Istanbul | Cappadocia | Bodrum | Izmir – 10 DAYS
DAY 1 – ISTANBUL
Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will be greeted by an English-speaking guide. Your representative will help you coordinate meeting with your private driver and accompany you to the hotel.
DAY 2 – ISTANBUL
Explore the highlights of Istanbul’s storied Golden Horn on a full day tour, accompanied by a private guide and driver. Start by visiting the ornate residence of the sultans of the past, the Topkapi Palace. Marvel at its incredible architecture and opulent décor as your guide introduces you to the history of the Ottoman empire.
Continue to Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul’s most renowned structures that dominates the Golden Horn’s skyline. Enter this majestic complex and feel immediately in awe of its sheer grandeur and beauty.
Take in the intricate mosaics and tiling and let your guide explain how Hagia Sophia is an architectural reflection of the city’s fascinating past.
Next, explore the underground Basilica Cistern, the largest of the several hundred reservoirs built beneath the city to provide its inhabitants with water. Stroll through the dim colonnades and keep an eye out for the Medusa heads proudly guarding this ancient technological wonder.
Your next stop today is the Blue Mosque. Head inside and be amazed at its glorious interior and the iconic blue Iznik tiling that earned the mosque its name. Continue to the nearby Hippodrome for a glimpse at what used to be the hub of the local civic life centuries ago.
Transfer to the Chora Church, one of the most splendid examples of Byzantine architecture in Istanbul. Visit the onsite museum for an opportunity to appreciate the magnificent, Christian-inspired frescoes and mosaics. Your tour ends when you are transferred back to your hotel. (B)
DAY 3 – ISTANBUL
Experience Istanbul’s lively bazaars and explore one of the most celebrated mosques in the city on a privately guided tour. Start your day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. Accompanied by your private guide, stroll through the vibrant lanes dotted with countless shops and expose your senses to this melting pot of colors, sounds, and scents.
Watch the skillful local artisans and craftsmen work on their masterpieces and try out your bargaining skills. Continue to the Süleymaniye Mosque and enjoy a guided tour of this unmissable and majestic structure that has shaped the landscape of Istanbul for centuries.
Walk through the vast, airy interiors and keep an eye out for some of the finest examples of calligraphy in the city. Head to the adjacent gardens for a chance to appreciate stunning vistas of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.
Next, make your way to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market. Wander through this captivating marketplace with your guide and take in the myriad of sights, flavors, and aromas. Stop by numerous stalls selling fragrant herbs and decadent treats, or perhaps grab a cup of hot Çay and simply watch the local life go by.
See Istanbul’s iconic landmarks from aboard a private boat cruise, accompanied by your knowledgeable guide. Journey between two continents as you make your way down the Bosphorus straight.
Pass by old wooden mansions and posh marble palaces dotting Istanbul’s shoreline and look out for the majestic mosques of the Golden Horn with their ubiquitous minarets reaching up into the sky.
Take in the views of the old Ottoman fortresses and sail past the city’s charming neighborhoods. A cruise down the Bosphorus allows you to experience this magnificent metropolis in a whole new way. (B)
DAY 4 – ISTANBUL TO CAPPADOCIA
A private transfer will be provided from your hotel in Istanbul to the airport.
Board a flight in Istanbul with service to Cappadocia. The flight duration is approximately one hour.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will provide a transfer between the airport and your hotel.
Meet your private driver and guide for an adventure-filled day in magnificent Cappadocia.
First, visit the picturesque Devrent Valley. Take a guided walk among its peculiar, sculpture-like rock formations and understand why some call this area the ‘Imagination Valley’. Transfer to the neighboring Pasabagi Valley and spend some time exploring this geological wonder dotted with the ubiquitous fairy chimneys.
Make your way to the town of Avanos, renowned for its beautifully intricate pottery. Have lunch at a local restaurant before being driven to the Goreme Open Air Museum.
This World Heritage Site showcases some stunning examples of Byzantine art and marvelous frescos in a series of churches carved into the rocky surroundings. Let your guide introduce you to the rich history of this fascinating area as you stroll through the mystical landscape.
Your next stop is the Uchisar Castle, the highest point in the region. Take in the unmatched panoramic views of Cappadocia with Mount Erciyes proudly perched in the background.
Continue to the Pidgeon Valley, yet another natural gem of this stunning part of Turkey. Relish in its wonderful scenery and don’t forget to take plenty of photographs. Your day concludes as you are dropped off back at your hotel. (B)
DAY 5 – CAPPADOCIA
There is simply no better way to experience Cappadocia and its extraordinary landscapes than from aboard a hot air balloon. Early this morning, meet your private driver for a transfer to the launch site where you’ll join fellow adventure seekers and get an opportunity to appreciate one of the most poetic sunrises of your lifetime.
Energize on a light complimentary breakfast while your crew completes the necessary preparations before take-off. Once everyone is on board, your aircraft raises slowly into the morning sky and the magnificent vistas of Cappadocia immediately unfold in front of your eyes.
Watch dozens of balloons harmoniously lift up above the horizon in preparation for one of Nature’s greatest shows. As the sun beings its slow ascent, the warm rays light up your serene surroundings.
Glide over the sublime hills and valleys of Cappadocia and get a true sense of the region’s fairy tale terrain. After about an hour in the air, your pilot beings the gentle descent and lands the balloon.
Enjoy a glass of nonalcoholic champagne as keepsake certificates are distributed to all guests. Afterward, return to your hotel by private driver.
Spend your day getting to know the history and exploring the spectacular landscapes of Cappadocia, accompanied by your private driver and guide.
Start by making your way to Ortahisar, a natural citadel carved in rocks. Be amazed at the town’s charming stone houses that line its narrow streets and visit the natural fortress that has become an important landmark of the region.
Take in the splendid views of the famous fairy chimneys and the majestic Mount Erciyes in the background. Continue your day with a visit to one of Cappadocia’s subterranean cities, Kaymakli or Derinkuyu. Descend into the underground labyrinth and learn the fascinating story of 7th century Christians who established these dwellings in an attempt to flee persecution.
Next, transfer to Cavusin Valley for an opportunity to see the peculiar troglodyte settlements that stayed inhabited until the mid-20th century.
Break for lunch before being driven to the Red Valley. Feel as if you have been transported to another planet as you marvel at the otherworldly terrain around you. Finish off the day with a visit to the Wine House and get a better understanding why Cappadocia is famous for its fertile vineyards. Upon the conclusion of the tour, you will be dropped off back at your hotel. (B)
DAY 6 – CAPPADOCIA TO BODRUM
A private vehicle with driver and guide will provide a transfer between the airport and your hotel.
Board a flight in Cappadocia with service to Bodrum via Istanbul. Approximate travel time is four hours.
A private vehicle with driver and guide will provide a transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel. (B)
DAY 7 – BODRUM
Bodrum is a gateway to the sun-drenched Turkish Turquoise Coast. However, the city offers much more than its favorable seaside location, as it is a place where rich past is still very much alive. Today, get introduced to the history of Bodrum on a privately guided tour.
Start with a visit to the remains of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Listen to your guide speak to the past grandeur of the site and explain its story. Your next stop are the Bodrum windmills. A symbol of the region, the windmills stand proudly on top of a hill overlooking the bay. Have an opportunity to admire the vistas and be sure to take plenty of photographs.
Head to the Myndos Gate, one of the entrances of ancient Helicarnassus. It is the only surviving gate that used to be a part of the town’s walls, built by a local king in the IV century.
Continue to the Ancient Theater of Helicarnassus. This age-old structure is picturesquely perched on a hillside and offers views of the city below. Making your way into the city make a stop at Bodrum Castle, a historical fortification, built from 1402 onwards, by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium after your tour spend some free time shopping for souvenirs or conclude back to your hotel. (B)
DAY 8 – BODRUM TO IZMIR
Meet your private driver and guide for a transfer from your hotel in Bodrum to Izmir. Head north until you reach the town of Selcuk where you will embark on a fascinating tour of the Ancient City of Ephesus, considered to be one of the World’s greatest classical sites.
Take a guided walk through this vast historical metropolis surrounded by rolling hills and get an intimate insight into the Ephesian life as it was thousands of years ago.
Stroll down the Arcadian Way lined with timeworn buildings and ancient columns and visit the magnificent Antique Theatre. Stop by the Roman Baths and ponder at the striking façade of the Celcus Library. After the conclusion of the tour, continue on to Izmir where you will be dropped off at your hotel. (B)
DAY 9 – IZMIR
Enjoy a full day tour with your own private car to Pergamum. You’ll visit the Sanctuary of Asclepius, and the Pergamum Acropolis where you can find the Altar of Zeus (said to be “the place where Satan has his throne”). Other spectacular relics are the Trojan Temple, and the world’s steepest ancient theater. After the drive back to Izmir you will be transfered back to your hotel. (B)
DAY 10 – IZMIR TO ISTANBUL
A private vehicle with driver and guide will provide a transfer between the airport and the city or your hotel.
Board a flight in Izmir with service to Istanbul. The flight duration is approximately one hour. (B)
END OF TOUR