As Istanbul Local Guides Team we will be quite happy to host you in our beautiful country. Turkey itself is a very rich country in terms of culture,history and natural beauties. We recently tailored an itinerary for you to enjoy Turkey from beginning till the end. You will experience Turkey through the eyes of a local. Apart from main tourist attractions you will experience the hidden gems of our stunning country and also enjoy the southern coastline with beautiful turquoise colored waters of Kas, Fethiye and Kekova. You will not only visit a Roman Capital ,Constantinople, but also explore the beauties of the natural rock formations of Cappadocia. During this trip you will visit a temple commissioned by Alexander the Great or another day you will find yourself enjoying the hot springs of Hierapolis to which Cleopatra owed her beauty along with many other great places. Let us be your companion in this memorable trip.
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! Our driver will pick you up from Istanbul airport and transfer to your hotel . The rest of day is at leisure for you to rest,relax and acclimate to your new time zone. We will have a complimentary dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2: Highlights of Istanbul
Your guide will greet you at your hotel at 0900 to begin your walking tour in the capital of three great empires. Your tour begins at the Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence from which the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled for nearly 400 years. Today a spectacular museum, it is famous for its collections of treasury of the Ottoman Royal Family. You will chase the memories of the sultans and the Ottoman Empire through 400 years of the most glorious victories, happiest moments, and mournful days.
From Topkapi Palace you walk to Hagia Sophia via a cobblestone road filled with old Ottoman houses. This 6th century church, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, welcomes you with its legends and mosaics. You will have a chance to touch the history of this church, a main attraction of the city since its construction. (The Harem is not include the itinerary since it is under restoration)
After lunch in a local restaurant you will visit the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahment Mosque. One of the biggest mosques and principal adornments of the Istanbul skyline, the Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century. Once inside the mosque, blue Iznik tiles and stained glass will surround you.The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarayı - "Sunken Palace"), is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
The final stop will be the Grand Bazaar. Your guide will provide the history of the Bazaar as well as some helpful tips on navigating its more than 4000 shops. Your tour will end between 16:00-1700.
Day 3: Istanbul-One day Two Continents
This is the day we are exploring to different sides of Istanbul, Europe and Asia, in one day. Our tour guide will meet you at the hotel at 9:00am. Our first stop will be Spice Market with vendors selling spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts, seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles. After the Market we will take a boat for the Bosphorus Cruise to see beautiful Asian and European coastlines of Istanbul. Bosphorus is a unique natural water strait both sides of which filled in Palaces, Yalis ( old Ottoman Houses), historical mosques and many other buildings and many neighbourhoods with their own unique cultures. After the cruise we visit Camlıca hill, the highest spot of Istanbul, offering one of the best panoramic views of Istanbul and Bosphorus. After having luch in a local restaurant we will cross the Bosphorus Bridge , unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe) you will see a sign which says '' Welcome to Europe’’. Then we will visit one of the most beautiful districts of the city,Ortakoy, where you can take beautiful pictures and taste turkish coffe with the view of amazing Bosphorus. Now it`s time to walk around Istiklal Street where locals hang out. While you are walking (1.2 km) your guide will explain the buildings around. The tour will end between 16:00-17:00 at your hotel.
Day 4: Istanbul- Cappadocia
Take the morning flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Arrival and meeting at the airport just outside the arrival gate with a sign bearing your name and transfer to Cappadocia to meet one of our local guides and start the tour. Amongst the places we are visiting today there is Catalkaya also known as three beauties with the symbolic fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Rose Valley and Red valley with hiking with your local tour guide to enjoy wonderful rock formations, pigeon houses, natural tunnels and churches. Next stop will be Cavusin village to see caves and stone houses which were abandoned in 1952. Lunch in a local restaurant .In the afternoon we are visiting Kaymaklı Underground City, one of the most interesting underground cities in Cappadocia. This underground city consists of eight floors out of which only four of them open to visitors. We will continue with Pigeon valley with pigeon houses and colorful rock formations. During the tour you will have a chance to see demonstrations of some handicrafts. After the tour drive to your hotel. Overnight in a boutique cave hotel.
Day 5: Cappadocia
Optional! Hot Air balloon with sunrise (extra)
Your local guide meets you at 09:00am in the hotel. Another day with the lunar landscape of Cappadocia while visiting rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley; walking in Pasabag near Zelve; "fairy chimneys" where the voice of wind mixes with the "songs of fairies". Lunch in Avanos in a local restaurant. Zelve is also the centre of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC where you will see a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. In the afternoon we are visiting the famous Goreme Open Air Museum to see the best examples of Byzantine art in the region in rock-cut churches with frescoes (10th to 13th century). We continue with Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Overnight in a boutique cave hotel.
Day 6: Konya-Antalya
Departure from Cappadocia at 8am and travel to Konya. First visit will be the Sultanhani on the way, a prime example of the Seljuk-Turkish caravansari, with its lofty, portal framed by massive walls; its stone-paved courtyard surrounded with rooms that served as treasury, refectory, hamam, mosque, shops and sleeping quarters. After Sultanhani 2 hours drive to Konya to visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana (Rumi) and the museum. At the end of the day arrive in Antalya, the trendy "resort capital" on the Turkish Mediterranean coast for overnight in a boutique hotel.
Day 7: Perge-Aspendos-Side
Begin today's venture at ancient Perge, founded around 1500 BC by the Hittites and later occupied by the Romans. See the ancient theater, stadium, towers, and unusual Hellenistic-Roman towers leading to an impressive street once lined with shops. Then, continue on to Aspendos, known for its huge theatre seating over 30,000 people, and its beautiful fountain. All of these ruins have remained from the Roman period and the theatre is still being used for contemporary concerts. Our next stop will be ‘’Side’’ with it’s picturesque Apollo Temple. Drive back to hotel for resting and leisure time in this vibrant seaside city on the Mediterranean Sea. Overnight in Antalya in a boutique hotel.
Day 8: Demre-St.Nicholas (Santa Claus) Church-Myra-Kas
After meeting with the local guide we are driving to Demre for a visit to the church of St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) was believed to born and live in Demre in the 4th century AD. Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop who helped the needy. After his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew. Saint Nicholas transformed into the legendary character called Santa Claus, who brings Christmas presents to children around the world. After visiting Myra to see the rock-tombs we are driving to Kas. Overnight in Kas in a boutique hotel.
Day 9: Kekova Full-Day with a Boat Tour
Kas is a small town on the southern coast of Turkey. The southern coastline of Turkey is where you will witness the true color of turquoise. This is where you can enjoy tasty food along with a beautiful view of Mediterranean. It is quite different than many other Turkish resorts. In fact, this place is not really a 'resort'. This small town is favorite of many locals as well due it’s peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Far from a commercial resort, Kas is a charming town, which managed to keep its identity over the years. Today we are driving to Kekova for an unforgettable boat tour. We will enjoy the day relaxing, sunbathing on the sunny deck on the boat with a lot of time to swim in crystal clear waters. There will be many swimming breaks such as Inonu Bay, Aquarium Bay, Ufakdere Bay and Eleksi Bay etc. We will see the Sunken City and visit Simena Castle. After the lunch break you will spend the rest of the day chilling out and swimming in deep turquoise waters in Inönü bay. We are driving back to the hotel after the boat tour in Kekova. Overnight in Kas.
Day 10: Kayakoy-Fethiye
Optional! Paragliding from famous Babadag Mountain 2000 meters altitude (extra)
After checkout from the hotel we driving along the beautiful Mediterranean coastline enjoying the breathtaking view. We are having a photo break in so famous Kaputaj Beach. Our next stop will be Kayakoy which was once inhabited by the Greeks but later on abandoned due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey back in 1920s. With beautiful but deserted traditional Greek houses it’s a village which is worth to see. Now we are driving to Fethiye where we will overnight.
Day 11: Pamukkale-Kusadasi
Today we are driving to Pamukkale (also known as white-castle by the locals). After lunch in Pamukkale we continue to see the cascading snow white natural formations. (white terraces formed by flowing water over the hill for thousands of years containing calcium carbonade). We are also visiting the impressive ruins of Hierapolis, where the hot thermal baths were once considered sacred. In ancient days Hierapolis was considered a holy place where people were looking for remedy as the water was believed to cure lots of different diseases. It is also believed that Cleopatra owed her beauty to this healing water. Continue with a drive to Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi in a boutique hotel.
Day 12: Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Izmir
We are starting the day with a visit to the so famous ancient Roman city EPHESUS which is known to be the Commercial, Religious and the Social Center of Antiquity, and one of the highlights of any visit in Turkey. Ephesus is a very well preserved ancient city witnessed all of the Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations. This is where we are visiting the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domitian, the Library of Celcius, Bouloterion and the Great Theatre with a capacity of 24.000 spectators along with many other remnants. After the lunch in a local restaurant, we are driving to Temple of Artemis (Diana), then drive to the House of the Virgin Mary which was also declared as a pilgrimage place by Vatican. Now we are visiting a small nice village called Sirince with beautiful houses and wineries which was once inhabited by the Greek minorities. After the tour we are driving to the airport for a flight to Istanbul. In Istanbul you will be greeted with a sign bearing your name on it at the airport and then transfer to your hotel. Overnight in a boutique hotel in Istanbul.
Day 13: Istanbul-Golden Horn and Dolmabahce Palace
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 0900. Your first stop today will be the SULEYMANIYE Mosque. This mosque, constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan in 1557, is regarded as the most beautiful of all imperial mosques. In addition to the outside architecture, you will visit the tombs of the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Roxelana. Afterwards you will drive along the CITY WALLS of Constantinople stretching for 6.5 kilometers from the Golden Horn to the Sea of Marmara and commisioned by Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. We will continue by exploring to neighborhoods FENER and BALAT where you will enjoy the most authentic houses of Istanbul and many eastern Orthodox churches and also the Petriarchate of Orthodox Church.
Following lunch in a local restaurant you will continue to Eyup, one of the most important Pilgrimage places on earth for the Islamic World. Afterwards you may wish to stop for a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the panoramic view of the Old City from the Coffee House of PIER LOTTI..
Your final stop of the day will be the DOLMABAHCE PALACE, which extends for 600 meters along the European coast of the Bosphorus. This palace, constructed between 1843 and 1858 by Sultan I Abdulmecit, contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis. Dolmabahce has the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world, and one of the great staircases has balusters of Baccarat crystal. Your tour will end between 16:00-1700.
Day 14: Leisure in Istanbul
We say goodbye to our new friends, our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport either in the morning or in the evening depending on your flight time.
Note: This tour is customizable according to your interest and flight schedule.
Note : The price of this tour covers accommodations in hotels as mentioned above or in similar quality hotels.
Note: These prices are valid for early bookings. (3 months in advance)
Why book this tour with us ?
Turkey is the most beautiful and fascinating country in the world. Our company is dedicated to sharing our passion and knowledge about the art, architecture, and history of this amazing country. Our experienced licensed local guides offer tours of the highest quality which are not only informative but entertaining as well. They know their country in depth and will make you discover the secrets and treasures of this amazing country.
We offer custom made boutique private tours. Everything that we do custom made to the specific needs and preferences of our guests. We are a small family business and we take huge pride in our work to ensure that our guests' expectations of service delivery and value for money are exceeded. We work only with experienced licensed local guides. We aim to provide best attractions, local restaurants and places for shopping.
From the time of making your first enquiry through to the end of your visit, you can expect a service which will be efficient, friendly and individual to your requirements.
To book this tour please Contact us