Make the Most of Your Time in Turkey

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Hagia Sofia mosque, Istanbul
How Many Days to Spend in Turkey

Turkey is a huge country, so unless you have 3 weeks or more, it’s wise not to spread yourself too thin. How long to spend will depend on whether you’re on a quick, history-packed jaunt to tick off blockbuster sights or a more leisurely see-it-all sojourn lasting weeks or longer. Read on for recommended itineraries for visits from 4 days to 4 weeks.

Take in the unique sights of famed Pamukkale, a great natural wonder of Turkey
Map of 5 Days in Turkey - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Turkey - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas

A five-day tour of Turkey is enough time to discover Istanbul's highlights and visit ancient ruins dating to the Bronze Age. But those aren't your only options—you could also embark on a wine tour through Thrace, a grape-growing haven since the 3rd century BCE. And you certainly don't want to miss a trip to Cappadocia and its enchanting lunar valleys or a quick stop at the Pamukkale hot springs to soak in Roman baths.

Facade of the ancient Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey
Map of 1 Week in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With seven days in Turkey, you can experience the best of the country's highlights on a classic tour of Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Izmir. Alternatively, take a deep dive into Turkey's vast history, both ancient and modern, on a voyage down the Aegean Coast that takes you from World War I battle sites to Roman ruins. Tea lovers will discover the best of Turkish blends on a cross-country trip showcasing Turkey's tea gardens and plantations, along with breathtaking natural scenery.

Map of 10 Days in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days, you can mix and match adventures to create the perfect vacation in Turkey. A highlights tour will take you from the Ottoman monuments of Istanbul to the fairy tale valleys of Cappadocia and down to the sun-kissed Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Make a road trip out of it; visit ancient cities that predate the Bronze Age, and follow that with hikes around more "modern" archeological sites from the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine eras.

Sail high above Turkey's iconic Cappadocia on a sunrise hot air balloon tour
Map of 2 Weeks in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Turkey - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

Two weeks in Turkey gives you carte blanche to explore high and low, from the historic streets of Istanbul to the lunar valleys of Cappadocia to the sun-kissed Turquoise Coast. You can even take a road trip to historic sights that includes the ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, and legendary Troy. Round out your holiday with relaxing soaks in natural thermal pools, tour World War I battlefields, and hike the scenic Lycian Way.