Day 1 - Istanbul - Overnight Bus to Cappadocia
We kindly ask you to be ready at our office before 19:00, as we will depart from here at 21:00 for Cappadocia. Today involves an overnight stay on the bus, but rest assured that our buses are all non-smoking, fully air-conditioned, and equipped with our most comfortable seats for such long journeys (duration is 11 hours).
Day 2 – Cappadocia Tour, Overnight in Cappadocia
Upon arrival in Cappadocia, you will be transferred to your hotel to freshen up before we embark on our exploration of Cappadocia's secrets. We will depart from your hotel, and our first visit of the day will be to Devrent Valley, also known as 'Imagination Valley.' This valley may not have the cave churches, Byzantine frescoes, or Roman citadel ruins that are famous throughout the rest of Cappadocia, but it boasts unique and extraordinary landscape shapes formed in various kinds of animals. Let your imagination run wild and see which animals you can spot; it will undoubtedly evoke wonder and laughter. Our next visit will be to Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), where you can admire the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. These chimneys are intriguing structures formed due to the harder rock material deposited above. The valley is nicknamed Monk's Valley because ascetic monks came here as early as the 5th century, living hermit lifestyles in a stylite way – the Christian monks built dwellings inside the pillars where they lived, fasted, and prayed. After exploring Pasabag, we will head to the town of Avanos, situated on the banks of Kizilirmak, translated as 'The Red River.' We will start with the old village of Avanos, a beautiful, magical maze of old stone houses, some restored over time, and others converted for different purposes. In some of the abandoned houses, features of traditional Ottoman architecture can still be seen, along with ancient decorations, motifs, and murals. You will also have the chance to participate in a hands-on pottery workshop. Following this, we will take a lunch break (included) to recharge our batteries. After lunch, we will proceed to the Goreme Open Air Museum, known for its incredible rock formations and fascinating rock-cut churches. You will undoubtedly enjoy exploring the depth of Goreme, and I am certain you will need extra camera film. Our last stop for today will be Uchisar, a village perched on a steep rock formation. This town provides some of the most dramatic panoramas of astonishing Cappadocia, making it a place you will never want to leave. Take a wander into the town, as it's a very nice place to sit and watch the harmony between nature and humanity. During the tour today, there will be a one-hour free time for you to relax, grab some cold refreshments, and simply soak up the panoramic views that surround you. Our tour for today will finish around 17:00, after which we will transfer you back to your hotel for the evening (lunch included).
Day 3 – Cappadocia Tour, Overnight Bus to Pamukkale
Today, you will need to take your suitcases and all your belongings with you as we check out from the hotel after breakfast to head to your next destination. During our tour today, we will first visit Red Valley and Rose Valley. Red Valley is one of the nicest and most beautiful places to go walking in Cappadocia. The two valleys are next to each other and can be easily combined. Once in Rose Valley, you don’t want to miss the Hacli Church and the Ayvali Church, both of which have astounding painted decorations on the interior. Afterward, we will visit the old Christian Village of Cavusin, followed by a tour of Pigeon Valley. The path through Pigeon Valley offers spectacular views of the natural cliffs and the man-made caves; it passes through a few tunnels carved into the rockside. Finally, we will visit Kaymakli Underground City and Ortahisar Castle. In Kaymakli Underground City, there are eight levels dating from the 6th – 9th centuries and five of them are open to the public. The tunnels, cellars, storerooms, and stables have all been excavated from the soft volcanic rock, and they are absolutely astonishing. The Castle of Ortahisar is situated at an 86 m height cave in the period of Eti and is the most pronounced structure of Nevsehir. During your day today, you will have one hour free, so if you wish, you can take some refreshments and take the time to relax. Our adventure through Cappadocia will come to an end around 17:00 for today. Tonight, we will depart around 21:00 and drive through the night to reach our next destination, Pamukkale, for tomorrow (10-hour duration bus route). Breakfast and Lunch Included. Optional: Hot air balloon tour (per person 119 Euros).
Day 4 – Pamukkale Tour, Overnight in Pamukkale
As we arrive in Pamukkale, you will first be transferred to your hotel to freshen up before we begin our day of discovering Pamukkale. We will leave from your hotel at 08:00. Pamukkale when translated, means ‘Cotton Castle’ and has been drawing the weary and the curious from all around the world to its thermal springs for more than 23 centuries. The Turkish name refers to the extraordinary surface of the snow-white cliffs, shaped over millennia by the accumulation of calcium deposited by mineral springs. Legend has it that the formations are actually solidified cotton (the area’s principal crop) that was left out to dry by giants. Dripping slowly down a vast mountainside, mineral-rich water foams and collects in bowls that terrace the decline, spilling over petrified cascades of stalactites into milky pools below. The site of ancient Hierapolis and the accompanying museums are overshadowed by the springs but are nevertheless fascinating. You shouldn’t leave Pamukkale without having a healing dip in the sacred fountain of Cleopatra’s pool. Cleopatra’s Pool has warm clear fizzy water that bubbles from the springs source, but these days it has been blocked off to prevent divers from disappearing into its hidden depths. On the bottom surface of the pool, you can clearly see the Ancient remains of the Roman columns – Cleopatra’s Pool is an Oasis. After taking a walk along the terraces, we will take a short walk to Hierapolis City, also known as the ‘Holy City’. Just outside the main entrance is the Necropolis (Graveyard), with more than 1200 tombs and sarcophagi; the people who wished to have been buried here believed that being within close proximity to the hot springs and vapor-emitting cracks would ease their trip to the Underworld. Among the tombs lies the Martyrium, which is an octagonal 5th-century edifice believed to have been erected upon the site where St. Philip was martyred in 80 CE. Hierapolis City Bath – The springs of Hierapolis were particularly popular among vacationing Romans. The city's baths had a glossy marble interior that has now been converted into a mediocre Archaeological Museum. You will notice that carved into the side of the mountain is the monstrous Grand Theater that dominates the Vista of Hierapolis; almost all of the seating area, which had a capacity for 25,000, is still intact, as are various ornately sculpted decorative elements adorning the 3rd-century CE. During today's tour, you will have one hour of free break time to rest, take in the views, and, of course, if you like, you can take some refreshments from the cafeteria on-site. Between the tours, you have taken one hour of free time to relax; you can take some refreshments or lunch in the cafeteria. Lunch & Dinner Included. (Overnight stay in Pamukkale).
Day 5 – Free Day in Kusadasi (Ephesus). Overnight in Kusadasi
As it's the start of another day, we will depart from Pamukkale and make our way down to the resort of Kusadasi. Once we arrive in Kusadasi, you will then be transferred to your hotel to freshen up, have some breakfast, and put your belongings in your room. Today will be a free day of leisure for you to spend around Kusadasi. Kusadasi is not just known to be the closest holiday resort to the ancient city of Ephesus but also known for its port, as cruise-liners from all around the world come to dock here. During your day in Kusadasi, there is plenty to keep you occupied, as it has a fairly large outdoor bazaar where you can buy lots of gifts to take back home or take a wander around Kaleici ‘Old Town’ where you can buy handmade crafts. Kusadasi also has three beautiful beaches nearby, one of which is right in the middle of town. If you want a day of complete bliss, there is the chance to head over to the National Park – an ideal place to escape from the town's fuss and noise, see wildlife in its natural glory, or enjoy a BBQ on one of the many beach bays. You can also find Pigeon Island – an island connected to the mainland where you can capture breathtaking views of the coastline. And as the evening appears, there are numerous cafes, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and fantastic live music bars dotted all around Kusadasi. (There will be an overnight stay here in Kusadasi).
Day 6 – Ephesus Tour, Overnight in Bus to Istanbul
Today, you will need to take your suitcases and all of your belongings with you as we check out from the hotel to head to your next destination. Today, you will do a full-day Ephesus sightseeing tour, which will begin in the morning at 09:00 am. We will come to pick you up from your hotel in Kusadasi and hit the road for a short drive to Ephesus. You have the choice to do this tour as a group or as your own private tour. Firstly, we will take you to see The House of Virgin Mary, situated on the top of Bulbul Mountain. The house was discovered back in the 19th century. Catherina Emmerich (1775-1824), an invalid German nun who had never visited Ephesus, went on to describe in great detail the house and its location, which she had been known to have seen in a vision. It is also believed that St. John brought Mary (the mother of Jesus) to Ephesus sometime between AD 37-48, and it's the place she spent her last years of her life. After seeing The House Of Virgin Mary, we will continue the tour to the Ancient City of Ephesus, where you will see one of the most spectacular excavations to ever exist in the world. You will also have the chance to see the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastika, the Temple of Hadrian, the Grand Theater, and last but not least, the very impressive library of Ephesus. The Ephesus library is adorned with columns and statues and is still in relatively excellent condition. By standing in the middle of the Library or taking a walk down the main street in Ephesus, you will feel like you have stepped back in time amongst the Romans, and the visuals here are fantastic to see. Also within Ephesus is The Grand Theater where Saint Paul preached; it's believed to be the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world with a capacity of 25,000 seats. The last and perhaps the most important site in Selcuk is the great Temple of Artemis (Diana), which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Ephesus Artemis was a goddess of fertility and was often pictured draped with eggs or multiple breasts as symbols of fertility. Our tour today will come to an end after visiting the Mosque of Isa Bey, which was built in the 19th century. It was also used as a caravanserai; it's definitely a perfect architectural building that you must-see. During today's tour, you will have one hour of free break time to rest, and of course, if you like, you can take some refreshments at the cafeteria on-site. (Your breakfast & lunch will be included). The tour around Ephesus will end at around 18:00, and tonight we will travel by bus to Istanbul (depart from Kusadasi at 21:30, duration 11 hours). The public buses are all non-smoking, fully air-conditioned, and, of course, we make sure that for such long journeys, we provide you with our most comfortable bus seats.
Day 7 – Arrival in Istanbul and End of Your Tour
Today marks the final day of your 6-day adventure. After you've had breakfast, it will be time to ensure you have packed all your belongings as it's time to check out of the hotel rooms. We will then head on to reach Istanbul, and upon arrival, you will take a free shuttle bus to Sultanahmet or Taksim Square, bringing our time together to a close. We trust that your time with us, discovering and exploring some of Turkey and Greece’s hidden treasures, has been everything you wanted and more. Most of all, we would also like to wish you a pleasant journey home and look forward to seeing you again on one of our many other time-traveling packages. PS: Normally, the check-in time for hotels is noon. If your room is not ready (in the case of early check-in), please leave your suitcases at the reception.
No extra hidden cost..!
Transfers mentioned in the itinerary (Regular).
Local taxes and service charges.
Hotel accommodations on the itinerary according to your choice 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).