The Eyes of Turkey Tour offers First class guided tours in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale. It is an ideal 8-day tour combination of cities, beach and history. Travel in modern AC Coaches and enjoy many meals as you go on full day tours to Ephesus and Pamukkale. See the best of Nort Cappadocia and if weather permitting, include an exhilarating Ballon ride of its lunar moonscape.
No long bus rides as long distances are covered by domestic flights.
At a glance
|Day 1||Welcome to Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel|
|Day 2||Full Day Istanbul city tour|
|Day 3||Bosphorus cruise and flight to Cappadocia|
|Day 4||Tour of Northern Cappadocia|
|Day 5||Flight to Izmir and onwards to Kusadasi|
|Day 6||Full day Ephesus tour|
|Day 7||Full day Pamukkale tour|
|Day 8||Transfer to Izmir Airport for return flight|
> Daily Departures
> 5 Guided tours with English speaking guides & entrance fees
> See Istanbul, the Meditteranean region, and central Anatolia (Cappadocia)
> Cruise down the Bosphorus before flying to Cappadocia
> Visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum is included in your itinerary and is the most important site in Cappadocia
> See Ephesus, once the 4th largest city of the Roman Empire
> Spend the day in Pamukkale with an option to spend some time at the Sacred Pool
Best time to go
The best times to visit Turkey’s archaeological sites and cities are in spring (Apr-May) and autumn (Sep-Oct) as the temperature is warm, but not too hot.
High summer (Jun-Aug) can be hot: best time for beach holidays. Winters can be cold and many hotels though city breaks are still an option. Turkey does offer ski options during the winter months
Turkey food & drink
Turkish food is varied and delicious. It’s often meze style – lots of small dishes to sample, including aubergine dips, calamari, borek (stuffed pastries), mashed broad beans and stuffed vine leaves – plenty of options for vegetarians, too. Local food involves a lot of meat, often in kebab form – the smell of charcoal-grilled beef, lamb and chicken permeates Turkey.
A Turkish menu includes wonderful slices of bread, super-sweet baklava (pistachio and syrup pastry) and salty white cheeses. Despite being a Muslim country, alcohol is easy to find in Turkey, especially in the touristy coastal regions. Efes is the Turkish beer of choice. Raki, grape spirit, is potent.
Turkish coffee is pitch black, very strong and often sweet. Tea is widely drunk and served black
Culture and Language
Turkish is the official language, however, English, French and German are widely spoken in all major cities and tourist areas. Shaking hands is the common form of greetings. Hospitability is a top priority. Pointing fingers at a person a considered rude. Declining an offer is done by putting your hand over your heart. Observe dress code when visiting Islamic sites
Train travel is a very popular mode of transport between the major cities. It may be slow but can sometimes offer you some inspiring scenic moments. Coach travel is the most used way of getting around Turkey. Bus routes are relatively cheap and are most comfortable. Just about any city is connected by coach. On certain upmarket coaches, extra legroom and Wi-Fi is offered. If your journey is more than 5 hrs, a 30-minute stop is made about every three hours. Taking a taxi is by far the most convenient way of travel in major cities, but not always the quickest way. Taxis can easily be hailed on the street. Important: only take the official bright yellow taxis. If they do not have a meter, then it is a no go
The basic rule is: tip 5-10% in restaurants, cafes and bars. Hotel staff does, however, expect a tip between 5 and 20 Turkish Lira. Do not tip taxi drivers but round up the fare. Tour Guides do not depend on tips, however, if a tour has really gone beyond what your expected, a tip of between 20 and 30 Tl will be greatly appreciated
Originally named Byzantium and later Constantinople, Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents. It sits on the Bosphorus River. The strait of water that divides the continents of Europe and Asia. It encompasses the natural harbour of the Golden Horn. Its illustrious past leaves a rich legacy of churches, mosques, palaces and museums. All this complemented by the behemoth Grand Bazaar with over 6,000 shops, the aromatic Egyptian Spice Market and colourful street life.
Sultanahmet, the compact old city of Istanbul, is full of parks, gardens and stunning sights. The Blue Mosque is famed for its blue Iznik tiles and unique six minarets. The Hagia Sofia, constructed in the 6th century, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom. During the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 it became a mosque. Just around the corner is Topkapi Palace, a fascinating insight into the sultans that once ruled Turkey. From the opulent pavilions to the incredible jewels housed in the Treasury.
Istanbul was a capital city for many empires from the Romans to the Byzantines and and Ottomans. It may not be a capital today but it is still a thriving, eclectic city with a fascinating mix of architectural styles including Islamic, Baroque, Rococo and Art Nouveau, as well as famed nightlife and excellent cuisine options.
Cappadocia is one place on the planet that is guaranteed to blow your mind. Situated in Central Turkey and consisting of thousands of bizarre conical shaped rocks with pointed tips. This fascinating landscape is utterly unique in the world. The rugged plains stretch out for miles all around and are a reddish hue in colour. While nature has certainly done her bit to make this region one of the most spectacular on earth, man has contributed to its impressiveness. By carving a network of caves and tunnels in to the surprisingly soft rock.
The main attraction within the Cappadocia region is Goreme, a UNESCO World Heritage listed village that boasts a staggering 30 Byzantine rock churches. This little town, nestled within the imposing rocks, feels like it has stepped straight out of a fairytale. Goreme is also the home of a vast open air museum, which is where the churches and their accompanying frescoes are located. The structures date back to the 10-12th century AD, yet the vivid colours used in the paintings still retain their original splendour.
There are numerous ways to explore this rocky region but the most exciting is, without a doubt, taking a hot air balloon ride over the plains. The aerial view afforded to those who float is breathtaking and unrivalled in sheer beauty.
Konya is an eclectic mix of antiquity and modernity and is believed to be one of the oldest settlements in Anatolia. The juxtaposition of then old and new is prevalent throughout the entire city and contributes significantly to its allure. It is possible that this region has been inhabited since 7000 BC, meaning that Konya has a long past and an incredibly rich cultural heritage. Nowadays, the city is an economic stronghold within Turkey and is gaining in importance by the day. Situated along the famous Silk Road, it is renowned as a trade centre.
The single most important thing that defines the city of Konya is the fact that it is the home of the world-famous whirling dervishes. The religious ritual of 'whirling' dates back to the 13th century and is attributed to Rumi, a devoted Sufi Muslim and poet who preached messages of love and tolerance. Stepping in perfect synchronisation, the dervishes have perpetuated Rumi's unique method of demonstrating his admiration and love for the divine.
Konya has numerous other attractions in addition to the spiritual dervishes. One of these is the Melvana Museum, wherein lies the tomb of Rumi. The Azizye Mosque is another place of interest and is a spectacular sample of beautiful Ottoman Art. Both inside and outside, the mosque is gloriously decorated with rich colours. There is also a bazaar that takes place outside of it, which is worth perusing leisurely if you are looking for some knick knacks to take home with you.
Istanbul Arrival Day
- Meet at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
- You will be given your room key and the rest of the day is yours to explore Istanbul.
- Overnight in Istanbul.
- There are two airports in Istanbul.
- Istanbul Ataturk airport is 20 km away from city center and;
- Sabiha Gokcen airport is 55 km away from city center.
- Transfer from Ataturk airport to your hotel is included. If you arrive to Sabiha Gokcen airport please contact us for transfer rates.
Istanbul City Tour (B-L)
- Pick up at 08:00 am from your hotel for a day tour of old Istanbul city.
- Go to the Sultanahmet district, the oldest, most historic part of the city. The first stop of the day will be the Hagia Sophia, as our tour guide explains the significance of this massive building that was once a Christian church, then a mosque, and now a museum.
- Afterward, pass the Hippodrome of Constantinople, where we will see the site's impressive obelisk, before reaching the Blue Mosque.
- Make sure to take pictures of both the interior and exterior of this impressive building.
- Continue to the Grand Bazaar, a massive, bustling complex to find clothing, decorative furnishings, food, and more. On the way to the bazaar, see other historical monuments, such as the Tomb of Sultan Ahmet I, the Firuz Aga Mosque, and the exterior of the Tomb of Mehmed II.
- After our visit to the Grand Bazaar stop for a brief lunch.
- The afternoon is spent visiting the Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years; and Little Hagia Sophia
- Return to your hotel after the tour
Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul - Cappadocia (B-D)
- After pickup from your hotel, your first stop is the Spice Bazaar, one of the city's most colorful and bustling attractions
- It has been in operation since the 17th century and still remains a very popular attraction for locals and visitors alike.
- The tour guide will give you tips on the best stalls and kiosks to visit so that you are not overwhelmed by the busy market. Roughly 45 minutes of free time to explore and shop.
- Then head to the shores of the Bosphorus Strait for a cruise, learning more about this important, strategic waterway that straddles the Asian and European continents.
- On our voyage, see an impressive number of the many historic Istanbul buildings: the decadent façade of Dolmabahce Palace; 15th-century fortress Rumelihisari; the Beylerbeyi Palace, the summer home of Ottoman sultans; and many more.
- After tour, you will be transferred to the airport for onward flight to Cappadocia.
- You are met on arrival for transfer to your Cappadocia Hotel
- Meet and assist on arrival and departure by our local representative
- Transfer and intercity transportation as per itinerary in AC vehicle
- Domestic Airfares (subject to conditions)
- Accommodation in selected hotels in double/twin sharing
- Meals: as mentioned
- Local English speaking Guide
- Entrance fees
- International flights – Departure & Fuel taxes (Contact us for best airfares)
- Personal expenses, meals and drinks unless otherwise specified
- Travel insurance
- Turkey Visa fee
- Services not stated in the itinerary
- Rate valid for travel between 01 NOV 18 and 01 MAR 19
- Seasonal supplements for travel between 25 DEC 18 and 03 JAN 18