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ISTANBUL TASTES - 3 nights
Istanbul is without doubt Europe's most exotic city, and is the ideal place to escape to for a weekend.A Foodlovers excursion in Istanbul featuring the highlights of Istanbul. Aromas of spice and Turkish Coffee , sights of dazzling ceramics and superb architecture, flavours of lokum and kebabs, and the sound of boats chugging along the Bosphorus. Enjoy 3 days of culture, with culinary pleasures. Attend a hands on culinary course, taste Turkish Cuisine and Turkish wine.
EPHESUS TASTES- 2 nights
DAY 1 IZMIR- EPHESUS
Arrival in İzmir and transfer to Yedi Bilgeler Winery Hotel.
The Yedi Bilgeler Hotel is set in a quiet setting away from the hustle and bustle of Kuşadası but within a short distance to Ephesus and many other historical sites .The Yedi Bilgeler Winery Hotel is surrounded by vineyards ,olive groves and fig trees as far as the eye can see.The architectural structure of the complex will provide a feeling of not really being in a Hotel, but rather in a structured hamlet where you can experience the true essence of a winery.
Lunch at an Ecological Organic Farm near Kusadası. Walk around the farm to meet the people who work at the farm and watch and join the preparation of organic products.Lunch comprising of organic products will be at the farm. Wine tasting, dinner and overnight at Yedi Bilgeler Winery Hotel.
DAY 2 EPHESUS
Visit the antique city of Ephesus then visit the Ephesus Museum. Ephesus, one of the best preserved cities of antiquity, was famous throughout history for its magnificent Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.During its peak, Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centres in the world.Among its impressive structures and broad marble-paved roads you will see the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the immense Amphitheatre and the Odeon.
After the tour of Ephesus, you will walk through local market of Selçuk( Tuesdays,Fridays, Saturdays) and have lunch at Selçuk Köfteci. Then you will drive to Sirince village . The village is a perfect synthesis of Turkish and Greek culture as of the 1920s. After the Independence War, there was a “people exchange” between the Greeks and Turks and many typical Greek houses, though they kept their original outside characteristics, have been remodeled to local preferences on the inside. We will have some time to stroll through the village and socialize with locals. Along the narrow streets of the village you will come across women, selling handicrafts of all kinds. Another attraction of Sirince is its home-made fruit wines.
Dinner will served at a fish restaurant by the pier in Kuşadası. Overnight at Yedi Bilgeler Winery Hotel.
DAY 3 URLA
After breakfast drive to Urla. After a short and leisurely walking tour through the Arts Street featuring ceramic, mosaic, woodworking and painting studios, we will enjoy the artwork along with 150 year old stone buildings and the narrow streets of central Urla, we will stop for tasting Organic Olive Oil made the same way as 1000 years ago.Then After cooking a delicious meal together, we will sit down and enjoy a family style late lunch with the food we prepared, accompanied by a selection of award winning local wines while enjoying the wonderful views of the region. Late afternoon departure to airport
Day 1 ISTANBUL - CAPPADOCIA
Today you with a walk through the Spice Bazaar, an extensive market which was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque - Yeni Cami.The bazaar is often referred to as the "Egyptian Market" due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt.
Take a ferry ride to the other side of the river that separates the European and Asian parts of Istanbul to explore the famous open-air street market of Kadıkoy. Notice the big difference in atmosphere between the Spice Market and the Kadıkoy which is more in tune with the way most people in Istanbul cook and eat.
Indulge yourself in the huge variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, with plenty to discover for the "foodie." Feel the real bazaar shopping experience with the fishmongers, bakers, butchers and grocers singing out to attract you to their stall. Take your time and explore the many pastry shops, Turkish delight and deli stores and the aromatic spice stands. There is plenty to see and buy, with information and recommendations available.
Lunch will be at reknown Ciya Restaurant where you will taste best samples of Anatolian Cuisine. After lunch we will head to the airport for our flight to Cappadocia.
You will be transferred to our cave hotel upon arrival. A light dinner will be served at Ziggy's Restaurant.
Overnight Dere Suites or similar (B,L,D)
DAY 2 – CAPPADOCIA
In Cappadocia we will focus on the very particular culture and foods of Anatolia.
Today we will be cooking lunch in a village home with a local family. They will show us how to make lentil patties stuffed vine leaves and manti, a traditional dish whose heritage stretches back in to the Central Asian origins of modern Turkey. You will taste what you have cooked for lunch.
After lunch we will introduce you to the lunar landscape of Cappadocia at Dervent Valley, and then head to the Zelve Open Air Museum, which is one of the earliest inhabited and latest abandoned monastic settlements of Cappadocia. Seeing the best examples of the fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley, we drive further to Avanos.
At Avanos, a centre of terracotta art since 2,000 BC, you will see a demonstration of pottery making in a traditional workshop, where the family has been making pottery for many generations. Then we will try our hands at it under the supervision of a master potter. This is also a great spot to shop for pottery.
Before dinner we will stop at a winery. This is the biggest and oldest winery (since 1943) in Cappadocia. We will tour the winery while tasting their local wines. The Okuzgozu- Bogazkere combinations (grapes native to Turkey) are quite promising. The family-operated winery is located underground, carved in natural rock. This natural cellar also provides excellent storage conditions for the wine.
Dinner will be at Muti Restaurant.
Overnight at Dere Suites or similar (B,L,D)
DAY 3-CAPPADOCIA –ISTANBUL
Early morning optional balloon ride- transfer to the balloon launching site to meet the balloon crew. The gentle and stable wind conditions are ideal during the first few hours of the day in Cappadocia. It is also the ideal time for photography, with splendid colours and contrasts. The deep canyons and gentle winds carry you over places that could never be reached except by balloon. After flying over Cappadocia for about one hour, you will land to a champagne celebration!
After breakfast you will continue your day with a hike in the picturesque Red Valley. Then make your way back to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia. These are found in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings dating from as early as the 10th century. After lunch in a local restaurant you will then explore the underground city of Kaymakli, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements.
Then while sipping your wine you will enjoy a demonstration and explanation of Turkish carpet making techniques, symbols and different types of carpets, and get the chance to buy some of these works of art.Transfer to the airport.
Last visit will be Göbeklitepe a unique archaeological site which has been preserving its existence with an untouched natural environment for 12,000 years while displaying unique archaeological findings. These features make Göbeklitepe incomparable and preferential.