Summary

12 Days Best of Turkey Istanbul / Cappadocia / Antalya / Ephesus Tour
The Best of Turkey tour is the ideal travel choice for those who wish to enjoy the main historic sites and major attractions of Turkey in a longer tour. We’ll explore Istanbul and it’s ancient structures, from the mosques to the Roman influenced architecture.

Next, we’ll fly to Cappadocia and experience this amazing landscape.  While staying at luxuurious cave hotels at night, we will explore the lunar like topography and cave mosaics during the day.

Upon departing Cappadocia, we will stop in Konya, visiting the home of the Whirling Dervishes on our way to the beautiful, turquoise Mediterranean coast of Antalya.   There, we will enjoy a mix of touring and seaside lounging, where 8000 foot mountains rise from a backdrop of crystal clear waters.

The final leg of our travel in turkey will take us along the Lycian Peninsula and through the major classical sites of western Turkey, including Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, and the vast avenues of the ancient city of Ephesus.

Itinerary

 

Itinerary

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6
ISTANBUL ISTANBUL ISTANBUL CAPPADOCiA CAPPADOCIA LAKE
DISTRICT
Check-in at Golden Horn Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar Topkapi Palace, Bosphorus Cruise Hot Air Balloon (optional) Goreme Open-air Museum, Fairy Chimneys, Zelve Open-air Museum, Avanos Pottery, Uchisar, Devrent Valley Mustafapasa, Keslik Monastery, Soganli Valley, Kaymakli Underground city Konya,
Pisidian,
Antioch,
Lake
Region
Golden Horn Hotel Golden Horn Hotel Elkep Evi
Hotel
Elkep Evi
Hotel
Elkep Evi
Hotel
Egirdir Hotel
DAY 7 DAY 8 DAY 9 DAY 10 DAY 11 DAY 12
ANTALYA ANTALYA KAS and FETHIYE PAMUKKALE EPHESUS Departure
Termessos,
Perge,
Waterfalls
Phaselis, Lycia Cable Car to 8000′ Fethiye, Kekova Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Laodicea, Colossae Ephesus, Archeology Museum, St. John’s Basilica, Sirince Fly to Istanbul and Depart
The Marina Residence Hotel The Marina Residence Hotel Kas Seaside Villa Thermal Springs Resort  Hotel Hotel Nilya

 

 

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1     Istanbul

Our representative will welcome you at the airport and take you to the Golden Horn Hotel, which sits atop the tallest of the seven hills of Istanbul in the historic Sultanahmet district.  You will have time to become aquainted with the celebrated historic district of this bustling city before turning in for the night.

Overnight: Golden Horn Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2     Istanbul

The Saint Sophia was the greatest church in Christendom for over a thousand years.  Today, we will enter this ancient wonder and discover it’s remarkable story.  We will also visit one of the Ottoman Empire’s greatest architectural achievements: the Blue Mosque.  After lunch, we will also marvel at the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern.  In the afternoon, we can browse the shops of the Grand Bazaar before retiring to the hotel.

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

DAY 3     Istanbul

After conquering Constantinople in the 15th Century, the Ottomans built Topkapi Palace. Tour the palace and its treasures, including the hidden chambers of the Imperial Harem.  A boat tour of the Bosphorous Strait and a quiet cafe offers a bit of rest in the afternoon.  After dinner and a one hour flight to Cappadocia, we’ll discover the charms of luxury cave dwelling.

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

DAY 4     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 5     Cappadocia

You may choose to rise before dawn for an hot-air balloon ride over the picturesque Cappadocian valleys.  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 6     Lake District

Today we say farewell to Cappadocia and continue our journey along the ancient caravan routes, stopping at Konya (Iconium) and Yalvac (Pisidian Antioch). In the evening, dine by the lake and stay overnight in a quaint mountain village or along Egirdir Lake. This day’s program may be modified for private/semi-private tours. Semi-private tours would fly directly from Cappadocia to Antalya.

Overnight: Egirdir Hotel (or similar)
Included meal: Breakfast

DAY 7     Antalya

No trip to Turkey is complete without dipping your toes in the Mediterranean, so, we’ll continue south to Antalya, where sharp, snow covered mountain peaks backdrop the sunny sea coast.  A visit to Termessos or Perge, followed by a lunch cruise to the waterfalls, will allow us a fill of fresh sea air and scenery.  Wander the ancient streets and charming shops of the Old City harbor

Overnight: Marina Residence Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 8     Antalya

Today, we’ll continue to savor the mountainous coastline of Antalya by visiting Phaselis and taking a 12 minute cable car ride from sea level to an 8,000 foot elevation.  You will then enjoy a free afternoon to lounge at the seaside.

Overnight: Marina Residence Hotel (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 9     Kas to Fethiye

We depart Antalya today, driving across the ancient Lycian coastline.  From a local fishing village, we will board a boat to view the underwater ruins of Kekova.  We will continue on to Kas for the night.

Overnight: Kas Seaside Villa (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 10     Aphrodisias

Today, we will tour Aphrodisias, one of the best preserved historical sites in Turkey.  After crossing beautiful, countryside vineyards and rolling hills, we visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Colossae and the gleaming white mineral springs of Pamukkale.  After dinner, a massage or a visit to the mud baths will be in order for this evening.

Overnight: Thermal Springs Resort (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 11     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: Hotel Nilya (or similar)
Included meals: Breakfast

DAY 12     Departure

Depart for a flight to Istanbul and connection to your departure flight home.

Price

SEMI-PRIVATE* PER PERSON: approx.  $USD (If 4 or more travel) contact us for current prices.
approx. $USD (If 2 or more travel) contact us for current prices.

 

PRIVATE PER PERSON:          approx. $USD (If 4 or more travel) contact us for current prices.
approx. $USD (If 2 or more travel) contact us for current prices.

 

 

Prices are given in US$ based on DOUBLE occupancy room ($500 supplement for SINGLE occupancy room).  Final payment due 90 days prior to travel.  We accept Visa, Master Card & Bank Transfers.

Price of the package includes:

Accommodation as listed in itinerary
Meals: 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches
Services of a licensed professional tour guide
Air conditioned transportation with driver from Cappadocia to Izmir
2 domestic flights: Istanbul-Cappadocia and Izmir-Istanbul
Admission fees to sites and museums
Parking, portage, tipping (except guide & driver), toll road

Price of the package excludes:

International/flight tickets and international air and departure taxes
Beverages at meals
Airport transfers
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.

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