With 13 days in Turkey, you can hit the highlights at a slower pace or delve deeper into your interests with a more focused itinerary. Foodies can taste street eats in Istanbul and learn to cook with a stone oven in Cappadocia. History buffs should check off numerous archaeological sites like Troy, Ephesus, and Aspendos. Active travelers can hike amid Love Valley's rock formations and tackle a section of the Lycian Way, while the Turquoise Coast beckons to those looking for a relaxed adventure on land and sea.

Itinerary #1: Historic Turkey Highlights: Cappadocia, Antalya, Kas, Pamukkale & Istanbul

With a balance of adventure and indulgence, this well-rounded highlights itinerary is a crowd-pleaser, suited to history buffs, nature lovers, and wellness travelers alike. You'll hike in Cappadocia's Love Valley, tour Antalya by e-bike, take a boat to the sunken ruins of Kekova, visit the ruins of Termessos, and soak in the Pamukkale hot springs. Learn about Ottoman life on a walking tour of İstanbul's Sultanahmet district, lose yourself amid the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar, and reset with a spa treatment in a historic hammam. 

Start your trip by spending three nights in the historic Cappadocia region
Start your trip with three nights in the Cappadocia region
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kayseri, Transfer to Uçhisar in Cappadocia Uçhisar 
Day 2 Visit the Göreme Open Air Museum, Love Valley Hike Uçhisar 
Day 3 Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Explore the Kaymaklı Underground City Uçhisar 
Day 4 Transfer to Antalya via Konya & the Aspendos Theater Antalya
Day 5 E-Bike Tour of Antalya, Explore the Ancient Ruins of Termessos Antalya
Day 6 Road Trip to Kaş via Yanartaş & Myra Kaş 
Day 7 Boat to Kaleköy & the Sunken Ruins of Kekova or Hike to Phellos Kaş 
Day 8 Transfer to Pamukkale via the Ancient City of Xanthos Pamukkale
Day 9 Relax in the Travertines of Pamukkale, Visit Hierapolis, Fly to İstanbul İstanbul
Day 10 Explore the Vibrant City of İstanbul by Foot  İstanbul
Day 11 Guided Tour of Sultanahmet & the Grand Bazaar İstanbul
Day 12 Boat Cruise in the Bosphorus Strait, Relax at the Hürrem Sultan Hammam İstanbul
Day 13 Depart İstanbul  

Start with a transfer from Kayseri's airport to Uçhisar, your base for exploring Cappadocia. Visit the rock-cut churches of the Göreme Open Air Museum and hike among the "fairy chimney" formations in Love Valley. Rise early the next day for a sunrise hot-air balloon ride, then learn about those who fled religious persecution in the Kaymaklı Underground City. Hit the road toward the coast next, stopping by the Mevlana Museum en route to see artifacts and writings of the famous philosopher Rumi. Arrive in Antalya, and hop on an e-bike through the Old Town before touring the theater ruins of Termessos.

Check out the myth-shrouded flames at Yanartaş (Burning Rock), then continue along the coast to Kaş, where you can take a boat to Kaleköy to spy the Sunken Ruins of Kekova or hike to the Lycian sarcophagi at Phellos. Your next stop is Pamukkale for a soak in the mineral-rich hot springs before you catch a flight to İstanbul. Here, you'll hear about Ottoman royal life at Topkapı Palace, view the European side of the city from the top of Galata Tower, and unwind with a spa treatment at Hürrem Sultan Hammam, where the marble and intricately tiled interior offers an oasis of calm before departure. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Turkish Food & Culture Tour: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Alacati, Sirince & Bodrum

Travelers craving a culinary-themed experience should opt for this Turkish food and culture tour. Highlights include a street food experience and folk performance in İstanbul, a stone oven baking class in Cappadocia, a whirling dervish performance in Avanos, and wine tasting at Urlice Vineyards. Step into the ancient world with a visit to Ephesus, then wind down with a seafood dinner in coastal Bodrum and the option to spend time at Selia Artisanal Farm or take a boat to the hot springs at Black Island.

Sample delicious Turkish food on this 13-day itinerary
Sample popular Turkish dishes on this culinary journey
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in İstanbul, Dinner at Tuğra Restaurant İstanbul
Day 2 Cruise Along the Bosphorus, Enjoy a Folk Performance & Belly Dance İstanbul
Day 3 Guided Tour of Sultanahmet & Grand Bazaar, Try Fasulye & Kebabs İstanbul
Day 4 Street Food Tour of Eminönü & Kadıköy İstanbul
Day 5 Fly to Cappadocia, Lunch & Cooking Class, Whirling Dervish Show Cappadocia
Day 6 Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Regional Tour, Dinner at Seki Restaurant Cappadocia
Day 7 Visit Kaymaklı Underground City & Ihlara Valley, Dinner at Lil'a Restaurant Cappadocia
Day 8 Fly to İzmir, Visit Urlice Vineyards, Transfer to Alaçati  Alaçatı
Day 9 Explore the Ephesus Region, Transfer to Şirince Şirince
Day 10 Transfer to Bodrum via Lake Bafa, Dinner at Orfoz Restaurant Bodrum
Day 11 Bodrum City Tour, Visit Selia Artisanal Farm or Boat to Black Island Bodrum
Day 12 Fly to İstanbul, Free Time, Hammam Experience, Dinner at Sofyalı 9 İstanbul
Day 13 Depart İstanbul  

Enjoy views over the Bosphorus Strait while you get your first taste of kebabs, baklava, and other Turkish cuisine at Tuğra Restaurant. Attend a folk performance, then haggle for souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar before sitting down to savor fasulye (white beans in tomato sauce with rice) at Suleymaniye Kurufasulyecisi. Catch a flight to Cappadocia next, where you'll bake bread in a stone oven and marvel at the meditative movements of a whirling dervish ritual in Avanos. Cap off your time in Cappadocia with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys and a farm-to-table meal at Lil'a Restaurant.

Next, fly to İzmir for a wine tasting at Urlice Vineyards, followed by muska börek (layered pastry filled with cheese, meat, or potatoes) and other Aegean dishes in Alaçatı. The following day, walk the marble roads of ancient Ephesus before visiting Can Carpets in Çamlık to learn about traditional carpet making. Your driver will whisk you away to Lake Bafa for some bird-watching, and then bring you to Bodrum for a seafood dinner at Orfoz Restaurant. On your final full day, you can opt for an artisanal farm visit or a boat ride to Black Island for a dip in the hot springs before returning to İstanbul. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Ancient History & Heritage in Turkey: From Istanbul to Antalya

Packed with archaeological treasures and UNESCO-listed sites, this history and heritage trip is perfect for travelers interested in Turkey's ancient past. You'll keep a fairly quick pace as you visit some of the most significant historical places, including İstanbul's Hagia Sophia, the legendary ruins of Troy, the Celsus Library in Ephesus, the Roman spa city of Hierapolis, and one of the world's best-preserved Roman theaters at Aspendos. You'll also have time to cruise the Bosphorus Strait, sip wine at Yedi Bilgeler Vineyard, sample seafood in the harbor town of Babakale, and hike in Mount Gulluk National Park.

Discover the well-preserved theater in the ruins of Termessos
Visit the well-preserved theater in the ruins of Termessos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in İstanbul, Relax at Hurrem Sultan Hammam İstanbul
Day 2 Guided Tour of Sultanahmet, the City's Historic District İstanbul
Day 3 Explore the Eminönü District, Boat Tour on the Bosphorus Strait İstanbul
Day 4 Visit the İstanbul Archaeological Museum, Transfer to Çanakkale Çanakkale
Day 5 Discover the Ancient Ruins of Troy & Assos, Transfer to Adatepe Adatepe
Day 6 Transfer to Bergama, Tour the Ancient Ruins of Pergamon Bergama
Day 7 Transfer to Şirince, Wine Tasting at Yedi Bilgeler Vineyard Şirince
Day 8 Explore the Ancient Ruins of Ephesus & the House of the Virgin Mary Şirince
Day 9 Transfer to Pamukkale, Discover the Travertines of Pamukkale & Hierapolis Pamukkale
Day 10 Transfer to Antalya, Guided Tour of Kaleiçi, Visit the Archaeological Museum Antalya
Day 11 See the Roman Theater of Aspendos & the Ancient City of Perge Antalya
Day 12 Visit the Ruins of Termessos, Explore Mount Gulluk National Park  Antalya
Day 13 Depart Antalya  

Ease into your journey with a refreshing spa experience within the Ottoman-era Hürrem Sultan Hammam in İstanbul. After a good night's rest, set out on a walking tour of historic sites on the city's Asian side, including the Blue Mosque, named for the blue-hued tiles you'll find lining the interior. Grab some tasty gifts to bring back to loved ones, such as dried fruits and Turkish spices, as you stroll through the Spice Bazaar on İstanbul's European side, then give your feet a rest with a boat ride along the Bosphorus. Next, your driver will take you to Troy to wander amid the crumbling ancient city walls and temples.

Continue your historical tour with a stop at Assos, where Aristotle taught, and a walk along Pergamon's colonnaded street. Then it's on to Şirince, your base for wine tasting at Yedi Bilgeler Vineyard and a tour of Ephesus that includes time to browse the excavated items at Ephesus Archaeological Museum. Pause for a soak in Pamukkale's hot springs and a visit to Hierapolis, an ancient Roman spa city, before heading to Antalya. Take a tour of historic Kaleiçi, starting at Hadrian's Gate, then wrap up your trip with a hike in Mount Gulluk National Park and a visit to the Greco-Roman ruins of Aspendos. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Explore Turkey's Turquoise Coast by Land & Water

This scenic Turquoise Coast itinerary is a match for those looking to pair historical sites and culinary experiences on land with relaxed adventures at sea. After sampling street food in İstanbul, touring the ruins of Ephesus and Herakleia, and browsing the shipwreck artifacts at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum, you'll set sail on a four-day sailing cruise with options for shipwreck diving and lagoon swimming. You'll also have the chance to stay in a treehouse hotel in Çıralı, see the temples and tombs of Herakleia, eat home-cooked olive oil-based dishes in Kapıkırı, and picnic at Manavgat Falls. 

Take a four-day cruise along Turkey's sparkling coastline
Take a four-day cruise along Turkey's coast
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in İstanbul, Self-Guided Exploration İstanbul
Day 2 Fly to İzmir, Transfer to Selçuk via Vineyard Tour Alaçatı
Day 3 Transfer to Kuşadası via Çamlık & Ephesus Kuşadası 
Day 4 Transfer to Bodrum via Lake Bafa Nature Park Bodrum
Day 5 Historical Tour of Bodrum, Free Time to Explore Bodrum
Day 6 Transfer to Fethiye, Explore a Port City on the Turquoise Coast Fethiye
Day 7 Start Your Four-Day Gulet Cruise, Optional Paragliding Excursion St. Nicholas Island
Day 8 Cruise to Kaş & Explore, Optional Scuba Diving Excursion Kaş 
Day 9 Cruise to Kekova, Admire Dolchiste & Explore Kalekoy Kekova Island
Day 10 Disembark the Gulet, Transfer to the Hidden Paradise of Çıralı Çıralı
Day 11 Free Day in Çıralı, Join a Jeep Safari or Climb Yanartaş  Çıralı
Day 12 Transfer to Antalya, Visit the Ancient Ruins of Perge & Aspendos Antalya
Day 13 Depart Antalya  

On arrival in İstanbul, you'll have free time to visit Byzantine and Ottoman-era landmarks in the Sultanahmet district, shop for souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar, and snack on dürüm (Turkish wraps filled with meat, vegetables, herbs, and spices) and other street food. The next morning, fly to Izmir, where your guide will be waiting to take you to a local vineyard for wine and pizza. En route to coastal Kuşadası, stop by Ephesus to admire the Great Theater and other preserved ruins of the ancient city. Next, you'll see the temples and tombs of Herakleia and eat olive oil-based dishes at Agora Pension in Kapıkırı.

Continue to Bodrum and tour the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, then check out the shipwreck artifacts collection at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. In the morning, you're off to Fethiye, where you'll board a four-day Turquoise Coast cruise that includes options to swim in the Ölüdeniz blue lagoon and scuba dive near Kaş. Disembark in Üçağız and transfer to your treehouse hotel in Çıralı, where you can choose a Jeep safari in Olympos National Park or a climb up Mount Chimaera. Celebrate your adventure with a picnic at Manavgat Falls. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Turkey Active Adventure: Cappadocia, Antalya, Kas & Adrasan

Pack your hiking boots and your sense of adventure for this active Turkey trip. Perfect for energetic outdoor enthusiasts, this itinerary will take you through the whimsical rock formations of Cappadocia to archaeological sites and villages along the legendary Lycian Way trail. As you trek through Turkey, you'll also get a taste of local history, culture, and cuisine with a traditional Turkish cooking class in Uçhisar and visits to significant sites like the Kaymaklı Underground City and Sultanhani Caravanserai, an important stop on the Silk Road.

Hike different parts of the Lycian Way
Hike a portion of the ancient the Lycian Way
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Uçhisar, Cooking Class, Visit the Valleys of Avcılar & Paşabağ  Uçhisar
Day 2 Hot-Air Balloon Ride, Visit an Open Air Museum, Hike Across Love Valley Uçhisar
Day 3 Visit Kaymaklı Underground City, Hike Through the Ihlara Valley Uçhisar
Day 4 Transfer to Antalya via Konya & Aspendos Theater Antalya
Day 5 Guided Tour of Antalya's Old Town, Boat Trip from the Old Harbor Antalya
Day 6 Transfer to Kaş via Chimaera & Myra Kaş 
Day 7 Hike from the Ancient City of Phellos to Kaş Kaş 
Day 8 Hike to Üçağız, Stopping at Apollonia & Aperlai Kaş 
Day 9 Boat Tour to Kaleköy & the Sunken Ruins of Kekova, Bus to Adrasan Adrasan
Day 10 Hike to Gelidonya Lighthouse Adrasan
Day 11 Hike to the Olympos Ruins via Musa Dağı  Adrasan
Day 12 Trek to the Olympos Valley, Bus to Antalya Antalya
Day 13 Trek to the Summit of Mount Tahtalı, Depart Antalya  

Begin in Uçhisar, where a local family will teach you to make manti (Turkish dumplings in a spicy sauce) or other traditional dishes. Rise early the following morning for a hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia's otherworldly landscape, then get a closer look at the rock formations on a hike through Love Valley. You'll also have the opportunity to see Selime Monastery, a rock-cut construction with a cathedral-sized church dating back to the eighth or ninth century BCE, on a trek through Ihlara Valley. En route to Antalya, you'll visit Sultanhani Caravanserai, a 13th-century shelter for those who traveled the Silk Road.

A boat trip from Antalya's old harbor takes you to secluded coves and the Düden Waterfall before your transfer to Kaş. Walk a section of the Lycian Way from the ancient city of Phellos to a viewpoint overlooking the Bay of Kaş. The following day, trek another part of the ancient route from the archaeological site of Apollonia, where you'll find sarcophagi and mosaics. Then, catch a bus to Adrasan for a hike along the cliffs to the Gelidonya Lighthouse. End your adventure on a high note with a trek and cable car ride up Mount Tahtalı for views of the Taurus Mountains and Antalya's bay. Learn more

More Great Turkey Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Turkey? Check out these other Turkey itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 13 Days in Turkey - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 13 Days in Turkey - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas