• 8 Days | 7 Nights
  • Semi-Private
  • Daily Departure
  • Min Age: No Limit

Tour Overview

Join us on a journey through time and history with our Jewish Heritage Tour in Turkey. Discover the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Jewish community in Istanbul, explore the best-preserved Greco-Roman city in the world, and witness the wonders of ancient Greek and Roman civilization in Ephesus.

Immerse yourself in the history, culture, and traditions of this fascinating community as you visit synagogues, ancient ruins, and traditional Jewish quarters. Our expert guides will take you on an unforgettable journey to explore the hidden gems and iconic landmarks of Turkey.

Detailed Itinerary

Welcome to Istanbul, the Imperial City. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your Istanbul hotel. Please note that to visit Synagogues, we require a copy of your passport sent to us via email or fax. Some Synagogues may not be accessible during the tour.

The tour begins with a visit to the Galata District, which has been home to the city’s Jewish community since the 11th century. Here, we will see the Galata Tower, a medieval stone tower that offers a panoramic view of the Old City and the Bosphorus. We will also visit the Neve Shalom Synagogue, completed in 1951, and the Ashkenazi Synagogue, founded in 1900. After lunch, we will visit the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the Blue Mosque, and the Aya Sophia Museum, which is considered the jewel of Byzantine architecture.

After breakfast, we will visit the Balat neighborhood, a traditional Jewish quarter located in the Old City near the Golden Horn. We will visit the Ahrida Synagogue, one of the oldest synagogues in the city, and the Yanbol Synagogue, first built during the Byzantine period. We will also visit the Jewish Home for the Aged, originally constructed as a modern European-style school. After lunch, we will continue the tour to Topkapi Palace and have some free time at the Grand Bazaar.

Our sightseeing tour continues with a visit to the Egyptian Market (Spice Bazaar) and a private ferry tour of Istanbul via the Bosphorus. We will also visit synagogues in the Kuzguncuk neighborhood, which has been housing Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal since the late 15th century. Lastly, we will visit Camlica Hill, one of the tallest hills in Istanbul.

After check-out, we will take a short flight to Izmir and visit one of Izmir’s synagogues. We will also visit the Velvet Castle (Kadifekale), built during Alexander the Great’s reign, and the Ancient Agora, a public square and shopping district in the ancient city of Smyrna.

On the sixth day of the tour, we embark on a journey to the historical ancient city of Ephesus. Here, we will witness the wonders of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, including the Agora, Odeon, public toilets, Roman Baths, Grand Theatre, Marble Street, and much more. The city is widely regarded as one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman cities in the world.

After exploring Ephesus, we will visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she is said to have spent her last days. We will also visit the Artemis Temple site, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In Selcuk, we will tour the Archeological Museum, which houses the statue of Artemis retrieved from the temple of the goddess in Ephesus. Finally, we will be transferred to our hotel in Izmir for an overnight stay.

After you check out of the hotel, we will transfer you to Istanbul for your overnight stay.

After breakfast, we will head to the ancient city of Sardis, an important religious and commercial center in ancient times. Here, we will explore the partially restored synagogue, ruins of temples and churches, and the Acropolis. We will also visit the ruins of the Temple of the Goddess Cybele (Magna Mater), which had a worship style similar to that of Diana of Ephesus.

During the tour, we will visit the Pactalos River, where, according to legend, King Midas divested himself of the golden touch by washing himself in its waters. We will also see the Persian Royal Road, an ancient highway built to ease communication in the region.

We will then visit Sardis Synagogue, one of the largest ancient synagogues excavated, which came into use in the 3rd century AD. Finally, we will tour the ruins of the gymnasium and a bathhouse built in the 2nd century AD, located in the center of the lower city.

The day ends with a drive to Izmir for dinner and an overnight stay.

On the final day of the tour, after hotel check-out, we will transfer to Izmir Airport for the return flight.

In Conclusion

The Jewish Heritage Tour in Turkey is a unique opportunity to explore the rich cultural and religious heritage of the Jewish community in Istanbul and witness the wonders of ancient Greek and Roman civilization in Ephesus. The tour offers a diverse range of experiences, including visits to synagogues, ancient ruins, traditional Jewish quarters, and iconic landmarks. With expert guides leading the way, this tour provides a comprehensive and unforgettable journey through time and history. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or religion, this tour is a must-do for anyone looking to explore the hidden gems of Turkey.

What's Included

  • Hotel accommodation in the category of your choice.
  • Istanbul to Izmir domestic flight inc. taxes
  • Izmir to Istanbul domestic flight inc. taxes
  • Sightseeing tours on a regular group basis (private basis on request).
  • Licensed tour guide assistance during the sightseeing tours.
  • Main entrance fees to all sites visited as per the itinerary.
  • Fast-track entries to the museums and natural parks.
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Deluxe air-conditioned vehicles for tours and airport transfers.
  • Domestic land and air transport between each destination.
  • Taxes and handling service.
    24/7 support during your trip.

Please note that the specific details of inclusions may vary depending on the package and any additional services you may have requested.