Turkish Jewish Heritage Tour

8 Nights

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Explore the fascinating Jewish History found in Turkey on this seven night, eight day Turkish holiday package. Concentrated in the cities of Istanbul and Izmir, it provides a unique view into the history and culture of the Jewish people in Turkey, as well as taking in major sights in the area. This tour is available year round and provides some invaluable insights into the history and culture of this remarkable group of people. All tours are conducted with English speaking guides using air conditioned transport.




Day 1

On arrival at Istanbul Airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel in air conditioned comfort. You will be staying in this hotel for the next four nights. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and begin to feel the vibe of this ancient and fascinating city. As dinner is not included tonight, the hotel concierge will be able to recommend local restaurants where you can find your evening meal.

Day 2

Your first morning's touring will take in some of the most important Jewish sites in Istanbul. After breakfast you will be collected for your full day tour. The first stop will be to the Jewish neighborhood of Galata. On the excursion you will see the Galata Tower built by the Genoese in 1303. This will be followed by a visit to the local synagogues, the Neve Shalom and the Askenazy Synagogue. Your tour guide will give recommendations for restaurants in which you can buy your lunch. After lunch you will visit the Hippodrome, a 3rd century site, where chariots raced during the Roman period. Then it's off to the Blue Mosque, famous for its blue tiles and six minarets and a trip to the nearby Hagia Sophia, a world heritage site built in the 6th century. After the tour you will be return to the hotel and the evening is yours at your leisure. Your tour guide will be able to make recommendations for where to have your evening meal.

Day 3

Departing from hotel after breakfast, today's tour will take you for a visit of the Balat neighborhood where you will see the Star of David on building facades. Taking in these old neighborhoods, you will get an appreciation of how people lived in years gone by. After, the tour goes to the 15th century Ahrida and Yanbol synagogues and visits the Jewish home for the elderly along the Golden Horn. Lunch will be found at a local cafe – your guide can provide the names of good places to go. After lunch you will visit th Topkapi Palace with its priceless collection of jewels, and the Grand Bazaar, with some time for some shopping. The Grand Bazaar is a great place to barter for carpets and leather goods. After the tour you will be returned to your hotel and the evening is free for you to find some dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 4

After breakfast you will be collected for you last day of touring in Istanbul. Today's excursion starts with a visit to the Egyptian Bazaar, another place to amazed at and wander. This is followed by a Bosphorus boat tour, viewing the beautiful palaces and the European and Asian shorelines. Istanbul has the unique honour of straddling two continents. Lunch will be found in a local cafe, after which you will be taken for a drive over the bridge to the Asian side to visit the synagogues in Kuzguncuk and Uskudar. The tour then takes in a panoramic view of the city from the highest hill in Istanbul, Camlica Hill. After the tour you will be taken back to the hotel and the evening is free for you to do as you please.

Day 5

After breakfast you will check out of your Istanbul Hotel and be transferred to the airport for your flight to Izmir, on Turkey’s Western Coast. On arrival at Izmir Airport you will be transferred to your hotel where you will be spending the next three nights. A small tour has been arranged once you have settled in and lunch is provided today. On the afternoon tour you will visit one of the local synagogues in Izmir, where the Jewish community dates back more than 2000 years. After this it’s off to the castle of Alexander the Great and the agora. After the tour you will be returned to your hotel and the rest of the evening is free for you to source your dinner at a local restaurant. The food in Izmir is a little different to that in Istanbul and there is a distinct Greek influence to the food.

Day 6

Your sixth day of touring will probably be your most memorable of the tour. After a very early breakfast there will be an early morning departure to visit the ancient city of Ephesus. This day trip, including lunch, will take you all over this ancient site with its marvelous ruins of an ancient and powerful city which was deserted over a thousand years ago. Your guide will show you are the site, including the Celsus Library, the amphitheatre, the Roman baths, the Temple of Artemis, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Late in the afternoon you will be returned to Izmir to your hotel. Here you can find your evening meal and relax for the evening.

Day 7

Today is your last touring day of your holiday package and once again you will be taken around to the archaeological wonders of the region. After breakfast you will be taken on a tour of Sardis, the capital of ancient Lydia. View the significant ruins of the Acropolis. Visit the Temple of Cybele and Diana, which later became a church. See the golden river Pactalos and the Royal Road. Then visit the reconstructed synagogue, the gymnasium and the new excavation area. Lunch will be had a local restaurant during the tour. Later in the afternoon you will be returned to Izmir to your hotel for your last night on tour. This is a great chance to have a last traditional Turkish meal with your travelling companions.

Day 8

After breakfast and check out you will be transferred to Izmir airport for you onward flight.

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Our family of 4 took an 8 day trip to Crete, Santorini and Athens… and we could not have done it without the planning, recommendations and assistance of Anthony and Antelope Travel. We gave Anthony our budget and a rough idea of what we wanted to do with our 2 kids (5 & 7) and he was able to create a trip of a lifetime. Whenever we needed a driver or some assistance, even a last minute restaurant recommendation Anthony and his team were readily available with great solutions. He really listens and can modify things to suit your particular needs. Everything was planned and went accordingly for us, including boarding passes to flights, ferries, booster seats in all vehicles, a private Greek mythology tour and tour of the Acropolis, winery tour and even a stunning catamaran ride in Santorini. We will 100% be recommending Antelope travel to all my friends and family. Thank you for such an incredible family vacation!

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