Istanbul and Cappadocia
Istanbul and Cappadocia
With one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe, Istanbul is set on two continents.
In this imposing site, Istanbul proudly preserves the invaluable legacy of its prodigious past while looking forward to a modern future. Fusion between the East and the West, past and present, Istanbul is a mythical city that the variety fascinates the traveler. Observing the sunset at the banks of the Bosphorus, you will suddenly realize why many centuries ago settlers chose to build here.
The violent eruptions of the volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan three million years ago, which covered the surrounding plateau with tuff, lava and volcanic ash, are at the origin of the strangest landscape on Earth. Undergoing erosion by wind and water, this plateau was shredded, creating monumental rock formations. Rock cones, capped pinnacles and fretted ravines are the result, in colours ranging from warm red and gold to cool greens and greys. "Fairy chimneys" with flat stones on the top, and cones with distorted shapes combine to embellish the landscape in a manner almost beyond the imagination of a surrealist sculptor. Cappadocia is not only a wonder of nature. Cliff openings give access to cave dwellings, rock-cut churches, monasteries and underground cities created duringthe earliest Christian era.
Day 1: Istanbul
Meet at the airport with our Anatolia Cultura Travel team and transfer to the hotel
Day 2: Istanbul
Explore various monuments of this unique city which lies partly in Europe and partly in Asia. Visit the Blue Mosque with its magnificent interior, Basilica Cistern, and St. Sophia, one of the oldest churches in the world (6th century).
Day 3 : Istanbul and Fly to Cappadocia
Explore more of Istanbul’s highlights such as Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman rulers for 400 years.
In the evening fly to Cappadocia. Three nights in Goreme in the heart of the Cappadocia region.
Day 4 : Cappadocia
Cappadocia has a surreal landscape of very soft volcanic material, carved by water to create cones, fairy chimneys, and canyons. There are cave dwellings, underground cities and rock-cut churches, many richly decorated with frescoes. In the morning walk through the impressive landscape of Pasabagi. Do a scenic walk in the Goreme area around Cavusin. Explore the underground city of Kaymakli, a labyrinth up to 85 meters underground, dating back to the Hittite period and used as a refuge during invasions. Go to an outstanding viewpoint in Uchisar.
Day 5 : Cappadocia
Take an optional hot-air balloon flight at sunrise over the Cappadocian landscape. Further exploration of Cappadocia with a walk through the impressive landscapes of Pigeon Valley and Love Valley. See ancient cave dwellings and frescoed churches. See whirling dervishes in their trance-like ceremony.
Day 6 : Konya
Leaving Cappadocia we travel across the Anatolian Plateau with a stop at the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu, with some dwellings containing rooms expanding seven levels beneath ground level! Then we go on to the beautiful Ihlara Valley for a scenic walk. One night in Konya.
Day 7 : Antalya
Visit the Mevlana Museum in Konya, devoted to the founder of the whirling dervishes. Cross the Taurus Mountains and descend to the Mediterranean coast. Visit Aspendos, with an excellently preserved Roman theatre. 3 nights in Antalya’s old quarter, with cobblestone streets and a charming harbor.
Day 8 : Antalya
A great place to visit is the impressive ruins including an amphitheatre and a gymnasium of Termessos, perched at an altitude of over 1000 metres up a mountainside.
Then we stop at the Lycian city of Phaselis, which was founded in the 7th Century BC and flourished as a commercial trading centre where anything could be bought and sold, including citizenships for 100 drachmas! The Phaselians were more concerned about preserving the affluence of their commerce than with staking any political independence, so they pragmatically accepted any conquerors that came their way. The city thrived until the 12th Century when it was superceded in importance by the nearby ports of Antalya and Alanya. The beauty of Phaselis is in its picture postcard setting. It is built around three small bays, each with its own beach, surrounded by fragrant woods and mountains.
Back to hotel for the night.
Day 9 : Antalya
With its 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery, the Antalya Archeological Museum is one of Turkey's largest museums, exhibiting examples of works, which illuminate the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions in Anatolia.The Museum won the “European Council Special Prize” in 1988. Visit visit it in the morning.
A free Afternoon to wander and enjoy the picturesque city of Antalya with its ancient Roman walled port,
and the lovely ‘old town’, Kaleici, with its beautifully restored Ottoman mansions and Hadrian’s Gate.
Day 10 : Return
Drive to Antalya airport and fly home
Group size: Possibility to organize according to your needs.
Please note that this is a sample cultural tour. Possibility to modify the itinerary add/remove days and/or combine with cultural visits.
What is included
English / French / Spanish / German speaking licensed tour guide.
All transfer and transportations necessary for the respect of the itinerary.
All accommodations hotel according to your needs.
All breakfast are included in the accommodations.Lunches / picnics as per your needs.
Dinners as per your needs.All entrances fees as per your needs.
What is excluded
Flights (please note that our agency is able to provide domestic and international flights. If needed please request)
Tips and personal expenses.
Drinks during meals.