Best of Tantalising Turkey on an Exciting 12 Days Tour
Explore some of the best highlights of Turkey and see some of the amazing places of history and stunning landscape that this beautiful country has to offer. Throughout your trip, you’ll visit Istanbul’s highlights, including Hagia Sofia and cruise between two continents on a Bosphorus cruise.
Explore the fairy-tale landscape of mystifying Cappadocia where you can also see the labyrinth of the underground city. You may even have the option to take a hot balloon ride, which is a memory you won't want to forget.
Visit the awe-inspiring pure white travertines of Pamukkale and take a dip in the Cleopatras pool where you can see the fallen columns below. The pure white travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most stunning natural wonders that you are able to see from various mineral springs in a vast white cliffside. Also, see the ruins of Hierapolis.
En-route to Pamukkale stop at Konya and visit the Mevlana Sufi temple. Mevlana is the founder of Sufism and whirling Dervishes.
Drive to Ephesus and on the way, visit Aphrodisias which was primarily known as a centre for the arts, specifically sculpture. You will then venture to the UNESCO-listed Ephesus where you will see one of the worlds best-preserved ancient site and see where Virgin Mary spent her final days at the House of the Virgin Mary. Get to experience Temple of Artemis one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Visit Pergamon or Pergamum that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, Pergamon had one of the best libraries in the ancient Greek civilisation (the ancient Library of Pergamum), after Alexandria.
Finally, Visit Troy with its famous wooden horse before continuing to Gallipoli and then across the Dardanelles back to Istanbul.
- Explore Istanbul with its many sights including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar
- See the mysterious landscape of cappadocia and visit an underground city
- Visit the Mevlana Sufi temple in Konya
- See the pure white travertines at Pamukkale and the ruins of Hierapolis
- Explore the ancient city of Ephesus one of the best-preserved ruins in the world
- Visit Pergamon that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period
- Visit Troy and the famous wooden horse and continue to Gallipoli
- Scheduling: Private
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English
- Duration: 12 days
- Printed or Mobile Voucher Accepted
- Pick-up servicePick up from Istanbul Airport
- CancellationYou can cancel your tour 7 days prior to the travel date with a full refund except for the domestic flights which are non-refundable.
- On Request
- Cut-off TimeAvailable to be booked until 3 days before the tour starts. Please note we reserve the option to confirm the tour or not due to availability.
- Domestic flights in the program
- Transportation by a comfortable AC non smoking Luxurious car/Van with professional driver
- Professional and experienced licensed guide during the tours
- All accommodation
- Entry fees to the sites and museums
- Meals as stated in the itinerary
- Other services not mentioned
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities (optional)
- Meals that are not stated in the itinerary
Arrival to Istanbul Airport where our driver/guide will meet you and transfer to your hotel for check-in before having the rest of the day at your leisure.
Go to the Topkapi Palace, which was once used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries and see the magnificent collection of priceless jewels, silver, crystal, and porcelain, robes that were worn by the sultans and the relics of the prophet Mohammed. (Entrance to the Harem is extra).
Visit the Hagia Sophia, which was built by Emperor Justinian and was the largest building in the world for over 1000 years and has intricate mosaics and a huge central dome.
After lunch, we will visit the stunning Blue Mosque that was built for Sultan Ahmet I, and is a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets and features 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles.
Visit the ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II and visit the hidden Underground Cistern.
See the Grand Covered Bazaar with its many shops perfect for your holiday souvenirs.
Visit the exotic Egyptian Spice Market located on the Golden Horn before boarding your cruise of the Bosphorus where the waterway separates the two continents Europe and Asia.
Pass by Rumeli fortress which was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452, so he could prepare for his conquest of Istanbul.
Cross over the Bosphorus Bridge to Asia where you will visit Beylerbeyi Palace, which was once the summer address of the Ottoman Sultans, then on to Camlica Hill for a fantastic view of Istanbul.
Time for lunch in a lovely seaside fish restaurant. Cruise is on a public boat unless other arrangements are made.
Fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia, and upon arrival, you will be met at the airport just outside the arrival’s gate and transfer to Cappadocia.
Tour the Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the fascinating underground settlements in Cappadocia then drive to Sahinefendi (Sobesos) which is newly discovered (01 May 2002) mosaic houses and Archaeological excavation site.
Villages in the valleys are surrounded by the “tabletop” mountains which are spectacular.
Continue to the Keslik Monastery close to Cemil, that hides its frescoes behind a thin smoke layer which you can only see by torchlight.
Visit Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), an old Greek town with its spectacular old Greek houses; outstanding examples of late Greek settlements and architecture.
Visit Saruhan Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers would rest and recover from their day’s journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of information, commerce and people across a network of trade routes of North Africa, Asia, and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice Road.
Continue with the panorama of the Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations and is in the heart of Cappadocia but still away from the tourist crowd.
Meet at the hotel reception after breakfast, then have your first meeting with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia with some rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley, walk-in Pasabag near Zelve and wonder at the “fairy chimneys” where the sound of the wind mixes with the “songs of fairies”.
Lunch in Avanos which has been the centre of terra cotta work of art since around 3000 BC and you will get a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop.
In the afternoon, visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century).
Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
Drive to Konya and en route, visit Sultanhani Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers could rest from the day’s journey.
Caravanserais supported the flow of information, commerce, and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Road and the Spice road.
In Konya centre, visit the Mevlana Sufi temple. Mevlana is the founder of Sufism and whirling Dervishes.
The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are definitely one of the most spectacular natural wonders that you will be able to see from several mineral springs in a substantial white cliffside.
About 200 m overlooking the plain you can see how the calcite-laden waters have dripped over a number of terraced levels and created a fairyland of unusual solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins and look like creations made from snow or like balls from cotton, which gave the scenery the Turkish name Pamukkale (cotton castle).
Moreover, the water in the basins changes its colour according to how the light enters.
Drive to Kusadasi, on the way, visit Aphrodisias which was primarily known as a centre for the arts, specifically sculpture. The Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and was very well circulated throughout the Greek and Roman world.
Visit the ancient city of Ephesus and spend a few hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Apostles Paul, Caesar, Cicero, and John and many other well-known historical names.
The recently opened Terrace Houses (entry included) which is where the wealthiest Romans lived and are a great example of sensitive excavation and presentation and the mosaics and frescos are stunning.
Tradition has it that St John brought Virgin Mary hereafter the Crucifixion and lived her last years close to the city of Ephesus on a secluded mountaintop. A lovely chapel was constructed on the site and tended by Franciscans and open to visitors and has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope.
Visit Pergamon that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period and had the second-best library in the time of the ancient Greek civilisation, after Alexandria.
When the Ptolemies stopped exporting papyrus because of competitors, and partly because of shortages, the Pergamenes created a new substance to use in codices, called pergaminus or parchment after the city. This was made of calfskin, a predecessor of vellum.
Asclepion that is located to the southwest of the lower city and was a sanctuary dedicated to the god of health. Asclepics that was one of the largest hospitals in history and is located to the west of the city, which was a great centre of culture, art and medicine.
Continue to Canakkale.
Visit Troy with its world-famous wooden horse before continuing to Gallipoli and then across the Dardanelles to Istanbul for an overnight stay.
Free afternoon in Istanbul for the last chance to complete your visits.
Transfer to Istanbul Airport to connect to your international flight.
- Please check if you need a visa to enter Turkey
- Make sure you have adequate insurance before you travel
- Flights tickets are e-tickets. Calculation is based on promotional class and rates are subject to change until ticketed. You will receive references to flight tickets after booking.
- This itinerary is subject to change and may be reversed without prior notice according to weather, museum closing days, daily events or other unforeseen circumstances
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