About This Trip
This 10-day itinerary combines classic Turkey exploration with a beach holiday in Antalya. Visit the landmarks in Istanbul, including Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, and Topkapi Palace. After a visit to the world-class Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, you'll see the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia and explore the historical city of Konya. And before the tour ends, enjoy the beaches and sunshine of Antalya to the full.
- 1 - 3IstanbulHagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern
- 4AnkaraMuseum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ataturk Mausoleum
- 5 - 6Cappadocia
Fairy Chimneys, Goreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Castle
Optional: 1-hour Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Flight
- 7 - 8Güzelyurt, Konya, Aspendos
Güzelyurt: Village of Güzelyurt
Konya: Mevlâna Museum, Konya City Tour
Aspendos: Roman Theatre
- 9 - 10AntalyaBeach Holiday, Departure
Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul! Upon arrival, you will be greeted and escorted to your hotel with a private transfer.
Day 2: Istanbul, Explore the Highlights
For anybody's first visit to Turkey, the Hagia Sophia is a must-see. Built in the 6th century, it is the historical witness of the two great religions: Christianity and Islam. Opposite of it, stands the Blue Mosque with six minarets standing out to the sky and the colorful blue world refracted by the sunlight through windows.
Just a short walk from the mosque is the Basilica Cistern. Step down from the water palace entrance, as if into another world: the mysterious heads of Medusa, the tinkle of water drops hitting the surface of the water, marble columns in neat rows, etc. Later, end the tour at the nearby Hippodrome of Constantinople. Some monuments like Egyptian Obelisk and Serpentine Column can be seen here.
Day 3: Istanbul - Ankara, Topkapi Palace
Spend the morning exploring Topkapi Palace that was used to be the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and the residence of the Ottoman sultans for about 400 years. All kinds of exhibitions, from kitchenware to weapons, Islamic calligraphy manuscripts, murals, and Ottoman jewelry, all are very well preserved. Among them, the ceiling of Imperial Harem is quite impressive for its tiles, design, color, and gold inlay.
Afterward, you will be taken to the airport for a flight to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Feel free after arrival and hotel check-in.
Day 4: Ankara - Cappadocia
After breakfast, pay a visit to the world-class Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. This archaeological museum showcases the splendid ancient civilization of Turkey in different eras from Paleolithic Age to Lydian Period. Take your time and soak up the history. Later, pay your respects at the Ataturk Mausoleum, which was built to memorize Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
When the tour ends, be ready for a long drive to Cappadocia. It should take approximately 4 hours on the road. Upon arrival, check into a selected authentic cave hotel.
Day 5: Cappadocia, Otherworldly Landscapes of Rock
Cappadocia is one of the most fairytale lands for everyone: remarkable rock formations, countless cave dwellings, and hundreds of hot air balloons soaring in the sky. Let your imagination free in Devrent Valley where the rocks are being eroded into different shapes of animal, see the amazing fairy chimneys standing out to the sky in Pasabagi Valley, appreciate the beautiful examples of Byzantine art in the cave-churches of the Goreme Open Air Museum, get a fabulous panoramic view over Cappadocia at the Uchisar Castle, and then end the tour at Pigeon Valley.
Optional: Sunrise Hot Air Balloon is one of the popular activities in this area. Feel free to ask your consultant for more details.
Day 6: Cappadocia
Today we will visit the Ortahisar, a natural citadel carved in rocks. Then descend into the subterranean city of Kaymakli, caved in the 7th century by Christians fleeing persecution. It is the largest underground city in Cappadocia and famous all over the world just as much as the fascinating fairy chimneys. Continue to drive to Cavusin Valley to uncover the troglodyte dwellings where people have lived for centuries. After lunch, pay a visit to the Red Valley and Wine House. The vast green vineyards will refresh your eyes and treat your fatigue during the journey.
Day 7: Cappadocia - Konya, Güzelyurt & Mevlâna Museum
Many centuries before the population exchange in 1924, Güzelyurt was a town mainly inhabited by Greek Orthodox families. In the population exchange of 1924, the residents here were expelled to exchange with the Muslims in Greece, hence abundant Greek houses and churches have been abandoned until today. Today, on the way to Konya, we will detour a little to see a village in Güzelyurt. After arrival in Konya, the resting place of the Persian poet Mevlana Rumi and the birthplace of Turkish whirling dance, we will visit the poetry-filled Mevlâna Museum also known as the Green Mausoleum.
Day 8: Konya - Antalya, Aspendos Roman Theatre
Today we will first sightsee the historical city of Konya, including its maze-like bazaar that is crammed with dazzling hardware, clothes, jewelry, and religious paraphernalia.
Then we will move forward to Antalya, a beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast. En route, stop in Aspendos to visit its Roman theatre with many Greek characteristics. It is said to be one of the best-preserved ancient theatres in the world.
Arrive late in the afternoon, check into your hotel in Antalya, and relax.
Day 9: Antalya, Free Day
It is a free day for you to enjoy Antalya's fabulous beaches and exotic cultures. You may explore its narrow cobbled street, impressive museum, the Hadrian's Gate, and many other historical buildings in the old quarter. Or just relax on a charming beach or enjoy a traditional Turkish bath.
Day 10: Antalya, Departure
Your holiday comes to an end today. Enjoy a leisurely morning and then be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
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