Tour the Magnificent Mediterranean in Turkey in 16 Days
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.
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. Visit Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). Visit Dalyan and the sandy Iztuzu beach, which is a breeding ground of the famous Caretta Caretta turtle.
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 travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders that you are able to see from various mineral springs in a vast white cliffside. Also, see the ruins of Hierapolis.
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 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 impressive colonnaded streets of Perge and go to Aspendos to see one of the best-preserved amphitheatres
- Explore the Lycian tombs of Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) and visit the ancient site of Phaselis
- Drive to visit Xanthos, which was once the capital of Lycia and visit Patara with its white sandy beach and ruins half-buried in sand dunes
- Go to the ancient site of Tlos, that is carved out with Lycian tombs and visit the gorge of Saklikent, with its Kayakoy steep walls
- Visit the breeding ground of the famous Caretta Caretta turtle in Dalyan
- 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
- Scheduling: Private
- Languages offered on activity/tour: English, German, French, Italian
- Duration: 16 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 that are 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.
OPTION 1: TURKISH VILLAGE LIFE AND CULINARY TOUR
Starting the day with a visit to the local market (only available only on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays) or take a morning walk to the fruit orchards in Ayvali Village.
We will pick and taste fresh fruits from the trees (harvesting between June and October), or you could choose to visit the cave storages for potatoes and lemons.
The tour then continues with a walk through the narrow streets of the village where each door opens as the villagers invite you for a cup of çay (tea) and a plate full of dessert or fruit.
According to the season, join the villagers to learn and help make grape syrup, tomato sauce productions and pumpkin seed collecting. Visit the local meeting point, Kahvehane,(coffeehouse) to learn more about their lifestyle and local games while drinking Turkish coffee and tea. Go to the mosque in the village and learn about religious customs.
For lunch, we are guests of a real village house to join a Turkish family where we will collect the ingredients from their garden and participate in cooking a delicious Turkish meal.
After lunch, we will take a walk through a beautiful hidden valley near the village then drive to a cave wine house to see the process of making the tasty and famous Cappadocia wine.
Before heading back to the hotel, there may be an optional stop to see an art and handicraft centre of Cappadocia.
OPTION 2: IHLARA CANYON HIKING
Drive to Ihlara and on the way walk in the Ihlara Canyon, a “mirage” in the Steps of Anatolia to Belisirma village, the ancient Peristrema: “Valley of the Sky” along the Melendiz River.
Rock-cut churches spread across a wild plantation that will surprise you with their successfully painted representations from the Bible.
Have lunch in Belisirma, a local restaurant by the river and stop at Selime, a village with cave houses and a “star wars” like landscape.
At the end of the day, transfer to the airport for a direct flight to Antalya ( or via Istanbul ). Arrive and meet at the airport and transfer to your hotel in Antalya.
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 and also go to see Kursunlu waterfalls or Antalya Museum.
We will explore the Lycian tombs of Myra and the Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) before continuing along the scenic coast and visiting the ancient site of Phaselis with its harbours, harbour way, Roman theatre and aqueduct.
Today have a free day at your leisure. We may suggest joining one of the daily cruises to go to Kekova Sunken city and the Lycian rock tombs.
Drive to visit Xanthos, which was once the capital of Lycia, which has a fine Roman theatre and Lycian pillar tombs.
The next stop is Patara, with its 17km long white sandy beach and ruins half-buried in sand dunes.
Patara was the birthplace of the 4th century Byzantine bishop known later as Santa Claus.
Continue to Fethiye and check-in your Hotel.
Our journey today takes us up into the mountains with visits including the ancient site of Tlos, that is carved out with Lycian tombs and crowned by a ruined stronghold of an 18th-century robber baron.
You will see a relief of Bellerophon riding Pegasus the winged horse and an ivy-covered ruin of a Roman bath.
Also, we will visit the gorge of Saklikent, with its Kayakoy steep walls, by walking on a boardwalk over the rapids and/or if we have time visit Kayakoy (abandoned Greek village) or Oludeniz (known as Turkey’s most beautiful beach).
Have an enjoyable day in this charming fishing town with a riverboat tour, where you can enjoy thermal waters and a mud bath, visit the ancient site of Caunos and relax on the sandy Iztuzu beach, which is a breeding ground of the famous Caretta Caretta turtle.
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.
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.
Continue with a visit to Priene. Ephesus might be the creme-de-la-creme of the Aegean ruins but Priene, though less frequently visited is still an important ancient settlement.
Priene sits on a dramatic position overlooking the Meander Valley and preserves a spectacular Temple.
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.
Transfer to Izmir 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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