The Best of Istanbul & Cappadocia tour is the ideal travel choice for those who wish to enjoy the main historic sites and major attractions of Turkey. We’ll explore Istanbul and it’s ancient structures, from the mosques to the Roman influenced architecture.
Immerse yourself in the history of this incredible city as you explore the Grand Bazaar, the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern, and the Topkapi Palace with it's Imperial Harem.
Next, you'll take a short 1 hour flight to Cappadocia where you'll experience an entirely new region of Turkey and be amazed by breathtaking landscapes. While staying at a luxurious cave hotels at night, you'll explore the lunar like topography and cave mosaics during the day.
Sites such as Uchisar Fortress, OrtaHisar, Red Valley, Pasabaglari (Fairy Chimneys), Zelve Open Air Musuem (houses carved in rock, Seljukian Mosque and remains), Esentepe for panoramic view of the Goreme Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (rock cut churches, frescos, monastery) and Kaymakli Underground City all await!
- An enormous public entertainment arena, it once seated as many as 100,000 zealous fans who came to watch chariot races, executions, and mock battles. Formerly the center of Byzantine civic life, it is still marked by the Egyptian Obelisk, the Bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
- With its massive central dome flanked by six slender minarets, the Blue Mosque stands as the single most recognizable monument in the Istanbul skyline. Built between 1609 and 1616, the enormous complex also included a hospital, caravansary, public kitchen, marketplace, schools and the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet I. The mosque’s immense interior, flooded with sunlight streaming through 260 windows, is decorated with more than 20,000 precious Iznik tiles detailing traditional flowers of Ottoman design. In fact, it is the deep blue glow of the tiles in the sunlight that gives the building its name.
- This famous basilica was constructed in the 6th century A.D.. It is often described as the greatest work of Byzantine architecture. Once the Church of Holy Wisdom, Christendom’s crowning glory, it glittered with mosaics and artistic treasures. Today, the Hagia Sophia is the fourth largest building constructed as a church in the world. It was dedicated to Hagia Sophia which means Divine Wisdom – an attribute of Christ.
- Istanbul, besieged countless times, has always needed permanent water supplies. As a result, many underground cisterns were built during the Byzantine Empire. Water was brought to these big reservoirs from distant sources via aqueducts. We will visit the largest and most ornate of these cisterns.
- The area of the Grand Bazaar was a trade center during the Byzantine period. Two domes were built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror to enrich the economic life of the city. Today, the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar is mysterious and intriguing. It has become a very popular place, where visitors explore a labyrinth of streets and passages housing eighteen entrances and more than 4,000 shops.
- The home for 400 years of ruling Sultan’s in Istanbul, this is a not to be missed site. The second palace built in Istanbul after its conquest by the Turks, it served as the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. This palace’s maze of oppulent buildings is where the sultans, their courts, and their harems lived and governed.
- This covered market, built as part of the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) complex, is filled with the fragrant scent of spices from the Orient.
- This narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It is about 20 miles long and up to one and a half miles wide. Our cruise will take us past the late Ottoman Palaces – Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi, as well as beautiful, wooden mansions and modern villas built in this elegant section of the city during the 19th & 20th centuries.
- A delightful mix of ancient ruins mostly cave churches and unbelievable topography and rock formations - it is a delight to behold especially at sunrise and sunset.
Day 1: Istanbul
- Your private guide will welcome will welcome you at the Istanbul Airport and take you to your hotel in the heart of Istanbul (All our hotel options sit atop the tallest of the seven hills of Istanbul in the historic Sultanahmet district.)
- You will have time to become acquainted with the celebrated historic district of this bustling city before turning in for the night.
Day 2: Istanbul
- Today your guide will meet you at your hotel, and you will will first visit the Hagia Sophia to explore it's incredible architecture and remarkable story.
- Later you will also visit one of the Ottoman Empire’s greatest architectural achievements: the Blue Mosque.
- Following lunch, you will marvel at the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern.
- In the afternoon, you can browse the shops of the Grand Bazaar before retiring to the hotel for the night.
Day 3: Istanbul
- Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will take off to the Topkapi Palace! After conquering Constantinople in the 15th Century, the Ottomans built Topkapi Palace. You'll have the opportunity to explore the palace and its treasures, including the hidden chambers of the Imperial Harem.
- Next, you'll make a visit to the Spice Market /Egyptian Bazzar before a boat tour of the Bosphorous Strait, and a quiet cafe offers a bit of rest in the afternoon.
- (Based our guides discretion, the morning and afternoon may be reversed in order to give you the best experience possible.)
- You'll spend your final night in Istanbul.
Day 4: Cappadocia
- Enjoy breakfast in Istanbul and then get ready for your flight to Cappadocia!
- A private driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the Istanbul airport for a one hour flight to Cappadocia.
- Your private guide and driver will will welcome you to Cappadocia as you exit from baggage claim.
- Directly from the airport your tour will begin with a visit to Uchisar Fortress, OrtaHisar and Red Valley.
- After a day of exploration and travel you will check-in to your hotel and retire for the night.
Day 5: Cappadocia
- You may choose to rise today or day 6 before dawn for an hot-air balloon ride over the picturesque Cappadocian valleys. Let us know if you would like to add this addition experience to your tour.
- Today, your Cappadocia guide will take you to explore Pasabaglari (Fairy Chimneys), and Zelve Open Air Musuem (houses carved in rock, Seljukian Mosque and remains).
- Following lunch, continue to Esentepe for panoramic view of the Goreme Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (rock cut churches, frescos, monastery) and Kaymakli Underground City.
- Enjoy the incredible views of the Cappadocia landscape and enjoy the hospitality of your hotel in the evening before you retire for the night.
Day 6: Departure
- Enjoy some leisure time before your private driver picks you up from your hotel to transfer you to the Cappadocia airport for your a flight to Istanbul, and your international departure flight.
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation based on Package chosen:
- Platinum Class Hotels (Four Seasons Sultanahmet & Argos Cappadocia)
- Gold Class Hotels (Hagia Sophia Mansions & Kayakapı Premium Caves)
- Silver Class Hotels (Sultanhan & Kale Konak)
- Bronze Class Hotels (Celal Sultan & Taru Cave)
- Meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches
- Services of a private licensed professional English speaking tour guide
- Airport Transfers
- Transportation with driver in Cappadocia
- Domestic flights: Istanbul-Cappadocia, Cappadocia-Istanbul
- Admission fees to sites and museums
- Parking, portage, tolls, tipping (except guide & driver)
- Coordination and attentive customer service throughout the tour by Sojourn staff
- Required Association ofTurkish Travel Agencies Foreign Visitors Insurance (a basic mandatory policy and not an adequate replacement for your own travel insurance)
What is not included in the tour
- International/flight tickets and international air and departure taxes
- Beverages at lunch
- Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
- Travel insurance
- Laundry, and personal items
- Entry visas
- Optional programs listed in itinerary.
Costs shown are per person in US$
Comparison Chart of Tour Packages
|Airport Greeting Service||Private Guide & Driver||Private Guide & Driver||Private Driver|
|Guided Language||Per Request||English||English|
|Hotels||Luxury 5 Star||Elite Boutique||4 Star|
|Tour Guide||Private Guides||Private Guides||Small Group Guides|
|Entry Tickets||Unlimited Included||Included||Included|
|Daily Itinerary||Unlimited Flexibility||Unlimited Flexibility||Limited Flexibility|
|Cancellation Policy||Fully Refundable up to 90 days, Credit towards future tour||Fully Refundable up to 90 days||Fully Refundable up to 90 days|