September 5–15, 2014
Begin in Cappadocia to see the rock-carved Zelve Monastery and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Göreme, an open-air museum of Byzantine frescoes within a monastic complex and troglodyte community. In Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, marvel at the most extensive collection of Hittite artifacts in the world, and admire the richly tiled interiors of the Green Mosque in the former capital of Bursa. Conclude in Istanbul to enjoy a private Bosphorus cruise and visit such splendid sights as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia, as well as lesser-known treasures such as the Sabanci Museum dedicated to Ottoman calligraphy.
Traveling with You: Deniz Beyazit, assistant curator in the Department of Islamic Art. Listen to Deniz discuss eyes and how they can talk without words in her Connections episode, "Eyes," and explore her 82nd & Fifth episode, "Getting Lost," about the tughra (official signature) of Sultan Süleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–66).
Land Rate: $10,595
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Above: Cappadocia, Turkey