11D8N Ancient Turkey Tour
Prepare to be awed by the magnificent architecture, rich history, and eclectic bazaars as you explore Ancient Turkey on this tour. Marvel over the stunning Hagia Sophia, learn about how the Blue Mosque earned its famous nickname. Tour Topkapi Palace to gain an insight into the lavish lifestyles of the Ottoman sultans and get a taste of the life in Ottoman-era Turkey at the legendary Grand Bazaar, where you find everything from carpets to Turkish delight.
- Visit The Blue Mosque: Make a visit to the famed Blue Mosque that was built between 1609 and 1617. It is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles used to decorate the walls of its interior. The idea to build this monument was to rival against the magnificent Hagia Sophia.
- Soak in the warm natural spring at Pamukkale thermal pools. – Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in Turkish) is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world. Step into a “Cotton Castle” scenery that makes up of primarily white and blue hues.
- Visit the Topkapi Palace, one of the oldest historical palaces in the World – The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, is one of the oldest historical palaces in the world. It served as the main place of residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans for nearly four centuries.
- Get a taste of the life in Ottoman-era Turkey at the Grand Bazaar – one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world spanning an area of 30,700 square meters with over 60 streets and alleys and 4,000 shops.
- Hagia Sophia Museum - It is famous for its massive dome structure and was one of the most important Byzantine structures ever built. It holds historical significance as a culminating feature of the Christian era Roman Empire and stands as a monument to artistic and architectural achievement and was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time.
- Visit one of the 7 Wonders of The Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis – The original temple was located in the ancient city of Ephesus. Today, this site is on what is now called the modern town of Selcuk. This original temple was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It has been rebuilt twice, until its complete destruction.
- Visit the Instagram-Famous, Cappadocia – Cappadocia is a beautiful region in central Turkey famed for its fairytale scenery, cave dwellings, remarkable rock formations and the hundreds of hot air balloons that soar in the sky during sunrise each morning.
Day 1: Singapore - Istanbul
Depart Singapore for Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul, you will meet your local driver and guide.
Then, make your way to have breakfast before checking into your hotel at 5* Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet or similar.
Explore Istanbul by boat onboard the 6-hour Bosphorus Cruise – Istanbul, Turkey sits astride the Bosphorus Strait. This Bosphorus Strait is where two continents meet. The Bosphorus separates Europe and Asia. The cruise will provide an overview of all the top sites in the city.
Pass along the shores of the Bosphorus and look out for spectacular views such as magnificent palaces, restored Ottoman villas, impressive fortresses and the waterside residences of Istanbul’s elite.
Then, return to your hotel in the evening and spend the rest of your day at leisure.
Accommodation in 5* Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet or similar
Day 3: Istanbul City Tour
This morning, enjoy your breakfast at your hotel accommodation. Today, you will embark on a city tour in Istanbul and visit various iconic landmarks.
Then, meet your local guide and driver at your hotel lobby. Thereafter, set off to visit the Hagia Sophia, a domed monument built as a cathedral and is now a museum. It is famous for its massive dome structure and was one of the most important Byzantine structures ever built. It holds historical significance as a culminating feature of the Christian era Roman Empire and stands as a monument to artistic and architectural achievement and was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time.
After which, visit the Blue Mosque, which was built with the intent to rival and surpass the magnificent Hagia Sophia. The famed Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1617. It is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles used to decorate the walls of its interior.
Next, we visit one of the largest and oldest covered bazaars in the world, The Grand Bazaar. It occupies an area of 30,700 square meters with over 60 streets and alleys and 4,000 shops. This location is also one of the best places to get a taste of life in Ottoman-era Turkey.
Then, head to Topkapi Palace Museum. Topkapi Palace was home to all the Ottoman sultans until the reign of Abdulmecid I (1839-1860), a period of nearly four centuries. It is also home to the lushly decorated Circumcision Chamber, the Baghdad Pavilion, and the Yerevan Pavilion. One of the most distinct structures of the fourth courtyard is the quaint gilt-bronze Iftar Pergola, where sultans would break their fast if Ramadan fell in the summer.
Before you wrap up the day, make a visit to a place that holds the history for ancient racing, The Hippodrome. It is located in the Square of Blue Mosque. The hippodrome was an ancient Greek stadium for has witnessed many awesome events such as the famous gladiator fights, chariot/car races and many riots in the past.
Accommodation in 5* Four Seasons Istanbul Sultanahmet or similar
Day 4: Istanbul - Izmir
This morning after breakfast, meet your driver at your hotel lobby. Then, make a private transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Izmir.
Thereafter, arrive in Izmir, a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia. Izmir is also the third most populous city in Turkey. Then, set off for a City Tour in Izmir and head back in time to learn more about the history of some of these iconic attractions.
Visit the Library of Celsus, which was the third-largest library in the Roman world behind only Alexandria and Pergamum, believed to have held around twelve thousand scrolls. Constructed in the 2nd century CE, it was named after the city’s former Roman governor and is one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire. Today, only the library's impressive facade remains of this once great building and is a silent witness to the city’s statue as a great centre of learning and early Christian scholarship during the Roman period.
Then, visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. The original temple was located in the ancient city of Ephesus. Today, this site is on what is now called the modern town of Selcuk. This original temple was one of the wonders of the ancient world. It has been rebuilt twice, until its complete destruction. Today, if you visit the original site, only a foundation and sculptural fragments remain.
After which, make a stop at Marble Street. Marble Street was one of the main streets of Ephesus City that connects various streets within the city. It was named after what it’s known for, its white marble pavements.
Then, visit Commercial Agora. The Agora was an important trade centre of Ephesus and it was built in the third century B.C in the Hellenistic Period. The Agora has 3 gates, one from the front of the theatre on the northeast, the other one opening to the harbour on the west and the third one from the Celsius Library.
Accommodation in 5* Swissotel Buyuk Efes Hotel or similar
Day 5: Izmir - Pamukkale
This morning, after breakfast, meet your local guide and driver.
Then, take a 3-hour drive and make your way to Pamukkale. Pamukkale (Cotton Castle in Turkish) is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey, attracting more than 2 million visitors each year.
"Cotton Castle" is formed when a spring with a high content of calcium bicarbonate cascaded over the edge of the mountain cliff, which cooled and hardened leaving white-coloured calcium deposits and aquamarine mineral-rich water.
The stunning views and unique experience is the reason why millions of visitors flock to the Pamukkale thermal pools for the opportunity to bathe in the warm natural spring annually. You may take a bath in the warm natural springs if you wish.
Thereafter, visit the Ancient City of Hierapolis. Hierapolis is an ancient city located on the top of Pamukkale and is a World Heritage site. There is a mixture of Pagan, Roman, Jewish and early Christian influences. Since the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the 2nd century, people came to Hierapolis to soothe their ailments and often retire and die. The ruins sprawl over a large area and there is a large necropolis filled with sarcophagi. The main sights include a Roman Theatre, Temple of Apollo, Plutonium and more.
Then, make your way to your accommodation and rest for the night.
Accommodation in 5* Doga Thermal Hotel or similar
Day 6: Pamukkale - Fethiye
This morning after breakfast, meet your local guide and driver at the hotel lobby and make your journey towards Fethiye.
Fethiye is a port city, and district, on Turkey's southwestern Turquoise Coast. It's known for its natural harbour, blue waters and numerous rock tombs.
Visit Tomb of Amyntas, an Ionic temple facade carved into a sheer rock face in 350 BC, in honour of 'Amyntas son of Hermapias’. What makes this tome unique is that it has a large interior. While many other tombs carved into the mountainsides are quite small, the interior of the Tomb of Amyntas is as large as a full-sized temple.
Thereafter, visit the Ancient City of Telmessos. Telmessos was the ancient name of Fethiye, the oldest civilization of the Anatolian. It was also the most important city of the ancient Lycian civilization.
Then, continue your journey to the Bay of Oludeniz (Its name translates to Blue Lagoon), home to one of the prettiest coastal beaches in Turkey, it is famous for its calm turquoise waters. This famed lagoon beach is also a part of a protected national park (Ölüdeniz Tabiat Parkı and a popular spot among locals in Summer.
Proceed to make your way to your accommodation and rest for the night.
Accommodation in 5* Salonika Suites Ölüdeniz or similar
Day 7: Fethiye - Antalya
Meet your local guide and driver after breakfast this morning and depart Fethiye and take a 3-hour drive for Antalya.
Upon arrival in Antalya, visit Hadrian's Gate, a triumphal arch, which was built in the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian, who visited the city in the year 130. It is the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that surround the city and harbour.
Then, visit The Clock Tower which makes up the ancient walls of the Old Town is the iconic face of Antalya. It is the last survivor of the 80 towers that once surrounded the ancient city. The rising stone structure looms over the surrounding cityscape as a reminder of its rich history. Here, you may wish to take notice of the dramatic contrast between the historic building and the modern hotel complexes and restaurants.
Continue your journey in the city and arrive at Hıdırlık Tower, one of the oldest surviving monuments in the city, built of yellow-brown, stone blocks. At this vantage point, witness the beautiful and stunning views of Antalya bay.
Your visit to Antalya's magnificent landscape must include a trip to one of its resplendent waterfalls, each of which is a natural wonder. Duden Waterfall is a marvellous waterfall and its surrounding gardens are a popular picnic spot in Antalya. The Duden Waterfalls consists of Upper Duden and Lower Duden.
The peaceful sounds of the water splashing against the rocks at Duden Waterfall are = one of the everyday luxuries you should experience in Antalya.
Before we end the day, we make a visit to Aspendos Theatre, known as the best-preserved ancient theatre in the world. The sheer scale of the Aspendos Theater is very impressive. The overall width of the theatre is 315 feet (96 meters), with other elements following general proportions: the width of the stage is half the width of the building, and the diameter of the orchestra is half the width of the stage.
Accommodation in 5* Crowne Plaza Antalya or similar
Day 8: Antalya – Cappadocia
This morning, enjoy your breakfast at your hotel accommodation. Then, meet your driver and transfer to Antalya airport for your domestic flight to Cappadocia in the (morning/ afternoon).
Upon arrival in Cappadocia, visit Cappadocia’s famous ‘fairy chimneys’ is a surreal landscape of carved-out towering rock formations that changes its colour with every sunset. These rock formations that have made Cappadocia one of the most popular destinations in Turkey emerged due to a geological process that began millions of years ago.
Then, head to Goreme Open Air Museum. The Goreme Open-Air Museum is a beautifully dense complex of monasteries placed side-by-side, each housing an incredibly detailed and historic church. Because of its location in the centre of the valley, it is one of the most popular things to do in Cappadocia.
Optional: The Goreme Open-Air Museum also has an audio guide available for an extra 15 Turkish Lyra. With more than 30 stops along the tour, the audio guide explains lots of the history and facts about the region and the people who lived in Cappadocia in the cave houses. This is one of the main reasons why it is one of the most popular things to do in Cappadocia.
Thereafter, visit the Pigeon Valley. This place earned its name from the countless manmade dovecotes (Pigeon Holes) carved into the soft volcanic tuff. Since ancient times pigeons have been used in the Cappadocia region for food and fertilizer for the infertile soil.
Optional/ Unsure if included: Pigeon Valley is one of the best spots for walking in the marvellous Cappadocia region, Central Anatolia. The valley is located between Goreme and Uchisar, where you can visit Uchisar Castle for a magnificent view, an easy hiking trail connects the two via the valley passing through rock-hewn Christian churches and abandoned cave homes. Adventures may also choose to explore Pigeon Valley on horseback or with a jeep safari.
Transfer to your hotel and rest for the night.
Accommodation in 5* Ariana Luxury Lodge Hotel or similar
Day 9: Cappadocia – Istanbul
This morning, set off early in the morning to check off one of the item’s on your bucketlist - a Hot Air Balloon Flight with breakfast. Before your flight, enjoy a buffet breakfast with coffee or tea.
Then, soar through the skies of Cappadocia on this magical hot-air-balloon tour in Turkey. Admire incredible panoramic views of the Cappadocia region and the region’s lunar landscape from above.
To commemorate this unique experience and the privileged views of the unique landscape from the air that came with it, send cheers with a glass of Champagne upon landing. No trip to Turkey is complete without treasuring this unforgettable experience.
Thereafter, we visit one of the largest underground cities in Turkey, said to have existed since the Hittite period. The Derinkuyu Underground City cave system is one of the most remarkable things to see in Cappadocia. Walk down through more than five levels of the cave system, which once housed over 20,000 people and their livestock.
In the evening, depart to Cappadocia airport and board your domestic flight to Istanbul.
Accommodation in 5* Four Seasons Istanbul Sultanahmet or similar
Day 10: Istanbul
Today, enjoy and explore Istanbul at your own leisure.
Day 11: Istanbul – Singapore
Depart Istanbul for Singapore
Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on the tour but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored based on the interests of the group.
This itinerary and its package inclusions might be changed later in time, subject to availability.