Epic landscapes of Turkey
Our tailor made destination expert Holly has been preparing and booking tailor made itineraries in Turkey since 2012, she explored the region for several years prior to this and has since lived in the country, travelling extensively within it.
We therefore decided to ask Holly what her dream Turkish Itinerary would be and then we invited her to share it with our guests. The result is this a carefully coined epic landscapes of Turkey itinerary where guests will explore the cultural delights of two iconic regions (Istanbul & Cappaodcia) with our exemplary guides whose story-telling abilities will bring subjects and landscapes to life.
All of the guiding in our suggested itineraries is private, to this end itineraries can be tweaked or amended entirely to meet the interests and requirements of each individual. Simply discuss your preferences with our team and they can help you plan your exploration of the region.
Istanbul is a spectacular city that you will never tire of. Steeped in ancient history, today it is a café society with a minaret-lined skyline, a confluence of ancient tradition and contemporary delights. It bemuses and amuses in equal measure. The city famously straddles – both geographically and philosophically – Europe and Asia and stimulates every visitor with a melange of the exotic and familiar. Its geographical position alone – at the neck of trading routes between the Mediterranean and Africa – has afforded the city an important trading position since the Byzantine era. And the Golden Horn, nestling within the city, is one of the world’s finest natural harbours.
Sights, sounds and scents are plentiful. Marvel at mosaic archways, decorative architecture, Ottoman mosques, classical columns, Byzantine structures, ancient city walls and fine churches. Get lost in the labyrinth of passageways leading to spice bazaars, bakeries, book shops and authentic fish restaurants frequented by the locals.
The National Park of Cappadocia has some of the most astonishing geology we have ever experienced on our travels and is quite simply the most extraordinary region that we feature with a fascinating history to match. Situated in the heart of central Anatolia the region spans over 24,000 square kilometres and boasts an unusual and distinct landscape; from subterranean cities to giant fairy chimneys, houses carved out of the soft tufa rock and deep gorges with valleys that stretch for miles. The Cappadocia National Park is Turkey’s equivalent of the Grand Canyon and some, with awe inspiring landscapes and natural beauty that is hard to match. The principal main chocolate box villages are Ürgüp, Uchisar and Goreme with a fascinating array of sites in between and the area has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The region offers a host of active pursuits in breathtaking scenery whatever the season. Trek through blankets of poppies in springtime, an abundance of fruit in summer and stunning autumnal colours are followed by the snowscapes of winter.
Suggested itinerary and price
3 nights Istanbul and 3 nights Cappadocia
Cappadocia covers an enormous space, therefore we include private guiding and transportation as it is not easy to get around under your own steam without a vehicle and knowledgeable expert.
Our guide will tailor a programme to correspond with your specific interests whether cultural, religious, active or any combination of these activities and adventures. They will quickly bring you up-to-speed with the history and culture of the region and show you little-known sites and remote corners away from the regular tourist trail.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Travel to Istanbul
Met and transferred to their chosen hotel in Istanbul ( Suggested hotel Hagia Sofia mansions in Sultan Ahmet)
Relax and spend the afternoon at leisure
Day 2 (Sunday)
22 October – Full day private guiding in Sultan Ahmet
We highly recommend that our Guests benefit from the services of an expert local and knowledgeable guide. We usually suggest Guests take advantage of this the day after arrival. This service provides the opportunity for our Guests to ask many questions, gain recommendations and also feel well orientated in their surroundings.
Istanbul Old City Tour on foot :
09:00 am The guide will meet you at the hotel and you will have a full day’s private guiding in the Sultan Ahmet region. This will include a guided tour of the Hagia Sophia, pride of the Byzantine architecture, Byzantine Hippodrome, where chariot races were held, Blue Mosque, famous for its blue Iznik tiles, Topkapi Palace, former residence of Ottoman Sultans and Grand Bazaar, Turkey’s largest covered market with 4000 shops.
(*** Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesdays, replaced by Underground Cistern or Turkish and Islamic Arts Musuem & Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, replaced with Spice Bazaar )
The guide will usually meet you after breakfast, some guests choose to enjoy a full day while other’s feel it is too much. This is a walking tour as everything is in close proximity to one another but we recommend comfortable footwear.
** Entrance Fee of Topkapi Palace & Harem Section is Included
** Lunch is included
** Professional English Speaking Guide included
Day 3 (Monday)
Morning at leisure
Afternoon a choice of experiences sunset Bosphorus Cruise or Culinary Street Food Tour
Both experiences include transport to and from your hotel.
The experiences are offered in small groups.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Transfer to Istanbul Airport
Connecting flight to Cappadocia
Met and transferred to chosen hotel in Cappadocia; Argos Transfer time approx. 1 hour
Afternoon at leisure
Day 5 ( Wednesday)
Hot Air Balloon Experience (early start collection approx. 04:30)
Return to the hotel for breakfast
Full day private guiding – Fairy Chimneys & Göreme Tour
Following a leisurely breakfast in the hotel our guide will come to meet and welcome you at approximately 09.30/10:00. You will then set off to the Devrent Valley to see the unique ‘fairy chimneys’ and Pashabagi to see the mesmerising mushroom shaped Pinnacles.
The afternoon will be spent exploring the ancient rock-cut churches and Christian settlements of the Göreme Open Air Museum. The day will conclude with a visit to the castle in Üçhisar. Finally, our guide will deliver you back to Argos at approximately 17:30pm.
**Prices excludes lunch and entrance fees
Day 6 (Thursday)
Full day private guiding – Rose Valley and Kaymakli Underground City Tour
The morning will start the same as the day before and the guide will be at the hotel to collect you at 09.30/ 10:00. You will set off on another full days experience including a visit to the Red Valley to explore the famous rock-cut churches and hike 5km through the Gulludere Valley. Visit Cavusin with its well-known houses and churches of the Christian clergymen. The afternoon will involve a visit to Pigeon Valley and then the underground city of Kaymakli. This location was home to the early Christians, it is not well suited to those who have a fear of confined spaces. The day will conclude at approximately 17.30
**Prices excludes lunch and entrance fees
Day 7 (Friday)
Transfer from the hotel back to the airport and fly hom
Prices from £2350 per person (Includes economy flights, transfers, b&b, standard double rooms at Hagia Sofia and Argos and guided experiences as per the above. Please note all experiences are private with the exception of the culinary street tour and yacht cruise on the bosphorus numbers on these experiences are restricted for reasons of ambience.
- Each itinerary is suited to the requirements of your private party and experiences and guiding can be tailored to meet your interests, supplements may apply.
- Guests will enjoy the comfort of their chosen Discerning Collection Property throughout the itinerary.
- Transfers are provided to and from your property
- Breakfast is provided
- Accommodation: Standard Double at Hagia Sofia and Argos in Cappadocia
At a glance
When to go?
Year round, winter in Cappadocia is as close to a fairytale as it gets
Airport and transfer times
Istanbul and Sabhia Gokcen/ Kayseri and Nevsehir (timings hotel dependent, check quotes for more information)
What to pack?
Layers and comfortable footwear (check with our team as it will vary enormously depending on the time of year you travel).
What is there to do?
The list is endless
Can’t leave without?
Hot air balloon in Cappadocia and Bosphorus Cruise at sunset in Istanbul
Good to know?
The microclimate in Cappadocia means the area is subject t