This 9-day tour will explore the diverse regions of Turkey, starting with a guided tour and a boat cruise in the vibrant city of Istanbul, discovering the famous Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman sites. Next head to the lunar-like terrain of Cappadocia where you can take a hot air balloon ride over the stunning valleys, visit a historical caravanserai, and explore the underground city of Kaymakli. After discovering Izmir and the ancient city of Ephesus, end your trip at a spa hotel near the famous white travertine terraces of Pamukkale.
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Go for the food and culture, stay for the sun and sand. Turkey offers one of the best archaeological and culinary experiences in the world—not to mention world-class beaches and sailing along its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.
Where should you go?
In the words of Napoleon, "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital." Turkey's most famous city is filled with impressive Ottoman and Byzantine sites, excellent restaurants, and maze-like bazaars—you could easily plan an entire five-day trip around it. Another must-visit is moon-like Cappadocia, where "fairy chimneys" and underground cities decorate two otherworldly valleys. Other top picks include ancient Ephesus, the mineral spas of Pamukkale, and coastal Antalya.
When is the best time to visit?
There's a Turkish destination for every season—and in fact, much of the country is enjoyable year-round. Weather is dependably good in Antalya and Izmir, along with a number of notable small towns: Fethiye, Marmaris, Göcek, and Bodrum, to name a few. If you're heading north to Istanbul, know that it can get quite cold in winter (December-March).
How many days do you need?
Nine to ten days is a great trip length for most travelers—it's enough time to cover the highlights and spend some time getting off the beaten path. Consider this classic 9-day tour that starts in Istanbul and continues to Cappadocia, Izmir, ancient Ephesus, and the white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. Or, you might combine Istanbul and Cappadocia with Konya, Antalya, and Fethiye. See more itineraries
Channeling the words of Napoleon, "If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital", this tour explores the Ottoman and Byzantine sites of the city, including the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, and Basilica Cistern. View these grandiose structures by boat by cruising along the Bosphorus Strait and the Sea of Marmara, stopping on the island of Buyukada for a peek into the posh life of the 19th century. Peruse the Spice Market, explore the hip neighborhood of Beyoğlu, and climb the Galata Tower for amazing views of the city.
This tour takes you from Turkey's bustling capital city, where you'll visit famous sites like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque by foot and by boat, to the incredibly historic inland regions. You'll attend a wine tasting, visit an olive oil museum, discover battle locations from WWI, and explore the famous ancient ruins in Ephesus, Troy, and Assos. Stroll the ancient city of Pergamon before ending your trip in the historical town of Şirince and the baby-blue mineral waters of Pamukkale, where you'll stay at a spa hotel near Hierapolis.
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