See historical highlights in Istanbul and a geological wonderland in Cappadocia, central Turkey on this memorable five-day tour of some of Turkey’s most impressive sights. Stroll the beautifully arranged streets of Istanbul and visit the fascinating Topkapi Palace, used by the Ottoman Sultans, admire the famous Blue Mosque, a unique piece of architecture built for Sultan Ahmet I, and catch a glimpse of the magnificent ancient Hippodrome. Then, continue your adventure in Cappadocia, with the spectacular Goreme open-air museum, the lunar landscape of the different rock formations in Devrent Valley and the highest point of Cappadocia, Uchisar rock castle, where you have the chance to enjoy a panoramic view of the valleys below.
Istanbul: Served as a capital city to the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, this Euro-Asian city never fails to enthral, with its beautiful buildings in the old city of Sultanahmet overlooking the Bosphorus strait which separates the city between Europe and Asia. You can find anything you might be looking for and more in Istanbul.
Cappadocia: The Ancient region in central Anatolia, situated on the rugged plateau north of the Taurus Mountains, in the centre of present-day Turkey boasts a lunar-landscape and early Christain churches carved out of volcanic rock.
- Local guides. Licensed English or Spanish- speaking tour guide
- Four nights accommodation in 4* hotel on a bed and breakfast basis
- Breakfast as per itinerary
- Three lunches: on day 2, 3, 4
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary: Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, ancient Hippodrome, Old Istanbul, the Yerebatan Underground Cistern, Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Sahinefendi (Sobesos), Keslik Monastery, Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), Saruhan Caravanserai, Pasabag, Goreme open-air museum, Uchisar rock castle in Cappadocia
- Modern air-conditioned vehicles
- Local airport transfers as mentioned in itinerary
- Arrival airport transfer from Istanbul.
- All applicable government taxes and fees
- Meet and greet on day 1 and day 3.
- International and domestic flights
- Meals other than specified in itinerary
- Optional excursions and activities.
- Day 3: Istanbul – Cappadocia flight is not included and our recommendation is to book a flight prior to 7:00 hrs.
- Day 5: Late arrival in Cappadocia. If you are booking onward flights, it is recommended not to book a flight prior to 11:00 hrs.
- St Sophia Museum is closed on Mondays
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays
- The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is closed on Sundays
- Please note that local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice.
What do I need to bring?
Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting religious or official buildings in Turkey. Shoes should be removed before entering a mosque or private house. Sun protection, sun glasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-2 Istanbul:
- Superior Hotel Category = Dosso Dossi Old City hotel or similar 4*
Day 3 – 4 Cappadocia:
- Superior Hotel Category = Maze of Cappadocia Hotel or similar 4*
Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL ISTANBUL
Arrive at Istanbul airport where a representative will meet and greet you before you are transferred to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, relaxing in the hotel or exploring the surroundings or, depending on your arrival time, join an optional Bosphorus Cruise Tour. The one hour shared boat cruise departs from and returns to Ortaköy on the European side of the Bosphorus. It sails north as far as the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge then turns and heads back passing old towns along the waterfront such as Arnavutköy, Bebek, Aşiyan and Kandilli and historic sites like the Rümeli and Anatolian Fortresses. The tour includes your hotel pick-up and drop-off. The optional activity is not included. .
Overnight in hotel in Istanbul on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
Day 2 : ISTANBUL
Indulge in a delicious breakfast at the hotel and prepare for an early meeting with your guide. Today, the tour begins with a visit to Topkapi Palace, which was used by the Ottoman Sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. Here you will see the impressive collection of priceless jewels, crystal, silver and porcelain, robes worn by the sultan, and relics of the prophet Mohammed. Stop for a tasty lunch and then see the Blue Mosque, a unique piece of architecture with its six minarets built for Sultan Ahmet I, featuring 20,000 beautiful blue Iznik tiles. Afterwards, enjoy a visit to the ancient Hippodrome where you will see the Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and the German Fountain of Wilhelm II. Continue with strolling the back streets of Old Istanbul and visiting the Yerebatan underground Cistern. At the end of the tour, we will have time to wander around the Grand Bazaar.
Overnight in hotel in Istanbul on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Lunch included.
Day 3 : ISTANBUL – CAPPADOCIA (780 KM – 1.5 HRS FLIGHT)
Early morning departure from your hotel and transfer to Istanbul Airport to catch your flight to Cappadocia. On arrival at the airport in Cappadocia, your driver will wait to greet you outside the arrival gate, with a sign bearing your name. Transfer to your hotel for a short rest before the start of this mesmerising tour. Begin your tour at one of the region’s famous Underground Cities, used by the early Christian settlers to hide from invading armies and containing narrow passages, storage rooms, as well as wine and oil presses all on various levels going deep underground. We then continue to Sahinefendi (Sobesos), an ancient city discovered recently (2002), where can be seen the remains of chapels, graves, a hammam, and huge meeting hall with mosaics belonging to the Roman period. The villages in this area are surrounded by ‘table top’ mountains and the scenery is spectacular. The tour then moves on to Keslik Monastery near Cemil, where the frescoes are hidden behind a very thin layer of smoke which we can only see by torchlight. Enjoy a pleasant lunch break before moving on to Mustafapaşa (Sinasos). Once inhabited by Greeks, the town has picturesque, old Greek houses displaying fine examples of the previous settlements and architecture. Then, we continue to Saruhan Caravanserai, a roadside inn where travellers used to rest and recover from the day’s journey. These Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce, information and people across a network of trade routes of Asia, North Africa and South-Eastern Europe on the legendary Silk Spice roads. In the evening, return to your selected hotel. Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia is not included.
Overnight in hotel in Cappadocia on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Lunch included.
Day 4 : CAPPADOCIA
Today, after a delicious breakfast, the guide will meet you at the hotel. Begin by admiring the rock formations of Devrent Valley which has a lunar landscape and is like a journey into the past with its troglodyte houses. Next, we visit Pasabag home of the ‘fairy chimneys’ where the voice of the wind mixes with the ‘songs of fairies’ near Zelve. A tasty lunch is served in Avanos, a town by the banks of the Red River, which has been the centre of terra cotta work since 3,000 BC. Attend a fascinating demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop in this beautiful town. Then, head towards the famous Goreme Open-air Museum to see impressive examples of Byzantine art in the form of frescoes and paintings in the rock-cut churches dating from the 10th to 13th century. The last stop of the tour is Uchisar Rock Castle to have a panoramic view of the region.
Overnight in hotel in Cappadocia on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Lunch included.
Day 5 : DEPART CAPPADOCIA
Begin your day with a rich breakfast before you are picked up and transferred to the airport to continue with your travel arrangements.