Mother Goddess

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In search of the Mother Goddess......

Both in Turkey and Greece, winters may be cold and summers hot. On the other hand, you will most probably be visiting archaeological sites with more or less walking difficulties. Hence an adapted outfit is recommended :

  • In winter : strong walking shoes, warm coat, umbrella, protection against cold wind (hat, gloves)
  • In summer : strong walking shoes, cotton clothing, sun hat, sun glasses, sun cream
  • When visiting churches and mosques, appropriate dressing

Do not forget !

  • Your daily medication if and when needed while on tour.
  • Your tour voucher, the only proof that you have subscribed and paid for this tour.
  • Cash money to pay the not included entrance fees, drinks and lunch, shopping, tips…
  • Your cameras… Remember that at some sites and museums taking pictures may be forbidden or allowed midst payment of a fee. Inquire about using a flash;
  • Your swimming wear if you jo-in a tour with swimming opportunity.
  • Possibly spare shoes, T-shirts, jumpers, socks

Visiting archaeological site may require good physical conditions and access to people with reduced mobility is not always possible. During visits and stops, the buses will be locked and under the supervision of the driver. Hence, if you wish, you can leave some personal belongings in the bus yet at your own responsibility. If not done at subscription, inform your tour guide as soon as you get on the coach about your specific food requirements so that the restaurant booked for lunch can be informed accordingly in due time.

Day 1 : Izmir

Arrival at the Izmir airport, transfer to your hotel and time at leisure.
If time allows and you show interest, a visit to the ancient agora and/or the archaeological museum can already be organized.

Day 2 : Kusadasi

After check-out we depart for the site of Sardis not only known as one of the Seven Churches but also for its altar of Cybele.
The Altar of Cybele at Sardis dates from the late 7th century to mid-6th century BC, during the time of King Alyattes and his son Croesus. Cybele was worshipped throughout this region.
The altar faces east in the center of the Sardis archaeological site, next to an area used for refining gold panned from the river. It is flanked by crouching lions, the animals sacred to Cybele - these have been reconstructed by archaeologists.
On our way to Kusadasi, we will have a stop in the typical village of Birgi to visit a Konak (wooden mansion of the XVIIth century).
Overnight in Kusadasi.

An alt-ernative to Sardis could be the more famous site of Bergama whe-re ruins of a small temple to Cybele on the southern flank of acropolis can been seen.

Day 3 : Kusadasi

We will dedicate this day to the visit of Ephesus and the area.  At first we will stop at the Temple of Artemis, then the Shrine of Virgin Mary before we will visit the archaeological site of Ephesus.

The Temple of Artemis Cybele was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Some stone work remains from the second temple; the foundation is from the original temple. Marble from the temple has been used to construct the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Artemis of Ephesus is the extension of the mother goddess and the source of the Virgin Mary cults which parallels virginity and motherhood (Ecumenical Council of Ephesus 431 AD).

Day 4 : Kusadasi

Today we will enjoy a lighter day visiting the religious site of Klaros.
Claros was an ancient Greek sanctuary on the coast of Ionia. It contained a temple and oracle of Apollo, honored here as Apollo Clarius. It was located on the territory of Colophon, one of the twelve Ionic cities, near the coastal city Notion.
The importance of the temple as a prophecy center was equal to the Apollo temples in Delphi and Didyma. The oldest information about this sacred site goes back to the sixth and seventh centuries BC. through the Homeric Hymns. A sacred cave near the Temple of Apollo points to the existence of a Cybele cult in earlier periods. Games called the Claria were held at Claros every fifth year in honor of Apollo.
Free afternoon in Kusadasi.

Day 5 : Pamukkale

We leave the Aegean region to drive more inland and our first stop will be in Aphrodisias whe-re we will visit the archaeological site and the museum.
Among other monuments we will see the temples of Demeter, Athena, Zeus and Cybele.

We then continue to Laodikea, one of the Seven Churches, whe-re a temple to Athena has recently been discovered.
When in Pamukkale, we will settle in our hotel for a free evening and the possibility to enjoy the thermal pools of the hotel.

Day 6 : Konya

In the morning visit of archaeological site of Hierapolis (temple of Apollo, nimphaeum, “gate to hell” dedicated to Hades…).
We then depart for Konya – quite a long drive which we will interrupt with stops underway : lunch, sightseeing…
Overnight in Konya
Evening option : Whirling Dervishes Sema (ceremony)

Day 7 : Cappadocia

After a short visit of the Mevlana Museum, we drive to Çatalhoyuk, a site believed to be the first “city settlement” in Neolithic times. 
Based on latest discoveries, the civilization in Çatalhoyuk was based on matriarchate; there was no leading or military class.  It is in this site that the famous statue of a mother goddess was found (today exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
At the end of the visit, we proceed to Cappadocia for the overnight in a cave room.

Day 8 : Cappadocia

We will today discover not only the natural beauties of this moonscape area but also its historical values : the open air museum of Goreme (a maze of monasteries and churches), the underground city of Kaymakli, the old Greek village of Sinasos (today known as Mustafapasa)…
If requested, a stay of two days in Cappadocia can be organized.

Possible extra activity : at sunrise hot air balloon ride over the lunar landscapes…

Day 9 : Ankara or Istanbul

After breakfast, we will drive to Ankara, capital of the Republic of Turkey.
Upon arrival, we will visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and be transferred to the airport for a one-hour flight to Istanbul.
Overnight in Istanbul.

- All transportation (intercity possibly with local public transportation depending size of the group)
- English tour guidance
- All accommodation on Bed & Breakfast basis

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