Southeastern Anatolia
Archaeology

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Our most recommended Southeastern Anatolia Archaeology

From Istanbul: Gobeklitepe Day Tour

1. From Istanbul: Gobeklitepe Day Tour

Visit the fascinating archeological site of Gobekli Tepe on a full-day private tour from Istanbul. Explore this 11,500-year-old hilltop sanctuary, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start your day with an early morning pickup at your hotel. Transfer to the airport for a 2-hour-long flight to Sanliurfa, formerly known as Edessa. Edessa was is noted as one of the most important holy places in the world. Upon arrival at the airport in Sanliurfa, you will meet your guide that will lead to Gobekli Tepe. The discovery of Gobekli Tepe and its architecture has changed the entire known history of advanced civilizations. Archeologists believe it is the oldest religious site in the world. Explore its Neolithic collection of stone circles in this prehistoric site of worship. Learn how people built this structure 12,000 years ago using stone-age tools. Take a walk at the site of the excavation and find out recent findings. Give your feet a well-earned break by going to Sanliurfa and take some time for yourself for lunch at a local restaurant. Savor the delicious flavors of southeast Turkey. You can also spend some time shopping in the local market. After making the most of your free time, transfer to Sanliurfa airport to take a flight back to Istanbul. Be met with a representative upon landing to transfer back to your hotel.

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From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

2. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis. Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel.

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From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

3. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

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From Istanbul: Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

4. From Istanbul: Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

Delight in the ancient history and spectacular natural beauty of Pamukkale on a full-day, guided tour with flights and transfers from Istanbul included. Start the day bright and early with a morning flight from Istanbul to Denizli. There you will catch a transfer to meet your professional tour guide who will uncover Pamukkale’s Greco-Roman past. Explore the hot springs in Karahayit, which have taken on an Instagram-worthy shade of red due to mineral deposits. Then head over to the Roman ruins in Hierapolis, a place twinned with Pamukkale to create a single UNESCO World Heritage site. After exploring toppled ancient columns and sacred temples, you will have the chance to swim in Cleopatra’s Antique Pool—a majestic spot purportedly frequented by the Egyptian queen for its healing powers. Take an hour for yourself to discover hidden corners of Pamukkale at your own pace before reuniting with your guide and the group for lunch. The next stop is one of the most picturesque spots in Turkey—the travertines of Pamukkale. Take a barefoot walk across these bright, white limestone terraces filled with pools of cascading water. Finally, stop by a local Onyx factory before heading back to Istanbul after an unforgettable day spent in nature and history.

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Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Day Tour from Istanbul

5. Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Day Tour from Istanbul

Board an early morning flight from Istanbul to Pamukkale, where this day tour begins. Pamukkale, which means cotton castle, comprises a series of limestone terraces formed by the action of the hot springs that create a waterfall. The water contains a high concentration of carbonic acid and lime, and flows downhill to form stalactites, waterfalls and basins. Nearby are the ruins of Hierapolis, where the Roman baths were converted into a church during the Byzantine period. See the Roman theater and well-preserved ancient thermal baths. Bathe in the waters and visit the pool of Cleopatra (admission not included). After the tour, board a flight to return to Istanbul.

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Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale Tour

6. Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale Tour

Hierapolis, or "holy city", was an ancient Greco-Roman city in Phrygia, located on top of hot springs in Southwest Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to the modern city of Pamukkale. Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs there have been used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C, when people came to soothe their ailments and many of them retiring or dying there. Some of the highlights include the large sarcophagi-filled necropolis, the main street with its gates and latrines, the cathedral, the theater, and St. Philips Tomb. The hot springs causing cascades which are called the Cotton Castle. At the conclusion of your day of sightseeing, you will return back to Antalya.

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Turkey Package Tour - 4 Days

7. Turkey Package Tour - 4 Days

Start your trip at 18:30 to transfer to the bus station for an 8:30 PM overnight bus to Cappadocia. When you arrive to the bus station we transfer your to the starting point of this tour. At 09:30 AM start the day by visiting Devrent Valley. Your next stop will be Pashabagi called also the Monks Valley. Proceed to Avanos (Venessa), the pottery centre of Cappadocia. This village is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak/Red River. The Göreme Open Air Museum is most important. Here Byzantine cave churches are found in these once remote valleys where monks and nuns pursued monastic life from the 3rd century on. From the panoramic view point Esentepe you will be able to experience a complete view of Goreme valley and Goreme village: fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses. End your day with a visit to Uchisar Castle. Afterwards you will be taken to your hotel. On this day Lunch is included. On the second day of this tour start with a hike along the Red & Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly and mysteriously beautiful valleys in the region. The hike will end in Cavusin Cave Village, where you will see a rock castle and troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the 20th century. Visit Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many underground settlements. End the day with a visit to the Pigeon Valley where you will enjoy a spectacular view of dovecotes, old abandoned cave homes and old Greek houses of Uchisar. When the tour finishes you will be transferred to the bus station, where you can enjoy some free time until your overnight bus departure to Denizli. On this day breakfast and lunch are included. Upon arriving at Denizli in the morning, your will start your tour at 09.00 AM. Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis, the Domitian Gate, the Colannaded Gate, a Cathedral, the Red Waters of Karahayit, Pamukkale Museum and the Travertines of Pamukkale. After the tour ends at 7:00 PM, enjoy a bus transfer to Selcuk or Kusadasi, where you will arrive around 7:30 PM at your hotel. On this day lunch is included. On your fourth and last day you will enjoy breakfast and then start your tour of Ephesus, one of the world's finest examples of an ancient classical city. Visit the Temple of Artemis (Diana), the site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; the house of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the final years of Her life; Isa Bey Mosque, an impressive mosque from XIV. Century A.D., unlike any other you will see in this country. At 5 PM our tour finishes and you are free until 21.00 PM, when your overnight bus departs for Istanbul. On this day breakfast and lunch are included.  

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From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

8. From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Explore the most iconic archaeological sites in Turkey on a private day trip. Learn about the history of Aphrodisias and Hierapolis from an expert guide. Enjoy the natural hot springs and unique landscape at Pamukkale. Meet your guide and drive to Aphrodisias, one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey, dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. See the now well-preserved and partially restored Temple of Aphrodite and imagine its ancient splendor. At Aphrodisias, explore other sites like ruins of a large theatre, a stadium, and an on-site museum displaying artifacts. Next, be whisked away to the fascinating site of Pamukkale. Considered to be the earliest spa on earth with the water of the hot springs carrying healing powers, Pamukkale is a UNESCO world heritage site. See the cotton-colored White Travertines formed by warm spring water. Visit the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis where you can see the Necropolis, Roman Bath, St. Philipe Martyrum, and Apollo Temple. Take a dip in the Sacred Pool with shallow thermal waters rippling over Roman ruins. Take photos from the nicest corners of Pamukkale. Stop at a traditional Turkish restaurant for a complimentary lunch.

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From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

9. From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

This 2-day tour will take you to 2 ancient cities and beautiful natural sites. Here's what you'll do across both days. First Day: Ephesus Meet your guide and drive to Ephesus, one of the most well-preserved Greco-Roman ancient cities in the world. You'll see the amphitheater, ancient temples, Roman baths, agora, and even an ancient library. The area also holds religious significance, serving as a pilgrimage center for Christians. After touring the ancient city, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, see local artisans at work on handmade carpets and rug art.  Second Day: Pamukkale Meet your guide and take a 3-hour drive (with a break) to the Pamukkale area. When you arrive, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, visit the ancient city and its white terraces to explore for a few hours. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders, with various mineral springs set along a vast white cliffside. Walk along the Hierapolis ancient city ruins, see the huge necropolis, and feel the warmth of the natural spring as you go barefoot on the Travertens. If you want, you can also swim in the ancient pool (not included). The pool is naturally heated from the hot springs and spotted with underwater fragments of ancient marble columns. Possibly associated with the Temple of Apollo, the pool provides today's visitors a rare opportunity to swim with antiquities!

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From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

10. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

Enjoy a whirlwind tour of Ephesus and Pamukkale on a 2-day trip from Istanbul. Travel by overnight bus on a 10-hour journey and then spend 2 full days exploring the region. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Virgin Mary's home. After a night in 3-star accommodations, wake up and travel to Hierapolis to see its necropolis and other ruins. Then visit the thermal springs of Pamukkale, before beginning your return trip to Istanbul. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Istanbul - Selcuk - Ephesus - Kusadasi (Meals: L) Upon your arrival in Ephesus, you will be met at the bus station and transferred to Selcuk for a tour of the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the former site of the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, then stop for lunch. After, stop at the house of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last years of her life, and then continue on to see Isa Bey Mosque. In the afternoon, you will be taken back to your accommodation in Kusadasi, where you will have free time. Day 2: Kusadasi - Hierapolis-Pamukkale - Istanbul (Meals: B, L) In the morning, travel to Hierapolis-Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop on the way at a 4-star hotel for lunch and swimming in thermal waters. See the ancient city of Hierapolis, formerly a home to baths and location of a well-preserved necropolis. Then spend time in Pamukkale, a center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties. Finally, return to your hotel to gather your belongings before heading on the overnight bus back to Istanbul.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Southeastern Anatolia

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What people are saying about Southeastern Anatolia

I really liked the trip, the experience and the cities through which I did the tour, all the people from the agency and hotel staff, guides, and buses, were very friendly, they tried to make me always comfortable and happy with the service I definitely recommend it. The only thing they must take into account is the waiting time at the bus terminals to travel to each city.

It was very informative and fun. Both driver and guide who's name was Cagman were so friendly. I like how our tour guy gave us information and tips us where to go and we're to take a picture. The guide also went the extra mile and gave us his recommendation for our solo trip to Izmir and Pergamon.

It was a great day. Josh our tour guide is awesome. He knows a lot about that region and tells the stories very detailed. He is very attended and shows everything and u have enogh time to explore a little on your own. My favorites: Paragliding and to swim in Cleopatra's pool.

The experience was very good. The guide was very attentive and explained very well all the sites visited. In Pammukale not all the pools had water as they explained to us that they have to let the water evaporate so that the calcium bicarbonate is formed. All very interesting

A memorable and incredible experience. A must-see destination when traveling to Turkey. Taking this tour with our guide Augusto has been very fun and enriching. He has been generous and kind to us, and has taught us a lot of information.