A True Grand Tour of The East Mediterranean
This is a Private tour
Choose Your own Travel Date
Our “private” Tours are for those
who can afford and expect the “BEST”
Come with us to enchanting Istanbul and tour the heartland of Anatolia, meet Turkey’s real people, see how they live, share meals with them, and go beyond what the average tour promises. We’ll meet artisans and learn their crafts, hike through striking landscapes, and explore the deep history, art, culture and society of biblical Cappadocia, the treasures of Istanbul, Ephesus and more. Then on to tour Jerusalem Holy Sites, Petra Siq and Khazneh, we will take you to the heart of the Near East and the Holy Land. This is truly an experience for those who have been dreaming to see and enjoy the ultimate Turkey, Israel, Palestine and Jordan tour. A true diverse itinerary offering an array of Turkey, Jordan and Israel/Palestine finest travel experiences. Visit ancient cities, desert oases, curious dwellings, Islamic splendors, and Roman ruins in the Middle East. We have even included all the taxes and service charges. No hidden charges. No additional tax.
Daily Departures. April – Oct. Some tourist sites are closed on different days of the week. Visits in Istanbul and Jerusalem may be moved around to accommodate your dates and the sites “open” hours.
DAY 1- WELCOME TO ISTANBUL! Daily: April – Oct!
Our local rep. meets your flight at Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport and escort you to your hotel located in the heart of the city’s historic district.
DAY 2 – ISTANBUL’S TOP SIGHTS (BL)
Today we explore Istanbul’s top sights, including the imperial palace of Topkapi, with its sumptuous 500-room Harem (Ticket included), ruled by the second most powerful person in the vast Ottoman Empire: the Valide Sultan (Queen Mother). A short walk takes us to the Byzantine Hippodrome and, beneath it, the eerie Sunken Palace cistern. Finally, we dive into the Grand Bazaar, the world’s oldest “shopping mall,” to look for treasures in its 4000 shops, guided walking afternoon tour of this charming ancient world. Lunch is included in a charming local restaurant (bottled water included).
DAY 3 – Belle Epoque – ISTANBUL! (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning walking tour: We start with our guide in Karaköy where the Venetian and other earlier foreign bankers and shipping companies set shop and had their headquarters (this is a walk back in time to the Renaissance period), then take the Tünel up to istiklal Caddesi; stop in the whirling dervish tekke, and walk past the various old palatial and historical embassy buildings (now consulates), and point out the charming architecture. Stop for tea and biscuits (included) at the famous Pera Palace Hotel. Walk at least as far as Galatasaray Square, and have lunch in the Çicek Pasaji (Flower Passage) (bottled water included); then walk up to Taksim Square and be picked up for the afternoon tour. In the afternoon the tour we enjoy the “Mehter” Ottoman Sultans Imperial Musical Band Concert, think about this as a movie set from the 18th century with the band dressed up in 18th and 19th-century Ottoman costume, by late-afternoon, board your private air-conditioned vehicle with your private guide and head back to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 4- ISTANBUL to CAPPADOCIA (BD)
We fly to Kayseri for an adventure into fabled Cappadocia. This is a journey back into time. Here, you’ll settle in at one of the deluxe cave style hotels (Or more contemporary ones based on your preference). Cave Suites or Gamirasu Cave Hotel.
In the afternoon, we explore the foremost sights in this historic, visually striking region. Our first stop is the Göreme Open Air Museum, with its dozens of ancient cave-churches carved from the soft volcanic stone. Many still contain their beautiful colored fresco decoration. Next we explore the monastic valley of Zelve, where whole monasteries were carved into the rock. In the Pasabag and Dervent valleys we view the “fairy chimneys,” pinnacles of volcanic rock formed by wind and water erosion over millennia. We enjoy a panorama of the Red and Rose Valleys before we head back for our hotel. Transfers are always with a Private air-conditioned vehicle and a private chauffeur. Dinner is included this evening at the hotel with bottled water included.
DAY 5- EXPLORING CAPPADOCIA – WHITE VALLEY (BL)
Today we explore the foremost sights in this historic, visually striking region and continue our explorations of Cappadocia with a visit to the natural rock hewn citadel of Uçhisar, one of the highest points in Cappadocia, and the nearby Pigeon Valley. Then we explore the lunar landscape of the White Valley to see its spectacular rock pillars, fairy chimneys, tunnels, caves and passages, after the tour we drive through the typical Cappadocian towns of Ürgüp and Ortahisar to experience daily life in this rich farming region, and perhaps to do some shopping, lunch is included enroute with bottled water included, then we make the short drive to Avanos, a traditional pottery-making town, to visit its innovative “cave cultural center”. The staff and students welcome us to enjoy Turkish tea and sweet cakes. We return to your hotel for a good night’s rest. Private air conditioned vehicle – Private chauffeur – Private guide.
DAY 6- CANYONS – LABYRINTHS (BD)
We drive across the rolling steppe of Central Anatolia to the dramatic canyon of Ihlara, filled with historic churches. A leisurely walk takes us through this dramatic scenery and past a dozen churches to the villages of Belisirma and Selime. Following our canyon walk, we drive to the town of Derinkuyu and descend into an underground labyrinth carved thousands of years ago. Hundreds of cave-rooms and passageways descend eight levels into the earth. Store-rooms, kitchens, larders, and churches show that this “underground city” was capable of housing thousands of people when danger threatened. On our way back we stop at the striking Agzikarahan Caravansaray, built by the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century as a way-station for the rich camel caravans plying the Silk Route between Europe and Asia.
In the evening we visit an underground restaurant for a traditional Turkish folklore show, with dances and costumes from several regions rich in folklore, including Gaziantep, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. The mysterious and alluring art of belly-dancing, round out this enjoyable evening of traditional Turkish dance.
DAY 7 – Kayseri/ IZMIR / Kusadasi (BD)
We fly to Izmir via Istanbul, from Izmir Airport we drive to Kusadasi. Afternoon at leisure, dinner is included tonight at your hotel (bottled water included).
DAY 8 – EPHESUS – KUSADASI (BL)
In the morning light. Then it’s off to biblical Ephesus to see the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, who came here with the Virgin Mary. Passing the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, we reach Ephesus, the most impressive ancient city on the Mediterranean. Your tour includes the Terraced Houses. After our tour we continue to the hilltop House of the Virgin Mary, said to be her last home on earth.
Sirince Village Tour is included in the afternoon. This old Orthodox Village, 30 kilometers from Kusadasi, was once “Cirkince” (ugly). Indeed its inhabitants gave this name on the purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village. Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly and called it “Sirince” (pretty). Today the village is a perfect synthesis of Turkish-Greek culture as of the 1920’s; after the Turkish Independence War, the exchange of people between Greek and Turks had occurred and all the typical Greek houses, though they kept their original outside characteristics, had developed the current local layout inside. At Sirince Village you will have chance of seeing the local life at a village and purchasing some small local souvenirs and handicrafts. The village is also famous for its local grape and other fruit wines. During the lunch, mingle with the local people of the village as you will be a guest in their village for a simple cup of traditional Turkish coffee at the main coffee house of the village. Depending on the number of guests, a gypsy woman may read your fortune after you finish your coffee. We spend the night again in the Aegean resort of Kusadasi.
DAY 9 – Kusadasi (BLD)
Breakfast and lunch are included at the hotel. Full day at leisure to explore on your own, or ask us for available optional tours. Dinner is included at a charming local restaurant with folk music.
DAY 10 – Izmir- Istanbul – Amman (B)
We escort you to Izmir airport, air fare is included back to Istanbul and onward to Amman These two sectors are in business class with tax included. In Istanbul, please follow the signs to connect with your onward Amman flight. Flights are subject to change. For evening flights, we will always include late check-out from your hotel in Izmir at no additional charge. We’ll land in Amman, our Jordan-based representative will be there to greet you. You’ll drive to Amman and your hotel for the night.
Jordanian visa may be issued upon arrival for a limited number of nationalities. Please check with the Jordanian Consulate nearest you. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival. Welcome fruit basket and local sweet platter await you in your room with our compliments.
Day 11 –Madaba- Mount Nebo – Kerak – And Petra (B)
We drive south along the King’s Highway, an ancient caravan route, to Madaba to visit the church containing the oldest known map of Palestine and the Holy Land. Continuing to Mount Nebo, where we enjoy the panoramic view of the Promised Land the way Moses saw it for the first time. Further on, at Kerak, we tour the ruins of its romantic Crusaders’ castle of Renaud de Chatillon, one of a line which stretched from Aqaba to Turkey. Finally, we arrive to PETRA. In the evening enjoy the visit to Petra by night, this is an awe-inspiring experience; to experience it at night by the light of 1,800 candles is truly an out-of-this-world experience! Walk through the Siq to the Khazneh following a candle-lit path and enjoy the haunting music of the Bedouin at the Treasury. Tours start at 8.30pm and finish at 10.00pm. Allow yourself plenty of time to walk through the Siq; you don’t want to miss the show. Petra Movenpick (Junior Suite) or the Marriott Petra Hotel, or similar.
DAY 12– PETRA (BD)
We’ll spend the entire day at Petra, the stunning desert city hewn by the Nabateans from solid cliffs of pink and violet sandstone. Petra was known in the bible as Sela, and rediscovered only in 1812. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark as you penetrate into the city through a narrow sandstone gorge, the Siq, and wander among the Temple of the Winged Lion, tombs, Roman theater, and the imposing Treasury. Petra has a lot to tell. The visit starts at the visitor’s center, where each person is assigned a Bedouin guided horse for the journey to the entrance of the lost city. After passing some tombs that are located outside the city, the visitor passes through the SIQ, an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone. It is a winding, one-kilometer-long fissure between overhanging cliffs that seem to meet more than 300 feet overhead. Near the end of the passage, the SIQ, with great style, makes one last turn and out of the gloom in towering brightness appears Petra’s most impressive monument, el Khazneh – The Treasury. This is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, carved out of the solid rock from the side of the mountain, is nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide.
Beyond el Khazneh the visitor is surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra’s carved and built structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a carved Roman theater, large and small houses, burial chambers and much more. The Victorian traveler and poet, Dean Burgon, gave Petra a description which holds to this day – “Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time.” After that, we will return to the hotel to get prepared for a Moonlight dinner served at a Bedouin camp. This evening we have a fantastic traditional dinner under the stars in a Bedouin camp, at a site that dates back more than 2,000 years.
DAY 13 – Petra – Dead Sea (BL)
Breakfast at the hotel then off to the DEAD SEA / GALILEE. After breakfast, continue northwards to Pella in the Jordan Valley. Visit Um Qais, Gedara of the Bible (Matthew 8:28-34) for a spectacular view of the Sea of Galilee, the Yarmouk River drive down to the lowest spot on Earth and experience floating in the waters of the Dead Sea and your resort such as the Mövenpick Dead Sea, the Ishtar Dead Sea Kempinski Resort. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 14– Tel Aviv (B)
Drive to the border with Israel/ Palestine. Go through passport formalities, change vehicles and continue on to Tel Aviv and your hotel, Expect one hour on the border to go through formalities and change cars from the Jordanian to the Israel. No visa requirement for Israel for US citizens, your passport must be valid at least for 6 months beyond the date of arrival. Private basis, private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur. Expect to change the vehicles at the border. Jordanian departure tax is included in our rate; your driver/local rep. will cover it at the border. Hotel: Dan Tel Aviv Hotel or similar (junior suite)
Day 15- Tel Aviv City Tour – Jaffa – Tel Aviv (B)
After breakfast proceed to Tel Aviv City, the commercial capital of Israel, which is located on a beautiful beach strip of the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy a city tour and visit Rabin Square, the Diaspora Museum and view Opera House. Onto Jaffa, to visit Peter’s Church, the House of Simon the Tanner, the Old City of Jaffa, and the old port one of the most ancient port cities in the world. Back to your hotel in Tel Aviv for the night.
Day 16- Caesarea – Haifa – Akko – Tiberias (BL)
After breakfast on proceed to Caesarea, built by Herod the great and where the apostle Peter first preached the Gospel to the Gentiles, visit the Amphitheater, the Roman ruins, and the Water Aqueduct. Then head to Haifa, ascend Mt. Carmel to enjoy a panoramic view over the Bay, then on to visit Stella Maris on top, and the Bahai’ Gardens, Elijah Cave. Drive to Akko; enjoy its Walls, Roads and Markets, and visit Al Jazar Mosque, the old port, the Remains of the Castle, on to Tiberias and your hotel: Galei Kinnereth Hotel or similar. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 17- Dan – Banias – Golan Heights – Tiberias (BL)
After breakfast, drive to Tel Dan, a biblical city and a breathtaking nature reserve. Continue to Banias named for the God Pan, Panias was built as Caesarea Philippi by Philip, son of Herod, at one of the sources of the Jordan River. Jesus visited this site together with the disciples. Visit Golan Heights which is on the Border between Israel and Syria view the Syrian town of Kuneitra, and then back to Galei Kinnereth Hotel. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 18 – Sea of Galilee – Tiberias (BL)
After breakfast, drive to the Sea of Galilee where Jesus calmed its stormy waters, onto Mt. of Beatitudes where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Then visit Tabgha, Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, onto Capernaum where Jesus lived and healed the sick preaching in the synagogue and performing miracles. End the day with a visit to the inspiring Baptismal Site. Tiberias: Galei Kinnereth Hotel. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 19- Nazareth – Cana – Tiberias (BL)
After breakfast, proceed to Nazareth where Jesus spent his boyhood and lived with Joseph and Mary (Luke 1:26-38). Visit the Annunciation Church, “the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary of the approaching virgin birth” (Luke 1:26-38) and visit the St. Joseph the Carpenter and Mary’s Well. Proceed to Cana where Jesus did his first Miracle “the transformation of water into wine.” Back to your hotel Galei Kinnereth Hotel. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 20- Jordan Valley – Jericho – Qumran – Dead Sea – Jerusalem (BL)
After breakfast and along the Jordan River to Jericho the oldest town in the Holy Land. Visit the Sycamore Tree (Zacharious the tax collector climbed the tree to view Jesus), view Mt. of Temptation and view the Old Walls of Jericho. Visit Qumran Caves, where the 2000 years old Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and later on enjoy a view or a stop to see the Dead Sea from the Israeli side then on to Jerusalem and your hotel: The American Colony Hotel Jerusalem or similar. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 21- Masada – Ein Gedi – Mt Scopus – Jerusalem (BL)
Breakfast in the hotel then on proceed to visit Masada, the last Jewish stronghold during the time of the Romans, ascend and descend by cable car to the top of the cliff overlooking the Dead Sea. Onto Ein Gedi, which is the Oasis on the Dead Sea shore Near the 200 meter high waterfall is a cave where David had his famous meeting with King Saul. On to Jerusalem and enjoy a panoramic view over Jerusalem from Mt Scopus, before we return to the Hotel. Lunch is included enroute.
Day 22- Mt of Olives – Mt. Zion – Old City – Jerusalem (B)
Breakfast in the hotel then on proceed to Mt. of Olives, enjoy a majestic panoramic view over Jerusalem from on top of the mountain. Visit the church of the Ascension, believed to mark the place where Jesus ascended into heaven. Visit Pater Noster Church stands on the traditional site of Christ teaching of the lords priers. Visit the Dominus Flevit Church, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem shortly before the destruction of the second temple, continue to visit the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was captured by the Romans after he has been betrayed by Judas, the visit the Tomb of Mary, the burial place of Mary. Onto Mt. Zion, visit St. Peter in Gallicantu which commemoration of Peter’s triple rejection of Jesus “… before the cock crows thrice.” (Mark 14:30). Visit King David’s Tomb and the Upper room, which commemorates the “upper room” in which Jesus shared the Last Supper with the disciples. Enter the Old City of Jerusalem from Dung Gate, visit the Walling Wall, onto the Area of the Mosque Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock built on Mt. Moriah (Temple Mount), then through St. Stephens Gate visit St Anne and the Pool of Bethesda, believed to be the site where Jesus healed a paralytic (John 5:1-15). Via Dolorosa walk, the traditional Way of the Cross, the 14 Stations of the Cross, and visit the Holy Sepulcher Church that stands on a site that encompasses both Golgotha, or Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, and the tomb (sepulcher) where he was buried. Hotel for overnight.
Day 23- Bethlehem – Herodian – Jerusalem (B)
After breakfast, we proceed to Bethlehem, visit the Nativity Church, and marks the traditional place of Christ’s birth. It is also one of the oldest surviving Christian churches. Shepherd Field. Continue and visit Herodian. Back to your hotel.
Day 24- Israeli Museum – Ein Karem – Jerusalem (B)
After breakfast we visit the Israeli Museum, the Shrine of the book, Holy Land Model as it was during the time of King Herod, drive to Ein Karem, visit St John the Baptist Church and Church of Visitation. In Luke 1, the pregnant Mary visited her pregnant cousin Elizabeth and stayed for three months (Lk 1:56). Upon Mary’s arrival, the unborn John the Baptist recognized the unborn Jesus and “leaped with joy” in Elizabeth’s womb (Lk 1:44). Back to the hotel.
Day 25- City of David –Davidson Center / Archeological Park – Western Wall Tunnel (B)
Breakfast in the hotel, and then proceed to visit the Archeological site of City of David which is located just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, beneath the Western Wall. Proceed to visit Davidson Centre, the Jerusalem Archeological Park. This is Israel’s most important antiquity site. It reaches the Temple Mount on the North, the slope of the Mount of Olives and the Kidron Valley on the East and the Valley of Hinnon on the West and the South. Continue and visit the Western Wall Tunnel. Back to the hotel.
Day 26 – Tel Aviv – Departure (B)
After breakfast at the hotel and check-out, our local rep. will assist with your (VIP) transfer to Tel Aviv Airport. Bon Voyage.
|Rates per person in USD $ – Minimum 4 Guests:|
|Five Star Hotels||Deluxe Five Star Hotels
Using Four Seasons Hotels
in Amman and Istanbul
|Rates per person in USD $ – Minimum 2 Guests:|
|Five Star Hotels||Deluxe Five Star Hotels
Using Four Seasons Hotels
in Amman and Istanbul
YOUR TOUR INCLUDES:
- Comprehensive sightseeing by private air-conditioned sedan, with a private chauffeur, and private professional licensed guide
- Domestic airfares, within Turkey in economy class, but in business class for the sectors Izmir Istanbul Amman with taxes included.
- All admissions and museum fees
- All transfers are ALWAYS on a private basis, private air-conditioned sedan, with a private chauffeur, and private professional licensed guide
- Hotel accommodation as listed based on the category of your choice.
- Table d’hote (set-menu) meals as indicated in the tour itinerary: cB = continental breakfast; L = set-menu lunch; D = set-menu dinner. One large bottled water for each guest with each lunch and dinner meal.
- All Gratuities for local personnel, including: Drivers, guides, and hotel maids.
Rate doesn’t include:
- Visa Fee for Turkey: (procure yours online in advance of travel at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/)
- International air fare from/to your home country.
- Trip/travel insurance
- Passport and visa fees for Jordan as well as for Israel if/when required
General Sample of 5 Star Hotel Listing (or similar):
- Istanbul: Conrad Hotel, Hyatt Hotel, Inter.Continental or similar. If you prefer a boutique style: Gezi Bosphorus Hotel, Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul, or Ottoman Mansion style hotel, please let’s know in advance. Sample Ottoman Style Mansion Hotels: Blue House, Arena, Yesil Ev, Sultanahmet Sarayi, Sultanhan or similar
- Kusadasi: Korumar Hotel or similar
- Pamukkale: Colassae Hotel or similar
- Antalya: Talya Hotel or similar
- Konya: Riixos Hotel or similar
- Cappadocia: Museum Hotel, Cave Suites hotel, Kapadokya Lodge or similar