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 escorted driver.
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.