Summary

10 Days Best of Turkey Istanbul / Ephesus / Cappadocia TourThe Best of Turkey tour is the ideal Turkey travel choice for those who wish to enjoy the main historic sites and major attractions of Turkey.  We’ll see the best of Istanbul and it’s ancient structures, from the mosques to the Roman influenced architecture.

After flying to Cappadocia you’ll experience this amazing landscape of Turkey.  While staying at luxurious cave hotels at night, we will travel and explore the lunar like topography and cave mosaics during the day.

Next a 1 hour flight to Izmir,  where we will spend a few days exploring the classical sites of western Turkey, including the white cliffs of Pamukkale and the vast avenues of ancient Ephesus – A traveller’s delight.

Itinerary

 

  DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5
LOCATION ISTANBUL ISTANBUL ISTANBUL CAPPADOCIA CAPPADOCIA
SITES Check-in at the Golden Horn Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar Topkapi Palace, Bosphorous Cruise Flight, Horseback or ATV Tour (optional) Hot Air Balloon (optional) Goreme Open-air Museum, Fairy Chimneys, Zelve Open-air Museum, Avanos Pottery, Uchisar, Devrent Valley
HOTEL Golden Horn Hotel Golden Horn Hotel Golden Horn Hotel Elkep Evi
Elkep Evi


 

 

 

  DAY 6 DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10
LOCATION CAPPADOCIA EPHESUS EPHESUS EPHESUS RETURN
SITES Mustafapasa, Keslik Monastery, Soganli Valley, Kaymakli Underground City Flight Ephesus, Archeology Museum, St. John’s Basilica, Sirince
Hierapolis and Pamukkale
Fly to Istanbul and Depart
HOTEL Elkep Evi  La Vista Boutique La Vista Boutique La Vista Boutique

 

Detailed Itinerary 10 Day Classical Trip

DAY 1:     Arrival in Istanbul

The magnificent city of Istanbul (Byzantium, and later Constantinople) is the world’s third largest city and is Turkey’s cultural and financial center.  It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn.  The panoramic view from the terrace of the Golden Horn Hotel is stunning.  Located directly across from the Blue Mosque and 300 meters from Hagia Sophia, this prestigious hotel sits atop the highest of the seven hills of Istanbul in the heart of the Old City.

Upon your arrival at the Ataturk International Airport, you will be met by our representative and taken to the Golden Horn Hotel.  Here, you will have time to become aquainted with the celebrated historic district and to enjoy a leisurely dinner at the restaurant of your choice before turning in for the night.

Overnight: The Golden Horn Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2:     Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for a full day tour of the Old City.  This tour highlights these major historical sites of the Old City: the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar.

Hippodrome:  An enormous public entertainment arena, it once seated as many as 100,000 zealous fans who came to watch chariot races, executions, and mock battles.  Formerly the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still marked by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.



Blue Mosque:  With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, the Blue Mosque stands as the single most recognizable monument in the Istanbul skyline.  Built between 1609 and 1616, the enormous complex also included a hospital, caravansary, public kitchen, marketplace, schools and the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet I.  The mosque’s immense interior, flooded with sunlight streaming through 260 windows, is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles detailing traditional flowers of Ottoman design.  In fact, it is the deep blue glow of the tiles in the sunlight that gives the building its name.

Hagia Sophia: This famous basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D.. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture.  Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, it glittered with mosaics and artistic treasures.  Today, the Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom – an attribute of Christ.

After a lunch break at the restaurant of your choice, our tour continues to the Basilica Cistern & the Grand Bazaar.

Basilica Cistern:  Istanbul, besieged countless times, has always needed permanent water supplies.  As a result, many underground cisterns were built during the Byzantine Empire.  Water was brought to these big reservoirs from distant sources via aqueducts.  We will visit the largest and most ornate of these cisterns.

Grand Bazaar:  The area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center during the Byzantine period.  Two domes were built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror to enrich the economic life of the city.  Today, the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is mysterious and intriguing.  It has become a very popular place, where visitors explore a labyrinth of streets and passages housing eighteen entrances and more than 4,000 shops.

Topkapi Palace:  The home for 400 years of ruling Sultan’s in Istanbul, this is a not to be missed site.

Overnight: The Golden Horn Hotel (or similar)
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3:     Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, meet your guide and depart for a full day tour, featuring the Topkapi Palace complex, the Spice Market, and a Bosphorus cruise that passes through the original city quarters located on both the Asian and European shores of the Bosporus Strait.

Topkapi Palace:  The second palace built in Istanbul after its conquest by the Turks, it served as the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. This palace’s maze of oppulent buildings is where the sultans, their courts, and their harems lived and governed.

Spice Market:  This covered market, built as part of the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) complex, is filled with the fragrant scent of spices from the Orient.

After a lunch break at the restaurant of your choice, we will continue on to our cruise of the Bosphorous Strait.

Bosphorous Strait:  This narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea.  It is about 20 miles long and up to one and a half miles wide.  Our cruise will take us past the late Ottoman Palaces – Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful, wooden mansions and modern villas built in this elegant section of the city during the 19th & 20th centuries.

Overnight: The Golden Horn Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast 

DAY 4:     Cappadocia

After breakfast transfer (optional) to the airport (optional) for our flight to Cappadocia. You will be met at the airport by our guide and be taken to our hotel. We will stay three nights at this small boutique hotel, which includes six cave houses, made up of 30 rooms, dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries.  The exceptional cave houses have been renovated and decorated with care and in their own distinct style, strictly respecting the local character. The decor is elegant and personalized with beautiful, hand-crafted furnishings and antiques.

You will have the option of an horseback tour, an ATV tour, a Turkish Bath experience, or a private, half day tour. Retire early tonight, in preparation for an hot air balloon flight at dawn.

Overnight:  Elkep Evi (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 5:    Cappadocia

Hot Air Ballon Flight (optional): Rise before dawn for an unforgettable hot air ballon flight over the sprawling valleys of Cappadocia.

After breakfast, we begin our Cappadocia adventure.  After a short stop in Devrent Valley and a chance to see some bizarre landscapes, we’ll move on to the Fairy Chimneys – amazing mushroom shaped rock formations.  We will continue tothe Zelve Open-air Museum, where we will enjoy rock cut houses and churches.  After lunch, we’ll head to Avanos to see how pottery has been made since the time of the Hittites.  After a visit to Uchisar, we’ll view the brilliantly colorful frescoes of the Goreme Open-air Museum and then return to the hotel for an early bedtime.

Overnight:  Elkep Evi (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6:    Cappadocia

We’ll leave after breakfast on our way to the old Greek village of Mustafapasa.  Here, we will visit the church and the monastery, as well as an Ottoman period Medrese, still used as a school.  Later, we’ll drive to Soganli Valley – a quiet, serene place with wonderful, rock cut churches – before heading to the surprising underground city of Kaymakli.  After this, we will return to the hotel.  If you choose, you may enjoy an evening, dinner dance show featuring the mysterious whirling dervishes, enchanting folk dances, and a stunning arabesque performance.

Overnight:  Elkep Evi (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 DAY 7:    Izmir- Ephesus

In the morning we will transfer to the airport for our one hour flight to Izmir.  Your guide will meet you at the airport and we will drive to your hotel near Ephesus.

Overnight:   La Vista Boutique Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 8:      Ephesus

Arrive mid-morning to the magnificent city of ancient Ephesus. We will enjoy a leisurely exploration of the city, including the Terraced Houses, followed by trip to the Ephesus Archeology Museum.  We also visit St. John’s Basilica, reputed burial site of the Apostle John, and see the ruin of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.  We will end the day with a visit to the mountain village of Sirince for relaxed exploring, shopping, and dinner.

Overnight:   La Vista Boutique Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 9:     Pamukkale

Your guide will meet you  we will drive eastward to enjoy the splendor of Pamukkale and Hierapolis.

Hierapolis:  The ancient city of Hierapolis sits atop the white cliffs of Pamukkale.  The “Sacred City” was thought to have been founded by the god Apollo, and it was believed that its ancient, hot spring fed baths had the ability to heal injuries and remove ailments.  It is also the site of the largest Necropolis (city of the dead) in existence.  Above the ruins of the city sits its amphitheater and the St. Philip Martyrium.

Pamukkale:  An unusual natural and historical site with its sparkling, white, castle-like cascades, it is unique in the world. The site’s name means “cotton castle”, a name which accurately describes its calcareous formations, which were formed by limestone-laden thermal springs.

Overnight:   La Vista Boutique Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 10:     Departure

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for your return trip back to Istanbul to catch your departing flight.

Price

*SEMI-PRIVATE PRICES PER PERSON from:  $2,650.00 USD (If 4 or more travel)
$3,250.00 USD (If 2 travel)

 

PRIVATE PRICES PER PERSON from:  approx. $3,550.00 USD (If 4 or more travel) contact us for current prices.
approx. $3,850.00 USD (If 2 travel) contact us for current prices.

 

 

Prices are given in US$ based on DOUBLE occupancy rooms ($420 supplement for a SINGLE occupancy room).  Final payment due 90 days prior to travel.  We accept Visa, Master Card & Bank Transfers.

Price of the package includes:

Accommodation:Istanbul: The Golden Horn Hotel or its equivalent – 4 nights
Cappadocia: Elkep Evi Cave House or its equivalent – 3 nights
Ephesus: Hotel Nilya or equivalent – 2 nights
Meals : 9 breakfasts and lunches during semi-private day tours
Services of a licensed professional tour guide
Air conditioned transportation with driver including airport transfers
3 domestic flights Istanbul-Izmir, Izmir-Cappadocia, Cappdocia-Istanbul
Admission fees to sites and museums
Parking, portage, tipping (except guide & driver), toll road

Price of the package excludes:

International flights
Beverages at lunches
Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
Travel insurance
Visas, laundry, and personal items

Any of our travel packages can be customized according to your personal needs and preferences.

*For semi-private tours, you will join 5 to 10 others with our boutique tour guides and drivers.  Also, the itinerary on days 6, 9, and 10 may include fewer sites and direct flights or buses.

Map


View 10 Day Istanbul Ephesus Cappadocia in a larger map

Photos

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.