Best of Jordan & Turkey
Day 1 (Sun): Arrive in Amman, Jordan (Dinner)
Meet at Amman International Airport and transfer to hotel.
Day 2 (Mon): Amman city tour [B,D]
Morning tour of Amman, visiting the Roman Theatre, Citadel, Archaeology and Folklore Museums, old and modern Amman and one of the many art galleries in this capital city. This is followed by an afternoon at leisure and dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 (Tue): Amman – Dead Sea – Amman [B]
Drive down to the lowest spot on earth and experience floating in the waters of the Dead Sea. Continue northwards to Pella in the Jordan Valley. Continue to Um Qais, Gedara of the Bible (Mathew 8:28-43), for a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmouk River and the Golan Heights. Return in the late afternoon to Amman.
Day 4 (Wed): Amman – Jerash [B]
A late morning tour of Jerash (Gerasa of antiquity), the best preserved city of Roman times, to visit its theatres, temples, churches and colonnaded streets. Then continue to Ajloun to tour the 12th century Saracen Castle built by one of Saladin’s lieutenants in the campaign against the Crusaders.
Day 5 (Thu): Petra [B]
Drive southwards along the Kings’ Way to Petra, visiting Madaba with the oldest map of the Holy Land, and its Mosaic School, Mt. Nebo and the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley; then drive through the magnificent scenery of Wadi Mujib to Kerak to visit the Crusader Castle of (stop for optional lunch). Overnight in Petra.
Day 6 (Fri): Petra [B]
A full day to visit the many sites of Petra, this city that was carved into the rose-red Sharah Mountains by the Nabateans and lost to Civilization until re-discovered by the Swiss Burkhardt. Walk through the Siq, a narrow and winding fissure between the cliffs, to reach the Treasury, the Roman Theater, the Courts, Qasr Bint Pharaoun, Temple of the Winged Lion and other monuments. An optional break for lunch or you may wish to climb up to the Monastery. Overnight in Petra.
Day 7 (Sat): Wadi Rum – Aqaba – Amman [B]
Visit the Wadi Rum Desert (with a short ride in a 4×4 vehicle) and its awesome moonlike landscape, where the film “Lawrence of Arabia” was shot. If time permits a short visit to Aqaba, Jordan’s only sea port city. Return to Amman on the Desert Highway (stop en route for optional lunch).Overnight in Amman.
Day 8 (Sun): Amman – Istanbul [B]
Transfer to Queen Alia International Airport for your onward flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Arrival in Istanbul and meeting at the airport, transfer to the hotel, check- in. Leisure afternoon.
Optional: Bosphorus Cruise Tour if you arrive early and time permits. It can be arranged even last minute on arrival in Istanbul.
Day 9 (Mon): Istanbul Old City tour [B]
Visit to Topkapi Palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. We will also see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and relics of the prophet Mohammed.(Entrance to the Harem is extra). After lunch break we will see the Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I, which is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Walk through the back streets of Old Istanbul and visit the Yerebatan underground Cistern. At the end of the tour, at request, free time to see the Grand Covered Bazaar (except Sundays). Overnight Istanbul.
Day 10 (Tue): Istanbul- Cappadocia [B,L]
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel and transfer to Istanbul Airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Transfer to Cappadocia. Tour to Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground settlements in Cappadocia. Drive to to Sahinefendi ( Sobesos )- Sobessos is newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses & Archaeological excavation site. Villages in the valleys, surrounded by the “table top” mountains, are spectacular. Continue with Keslik Monastery near Cemil, that hides it’s frescoes behind a very thin smoke layer which we can only see by torch light. Lunch break. Visit to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; very fine examples of late Greek settlements and architecture. Visit to Saruhan Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road. Continue with panorama of the Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations, is in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowd. Overnight at a cave hotel in Cappadocia.
Day 11 (Wed): Cappadocia [B,L]
In the morning, first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia: rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses, visit to Pasabag “fairy chimneys” where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies” near Zelve. Lunch break in Avanos, centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC. and a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century). Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight Cappadocia.
Day 12 (Thu): Cappadocia – Ephesus [B,D]
Take the morning flight from Kayseri to Izmir (direct or via Istanbul). Arrival and meeting at the airport with your name sign. Transfer to Ephesus. Visit to the ancient city of Ephesus. We will spend several hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, Apostles Paul and John and many other familiar historical names. The recently opened Terrace Houses (entry included) where the wealthiest Romans lived are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and presentation. The mosaics and frescos are spectacular. Tradition has it that Virgin Mary was brought here by St John after the Crucifixion and lived her final years near the city of Ephesus on an isolated mountaintop. A lovely chapel is constructed on the site tended by Franciscans and open to visitors. It has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope. We will continue with Saint John Church where Apostle John spent his final years and he was buried. Visit to temple of Artemis to see the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Overnight Kusadasi near Ephesus.
Day 13 (Fri): Ephesus – Istanbul [B]
Transfer to Izmir Airport for your short flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 14 (Sat): Departure from Istanbul [B]
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for your departure flight.