Istanbul to Cappadocia
Mosques, palaces and cities – ancient and modern | 9 days
This itinerary showcases some of Turkey’s most precious jewels. In Istanbul you’ll visit the Blue Mosque, the lavish Topkapi Palace and the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, haggle with vendors in the Grand Bazaar and cruise on the Bosphorus. There’ll be plenty of time to explore on your own too. Enjoy lush parks and waterside mansions, treat your taste buds to local specialties, and relax at the end of a busy day in a traditional hamam. Other stand-out attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Troy, the ancient city of Kusadasi and breathtaking Pamukkale as well as Cappadocia’s 13th Century Sultanhan Caravanserai, one of the Seljuk architectural masterpieces.
Day 1: Fly London to Istanbul, visit Sultanahmet Mosque, Underground Cistern, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazaar
Day 2:Istanbul – visit renowned Dolmabahce Palace and take a Bosphorus cruise
Day 3:Drive to Gallipoli and cross Dardanelles by ferry to Canakkale
Day 4:Visit Troy and the stunning Pergamon, drive to Izmir – the pearl of the Aegean
Day 5:Spend the day at the ancient city of Ephesus, drive to Pamukkale
Day 6:Visit the adjacent ruins of antique Hierapolis, drive to Konya dedicated to Rumi, the founder of the ‘Whirling Dervishes’
Day 7:Drive to Cappadocia, with a visit to the Sultanhan Caravansarai, Kaymakli Underground City, and hike in Soganli Valley.
Day 8:Cappadocia - visit Uchisar Castle and the Valley of Fairy Chimneys
Day 9:Fly to Istanbul and connect to London.
guide price £2,395 per person
Fiona’s travel tipsTOP TIP: The dark and extraordinary Basilica Cistern is a marvellously cooling and calming experience, particularly at the hottest time of the day. Beware the slippery floor and steps – I suggest sensible footwear!
DID YOU KNOW: Begun in 532 AD, it took 10,000 people nearly six years to build Hagia Sophia cathedral. It has also been a mosque and is now a museum.
BEST TIME TO GO: Mid March to mid November.
“Our guide demonstrated a fund of knowledge about the history and customs of the areas we visited. One member of our party remarked that he thought him the best guide he had ever come across, I would not disagree.”
Sir Harold and Lady Walker, Eastern Turkey