Turkey Photo Tour Outline

Turkey Photo Tour – Sept 30 – Oct 9, 2015
Click here for information on the Turkey Photo Tour Workshop – Sept 28 – 30.

Day 1 – Sept 30
Arrival Day. Plan to arrive prior to 4pm. Join the group for an included dinner and briefing about the week’s activities.

Throughout the following days, Shari will be busy pointing out interesting view points, unusual compositions and assisting with technique, on request. Not sure why your photo is blurry? Can’t capture the focus point you are looking for? You’d like to improve on the composition to turn a mediocre photo into something spectacular? You can choose to wander the attractions with Shari, or explore on your own and meet at a specified time and place, whichever suits you best.

Day 2 – Oct 1
Full day exploring the ancient streets of Istanbul, mainly on foot.

Brief guided tour of the Aya Sofia, and then ample time to photograph it’s beauty without feeling rushed.

Aya Sofia

Aya Sofia

The group will wander to the iconic Grand Bazaar with over 3000 shops. We’ll receive an overview of the history and layout from our guide and then have ample time to wander and photograph the ancient market.

Lamps in the Grand Bazaar

Lamps in the Grand Bazaar

Late in the afternoon, we will meander through the hectic streets of Mahmutpasa where you can see men delivering goods on their backs and merchants yelling out prices.

We’ll make our way to old Hans and rooftops just in time for the golden hour and setting sun. We’ll return to the hotel where the evening is then yours to relax or explore the Sultanahmet area at your leisure.

Day 3 – Oct 2
Early in the morning we will walk to the Blue Mosque where you will have a guided overview of the history and then ample time to photograph the stunning architecture and amazing tile work.

You’ll have free time to explore on your own, grab a bite to eat, or do some shopping, and then we’ll meet again in the afternoon to make our way across the Golden Horn to the historic Galata Tower district.

Flute Man - Galata District

Flute Man – Galata District

We’ll aim to be at the top of the Galata Tower for golden hour for a spectacular 360 view and photo opportunities of the sprawling city.

View from Galata Tower

View from Galata Tower

As we make our way back toward the Galata Bridge, we will take in old synagogues and a Venetian style church, turned mosque.

You can stay and enjoy a local fish restaurant on the banks of the Golden Horn, or head back to the hotel at your leisure.

Day 4 – Oct 3
Today is a completely free day. We will be on hand to advise of optional tours and interesting locations to visit, but there will be no official group activities. Istanbul has so much to offer and everyone has different interests, so this is a day for you to take in whatever you would like that is not included in the itinerary. Maybe it is a visit to the Basilica Cistern, a Bosphorus cruise, a massage at an ancient hammam or a visit to a hookah cafe. The diversity of the city is amazing, whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.

Mosque at golden hour

Mosque at golden hour

Day 5 – Oct 4
Today we will walk to one of the oldest and most interesting suburbs, Balat, where we’ll see the Fener, walk along the Old City Walls and visit Chora Church.

We’ll finish up late in the afternoon with time for you to take part in an optional night time activity if you wish, such as a Bosphorus Cruise, a Belly dancing show or the Whirling Dervishes.

Day 6 – Oct 5
We will bid farewell to beautiful Istanbul and fly to the unique and amazing area of Cappadocia today. After settling in to our cozy cave hotel, you’ll be free to explore the town of Avanos, or the artworks of the amazing hotel itself.

Tonight’s Folklore show will be sure to impress. It is a feast of food, drink, dance and music hosted within a huge cave. Weather and time permitting, we’ll head to a look out point to catch golden hour and sunset before making our way to the show.

Day 7 – Oct 6
It will be a full, but leisurely day exploring the highlights of Cappadocia including the Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Rock Fortress, Love Valley and an Underground City. Time permitting we’ll walk another beautiful valleys in the area. Late in the day we’ll make our way to a nice spot to photograph the unique rock formations and landscape as it changes colours under the golden sun.

Cappadocia Rock Formations

Cappadocia Rock Formations

Day 8 – Oct 7
Up, up and away! Today we’ll rise at the crack of dawn for a once in a lifetime hot air balloon ride over the valleys at sunrise. Our balloon flight will last approximately one hour, depending on winds and weather. After landing, we’ll return to the hotel for breakfast, or you can be dropped off to explore the hamlet of Cavusin at your own pace.

Take the afternoon to explore the artwork of the hotel and prepare your images for the slideshow finale, or take an optional excursion.

Hot air Ballooning over Love Valley in Cappadocia

Hot air Ballooning over Love Valley in Cappadocia

Sunrise hot air balloon in Cappadocia

Sunrise hot air balloon in Cappadocia

Day 9 – Oct 8
You’ll have a free morning to explore Avanos, take in the local pottery workshops, take an optional excursion, do some souvenir shopping or prepare for tonight’s slideshow finale.

In the afternoon, we’ll take a walk through Rose Valley up to the spectacular sunset viewpoint where we’ll enjoy our last beautiful night together as the rocks come alive with colours under the setting sun.

After sunset we’ll return to the hotel for a local meal and our slideshow critique and finale.

Day 10 – Oct 9
Today is departure day with no planned activities. Transfers can be arranged to the airport throughout the day (additional cost). Or, if you have chosen to stay for a few more days, say good-bye to your new friends and head out on your day’s adventures.

PHOTO TOUR PRICE: 1850 EUROS (tax included)
DEPOSIT: $1000 CAD, due by May 15, 2015 / $300 CAD of the deposit is non-refundable
BALANCE DUE: No later than June 30th
FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS: Not to be made until a minimum of 5 passengers have paid in full.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: 350 EUROS (tax included)

***We will pair solo travellers with a same-sex roommate for the double occupancy price, or if you wish to reserve a single room for the duration of the trip, the additional cost is 350 Euro.

Guidance, Assistance and expertise of a professional photographer throughout itinerary.
Airport arrival transfers
9 nights hotel accommodations (5 Istanbul / 4 Cappadocia) – based on double occupancy
9 breakfasts / 1 lunch / 3 dinners
Domestic flight – Istanbul to Cappadocia, including airport transfers to and from accommodations
Licensed guides in Istanbul and Cappadocia
Transportation for sightseeing in Cappadocia as well as various forms of public transportation in Istanbul.
Folklore show in Cappadocia
Hot Air Balloon Flight
Entrance fees: Aya Sofia / Blue Mosque / Galata Tower / Goreme Open Air Museum / Underground city / Uchisar Rock Fortress

2 day Photo Workshop
Turkey E-Visa ($60 USD)
International airfare ($1000 – $1400 CAD ball park from Halifax, NS to Istanbul then home from Cappadocia to Halifax.)
Travel Insurance (required)
Meals not listed ($200 – $300)
Optional activities during free time
Shopping / Souvenirs
Tips for hotel / drivers / guides – as you see appropriate ($100 – $300)
Outbound transfers ($25 – $40)
Additional accommodations or activities pre or post tour

For further information, please contact Shari – stucker@merittravel.com
Or, join me at the photo tour information session on March 28th in Halifax. Please RSVP.


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