Sardes and Izmir Jewish Heritage Tour
Izmir is very rich in the Jewish-historic, with lovely old synagogues. Sardes and Izmir Jewish heritage tour. Sardes Gymnasium, Temple of Artemis, and Asansor.
- Sardes and Synagogue
- Temple of Artemis (Diana)
- Beth Israel Synagogue
- Dario Moreno Street and His House
- Asansor (Elevator)
- Kadifekale Castle
Sardes and Izmir Jewish Heritage Tour
Izmir is very rich in the Jewish-historic, with lovely old synagogues. Sardes and Izmir Jewish heritage tour. Sardes Gymnasium, Temple of Artemis, and Asansor.
You shall be picked up from either Izmir Hotel or Izmır Airport. Your tour guide will provide you with a complimentary Istanbul City map, Turkey map, and some Turkey brochures. Your tour will take approximately 8 hours and after will drive you back to where we pick you up.
- Starting Points: Turkey/Izmir
- Route 1 Sardes Ancient City and Synagogue: Visit to Sardes will take about 1:30 hours Visit to Sardes will take about 1:30 hours
We left the colorful town of Izmir behind, we will pass through the verdant countryside before arriving at Sardi's. It nearly takes 1.5 hours from Izmir to Sardes. The ancient city is located 90 km from the eastern city of Izmir. Sardes was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire. Persians made the city also the western terminal of the Great Postal (Royal) Road that started in Susa in Elam near the Persian Gulf, where are now the oil fields. This road was so well organized that it took only a week to bring important messages.
The synagogue in Sardes is one of the best-preserved ancient synagogues. The synagogue of Sardis is notable for its size and location. In size, it is one of the largest ancient synagogues excavated. In location, it is found in the center of the urban center, instead of on the periphery as synagogues typically were. This attests to the strength and wealth of the Jewish community in the city. This synagogue came into use in the 3rd c. A.D. Gymnasium-Bathhouse: A large complex built in the center of the lower city in the 2nd century A.D. included a gymnasium and a bathhouse. The complex was over five acres in size and its western part was characterized by large vaulted halls for bathing. The eastern part was a palaestra, a large open courtyard for exercise. A beautifully preserved synagogue and gymnasium. Mosaic floors are still intact in areas.
- Route 2 Temple of Artemis (Diana): Visit to the Temple will take about 1 hour Visit to the Temple will take about 1 hour
Temple of Artemis, Artemis was the main goddess of the city and the temple dedicated to her in Sardis was one of the seven largest Greek temples (more than double the size of the Parthenon). Artemis, known as Diana by the Romans, was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin of Apollo. She was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and fertility. Temple of Artemis is fabulous as well. Mammoth sized columns give you a sense of the grandeur of the structure. And there is a later Byzantine Basilica built onto the end of the Temple that is lovely as well. Sardes tour is on your journey around Turkey. A "must-see" for ancient architecture buffs. After the Sardes, we will drive back to Izmir. On the way to Izmir, we will have a lunch break.
- Route 3 Beth Israel Synagogue: Visit the Beth Israel Synagogue will take about 40 minutes Visit the Beth Israel Synagogue will take about 40 minutes
Our first visit will be Beth-Israel Synagogue. This synagogue was built in 1907. The most beautiful of the synagogue is its wooden decorations. The two-piece of Tevah (Bimah) and the Ehal Akodesh Bloc have been made of massive mahogany by the most famous masters of that period. The upper gallery of the synagogue serves as a museum. It is open for worship.
- Route 4 Dario Moreno Street and His House: Will take only 10 minutes Will take only 10 minutes
After visiting the synagogue, we will walk to the Asansor, on the way of Asansor, we will see the famous street and the house of Dario Moreno, His real name was David Arugete and he was born to a large Jewish family. Darío Moreno (3 April 1921 – 1 December 1968) was a Turkish polyglot singer, an accomplished composer, lyricist, and guitarist. He attained fame and made a remarkable career centered in France which also included films, during the 1950s and the 1960s. He became famous with his 1961 song Brigitte Bardot.” Ya Mustafa ” is one of the most remembered of Moreno’s songs. It was very famous in the 1950s and early 1960s.
The original version of this catchy song (having Greek-style music) and the identity of its composer are disputed. Since he had started making money thanks to music, he moved to the better-off Jewish quarter of Karatas to a house in a street leading to the historical building of Asansor, one of the city’s landmarks (and which means, literally, the “Elevator”, people taking an actual elevator to go to the higher part of the quarter, this part being separated by the coastal strait with a steep slope). This street is named Dario Moreno Sokağı (Dario Moreno Street) today in his memory. Next to Dario Moreno Street is the Asansor.
- Route 5 Asansor (Elevator): Will take about 40 Minutes Will take about 40 Minutes
Asansor, a nineteenth-century funicular which once took passengers from the shore road up the sheer rock cliffs to the desirable residential district above. Inscriptions above the door in French and Hebrew declare that the elevator was constructed by Nissim Bey. After that, we will drive to the Castle of Izmir.
- Route 6 Kadifekale Castle: To visit the Castle will take 45 Minutes To visit the Castle will take 45 Minutes
Taking a bird’s eyes view of Izmir and the port, Kadifekale, which was called Pagos in Ancient times, has characteristics of an acropolis due to its position at an altitude of 186m. The ruins of walls on the western and southern parts, comprising of five towers, dating back to the period of Lysimachus, one of the generals of Alexander The Great. Next to Castle drive to Kemeralti Shopping Bazaar area to go to Havre Street and the Synagogues. After you have taken in the sights your Izmir Jewish Heritage Tour, your tour guide will give you approx 30 minute time to stroll at your leisure or relax have some refreshments in the Kemeralti, When the tour has finished we will drive you back to where we pick you up.
- End Points: Turkey/Izmir
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- What's Included
• Private Professional Licenced Tour Guide.
• Private Deluxe A/C VIP Vehicle.
• Parking Fees.
• Local Taxes.
• Pick up from your hotel or meeting point.
• Drop off to your hotel or meeting point.
- What's Excluded
• Entrance Fees.
• Gratuities to the guide and driver.
• Lunch & Drink.
• Personal expenses.
- Travel Tips
• We recommend that you wear comfortable clothes and comfortable walking shoes.
• The clothes you bring with you should be according to the season of your trip. Shorts, t-shirts can be worn. There is no obligation to cover your head or shoulders In Turkey.
• For the Churches or mosques, a visit to these places require a respect. So proper dressing into such places is advised.
• You can get bottles of soft drinks, it can be scorching hot during the day.
• Hat, sunscreen and umbrella for the rainy or sunny days, especially days can be hot in Archaeological sites.
• Good quality sunglasses are advised and photo-chromatic lenses for those who wear spectacles.
• Cameras (but tripods are not allowed in Turkish Museums and sites).
• The wheelchair is accessible, therefore just request from us when you are booking your trip.
• You may pay the entrance fees by credit card or Turkish Liras. (The Museums charging only Turkish Liras and Credit cards.)
• This tour involves over a mile of walking on uneven, cobblestone surfaces.
• Restrooms are available at the entrance and the exit of Archaeological Sites.
• The tour document with details and confirmations will be e-mailed after your prebooking.
• This Tour is available all year round.
• Daily, a Private small group tour of Turkey.
• This tour operated with just your party and a guide/driver.
You can create a reminder for yourself for this tour. We will send you a reminder e-mail/sms about this tour on the date you specify.
Let's Customize Your Trip!
Prepare your own tour plan!
How to meet my tour guide?
Your tour guide/staff will be waiting at pick up points such as your hotels’ lobby/main gate, a specific point etc. according to timing which you were given before tour date.
Can I state the departure time for my tour?
Of course! We also operate tours on private basis, so you can customize the departure time, if it is a private service.
Can I choose the sights to visit on my own?
On private tours. You can choose the sights and museums along with all sort of criteria you like by your agent according to content of service.
How to buy museum tickets?
If the museum tickets are included in your tour, you do not need to buy it as extra. But if the museum ticket/s is/are not included in your tour, still no need to buy tickets in advance, during the tour your tour guide will help you to purchase them. Official tour guides have priority at museum ticket offices.
Am I traveling with a group on the tour?
There will be two different tour type. Group tour and Private tour. On Private tours, you get a specific service according to confirmed plan for you/your party.
How about the transportation?
When you book your tour with a van, you will be picked up from hotel, be transferred to the sights and then back to hotel. Otherwise, once you meet your tour guide at your hotel, you will be advised the best option for transportation such as taxi or tram.
How do I pay?
After filling the Book Now form, there will be a payment button to complete your deposit payment, when you complete payment and secure the booking, we will confirm your tour details and balance payment will be in cash directly to the tour guide during the tour. You can choose to pay in USD, Euro or Turkish Lira.
What is the language of group tours?
Our daily regular/scheduled group tours are organized in English. But if the number of your party is more than 10 persons you can ask for a tour guide in other languages. On the other hand, Private Tours can be organized in English, Spanish, German, Arabic, Russian and more etc.
What type of restaurants do you use?
On group tours we use touristic restaurants which has open buffet. On private tours we use local restaurants which has a specific menu.
How to pay for my services?
Beside money transfer by bank we accept visa and mastercard online payments on our online secure payment webpage.
Am I traveling with a group?
No. You will be traveling independently on the regular transports according to your choice (Plane/Bus) but you will be with a small group only on local tours at the chosen areas this gives you an opportunity to meet different people through your stay. On the other hand, a private tour organization is always an option.
If I cancel my group or private tour in last minute?
We are always tolerantly according to unexpected situations. Normally we should use cancellation policy rules but our company supports its clients as much as possible according to conditions.
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Good to Know
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be brought into Turkey, but not more than 5 5,000 worth of Turkish currency may be brought into or taken out of the country.
The exchange slips for the conversion of foreign currency into Turkish lira should be kept, since you may be required to show these when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency, and when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
The following items may be brought into the country duty free personal effects of the tourist.
One TV, one color pocket TV (maximum 16 cm screen), one TV-tape-radio combination, one video recording camera and 5 video cassettes (blank); 5 records, 5 tape cassettes or compact discs, one video player, cine-projector (8 mm) and 10 rolls of film (blank), one slide projector, one pocket computer (maximum main memory capacity Ram 128k. Byte), electronic playing devices (without cassette – keyboard), one transistor radio and portable radio – tape player (its specification to be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Customs), one Walkman or pocket tape recorder, one portable compact disc player, binoculars (one pair, except night binoculars), harmonica, mandolin, flageolet, flute, guitar, and accordion (only one of each type, maximum 3 musical instruments). personal sports equipment, necessary medical items, bicycle, baby buggy, toys, 200 cigarettes and 50 cigars. 200 grams of tobacco and 200 cigarette papers, or 50 grams of chewing tobacco or 200 grams of pipe tobacco, or 200 grams of snuff (In addition to the above allowances, it is possible to purchase 400 cigarettes, 100 cigars, and 500 grams of pipe tobacco from the Turkish Duty Free Shops upon entering the country), 1.5kg. coffee, 1.5kg. instant coffee, 500 grams of tea, 1 kilo chocolate and 1 kilo sweets, 5 (100 cc) or 7 (70 cc) bottles of wines and/or spirits, five bottles of perfume (120 ml max. each), one portable typewriter, one camera with 5 rolls of film, first aid, and spare parts for the car, other items necessary during the journey.
Valuable items and all items with a value of over $ 15,000 must be registered in the owner’s passport upon entering Turkey, for control upon exit.
Antiques brought into the country must be registered in the owner’s passport to avoid difficulties on exit.
Sharp instruments (including camping knives) and weapons may not be brought into the country without special permission.
The bringing into the country, trade, and consumption of marijuana and all other narcotics is strictly forbidden and subject to heavy punishment.
Gifts, not exceeding 500 DM in value and not for trading purposes, may be brought into the country duty free. In addition, gifts not exceeding 500 OM in value may be posted to Turkey duty free, if the date stamped by the sending post office falls one month before, or one month after the following holidays: Seker Bayrami, Kurban Bayrami, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Cellular Telephones entering the country must be accompanied by a certification form showing ownership. Ownership must be documented in the passport of the owner and will be checked on entry and exit. For more information contact the Ministry of transportation, General Directorate at Tel: (312) 212 35 72 – 212 60 10 (10 lines), Fax: (312) 221 32 26 or write to Ulastirma Bakanligi Telsiz Gn. Md. Emek – Ankara.
Gifts and souvenirs: for a new carpet, a proof of purchase; for old items, a certificate from a directorate of a museum is necessary. Exporting antiques from Turkey is forbidden.
Valuable personal items can only be taken out of the country providing they have been registered in the owner’s passport upon entry, or providing they can show they have been purchased with legally exchanged currency.
Minerals may only be exported from the country with a special document obtained from the MTA (General Directorate of Mining Exploration and Research). Etudler Dairesi 06520, Ankara. Phone: +90 312 287 3430 /1622, Fax: +90 312 285 4271
You Can Receive a Tax Refund for the Goods You Purchased In Turkey! Refunds will be made to travelers who do not reside in Turkey. All goods (including food and drinks) are included in the refunds with the exclusion of services rendered. The minimum amount of purchase that qualifies for refund is 5.000.000 TL. Retailers that qualify for tax refunds must be “authorized for refund.” These retailers must display a permit received from their respective tax office.
The retailer will make four copies of the receipt for your refund, three of which will be received by the purchaser. If photocopies of the receipt are received the retailer must sign and stamp the copies to validate them. If you prefer the refund to be made by check, a Tax-free Shopping Check for the amount to be refunded to the customer must be given along with the receipt.
For the purchaser to benefit from this exemption he must leave the country within three months with the goods purchased showing them to Turkish customs officials along with the appropriate receipts and! or check.
There are four ways to receive your refund:
If the retailer gives you a check it can be cashed at a bank in the customs area at the airport. If it is not possible to cash the check upon departure or if you do not wish to cash it then, .e customer must, within one month, send a copy of the receipt showing that the goods have left the country to the retailer who will, within ten days upon receiving the receipt, send a bank transfer to the purchaser’s hank or address.
If the certified receipt and check are brought back to the retailer on a subsequent visit thin one-month of the date of customs certification, the refund can be made directly to the purchaser. Retailers may directly refund the amount to trustworthy customers upon purchase. The refund may be made by the organization of those companies that are authorized to make tax refunds.
Ministry of Finance and Tax Dept. General Directorate, (Maliye Bakanligi, Gelirler Genel Mudurlugu) KDV Subesi 06100, Ulus – Ankara Phone: +90 312 310 3880 / 725 – 728 – 735, Fax: +90 312 311 4510
Turkish Tourist Health Society (Turizm Sagligi Dernegi-Hacettepe Üniversitesi Tip Fakültesi Plastik ve Rekonstrüktif Cerrahi Ana Bilim Dali, Sihhiye 06100 ANKARA
+90 312 311 9393 – 310 98 08) performs the functions below, to provide the travelers in the entire country, mainly in the touristic regions, with proper health care:
- to secure food hygiene
- to prevent environmental pollution
- to ensure hygiene and healthy working-conditions in touristic establishments.
Health Regulations for Pets
For those who wish to bring domestic animals into the country the following are required:
- Pets have to be 3 months and older
- An International Certificate of Health issued within 15 days before the travel
- The Identification Card
- Vaccination Card
If you have an official certificate, you may bring one cat, one bird, one dog and 10 aquarium fish into the country. To get information for the importation of pets, please see the Consular Services.
Those who wish to enter the country with their vans, minibuses, automobiles, station wagons, bicycles, motorcycles, motorbikes, sidecars, buses, motor coaches, trailers, caravans or other transport vehicles, will have to provide the following documentations:
- International driving license.
- Car license (document where all details related to the car and the owner’s name are registered). If it is somebody else’s vehicle a power of attorney should be provided.
- International green card (Insurance card). The TR sign should be visible.
- Transit book “Carnet de passage” (for those who want to proceed to the Middle East).
The vehicle can be brought into Turkey for up to 6 Months. The owner should declare on the opposite form, the date of departure at the border gate and should absolutely ve the country at the date declared. If for any important reason the staying period has to be ended, it is necessary to apply to;
The Turkish Touring and Automobile Club (Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu) 1. Sanayi Sitesi Yani, 4.Levent, Istanbul, Phone: +90 212 282 8140 (7 lines).
The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü), Ulus Ankara Phone:
+90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346, before the end of the period declared.
In Case of Accident
The accident should be reported to the police or gendarme. That report has to be certified by the nearest local authority. The owner should apply to the customs authority with his passport and report.
If the vehicle can be repaired, it is necessary to inform the customs authority first and take the vehicle to a garage. If the vehicle is not repairable and if the owner wishes to leave the country without his vehicle, he has to deliver it to the nearest customs office, and the registration of his vehicle on his passport will be cancelled. (Only after the cancellation can the owner of the vehicle leave the country.)
Following an accident, you can phone:
- Trafik Polisi (Traffic Police), Phone: 154
- Jandarma (Gendarme), Phone: 156
- For more information, contact the Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey.
Formalities for Private Yacht Owners
Yachts require a Transit Log and may remain in Turkish waters for up to two years maintenance or for wintering. There are certain ports licensed by the Ministry of Tourist the storage of yachts for a period of two to five years. For further information and regulations contact the marina concerned.
Upon arriving in Turkish waters, yachts should immediately go for control of the ship to the nearest port of entry which are as follows: Iskenderun, Botas (Adana), Mersin, Tasucu, Anamur, Alanya, Antalya, Kemer, Finike, Kas, Fethiye, Marmaris, Datça, Bodrum, Güllük Didim, Kusadasi, Çesme, Izmir, Dikili, Ayvalik, Akçay, Çanakkale, Bandirma, Tekirdag, Istanbul, Zonguldak, Sinop, Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Rize, Hopa.
All the required information concerning the yacht, yachtsmen, members, intended route, passports, customs declarations, health clearance, and any obligatory matters must be entered in the Transit Log.
The Transit Log is to be completed by the captain of a yacht under a foreign flag or amateur sailor acting as captain of the vessel.
The Transit Log is completed upon first entering a Turkish port and, generally, it is necessary to contact the Harbor Authority before leaving. For information on tax-free fuel, contact the Marina Harbor Office.
If you have a certificate from the Tourism Ministry Yacht Harbor, you may take petrol at no charge, provided you possess an official marina license.
Formalities for Private Plane Owners
When coming to Turkey, international air routes should be followed. Private planes may stay for up to three months in Turkey with tourist status, but for longer periods permission should be obtained from;
The General Directorate of Customs (Gümrükler Genel Müdürlügü), Ulus Ankara
+90 312 310 3880, 310 3818, Fax: +90 312 311 1346
The airports of Ankara, Adana, Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Trabzon and Dalaman have ties for private planes. It is also possible to hire planes and helicopters in Turkey.
For further information, apply to:
The Civil Aviation Department of the Ministry of Transport (Ulastirma Bakanligi, Havacilik Gen. Müd.). Bosna-Hersek Cad., No: 5 – 06338 – Emek, Ankara.
+90 312 212 6730, Fax: +90 312 2124684, TIx : 44659 Ga-tr.
Diving for purposes of sport, with proper equipment and in non-restricted areas, is permitted. Foreign divers should have official documentation of their specifics and training and must be accompanied, when diving, by a licensed Turkish guide.
The limit for diving with diving gear is 30 meters. For educational purposes, this limit is extended to 42 meters. Dives exceeding 30 meters must be carried out with proper diving and medical equipment. In order to protect Turkish archaeological and cultural values. It is strictly forbidden to transport Turkish antiquities or natural specimens.
Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their black PTT letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m., Monday/Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m., Sunday. Small post-offices have the same hours as the government offices.
Postal charges vary for different services depending on destination. Post restante letters should be addressed “postrestant” to the central post-office Merkez Postanesi, in the town of your choice. You have to show your identification card to collect your letters.
All PTT branches have the facilities to exchange money at the current international exchange rates, as well as international postal orders and travelers’ cheques. There is also an express postal service (APS) operating to 90 countries for letters , documents and small packages. A wide variety of special stamps are available in all PTT centers for philatelists.
To phone from PTT telephone booths, which are extensively found in all areas; telephone cards , and tokens (“;jeton”) in three sizes are used. Local, inter-city and international calls can be made from all PTT offices. Besides these main offices there are also mobile PTT services in the touristic areas. For the area codes of major cities and touristic areas in Turkey, please see the “Area Codes” list. Foreign countries area codes are indicated in the International Telephone Codes list.
Some important service numbers are;
- 155 Police
- 112 Emergency
- 110 Fire
- 118 Unknown Numbers
- 161 PTT Information.
Monday-Friday (8:30-12:30), (13:30-17:30)
Monday-Friday (8:30-12-00), (13:30-17:00)
Monday-Saturday (9:30-13:00), (14:00-19:00)
Istanbul Covered Market:
During summer months, the government offices and many other establishments in the Aegean and Mediterranean Regions are closed in the afternoon. These fixed summer hours are determined by the governing bodies of the provinces.
Other Practical Information
Local time: GMT+3 hours (April-September) GMT+2 hours (October-March)
Argentina -5, France -1, Netherlands -1, Australia +8, Germany -1, Saudi Arabia+1, Austria -1, Greece 0, Sweden -1, Egypt 0, Italy -1, Switzerland -1, England -2, Japan +7, Spain -1, USA -7 (EST) -10 (WEST)
*These time differences are for the period October-March; however, they may show variances according to each country’s own time-saving adjustments.
Petrol: Super (premium) – Unleaded (at some places). Normal (regular) – Diesel.
Electricity: 220 volts AC/50 Hz. all over Turkey. (Industrial:380 V) Plug: European round/ 2-prong plug.
Water: Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to get advice from the conceded authorities of the places resided.
Weights and Measures:
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters , 1 centimeter = 0.3937 inches
1 yard = 0,9144 meters, 1 meter = 1.0936 yards
1 mile = 1,6093 kilometers, 1 kilometer = 0.6214 miles
1 pound = 0,4536 kilograms, 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds
Area: 1 acres = 0,4047 Hectares, 1 hectare = 2.471 acres
1 UK gallon = 4.546 liters, 1 liter = 0.2199 UK gallons
1 US gallon = 3.7831 liters, 1 liter = 0.2643 US gallons
Newspapers and Magazines:
Foreign newspapers and magazines are available in big cities and tourist areas. Also there is a Turkish daily newspaper, Daily News, published in English.
At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total is common. Taxi and “dolmus” drivers on the other hand, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Visiting a mosque:
Five times a day, the “müezzin” calls the faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also remove their shoes and show the respect they would any other house of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)