Turkey is a nation straddling eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Cosmopolitan Istanbul, on the Bosphorus Strait, is home to the iconic Hagia Sophia, with its soaring dome and Christian mosaics, the massive 17th-century Blue Mosque and the circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, former home of sultans. Ankara is Turkey’s modern capital.
Israel a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.
Arrival in Turkey (Istanbul) and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul./ leisure / if u want any other option then we can provide.
ISTANBUL (OLD CITY) – CAPPADOCIA
The tour starts with a visit to the ancient Hippodrome. The original building of the Hippodrome was built in the 3rd century A.D by Septimus Severus. The Hippodrome was the civil center for the people. In the Hippodrome, you may also see the Egyptian Obelisk (Dikilita˛), The Serpentine Column, The Constantine Column and the German Fountain of Wilhelm 2. The tour continues with a visit to The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camisi). It was built by Sultan Ahmet I in the 17th century. Visitors are fascinated with its beautiful blue tiles. This is followed by a visit to Topkapi Palace which was the second palace in Istanbul for the Ottoman sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. After lunch the tour continues with a visit to the St. (Hagia) Sophia which was built by the Emperor Justinian. It was the largest church in the world for many centuries and today it is the fourth largest. You will see its beautiful mosaics, exquisite samples of Byzantine art. We will also visit the Underground Cistern which is the largest and most ornate cistern in Istanbul. The tour continues with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. (You will have free time in Grand Bazaar to wonder through the vast maze and see the beautiful crafts.When we finish this segment, we will transfer to the airport for the flight to Cappadocia (Kayseri airport). Upon arriving at the Kayseri airport, we will make the one hour trip to our hotel in the heart of Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia.
After breakfast in the hotel we will visit Devrent (Imagination) Valley to see the lunar landscape and fantastic rock formations. We will walk in Pasabag to see the tallest fairy chimneys and the caves where the Christian monks lived in their small communities.Lunch in Avanos and a visit to a traditional pottery workshop for a demonstration. In the afternoon we will visit Goreme Open-Air Museum and see the rock-cut churches and beautiful frescoes and paintings of the 10th through 13th centuries. After the museum we will go to Uchisar rock castle for a beautiful view of Cappadocia’s valleys. Overnight in Cappadocia.
CAPPADOCIA – ISTANBUL
Visit Kaymakli Underground City. It is one of the many underground settlements in Cappadocia, and it was used as a shelter by the Byzantines.Drive to Soganli valley. Visit rock-cut churches with frescoes dating from the 13th century. Then enter the village which is surrounded by ‘table top’ mountains. Lunch in Soganli village at a small village restaurant. Drive to the archaeological site Sahinefendi (Sobesos), a roman town from the 4th to 9th centuries. It was discovered by the local people in 2002.You will see beautiful mosaics and a Roman bath.
The tour continues to the Keslik Monastery and a look at the cave community with its frescoes from 9th and 11th century.
Next, visit Mustafapasa, an old Greek village. You will see very fine examples of Greek houses and churches.Transfer to Kayseri airport for the flight to Istanbul and then to the hotel.Overnight in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL (BOSPHORUS CRUISE and DOLMABAHCE PALACE)
Today we will go to the Bosphorus. First, we will visit the Egyptian Spice Market. It was built in 1664 as part of the Yeni Cami complex. Today, you may buy spices and Turkish delight. The tour continues to the Galata Bridge and Golden Horn.We will visit the incredible 19th century Dolmabahce Palace. The palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecid. It consists of 285 rooms and 46 halls that house approximately 600 paintings. We continue up the Bosporus and cross over to Asia, going up Camlica Hill for a view of Istanbul. After lunch we will visit the Sadberk Hanim Museum, with its well-organized archeological and ethnographical sections. The Bosphorus cruise (ferry) begins in the afternoon. Bosphorus is a narrow strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. We pass by the Rumeli Fortress and you will enjoy crossing from continent to continent. Overnight in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL Transfer to the airport for your international flight and departure from Turkey.
Itinerary Day 6: Tel Aviv – Jerusalem Leave your Tel Aviv hotel and travel southeast to Jerusalem by air-conditioned coach, roughly an hour away. As you enter the city, stop to admire the views from the Mount of Olives, gazing out at the Dome of the Rock at Temple Mount Esplanade. Travel through Kidron Valley, past the monumental burial tombs at the Garden of Gethsemane – where Jesus was said to have prayed before his crucifixion – to the walls of the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Stretch your legs on a walk, ambling along the old Byzantine main road, and stop to admire the Western Wall, nicknamed the ‘wailing wall’ after the vast crowds of worshipers who use it as an open-air synagogue. Soak up the atmosphere and continue through the Jewish quarter to the Christian quarter for a walk along the Via Dolorosa. The road was once an important pilgrimage route for Christian visitors, believed to mark the way to the site of Jesus’ crucifixion at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Wander away from the Christian quarter to check out the Muslim bazaar, a bustling place where Hebron glass and Armenian pottery knickknacks are sold alongside spices and coffee. Browse the stalls with your guide and then venture into the newer part of the city for a visit to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum – a poignant Holocaust memorial and exhibition center. After exploring at leisure, meet your guide and check in to your Jerusalem hotel. Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem.
Day 7: Jerusalem – City of David – Jerusalem (B) Enjoy breakfast and then head out for your second tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, enjoying in-depth commentary about each of the sights. Visit the Mount of Olives, and then stop to see an ancient cemetery in Kidron Valley, visiting the tombs of Absalom – King David’s son – as well as Zechariah, a revered temple priest. Continue past the Church of All Nations in the Garden of Gethsemane, and stop at Mount Zion to pay your respects at the Tomb of King David. Head into the heart of the Old City through Zion Gate and walk around the four Sephardic synagogues in the Jewish quarter that each date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Stroll along the Byzantine main street, and pass the excavations of an ancient wall that stood some 2, 700 years ago during the reign of King Hezekiah. The area is home to some incredible 2,000-year-old Herodian mansions, complete with their original mosaics. Wander around with your guide and hear insights into the people’s lifestyle at the time. Stop to place a prayer note in the cracks of the Western Wall, and then leave the Old City through Dung Gate. After a break for lunch (own expense), set off on foot to explore the walled City of David, one of Jerusalem’s ancient neighborhoods. Spend time here at your leisure or enjoy a guided tour (excluded). Steeped in religious history, the City of David is often cited as the birthplace of Jerusalem for it was here that Kind David founded his kingdom, and some of the most famous biblical stories are believed to have taken place. Today, the neighborhood is an extensive archeological park, home to an array of temples, ruins and relics. As you amble around, your guide will point out highlights such as Gihon Spring – an ancient water source – and the tunnels that were built by the Canaanites to channel water around the City of David. Your full-day tour finishes with a hotel drop-off, and the rest of the evening is then yours to spend at leisure. Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem
Day 8: Jerusalem – Masada – Dead Sea – Jerusalem (B) After breakfast, travel through the barren Judean Desert that stretches around the city. Pass the Inn of the Good Samaritan – the setting of one of the New Testament’s most famous parables – and watch the sultry barren hills of the desert give way to the stone towers of Jericho, one of the world’s oldest cities. Continue alongside the shores of the Dead Sea, admiring its serene blue water juxtaposed against the sun-baked desert canyons, and then stop at the cable car station that leads to Masada. The UNESCO World Heritage site is home to the ruins of King Herod’s ancient fortress, a palace complex that later became a besieged Jewish stronghold against a bloody Roman invasion. Hop inside the cable car and ride to the mountain’s flat-topped summit while gazing down over Snake, a winding walkway that leads to the top. Explore Masada’s excavations with your guide, discovering ruined stone houses, bathhouses and a 1st-century synagogue and more. After learning about the site during the days of King Herod and during the Roman attack of 73 AD, return down the mountain by cable car. Enjoy a quick break for lunch (own expense), and then travel to a resort on the Dead Sea, stopping at the northern coast to swim and float in the mineral-rich waters at leisure. Marking the lowest point on the face of the Earth, the impressive stretch of water is fed by a collection of incoming rivers that gush in to its land-locked shores. As the waters have nowhere to flow on to, they evaporate and leave behind a rich concentration of natural salt that attributes to the Dead Sea’s famous buoyancy. After floating on the water and enjoying the therapeutic mud, meet back up with your guide and return to your Jerusalem hotel. Overnight: 3-star hotel in Jerusalem.at the water’s edge. If you would like to get baptized, speak to your guide to see if it can be arranged. Soak up the tranquil ambiance, and then check in to your kibbutz on the Sea of Galilee for your overnight stay. Overnight: Nof Tavor hotel in kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee
Day 9 : Jerusalem- Tel aviv and also provide the transfer for Tel Aviv airport drop.