Total 10 nights: 3 nights in Istanbul + 3 nights in Cappadocia + 2 nights in Pamukkale + 2 nights in Ephesus (optional extension to the coastal resort )
If you would like to see the highlights of Turkey’s history, this is the best option to take: combining Cappadocia, truly one of Turkey’s most fascinating and scenic regions, with imperious Istanbul; Ephesus, legendary city of antiquity and the natural wonder of Pamukkale. Connections between Istanbul, Cappadocia and Ephesus/Pamukkale will be made using internal flights. Connections between Pamukkale and Ephesus will be made by car.
Sample Tailor Made Itinerary
Day 1: UK to Istanbul
Fly to Istanbul where you will be met by our representative for your private transfer to your hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2 - 3: Istanbul
Choose to explore the city independently or book your private sightseeing tour in advance (please inform us of your plans, would you like to include in your price ).
Day 4: Istanbul to Cappadocia
Pick up and private transfer from your hotel to Istanbul airport for your flight to Cappadocia where you will be met by our local representative at Kayseri or Nevsehir airport for private transfer to your hotel.
Day 5: Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys & Göreme Tour
After breakfast our tour guide will pick you up around 9am from your hotel for a full day small group tour which includes a visit to the Devrent Valley to see the unique ‘fairy chimneys’ and Pashabagi to see the fascinating mushroom shaped Pinnacles. After lunch (included in price) at Avanos visit the ancient rock-cut churches and Christian settlements of the Göreme Open Air Museum before finally heading to see the natural castle of Üçhisar. Drop off at your hotel at approximately 17:00pm.
Day 6: Rose Valley and Kaymakli Underground City Tour
After breakfast our tour guide will pick you up from your hotel at around 9am. You will enjoy another full day small group tour that includes a visit to the Red Valley to explore the famous rock-cut churches and hike 5km through the Gulludere Valley. Visit Cavusin with its famous houses and churches of the Christian clergymen. After lunch (included in price) visit Pigeon Valley and then the underground city of Kaymakli, which was home to the early Christians, and finish the day with a visit to the natural castle of Ortahisar. Drop off at your hotel at approximately 17:00pm.
Day 7: Cappadocia to Izmir airport / Aphrodisias - Pamukkale
Our driver/representative will pick you up from your hotel for your private transfer to the airport to fly directly to Izmir. On arrival you will be met by our driver and private transfer to Pamukkale. If your flight is in the morning, on the way to Pamukkale you can stop at the ruins of Aphrodisias. These impressive Roman ruins are an archaeological site dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Although it's not the most famous site in Turkey, it's the biggest and quite spectacular. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 8: Pamukkale & Hierapolis
Explore magical Pamukkale. Literally translated as ‘Cotton Castle’, this unique natural wonder appears from a distance as a shimmering white fairytale castle, or snow-covered mountain. Its limestone-laden thermal spring waters have created a magical landscape of white rocks and thermal pools. You can explore the nearby World Heritage site of Hierapolis, which is an exceptional example of a Greco-Roman thermal installation established on an extraordinary natural site. The therapeutic virtues of the waters were exploited at the various thermal installations, which included immense hot basins and pools for swimming. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Day 9 - 10: Ephesus & The Basilica of Saint John
After breakfast your driver will pick you up from your hotel and drive to Ephesus, one of the best preserved and most visited ancient Roman cities. During the 2nd century BC, Ephesus was the fourth largest city in the eastern Roman Empire, famous for its Artemesium, the Library of Celsus and its medical school. It was also here that St Paul preached some of his most famous sermons and where the Virgin Mary spent her final days. After Ephesus you will be driven to House of Mary and The Basilica of Saint John. Overnight in Ephesus.
Day 11: Return to the UK.
Pick up from your hotel for your private transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. You may choose to fly directly with a different airline from Izmir, or remain with Turkish Airlines and fly via Istanbul (your luggage will go directly to your final destination, you will be transferred with your hand luggage to another airplane in Istanbul).
Please note, if you would like to relax in a coastal resort at the end of your trip, the nearest one is Kusadasi. Please let us know if you would prefer to stay in Kusadasi instead of Selcuk-Ephesus.
Istanbul is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of the Orient and the Occident, with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Standing on the shores of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait where the waters of the Black Sea mingle with those of the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul is also divided by the Golden Horn. Surrounded by water, the city guards the precious remains of the empires of which she has been capital from the Byzantine to the Ottoman.
Soak up the history of Topkapi Palace, the centre of the Ottoman Empire, the place from which the Sultans ruled their Empire, or marvel at the sheer beauty of the Blue Mosque, Hagia St. Sophia and the incredible Grand Bazaar.
However long you stay, your time in this unforgettable city will be a unique experience.
The region of Cappadocia is visually stunning; its haunting landscape is best seen from the air. We highly recommend you take a hot air balloon ride during your stay; it is the most popular way to enjoy the amazing scenery. Eerily resembling a moonscape, soft volcanic rock has sculpted caves, clefts and the magical ‘fairy chimneys’.
A stay in this region provides a unique insight into the lives of the early Christians who sheltered here, hiding from persecution in their underground cities with their beautiful churches, decorated with frescoes. It also gives a feel for the lives of villagers in rural Turkey, carrying out traditional handicrafts or working on the land in the same way as they have for hundreds of years. Our atmospheric cave hotels are the perfect setting for a romantic break, and are highly recommended for couples.
Don't just take our word for it. ..
"Our holiday in Turkey exceeded our expectations. Cappadocia was interesting and beautiful. It was exciting staying in cave. Istanbul was amazing. We had very little previous experience of Turkey and Turkish people, so we enjoyed the beauty of the country and friendly hospitality of the people. We felt safe and not at all threatened in the city. The quality of food and service in restaurants was good. Efes beer is very tasty. We were a little confused on our first day in Istanbul as the tour details implied a bus tour, but all become clear when we realised how close all the sights were to our hotel. We had a memorable holiday. Thank you Akin."
Mr David Hyam, 19.5.2019
Dear Mr. Koc
I've been meaning to write to you for some time, so say thank you for arranging such a wonderful holiday for us. We had 4 nights B & B at the Empire Palace Hotel in Istanbul, which was wonderfully central, with friendly, helpful staff, and then flew to Cappadocia, staying at the MDC Cave Hotel in Urgup, which was delightful. The location was outstanding and the hotel quite unique.We have travelled all over the world and I can safely say that this holiday was one of the best - full of new experiences including a trip in a hot air balloon, visiting underground cities, ancient cave dwellings with amazing frescoes and fabulous landscapes. It was fun and exciting. For the first 2 days of tours in Cappadocia we went with the local representative, who were excellent and our guide, Mustafa Sahin was outstanding.
Thank you again for a brilliant trip and we will recommend your company. We may be interested in Croatia next year.
Barbara Lewis , 30.7.2018