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Jewish Heritage Tour of Turkey – 6 Days / 5 Nights

Summary

TR-RLG2
6 Days / 5 Nights
FIT & Groups
Daily, Year-Round

Basic Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul | Transfer to your hotel; Some good local restaurants can be pointed out for dinner this evening.
  • Day 2: Istanbul | Sightseeing including Balat, Ahrida Synagogue, Zulfarij Jewish Museum, Oldies House, Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar.
  • Day 3: Istanbul | Sightseeings including Neve Shalom Synagogue, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Ashkenazi Jewish Synagogue, Etz Ha Hayim Synagogue, and the district of Ortakoy.
  • Day 4: Istanbul – Izmir – Sardis – Kusadasi | Sightseeings including Beth Israel Shar Ashmain Synagogue, Berko Halim Synagogue, and the ancient city of Sardis.
  • Day 5: Kusadasi | Sightseeings including Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis. Free leisure day afterwards.
  • Day 6: Kusadasi / Istanbul – Homebound departure | Flight back home.

Itinerary Map

Group Options

10+0 Pax From 679 EUR

5 (Gold), 4 (Silver), 3 (Bronze)

  • Mercedes Sprinter
  • Private Guide
  • Max 14 People
  • No free passenger
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15+1 Pax From 659 EUR

5 (Gold), 4 (Silver), 3 (Bronze)

  • Turkuaz Sultan VIP
  • Private Guide
  • Max 24 People
  • +1 free passenger
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25+1 Pax From 589 EUR

5 (Gold), 4 (Silver), 3 (Bronze)

  • Turkuaz Sultan VIP
  • Private Guide
  • Max 14 People
  • +1 free passenger
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35+1 Pax From 579 EUR

5 (Gold), 4 (Silver), 3 (Bronze)

  • Tourismo Travego
  • Private Guide
  • Max 45 People
  • +1 free passenger
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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Istanbul | Welcome

You will be met by your guide at the Istanbul International Airport (IST) and transferred to your hotel. After checking into your hotel, you will have some time to relax.

Free leisure day afterwards.

Day 2: Istanbul | Balat, Ahrida Synagogue, Zulfarij Jewish Museum, Oldies House, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar

After breakfast, we will pick you up from your hotel and take you on your tour of Jewish Istanbul. You will see the old Jewish Quarter of Balat where the Star of David still appears on the facades of some buildings. Our tour will continue with a visit to the Ahrida Synagogue, built over 500 years ago. Afterwards, we will visit the Zulfarij Jewish Museum of the Quincentennial Foundations and the “Oldies House” at Haskoy.

After lunch, the day will continue with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, a huge walled complex hugging the Bosporus, the former palace of the Ottoman Sultans that is now a museum with an extraordinary collection of Chinese porcelain, art, artifacts and jewels including the Topkapi Diamond, and relics from the Prophet Mohammed.

Following Lunch at a local restaurant, we will head towards the Grand Bazaar, the largest and the oldest covered market place in the world with more than 4,000 shops in the labyrinth of streets. Enjoy the colorful array of shops that offer an endless selection of goods that includes jewelry, fabrics, spices and local handicrafts.

After all the visits, you will be transferred to your Hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Istanbul | Neve Shalom Synagogue, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Ashkenazi Jewish Synagogue, Etz Ha Hayim Synagogue

Following your breakfast and check out from the hotel, we will move out for our visit to the Neve Shalom Synagogue, one of the most important gathering places of the Sepharadis, who are the most prominent Jewish community living in Istanbul.

Next, we will visit Hagia Sophia, one of the greatest marvels of Byzantine architecture built by Justinian, the once biggest dome in the world, with its grand pillars from Ephesus. Afterwards, the tour will continue with the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii), famous with its blue Iznik porcelain tiles and unique with 6 minarets, and the Hippodrome; the central square that was once used as a horse racing arena during the Roman and Byzantine times.

In the afternoon, we will drive to Pera hill to visit Ashkenazi Jewish Synagogues. From there on, we will drive to Ortakoy and visit where the first Sepharadic Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition disembarked, heeding the call of Sultan Bayezid II to offer refuge to the Jews, as he took upon him as his duty to protect “the people of the Book”. Lastly, we will visit to Etz Ha Hayim Synagogue in Ortakoy, built in commemoration of the event.

After the tours, we will return to the hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Kusadasi | Beth Israel Shar Ashmain Synagogue, Berko Halim Synagogue, Sardis

Early in the morning, we will transfer you from your hotel to catch the flight to Izmir Airport. Upon arrival, we will immediatelly start our tour of the city of ancient Smyrna, now called Izmir.

We will first visit the Beth Israel Shar Ashmain Synagogue and then the Berko Halim Synagogue. Afterwards, we will drive to Sardis, the capital of the ancient state of Lydia. The most important architectural works that were discovered in the city were the ancient Roman Synagogue, standing as a monument to the old and rich Jewish heritage of Anatolia, and the Gymnasium.

After the tour, we will drive to Kusadasi and check-in at our hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Kusadasi | Ephesus, Temple of Artemis

After breakfast at the hotel, we will start our tours of the day by visiting Ephesus.

One of the world’s finest examples of an ancient classical city, Ephesus was once the most important and prominent city in Asia Minor, predating even Constantinople. It housed the Temple of Artemis (Diana), the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There we will see many Hebrew signs and symbols, standing as a testimony to the Jewish heritage of this ancient city that welcomed many believers of the Jewish and Christian faiths during the time of Roman religious persecutions.

After the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel for a free leisure afternoon. Overnight stay in Kusadasi. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 6: Kusadasi | Departure

We will pick you up from your hotel in the morning after your breakfast at the hotel. You will then be transferred to the Izmir Airport for your flight to Istanbul Ataturk Airport, from where you will catch your connecting homebound flight. (Breakfast)

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Accommodations in Istanbul (3 nights), Kusadasi (2 nights)
  • All tours mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees and guide.
  • Meal plan as indicated in the itinerary: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D).
  • Airport – Hotel – Airport transfers.
  • All tours and transfers in an airconditioned, clean and comfortable coach.
  • International flights
  • Any tours labelled as “optional” or otherwise not mentioned in the program
  • Drinks during the meals, use of minibars and other hotel extras
  • Any meals that have not already been mentioned in the program

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