This star-studded adventure will span the best of both ancient and present-day Western Turkey, beginning along the mighty Bosphorus in the country’s cultural capital: Istanbul. Wind your way through the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapı Palace, the Blue Mosque and the majestic Hagia Sofia, and take in spectacular, shifting views of the storied city’s hills on a cruise down the channel and deep up the Golden Horn to sip tea atop Pierre Loti Hill. Further echoes of glorious pasts await en route to magical Cappadocia, where you’ll admire the jaw-dropping landscape of chiselled fairy chimneys from a hot balloon and set out on a splendid hike through the sublime, enchanting Ihlara Valley. End with an exploration of the wonders of Pamukkale: quaint mountain villages, spectacular Roman remnants and blinding white travertine pools.
This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.
Your adventure starts upon arrival to Istanbul International Airport. Set sail on the Bosphorus strait and cruise along the Golden Horn as you marvel at the iconic land marks of Istanbul as well as the shorelines of Europe and Asia.
Spend the rest of the day at leisure as you stroll along the Roman Hippodrome and old city streets.
Discover the wonders of Istanbul, starting with Hagia Sophia, one of the most iconic and historically significant buildings in the world, and Topkapi Palace, which served as the primary residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans for nearly four centuries
Marvel at the beautiful blue Iznik tiles that adorn the interior walls of the Blue Mosque. Visit the under ground Basilica Cistern which served as a crucial water supply reservoir for the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) built in the 6thcentury.
Explore Istanbul further at your own leisure. You might like to visit Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest bazaars in Turkey, with its 3,600 shops spread over a labyrinth of 60 narrow streets.
Transfer to the airport for your on going journey to Cappadocia.
An hot-air balloon adventure awaits you in the early morning. Gently drift over and between fairy chimneys, pigeon houses hewn into the unique rock formatios, orchards and vineyards on this flight.
Continue onto an exploration of the landscapes of Cappadocia - Uchisar Castle, Dervent Valley and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goreme Open Air Museum, which showcases its unique rock-cut churches, chapels, monasteries and dwellings from an ancient monastic complex curved into the soft volcanic rock.
Kaymakli is one of the most well-preserved and accessible underground cities in Cappadocia. Walk along the path of Ihlara Valley, a deep narrow gorge known for its dramatic rock formations, soaring cliffs and lush greenery – a picturesque and tranquil destination for nature lovers.
Learn more about caravanserais – crucial structures along the historical trade route known as the Silk Road, providing shelter, food, protection to merchants, travellers and their animals. Climb to the Selime Monastery when you visit the village of Selime, which is carved into the natural rock formation surrounding the village.
Free at leisure till your transfer to the airport to Izmir, followed by a transfer to Kusadasi. Check-in to your hotel after a day of travel.
Venture to Alacati, a charming seaside town on the Aegean Sea in Western Turkey, famous for its picturesque streets, historical architecture and sandy beaches. This historical town is known for its traditional stone houses with colourful wooden shutters and narrow streets.
Visit the willmills and explore Urla Art Street.
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Ephesus is an ancient Greek and Roman city, well-preserved and significantly archaeological sites in the world. The ruins offer a glimpse into the city’s ancient past, and features notable structures, including the Library of Celsus, the Great Theatre, the Archaeological Museum to name a few. Transfer to Sirince.
Begin with take a tour of the fishing village of Sirince, a traditional Anatolian village that has retained much of its historical architecture and charm, with architecture styles reflecting a mixture of Ottoman and Greek.
Continue towards Pamukkale via Aphrodisias. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017, the site offers a fascinating journey back in time to explore the art, architecture and culture of an ancient city that flourished during the Greek and Roman periods.
A day of exploration around around the city of Pamukkale awaits, beginning with Hierapolis, an ancient and important city in antiquity, known for its hot springs, healing waters and impressive Roman ruins. The mineral-rich waters created terraces of white mineral deposits, forming the famous travertine of Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Others include the ancient temple of Apollo, the public square and market place of Agora, and Necropolis;a large cemetery and burial ground, offering a valuable glimpse into ancient times and their practices surrounding death and burial.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Istanbul, Cappodocia, Izmir, Alacati, Sirince, Ephesis, Pamukkale
April – May (Spring) and Sept – October (Autumn)
USD5,900 / pax based on double or twin sharing, on a private basis. Price excludes International flights.
This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.