“Embark on a Tasting Adventure” In Turkey

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
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Feb 03, 2011 / 0 comments

We've shared the wonderful Eat Smart Guides with our Wandering Educators before...

Eat Smart France

Eat Smart Sicily


Now,  Joan Peterson, author of  Eat Smart in Turkey, invites you to

“Embark on a Tasting Adventure” IN TURKEY - August 17 to August 25, 2011

Come with us on a culinary odyssey through ancient, Ottoman, and modern Turkey, and get to the heart of the culture through an exploration of its scrumptious cuisine and wine. Sample the infinite variety of regional Turkish specialties in their natural setting. Delve into the secrets of Turkish dishes by participating in a cooking class. Visit bustling markets to learn about the herbs, spices and condiments prevalent in Turkish cookery. You’ll come away with a knowledge of the culinary traditions of Turkey and a deep appreciation of the magnitude of history and culture that this ancient land possesses.

But it’s not all about food and wine. We’ll see the major tourist sights in Istanbul, in the Aegean and in magical Cappadocia, where we can take a sunrise balloon ride and gently soar above its surreal lunar landscape before landing for a champagne breakfast. And, we’ll still have time to shop and relax along the way.


Eat Smart Turkey



WEDNESDAY August 17, 2011

Arrive in Istanbul and settle in to your hotel.

12:00 Noon  Tour begins with a Cooking Class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute! It’s a food lover’s dream: gaining knowledge of Turkish cuisine on site, using authentic spices under the tutelage of culinary experts! Afterwards, drive to the Old City and visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Blue Mosque: built between 1609 and 1616 by Mehmet Aga, a student of the most famous Ottoman architect, Sinan the Great, the Mosque has 260 magnificent windows. The exquisite Blue Mosque is named after the beautiful Iznik tiles that give the mosque its interior color of striking sea blue. It surely is one of the architectural marvels of the world with its six slender minarets gracefully greeting the Bosphorus. The original design included a seventh minaret that was later presented to the mosque at Mecca for diplomatic reasons.

Hagia Sophia: the most magnificent of all Byzantine churches and one of the world’s finest and largest architectural works of art. St. Sophia was built by Anthemius of Tralles and Isodorus of Miletus between 532 and 537 AD under the rule of Emperor Justinian. When the Byzantine Empire collapsed under the attack of Mehmet the 2nd on May 29, 1453, Islam became the state religion. That day at noon Mehmet the 2nd had the muezzins call the Muslims to prayer from St. Sophia, thus converting it into a mosque. It is now a museum where early Christian mosaics and Islamic calligraphy live side-by-side.

7:00PM Departure for Dinner at Konyalı Restaurant in Kanyon. The restaurant, in the new trendy Kanyon, has become a favorite place for locals to enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine in a stylish manner.



 Eat Smart Turkey




THURSDAY August 18, 2011

Breakfast at the hotel.

9:00AM Departure from hotel for a morning visit to the Spice Bazaar and Rüstempasa Mosque.

Rustem Pasha Mosque: this mosque is one of the city’s architectural gems. The interior is covered in some of the most exquisite Iznik tiles ever produced. The tiles have the famous red color that was difficult to produce at the time. Rüstem Pasha was the son-in-law and a grand vezir of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566). Shop in a nearby market to buy spoons and spatulas made of simçir, a beautiful hard wood.

The Spice Bazaar: this extensive market was built in the 17th century to finance the upkeep of the nearby mosque, Yeni Cami. The bazaar is often referred to as the “Egyptian Market” due to the fact that spices used to come to the market from India and Southeast Asia via Egypt. Despite the fact that the bazaar is becoming more touristy, there is still plenty to discover for the “foodie.”

Early brunch at the Gulluoglu Baklava Factory in Karakoy. We will tour parts of the factory, including the area where the dough is rolled out, and later enjoy savory and sweet varieties of baklava, along  with Turkish coffee.

Afternoon drive to the Old City: visit Topkapı Palace and the world famous Grand Bazaar.

Topkapı Palace: including the Harem, the Grand Seraglio of the Ottoman Sultans. Topkapı Palace was the private residence and seat of government of the Ottoman sultans from 1465 to 1853. The palace houses breathtaking porcelain and jewel collections.

Grand Bazaar: Over 4000 shops are spread out in a giant labyrinth of small streets and passages. There are rugs, antiques, gold, silver, leather, traditional clothes, music instruments, pottery, and much more to tempt us.

Return to hotel to rest before dinner.

Dinner at the Hünkar Restaurant. Owned by true Ottoman food lovers, the restaurant preserves the authenticity of Ottoman recipes in a cozy space.


Eat Smart Turkey


Eat Smart Turkey



FRIDAY August 19, 2011

Breakfast at hotel.
9:30AM Morning transfer to the pier to board a boat for the Princes Islands. We will visit Buyukada (Grand Island).

The Princes Islands: an archipelago of nine islands off the Asian coast in the southwest of the Sea of Marmara some 20 miles from Istanbul’s city center. Carriages drawn by ponies or donkeys, and bicycles are the only means of transportation on the islands. Cars have been outlawed since 1928. In the Byzantine era, monasteries were built on the islands. Interestingly, Turkey’s religious and ethnic minorities—Greeks, Armenians, and Jews of Spanish origin—converge upon the islands once summer arrives.

Visit to local food markets.

12:00 Noon: lunch at Kapri Fish Restaurant.

Late afternoon we will cruise by boat to the Asian side of Istanbul. We will drive along Bagdad Avenue, which is a famous shopping and entertainment site of the city for the locals.

7:00PM arrive at Kadikoy for dinner at Çiya Restaurant.

Located on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, the restaurant specializes in food from the southeastern region of Turkey, and has a wide selection of Mediterranean food. The ingredients used in the dishes travel from the cities of Hatay and Gaziantep to arrive at your plate in Istanbul: aromatic red pepper pastes, pistachios, chickpeas, olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

After dinner, return to the hotel by bus.




 Eat Smart Turkey



SATURDAY August 20, 2011

Breakfast at the hotel.

8:30AM Departure for Canakkale (Dardanelles) by bus.
After 4 hours of relaxed riding, we will arrive at the Dardanelles. Before passing thorough the Dardanelles strait, we will have lunch at Maydos Restaurant, which is located by the sea.

After lunch cross the strait by ferry and drive to Troy.

Troy is a city which existed over 4,000 years ago. It is known as the center of ancient civilization. For many years people believed that Troy did not exist; it only was a name in tales—until it was discovered in the 19th century. Troy (Truva in Turkish) is located in Hisarlik near Canakkale province where the remains of this once-great city can be visited. History records that Heinrich Schliemann, the famous German archaeologist, destroyed much of the site and absconded with priceless Trojan artifacts.

Today, an international team of German and American archaeologists are working to bring the Troy of the Bronze Age back to life under a sponsored project by Daimler - Benz. Another Turkish team is in a legal battle with Russia and Germany to get back the stolen Trojan treasures. Troy appeared in Greek and Latin literature. Homer first mentioned the story of Troy in his Iliad and Odyssey. Later, it became the most popular subject of Greek drama. The book of Virgil’s Aeneid contains the best known account of the sack of Troy.

Early evening return to hotel.

Dinner at Yalova Restaurant, the most esteemed fish restaurant in Canakkale. A cooking demonstration will be provided at the terrace of the restaurant.


Eat Smart Turkey





SUNDAY August 21, 2011

Breakfast at the hotel.

8:00AM Depart for Pergamum. After 3 hours of relaxed riding, arrive at Pergamum, today’s Bergama.

Ancient Pergamum was an important cultural center and capital of the Pergamene Empire throughout Classical times. The last king of the Attalides, Attalos III, handed over the city to the Romans, who made a provincial capital of the city. You will see the re-erected structures on the hilltop from far below in the plain as you approach the impressive acropolis of Pergamum. Passing through the bustling modern Turkish market town of Bergama, we will climb by cable car up the hill to the acropolis of Pergamum. Here, on foot, we will explore the ruins. Structures of interest in the acropolis include the famous library, an enormous theater that looks over a deep valley, temples of Trajan, Dionysos, the altar of Zeus (whose massive ornaments are now displayed in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin), and a gymnasium built in three terraces. The tour then continues down the hill and across town to the Asklepeion, an early center for healing, which in Roman times was as important as Epidauros and Kos as a sanctuary and a spa.

Lunch at Saglam Restaurant for the famous local kebab, “Çöp Sis,”

After lunch, drive to Selçuk and visit Ephesus.

For ancient paganism as well as early Christianity, Ephesus was an important religious center, second only to Athens, and later Jerusalem. The cult of Artemis gave way to Christianity as the Virgin Mary was reputed to have spent her final days nearby, and St. Peter and St. Paul both preached here. Ephesus kept its important standing due to its well-placed port and its religious significance, which the locals were not above exploiting.

After Emperor Augustus proclaimed Ephesus the capital of the Asian province in 27 BC, the city became one of the most important in the extended Roman empire. Most of the buildings you will see date from that era when Ephesus had nearly one quarter million inhabitants. Beginning at the Magnesia Gate, enjoy a leisurely downhill walk through marble streets of the city, pausing at sites along the walk to learn about their significance. See the Gymnasium, Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, Upper Agora, Town Hall, Byzantine house, Roman baths, and surprisingly efficient public bathrooms. One of the most imposing sites at Ephesus is the Library of Celsus. Built it 135 BC and finely decorated with columns and sculpture, it was erected by a son in homage to his father.

Another significant structure is a short walk away - the amphitheater. Known for its excellent acoustics, it was here that St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, asking them to give up their worship of Artemis and embrace the Christian faith.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Dinner at the Urlice Restaurant.


Eat Smart Turkey


Eat Smart Turkey



MONDAY August 22, 2011

Breakfast at hotel.

9:00AM Departure for Adnan Menderes Airport for flight to Kayseri via Istanbul.
TK 2317 Izmir / Istanbul 11:00AM / 12:05PM
TK 2014 Istanbul / Kayseri 2:15PM / 13:40PM

Lunch (quick snack service ) at the Istanbul Airport.

Upon arrival at Kayseri Airport, depart for Cappadocia and check-in at hotel.

The region known as Cappadocia reached its current “lunar” landscape through violent eruptions of volcanoes millions of years ago and the sculpting of the wind over the years. The colour of the soil  changes from beige, yellow, and reddish brown, to pink and violet depending on the season and time of the day. Intrigued by the mysterious appearance of the landscape, Turks call the tower-like formations ‘Fairy Chimneys.’ St. Paul established the first Christian colony in this area. The unusual character of the region was embellished by the early Christians who carved churches within the ‘ Fairy Chimneys’ and further decorated them with beautiful wall and ceiling frescoes. To hide from invaders, they also created several elaborate subterranean cities up to 20 stories deep.

Dinner at Sömine Restaurant.


Eat Smart Turkey



TUESDAY August 23, 2011

Breakfast at hotel.

9:00AM Departure for a visit to Göreme and Zelve: open-air museums and the natural Uçhisar Fortress, where early Christians found shelter from the 11th century onwards.

Lunch at Ürgüp 68 Restaurant with a cooking demonstration.

Drive through the unique and surreal landscape dominated by deep valleys and fairy chimneys for a tour of Cappadocia. Explore the underground city of Kaymakli followed by some shopping time. We will suggest some options for you.

7:30PM Depart for dinner at the Elai Restaurant. The historic building housing the Elai Restaurant was once a place where prospective bridegrooms and the male members of their wedding party got dressed for the wedding. The main area has 13-foot ceilings. Off the main area is a cave-like corner room that has been carved out of the soft sandstone.



WEDNESDAY August 24, 2011

4:30AM Wake up call!

Balloon Trip (optional)

Early morning transfer to meet the balloon crew. The gentle and stable wind conditions are ideal during the first few hours of the day in Cappadocia. It is also the ideal time for photography, with splendid colours and contrasts. Don’t forget to bring your camera! The deep canyons and gentle winds carry you over places that could never be reached except by balloon. After flying over Cappadocia for about 55 to 60 minutes, you will land to an awaiting champagne breakfast!

10:00AM Depart for morning /half day visit to the Soganlı Valley cave dwellings and churches, and Avanos,the famous town for pottery.

Lunch at the Greek House in Mustafapasa.

Free Afternoon for relaxing.

Farewell dinner in the garden of the Hotel. Here you will experience a ‘tandir’ dinner (food cooked in a clay-lined oven or pit), and enjoy traditional food of the area.


Eat Smart Turkey


Eat Smart Turkey



THURSDAY August 25, 2011

Early morning departure for Kayseri Airport for domestic flight to Istanbul to catch our international flights home.
TK 2011 Kayseri / Istanbul 09:30AM / 11:00AM

IDEE TRAVEL services ends at the airport in Istanbul.   




Nippon Hotel (4 star hotel superior), designed as an exceptional hotel with a modern and innovative understanding of service, is located in the Talimhane area of Taksim, which hosts the first urban transformation project of Istanbul.

Kolin Hotel (5 star hotel standard), this hotel is located on the Dardanelles, with great sea view rooms, large gardens and a swimming pool. It is a local five star hotel and one of the best hotels in the area.

My Hotel (4 star hotel standard), centrally located near the Ataturk Square and Kültür Alani Park, features a minimalist style, and offers a complimentary breakfast buffet with a wide selection. MY Hotel has well-appointed rooms with neutral, light colours, featuring French beds, a working desk, laptop size safety deposit box and views of the city or botanical garden.

Uçhisar Kaya (4 star hotel), perfectly decorated Uçhisar Kaya welcomes you in the heart of Cappadocia. Uçhisar Kaya promises her guests a luxurious hotel service within cave formations, which are a part of Cappadocia’s historical structure.

Tour Details
Hotels: Nippon, Kolin Hotel, My Hotel, Uçhisar Kaya
Price per person in Double Room: $2950. Single supplement $520.

Included Services:
• Accommodation in Istanbul, Çanakkale, I•zmir and Cappadocia. (all double rooms, including breakfast)
• Domestic flights in Turkey: I•zmir / Kayseri – Kayseri / I•stanbul
• All bus transfers I•stanbul, Çanakkale, I•zmir and Cappadocia
• All airport transfers and group transfers
• Land transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
• Professional English speaking guide throughout the tour
• Services of Joan Peterson, tour leader
• Entrance fees to museums and historical sites: Blue Mosque, St. Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Harem,
Troy, Pergamum Acropolis & Asclepius, Kaymakli and Uçhisar Fortress, Göreme, Zelve
• All lunches and dinners, unless specified: Konyali (D), Hunkar (D), Kapri (L), Çiya (D), Maydos (L),
Yalova (D), Saglam (L), Urlice (D), Somine (D), Ürgüp 68 (L), Elai (D), Old Greek House (L), Farewell at
the hotel (D)
• Cooking class in Istanbul
• Cooking demo at Yalova Restaurant Çanakkale (D) and Ürgüp 68 Cappadocia (L)
• Island tour with public boat and Horse Carriage
• Tour and tasting at the Gulluoglu Baklava Factory
• Wine tasting in I•zmir
• Soft drinks, tea and coffee during lunch and dinner
• Bottled water (available on the motor coach and at lunch and dinner)
• Copy of culinary guidebook, “Eat Smart in Turkey,” by Joan Peterson
• Tips for the porters at the hotels and airport
• Tips for the wait staff
Optional Services Not Included in the Price:
• Balloon Tour on August 24.  Price per person: $ 230 (including transfers)
Services Not Included:
• International flights for the participants
• Alcoholic drinks during lunch and dinner
• Tips for driver and guide

Joan Peterson, Tour Leader
Joan Peterson is the author of the award-winning EAT SMART series of culinary guidebooks designed for travelers and cookbook lovers like herself who want to get to the heart of a country’s culture through its cuisine. To date she has written guides to the cuisines of Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Morocco, India, Peru, and Sicily, and the guides include, as always, a primer on food history and regional specialties—in addition to authentic recipes, useful phrases for ordering meals and shopping in the bustling local food markets, shopping tips and two extensive bilingual dictionaries to make navigating menu and market a breeze. (Eat Smart in France, the latest guide in the series, was written by Ronnie Hess.) Joan has traveled extensively for many years, and has led culinary tours to Turkey, India, Sicily, Peru, and Morocco.


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