Day 1 Depart from New York, NY, JFK International Airport.
Take Turkish Airlines flight TK2, at 5:45 p.m., non-stop flight to Istanbul.

Day 2 Arrive Istanbul, Turkey, Connecting Flight from Istanbul to Izmir.
Arrive Istanbul Airport at 9:55 a.m. Take connection flight to Izmir. Arrive Izmir Airport at 1:30 p.m. Our representative will meet you after the baggage claim, with a “FORTIS TRAVEL” sign.

The town of Izmir, the third largest in Turkey, lies on the shores of a large bay encircled by mountains. Behind the palm-lined promenades and avenues, the city gently ascends in terraces on the slopes of the surrounding hills.

Visit the Izmir Ethnographical Museum, a building constructed in 1831 as a hospital, then converted to a museum in 1984. The museum displays traditional Turkish costumes, Ottoman furniture dating from the late 19th century, regional crafts such as tin processing, wooden printing, carpet weaving and daily home items.

We will also visit the city center, Dareo Moreno Street and go up the Old Elevator where you can see a panoramic view of the Izmir Bay.

Check-in to the Anemon Hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

Day 3 Izmir – Pergamon – Izmir
Travel by luxury motorcoach to Asklepion, an ancient Healing Center from the 2nd century AD that served as a hospital. A famous pharmacist named Galenos lived and died at this hospital and teached his first healing techniques to the local people here. Galenos, a physician and philosopher, is known as the "Father of Pharmacy". Galenos had accepted the principles and ways of treatment of Hippocrates who lived about 700 years earlier then him. Today, it is possible to see the ruins that once housed the Sacred Water, Herb and Ointments facilities, Mud Bath and Theater for music and social events.

Travel on to Pergamon, a Hellenistic city built by one of the generals of Alexander the Great, to visit the Acropolis. We will see the steepest theater of the ancient world, the Temple of Trajan, as well as the city walls, the Library and the Theater.

Return to Izmir. (B,D)

Day 4 Ephesus – Izmir
Drive to Ephesus, the most famous ancient Roman city in Turkey. See the Odeon, the Temple of Hadrian, the Celsus Library, the Marble Street, the Great Theater and the Harbour Road. Also visit the House of the Virgin Mary on the hill above Ephesus.

Visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus and meet with the Curator of the Museum for an in-depth lecture on the history of this ancient site.

Before driving back to Izmir, visit the Sultankoy Carpet Cooperative, where you will witness how a hand-woven Turkish carpet is constructed. You will see the creation of a piece of hand-made art- how natural dyes are extracted from plants for use in fiber dyeing, how the silk fiber is processed and how the carpet is woven by hand by local women.

Dinner at a restaurant on “The Pier” in Izmir, an ancient fish market designed by Gustav Eiffel, the architect of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. It has been converted to a shopping arcade with fine restaurants on the water. (B)

Day 5 Sardis – Pamukkale
Travel by luxury motorcoach to Sardis, the capital of the Lydian empire in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Archaeological highlights from this period and as well as the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods include the royal burial mounds, the Temple of Artemis, important monuments of Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine date include the Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Diana, a 3rd century synagogue and the Great Gymnasium.

Proceed to Pamukkale, a natural phenomenom known as the “Cotton Castle”. Underground hot water springs, which contain many minerals including calcium, have formed limestone steppes. The city of Hierapolis in Pamukkale was a spa center during the Roman period. Swimming is available at the indoor or outdoor hot spring pool of the hotel. It is said that this water has healing properties.

Dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 6 Aphrodisias – Izmir Airport – Istanbul
Drive to Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The archaeologists named the city Aphrodisias because they found so many statues of her here. We will see the Stadium which seated 35,000 people and is the most well-preserved in the world, as well as the Hadrian Baths, the Theater, the Agora and the Archaeological Museum where many Aphrodite statues are on display.

Afternoon flight from Izmir to Istanbul.

Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents. It is a unique link between East and West, between past and present. Istanbul is not only historic, it is still a magnificent city, fascinating and vividly alive. Istanbul provides an infinite variety of museums, ancient churches, palaces, great mosques, the bazaars and the unforgettable Bosphorus.

Meet and transfer to the Galata Anemon Hotel next to the historical Galata Tower in the city center.

Dinner on the panoramic terrace of the hotel, overlooking the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.(B,D)

Day 7 Istanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, we will walk from Pera, an old Ottoman neighborhood in the Beyoglu district, to Taksim Square.

On the way, we will visit the Galata Tower, built by the Geoese in 1348 AD and used by the Ottomans as a watch tower. We will also visit The Galata Mevlevi Lodge, a museum of classical Ottoman literature and the Tunel, the second oldest subway in the world (after London).

One of the most important streets of Istanbul is Istiklal Street, which extends from Tunel to Taksim.

Our bus will pick us up from Taksim Square and drop us at Eminonu Port. Here we will board our private boat for a two hour relaxing tour along the Bosphorus, visiting both European and Asian shores of Istanbul. You will see the city’s most expensive villas, old palaces, two intercontinental bridges, minarets and mosques.

You have the option of experiencing a real Turkish Bath (Hamam) in the afternoon. The Cagaloglu Hamami is one of the oldest historical Turkish Baths in Istanbul. The building was built during the Ottoman period and is still used today as a Turkish Bath.

Dinner at a seafood restaurant in Kumkapý District. (B,D)

Day 8 Istanbul
After breakfast, depart from the hotel. Morning visit to the Hippodrome Square, where ancient chariot races were held, the Blue Mosque, unique with its six minarets and famous for its blue Iznik tiles, and the St. Sophia Church, built in the 6th century, once was the largest Christian church in the world.

Afternoon visit to the Topkapi Palace, Imperial Residence of Ottoman Sultans, with displays of priceless world-class collections of artifacts, jewelry and rare porcelain. We will also visit the famous Grand Bazaar complex, which includes 4,000 tiny shops.

Tonight, Farewell Dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 9 Departure from Istanbul
Transfer to the Istanbul Airport for departure on Turkish Airlines flight TK 001 at 12:05 pm, arriving in New York, JFK International Airport at 3:35 p.m. the same day. End of our services. (B)

 
Blue Mosque
 
Pergamon
 
 Celsus Library - Ephesus
 
Pamukkale
 
Galata Tower