Priced From $2,140
8 Days | 7 Nights
7-night accommodation at hotels in Istanbul (4 nights) and Cappadocia (3 nights)
Transportation in air conditioned vehicles
Professional English-speaking guide
Sightseeing excursions mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees to museums and sites mentioned in the itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul! Favored as a must-see by travelers from all over the world, this historically rich city boasts a breathtaking skyline of ancient domes and minarets. After de-boarding the plane and going through customs, collect your luggage and meet your driver just outside the luggage hall.
Transfer to the 10 Karakoy hotel in Istanbul followed by a free evening to enjoy dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 2: Old City Tour
After breakfast at the hotel, depart with your personal guide to explore the Old City starting at Seraglio Point. See the famous Hippodrome, a public gathering space where chariot races, gladiator games, and official ceremonies took place. Next, witness the beautiful Iznik tiles covering the interior of the Blue Mosque followed by a visit to Hagia Sophia church.
James Bond fans will recognize the Basilica Cistern as the underground water palace Bond paddled across in the film From Russia with Love. You won’t be able to spy on the Russian Embassy, but you can marvel at the underground chamber that has been restored to its original splendor.
Your Old City tour ends with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. Explore every corner of Ottoman architecture as your guide takes you through the palace’s many pavilions, courtyards, and gardens. Return to hotel for the evening and leisure time.
Evening Optional Excursion: Ayasofya Hamam Turkish bathhouse
Treat yourself to an authentic Turkish bath experience. The suggested “Pir-i Pak” service includes a pampering steam bath, peeling, and soap massage. Duration: 30 minutes.
Day 3: Bazaars and Boat Ride
Awaken your senses with a visit to the aromatic Spice Bazaar. Browse spices, herbs, and souvenirs before heading to the pier to board the ferry that cruises the Bosphorus strait. Bordered on one side by Europe and the other by Asia, floating down the waterway exposes amazing photo opportunities as you pass marble palaces, ancient wooden villas, and more.
Disembark on the European side of Istanbul and begin a walking tour of the Pera neighborhood. Home to many boutiques, cozy cafes, and glittering nightclubs, Pera is recognized as the “chic” part of Istanbul. Galata Tower offers a great view of the whole neighborhood. Afterwards, flex your artistic eye at the Istanbul Modern, Turkey’s first museum of modern and contemporary art. Return to the hotel and enjoy leisure time.
Evening Optional Excursion: See a Whirling Dervish performance at the Galata Whirling Dervish Hall (subject to availability).
Day 4: Sightseeing in Istanbul
Enjoy breakfast followed by a drive to the Theodosian Walls, defensive stone walls built in the 5th century to protect Istanbul from land and sea attacks. Nearby, the Chora Museum dazzles you with its intricate mosaics depicting scenes from Christ’s life. Sightseeing continues at the grand Suleymaniye Mosque followed by shopping at the Grand Bazaar. Located in the heart of the Old City, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest covered markets featuring 4,000 shops.
After indulging in a bit of shopping, cross the Bosphorus Bridge to the Asian side of Istanbul and visit Beylerbeyi Palace. Built as a summer residence for the sultan, the palace boasts bathing pavilions and a gorgeous reception hall with an enchanting fountain.
Top off the day with a treat at the historical Kanlica Yogurt. Described to serve “yogurt from heaven,” they’ve been churning this creamy delight since 1893. Return to your hotel with a satisfied sweet tooth.
Day 5: Istanbul to Cappadocia
Transfer to the Istanbul Airport and board the plane to Kayseri. When you arrive, head to the wondrous Cappadocia. You’ll be met with visually striking landscapes protruding with massive rock towers known as “Fairy Chimneys.” These formations have been hollowed out to harbor remarkable cave towns where locals dwell.
Explore the area, visiting places like Devrent Valley and Pasabagi, a.k.a. Monk’s Valley. Then drive to Avanos to see its renowned pottery made from the red clay residue of the Kizilirmak River. Take time for lunch before continuing to Goreme Open Air Museum and the Uchisar Rock-Castle. You’ll be given plenty of time to take pictures of the magnificent surroundings. Transfer to the Taskonaklar hotel and use free time to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6: Valleys and Castles of Cappadocia
Have breakfast at the hotel before heading to Rose Valley for a trek among the famous rock-cut churches. After your hike, take time to rest and have lunch in the old Greek village of Cavusin.
The afternoon consists of a visit to Ortahisar Castle and entering Kaymakli Underground City, where early Christians lived to avoid persecution. On the way back to the hotel, stop at Pigeon Valley, featuring panoramic views of its vineyards. Use this chance to taste genuine Cappadocia wine at a local winery before driving back to the hotel for the evening.
Evening Optional Excursion:
Fly high over the Cappadocia “moonscape” in a hot air balloon. Floating down into the valleys and over the fairy chimneys is an extraordinary experience you won’t regret.
Day 7: Cappadocia Architecture Tour
Ready yourself for a feast of architecture! After breakfast at the hotel, head to Mustafapasa. Once a large Greek town, Mustafapasa is famous for its buildings. Today, remnants of its Greek history are present in Greek mansions, churches, and the Medrese Seminary.
Follow with a visit to the Keslik Monastery, whose walls are covered by Cappadocian frescoes that were forbidden by the Byzantine Emperors at the time. Your driver then takes you to the Sobesos Excavation site where archeologists have uncovered many important artifacts. See Roman baths, tombs, and mosaics before continuing to Soganli Valley. Once the area’s third largest monastic center, the valley now boasts many cave churches and beautiful hiking trails.
Return to hotel for evening leisure time.
Evening Optional Excursion: Partake in a cooking class with a local family. This cooking class teaches cooking techniques, local dessert recipes, and gives you hands-on experience cooking Turkish foods.
Day 8: Farewell, Turkey
Enjoy leisure time around the hotel until your flight. Transfer to Kayseri Airport for your return flight to Istanbul Airport for your international flight connection.
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Price is land only per person based on double occupancy. Restrictions apply.
Straddling the Bosphorus, and with a breathtaking skyline, Istanbul is one of the most must-see places on earth. This sprawling city is full of wonders where you can admire history, culture and experience Turkish hospitality. In Cappadocia you’ll discover incredible rock formations, spectacular valleys and ancient cave churches that tell many stories beneath the surface. We can safely say that you’ll find Cappadocia to be unlike any place you’ve ever been before.
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