|PICKUP LOCATION||Hotels in city center|
|HIGLIHGTS||Ephesus, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Kusadasi, Laodicea, Hierapolis, PamukkaleSlope Houses, trekking, pilgrimage, chapel|
Day 1 –Istanbul – Izmir – Pergamum
Take the early morning flight from Istanbul to Izmir
Arrival and meeting at Izmir airport, drive to Pergamum (Bergama) and visit the Acropolis. The Asclepeion of Pergamon was the world’s first hospital Pergamum had the second best library in the ancient Greek civilization. Overnight hotel in Kusadasi near Ephesus
Day 2 – Ephesus
Visit to magnificent ruins 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 Slope Houses 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. Overnight Kusadasi.
Day 3 – Priene – Miletus – Didyma (B)
Today we will visit Priene, Miletus, Didyma . Ephesus may be the creme-de-la-creme of the Aegean ruins but Priene, Miletus and Didyma though less frequently visited are still important ancient settlements. Priene occupies a dramatic position overlooking the Meander Valley and plain. Miletus preserves a spectacular theater. And Didyma has a Temple of Apollo vaguely reminiscent of the great temples at Karnak in Egypt. Overnight Kusadasi
Day 4 – Pamukkale- Hierapolis- Laodicea – Istanbul (B) (188 km)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 08:30am
Drive to Pamukkale, on the way, visit to Laodicea (present name Denizli) yet one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. Excavations still going on and an ancient city as beautiful as Ephesus will be uncovered soon. We see the ancient theatres, the remains of basilica which was recently uncovered, ancient stone water pipes, Temple A, agora, monumental fountain. After Laodicea, Discovery of Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders that you can see from various mineral springs in a vast white cliff side. About 200 m overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have dripped down over a series of terraced levels and created a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. It looks like creations from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle): “pamuk” for cotton and “kale” for castle. Moreover the water in the basins is changing its color according to how the light enters. Transfer to airport for evening flight from Denizli to Istanbul by Turkish airlines.
Distance: 3 and a half hours one way.
PS: You may add a night in Pamukkale and fly to Istanbul next morning.