Private Tour Details
Ultimate Turkey Tour
Duration: 21 Days / 20 Nights
Destinations: Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Marmaris, Antalya, Konya, Cappadocia, Ankara, Safranbolu
Places You’ll See
Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Blue Mosque
The Spice Market
Rustem Pasha Mosque
Troy Ancient City
Library of Celsus - Ephesus
Terrace Houses - Ephesus
House of Virgin Mary
Hadrian Gate - Antalya
Perge Ancient City
Aspendos Ancient Theatre
Uchisar Castle from Pigeon Valley
Goreme Open Air Museum
Derinkuyu Underground City
Hattusha Ancient City
Day 1 - Arrive in Istanbul
Our driver will pick you up from Istanbul airport and drop you at your hotel. Our guide will meet you in the afternoon for a short orientation tour and a night out in Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 - Walking The Old City of Istanbul
Our guide will meet you at your hotel at the desired time. Your first visit will be the majestic Topkapi Palace from where the Ottoman Empire was ruled for 3 centuries. Gates, chambers, mosques, private gardens, and the harem apartments solidly prove the Ottoman sultans' splendor who ruled an empire once surrounded the Mediterranean Sea. After taking a coffee break at the terraces of the palace with views of the Asian Continent, you will visit the Hagia Sophia, an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, and had been the Eastern Orthodox Church's throne for more than seven centuries. A visit to an underground cistern of Yerebatan is a must to see just one of the Byzantium palaces' water reservoirs that once existed in the old city of Constantinople. The Blue Mosque will be another highlight of the day, thanks to the blue tiles decorating the structure's high inner walls. Your tour of the old city of Istanbul will finish after a stroll around the Columns located in the Sultanahmet square, and then, our guide will drop you at your hotel for an overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 - Cruise the Bosporus and the Oriental Bazaars
Our guide will pick you up from your hotel at the desired time, this time to take you on a journey in time. Your first stop will be the Spice Market, where the Eastern merchants traded with their western colleagues. You will take a public ferry then, to sail in between 2 continents, which is an experience to take only in Istanbul. The Bosphorus strait divides Istanbul into 2 parts, and as you sail in between, you will see the best examples of the mansions and palaces built for the rich living in Istanbul. You will return to Eminonu again to visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque. Blue Mosque envy this one because of the blue tiles used in the decoration of the mosque. Suleymaniye mosque awaits you on a hilltop with 53 meters of the dome, the tallest in Istanbul. Suleymaniye was built by the Grand Architect Sinan to the Ottomans' legendary emperor, Soliman the Magnificent. The whole complex houses a hospital, soup kitchen, a school, and a library, which are still used by various foundations today. Grand Bazaar is just a stone throw away from the mosque and is a must while in Istanbul. After exploring the hundreds of streets of the Grand Bazaar, you will be dropped back to your hotel for an overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4 - Gallipoli
Gallipoli is located 4 hours away from Istanbul, and it worth every minute spent on the road. The WWI battlefields are now located in a National Park and a protected area by the Government of Turkey and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. You can walk over the land where thousands lost their lives and see personally how terrible war is. After visiting the Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, and the trenches located on a hilltop, you will drive to Eceabat town to take a ferry across the Dardanelles. After check into your hotel, it is recommended to take an afternoon walk in Canakkale's attractive promenade to see the Trojan Horse and watch the sun go down over the Aegean Sea. Overnight in Canakkale.
Day 5 - Troy
Our guide will pick you up from your hotel in Canakkale town to take you to the legendary Troy. It is located just an hour away from Canakkale and among the world's most important historical sites. According to Homer, The Trojan war took place here, and you may hear the voices of the heroes who fought for the city and the most beautiful woman alive at those times; Helen. The ancient city has 12 archeological sites and teaches us the development of trade between the Anatolians and the Aegean Sea people. After exploring Troy, you will continue to Assos, where Aristotle established his first known school. Aristotle and his students studied zoology and biology here, and he was also the head of a group of philosophers. When the Persians took the city, Aristotle fled to Macedonia to shelter by his close friend Philip II and tutored his son, Alexander the Great. You will drive down to the coast to a small fishing and resort town to take a lunch break by the Aegean Sea's clear water. You will drive approximately 3 hours for Pergamon. Overnight in Bergama.
Day 6 - Pergamon
You will leave your hotel in Bergama to explore the latest sites registered by UNESCO. Your first stop will be the Acropolis of Pergamon, which basically means the city on the hill. The city is cited in the New Testament as well, and most of the relics found from the excavations are in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin today. The ancient city has the steepest theater in Anatolia. Pergamon's people are the parchment paper's inventors because the Egyptians were jealous of the Pergamon Library size and stopped trading papyrus. After a walk in Acropolis, you will continue to the city's slopes where the Red Hall is standing. It is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation but was built to honor the Serapis, a Greco-Egyptian god. There are two towers located on each side of the temple, and one of them is still used as a mosque by the locals of modern Bergama. After lunch in one of the city's small local restaurants, you will drive to Bergama's outskirts to visit one of the most important hospitals in the Hellenistic world, Asclepeion. The hospital was so ostentatious in the past that they did not welcome death in. It is considered the first place on earth where music and psychotherapy were used during the treatments. After exploring this hospital, you will drive around 3 hours to the south for and Overnight in Sirince.
Day 7 - Ephesus
After a nice breakfast in the garden of your Sirince hotel, our guide will pick you up for a whirlwind Ephesus tour. You will first visit the House of the Virgin Mary, an important place for Muslim and Christian people. The mother of Jesus spent her last days here, and starting with Pope Leo, Pope Jean-Paul and Pope Benedict have visited the shrine. After a tea break by the woods, you will drive to Ephesus, the biggest city once in the Hellenistic times. While strolling in the marble streets of Ephesus, masterpieces of civil and official architecture will amaze you. The Odeon, Temple of Domitian, Gate of Hercules are located before you descend to Ephesus's most prominent structures, such as the Terrace Houses and the Library of Celsus. The big theater of Ephesus shows you the splendor of the city when the ocean is located. You will leave Ephesus behind to see the Temple of Artemis, one of the World's Seven Wonders. A lonely column greets you when you arrive there, but it can still show you how big the structure was in Hellenistic times. After lunch, you will explore the Selcuk Museum to see the relics found from the 140 year long excavations of the Ephesus Ancient City. Our guide will drop you at Sirince Village to rest in the small cafes and restaurants for your next day. Overnight in Sirince.
Day 8 - Pamukkale & Aphrodisias
Our guide will pick you up earlier than yesterday since 5 hours are spent at the wheel today. You will first arrive at Aphrodisias after 2,5 hours of drive. The ancient city, the museum located inside sculptures, tetrapylon, and Aphrodisias stadium, is worth the drive. The Sebasteion of the city is just a small clue about how skilled the sculptures of the ancient city were. The houses built in the heart of the ancient city will surprise you as you walk around the site. After lunch near the ancient city, you will continue to Hierapolis, which means ‘holy city’ in Greek. The area's thermal waters were used for healing purposes by the people who lived there since the 3rd Century BC and the ancient pools of the city were hosting Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius in the past. Being allies with the Romans, the city rapidly developed, and gigantic monuments were built, such as Baths, Theater, Agoras, and thermal pools. Today, the Roman Baths are used as a small museum exhibiting the beautiful sculptures and sarcophagus built for the rich who once lived in Hierapolis's ancient city. After a short break by the pool of Cleopatra, our guide will take you to the world-famous UNESCO registered natural beauty called Pamukkale. The calcium in the thermal waters created white ponds, and today a walk over the travertines is an experience itself. After the walk, you will meet your driver and check in to your hotel for an overnight in Pamukkale town.
Day 9 - Pamukkale to Marmaris
A 3-hour drive will take you to the bustling port city of Marmaris for your 3-night, 4-day mini gulet (wooden Turkish yacht) cruise along with the world-famous Turquoise Coast of Turkey. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel in Pamukkale after breakfast and will drop you at the port of Marmaris, where you will meet your boat, crew, and your captain. Boarding starts after 15:30, and you will spend the first night in the harbor, where you can indulge yourself in the attractive nightlife of Marmaris city. Overnight on board.
Day 10 - Cruise the Turquoise Coast
Wake up to a beautiful day in Marmaris and have your breakfast with the other participants of the boat. You will get a small briefing about your short cruise and sail to the Aegean waters. You will first stop at the gulf of Ekincik and visit Turtle beach, where Caretta-Caretta lay their eggs. Take an optional boat trip along Dalyan's marshes where you can experience the mud baths to get younger. You will get back to your boat for dinner and overnight on board.
Day 11 - Cruise the Turquoise Coast
Your boat will leave Ekincik early today for the world-famous beach called Oludeniz. There you will have an opportunity to swim in the world-famous bay of Oludeniz. After lunch, you will sail to Gemiler island, and we highly recommend an afternoon walk over the island to explore the Church of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). located on the top of the island. Overnight on board.
Day 12 - Disembark and Transfer to Antalya
On your last day onboard, you will sail to Turunc Pinari for lunch and a swimming break before you arrive in Fethiye. After checking out, our driver will pick you up from your boat's crew and take you to Antalya, which will take around 3 hours. You will stay in Kaleici, the old city of Antalya, and very attractive among the tourists and the city dwellers. Overnight in Antalya.
Day 13 - Antalya
Our guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Kaleici and take you to Perge ancient city, which has been the capital of the Pamphylia region during the Hellenistic era. Thanks to the visitation of Saint Paul, Perge is among the most important archaeological sites on the Mediterranean coastline of Turkey. The state agora, colonnaded street, and the Nymphaeum of the city are still outstanding. Your visit to Perge will be followed by Aspendos, which is the best-preserved ancient theater in Anatolia. Built-in 155. Aspendos Theater was used as a caravanserai and a palace by the Seljuks in the 13th Century, contributing to its conservation. After enjoying a Gladiator fight demonstration in the theater, we will have lunch nearby and drive back to our hotel for a leisure day in Antalya's old city for a half-day at leisure in Kaleici. Overnight in Antalya
Day 14 - Antalya to Konya
Our guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel in Kaleici, Antalya, and you will drive to Konya city. The Ancient city of Side will be visited with a unique Roman theater and the Temple of Apollo by the Mediterranean waters. 3-hour drive will take you to Konya, which has been the Seljuk's capital for many years. You will first visit the Dervish Lodge of Mevlana Celaleddin-I Rumi. Rumi’s father was invited to Konya by Alaeddin Keykubad I to establish a theological school for Konya city since Alaeddin wanted to create an education center in the middle of Anatolia. Upon his death, Rumi was asked to be in charge of his father’s school. He has many works, but Mesnevi is the most famous one among them. He is the founder of the Mevlana Dervish Lodge and the father of the Whirling Dervishes. After visiting this spiritual museum where Rumi, his family, and his important followers rest today, you will have lunch overlooking the museum's garden. Lunch will be followed by a visit to Karatay Madrasa, built-in 1251 by the Seljukian governor Celaleddin Karatay. This structure was used for religious searches, especially for interpreting the holy book, the Quran. Today it houses beautiful Seljuk tile relics, which makes it an important museum for handicraft passionates. After a walk in the attractive Alaeddin Park of Konya, we will check in our hotel and overnight in Konya.
Day 15 - Konya to Cappadocia
After breakfast, you will start driving on the fertile plains of Central Anatolia, which is considered the breadbasket of Turkey, with our guide. You will take a break by the biggest Caravanserai of Anatolia, Sultanhan. This huge complex was built to host the traders during the Seljukian and Ottoman Era and was built in the 13th Century. A drive will follow our break to Ihlara Valley for a lunch break by the Peristrema stream responsible for this natural beauty. Ihlara valley is a 12 km gorge housing hundreds of churches and troglodyte houses used as monasteries by the Greeks. After a little walk in the valley, our guide will take you to one of the underground cities on the way to Cappadocia, where you will be able to explore the hidden caves carved into the ground by the Cappadocians who were trying to protect their valuables from the enemies. After a short drive, you can enjoy the sunset over the phenomenal landscape of Cappadocia and check in to your cave hotel for an overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 16 - Hot Air Balloon Flight & Cappadocia Tour
You will start the day with a hot air balloon flight over the poetic landscape of Cappadocia. Best opportunity to picture Cappadocia and watch the sunset in Turkey. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will be celebrated with a glass of champagne after landing, and you will be driven back to the hotel for breakfast.
Our guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel, and you will start your Cappadocia tour right away. Your first stop will be the Imagination Valley, locally called 'Devrent,' to see the region's most interesting geological formations. The next stop is the Monks Valley, called Pasabag in Turkish, where amazing formations of fairy chimneys will make you think you are on a different planet. Before lunch, you will be visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site housing late Byzantine churches carved into the volcanic rock cliffs and decorated with frescoes painted by Christian monks in the late 10th century. After lunch in the world-famous Goreme village, you can enjoy a rest and a hot cup of Turkish coffee while overlooking the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia from a major viewpoint. Uchisar castle will be the highlight of the day, thanks to the region's exceptional views from an elevation of 1350 meters. Overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 17 - Off the beaten path in Cappadocia
Our guide will meet you after breakfast at your hotel. It will take you on a walk in the beautiful Red Valley to explore the hidden churches of Cappadocia. 4-hour walk will end up in a small village called Cavusin, and lunch will be served in a small restaurant across the old Cavusin village. You will visit the Church of Nicephorus Phocas, named after the Eastern Roman emperor, who reigned in the 10th Century. Since the church had imperial support, it is housing spectacular frescoes today. We will drive to Avanos town afterward to enjoy a tea or coffee break by the Red River, the longest river flowing in Anatolia. Continue to Gulsehir city afterward to visit the Church of Saint John, locally called Karsi Kilise. This 13th Century church houses the best-preserved frescoes of the Cappadocia region. You will drive back to your hotel and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 18 - Hattusa
After breakfast, we will drive to the land of the Hittites and visit their capital: Hattusa. The first settlers in this area, Hattians or native Anatolians, called their city 'Hattusa,' which was maintained during the reign of the Hittites. The old city covered roughly a square kilometer before the Hittites came. At its peak, the city covered 1.8 km² and comprised an inner and outer portion, both surrounded by a massive and still visible course of walls erected in the 14th Century BC. The inner city covered an area of some 0.8 km² and was occupied by a citadel with large administrative buildings and temples. The royal residence, or acropolis, was built on a high ridge known as 'The Great Fortress.' After lunch, we will drive to the Yazilikaya, a shrine to the communities that once lived around Hattusa. On the rock-cut reliefs of Chambers A and B, the gods of the Hittite pantheon are portrayed. One of the uses of the sanctuary may have involved the New Year’s Eve celebrations ceremonies. A 45-minute drive will take us to Alacahoyuk, a Neolithic excavation site, and a small city during the Hittite era. We will drive to Ankara afterward and check in to our hotel. Overnight in Ankara.
Day 19 - Ankara & Safranbolu
Our breakfast will be followed by a tour of Ankara, Turkey's capital, and the second-largest city after Istanbul. Our first stop in this city will be The Anatolian Civilization Museum, the perfect introduction to Turkey’s ancient past. The exhibits are chronologically arranged, starting with the Paleolithic and Neolithic displays, and gives us unique examples of Hittite art. After having lunch at a restaurant, the next visit will be to Rahmi Koc Museum to see the examples of agricultural machinery and pharmaceutical exhibits. The museum also houses sections that focus on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, giving you some details before visiting the Mausoleum of Ataturk. After visiting the mausoleum of Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence, and the founder and the first President of the Republic of Turkey, we will drive to Safranbolu town. Overnight in Safranbolu
Day 20 - Safranbolu to Istanbul
After breakfast, we will have the opportunity to explore Safranbolu, whose name is derived from 'saffron' and the Greek word 'polis' (city), since Safranbolu was a trading place and a center for growing saffron. Today, saffron is still grown in the village of Davutobası, 22 km east of Safranbolu, and probably one of the world's best qualities saffrons. Safranbolu was added to UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994 due to its well-preserved Ottoman era houses and architecture. After lunch and tasting the saffron cookies, delights, and candies of Safranbolu, we will drive to Istanbul for our last night in Turkey. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 21 - Departure
Private Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your flight back home.
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