“Come, come again whoever, whatever you may be, come…” were the words of Meviana Celaleddin-i Rumi, founder of the Mevlevi (“Whirling Dervishes”) sect in Turkey. Mevlana, who lived in Konya in the 13th century, is also known in all parts of the world for his poem, “Mesnevi,” which consists of 25,000 rhyming couplets. It portrays Mevlana’s hope for “unity with the One Real Being,” and shows his genius for compassion, tolerance, humanity, wisdom and wit. After his death, followers of this famous mystic founded a sect that introduced dancing and music to their ceremonies, as they aspired to reach the ecstatic state of “being one with God.” Today, performances of the Whirling Dervishes can be seen in Konya, generally between December 9 and 17, and more frequently at a newer venue in Istanbul. This Tour has been planned to include this unique mystical performance, in addition to visits of renowned touristic sites in Turkey.
DAY 1: ISTANBUL Arrival in Istanbul. Transfer to the hotel. Welcome Cocktail and Dinner at the hotel. (D)
DAY 2: ISTANBUL Sightseeing in Istanbul, visiting The St. Sophia Museum, The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and The Covered Bazaar. Dinner at a special restaurant. (B,L,D)
DAY 3: ISTANBUL Morning Cruise on the Bosphorus. Lunch at a seafood restaurant on shore. Afternoon: Tour of Dolmabahce Palace; balance of the day at leisure. (B,L,D)
DAY 4: ANKARA Morning transfer to the airport for flight* to Ankara. Afternoon: Visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk and the Museum of Ancient Anatolian Civilizations. Dinner at the hotel in Ankara. (B,L,D)
DAY 5: KONYA Morning drive from Ankara to Konya. Transfer to hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Meviana Mausoleum. Attend a performance of the authentic “Whirling Dervishes” in the evening**. Overnight in Konya. (B,L,D)
DAY 6: CAPPADOCIA Drive to Cappadocia with stop at an Anatolian Seijuk Caravanserai. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B,L,D)
DAY 7: CAPPADOCIA Sightseeing in Cappadocia, visiting rock churches, underground cities, and quaint villages. (B,L,D)
DAY 8: Morning departure from Cappadocia to reach Ankara in the afternoon for departing flight. (Most participants would need to overnight in Europe due to flight misconnections; not included in Land Price). (B,L)
** NOTE: Whirling Dervishes performance in Istanbul may be substituted for the one in Konya due to logistical reasons.
B = Breakfast included, L = Lunch included, D = Dinner included, D/E = Dinner and entertainment included
NOTE: The city or region designated next to a tour day (e.g., DAY 6: ANTALYA) indicates the location of overnight stay.