Istanbul

Cairo

Music & Dance Tour to Turkey & Egypt

Join us on a tour out of this world and into the magic of Middle Eastern music and dance in its own home. We will be taking the International Peace Belt to Turkey & Egypt!

For the very first time, the International Peace Belt will be visiting Egypt & Turkey to spread the message, vision and hope of peace in the Middle East and all over the world! We are very honored and extremely proud to be the bearers of such a wonderful gift! Be part of this very unique and wonderful offering to the world!

  • Visit Turkey's most prominent cities and historical sites: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Konya, Ankara (optional extension includes Bodrum & Ephesus).
  • Visit all of Cairo's major tourist attractions.
  • Shop, ride the camels, smoke the 'shisha' and relax by the nile
  • Visit Alexandria's main tourist attractions and tour the Alexandria library.
  • Relax by Egypt's Northern Shore, swim in the Mediterranean Sea and experience the quiet of the desert.
  • Attend Raqia Hassan's "Ahlan wa Sahlan" dance festival AND/OR study your favorite instrument with top instructors from the College of Arabic Music in Cairo
  • Several "off the beaten path" trips, excursions and surprises!!
  • See Turkey & Egypt with a native dancer who knows where the best deals are, how to navigate the Middle Eastern culture and social interactions and loves to travel and bridge the gap between cultures and people!! This year, for the first time ever, she will take you to Turkey and her HOME TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA

View and/or download tour flyer!

Frequently Asked Questions (click here)
Dates :

Option 1: June 8th to July 4th 2007 (Turkey & Egypt)

Option 2: June 12th to July 4th 2007 (Turkey & Egypt)

Option 3: June 19th to July 4th 2007 (Egypt only)

Itinerary :

Option 1:
Friday, June 8th Depart the USA - Arrive in Turkey to be met by our tour guide and transferred to the Hotel.

Saturday, June 9 BODRUM: We will visit a Turkish village and have lunch there. We will go to a night club with a live show in the evening.. (Dinner included)

Sunday, June 10 BODRUM: We will go on an all day boat trip and have lunch on board. (Dinner included)

Monday, June 11 BODRUM: A free day in Bodrum for sightseeing shopping and going to a Turkish bath. (Dinner included)

Tuesday, June 12 EPHESUS - ISTANBUL: We will depart early in the morning to Ephesus which is the best preserved and the most often visited of all sites in Turkey. The visits will continue with the House of the Virgin Mary. We will have lunch in Selcuk and the drive to Izmir and fly to Istanbul.

Option 2 begins here:
Tuesday, June 12th Depart the USA - Arrive in Turkey to be met by our tour guide and transferred to the Hotel.

Wednesday, June 13 ISTANBUL: After breakfast, a day of discovering Byzantine and Ottoman treasures in Istanbul will begin. We will visit Saint Sophia. This church - turned mosque - turned museum takes your breath away with the sheer architectural size of its interior and magnificent dome. Next we will visit the spectacular 15th century Grand Bazaar, a covered market with 4,000 shops.

Thursday, June 14 ISTANBUL: Today we will visit the Topkapi Palace (Imperial Residence of Ottoman Sultans between 15th and 19th Centuries, with its priceless world-class collection of jewelry and rare porcelain), Built on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, this huge complex commands views of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus and the Golden Horn. Following lunch It is free time in Istanbul. (Dinner included)

Friday, June15 ISTANBUL: We will visit the Blue Mosque "Sultan Ahmet Mosque", famous for its delicate blue ceramic tiles and it's 6 minarets. After lunch we will enjoy a leisurely Bosporus boat tour crossing under the Bosporus Bridges viewing the mosques, palaces, old wooden villas and the beauty of the Asian side. After dinner we will have a party with live music and belly dancing.

Saturday, June 16 ISTANBUL - CAPPADOCIA: We will travel to Cappadocia. Dinner at hotel (included).

Sunday, June 17 CAPPADOCIA: Breakfast will be served at the hotel and the full day tour of Cappadocia begins. The natural Citadel of Uchisar will enable you to get a panoramic view of the region. Goreme valley houses the Goreme Open Air Museum, with its churches hewn out of rock and the colorful frescoes which decorate them. Zelve and the caves of this ancient village, the underground city of Kaymakli or Derinkuyu which were carved as refuge from persecutors during the early Christian era. (Dinner included)

Monday, June 18 CAPPADOCIA - KONYA - ANKARA: Departure will be early in the morning from Cappadocia. The next stop will be in Konya, which was the capital of the Seljuk Turks in the 13th century. This city, which hosts the Mevlana Museum is also known for its theological school of whirling dervishes. We will travel to Ankara in the afternoon. Overnight stay will be in Ankara..

Tuesday, June 19 ANKARA - ISTANBUL: After breakfast we will visit The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (which displays artifacts from many civilizations including unique collections of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Phrygian, Urartian, Roman and Lydian treasures) and we will fly to Istanbul.

Wednesday, June 20 ISTANBUL - CAIRO: Fly to Egypt. Arrive at Cairo airport to be met by our tour guide and transferred to the Hotel. Relax for the evening.

Option 3 begins here:
Tuesday, June 19th Depart the USA
Wednesday, June 20th Arrive in Cairo to be met by our tour guide and transferred to the Hotel. Relax for the evening.

Thursday, June 21 Tour Cairo! Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Optional camel ride. Visit Salaheddin Citadel and Mohamad Ali Mosque. Evening in Khan El Khalili bazaar.

Friday, June 22 Visit the step pyramid of Sakkara in Memphis. Visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Dinner aboard a Nile cruise boat with a dance show and Tannoura (whirling dervish).

Saturday June 23 Visit Coptic Cairo (historic churches, the Coptic Musuem) and Cairo Synagogues. Visit El Hussein and Khan El Khalili bazaar in the evening.

Sunday, June 24 Take bus from Cairo to the Northern Shore. Day at leisure. Swim, snorkel, relax.

Monday - Tuesday, June 25-26 Two full day excursions to Alexandria. Visit Montaza, Alexandria Library, Fort of Quit Bay, Anfushi Tombs, Pompei's pillar, the Graeco-Roman Museum and much more. This is Hala's home town, so we'll go to town, literally :-).

Wednesday, June 27 Back to Cairo. Check in hotel and get ready for "Ahlan wa Sahlan"!!

Wednesday - Tuesday, June 27 - July 3 "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Dance Festival at Mena House Oberoi. Musicians take private or semi-private classes at the College of Arabic Music.

Wednesday, July 4 Check out and transfer to the airport for a flight back to the USA.

Price :

Advance reservations must be received before April 8th 2007. A deposit of $500 is required with registration. After April 8th, 2007 the balance is due in full.

  • Option 3: Egypt Only: $1800 per person.
  • Option 2: Egypt plus 1 week in Turkey: $2800
  • Option 1: Egypt plus extended Turkey Tour: $3400
Registration :

Space is limited (we take small groups). Please register early to avoid disappointment.
To register for this dream trip...

  • Online : register and guarantee your space today with our easy online form
  • Email : email hala@haladance.com for an email pre-registration form
  • Mail : print out our registration form, fill it in and mail it to Hala Dance with your check
What is included in the price :
  • All ground transportation within Turkey and Egypt including optional group excursions.
  • All breakfasts and specified meals. All entrance fees to museums,ancient sites, boat trips, sightseeing excursions as set forth in the itinerary.
  • Hotel and motel accomodations in double occupancy rooms. If you are traveling alone, we will arrange for you to share the room with someone of the same sex. Single supplement is also available for travelers who want private accommodations.
  • Personal meet and greet service by our tour agency at the airports including assistance clearing customs and transportation to hotel and back on day of departure to the USA
  • Fully escorted for all included tour activities by a tour guide. You will have the services of knowledgeable English speaking guides on all included siteseeing tours.
Not included in the price :
  • Specific dance and/or music classes attended during "Ahlan wa Sahlan" festival, you get to select those from a menu of classes offered and pay for them separately.
  • Lunch and dinner unless included in a group event. Daily breakfast is included in the price.
  • Cost of obtaining a tourist visa to Turkey and Egypt, tips, gratuities, any taxes or fees either in the US or abroad related to the import or export of goods for personal or business use.
  • Airfare from your city in the USA to Turkey, Turkey to Egypt and back to the USA. Any internal flights within Turkey and/or Egypt. You are free to make your own travel arrangements. We will gladly assist you in obtaining cheap air fare once you let us know which city you will be flying from.
  • Air travel, passport and visa fees, travel insurance, inoculations and vaccinations, any expenses prior to arrival in Turkey/Egypt, meals not specified as being included, any beverage such as mineral water, soft drinks or liquor, room service, valet, laundry, telephone calls, tips to your drivers/guides and escorts which are not included and left to tour member's discretion.
Related Links :
Frequently Asked Questions:

How much is the airfare?
Depending on where you are flying from. Many people have favorite airlines, frequent flyer miles, side trips to other places, special deals that they prefer to use so we leave airfare as an option. We'll be happy to arrange airfare for you if you let us know where you want to fly from and the dates of your departure and arrival.

When will we know the class schedule for the "Ahlan wa Sahlan" Festival so we can select classes? How does it work and how much do they cost?
On the first day of the Ahlan wa Sahlan festival, June 27, we get the schedule, select classes and pay for them. They are $60 for master classes (3 hrs each) and $30 for folkloric classes (2 hrs each). They only accept cash (dollars & euros). There is a requirement to register for at least 3 classes total if you want to attend the festival evening shows.
The closing gala is $60. Some teachers sell videos and CDs. These are anywhere from $10 to $30 each.

How much should I budget for food/tips/extras?
Meals & tips:
Food is very cheap in Egypt and the exchange rate is currently $1 = L.E. 5.70. Breakfast is included and it's a full breakfast buffet with LOTS of food (so you can easily skip lunch). You can get a very good filling meal for the equivalent of $3 - $10. Tipping is not required and it's typically to round up the numbers.

Side trips & excursions:
We typically include optional side trips and excursions depending on the group dynamics and what people want to do. They range anywhere from $10 to $100 depending on the duration and what's involved (dance shows, extra desert safaris, extra shopping trips,...etc)

Shopping:
Completely up to your budget. With the exchange rate, you'll find LOTS of cheap good quality goods to buy. From costumes to jewelry to spices to everything else you can imagine. It's good to make a budget and stick to it

What if I arrive in Turkey/Cairo at an inconvenient time? do I have to find my way to the hotel?
No matter when you arrive, you'll be met at the airport. That's why we need to know your flight details.

What airlines fly into Turkey/Egypt?
Almost ALL major European and Asian airlines fly into Turkey and Egypt.

Once paid and if I have to cancel, how much will I forfeit and what would be the final date to withdraw?
Final date to withdraw completely: April 8th.
After April 8th and before May 20th, you may find a replacement (someone else to go in your place and pay you the money). If an emergency happens and you absolutely have to cancel and cannot find any replacements, you forfeit part of the fee as follows:
CANCELLATION POLICY: Notice of cancellation must be confirmed in writing to us. Cancellation charges for the Turkey portion are as follows:
Prior to 60 days before departure.................. $100
Between 59-30 days.........… $200
Between 29-15 days........... 50% Of total cost
Less than 15 days............... 75% Of total cost
For the Egypt portion: $700.
As for the airline ticket portion, most travel agents will give you the option of purchasing travel insurance. You pay extra and if you cannot go for medical reasons, you get a partial refund (exact amounts vary depending on the airline). No refund will be allowed on unused tour services. In the unlikely event that it becomes necessary to change or cancel any part or all of the tour, we reserve the right to do so. If we cancel the tour a full refund will be issued.

Will my family be able to reach me when I'm in Turkey/Egypt?
Yes, we provide you with the phone numbers of the places we are staying once they are booked. Internet email can be accessed in all the places we go to so they can keep in touch with you by email as well.

What's the weather like in Egypt in June/July?
Very hot! It's best to bring light colored, cotton, baggy and loose clothes for the outdoors. Suncscreen and hats are highly recommended. The nights are cool and comfortable. Most Egyptians start going out after dark in the summer time and shops are open till 2:00am and later.
Because the summer is hot in Egypt, we spend part of the trip on the beach. The Mediterranean Shore is at least 10 degrees cooler than Cairo and we stay at one of the best resorts there right on the beach. In Cairo, all the dance activities are indoors in air-conditioned rooms. When we're outdoors, a hat, sunshades and sunscreen will do the trick. With all the new things to see and absorb, you won't have time to worry about the weather :-).

What kind of clothes should I bring with me? do women have to cover up?
You can dress pretty much the same way you would dress in public in the USA. You want to bring light cotton baggy clothes for the hot outdoors, fancy evening wear for the dance shows and parties at night, dance class attire for classes (all classes are in air-conditioned rooms), swim wear for the beach and the pool, hat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals (the streets are not always evenly paved) and a light jacket just in case. Very casual wear during the day and outdoors but you can get very fancy for the parties and dance shows if you so choose.

Will I be able to drink the water and eat Egyptian food?
Yes, all the hotels we stay at are top quality so their food and water are safe to eat and drink. You can buy bottled water and almost all western consumer goods everywhere in Egypt. When you eat outside tourist establishments, you might want to avoid raw vegetables and fruit that cannot be peeled. Our guides will be happy to assist you if you have any questions.

What other options are there besides a double room?
If you want a single room, it cost extra as follows:
In Turkey: $375 extra.
In Egypt: $200 extra.
If you can find people to share a triple room with you, then the price drops by $25 per person for the Egypt portion.

When are lunch and dinner included?
Dinner is included in the Opening & Closing Galas of the festival and on our Nile Cruise on the last day. The Opening Gala is included but the Closing gala costs an extra $60.

How much does it cost to get a visa to Turkey/Egypt?
Visa to enter Turkey for US citizens is obtained from Turkish Customs at the airport in Istanbul when we arrive and the fee is $20. The Egyptian visa costs anywhere from $15 to $20. It is highly recommended to get the visa BEFORE you leave the USA to avoid delays in the Cairo airport. It can take up to 1 month to get the visa so you want to apply ahead of time. Expediting it is possible but it will cost more. The Egyptian Consulate's website has detailed information about obtaining a visa.

What is the Peace Belt and why are we traveling with it? Does it involve any risks or unwanted media coverage?
The International Peace Belt is the brainchild of jewelry designer Wendy Black-Nasta. You may learn all about the Peace Belt project from the website "Artists for Peace". Hala and many other artists have voluntarily accepted to be filmed performing with the Peace Belt in different corners of the world and included in documentary films about its travels all over the world. The Peace Belt is an exquisite piece of jewelry in addition to being a profound symbol of peace in our universe. There are no risks involved and the only media coverage, if any, would not involve you unless you request it.

Do you have other questions or concerns that are not addressed above? please contact us and we'll be happy to assist you!