Tour Style Private Tour
DAY 1: Along the Silk Road to Konya
After breakfast 08:00am we drive to Konya and see the imposing green-tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, the mystic founder of the Islamic Sufi sect (Sufism is less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith. Arriving in Konya, we check in at our hotel, and have lunch. In the afternoon we stroll the streets of Konya, visiting first the Tomb of Rumi in the glittering Mevlana Museum, an important place of pilgrimage for Muslims and indeed all lovers of Rumi. Next door, we visit the Ottoman-era Sultan Selim mosque before having lunch in a traditional Turkish restaurant. We drive along Mevlana Caddesi, Konya’s main avenue, to reach the age-old Alaettin Hill (a prehistoric tumulus) to visit the 1000-year-old Aladdin Mosque , where Rumi often prayed. In its courtyard are the tombs of many of the Seljuk Turkish sultans who ruled during Rumi’s lifetime, and who consulted him for spiritual guidance. Walking down the north side of the Alaettin Hill we pass the remains of the Seljuk sultan’s palace, then cross the street for a view of the elaborate portal of the medieval Great Karatay Medrese theological college (the interior is currently closed for restoration), after which we return to our hotel for dinner. Overnight in Konya.
DAY 2: Konya Islamic Tour
Today we visit some of the wonderful Seljuk Turkish monuments that Rumi would have known and visited: we drive to the north side of the Alaettin Hill to visit the Seminary of the Slender Minaret (Ince Minare Medrese, 1264), a 13th-century theological college that’s been beautifully restored and now serves as Konya’s Museum of Stone and Wooden Inscriptions, with works of art from the 1100s and later. Walking around the Alaettin Hill, we enter a quiet residential neighborhood to look at the Crystalline Medrese (Sircali Medrese, 1242) with its fine tilework and Kuranic calligraphy in stone. Continuing for a short distance we come to the Sahip Ata Mosque Complex (1283), included a school, a travelers’ inn, Turkish bath, and the tomb of its founder, the Seljuk grand vezir who also built the Seminary of the Slender Minaret. Nearby, we visit the Konya’s Archeological Museum to see the marble high-relief sarcophagus “The Trials of Hercules” and many items from Konya’s ancient past (up to 7000 years ago). Lunch at a local restaurant introduces us to more Konya culinary specialties, included meat cooked slowly in a tandir (“tandoori,” clay pot buried in hot coals). After lunch we walk to the Mosque and Tomb of Sems-i Tebrizi, Rumi’s closest companion, spiritual mentor, and inspiration for many of his poetic works, then continue on foot past many shops to our hotel. Overnight in Konya.
DAY 3: Haci Bektas and Cappadocia
In the morning, we drive to Hacibektas and visit its museum which was an Islamic monastery dating back to the 13th century. Haci Bektas Veli is the founder of the influential Bektasi sect of dervishes and the leader of an Islamic philosophy and social class in the 13th century. After this we head on to Gulsehir where we visit the church of St. John which has spectacular frescoes on its walls. After walking around fascinating landscape of Aciksaray and we drive to Urgup for lunch at a local restaurant and taste the local food of the region. We spend the afternoon with a visit to Goreme Open Air Museum and free time for shopping. Overnight in Cappadocia or transfer to Airport for connecting flight.
What is included
3 nights BB accommodation (or 2 with departure day 3)
• Air conditioned minivan with driver on tours & transfers
• Professional licensed tour guide
• All admission fees to the museums and sights
• Lunches and dinners
What is not included
Drinks, tips to guide and driver, personal expenses and optional tours
Highly Recommended in Cappadocia :
- Hot-Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia: 225 Euros per adult cash payment (no child reduction)
Hot-Air Balloon Watching Photo Tour by Taxi: 40 Euros per person (no child reduction)
- Whirling Dervishes Show: 40 Euros per person
- Turkish Night (traditional folk dances, belly dancers, unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, 3-course meal, transfer to and from your hotel): 60 Euros per person
- Turkish Baths (Hamam): 40 Euros per person
- Horseriding: 30 Euros per person (1 hour)
- ATV / Quad: 30 Euros (1 hour)
Traditional Arts and Crafts in Turkey - Gifts and Souvenirs from Turkey:
Turkey has a rich history of authentic traditional handicrafts. Most famous Turkish items come from Cappadocia and goods were handmade here and transported along the Silk Road to Istanbul and the coastal areas.
Carpets and kilims: Carpets and kilims from Central Anatolia are world-famous. In Cappadocia, carpets are still handmade on authentic looms using natural dyes for the wool. You can see a free demonstration to see these age-old techniques still in use today.
Ceramic and pottery: Cappadocia has been famous since Hittite times for the beautiful and unique pottery and ceramics. Today, the best of the traditional ceramics and tiles on sale in Istanbul and other major cities are made in Avanos, Cappadocia.
Onyx and semi-precious stones: In Turkey, Cappadocia has the onyx mines where the highest quality onyx is found. Local artisans are experts at making items of jewellery made with precious and semi-precious stones, silver, and 22 and 24 carat gold.
Leather goods: Turkey is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of leather goods. You can find a wide range of quality leather goods in Uchisar, Cappadocia.
Spices: Istanbul Spice Market, once the largest spice trading venue of the medieval world, with its abundant stalls still featuring piles of edible exotics is a definite highlight for anyone exploring Istanbul.