Tour the Best Highlights of South Turkey in 10 days
Explore the highlights of South Turkey and see some of the amazing places of history and stunning landscape that this beautiful country has to offer.
Leave all the planning to us on this 10-day tour that will transport you to the country’s top sights without any hassle or stress.
Throughout your trip, you’ll visit Istanbul’s highlights, including Hagia Sofia and cruise between two continents on a Bosphorus cruise.
You will 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.
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 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.
The last stop is Bodrum where you will tour this coastal town on your own, where you could visit Bodrum Castle (Castle of St Peter). Sat on a peninsula dividing the city’s two bays, this Crusader fort was constructed in 1402 by the Knights of St John before being seized by the in 1522 by the Ottomans. Most of the castle is devoted to the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, a treasure-trove of artefacts found under the local seas where you can admire jars, jewellery and weapons found on the ancient shipwrecks and see the prize exhibit of the Uluburun shipwreck: a wooden Bronze Age merchant ship that was recovered from the sea in 1982.
Continue to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which is the site of the tomb of King Mausolus, the ruler of the ancient city of Halicarnassus that stood on the site of Bodrum in the 4th century BC. Look at the broken relics as your guide details the once-glorious tomb, once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Visit the Bodrum Amphitheater that is cut into a hillside an impressive structure dating back to the 4th century BC. Explore the orchestra and view the steep tiers of seats, some still engraved with their patrons’ names.
- 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 Uchisar Rock-Castle, the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and go to a traditional pottery workshop in Avanos
- 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
- Discover Bodrum in your own leisure where you visit the castle or take a boat trip
- Scheduling: Private
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English, German, French, Italian
- Duration: 10 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
- All meals as states 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 the sports centre 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.
You will get the opportunity to visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum and view the finest 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.
Take an early morning flight from Kayseri to Izmir (direct or via Istanbul), and upon arrival, our professional driver will meet at the airport with your name sign and transfer to Ephesus.
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 says that St John brought Virgin Mary here after 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.
Drive to Bodrum, and on the way, we will visit Priene, Miletus and Didyma.
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.
Discovery of Bodrum on your own.
Suggested visits are Bodrum Castle, Museum of Underwater Archeology, Amphitheatre, Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Bodrum Windmills.
Recommended activity, Scuba Diving, Daily Boat trip.
Transfer to the airport and take a morning flight from Bodrum to Istanbul Ataturk airport.
Arrival and transfer to Hotel and have the rest of the afternoon for the last chance to complete your visits.
Transfer to Istanbul Airport to connect to your international flight.
- Please check to see if you need a visa to enter Turkey
- Make sure you have adequate travel insurance
- 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
- Excellent 5
- Very Good 4
- Average 3
- Poor 2
- Terrible 1