Unforgettable Turkey


Special & Unforgettable Experiences 

  • Istanbul: Arrival

    Istanbul: Arrival

    Arrive in Istanbul, one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Formerly known as Byzantium and as  Constantinople, it has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, and is the  only city in the world situated on two continents. Here, East meets West. 

  • Istanbul: Byzantine and Ottoman Relics

    Istanbul: Byzantine and Ottoman Relics

    Visit glorious Hagia Sophia, one of the most extraordinary  buildings in the history of architecture. Constructed in 532 AD, for 1,000 years it remained the  world’s largest and most magnificent cathedral before the Ottomans converted it to a mosque in  1453. See the Blue Mosque exterior (interior is under restoration), nicknames so for its interior covered with 20,000 brilliant, shimmering handpainted blue Iznik tiles. At the Islamic Arts Museum, see the examples of impressive Turkish decorative arts including illuminated manuscripts, […]

  • Istanbul: Ottoman Grandeur, Grand Bazaar Backstreets & Ottoman Cooking

    Istanbul: Ottoman Grandeur, Grand Bazaar Backstreets & Ottoman Cooking

    Explore splendid Topkapı Palace, imperial residence of the sultan, his court, and harem, as well as the seat of government from which the Ottoman Turks ruled most  of Europe and the Middle East. At the exquisite Underground Basilica Cistern learn about the city’s  sixth-century sophisticated ancient water system in this beautiful and unusual space filled with recycled ancient marble columns.  Tour the Backstreets of the Grand Bazaar seeing the local – but no less crowded – side of this bustling […]

  • Cruise and Cross the Bosphorus, Istanbul Locals

    Cruise and Cross the Bosphorus, Istanbul Locals

    Board a privately chartered boat for a cruise fully narrated by Mert, along opulent  19th century Ottoman palaces, waterside mansions built by Ottoman aristocrats and foreign  ambassadors, and the mighty 15th century fortress Rumeli Hisari. Watch how one man fishing  boats share this busy waterway with giant shipping tankers. Afternoon flight to Turkey’s interior, Cappadocia where we will marvel at unusual and impressive  geological landscapes.

  • Cappadocian Early Christian History in Cave Churches

    Cappadocian Early Christian History in Cave Churches

    After a cave breakfast room reminiscent of the Flintstones, visit Goreme Open Air Museum an  UNESCO World Heritage Site containing 10th to 13th century Christian cave churches carved into  the natural rock landscape. See exceptional, vibrant frescoes in a cave church where the columns  and domes have been carved from the rock within the the cave. Enjoy Turkish hospitality and a home cooked lunch in the  home of a village family, of enjoying the company of up to 4 generations […]

  • Subterranean City & Fairy Chimneys

    Subterranean City & Fairy Chimneys

    Start our day at the bustling weekly village market, observing local villagers buying and selling  produce, homemade cheeses, all types of groceries and home goods. Tour amazing Kaymakli  Underground City, entirely carved into the rock landscape and down 6 stories by early Christians  who fled from persecution by hiding and living in secret, sophisticatedly engineered subterranean  cities for months at a time. In the afternoon, enjoy more fairly chimney views, and attend an  optional Whirling Dervish ceremony. Enjoy a tasty […]

  • Village Life

    Village Life

    Morning walk along colorful and ornate doors of village homes, perhaps see villagers at work and  hopefully encounter a village woman with her own handicrafts to sell from her home. Village ladies  show us how to make an amazing comfort food clay pot casserole, before we enjoy it for lunch.  Visit a pottery workshop before our afternoon flight to Izmir from which we have a 1 hour drive to  Kusadasi.

  • Villages & Roman Ephesus

    Villages & Roman Ephesus

    Allow yourself to be impressed on a detailed tour of the sprawling ancient city of Ephesus, one of  the most powerful Greco-Roman cities of the ancient world, and today one of the world’s best  preserved archeological sites. Walk the Sacred Way, a paved and colonnaded marble street,  tracing the steps of Julius Caesar, Saint Paul, Antony and Cleopatra. The Library of Celsus rivals  any structure in the Roman Forum and the amphitheater dwarfs that of Pompeii. Our visit includes  the […]

  • Organic Farm Breakfast & Ancient City of Aphrodisias

    Organic Farm Breakfast & Ancient City of Aphrodisias

    Experience a traditional Turkish breakfast feast at a tranquil organic village farm before we drive to  Aphrodisias, one of the largest, best preserved archeological sites in Turkey and another UNESCO  World Heritage Site. Named in honor of Aphrodite, goddess of love, this city was a center for  sculpture, arts, literature, and religion. Many of this city’s monuments are still standing, including  the 30,000 seat stadium. Elaborate sculptural details we see date back to the 1st and 2nd century  AD. Continue […]

  • Pamukkale Travertine Terraces & Heiropolis

    Pamukkale Travertine Terraces & Heiropolis

    Today we head to to the travertine terraces of Pamukkale, health spa of the ancient world. Dip  your toes in reputed healing mineral waters while exploring the terraced snow-white travertine  pools, and view the theatre of the ancient city of Hieropolis, UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mert  leads active participants on a hike up hill to a restored ancient theatre. Fast forward 2,000 years –  Experience Turkish fast food in a truly local environment. Lunch in a nearby big city shopping […]

  • Passages of Time: Quaint Village

    Passages of Time: Quaint Village

    Visit a very traditional village of stone houses, garden patches and a commitment to keeping alive  village life in our globalized world through the dying art of village carpet weaving and farming.  Village Cooking Demo & Lunch. Afternoon and evening free to explore the town and enjoy dinner  on your own.

  • Underwater Archeology, Ancient Shipwrecks & Chillax

    Underwater Archeology, Ancient Shipwrecks & Chillax

    Morning tour of St. Peter’s Castle built by Crusaders now housing a fantastic underwater  archeology museum. Explore ancient shipwreck discoveries. Then we’ll take a vacation from our  vacation. Spend the day relaxing aboard a gulet, or Turkish wooden yacht sailing along the coast,  swimming in the Aegean Sea, and enjoying lunch. Optional seafood dinner will be arranged  according to the day’s catch and will include local delicacies.

  • “New” & Contemporary Istanbul

    “New” & Contemporary Istanbul

    Morning flight back to Istanbul, and cross the Golden Horn to Beyoglu district in “new” Istanbul.  New, as in much newer than the ancient historic peninsula where our journey began, yet today it  has it’s own historic charms. Walking tour including lunch of street food tastings along boutique and  eatery lined, pedestrian-packed Istiklal Street, considered the heartbeat of the city.  Ride the city’s highly efficient Metro to explore one of countless shiny skyscrapers in Istanbul  where Turkey’s educated, western minded […]

  • Spice Market

    Spice Market

    Visit Chora Church filled with glittering Byzantine mosaics, considered by some experts to be the  world’s finest examples of Christian mosaics, and Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul’s grandest. You’ll  gain appreciation for the design and engineering genius of imperial architect Sinan, and begin to  understand why he is often compared to Michelangelo. Walk through busy backstreets to the  famed Egyptian Spice Market. Shop for spices, nuts, other Turkish foods, and last minute gifts.  We’re doing this at the end of our trip […]

  • Hosca Kal & Aloha!

    Hosca Kal & Aloha!

    Mert will join us in our panoramic rooftop breakfast room before we say our good-byes as our tour  concludes after breakfast. Transfer to airport for your departure flight.

  • Contemporary Turkish Dinner at one of Istanbul’s most celebrated restaurants, a destination for  visiting international chefs.
  • Cooking Demonstration of Ottoman Palace Cuisine 
  • Grand Bazaar Shopping – I’ll introduce you to vetted, reputable shopkeepers I have befriended,  for exotic treasures – Fine Scarves, Needlelace Necklaces, Inlaid Wood & Mother of Pearl  Marquetry, Silver Jewelry, Hand-loomed Ikat Fabrics, and more! 
  • Privately Chartered Cruise of the Bosphorus Strait along Ottoman Palaces & Mansions, crossing  the Bosphorus Strait from Europe to Asia for Food Market Visit & Lunch.
  • Istanbul Street Food Walking Tour 
  • Home Cooked Lunch Visit with a Cappadocia Village Family 
  • Seafood Dinners of the Day’s Local Catch – Watch local fishermen from a dockside restaurant
  • Breakfast Feast at an Organic Village Farm
  • Authentic Carpet Weaving Village Visit & Lunch – Meet 3 generations of villagers committed to  maintaining traditional village lifestyle by weaving and farming.
  • Village Cooking Demonstrations
  • Nature Walk – Get Up Close Amongst the Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia
  • Optional Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride 
  • Optional Turkish Bath 
  • Optional Whirling Dervish Ceremony

Historical & Cultural Visits

Blue Mosque * Hagia Sophia * Topkapi Palace * Underground Basilica Cistern * Grand Bazaar *  Chora Church * Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys of Pasabag Valley * Goreme Open Air Museum,  UNESCO World Heritage Site * Kaymakli Underground City * Historic Greek Village Walk * Roman  City of Ephesus, UNESCO World Heritage Site * Ephesus Terrace Homes * Ancient City of  Aphrodisias, UNESCO World Heritage Site * Pamukkale Travertine Terraces, UNESCO World  Heritage Site * Bodrum Underwater Archeoloy Museum * Full Day Aegean Sea Yacht Trip *  Suleymaniye Mosque * Egyptian Spice Market * Village Markets * And More!

Travel with Mei-mei Means…

  • Eat Wonderful, Varied Meals Like A Local – NOT With Tourists!
  • Top Tier Historical & Cultural Turkish Guide
  • Experience Off The Beaten Path Hidden Gems Other Group Travelers Don’t See or Do
  • Explore Villages and Meet Local Villagers
  • Make The Most of Your Time – Travel By Airplane instead of 8-10 hour bus days
  • Comfortable Hotels With Local Character, Excellent Location, Special Features & Service – You  will never need to take a taxi or navigate public transportation to explore during free time, nor  drag your suitcase down the street or up stairs
  • Optional Meals Arranged for Most Free Time Meals, for your convenience and peace of mind

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