5 Days Turkey Express Tour: Istanbul, Pamukkale, Ephesus, and Cappadocia
Highlights: Visit Istanbul (Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace Museum, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar), Cappadocia (Göreme Open-Air Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, Ihlara Valley, Red, and Rose Valleys), Pamukkale (Cotton castle, Hierapolis Theater, Hierapolis City Ruins, Pamukkale Antique Pool), Ephesus (Temple of Artemis, House of Virgin Mary, Isa Bey Mosque, Sirince Village).
Day 1: Arrive and Overnight in Istanbul
Arrive at any time. Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be met with our company representative in the arrivals area of the airport who will be holding a signboard with your name on it. After meet and greet, you will then be transferred from the airport to your hotel in Istanbul. Rest of the day will be at leisure.
- Overnight in Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul Byzantine & Ottoman Relics Tour
After breakfast at approximately 8:30 am, you will be picked up from your hotel to begin the full-day tour. Today on the tour you will visit Hagia Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel. (Note that Topkapı Palace is closed Tuesday, and Hagia Sophia is closed Monday).
- Overnight in Istanbul
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3: Fly to Denizli from Istanbul — Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour
You will be picked up from your hotel for your transfer to the airport to catch your early morning flight to Denizli. Upon arrival at the Denizli airport, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to Pamukkale where you will meet your professional tour guide to begin your tour with a professional guide to begin your full-day tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Around 10:00 am you will visit the first destination of Karahayit to see the Red Spring Waters. After Karahayit we will drive to Pamukkale and begin the visit to the ancient city of Hierapolis around 10:30 an. The highlights of Hierapolis are Necropolis, Roman Baths, Domitian Gate, Latrina, Oil Factory, Frontinious Street, Agora, Byzantium Gate, Triton Fountain, Cathedral, Apollon Temple, Plutonium, Theater, and Antique Pool. You will also be able to take some photos from the nicest corners of Pamukkale. Around 12:30 pm you will be given some free time for approximately 60 minutes to explore the natural beauties of Pamukkale. As an option, you may choose to swim in the Pamukkale Antique Pools (at your own expense) during this free time. At 1:30 pm you will meet the guide and will get a chance to walk in the middle of the Pamukkale travertines from top to down without shoes and socks. At 2:30 pm you will be taken for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch at approximately 3:30 pm, you will visit an Onyx Factory for approximately 30 minutes. At the end of the tour around approximately 4:00 pm, you will be transferred to your hotel at around 7:00 pm.
- Overnight in Kusadasi
- Included Meal(s): Lunch
Day 4: Ephesus Tour — Fly to Kayseri from Izmir
After breakfast at the hotel around 08:30, you will be picked up and met by your tour guide to begin your full-day tour of Ephesus. Your tour guide will brief you on the day’s activities. You will first visit the Temple of Artemis which was once one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Next, you will visit the world-famous ancient Greco-Roman City of Ephesus, the most well-preserved example in the world. After visiting this impressive site, you will have a break for lunch. After lunch, you will visit the House of Virgin Mary, where it is believed she spent her last days. This is a holy place for both Christians and Muslims. Afterwards, you will visit the Isabey Mosque. Next, you will be taken to the Sirince Village; which is an old Greek village and is well-know for its quaint beauty and wine tasting and production. Here you will have one hour free to explore on your own without a guide the different foods and wines of the area and visit various small traditional village shops. At the end of the tour around approximately 16:00, you will be transferred to Izmir airport for your late evening flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir through Istanbul. Upon your arrival at the Kayseri or Nevsehir airport, a representative will be present holding your name sign to pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Cappadocia.
- Overnight in Cappadocia
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
Day 5: Cappadocia Tour — Fly back to Istanbul
Around 09:30 am you will be picked up from your hotel to depart for the full-day Cappadocia tour. Firstly we will visit the famous “Devrent Valley and “Pasabagi” (or Monk`s Valley), After lunch at a local restaurant in “Avanos” Town on the banks of Kizilirmak Red River, we will see some of the world-famous Turkish Handicrafts being made here. In the afternoon we will visit the “Goreme Open Air Museum and “Uchisar Rock Castle“. We will finalize the tour with a visit to “the Underground City of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli” which is one of the best-preserved and deep subterranean towns of the region. At the end of the tour around approximately 4:00 pm, you will be transferred to Kayseri or Nevsehir airport for your late evening return flight around 7:00 – 10:00 pm (1 hour 30 minutes flight duration) to Istanbul. END OF OUR SERVICE and TOURS. Included Meal(s): Lunch
- Please note that your return flight from Kayseri or Nevsehir to Istanbul will arrive at either the New Airport in Istanbul or at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport depending on the availability of flights on the ticket purchase date.
- If you have a preference to return to a specific airport in Istanbul i.e. Sabiha Gokcen or Istanbul New Airport, you must request your choice of the airport in Istanbul by email prior to your tour booking. Any changes requested once your booking is confirmed will incur an additional cost.
- Upon arrival at Istanbul airport, you will have to arrange your own pick-up service from Istanbul airport to your hotel in Istanbul. This transfer is not included as part of your package tour services with us. Our service ends upon your flight arrival at Istanbul Airport.
INCLUDED in the Tour Price:
- All transfers mentioned in the itinerary
- Domestic flight tickets as per the itinerary
- 2 nights in Istanbul at Special Class or 4-star Hotels including breakfast
- 1 night in Kusadasi at a 4-star hotel including breakfast
- 1 night in Cappadocia at a cave hotel including breakfast
- Professional licensed English speaking guide during the tours
- Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch)
- Entrance fees mentioned by the itinerary
- Local taxes and service charges
- International airfare & airport taxes
- Visa to enter Turkey
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Any optional tours
- Tips & Personal Items
- Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast)
- Travel insurance
- The order of the itinerary is indicative and subject to change, but all visits described will take place.
- The normal arrival time in Istanbul is between 8:00 – 10:00 pm. If you are planning on reserving your plane back home that same day, we recommend you book a plane ticket from 1:30 am onwards, to avoid missing your flight.
- This is a regular group tour, but if requested at cost can be provided as a private tour.
- The regular group tour has shopping stops included in the tour.
- Please advise your arrival details at the time of booking.
- Please note that the Blue Mosque is not open for visitation on Fridays as it is closed for religious prayer services. You will only be able to visit the outside of the Blue Mosque area on tours operated on Fridays. No visitation will be allowed inside the Blue Mosque for tourists on Fridays.
- St. Sophia is closed on Monday, this will be replaced with the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici).
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday, it will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi Palace.
- Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday.
- During religious holidays, the spice market and Grand Bazaar are closed.
- The hot air balloon ride operates in optimum weather conditions. The decision for the flight to take off on any given day is decided by the local government at the last minute depending on weather conditions to ensure passenger safety. If your paid and scheduled hot air balloon ride gets canceled by the tour company at the last minute for weather conditions, we will provide you with a refund of USD 249.00 for the hot air balloon ride if you have it booked with us.