Day 1 – Arrival / Istanbul
Welcome to magical Istanbul, where people from many different cultures have lived together side by side throughout history.
You’ll be met by one of our team in Istanbul airport, and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax and explore. Please note that we will leave a message at your hotel to confirm your pick-up time for tomorrow. Free evening.
Optional Activity: If you wish to attend to interesting event tonight we recommend seeing this beautiful city from the water with a Bosphorus Dinner Cruise
Day 2 – Highlights of Istanbul City Tour
Pick up at approximately 08:30 for your Istanbul Old City Tour. Our first stop is Istanbul’s ancient Hippodrome. Your tour guide will give you an overview of the history of the place and all the details of its transformation. Highlights of your wander around the Hippodrome will include the German Fountain and the Obelisk of Theodosius and the Walled Obelisk.
Next up is a visit to the beautiful Blue Mosque. Officially known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the Blue Mosque get its nickname from its magnificent blue tiles and breath-taking interior design.
We will then move on to Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya in Turkish), renowned for its history of being a church and then later being converted to a mosque. It is also considered one of the world’s great architectural feats. You will be enthralled as your guide explains about the history and uniqueness of the beautiful Hagia Sophia. Lunch will be at a local restaurant where you can taste some traditional Turkish cuisine.
After lunch we will visit Topkapi Palace, former home to the Ottoman Sultans. We will also visit the bustling Grand Bazaar – home to more than 4,000 shops selling traditional Turkish wares as well as a number of artisans. At the end of your tour you will be dropped back to your hotel
Important note: Topkapi Palace is closed on a Tuesday and so if Day 2 of your trip falls on a Tuesday you will only do a morning half day city tour. The Grand Bazaar is closed on a Sunday.
Day 3 – Bosphorus Cruise – Istanbul to Cappadocia
Breakfast, then you will be picked up from your hotel at approximately 08:30 for your morning Bosphorus Cruise and Spice Bazaar Tour. Our first stop will be at the Spice Bazaar. As you wander through the Spice Bazaar, it is easy to imagine this place as the final destination for traders who travelled from the East along the Silk Road centuries ago. Next, we board our ferry for our Bosphorus Cruise. As we cruise along the Bosphorus strait, we will pass beautiful old Ottoman-style wooden houses, Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress, pavilions, gardens, mosques, and of course, the famous Bosphorus bridge. It is a great chance to see Istanbul from another perspective. After your cruise, you will be dropped back at your hotel, where you will be picked up for your transfer to the airport for your flight to Kayseri, one of the two gateway airports to Cappadocia.
On arrival in Kayseri you will be met by one of our team members and driven to your cave hotel accommodation. Free evening to get acquainted with the town, or simply rest and soak up the atmosphere.
Overnight cave hotel in Cappadocia
Day 4 – Cappadocia Sightseeing Tour
At 09:30 your tour guide and driver will arrive to pick you up from your hotel for your first tour of Cappadocia. Our first stop of the day will be at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Göreme Open Air Museum which was once a Byzantine monastic settlement comprised of more than 10 churches, rectories, accommodation and a theological school. You’ll be amazed at the tiny churches carved into the rocks and decorated with frescoes, many of which are in good condition. Our second stop will be Paşabağ Valley, also called the Monks Valley, home to some of the best examples of mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. This valley was previously home to a settlement of monks, and today you can climb up into one of the fairy chimneys and see part of their former quarters. We then drive to Devrent Valley, also known as “Imagination Valley”, where some of the most surreal rock formations can be found, many of them shaped like animals. See if you can spot the camel, snake, seal and dolphin-shaped rocks. We will have lunch at a local cave restaurant in the town of Avanos, which is famous for its pottery. After a tasty lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, we will visit a local family-run pottery workshop for a kick-wheel pottery demonstration.
Our last stop will be Uçhisar Castle, the highest point of the Cappadocia. This is a great opportunity to get some great panorama shots of Cappadocia and the fairy chimneys. After the tour you will be dropped back at your hotel.
Optional events for evening : Turkish Night Dinner Show & Whirling Dervishes Ceremony
Day 5 – Second Day Cappadocia Tour and Night bus to Pamukkale
Optional hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia at sunrise.
Pick up from your hotel at approximately 09:30. Your first stop of the day will be Esentepe, a popular spot for enjoying a panoramic view of Göreme and its fairy chimneys and unique rock formations. We will then drive to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the deepest of Cappadocia’s many underground cities, and built by early Christians fleeing from persecution. Including rooms such as stables, cellars, chapels and wineries, you’ll be impressed as you wander through this underground city. We then drive to Ihlara Valley where we will hike a section of the valley, checking out the tiny churches cut into the rocks, along the way. Lunch will be at Belisirma Village before heading to Selime Monastery, the biggest rock-cut cathedral in Cappadocia. After the tour you will be dropped off at the bus station in Goreme, where you will be taking your night bus to Pamukkale.
Overnight – night bus
Day 6 – Pamukkale – Kusadasi
You will be picked up by our driver from Denizli bus station where you will arrive at approximately 06:00. It’s just a 20-minute drive to Pamukkale from here. On arrival in Pamukkale you will be transferred to a hotel in Pamukkale for an opportunity to freshen up and some breakfast before starting your Pamukkale tour at 09:30.
Your tour starts with a visit to the nearby village of Karahayit where you will visit the red springs, with waters coloured a rusty-red colour because of the high iron content of the water.
We then drive to the North gate of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis and start our tour. Hierapolis was an important place for healing in Roman times because of the believed therapeutic qualities of its waters.
As you wander the ruins with your tour guide, you will see highlights such as the necropolis (graveyard), one of the biggest in the region, with over 1500 graves, the Roman bath, the theatre and the Agora (ancient market). You’ll also hear stories of some of the famous characters from history who visited or lived here including Cleopatra and St Philip, whose tomb is on top of a hill outside the north-eastern section of the city walls, and which you will be able to see from a distance.
We’ll then take a break at the Cleopatra Antique Pool where the water is a pleasant 36 degrees Celsius and filled with invigorating minerals. Here, you have the chance to swim over Roman columns which believed to have fallen into the water during an earthquake. Please note that entrance to the swimming pool is an additional 32TL per person, payable at the site.
Your guide will give you free time to paddle in some of the pools as you wander down the hill to Pamukkale’s natural park and lake. You will then meet your tour guide for a late lunch.
The tour finishes at approximately 15:30-16:00, depending on the size of the group and its interests. Let us know if you would like to go Paragliding above Pamukkale before you catch your bus to Kusadasi.
Bus to Kusadasi (approximately 3 hours). Drop off at your hotel.
Day 7 – Ephesus Tour & Flight to Istanbul from Izmir
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be picked up at approximately 8.30am for your tour of Ephesus – one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. If you love history and appreciate having a sense of what life was like 2000 years ago, you will be in heaven today. Other sites you will visit today include the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and Virgin Mary’s House which is believed to be the place that she was brought by John, and the place where she spent her last days. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to Izmir airport for your return flight to Istanbul. You will be met on arrival in Istanbul and transferred to your hotel.
Day 8 – Free Day in Istanbul & Flight back to home
Check out of your hotel at midday. Free time until your transfer to the airport approximately 4.5 hours before your flight departure time. We hope you have enjoyed your 8 Days Turkey tour package with us, and we hope to welcome you on our another tour on your next trip to Turkey.