This 8-day Turkey tour takes you from bustling Istanbul to the Mediterranean at Kusadasi and then inland to the beautiful scenery of Cappadocia. The itinerary is designed to combine some of Turkey's classic highlights in a week's visit, balancing bustling cities, beautiful scenery, ancient ruins and modern Turkey. You'll stay in a mix of 4-star and boutique style properties along the way.
Starting in Istanbul, the beating heart of Turkey and historically a vitally important connecting point between the continents of Europe and Asia, we visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Spice Bazaar, Hippodrome and take a cruise on the Bosphorus before flying south to the Mediterranean coast at Kusadasi. We have two nights here, and a tour to the nearby ruins at Ephesus. One of the best preserved ancient Greek & Roman sites in the whole of the Mediterranean region, this is a spectacular site with a fascinating history. We'll also visit a village famous for producing local fruit wines, and learn about the importance of carpet making in Turkey. Our next stop is at the stepped calcium travertines and hot pools at Pamukkale, before we continue into the centre of Turkey along the ancient Spice Route, passing old caravanserais and visiting the Mervlana museum at Konya on the way. This brings us to picturesque landscape of Cappadocia where we visit the strange rock formations, cave chuches and 'fairy chimneys' in the Goreme valley and venture down into one of the labarynthine underground cities built by Christians centuries ago to hide from persecution. The tour then finishes with a drive (or optional flight) via Ankara back to Istanbul where extra nights are available to spend more time exploring the city.
Istanbul, coastal town of Kusadasi, Ancient Greek & Roman ruins at Ephesus & Hieropolis, Pamukkale calcium travertines, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Cappadocia underground churches & fairy chimneys.
Day 1, Arrive into Istanbul. Transfer to hotel Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul for the start of your trip. OVERNIGHT Istanbul - Boutique / 4 star hotel MEALS None EXTRAS Extra nights in Istanbul, Single room supplement (required if no room share available)
Day 2, Istanbul city tour, fly to Kusadasi Our trip begins this morning with a full day tour of Istanbul. Lying across two continents this historically important city played an integral role in the development of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. We visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya museum Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and the Hippodrome. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for a flight to Izmir, from where we transfer to the coastal Mediterranean town of Kusadasi, our base for the next two nights. OVERNIGHT Kusadasi - Boutique / 4 star hotel MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3, Kusadasi. Ephesus Greek & Roman ruins After breakfast we drive to the Roman site of Ephesus. The city at one time housed 250,000 people and is regarded as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. We visit the Temple of Artemis, and explore the ancient marble streets of this ruined Greek & Roman city. This afternoon we visit the fruit wine growing village of Sirince and learn about the history of carpet weaving in Turkey. OVERNIGHT Kusadasi - Boutique / 4 star hotel MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4, Drive to Pamukkale and Hieropolis We travel east this morning to Pamukkale, site of the well known white calcium terraces known as Travertines. Pamukkale translates as ‘cotton castles’ and the naturally occuring geology here has created cloud like formations unlike anywhere else. We then head to the ancient city of Hierapolis to enjoy a dip in the hot thermal pools lodged amongst ancient columns left by the Romans who used the pools for their therapeutic powers. OVERNIGHT Pamukkale - 4 star hotel MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5, Drive the Silk Road to Konya Travel back in time today as we follow the ancient Silk Road towards Konya. We learn more about the history of this important trade route with a stop at the Sultanhani Caravanserai before arrivingin Konya where we include a visit to the Mevlana museum – the former home of the original Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes. A fun and entertaining Turkish Folklore evening is available tonight (paid locally). OVERNIGHT Cappadocia - Boutique cave hotel MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6, Cappadocia. Full day tour Today we set out to explore the beautiful and surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Unlike nowhere else on earth, this bizarre setting creates a fairytale view full of improbable rock formations and underground villages. Often described as the jewel of Turkey we have a full tour here to explore the subterrenean churches and fortresses used by Christians to avoid persecution over a thousand years ago. OVERNIGHT Cappadocia - Boutique cave hotel MEALS Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7, Return to Istanbul via Ankara We leave early this morning for the drive to Ankara, Turkey’s modern day capital city. We visit Anitkabir – mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk before returning to Istanbul by road. This is a long day's drive, and we can arrange an upgrade to an internal flight from Kayseri in Cappadocia if you prefer (please ask for current times & prices). OVERNIGHT Istanbul - Boutique / 4 star hotel MEALS Breakfast
Day 8, Istanbul. Free time. Transfer to airport Your time is free in Istanbul today for some last minute sightseeing and shopping before we transfer you to the airport for departure. OVERNIGHT N/A MEALS Breakfast
7 breakfasts, 5 dinners
All accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels as stated in the itinerary
All transport and transfers
24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
Services of a local tour guide throughout
Entrance fees to sites visited
Meals as indicated in the itinerary
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