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Join Krista Shirley for the 2022 international yoga, meditation, and adventure retreat through Turkey. This retreat is promised to be unlike any other retreat, tour, or vacation you’ve ever experienced! We spend two weeks with like-minded souls traveling, learning, and experiencing the culture and history of Turkey; but only after you start each morning with yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices. This tour is packed as much as possible in these two weeks so you can see and do as much in Turkey as possible. Grab your seat now!
During the course of the retreat, you will stay in convenient, beautiful and clean accommodations. With double occupancy, you will share a spacious room with two beds. Wi-fi and a private bathroom are included in each room.
Each day begins with a yoga, meditation or mindfulness class with Krista Shirley. These sessions are optional for those who just want to join a mindfulness focused tour through Turkey. However, if you join the retreat to participate in the yoga sessions, this retreat is a great place to either start yoga or meditation or to deepen your current practices, as Krista works with each student individually.
Upon your arrival, you will be greeted at the airport with a sign with your name on it and transferred to your hotel. Orientation will take place at 6 pm followed by dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.
You will start your day with a yoga session with Krista. After yoga, you will enjoy breakfast and have time to shower before our day of sightseeing begins. You will then be picked up from the hotel for a full-day tour of Istanbul.
You will visit Hagia Sophia Museum which was the largest church in the world during the Roman Empire in the 6th century. From there, you will visit the Topkapi Palace, which was the center of the Ottoman Empire as early as the 15th century.
After exploring the Topkapi Palace, the guide will take you to the Blue Mosque, the most unique mosque in Turkey with six minarets. You will finish your tour exploring the ancient Roman Hippodrome, where chariot races were held beginning in the 3rd century during the Roman Empire.
After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy on your own, grab dinner at a nearby restaurant or walk the streets of Istanbul to take it all in. Overnight in Istanbul.
You will start your day with a meditation and yoga session with Krista. After yoga, you will enjoy breakfast and have time to shower before our day of sightseeing begins. You will then be picked up from our hotel for another memorable day in Istanbul: the Bosphorus cruise on a boat.
During this cruise, you will see the best side of the city, known as the Bosphorus, the point between Europe and Asia. While on the Bosphorus Cruise, you will see Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortakoy, Bosphorus bridge, and houses. You will enjoy lunch during the cruise.
Once the Bosphorus tour ends, you will return to your bus and make your way to Canakkale City. Overnight in Canakkale.
This morning you begin with a peaceful meditation and yoga session with Krista in Canakkale. After yoga, you will enjoy breakfast in the hotel and have time to shower before you begin your day of traveling back in time.
You will be picked up from ther hotel to catch a ferry to relive the glory of ancient Troy, and uncover the myths and legends of Achilles, the Trojan Horse, and Helen of Troy. There will be time to explore this UNESCO-listed archeological site, learning about the city’s long history, which dates back as early as 3500 BC.
After the tour of Troy, you will continue your journey as you make your way to the legendary Mt. Ida (Kazdağı, the ancient Mount Ida). North of Edremit in northwestern Anatolia, in the area known in ancient times as the Troad (“land of Troy”), Mt. Ida (Kazdağı) is cloaked in legends and history.
Today Mt. Ida (1774 meters, 5820 feet) is an excellent place to get away from it all, hike or mountain bike, go horseback riding, take a nature walk, and relax in the midst of natural beauty. Once you arrive, you will settle into your hotel and enjoy dinner as a group. Overnight in Ida Mountain.
You will start your day with yoga, meditation, and a journaling session with Krista. After breakfast, you'll have a free day to enjoy one of the optional tours or go off on your own to explore Mt Ida.
1. Optional jeep safari tour: Kazdağları Jeep Safari tour starts at 10 am. On Land Rover Jeeps, set off towards the Big Mountain peninsula, Kaz Mountain, known as "Ida Mountain" in ancient times, separating the Aegean Region and the Marmara Region. The first stop is Hasanboğuldu, located in Kazdağı National Park. You'll hear the sad love story of legends Hasan and Emine (also the subjects of movies), followed by Sutüven Waterfall.
After that, you'll enjoy a relaxing lunch by the water. The tour continues with Sarıkız and Kazdağları Ethnography Gallery, where nature meets culture. See the works reflecting the life of the people of the region, the legends of Kazdağlar.
Next is Adatepe, an old Greek village. While walking among the stone houses, you'll hear the story of the beautiful Refika of Adatepeli. We complete our village tour and sit under the centuries-old plane tree in the village square, drinking coffee and tea.
From there you head to the Zeus Altar, from which, as legend states, the wars of Zeus were directed. The magnificent Gulf view greets us, followed by a bird's eye view of Edremit Bay. Next comes the Olive Oil Museum, where you'll learn how olive oil is made (in the past and present) and visit the shop. We'll take in the fresh air of the Kazdağ mountains, as we view the green mountains and the blue gulf.
The tour finishes at 7 pm, at sunset. After the tour transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Ida Mountain.
2. Optional Hiking Tour: Kazdağı, the ancient Mount Ida, is north of Edremit in northwestern Anatolia, in the area known in ancient times as the Troad (“land of Troy”). Suffused with legends and history, Kazdağı (KAHZ-dah-uh, 1774 m, 5820 ft) is an excellent place to get away from it all, hike or mountain bike, go horseback riding, walk in nature, and relax in the midst of natural beauty After tour transfer to hotel. Overnight in Ida Mountain
You will start the day with a yoga practice with Krista. After breakfast and a shower, you will meet with your guide and start the full-day tour of Pergamum.
After mythical times, Pergamum was the scene of several cultures, ranging from those of the Stone and Bronze Ages until the Archaic and Classical Periods. Among the temples, palaces, and agoras, the Asclepion, which were constructed in the course of one century, belonged the big Zeus Altar and the Parchment Library. There you'll explore the impressive Acropolis, the actual ancient city and see the Altar of Zeus, which is mentioned as the throne of Satan, Temple of Trajan and the third biggest library of antiquity.
Next: Asklepion; known under the name of "The Pergamum God of Health". Asklepius, the deity of health and medicine, served the people for several hundred years, thus making Pergamum a medical center of great importance. Famous medical scholars, like Hippocrates and Galenus, were born in Pergamum and worked there. After Pergamum, you drive to Sirince Village, which means “pretty”. Today the village is a perfect synthesis of Turk-Greek culture.
Your guide will take you around the village, following the narrow streets in between the old Greek houses. You will get to enjoy some free time to walk around, observing villagers selling their handicrafts, needlework, and more. Once finish the tour, you will begin the drive to Kusadasi.
This morning you will enjoy yoga with Krista, followed by breakfast. Then you will be picked up at the hotel to start your day of touring in which you will visit one of the best-preserved ancient cities, Ancient Ephesus.
You will walk through history. You'll see theater, library, agora, baths, temples, and more. Ephesus theater is the biggest Roman theater and the library of Ephesus was the third biggest library in the world during ancient times.
After lunch, you will visit the house of Mother Mary, where it is thought she spent four years on the Bulbul Mountain. In 1967, Pope Paul VI visited the House of Mary in Ephesus. After the tour, you will drive to the hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi.
You begin your morning with yoga, meditation, and journaling. After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Bodrum.
Upon arrival, you will explore this port town. The Archaeology Museum exhibits a collection of fascinating relics from the lives of ancient shipwrecked mariners, with glassware, copper-ware and gold items from the ships on display. The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology is also home to the world’s oldest known shipwrecks.
After the tour transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Bodrum. This evening you are on your own for a wonderful dinner, views, locals, and the good vibes of Bodrum. Tomorrow is a full moon, a day of rest from yoga practice. So enjoy your evening and your walk by the ocean.
Today is a full moon day so you take a rest from yoga asana. For those who enjoy meditation, Krista will be doing a guided full moon meditation and journaling session for you to enjoy!
After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel for the Bodrum boat trip. The tour takes around 7 hours with lunch. After the tour transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Bodrum. This evening you are on your own to enjoy the views, shops, and restaurants of Bodrum.
This morning, you will enjoy a yoga session with Krista before departing from Bodrum. After breakfast, you will make your way to Pamukkale.
You will visit what is known as White Heaven, in Turkey known as Cotton Castle, also called Pamukkale in Turkish. Once you arrive in Pamukkale, you will visit White Terraces and walk and swim in natural water. Even though it is a very full day, you will also squeeze in a visit to Hierapolis Ancient City. After the tour, drive to the hotel. Overnight in Pamukkale.
You will start the day with yoga and meditation with Krista in beautiful Pamukkale! After breakfast, you will drive to Cappadocia via Konya to visit the Mevlana Museum, from the 12th century during the Selcuklu Empire in Konya.
Youwill get to visit the Old Medrese and Tomb, and in the museum, you will see the handwriting which the KURAN comes from in the 15th century. On your way to Cappadocia, you will visit Sultanhan Kervansarai. After the tour of Cappadocia, you will end the evening at the hotel. Overnight in Cappadocia.
You will begin this glorious morning with a grounding yoga practice with Krista. After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel by the guide to start the Cappadocia tour.
This tour includes Goreme Open Air Museum, Pasabagi also called the Monks Valley (because Christian hermits chose to inhabit cells and churches in this location, within three-headed pinnacles), Devrent Valley, also known as "Imagination Valley" (a most surreal-looking landscape), Avanos (lunch and pottery making), Ozkonak Underground City (one of the best-preserved and deepest underground cities), and Pigeon Valley (picture stop). Overnight in Cappadocia.
This morning you enjoy yoga and breakfast before you start today's tour at 9:30 am.
You will begin the tour by hiking down through Meskendir Valley to Red and Rose Valleys where you can see different natural rock formations, as well as man-made ones, in the form of rock-cut churches with their magnificent murals. You also visit three churches, the Meskendir Kilise, the Kolonlu Kilise (Church with columns), and Haclı Kilise (Church with a cross).
After a short stop above Rose Valley, you'll continue walking along Red Valley to Çavuşin, where you will have lunch. After lunch, wyou will explore the old village of Çavuşin and visit the oldest and biggest church in Cappadocia, St John the Baptist Church.
From Çavuşin, you will continue walking through picturesque vineyards to Paşabağ, where highly remarkable mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen in the middle of a vineyard, hence the name which means 'Pasha’s vineyard'. 'Pasha' means 'general', a military rank, in Turkish. This site is also called Monks' Valley. The name came from the high tuff stone columns which stand apart, looking like monks.
The tour finishes with a cup of tea, apple tea, or coffee. The total distance covered is about 12 kilometers of relatively easy hiking. As it involves a lot of going up and down the hills, wearing comfortable walking shoes with a good grip is essential. Trekking poles can be supplied on request. Overnight in Cappadocia.
This morning you will enjoy your last yoga and meditation practice in Cappadocia before transferring to the airport to fly to Istanbul. But it's not over yet! Once you arrive in Istanbul, you will enjoy a tour of the Galata Tower.
Galata Tower, topped with a distinctive witch’s-hat roof, is one of the most impressive and popular landmarks in Istanbul. Dating back to the 14th century, the tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking beautiful Istanbul and has a massive cone-shaped structure that was built to approximately 38 meters above sea level and rises to a height of 62 meters above its base.
From the top of the tower, there is an amazing view of the Historical Peninsula, Golden Horn, and Bosphorus through the Princes’ Islands. The second place you will visit is the Dolmabahce Palace, which was the first European palace of the Ottoman Empire near the Bosphorus, where you will see the largest crystal chandelier, built in 1843. Overnight in Istanbul.
According to your personal flight time, you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home. Thank you for sharing a magical two weeks with Olotita!
Krista has taken yoga and meditation adventure tours around the globe since 2012 to Mexico, Italy, Peru, Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Greece. She takes pride in offering quality retreat experiences for people who want to travel and see the world, experience other cultures, and do so by maintaining dedicated time and focus on wholeness practices in order to maintain health and happiness in each moment.
Turkey is a majestic country with a vibrant culture and incredible history. Civilizations and empires such as the Hitit, Phrygia, Persian, Greek, Roman, Selcuklu, Ottoman Empire and more occupied Turkey at different times in history and have left amazing archaeological evidence behind for seekers to explore.
The retreat package includes daily breakfast breakfasts, daily lunches on tour, 9 hotel dinners, and 2 restaurant dinners in Istanbul. You will be eating the freshest and most authentic local cuisine as you make your way from city to city through this gorgeous country.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport
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