This tour aims to cover the best must-see sites of Turkey. The ancient heritages ‟Golden Triangle‟ is an ideal itinerary of highlights.
These highlights include staying in luxurious and unusual hotels in Turkey and exploring diverse locations and cultures. This includes fascinating Istanbul on two continents; moonscape scenery in Cappadocia with cave dwellings and underground cities where early Christians survived; and the most impressive ruins in the world in ancient Ephesus… and ends with a magical blue cruise journey in Southern Turkey.
Your journey begins in Istanbul where you will be staying in the heart of the old city, just minutes’ walking distance away from the main attractions. This flexible itinerary permits you to enjoy your own privately guided tour. There will be visits to the ancient Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Underground Cistern, St. Sophia; and the impressive Topkapi Palace. The palace tour will include the old residence of Ottoman Sultans where more than 20 Ottoman rulers lived for almost 400 years, the treasury and Harem sections, and an exclusive lunch within the Palace grounds.
Byzantine and Ottoman Heritages will be covered, so you can continue leisurely with a visit to the Spice Market and shop for textiles, jewelry, carpets, and antiques at the largest natural shopping mall in the world; the Grand Bazaar.
Sample the vibrant colors of the capital at night, which has seen three emperorships, while enjoying Turkish Cuisine at its best in different neighborhoods.
Following an hours’ domestic inland flight, Cappadocia is going to welcome you with its magical atmosphere and moon-like terrain filled with “Fairy Chimneys” and frescoed ancient churches, monasteries, cave dwellings, valleys to hike and underground cities to explore. A Unesco World Heritage site; the Goreme Open Air Museum will be a delightful journey to the past.
A hot air balloon flight will be the highlight of your visit in Cappadocia. This amazing aerial tour will give you the opportunity to see this scenic land from a birds eye view during the early morning hours – at nearly dawn.
A stay in a cave suite is going to supplement your entire experience – a memory to remember for years to come.
Your next stop will be Kusadasi after an hour and half inland flight to Izmir. Your private guide will be ready all the way from the moment you land and give you all the insights of the magnificent ruins of Ephesus. This will include the newly opened Terrace Houses of the nobles and the Selcuk Museum to complete the picture perfect experience.
Then your tour will be followed by a visit to the holly grounds in the House of Virgin Mary.
There is an overnight stay in the most re-known boutique hotel of the region. After a leisurely breakfast, it’ll be time to fly back to Istanbul for one more night.
There will be a Half day flexible tour in Istanbul either with a Bosphorus cruise to enjoy the straight and see Ottoman Imperial palaces and waterfront wooden mansions. You will be able to see Asia and Europe at a time over a glass of champagne or complete the Byzantine and Ottoman Heritages tours including the adorable Chora Church and Dolmabahce Palace.
At the end of this tour, you will not only be packing only your suitcases but also great memories to take with you after your transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your flight back home.
Day 1 : Arrival in Istanbul and private transfer to your hotel for a 2 night stay
Day 2 : Istanbul
- Full-day flexible private old city tour
Day 3 : Istanbul – Cappadocia
- Private transfer and morning flight to Cappadocia for 2 nights.
- Full-day flexible private tour on arrival “Cappadocia Classic” with the Goreme open air museum, Imagination Valley, Pasabag, Cavusin the abandoned village and sample ceramic arts demonstration from the Hittite era.
Day 4 : Cappadocia
- An early morning hot air balloon flight at dawn and full day flexible private tour in the “Wonders of Cappadocia” with Ihlara Valley, underground city, Saruhan Caravanserai on Silk Road – from the Selcukian era.
Day 5 : Kayseri (Cappadocia) – Izmir – Kusadasi
- Private transfer to Kayseri airport to fly to Izmir. Private transfer with your guide to Ephesus. A private tour and 1 night stay in Kusadasi.
Day 6 : Kusadasi – Istanbul
- Noon flight to Istanbul. Half Day flexible tour of your choice.
Day 7 : Istanbul – Milas or Dalaman
- Private transfer to Ataturk Airport for a flight to Bodrum Milas or Dalaman airport. Transfer to the harbor and board your private gulet charter.
Arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Private Transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay in Istanbul
“Walking Tour in Istanbul”. Full Day Tour. Overnight in Istanbul.
The old city of Constantine Istanbul sightseeing tour in the morning begins with Hippodrome Square where chariot races were once held in Roman Age and today one can see the Serpentine Column from Delphi, the marvelous Underground Cistern built in order to solve water supply problem nearby, Obelisk from Egypt and the Fountain of Wilhelm II and the Colossus . St. Sophia operates as museum today followed by a visit to the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. The massiveness of its architectural proportions, the splendor of the interior decoration, being unusual for a church and the most important of all, the height of its central dome has amazed everyone since it was first constructed.
Then only a short walk away, Sultanahmed Mosque is the only mosque with six minarets in Istanbul. Because of the dominant color of more than 20.000 Iznik tiles decorating the spacious interior, it is referred to as the blue mosque by foreigners. The Mosque is regarded as the highest success of Ottoman architecture. The highlights of the afternoon is a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace which is the only palace remaining from the Ottomans reflecting the splendor of the once mighty empire.
“Splendors of Istanbul”. Full Day Tour. Overnight in Istanbul.
Visit the magnificient and colorful Spice Market which was the biggest spice mall of the middle east when the silk road was still functioning before the Suez channel and the route below Africa invented by the Portuguese… The tour will include a short Bosporus cruise for an hour approximately giving us a chance to see the beautiful Bosporus mansions and old houses reflecting us the late Ottoman era architecture. We will experience the world’s second oldest subway after the cruise; ‘Tunel’ which literally means Tunnel that will take us to contemporary Istanbul – Beyoglu region.
A gentle walk up to the Taksim square will give us opportunity to see todays Istanbul and lunch can be haven at one of the restaurants along the way. Walk down to the Galata tower, built by the Genoese in 1348 after lunch. Because of their help in defeating a Crusade, The Old Pera was donated to them by the Ottoman Empire. You will then go to Karakoy area to meet with your driver to take you back your hotel, after a short gentle walk.
Flight to Cappadocia. ‘Classical Cappadocia’ Tour. Overnight in Cappadocia.
In the morning, you will be meeting with the ‘lunar landscape’ of Cappadocia, starting with the rock formations beyond imagination in Devrent valley; Walking in the Zelve Open Air Museum: a journey in the past with its troglodyte houses. There will be a visit to Pasabag – the three coned fairy chimneys where the voice of wind mixes with the “songs of fairies”. Lunch will take places in Avanos, the center of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC.
In the afternoon, visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Goreme Open Air Museum, and see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock-cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th & 13th century). It is recommended to have Turkish coffee right across the red valley to relax before returning to your hotel. The Goreme Open Air Museum visit time can be altered to avoid crowds of tour buses, depending on the period of the season. The Dark Church is also included in this tour.
Hot Air Balloon Flight in the morning. Half Day ‘Hidden Dwellings of Cappadocia Tour’. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Red Valley, with its fabulous volcanic rock formations, is in the heart of Cappadocia but away from the tourist crowds. Rock-Cut hermit churches with frescoes and paintings fit with the Valley’s meditative atmosphere, remained intact since the beginning. A lovely hike will start from a beautiful panoramic point presenting great light in the morning for pictures.
After the hike there is a refreshment break in Cavusin village which will be complemented by a visit to the first church of the region; John the Baptist. Lunch is in a house in local restaurant.
After lunch, a 20 minute drive will take you to the UNESCO heritage site; Kaymakli Underground city. Unlike other underground cities, Kaymakli has different ventilation and security system. Four of the eight floors is open to visitors and believed to have shelter 60,000 people from persecution and loots.
Flight to Izmir. Ephesus Tour. Overnight in Sirince Village.
After a short and scenic drive, there is a visit to the House of Virgin Mary – where she was supposed to have spent her last years together with St. John in the vicinity of Ephesus.
Then its off to Ephesus, the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey and the place to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. Ephesus is famous for its Celsius library, great theatre, marble streets, temples, and baths. It’s situated in the fertile Ionian landscape and has been known throughout history for its temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus is one of the most extensive archeological sites in the world.
After lunch in the town of Selcuk, you will be visiting St. John’s Basilica and the Ephesus Museum. Then it’s a drive back to your hotel.
1 Week Private Blue Cruise
On this day a domestic flight to either Bodrum Milas airport or the Dalaman airport, where you can be transferred to the harbor, to embark on your blue cruise holiday for one week.
This part of the holiday is organized based on the gulet you choose and the itinerary that you will plan with your agent and captain.
Turkish gulet cruises are a great way to relax and unwind after a fulfilling tour of Turkey!