Ski Programme 2 : Istanbul-Kayseri Mt. Erciyes-Efkere (Gesi)-Hattusas-Cappadocia 9 Nights / 10 Days
Day 01 Istanbul Old City Tour
Arrival and transfer to your hotel
Day 02 Istanbul Old City Tour
Visits in the Old-City: Hagia Sophia, one of the oldest and most famous churches of the world; Topkapı-Palace, the imperial residence of Ottoman Sultans for 400 years; Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the so-called ‘‘Blue Mosque“ known for the beauty of
the walls that are covered with blue-colored Iznik ceramics; Hippodrom with the Egyptian Obelisk, and where horses and chariots raced once upon a time with tens of thousands of people cheered for them. Serpentine Column and the Colossus (column of Constantine Porphyrgenitus) finally, the Covered Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest shopping malls of the world. Overnight in Istanbul (B)
Day 03 Istanbul to Kayseri, Mt. Erciyes for your Ski Holiday-Free day to ski
Take an early morning flight to Kayseri and transfer to your city or mountain resort hotel and enjoy skiing(B)
Day 04 Mt. Erciyes for your Ski Holiday-Free day to ski (B)
Day 05 Mt. Erciyes for your Ski Holiday-Free day to ski (B)
Day 06 Mt. Erciyes for your Ski Holiday-Free day to ski (B)
Day 07 Cultural Encounter Day,
Escape to slow city of Efkere (Gesi) Trekking in Gesi and home-Made lunch in a local House. Efkere (Gesi) was located approximately 18 kilometers northeast of Kayseri. The exact origins of Efkere are unclear. It is known that the monastery located in this village, Surp Garabed, dates from at least the 12th century, and some Armenians hold that the monastery was founded by St. Thaddeus in the 1st century. Others believe that the village was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator, who is said to have rested here when traveling from Caesarea to Armenia at the beginning of the fourth century.
The origin of the name Efkere is also uncertain. It may be from the Greek word, Yevkaria, which means “sacred place”, or “sanctity”. This relatively small village was populated primarily by Armenians throughout its history, although Turks were also present during at least a part of this time. Now primarily Turkish with Armenian architecture and excellent home-made food. There we will have a trekking in the famous ‘’Efkere (Gesi) Orchards’’ and be the guests of a local family for a delicious local lunch served in village house followed by Turkish Tea, coffe and famous Turkish sweet Baklava. We will also have an opportunity to interact with the locals in an unspoiled atmosphere where the locals will not try to sell any souvenirs to you but will be delighted to see you in their village. You will have opportunities to take picturesque photos in the village.Driveback to Kayseri. Overnight in Kayseri (B, L)
Day 08 Kayseri to Hattusas and Yazilikaya
Today we will set out for Hattusa, the Capital City of the Hittites. The history of Hattusa can be traced back to the 3rd millennium B.C. to the settlement of an Anatolian tribe of unknown origin called the Hatti stable period of Hittite rule continued from 1650 to 1200 B.C. Apart from ruling most of Anatolia, the Hittite rule spread to northern Syria as well. This became a bone of contention between the Egyptians and the Hittites, which resulted in the historic Battle of Kadesh. However, with the war ending in an impasse, a truce was called. This is considered to be the first such treaty in human history.
The Hattusa city we see today was created and established by the Phrygians who returned and settled there between the 9th and 7th centuries B.C. Later Galatian, Byzantine and Roman communities settled there. There we will see the 4000 years old
Hitite City of Hatussa with its Lion Gate, Great Temple and many impressive structures. Then drive to Yazilikaya, Open Sanctuary of the Hittites where there are two recesses in the rock, one to the northeast and the other to the east, form natural open-air galleries. In a northeastern recess is carved a long procession of mostly male figures to the west and female to the east, meeting on the far northeastern wall. The east gallery contains a relief of a procession of warriors; on the opposite wall is a large relief showing a king in the embrace of his patron. We will see and get to know the Hittite Pantheon, old religious traditions and their reflections to the present day. Drive back to Kayseri. Overnight in Kayseri(B)
Day 09 Cappadocia
Drive to nearby Cappdocia and begin our discovery of Cappadocia with Goreme’s “Caves of God” a UNESCO world heritage site. Monasteries and churches hewn into volcanic tufa rock reached their peak between 7th and 13th centuries. Natural formations from the landscape of Avcilar and Red valley of Dervent will offer you a large palette of colors through the hours of the day. You will see the ongoing erosion on the fairy chimneys of Pasabagi and natural fortress of Uchisar after your lunch in an authentic restaurant. Visit the underground city of Kaymakli and drive back to Kayseri. Overnight in Kayseri (B)
Day 10 Kayseri to Istanbul
Fly back Istanbul for a connecting flight to USA.