Enjoy a leisurely 15-day tour of Turkey, designed for the traveller who prefer to combine the major sites of Anatolia with relaxing breaks on the Turquoise Coast. Top up your tan in Kas and Fethiye, explore the “Fairy Chimneys” of Cappadocia, and more.
What to Expect
Explore the Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of Istanbul before traveling through the unique volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia. Relax on the beaches of the Turquoise Coast, and end with a trip to the ancient cities of Hierapolis and Ephesus. See the last House of the Virgin Mary, the remains of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, and more.
Day 1: Istanbul
Following your arrival at Istanbul Airport, transfer to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 2: Istanbul
Explore the Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of Istanbul, including the ancient Hippodrome, site of the Byzantine Empire’s famous chariot races. Go to the iconic Blue Mosque to marvel at the intricate blue iznik tiles and slender minarets up close. See the vast cathedral-like Underground Cistern, and travel through empires and faiths at Hagia Sophia Church, a former Byzantine church of Emperor Justinian turned mosque, and now a city museum. Go to the comlex of courtyards and buildings of the Ottoman sultan at Topkapi Palace. End by wandering the covered alleys of the Grand Bazaar, home to more than 4,000 shops selling jewelry, carpets and much more. Return to your hotel for an overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3: Istanbul - Cappadocia
Visit Istanbul’s Spice Market in the morning and see mounds of fragrant spices. Next, take a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait and see the wooden villas, palaces and luxury residences on both the European and Asian side of the city. Transfer on the overnight bus to Cappadocia at 20:30.
Day 4: Cappadocia
Explore the dramatic tufa formations and rock-cut houses of Cappadocia, carved from volcanic rock more than 10 million years ago. Known to the Persians as “Katpatuka,” it’s a place of mystery and magic. See the highlights of the region, such as the iconic “Fairy Chimneys” of Paşabaği. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5: Cappadocia
Today’s tour centers on the southern parts of Cappadocia in the Red Valley. Go to the Underground City of Kaymaklı to see the remains of houses built around a network of about 100 tunnels.
Day 6: Cappadocia - Kas
Enjoy a day at leisure in Cappadocia. The adventurous can take a hot air balloon flight above the rock formations. Alternatively, hike in the Red Valley and discover the dovecotes of Pigeon Valley. Go to the citadel of Uchisar Castle for panoramic views across the rocks, or visit the village of Avanos to learn about the ancient techniques of pottery. Transfer in the evening for the overnight bus to Kas.
Day 7: Kas
Your scheduled arrival in Kas is at noon, Check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. A mecca for divers and lovers of water sports, Kas also boasts some lovely beaches and a laid-back Mediterranean vibe. Overnight in Kas.
Day 8: Kas
Enjoy another day at leisure in Kas, relaxing on the beach or taking an optional sea kayaking tour over the sunken city of Kekova. Overnight in Kas.
Day 9: Kas
Relax at leisure in Kas, exploring the Lycian tombs in the mountain walls, exploring the Antiphellos ruins of the hilly Uzun Çarşı Sokak, or just relaxing on the beach.
Day 10: Kas - Fethiye
Transfer by bus to Fethiye for an overnight stay and the rest of the day at leisure. Built on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, Fethiye is a popular beach resort with gorgeous views of the Turquoise Coast from its enchanting beaches.
Day 11: Fethiye - Pamukkale
Continue your tour in Pamukkale, site of the ancient city of Hierapolis and the hot spring pools that form calcified limestone waterfalls and terraces.
Day 12: Pamukkale - Ephesus
Today you will get up-close to the limestone deposits, and learn how chemical properties in the water create the stepped water terraces on the mountain slopes of the Büyük Menderes valley. See the largest necropolis of Anatolia, before transfering by bus to Ephesusyou're your overnight stay.
Day 13: Ephesus - Istanbul
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before the transfer to Ephesus. Wander the ruins of one of the most impressive sites of antiquity. See the impressive amphitheater, remains of the Temple of Hadrian, and Library of Celsus, home to more than 12,000 scrolls in ancient times. The largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus reveals layers of history, from the archaic, through the classical, Hellenic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Drive to the Temple of Artemis in the hills of Selcuk, and see the site of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Go to the House of the Virgin Mary, thought to be where Mary spent the last years of her life. Take the overnight bus back to Istanbul.
Day 14: Istanbul
Upon arrival to Istanbul, check into your hotel for a last free day at leisure. Grab the chance to do some last minute shopping in the bazaars and modern malls, or re-discover some of your favorite monuments. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 15: Departure
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before the transfer to the airport for your onward fight.
- Accommodation in 3-star hotels or similar (special class hotels and guesthouses)
- Breakfasts at all hotels
- Overland transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
- All airport transfers
- Guide services
- Entrance fees to museums during guided tours
- Lunches during guided tour days (except in Istanbul)
What's Not Included
- Tips for the guide and driver, and personal expenses