Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul
Your time-traveling adventure begins in Istanbul. Upon arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay, ensuring you're well-rested for tomorrow's exploration.
Day 2 - Byzantine & Ottoman Relics Tour, Overnight in Istanbul
Embark on your historical journey with a pick-up at 08:30 am. Today's exploration starts at Hagia Sophia, an epitome of Byzantine architecture. Admire its mosaic-adorned interior and marble pillars. Next is the iconic Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), known for its six minarets and splendid blue Iznik tiles.
Proceed to the Ancient Hippodrome, witnessing the historic chariot races and notable monuments like the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Continue to Topkapi Palace (closed on Tuesdays), once the residence of Ottoman sultans. Marvel at its crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain collections, along with relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
Conclude your day with a visit to the vibrant Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays and Feast days), a sprawling marketplace with over 3,000 shops. The tour wraps up around 17:00, and you'll be transferred back to your hotel to recharge for the upcoming day. (Breakfast and Lunch Included)
Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise & Two Continents Tour, Overnight in Istanbul
After a delicious breakfast, a transfer will pick you up at 08:30 am from your hotel. Our first destination today is the Spice Market / Spice Bazaar. Here, the air is infused with enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and countless other herbs and spices. You'll have free time to explore and purchase fresh herbs and spices. Next, we'll embark on the Bosphorus Tour By Boat, sailing along the coastline that separates Europe and Asia. Admire the shoreline adorned with old wooden villas, marble palaces, fortresses, and charming fishing villages. Highlights include the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace, Ciragan Palace, and the historic Rumeli Fortress, built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to protect the Bosphorus. We'll also visit the summer residence of Ottoman sultans, Beylerbeyi Palace, on the Asian side. Witness the unique transition from one continent to another as we pass the Bosphorus Bridge. The journey continues to Camlica Hill, the highest point in Istanbul, offering a breathtaking panorama of the city and the Bosphorus with beautifully landscaped gardens. After the boat tour, you'll be taken back to your hotel. (Breakfast and Lunch Included)Day 4 – Istanbul, Overnight by bus to Cappadocia
Today, pack your belongings as we check out from the hotel for the next leg of our journey. You have a free schedule to explore more of Istanbul or relax. Some recommended must-see places include the Basilica Cistern, an unexpectedly romantic spot fitted with lights and music, and the Süleymaniye Mosque, a masterpiece designed by Ottoman architect Sinan for Suleiman the Magnificent. Several museums, such as the Istanbul Archaeology Museums and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, are worth a visit.
At 19:00, our shuttle departs from the office, and at 21:00, we start our journey to Cappadocia (duration about 11 hours). Breakfast is included.
Day 5 – Cappadocia Tour 1, Overnight in Cappadocia
Upon our arrival in Cappadocia, you will be promptly transferred to your hotel to freshen up before embarking on our exploration of Cappadocia's wonders. The journey starts at 09:00 am from your hotel, and our first stop is Devrent Valley – also known as ‘Imagination Valley.’ Unlike other parts of Cappadocia, this valley doesn't feature cave churches or Byzantine frescoes. Instead, it boasts a unique and extraordinary landscape with shapes resembling various animals. Let your imagination run wild as you spot these formations, a delightful experience that is sure to bring laughter and wonder. Next, we'll visit Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), famous for its mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys formed by harder rock material deposited above. The valley earned its name due to ascetic monks who inhabited the area in the 5th century, adopting a 'stylite' way of living. Following Pasabag, we'll explore the town of Avanos, situated on the banks of the Kizilirmak, or ‘The Red River.’ The old village of Avanos, with its enchanting maze of stone houses, some restored and some repurposed, showcases traditional Ottoman architecture, ancient decorations, motifs, and murals. You'll have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on pottery workshop. After a delightful lunch break (included), our journey continues to the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring incredible rock formations and fascinating rock-cut churches. The day concludes with a visit to Uchisar, a village perched on a steep rock formation, offering dramatic panoramas of the astonishing Cappadocia. Take a stroll through the town, appreciating the harmony between nature and human settlement. You'll have one hour of free time to relax, enjoy cold refreshments, and soak in the panoramic views. The tour ends around 17:00, and you will be transferred back to your hotel for the evening. (Lunch Included)
Day 6 – Cappadocia Tour 2, Overnight in Cappadocia
Our exploration of Cappadocia continues with a visit to Red Valley and Rose Valley on this day. Red Valley, one of the most picturesque places in Cappadocia, offers a stunning landscape for walking. The valleys are easily combined, and in Rose Valley, you shouldn't miss the Hacli Church and the Ayvali Church, both adorned with remarkable painted decorations. Following this, we'll visit the old Christian Village of Cavusin, followed by a tour of Pigeon Valley. The path through Pigeon Valley provides spectacular views of natural cliffs and man-made caves, passing through tunnels carved into the rockside. The journey continues to Ozkonak Underground City and Ortahisar Castle. The underground city, with eight levels dating from the 6th – 9th centuries (five of which are open to the public), features tunnels, cellars, store rooms, and stables carved into soft volcanic rock, creating astonishing sights. The Castle of Ortahisar, situated at an 86-meter-high cave, stands as a prominent structure of Nevsehir. During the tour, you'll have one hour of free time to relax and enjoy refreshments. Our adventure through Cappadocia concludes around 5:00 pm, and you'll be transferred back to your hotel for the evening to enjoy your free time.
Optional: Hot air Balloon tour
Day 7 – Free Day in Cappadocia, Overnight in Bus to Antalya
Today marks a day of freedom in Cappadocia, requiring you to pack your suitcases and belongings after breakfast as we check out from the hotel to embark on the journey to your next destination. With a free day in Cappadocia, you have the option to either rest and relax or venture out to explore additional "MUST-SEE" places and experiences in this enchanting region. Here are some suggestions for your free day:
Derinkuyu Underground City: Explore the deepest underground city in the area, extending 60m deep into volcanic rock.
Pottery Kebab: Indulge in a unique culinary experience that combines Cappadocia's pottery work and the best Turkish kebabs. The kebab, resembling a thick meaty soup, is baked inside a sealed clay pot and cracked open before serving.
Hot Air Balloon Ride: Experience the breathtaking landscapes of Cappadocia from above with a hot air balloon ride. The calm skyline and cloudless sky provide a perfect setting to witness sunrise or sunset, unveiling the mesmerizing rock formations and valleys.
As evening approaches, we depart from Cappadocia around 20:30, embarking on an overnight bus journey to our next destination, Antalya. The bus route takes approximately 10 hours, ensuring a comfortable and non-smoking travel experience with fully air-conditioned buses and our most comfortable bus seats.
Day 8 – Antalya Tour, Overnight in Antalya
Upon our arrival in Antalya, we will transfer you to your hotel for a fresh start before commencing our day of exploration in Antalya. The tour kicks off with a hotel pick-up at 08:15 am, leading to our first destination, Perge – an ancient city. Delve into the details of Perge, including visits to The Stadium, Roman Gate, Nymphaeum, Roman Bath, Hellenistic Gate, Colonnaded Main Street, and Agora. Following a delightful lunch on the Köprüpazari stream near the Aspendos Theater, we continue to explore the Aspendos Theater and the Historical Aqueducts. After the tour of Perge, you'll have free time to relax or engage in some shopping.
Day 9 – Antalya, Overnight in Pamukkale
Today involves checking out from the hotel after breakfast to move on to the next destination. With a free schedule, you have the entire day to spend as you wish in and around Antalya. Here are some "MUST SEE" ideas for your free time:
Sea to Sky: Take a cable car up to Mount Tahtali, enjoying views of the coastline and the magnificent Taurus Mountains.
Phaselis: Explore the ancient Lycian city, once an important trading center, surrounded by a National Park and three small cozy bays.
Kaleici (Old Town of Antalya): Stroll along narrow cobbled pathways, discovering art galleries, boutiques, and spectacular Ottoman Architecture.
Antalya Archaeological Museum: Explore one of the best museums in Turkey, highlighting the region's history throughout different periods.
Beach Relaxation: Unwind at popular beaches like Lara Beach and Konyaalti Beach.
As the day concludes, we'll depart in the evening, embarking on a night drive to Pamukkale (bus route duration is approximately 4 hours). Breakfast and Lunch will be included in your journey.
Day 10 – Pamukkale & Hierapolis Tour, Overnight in Kusadasi
Prepare to embark on another day of exploration as we bid farewell to our current location. After a satisfying breakfast, ensure that your suitcases and belongings are ready, as today marks the transition to the next captivating destination. Your day begins with a pick-up from your Kusadasi hotel, setting the stage for an enchanting journey through Pamukkale & Hierapolis. Pamukkale, translating to 'Cotton Castle,' has beckoned the curious and the weary for over 23 centuries, attracting visitors from across the globe to its rejuvenating thermal springs. The Turkish name alludes to the unique surface of snow-white cliffs, shaped by millennia of calcium accumulation from mineral springs. Legend has it that these formations are petrified cotton left to dry by giants. Cascading down the mountainside, mineral-rich water forms terraced basins, creating petrified cascades of stalactites into milky pools below. The site of ancient Hierapolis and its accompanying museums, although overshadowed by the springs, offers a fascinating historical backdrop. A must-experience is a healing dip in Cleopatra's Pool, known for its warm, clear, fizzy water that bubbles from the spring's source. Marvel at the Ancient remains of Roman columns beneath the pool's surface, creating an oasis-like atmosphere. After exploring the terraces, take a short walk to the adjacent Hierapolis City, also known as the 'Holy City.' The Necropolis (Graveyard) awaits just outside the main entrance, boasting more than 1200 tombs and sarcophagi. Those interred here believed that proximity to the hot springs and vapor-emitting cracks would ease their journey to the Underworld. The tour also includes the octagonal 5th-century Martyrium, believed to mark the site of St. Philip's martyrdom in 80 CE, and the City Bath, whose glossy marble interior has transformed into a modest Archaeological Museum. As you carve into the mountainside, you'll encounter the monumental Grand Theater, a 3rd-century CE structure with intact seating for 25,000 and ornately sculpted decorative elements. During today's tour, enjoy a one-hour break to rest, absorb the views, and indulge in refreshments from the on-site cafeteria. Post-adventure in Pamukkale, we'll journey to Kusadasi, departing from Pamukkale at 17:00 (3-hour bus route). Enjoy an overnight stay at a Kusadasi hotel, ensuring you're well-rested and ready for the exploration of Ephesus tomorrow. Breakfast and Lunch are included in your day's journey.
Day 11 – Ephesus Tour, Overnight on the bus to Istanbul
Embrace another day of discovery by preparing your suitcases and belongings, as we bid farewell to our Kusadasi haven after breakfast, venturing towards the next exciting destination. Today unfolds with a full-day Ephesus sightseeing experience, commencing at 09:00 am. Whether you opt for a group or private tour, our journey begins with a pick-up from your Kusadasi hotel. Our first stop is the enchanting House of Virgin Mary, perched atop Bulbul Mountain. Discovered in the 19th century, this sacred site is steeped in history. Legend has it that St. John brought Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Ephesus between AD 37-48, and this is where she spent her final years. Witness the serenity and historical richness of this revered location. We then proceed to the awe-inspiring Ancient City of Ephesus. A treasure trove of archaeological wonders awaits, including the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastika, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theater. The Ephesus Library stands as a testament to the city's grandeur, adorned with columns and statues, allowing you to step back in time and marvel at the Roman era. The Grand Theater, where Saint Paul preached, is a colossal outdoor marvel with a seating capacity of 25,000. A visit to the great Temple of Artemis (Diana) follows, marking one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis, the goddess of fertility, is depicted draped with eggs or multiple breasts as symbols of fertility. Our Ephesus tour concludes with a visit to the majestic Mosque of Isa Bey, a 19th-century architectural gem that also served as a caravanserai. Enjoy an hour of free break time to rest and refresh at the on-site cafeteria before we embark on a night journey to Istanbul, departing at approximately 21:30 (10-hour duration). Breakfast and lunch are included in today's adventure.
Day 12 – Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul, we'll transfer you to Istanbul Ataturk Airport based on your flight schedule. As your time with us concludes, we hope that your exploration of Turkey's hidden treasures has exceeded your expectations. We wish you a pleasant journey home and eagerly anticipate welcoming you back on one of our many other time-traveling packages.
PS: The typical check-in time for hotels is at noon. If your room is not ready (in the case of early check-in), kindly leave your suitcases in the hotel's luggage room.
No extra hidden cost..!
Transfers mentioned in the itinerary (regular group transfers).
Local taxes and service charges.
Hotel accommodations on the itinerary according to your selection as 3, 4, or 5 stars.
Meals are mentioned in the itinerary.
Professional English speaking guidance.
(You can ask for other language options for groups).
Entrance fees to the various sites
Transportation with A/C and nonsmoking coaches
What’s Not Included
Tips to guide, driver and hotel personnel(optional).