Discover the Cradle of Turkey’s Civilizations on a 5-day tour from Istanbul. Visit Ankara, Anıtkabir, the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, the whirling dervishes of Konya, Mevlana, Pamukkale, Ephesus, and more.
What to Expect
See the highlights of Turkey’s ancient civilizations on a 5-day tour that takes in archaeological ruins, whirling dervishes, and the fantastic fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Combining manmade spectacles with natural splendors, it will give you a comprehensive overview of Turkey’s melting pot of cultures.
Day 1: Ankara
You will start your tour from Istanbul with a hotel pick-up and transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to Ankara. Visit the Anatolian Civilizations (Hittite) Museum and the Mausoleum Of Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. After lunch, depart for Cappadocia via Salt Lake and Seldjoukian Caravanserai. Spend the night in Cappadocia.
Day 2: Cappadocia
Today you will enjoy a full day tour of Cappadocia, set deep in the heart of Central Anatolia. The mysterious region is underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and by ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago.
The rocks of Cappadocia near Göreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. Carved into houses, churches, and monasteries by the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, the soft rock volcanic deposits are a marvel to observe.
Among the highlights you will see are the Citadel of Uçhisar, the open-air museum of Göreme Valley with its famous “Fairy Chimneys,” the underground city of Kaymaklı, Paşabağ (Monks) Valley, and Avanos. Return to your hotel in Cappadocia for dinner and a second overnight stay.
Day 3: Konya
Depart Cappadocia early for Konya, city of the Whirling Dervishes. On the way, visit the 13th-Century Seldjoukian Sultanhan Caravanserai. Continue to the imposing green-tiled Mausoleum of Mevlana, the tomb of the mystic founder of the Islamic Sufi sect.
Sufism is considered less an Islamic sect than a mystical way of approaching the Islamic faith. It has been defined as a mystical belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge through a direct personal experience of God.
Konya is world-renowned for its whirling dervishes, whose performances of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony has been declared one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Depart Konya for Pamukkale where you will enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 4: Pamukkale - Aphrodisias
Visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis near to the modern city of Pamukkale. Known for its spectacular natural springs and stalactite formations, the site is unique in the world, with hot spring waters that have carved fantastic stalactites in the rocks over many centuries.
Discover the monuments of Hierapolis, including the ancient thermal baths that have now been restored and converted into a fascinating archaeological museum, the ruins of the biggest Necropolis, and the Basilica.
Drive to Aphrodisias and visit the well preserved Greco-Roman settlement that is dedicated to Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Continue to Kuşadası for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 5: Ephesus
Visit the ancient Ionian city of Ephesus, Roman Capital of Asia Minor. Famous as the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and for housing one of the 7 churches named in the Book of Revelations, Ephesus is a peerless historic and sacred destination.
Among its many attractions are the House of the Virgin Mary, Basilica of St. John, Temple of Hadrian and Serapis, Arcadian Way, and superb Library. Enjoy lunch before the drive to İzmir, where you will catch an evening flight back to İstanbul.
- Round trip plane tickets
- Round trip transfers from/to central Istanbul hotels
- English speaking guide (other languages are available on request)
- Half-board accommodation at 4-star hotels (breakfast & dinner)
- Lunch during tours
- Museum entrance fees
- VAT. (18%)
Know Before You Go
• Tour departs on Sundays only. Advance reservation of at least 1 week required
• Please note: When verifying your booking, your local supplier will advise you on alternative meeting points for hotels which are not accessible