Immerse yourself among Turkey’s awe-inspiring marvels, and prepare to be continually enraptured along the way

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every detail taken care of

  • Personalised journeys from start to finish

  • Every trip helps support Conservation

  • Every detail taken care of

Suggested places to visit

Itinerary highlights

  • Seek out the historic highlights of Istanbul, including its exquisite mosques and palaces
  • Take in Istanbul from the waters of the Bosporus, which separates the Asian and European continents
  • Venture to the skies in a hot air balloon and view Cappadocia’s enchanting scenery from above
  • Delve into the underground cities of Cappadocia and wander through the labyrinth of tunnels
  • Explore the ancient city of Ephesus and its wonderfully preserved architecture

What's included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • Private tours and experiences focused around Turkey's history, culture and nature
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
  • Our help with restaurant recommendations and reservations
  • Expert guides in each destination
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Serving as an ideal overview to Turkey and its magnificent assortment of historical, cultural and natural splendours, this eight-day tour is sure to delight at every turn. Carefully curated to ensure that you tick off all of the country’s most sought-after sights, along with a selection of spectacular experiences, this Turkey tour promises the perfect amount of time for you to get acquainted with each remarkable destination.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city traversing Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus Strait, is the starting point for your trip. Private tours will lead you into the depths of this enigmatic metropolis and its Old City, modelled by several cultures over the years, with a charming combination of architectural designs, acting as reminders of its detailed historical past. Standing out from the mass of minarets, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are featured on your itinerary, as well as a visit to the famous Grand Bazaar, and a motor yacht cruise, passing by the banks of the Bosphorus.

You’ll then venture to Cappadocia, with its hot air balloon-speckled skies and ethereal scenes of striking rock formations, known as ‘fairy chimneys’. This tour will take you above the astounding landscape, with your own hot air balloon experience at dawn, where you’ll rise alongside the sun. In stark contrast, the trip will also guide you to the underground cities of Cappadocia, extending five levels below, and the Göreme Open-Air Museum, with its al fresco-adorned churches, carved out of the rock.

Izmir, set on the Aegean Coast, is next on the list, and this archaeological site was originally founded by the Greeks. From here, you’ll explore Ephesus, an ancient city awash with history, and home to the iconic The Great Theatre and Celsus Library, the best-preserved structure of its kind. This tour concludes with the splendid Ephesus Museum, another historical highlight, which exhibits a vast collection of artefacts from the region.

Example trip itinerary

Days 1-4

Istanbul

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Istanbul

Accommodation in Istanbul

Highlights of Istanbul city Highlights of Istanbul city

Your professional guide will take you out for a full day of private sightseeing. You'll start with a visit to the Hippodrome, which was one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire. Istanbul's Byzantine Hippodrome was the heart of Constantinople's political and sporting life, and the scene of games and riots through 500 years of Ottoman history as well. This was the largest hippodrome of the ancient world with a design that was conceptually based on the Circus Maximus in Rome. You will see Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column, Constantine Column which remain from the original Hippodrome.

You will take a short walk to the Blue Mosque, completed in 1616, it is a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance. The mosque was a part of a complex also including, tombs, fountains, kitchens, and a bath. Its colourful 260 windows enable the sunlight to reach inside. This makes the interior unusually light. The blue Iznik Tiles covering the walls have given the mosque its popular name, Blue Mosque.

Next, you will visit the magnificent Topkapı Palace, the residence of the sultans for almost three centuries. It is located on the promontory jutting out between the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. This setting provides a magnificent view. The construction of the Topkapı Palace was completed between 1465 and 1478. Being the imperial residence of the sultan, his court and harem, the palace was also the seat of government for the Ottoman Empire. 4,000 people lived in the Palace.

After your lunch, you will visit St. Sophia, the church of the Divine Wisdom. The architectural marvel of all time. It was built during Emperor Justinian reign (AD 537) and it remained the greatest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II who ordered the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a Mosque. In 1934, Atatürk proclaimed it a museum. The walls of this beautiful piece of architecture are decorated with gorgeous mosaics.

Next, you will visit the street stalls of the Karakoy area and sample their delicacies as you explore the neighbourhood. You can enjoy stuffed and fried mussels and encounter historical pickle-hawkers in the Fish Market, as well as enjoy Baklava tasting in Karakoy. Information about the seller and the food is explained throughout the tour, alongside a little bit of history. You will then visit Namli, a gourmet shop and restaurant carrying
quality varieties of olive oils, international sauces, cheeses, helva, dried fruit and nuts, meze and other delicacies, as well as deli meats such as pastırma and sucuk. You may enjoy tasting some specialities that are in high demand by locals in the shop.

Your next stop will be the Karakoy Gulluoglu Baklava shop to indulge in what most locals believe to be the best baklava in all of Turkey. Enjoy dessert at this Istanbul institution, and observe the local foot traffic as deliveries depart for homes throughout the city and to all parts of the country. Lastly, you will descend underground into the Basilica Cistern, constructed in 532 AD built by Justinian to hold the water supply for the Great Palace. The Cistern is 70 meters wide and 140 meters long, with a capacity of 80,000m3 of water. Here you will find an atmospheric forest of 336 beautiful columns, don’t miss the two columns featuring the head of Medusa on their bases.

Private motor yacht cruise on the Bosphorus Private motor yacht cruise on the Bosphorus

You'll embark your yacht from the Four Seasons Bosphorus pier to enjoy a private motor yacht cruise on the Bosphorus, the narrow strait of water separating the Asian and European continents and the lifeblood of Istanbul. Passing along the shores of the Bosphorus you will view magnificent palaces, restored Ottoman villas, impressive fortresses and the waterside residences of Istanbul’s elite. Enjoy soft drinks on the motor yacht and see a different perspective of Istanbul, described by a Byzantine visitor in the 12th century as 'the city of the world’s desire'.

istanbul-grand-bazaar-turkey
Churches, mosques and bazaars city tour Churches, mosques and bazaars city tour

During this tour, you will first visit the Grand Bazaar, but not before having the opportunity to learn about the art of carpet weaving. The Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest covered Bazaar in Turkey with more than 4,000 shops. A variety of Turkish handicrafts, oriental carpets, rare jewels, textiles, cotton towels, Iznik tiles and inexpensive souvenirs can be found, all sold in small shops next to each other. The streets are named according to the trades, such as gold and silver sellers, carpet sellers, booksellers, etc. The most oriental atmosphere in Istanbul is found in the bazaar.

Next, you will visit the Suleymaniye Mosque. Built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan on the order of Sultan Suleiman I (Suleiman the Magnificent), the Suleymaniye Mosque dominates the third hill of old Istanbul, and is strikingly graceful and less ornate than many other imperial mosques, thus lending itself to meditation and quiet reflection. Following this, you will visit the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Built in the 11th century, the walls are decorated with beautiful mosaics and frescoes. The mosaics depict the life of Virgin Mary and the infancy, genealogy and ministry of Christ.

Lunch follows, before you will visit the Spice Bazaar, the second largest covered market in Istanbul. It was constructed in the 1660s as part of the Yeni Camii (New Mosque) complex. The name derives from the herbs, and spices imported from or through Egypt. It is still the best place to buy Turkish delight, dried fruit, exotic spices and herbs.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Istanbul Airport

Transfer

Flight to Kayseri

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Cappadocia

Days 4-6

Cappadocia

Accommodation in Cappadocia

Highlights of Cappadocia Highlights of Cappadocia

First, you will visit Devrent Valley. One magical corner in the countless panoramic valleys of Cappadocia, here is an unbelievable landscape with its rock formations and savage feeling; one of the best introductions to understanding the formation of fairy chimneys.

Next, you will stop in the Pasabag Valley where the formation of the 'fairy chimney' can be best observed. Pasabag, the Pasha's Vineyard, is surrounded by incredible natural rock formations; a spectacular scene.

Last, you will visit Zelve, where three canyons meet in the Valley of Monks. The rock face at Zelve is honeycombed with caves and churches, and much of the decoration inside the churches is symbolic. You will visit the two most interesting churches; The Church of Grapes and the Fish Church.

goreme-national-park-turkey
Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

After an early morning pick up, you will take to the skies above Cappadocia to enjoy a thrilling and breathtaking ballooning experience. As you float over Cappadocia's unique landscapes, heading along its scenic valleys, you'll gain a greater appreciation of the sheer beauty of this area of Turkey. After your ride, you will head back to your hotel for a delicious breakfast.

Underground city and open air museum tour Underground city and open air museum tour

You’ll meet your professional guide for your private full day of sightseeing. You’ll start your day descending below the Earth’s surface into the Kaymakli underground city, where five levels extend below the ground and include living quarters, kitchens, wine presses, storage rooms, stables and ventilation shafts. Early Christians carved out these subterranean complexes to avoid invaders who swept across the plains of Anatolia from the 6th to the 9th century.

Next, you’ll visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum, where icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. The 11th century represents the 'Golden Age' of religious art in Göreme. Then, you’ll visit the Göreme Valley, which has been occupied since the dawn of history and is known as the 'Valley of the Churches'.

The wonderful and primitive 11th and 12th-century frescoes cover the walls of these churches. The oldest churches in the area date back to the 6th century. Among the 356 churches, the most important ones are the Karanlık Kilise, Yılanlı Kilise, the Elmalı Kilise and the Tokalı Kilise. You’ll then have lunch at the charming Sedef Restaurant, which serves local cuisine. After your lunch, you’ll visit the pretty town of Avanos, which has long been a centre for pottery artisans as it lies on the banks of the Red River, where clay supplies are abundant. Enjoy a visit to a pottery workshop to meet the artisans and see their collections displayed in a vast underground cave complex.

Then, you’ll stop at the best spot to take in the panoramic view of the Uchisar Castle. Uchisar is a small town situated right in the middle of Cappadocia. It’s named after the enormous piece of rock in the centre of the town, which was once used as a castle.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Kayseri Airport

Transfer

Flight to Istanbul

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