Experience the Best of Turkey on a 18 Day Tour From Istanbul
Explore some of the best highlights of Turkey and see some of the fantastic places of history on offer. Also, see the 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.
You will venture to the UNESCO-listed Ephesus where you will see one of the worlds best-preserved ancient sites. 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 Priene was an important city in ancient times because here is where the Panionium stood, which was the central meeting place and sanctuary of the Ionian Confederacy. Miletus was the principal port and the wealthiest imperium on the Aegean coast. Didyma was once an ancient Ionian city and now known as Didim. The town was formed just outside of the sanctuary containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. Didyma was a neighbour of Miletus.
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 spectacular natural wonders that can be seen from various mineral springs in a vast white cliffside. Also, see the ruins of Hierapolis.
See Antalya on the Turquoise coast with some amazing and beautiful landscape and get to Visit to Perge, Aspendos and Kursunlu waterfalls or Antalya Museum.
- 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
- Explore the ancient city of Ephesus one of the best-preserved ruins in the world
- Visit Priene, Miletus and Didyma which are ruins on the Aegean coast
- See the pure white travertines at Pamukkale and the ruins of Hierapolis
- Visit Antalya and see Aspendos and Kursunlu waterfalls
- Scheduling: Private
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English, German, French, Italian
- Duration: 18 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.
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- All accommodation
- Transportation by a comfortable AC non smoking Luxurious car / Van with professional driver
- All entrance fees to the sites and to the museums mentioned in the itinerary
- Professional guide throughout the tour
- Domestic flights
- Other services not mentioned
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities (optional)
- Meals not mentioned 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.
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.
Discover the absolute best of Istanbul by sea for a memorable Bosphorus Cruise between two continents Asia and Europe.
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.
Once you meet your professional guide at your hotel in Istanbul and are aboard your air-conditioned vehicle, you will travel to Dolmabahçe Palace.
Discover how this palace was one of the last castles built by the Ottoman Empire. Admire the excellent mixture of European and Ottoman architecture that are along the banks, overseeing the Bosphorus Strait. Enter the palace and discover mesmerising rooms that once hosted sultans and their royal guests. Walk into pristine marble rooms and gaze up at the sparkling crystal chandeliers.
See the Grand Covered Bazaar with its many shops perfect for your holiday souvenirs.
For the second half of your day choose to do a traditional Turkish Bath (optional charge)
You’re taken to a steamy, humid room surrounded with marble-lined seating and marble wash-basins running hot and cold water.
In the centre is a raised marble platform “gobektasi” (navel stone). This is a hot platform for you to relax and work up a sweat. You will get a rub of your body with a coarse loofah to remove any layers of dead skin.
Then you will get a soap massage where the Masseuse will cover your head to toe with creamy white frothy bubbles, using a cloth bag. Then they will massage all over your body with pressure on your bones. You will have eased muscles you never knew you had.
Finally, you will take a shower, and you will be given a thick cotton towel to cover yourself and be left in a cold room for relaxation.
Check out from the hotel and catch a flight to Kayseri.
Transfer to your hotel in Goreme for the rest of your day at leisure.
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”.
Visit 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.
Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia.
(Optional) Evening at caravanserai to see a Whirling Dervish ceremony.
Morning Optional: Sunrise balloon flight in Cappadocia.
Today you will have breakfast in a village house with a Turkish Style breakfast.
See 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.
Tour the Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the fascinating underground settlements in Cappadocia.
We can also choose to stop at the carpet cooperative where people from the village make carpets.
Today you will visit Ihlara Valley near Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz (two of the three volcanoes of Cappadocia) and is a canyon with a depth of around 100m and was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years before. It starts at Ihlara village and ends at the Selime Monastery at Selime village after making 26 bends along 14 kilometres.
It is thought that the valley once housed over four thousand dwellings and about a hundred cave churches that were decorated with frescoes. Approximately eighty thousand people once lived in Ihlara Valley.
There are 4 entrances to Ihlara valley. The first one is at the start of the valley in Ihlara Village and the second one opens at the 4th kilometre of the valley and is the most popular entrance.
Check out from the hotel and drive to Kayseri for a morning flight to Izmir.
Transfer to your hotel in Kusadasi for the rest of your day at leisure.
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.
We will continue with Saint John Church where Apostle John spent his final years and was buried and visit the temple of Artemis to see the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Ephesus may be the creme-de-la-creme of the ancient ruins but Priene, Miletus and Didyma though less frequently visited are still significant ancient settlements.
Priene sits on a dramatic position overlooking the Meander Valley and plain. Miletus preserves a spectacular theatre, and Didyma has a Temple of Apollo vaguely reminiscent of the magnificent temples at Karnak in Egypt.
Drive to the travertine terraces at Pamukkale which 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.
After breakfast transfer to İzmir airport for a flight to Antalya.
Transfer to your Hotel and the rest of your day is at your leisure.
We will see Perge, which was initially settled by the Hittites around 1500 BC. Visit the impressive collonaded street, baths, nymphaeum, and agora and the fountain of the River God, where waters once poured down the centre of the city.
We continue to Aspendos to see one of the best-preserved amphitheatres in the world.
After breakfast, we will visit the waterfalls of Antalya Kursunlu and Duden waterfalls.
After the tour transfer to your hotel.
Today is a relaxing day in Antalya where you can use your hotel’s facilities or choose to explore Antalya some more.
After breakfast transfer to Antalya airport and fly to Istanbul and transfer to your hotel.
In the afternoon enjoy a half-day tour to the Underground Cistern of Yerebatan and have a walk to Galata bridge to see the fishermen of Istanbul.
After check out from the hotel we will transfer you to Istanbul airport for your international flight.
- Please check if you need a visa to enter Turkey
- Please make sure you have adequate insurance
- Wear adequate clothing while visiting any religious sites
- Wear comfortable clothing and footwear while on the tours
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