Journey to the Mystical Land of Turkey
Come with us to the cradle of many civilizations;
Western and Central Turkey!!!
The Dates for the BEST of Turkey Tours in 2015:
May 16 - 30, 2015
The most important reason for these dates is the weather. The spring and fall are some of the most pleasant seasons for traveling in Turkey. It is not really too hot and very pleasantly warm all around Turkey in late May. Also hardly any of the European tourists are in Turkey in those days. Therefore we won't be traveling with a flow of people in these wonderful places.
The Fee: 2015 tour fee will be only $2250. This will be the ALL INCLUSIVE, LAND ONLY fee (Istanbul-to-Istanbul tour in Turkey between these dates).
The Contact: You can contact us in many ways:
Postal address: 4326 Brackenwood Ct. Sarasota, FL 34232.
I will be traveling for my concerts, recording of my new CD and making the further arrangements for these tours. Therefore the best way to contact me is via my e-mail address, any time you need. My Turkish cell phone number: 011-90-537-710-1278.
You can also contact my assistant friend Juan De La Sierra in his Florida office: 941-730-6952
Thank you very much again for your interest in traveling to Turkey with me. I am very excited about this tour since it will provide me the golden opportunity to introduce my homeland to good friends like you. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Until then, please take care and keep in touch.
For Reservations: Please send me an e-mail at Lbolat@aol.com.
Best Wishes from Istanbul,
Best of Turkey: Western and Central Turkey Tour itinerary:
(There might be minor modifications for the betterment of the tour)
Day 1: DEPART USA:
En-route. Your non-stop direct flight will depart from the United States this evening, arriving in Istanbul the next day around morning or noon.
Day 2: ARRIVE ISTANBUL:
After the passport and visa work at the airport, we’ll board our luxury bus to go to our charming hotel in Aya Sophia district for our FIRST night in Istanbul. We’ll relax and rest before we embark for a lovely dinner at an authentic Istanbul restaurant. There will also be plenty of time to stroll around Aya Sophia and the Sultanahmet district both in the afternoon and after dinner. We’ll spend the night in a very conveniently located small but very charming hotel.
Day 3-4-5: FLY OR DRIVE TO CAPPADOCHIA:
Depending on the tour's attendance, after a flight or a drive through the scenic Anatolian plateau to arrive at the one of the natural wonders of the world: Cappadocia. On the way, we’ll stop in the village of Hacibektash, the village where the founder of the Bektashi order of dervishes; Hadji Bektas-i Veli lived during the time of Rumi and developed a heterodox lineage of Sufism which is known as one of the most tolerant and egalitarian sects in the Sufi world. We’ll spend 3 full days in Cappadocia exploring the mysterious and mystical lunar landscape and rock hewn early Christian churches dating back to the 7th-13th Century AD all around the Valley. We’ll tour the amazing underground cities and churches, and experience the life of these unique people from 1500 years ago. Goreme, Zelve, Ihlara, Derinkuyu are some of the amazing sites we’ll visit. We’ll spend our evenings at luxury accommodations and experience the local cuisine and local culture in the evenings. While in Cappadocia we will visit some carpet weavers and listen to their stories about carpet weaving. We’ll make a campfire in an open field among the “fairy chimneys” and listen to the music of the Bektashis and the other Sufis performed by Latif and his musician friends from Turkey. We’ll stay in a 4-star hotel in Urgup for a good night’s sleep.
Day 6-7: ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF ST.PAUL:
We’ll travel thru the magnificent Toros mountains, just like the Crusaders did several times in 12 and 13th centuries. Here we’ll visit Mersin, Latif’s hometown and have lunch with his family so you can experience a real traditional Turkish urban family. From there we’ll go to Kizkalesi and enjoy the sun, history and beaches and we’ll stay at a beachside resort. This is the perfect time to go into the Mediterranean Sea and swim to the mid-sea castle from the time of the Templars.
Day 8: KONYA: THE HOME OF RUMI AND YUNUS EMRE:
Today we’ll head for the city of Rumi, Konya. On top of Toros Mountains, we’ll visit a 5th Century Monastery, Alahan. Away from any tourist visits, this will be an impressive memory for you. Then, we’ll visit the tomb of Rumi in downtown Konya. This is a great mosque and the Mevlevi Dervish lodge. Now it is a museum and you can feel the dervish spirit of 13th century. In this museum, there are exhibits of Dervish costumes, instruments, illuminated manuscripts, and various ethnographic artifacts. We’ll also visit old Islamic universities and Seljuk mosques from 12th century. We will stay in Konya and experience the evening in this very mystical ancient city. The dinner will take place at a fine restaurant overlooking the beautifully lighted tomb of Rumi. After the dinner, we’ll be treated with mystical music and whirling of the dervishes by our good friends from the Mevlevi order of Sufis in Konya. This will give you an idea how Rumi lived 800 years ago at the same spot, maybe 10 meters away!
Day 9: THRU THE LAKES REGION, PAMUKKALE AND APHRODISIAS:
From Konya, our journey will take us thru the mountains and valleys and we’ll arrive at a small lakeside town of Egirdir. This is a beautiful town based on a narrow peninsula on the lake. Strolling along the shores of the lake and imagining the old life style existed here many hundreds years ago will be a memorable experience. We’ll be watching the sunset in Pamukkale, literally means “cotton castle” where ancients Romans and Greeks enjoyed hot springs for centuries. We’ll visit the 2000 year old city of Hierapolis and admire the tombs of many traditions concentrated in this “healing city”. Then we’ll visit the sacred city of the Goddess Aphrodite at Aphrodisias. Maybe the best kept secret of the entire Turkish sites, we’ll be transported to the days of Mother Goddess.
Day 10-11: EPHESUS AND KUSADASI:
Thru the Pamukkale (Cottoncastle) region, we drive to the magnificent Ephesus and its colossal Greek theater. Ephesus has many great sites to see, such as the Marble Road, the Celsius Library and the Temple of Diana. During our stay in Selcuk, we’ll also visit the incredible Ephesus Archaeological Museum where you can see many precious artifacts such as the one and only statue of Goddess Artemis. We will also visit the house and little chapel where the Virgin Mary lived during her final days. We will return to our hotel in Kusadasi, 20 minutes away and enjoy a very relaxing evening on the Aegean Coast. Kusadasi is a lovely tourist town with many happenings. The evening will proceed with a dinner of local cuisine accompanied with local folk music and dances at a very friendly restaurant. Then you can stroll along the beautiful shoreline of Kusadasi.
Day 12-13-14: BACK TO ISTANBUL:
A short morning flight from Izmir will take us back to Istanbul. (Please note that depending on the demand, we might decide to drive to Istanbul instead of the flight. In that case we'll visit Troy and Gallipoli, will stay in Canakkale for the night). After checking in our comfortable hotel in the Old City, we’ll explore this ancient and exciting city from Museums to the streets to the bazaars and restaurants. Established on two continents, Istanbul has been a fascinating city for centuries for people from every walk of life. Once it was called Constantinople, it was conquered by the Turkish Sultan Fatih in 1453 AD. Since then it functioned as the cultural and economic center of Eastern Mediterranean. That’s why you will be amazed with the variety of people, artifacts, food, and scenery in this wonderfully exciting city. During our stay here, we’ll visit Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye and Rustem Pasha Mosques, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Military Museum, Islamic Art Museum, Whirling Dervishes ceremony and many other wonderful places.
Day 15: DEPART FOR USA:
We will depart our hotel after a nice farewell breakfast and catch our planes to back home to the USA! Have a great trip!
For Reservations: Please send me an e-mail at Lbolat@aol.com.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY:
Latif Bolat acts only as agent for the passengers in regard to transportation and/or all other related travel services as stated in the itinerary, and thus, assumes no liability for injury, delay, irregularity, loss or damage to person or property, or additional costs resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, weather, failure of any means of transportation to comply with schedules, quarantines, strikes, civil disturbances, theft, government regulations, discrepancies, and/or change in transit or hotel accommodations over which it has no control, whether it arises out of or is incidental to the tour or otherwise. Although it is very rare, some reasonable changes in the declared itinerary and prices may be made any time when deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers. Latif Bolat cannot accept responsibility for the property of or personal illnesses or injuries to tour participants during the course of the tour. We reserve the right to refuse to accept or retain any person as a tour participant should that that person's health or mental condition or physical situation or general demeanor impede the operation of the your or the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of other passengers, and to refund only the unused land portion of the tour price. In case of a dispute about the trip, litigations will be settled in the courts of Albuquerque, NM.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THIS $2250 FEE?
* This is a land only tour and all arrangements start and end at the airport in Istanbul.
* Latif Bolat or in some cases a certified professional Turkish tour guide will escort you on your tour.
* Breakfast and dinner every day throughout the tour
* All hotel accommodations.
* All scheduled lectures, shows, performances.
(traveler pays for extra shows etc)
* All scheduled entrance fees to museums, ancient sites etc, extra entrance fees not included.
* All baggage handling for check-ins, check-outs,
in hotels and at airports.
* All hotel and local taxes are included.
* Bottled water during the tours on the bus.
SINGLE ROOM/ROOMMATE POLICY:
Indicated tour fees are on Per Person/Double Occupancy base. Some single rooms per tour are available at $20 extra per night (at cost). The sooner you sign up for a tour, the better the chances are that we will be able to find a roommate for you. If you wish to share your room and we cannot find a roommate, the single supplement fee will be shared with Latif Bolat. Once the tour commences, if you degide you no longer want to share a room, you will have to pay double the original singgle supplement fee in order to compensate for your roommate's single room as well.
Tour cancellation/protection, as well as luggage and accident insurance is highly recommended. Latif Bolat Tours do NOT sell such insurance so please contact your travel agent to purchase these insurances. Please note: Latif Bolat is not liable for loss, damage or theft of luggage or personal belongings, for personal injury, accident or illness. If you need any medical service during the tour, Latif Bolat tours will happily help you get a doctor or take you to a clinic. However the passenger will need to pay the expenses to the doctor or clinic after or before the medical service provided.
We'll make every effort to carry out all tours as planned. However, itinerary contained in this brochure is subject to modifications and change in order to create a better and safer tour if it is considered by Latif Bolat Tours as necessary.
TRANSPORTATION COMPANIES CLAUSE:
The passage contract in use by airlines and other transportation companies whose services are used to arrive and depart from Turkey before and after the tour shall constitute the sole contract between the companies and the purchaser of a tour. Latif Bolat does not assume responsibility for cancellation fees of any special fares due to departure or itinerary changes.
Please realize that Turkey is not like the US in terms of smoking and other allergy related issues. Even though we try to provide the best alternatives for non-smoking hotels, restaurants and other public places, you might still encounter some smoking. Therefore if you are severely allergic to smoking, please consult with us. Also, even though there is no heavy hiking involved in this tour, certain level of walking on uneven terrain will be required since most of the historical sites are scattered in wide areas. Since this tour covers half of Turkey, there will be some bus traveling involved every day. Even though we try to make it as pleasant as possible, you should keep this in mind. as well.
TOUR BUS INFORMATION:
Transportation will be by private air-conditioned new Mercedes, Volkswagen or Isuzu deluxe buses. These buses are for either 15 or 30 passenger capacity depending on the number of the participants.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED: Add-on International flights. All Lunches. Alcoholic and other beverages during the dinners, other than water. Tips for the guides (industry standard is $5 per person/per day). Tips for the bus driver (industry standard is $2 per person/per day). Airline insurance. Cost of Turkish Visa at the Istanbul airport, $ 20 (as of 2014). Luggage, personal and tour cancellation insurance. Room service, valet, laundry, telephone calls. Items of personal nature and other items not specifically mentioned above. Courtesy tips at restaurants and hotels. Performances like concerts and shows. Items of personal nature and other items not specifically mentioned above.
FREE AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Tour participants are entitled to airport tranesfers on scheduled tour arrival and departure days in Turkey between 7AM and 11PM. However if you are arriving early or departing later than the scheduled days you will need to take a taxi to/from the airport. Please provide your flight itinerary as soon as you have the necessary information. Latif Bolat Tours can also send you a shuttle van if you don't wish to deal with the taxies. In that case please pay the shuttle fee upon your arrival to your destination.
Latif Bolat reserves the right to cancel any tours prior to departure for any reasons, including insufficient number of participants and safety issues. If there is such a cancellation, participants will receive a full refund.
* A deposit of $500 per person is required upon registration. Any deposit that is sent towards booking a tour constitutes full knowledge, acceptance and agreement of the cancellation policy.
* Full payment is due 6o days prior to departure, upon receipt of invoice.
* Application received less than 65 days prior to departure will require full payment at time of registration.
REFUND POLICY :
The below policy will be strictly adhered to regardless of the reason for cancellation. A written cancellation is required for all refunds for the following schedule:
* Up to 60 days prior to departure: Obligatory service charge of $100 per person
* 59-45 days prior to departure: Forfeiture of full deposit ($500 per person).
* 44-10 days prior: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 50% of land costs.
* 9 days to 72 hours prior: Forfeiture of full deposit, plus 75% of land costs.
* Less than 72 hours or during the tour: No refunds!
Please send me an e-mail message at Lbolat@aol.com for the details and RESERVATIONS!