The Highlights of Turkey tour is an ideal choice for those that want to see the major historic cities and attractions of Turkey within 10 days.
You’ll see the best of Istanbul and it’s ancient structures, from the mosques to the Roman influenced architecture. After a short flight to Cappadocia, you’ll experience the amazing landscape. While staying at luxurious cave hotels at night, travel and explore the lunar like topography and cave mosaics by day. End your trip with a quick one hour flight to Izmir, and spend a few days exploring the classical sites of western Turkey, including the vast avenues of ancient Ephesus.
- 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.
- Once a leading city of Rome - it fell prey to silting up of the harbor - which also lead to the cities downfall and protection, to our benefit as it is now one of the best preserved cities from the ancient world.
Day 1: Istanbul
- Your private guide and driver will welcome you at the Istanbul airport and take you directly to your hotel in the historic district of Sultanahmet.
- That afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy as you become acquainted with the celebrated historic district of this bustling city before turning in for the night.
Day 2: Istanbul
- Your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will begin your day by visiting the Hagia Sophia.
- Later, you will visit one of the Ottoman Empire’s greatest architectural achievements, the Blue Mosque.
- Following lunch, you will also marvel at the Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern.
- In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to 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 in the morning and you will take a short walk to the Topkapi Palace where you will tour the incredibly decorated structure and the hidden chambers of the Imperial Harem.
- Later, you'll visit the Spice Market /Egyptian Bazaar before a boat tour of the Bosphorus Strait and a moment of quiet at the best Turkish coffee cafe.
- You'll retire that evening for one final night in Istanbul.
Day 4: Cappadocia
- Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then a private driver will shuttle you to the Istanbul Airport for your one hour flight to Cappadocia.
- Your private guide and driver will welcome you in Cappadocia and you will start your tour by visiting Uchisar Fortress, OrtaHisar, and the Red Valley.
- After a day of travel and touring you'll make your way to your cave hotel for the night.
Day 5: Cappadocia
- Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning and you will head out to explore Pasabaglari (Fairy Chimneys), and Zelve Open Air Musuem (houses carved in rock, Seljukian Mosque and remains).
- Following lunch you'll continue to Esentepe for panoramic views of the Goreme Valley, Goreme Open Air Museum (rock cut churches, frescos, monastery), and Kaymakli Underground City.
- Enjoy one last evening in your hotel before flying to Ephesus in the morning.
*Today or on day 6 you have the optional choice to rise before dawn for a hot-air balloon ride over the picturesque Cappadocia valleys.
Day 6: Ephesus
- A private driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and take you directly to the Cappadocia Airport for your flight to Izmir. Once here, you will be met again by a guide and driver and have a tour of Sirince village as you make your way to your hotel on the coast in Kusadasi.
- You will have the evening to relax and enjoy Kusadasi in the evening.
Day 7: Ephesus
- Your guide will meet you in the morning and you visit the magnificent city of ancient Ephesus. You'll enjoy a leisurely exploration of the city, including the Terraced Houses, followed by trip to the Ephesus Archeology Museum.
- You will also visit St. John’s Basilica, reputed burial site of the Apostle John, and see the ruin of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
- Later, you'll make a stop at Mary's House.
- You'll return to your hotel in Kusadasi for a relaxing evening before your flight in the morning.
Day 8: Departure
- A private driver will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the Izmir Airport for a flight back to Istanbul to catch your connecting International flight.
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation in your choice of hotel category, or inquire to include your own selection of hotels or to exclude accommodation:
- Platinum Class Hotels (Four Seasons Sultanahmet, Argos Cappadocia, La Vista Boutique)
- Gold Class Hotels (Hagia Sophia Mansions, Kayakapi Premium Caves, La Vista Boutique)
- Silver Class Hotels (Sultanhan, Kale Konak, Doubletree by Hilton Kusadası)
- Bronze Class Hotels (Celal Sultan, Taru Cave, Ilayda Avantgarde)
- Meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches
- Services of a private licensed professional english speaking tour guide
- Airport Transfers with air conditioned transportation with driver
- Air conditioned transportation with driver in Cappadocia & Izmir
- Domestic flights: Istanbul-Cappadocia, Cappadocia-Izmir and Izmir-Istanbul
- Admission fees to sites and museums
- Parking, portage, tipping (except guide & driver), toll road
- 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 purchasing 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|