Enjoy wine? Enjoy history?
Want to visit one of the world’s top ten destination countries?…
If so, come join us for a 12- day tour of Turkey.. immerse yourself in history, Turkish culture, cuisine and Turkish wines!
“Fantastic food, charming knowledgeable tour guide, history nerd heaven!”
“We had such a wonderful of Turkey with our “Travel Buddies”, we now have wonderful friends. You are the supreme organizer, Emmie, thank you very much!”
“Emmie is an organizer without peer!“
COME JOIN US FOR AN UNFORGETABLE 12 DAY JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOST SPECTACULAR REGIONS OF TURKEY
The tour is aimed to bring together the natural beauty of the country, its rich history, scrumptious culinary experiences, a sampling of delectable wines, combined with matchless Turkish hospitality. It has been meticulously organized with attention to every detail for the enjoyment of each guest.
The Anatolian peninsula is a land of unrivalled natural beauty. Surrounded by the gruff, untamable Black Sea in the north, whimsical Aegean Sea to the west and the tantalizingly turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea in the south, the Anatolian peninsula offers a rich and diverse panorama of breathtaking landscapes. Make sure you have enough memory in your telephone for all the photos you will want to take.
Turkey is a priceless treasure trove for history lovers. The Anatolian Peninsula was a cradle to ancient civilizations through centuries, followed by the arrival of Turkic tribes from Central Asia, and the ensuing founding of the Ottoman Empire in 1299. The tour captures the pivotal historical sites and museums of ancient civilizations and the Ottoman period. Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and the centuries old Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, followed by a visit to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, as well as historical highlights dating back to the ancient civilizations in Cappadocia and on the Aegean coast will be a valuable history lesson you don’t want to miss…all delivered by a professional tour guide. For details, please take a look at the tour itinerary.
Turkish cuisine is equally diverse, each region with its distinct style, ranging from kebabs for meat lovers to fresh vegetable dishes cooked in olive oil and garnished with local herbs, to fresh fish for pescatarians, and of course, the innumerable desert dishes to top a delicious meal for everyone’s enjoyment. Traditionally, Turkish meals end with a cup of Turkish coffee often served with Turkish Delight. Incidentally, candy stores where Turkish delight and its countless variations are exhibited are truly spectacular (not an exaggeration, display of these candies are so artistic and attractive that “like a child in a candy store” would be an apt description of how you will most likely feel). I encourage you to visit one and buy some to snack on during your travels and some for your family and friends back home. For information on Turkish wines and local grape varieties you will be enjoying, you may want to take a look at the following links Winemaking in Turkey – the best man for the job is a woman! – Mission View Wines, Land of ancient vineyards, Urla – Mission View Wines. Suffice it to say here, Turkish wines produced with indigenous grapes, as well as international varieties are so delicious that you will not be missing your local California wines, promise!
Turkish hospitality is genuine and warm. Despite the hectic pace modern lifestyle has brought with it, Turks always have time for friends and loved ones. As the saying goes, “a cup of coffee seals a friendship of forty years”. A handshake has more meaning and authenticity than a contractual agreement in many instances. I hope you can meet likeminded Turkish friends during your visit and cherish your amity over time.
ABOUT THE TOUR ORGANIZER-
Emmie is a Morgan Hill resident. When she moved to Morgan Hill from Foster City four years ago, she found out that her new hometown is a sister city to a Turkish town, Seferihisar, (a town not too far from where she was born); she was ecstatic and intrigued by her discovery. She swiftly joined the Morgan Hill Sister Cities. Her affiliation with Sister Cities prompted her to undertake this project. With this tour, Emmie is hoping to connect her two homes – her native land and her adopted home of forty-five years. As her entire family lives in Turkey, Emmie has made countless trips to her native country over decades and yet Turkey never ceases to amaze her – at the crossroads of the east and the west; a secular republic yet a large segment of the population holds on to its Muslim origins; westernized, yet traditional values are still deeply entrenched and cherished – truly a mesmerizing land of fascinating dichotomies. Emmie wants to share her fascination with her local friends. Hope you can join her on this exhilarating journey and help her bridge her two beloved homes.
March 31, Friday: Istanbul (Yasmak Sultan Hotel, 3 nights) : Arrival and welcome briefing.
April 1, Saturday : Istanbul – Enjoy a full day tour of the city, including a visit to Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman sultans, the Hippodrome, once the center of public events and celebrations, Blue Mosques and the Grand Bazaar, the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets.
April 2, Sunday: Istanbul -In the morning enjoy a luxurious boat cruise along the Bosporus, taking in the beauty of the shores lined with palaces, fortresses and villas. Spend the afternoon shopping or pampering yourself to a Turkish bath/spa experience or an optional tour.
April 3, Monday: Canakkale -(Tusan Hotel, 1 night) Visit to historical Canakkale and Troy with lunch and wine tasting at a local winery.
April 4, Tuesday: Izmir – (Kaya Prestige Hotel, 1 night) visit several historical sites, including Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Hierapolis.
April 5, Wednesday: Ephesus – (Richmond Hotel, 2 nights)
April 6, Thursday: Visit Sirince, Teos, Seferihisar, Olive oil museum.
April 7, Friday: Pamukkale – (Richmond Pamukkale Hotel, 1 night) Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal spring water. WE will spend some time there to enjoy this naturally beautiful landscape.
April 8, Saturday: Capadoccia (Dinler Hotel, 3 nights) a tour of the area with its breathtakingly spectacular valleys, fairy chimneys, caves and churches carved into rocks. Visit local wineries for tasting and a picnic lunch at Kavaklidere winery.
April 9, Sunday: Cappadocia -Visit Uchisar, Avanos and the open air museum.
April 10, Monday: Cappadocia – Free morning for those who would like to enjoy a hot air balloon ride. Head to Ankara in the afternoon.
April 11, Tuesday: Ankara – (Holiday Inn, 1 night) Visit to the Museum of Ancient Civilizations, housing artifacts of up to 8000 years ago including the most extensive collection of Hittite period artifacts, as well as a visit to the Ankara castle.
April 12, Wednesday: Time to say goodbye to your travel buddies and head back home.
My faves during my visits to Turkey…
There are some things I look forward to when I plan a visit to Turkey…things that lift me up, nourish my soul and rejuvenate me, I want to share them with you…beware, eating is a large part of it.
Turkish cuisine is rich and versatile to please just about anyone’s palate, but there are certain foods that are quintessential in my opinion.
Street food is unbelievably delicious. Options galore: Döner sandwiches (thinly sliced lamb and beef in freshly baked bread, garnished with condiments); köfte sandwiches (savory Turkish meatballs in a crusty sourdough baguette with tomatoes and onions); fish sandwiches (freshly grilled fish tucked into a roll with herbs, onions, and tomatoes); Midye (Stuffed mussels) one of the most popular street delicacies. Pide (Turkish pizza) is another one you absolutely must try. It is made with many different fillings – cheese, spinach, spicy pastrami, etc., all are delicious, although my favorite is the ground beef filling with onions and tomatoes. And of course, my old time favorite, simit, a circular bread similar to a bagel, except instead of boiling, the dough is dipped into fruit molasses before it is baked, with a generous coating of toasted sesame seeds on top. Simit is not only great to grab as a snack when you are on the run, but also wonderful as part of breakfast. Incidentally, breakfast is my most favorite meal. I always look forward to waking up to a scrumptious one. It is a rather large feast consisting of many kinds of cheeses, olives, jams/jellies, honey, crème fraiche, different egg dishes, some cooked with sucuk (spicy sausage) or pastırma (spicy pastrami), many different baked goods, freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, and Charleston peppers and much more, all very yummy.
Coffee/tea breaks –I love recharging myself in between exploring my surroundings or shopping by taking a break at coffee shops. In Turkey, coffee shops are generally French style patisserie where you could order Turkish tea- served in dainty glass cups– or Turkish coffee -served in demitasse- as well as your regular Americano, cappuccino, etc. If you order Turkish coffee, you will be asked how you would like it – without sugar, medium sweetness or sweet. As for snack to complement your choice of beverage, you could indulge yourself in European style cakes, cookies, petit beurre, or Turkish deserts. There are a dizzying number of them, each is divine, I love them all,
but my favorite is kadayıf –finely shredded phyllo dough filled with nuts and smothered with honey syrup.
Turkish bath – A truly remarkable spa experience which starts with sauna, preparing your body for what’s to come. Sauna is followed by fabulously deep
scrubbing by your tellak (bath attendant/ Masseuse) like you have never experienced it before. After the thorough cleansing, your body now is ready for that magical massage. When you are done, you literally float out of the spa, with an incredibly soft skin – like a baby’s bottom, as Turks describe it. Turkish bath houses are designed to de-stress you; they are beautiful dome shaped marble constructions with a large marble slab in the middle; the air is intoxicating, infused with olive oil-based soap, the warm humidity and the clean smell invite you to surrender yourself to the expert hands of your bath attendant the moment you step inside.
Shopping– bargaining with shopkeepers at small artisanal shops is a delightful experience, especially carpet shopping. It is mesmerizing how effortlessly they unroll many different styles in front of you so quickly. You will be amused by how they try to engage you in conversation with their broken English to make a sale. They are respectful, courteous, and friendly. If they think you are a serious shopper, they will offer you tea/coffee, while you are trying to decide on your purchase -before you know you may end up as the best of buddies.
Important points to remember:
It is necessary for all US citizens traveling to Turkey to acquire a Turkish visa before they pass through border control.
Applying for a Turkish visa for US citizens no longer means going in-person to a national embassy or consulate or obtaining a visa on arrival at the border. It is now possible for US nationals to obtain a Turkish electronic visa (e-Visa) instead of the traditional ‘stamp’ or ‘sticker’ visa.
This modern and convenient system makes it easy to apply for a Turkey visa online from the US. It has also reduced long lines at immigration checkpoints as it allows for expedited entry at the Turkish border.
The Turkey e-Visa for US citizens can be used for both tourist visits and business travel, as well as to transit through Turkey to an onward destination. It grants its holder a stay of up to 3 months in the country.
Insurance not required but is recommended in the event of trip cancellation, lost or delayed baggage or unforeseen medical expense. In the link provided below you will find two companies offering travel insurance. https://itmitourtraining.com/travel-insurance.
Please feel free to call (650) 678 – 8237 or email me at [email protected] if you have any questions.
Pricing: Double occupancy
$ 2,475 per person
Add $ 1,000 for single occupancy
Airfare is not included in the tour price to accommodate guests’ freedom to use their frequent flyer miles/points as well as flexibility to those who wish to extend their travels to include other destinations.
For anyone else, I suggest Turkish Airlines (member of Star Alliance) for two reasons: It is a direct flight from San Francisco to Istanbul with very convenient departure and arrival times (departs at 6 pm and lands at 6 pm the next day). Secondly, if the majority of our group is on the same flight, I could arrange for a shuttle from the airport in Istanbul to our hotel.
- All hotel accommodations
- All breakfasts and dinners
- All entrance fees for sights and museums visited as per the itinerary
- All transfers by an air-conditioned coach
- Porters/luggage handling at hotels
- Professional English-speaking guide.
What’s not included
- All beverages during dinner
- Entrance fees for sights and museums not mentioned on the itinerary
- Tip to guide and driver at the end of the tour
Non-fundable ten percent required by January 31; Fifty percent due by February28, 2023. Balance to be paid by March 10, 2023 .
Please make payment by:
Personal check (preferred)
PO Box 307
Morgan Hill, CA 95038
PayPal to: [email protected]
Zelle to: 1 650 678 8237