9-Day Istanbul, Pamukkale, Pergamon, Ephesus and Cappadocia Tour

$1,570.00 per person

Discover Turkey’s enchanting beauty on this 9-day tour of Istanbul, Pamukkale, Pergamon, Ephesus, and Cappadocia. Explore vibrant Istanbul, visit Pamukkale’s thermal pools, uncover ancient secrets in Pergamon and Ephesus, and marvel at Cappadocia’s magical landscapes. Book now to experience the best of Turkey!

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  • May 2024
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Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul, Airport Transfer and Free Day

Upon your arrival at Istanbul Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gökcen Airport (SAW), our team will be ready and waiting for you at the exit of the international arrivals area. They’ll be holding a sign with our agency code clearly displayed for easy identification. Afterward, you’ll be swiftly transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to spend at leisure. Alternatively, you may choose to join the Night Cruise on the Bosphorus, an experience enhanced with dinner and a show.

  • Overnight in Istanbul
  • Included Meal(s): No meals are included on this day
  • Accommodation: Antea Hotel OR Muyan Suites OR Deluxe Golden Horn Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 2: Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour

After your breakfast, around 8:30 am, we will pick you up from your hotel to embark on a full-day tour of this magnificent city. This comprehensive tour package includes an official English-speaking guide, tickets to the attractions, lunch at a central city restaurant, and visits to the most resplendent monuments that the Ottoman, Byzantine, and Roman empires have handed down to future generations.

Our first destination is Hagia Sophia, a marvel of architectural brilliance. Originally a Byzantine church later converted into a mosque, and now a museum, Hagia Sophia will leave you in awe with its grandeur and historical significance.

Next, we will visit the renowned Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Step into its tranquil ambiance and marvel at the intricate blue tiles that adorn its interior. Learn about the mosque’s cultural importance and its role in Istanbul’s rich history.

Our tour continues to the Hippodrome, located in Sultanahmet Square. Here, you will witness the remnants of an ancient chariot racing arena and discover the historic obelisks and monuments that surround it, offering glimpses into Istanbul’s past.

Around midday, we will take a break for a delightful lunch at a carefully selected traditional Turkish restaurant. Relish the flavors of local cuisine and indulge in the culinary delights of the region.

In the afternoon, our exploration resumes with a visit to the majestic Topkapi Palace. Delve into the opulent rooms, stroll through its beautifully manicured courtyards, and immerse yourself in the enchanting gardens of this former residence of Ottoman sultans. Marvel at the impressive collections of precious treasures, including dazzling jewelry, exquisite porcelain, and ancient manuscripts.

Our final stop is the Historical Grand Bazaar, a bustling marketplace that houses over 4,000 shops. Roam through its vibrant and maze-like alleys, where you can find a wide array of goods, from intricately woven textiles to exquisite ceramics, aromatic spices, and luxurious carpets. Take the opportunity to haggle and practice your bargaining skills while discovering unique souvenirs or treasures to take home.

After the tour, at approximately 5:00 pm, you will be transferred back to your hotel, where you can enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

  • Overnight in Istanbul
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Antea Hotel OR Muyan Suites OR Deluxe Golden Horn Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 3: Bosphorus Cruise – Flight from Istanbul to Denizli

After breakfast, around 8:30 am, you will embark on a half-day morning Bosphorus Cruise. The tour commences with a drive to the Eminonu pier, where you will briefly visit the historic Spice Market, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar. Following this, you will partake in a shared boat tour, cruising along the Bosphorus, a narrow strait nestled between the continents of Europe and Asia. This strait forms a connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

From the comfort of your boat, you can marvel at sights such as the Dolmabahce PalaceBeylerbeyi PalaceBosphorus Bridge, age-old citadels, and centuries-old mansions. The cruise also offers an enchanting view of both the European and Asian shorelines.

At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel to collect your luggage. Subsequently, you will be transported to the Istanbul airport to board a flight to Denizli, a journey that typically lasts approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

Upon arrival in Denizli, you will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel in Pamukkale. There, you can check in and prepare for an overnight stay.

  • Overnight in Pamukkale
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast
  • Accommodation: Adempira Thermal & Spa Hotel OR Colossae Thermal Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 4: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour – Transfer to Kusadasi

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from your hotel around 10:30 am to join the full-day tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. First on the itinerary is a visit to the historic city of Hierapolis, known for its notable sites such as the Temple of Apollo, the Theatre, the Necropolis, and the Roman Baths—where St. Philip was tragically martyred.

Following an exploration of these awe-inspiring sites, you’ll enjoy a pause for lunch. As the afternoon unfolds, your journey will lead you to Karahayit, famous for its therapeutic red water and thermal springs.

Your next destination will be the renowned Cotton Cliffs, alternatively known as the Cotton Castle, located in Pamukkale. These striking terraces and pools, formed from calcified mineral deposits, offer an opportunity for an optional dip in the Cleopatra Antique Pools at an extra charge.

Your day’s adventure will conclude around 4:00 pm, post which you’ll set off for Kusadasi. Expected to reach by 7:00 pm, you’ll then check into your hotel for an overnight stay.

  • Overnight in Kusadasi
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Efe Boutique Hotel OR Neopol Hotel Deluxe OR Derici Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 5: Pergamon Tour

After breakfast at 8:30 am, you’ll be picked up from your hotel for a scenic drive to Pergamon, a jewel of the ancient world, renowned for its architectural and sculptural heritage. Begin at the modern town before exploring significant sites like the Temple of Trajan, Hellenistic Barracks and Tower, Palaces, Library, and Temple of Athena. Delight in the ancient theatre, Temple of Dionysus, and the majestic Altar of Zeus. Visit Asclepion, a famed ancient therapeutic center, and the Red Church, which served both as a temple to Serapis and as one of the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse of St. John. After visiting these sites, the tour ends with a stop at the local Archaeological Museum before the transfer back to your hotel in Kusadasi.

  • Overnight in Kusadasi
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Efe Boutique Hotel OR Neopol Hotel Deluxe OR Derici Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 6: Ephesus Tour – Flight from Izmir to Kayseri/Nevsehir

After breakfast at your hotel around 8:30 am, your tour guide will meet you to commence your full-day tour of Ephesus. You will explore the ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city known for its historical significance. Your itinerary includes visits to the Temple of Hadrian, the Great Theater, and the Trajan Fountain.

Following lunch, you will visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where it is believed she spent her last years. The tour will also take you past the Temple of Artemis, although there’s little remaining of what was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your next stop will be the Isa Bey Mosque.

Later, you will be taken to the Sirince Village, an old Greek village acclaimed for its scenic beauty and wine production. Here, you will have an hour to explore on your own, taste local foods and wines, and visit various small traditional village shops.

After the tour ends, you will be transported to Izmir Airport for your flight to either Kayseri or Nevsehir, with a layover in Istanbul. Upon arriving at your destination airport, a representative holding a sign with your name will greet you and facilitate your transfer to the hotel in Cappadocia.

  • Overnight in Cappadocia
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Heaven Cave House OR Zula Cave House OR Dedeli Konak Cave Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 7: North Cappadocia Tour

After breakfast, prepare to be picked up from your hotel at around 9:30 am. You will join a full-day tour that takes you through the highlights of North Cappadocia.

Your first stop will be Devrent Valley, also known as the “Imagination Valley”. Here, you will marvel at unique rock formations, shaped by nature into an intriguing lunar landscape. Let your imagination roam as you interpret the shapes of these geological curiosities.

Next, you will proceed to Pasabag Valley or Monks Valley. This location is famous for its iconic fairy chimneys – tall, cone-shaped rock formations that have been naturally sculpted by centuries of erosion. Take time to explore and appreciate the beauty of this unique geological phenomenon.

The tour will then take you to the city of Avanos. Known for its time-honored tradition of pottery-making, you’ll have the opportunity to visit a pottery workshop and witness local artisans breathing life into clay.

Following Avanos, you will enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at a local restaurant. As you savor delicious traditional Turkish cuisine, take in the breathtaking views of the Cappadocian landscape.

After lunch, your journey continues to the Zelve Open Air Museum. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was one of the earliest monastic settlements in Cappadocia and was inhabited until 1952. You’ll have the chance to explore rock-cut dwellings and churches and learn about the region’s rich history.

Finally, towards the end of the day tour before returning to your hotel, you will have around 15 minutes to take panoramic pictures of the natural castles of Uchisar.

After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at approximately 4:00 pm. The rest of the day will be at leisure.

  • Overnight in Cappadocia
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Heaven Cave House OR Zula Cave House OR Dedeli Konak Cave Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 8: South Cappadocia Tour – Return Flight to Istanbul

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel around 9:30 am to start your full-day tour of South Cappadocia.

Your day starts with a visit to the enchanting Red Valley, known for its fiery-hued rock formations that give the valley its name. Take a walk in this surreal landscape and take in the captivating geological formations.

Following the Red Valley, you will venture to the equally beautiful Rose Valley, also known as Gulludere Vadisi. This area is famous for its varied tones of pink and red, which are most prominent during sunset. Be prepared for some fantastic views and photo opportunities.

Next, you will explore Cavusin Village. Here you will witness traditional cave houses and age-old churches that give you a unique perspective on local history and lifestyle.

Around noon, you will enjoy a lunch break at a local restaurant. Relish a variety of traditional Turkish dishes while you take in the stunning landscape that surrounds you.

After lunch, the tour will lead you to the Pigeon Valley, also known as Guvercinlik Vadisi. Here, numerous pigeon houses carved into the rocks will be a fascinating sight. Historically, these pigeon houses were used to gather guano, which was used as a natural fertilizer in vineyards.

The final stop of the day takes you underground, to either the Kaymakli Underground City or Ozkonak Underground City. The choice depends on local conditions. You will explore this network of tunnels, rooms, stables, and chapels, created by early Christians as a refuge during times of persecution.

At the end of the tour, you will be driven to either Kayseri or Nevsehir airport for your late evening flight back to Istanbul. Upon arriving in Istanbul, you will be welcomed at the airport and provided with a transfer to your hotel, where you will stay overnight.

  • Overnight in Istanbul
  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
  • Accommodation: Antea Hotel OR Muyan Suites OR Deluxe Golden Horn Hotel or similar (Standard quality)

Day 9: Departure from Istanbul – End of Tour Service

After breakfast, you will check out from your hotel in Istanbul (hotel check-out is before 12:00 noon) and will then be transferred to the Istanbul International Airport according to your flight details. This will be the end of our tour and services.

  • Included Meal(s): Breakfast

INCLUDED in the Tour Price:

  • All transfers mentioned in this itinerary, including arrivals and departures.
  • Domestic flight tickets (from Istanbul to Izmir, Izmir to Kayseri, and Kayseri to Istanbul) as specified in the itinerary.
  • Tours and activities as outlined in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation for 3 nights in Istanbul at Special Class or 4-Star Hotels, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Accommodation for 1 night in Pamukkale at a 4-Star hotel, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in Kusadasi at a 4-Star hotel, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in Cappadocia at a cave hotel, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Services of a professional licensed English-speaking guide during the tours.
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch).
  • All entrance fees are as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Local taxes and service charges.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • International Flight Tickets.
  • Visa to enter Turkey.
  • Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride.
  • Optional tours mentioned in the program, they will be provided at an additional cost.
  • Services not mentioned in the program.
  • Drinks with meals.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).

IMPORTANT INFO:

  • The order of the itinerary is indicative and subject to change, but all visits described will take place.
  • 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.
  • Vegetarian lunch option available upon request.
  • For 1 traveler: 1 Single Room Accommodation
  • For 2 travelers: 1 Double/Twin Room Accommodation
  • For 3 travelers: 1 Triple Room Accommodation
  • For 4 travelers: 2 Double/Twin Rooms Accommodation
  • For 5 travelers: 1 Double/Twin Room and 1 Triple Room Accommodation
  • 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.
  • Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday, it will be replaced with the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici).
  • Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday.
  • During religious holidays, the spice market and Grand Bazaar are closed.
  • On flights luggage allowance is 15 kg per person for checked in luggage. For carry-on, you can take up to 8 kg per person. One carry-on is allowed per person.

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