Tour Dates in Turkey: 2011

* Please contact us if you’d prefer custom arrangements.

Day 1 / Flight Day

Depart US for İstanbul. Note: We suggest Delta or Turkish Airlines as both have early evening, non-stop flights from New York to İstanbul, Turkey

Day 2 / Arrival in İstanbul

Morning arrival in İstanbul. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in the Old City. Short, guided orientation walk around the historic Sultanahmet area. Dinner on your own. Overnight at hotel in Sultanahmet area.

Note: the Festival opens tonight, so if you’re not too jet-lagged, the City and Jazz are close at hand! Throughout the entire program, our staff will available to suggest dining possibilities—from street snacks and kebab houses to elegant waterfront restaurants. Not only is İstanbul full of music, it’s full of wonderful food.

Day 3/ İstanbul , Old City

Guided walking tour of Old Stamboul. Explore the streets of this historic quarter as you gain an overview of İstanbul’s history. Visit the Hippodrome, where chariot races, sports activities, feasts took place in Byzantine & Ottoman times. Enter the Blue Mosque, which takes its name from the beautiful blue Iznik tiles decorating its interior. Continue to Haghia Sophia, with its splendid mosaics.

• At some point in the tour, we’ll arrange a visit to a zil workshop. İstanbul’s zil (hand-crafted brass cymbals) have long been the first choice of Classical and Jazz musicians worldwide.

Free afternoon to enjoy a Turkish bath, stroll along the colorful waterfront, or visit contemporary art galleries. Dinner on your own. Free evening for Festival events… Overnight at hotel in Sultanahmet area. (B)

Day 4 / İstanbul

Topkapi Palace Kitchen
Topkapi Palace Kitchen

This morning, we will visit Topkapı Palace with its many pavilions, halls, and courtyards showcasing everything from splendid garments and cooking utensils (in the just-refurbished kitchen exhibit) to weapons and jewelry– the artifacts and treasures from the daily life of the Ottoman court. Our visit will include the Treasury and the Harem. We suggest you take lunch at the “Konyalılar” Restaurant, famous for its traditional Ottoman cuisine. The dining room, within Topkapi Palace, overlooks the Sea of Marmara.

Late afternoon free. Dinner on your own. Evening of Festival activities. Overnight at hotel in Sultanahmet area. (B)

Day 5/ İstanbul / Bazaars and Pera District

Investigate İstanbul’s renowned Bazaars, starting from the Grand Bazaar and walking downhill along Uzunçarsi Caddesi (Long Market Street) through the Tahtakale district to the Golden Horn and the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar (Misir Çarsisi). Choose from lunch offerings in the Spice Bazaar, return to hotel, and rest until late afternoon.

We will meet at 5pm to take a walk across the Galata Bridge to the Beyoglu area, also known as Pera. This neighborhood is separated from the Historical Peninsula by a small inlet, the Golden Horn. Pera evolved as a center for European merchants, diplomats, and their political intrigues. Nowadays, it is the heart of cosmopolitan İstanbul with pedestrian streets full of lively bars, cafes, restaurants, and night clubs. We’ll suggest our favorite spots for an early dinner. Evening free for Festival concert (s) (B)

Day 6/ İstanbul / Jazz Boat on the Bosphorus

One of the most popular events of the Jazz Festival, the Jazz Boat is a ferry taking Festival-goers for a merry ride along the banks of the Bosphorus. Jazz bands will accompany you along this journey as you motor past historic waterfront homes and palaces. We will transfer you to the ferry port at 10:30 am and pick you up 4:00 pm.

7:30– 8:30 pm Sufi Music & Whirling Dervish Ceremony in a restored hamam (Turkish bath).

Dervish Musicians

This imposing vaulted space provides an elegant and contemplative venue in which to experience this beautiful, traditional music. (B)

Day 7 / Flight to Izmir / Ephesus

Transfer to the airport for 8:30am flight to Izmir. (B)
The Emperor Augustus chose Ephesus to be the capital city of Asia Minor during the Roman period. Sites include the remains of the Artemis Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the Church of the Virgin Mary where it is believed that Mary lived the last years of her life. Visit the Museum in which most of the finds from Ephesus are exhibited. Dinner and overnight at the Kusadasi Kismet Hotel. (B/D)

Drive to Kusadasi for dinner & overnight at Hotel Kismet, a charming hotel on a private peninsula close to Kusadasi. (B/D)

Day 8 / Aphrodisias / Kusadasi

Drive to Aphrodisias, the city of Aphrodite, the Mother of Aeneas from whom the Romans claimed descent. High-quality marble quarries made the city one of the most important sculpture centers of the entire Roman world. Dinner and overnight at the Kusadasi Kismet Hotel. (B/D)

Day 9 / Ionian Coast / Bodrum

Visit the most important cities of the Greek Classical period, the Ionian cities of Priene, Miletos, and Didyma. Continue to Bodrum. Dinner on your own and overnight outside at Bodrum 4 Reasons Hotel. (B)

Day 10 / Bodrum

A Bodrum Gulet

A relaxing day along the turquoise bays of Bodrum peninsula onboard a traditional wooden boat, gulet. Dinner at a famous sea food restaurant and overnight in Bodrum 4 Reasons Hotel. (B/D)

Day 11/ Bodrum & Flight to İstanbul

Late morning departure from hotel and visit the Underwater Archaeological Museum of Bodrum, housed in a Crusader Castle. Lunch in downtown Bodrum. Transfer to airport for 4:25pm flight to İstanbul. Overnight in Sultanahmet area. The Jazz Festival will still be under way, so you might enjoy one last concert or evening in a club. (B)

Day 12 / Departure Day / Flight to US

Early morning transfer to airport. If you are using Turkish Airlines, the return flight to JFK departs İstanbul at 9:30 am.

Prices and information here are guidelines only. Prices, based on a group of 6 to 16 participants, are available on request. Thanks bto a stronger US dollar, costs are anticipated to be very close to 2010 prices, approximately $2800 per person, double occupancy. Single supplement, around $600. If you are an individual traveler, costs might vary, and we’d be happy to provide a new quote.

What’s Included:

• All deluxe boutique hotel accommodations as indicated in the itinerary. Please note: Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. All confirmations for specific hotels will be made upon confirmation of the trip.
• All meals, as indicated: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner. (B/L/D)
• Professional, English-speaking guide
• Comfortable, air-conditioned, late-model vehicles. Depending on group size, we’d use a sedan or mini-van, or midi-bus with 27 seats.
• All tours and all transfers mentioned in itinerary
• Sufi music and Whirling Dervish ceremony
• All parking fees and toll roads.
• Private yacht (traditional Turkish gulet) in Bodrum
• Hotel and restaurant tips for accommodations and meals noted in the itinerary
• All entrance fees to ancient site visits.
• Baggage handling.
• Tour folders with brochures and maps of Turkey.

Not Included:

• International flights.
• Domestic flights in Turkey (these run @ $150-225 per flight.)
• Lunches and some of the dinners. (Please check B/L/D)
• Bosphorus Jazz Boat tour
• Guide and driver tips.
• Travel insurance
• Tourist Visa @ $26, immediately available on arrival in İstanbul

Please note that because the musical taste of tour participants varies, this tour package does NOT INCLUDE tickets for any Jazz events. If you would like a custom program that includes tickets (for events of your choice), more meals, or anything else—we’ll be happy to tailor a program just for you (for one person or for an entire group). You may see the official Festival program published online.

Depending on availability and venue, most tickets for scheduled Jazz events range from @ $13 to $70 USD per event, with many in the $20-40 range. Student tickets are available for many performances. Numerous events in clubs and open spaces are free.

To have us customize Jazz Festival arrangements for you, please contact Holly Chase 941-330 8738 or email