpheus, who, according some sources, was son of Apollo. The mosaic is housed in the Antalya Archeological Museum and depicts a scene where the melodies emanating from his flute stop the flow of raging waters, and spellbind wild animals.
The newly opened Antalya Aquarium on Aspendos Boulevard in Konyaalti is must see location fro the world’s biggest tunnel aquarium (131 meters length and 3 meters width) and thousands of species of underwater creatures it houses. Behind the Aquarium is MiniCity where famous buildings are presented in their miniature form. With its almost 25 km long coastline stretching up to Beldibi, Konyaalti region, which is world-famous for its beatches with all shades of blue, represents Antalya’s window to the world.


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