NPUC Tour Itinerary: Days 1-3
August 19th: Non-tour Travel Day
Depart from the United States and arrive in Istanbul the next day.
August 20th: Arrival in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, transfer to your hotel passing through the city, sightseeing the Bosphorus and the ancient city walls. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
August 21st: Istanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart to visit one of the world's greatest buildings, Hagia Sophia; the great Byzantine Basilica built in the 6th century - following the Blue Mosque; famous for its six minarets and magnificent interior blue tiles, built in the 17th century, takes its name from the thousands of Iznik tiles lining the walls. Continue to Hippodrome; the large, open square was once the site of a Roman circus that rivaled the Colosseum and could seat a quarter of a million spectators. Monuments on the site include the Snake Column from Delphi and an Egyptian obelisk taken from the Temple of Karnak at Luxor. Our tour continues to the former residence of the Sultans, the exotic Topkapi Palace. See the famous jewel-studded dagger, the unique Chinese porcelain collection, imperial costumes and the 86-carat Spoon maker's Diamond. In the afternoon, experience the Grand Bazaar, a labyrinth of narrow streets and passages housing more than 4,000 shops. Return to hotel for dinner and spend the night.
August 22nd: Cappadocia
After breakfast at the hotel, we will transfer to the airport for a special Sabbath in Cappadocia. Welcome to Central Anatolia, where a dozen empires have risen and fallen, as their massive armies moved back and forth across this "land bridge" between Europe and Asia. Cappadocia, with its center in Caesarea (Kayseri), was once the heart of the Hittite Kingdom of the Old Testament. This vast area is one of the most photogenic landscapes in the world. Extraordinary rock formations have become symbolic of this region, where you will enjoy the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys and Goreme's breathtaking Open Air Museum. Watch the potters at their craft, in the famous pottery-producing town of Avanos. Finally, savor the natural wonders of the Citadel of Uchisar and Zelve Valley. Dinner and lodging in Cappadocia.