Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey
Welcome to the splendor that is Istanbul – home to the masterpieces of Byzantine and Ottoman art, culture, and history.  As you are driven to your hotel, enjoy views of Istanbul’s skyline along the Sea of Marmara before passing through the ancient city walls into old town. After checking in, take time to explore the neighborhood around your hotel and feel the vibrant pulse of the city. Your Turkish adventure is just beginning.


Istanbul Guided Tour
After enjoying a Turkish breakfast, meet with your tour guide. Today you will see the highlights of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Your first stop is the Hagia Sophia, which served as the cathedral of Constantinople for over 1,000 years.  Next, head underground to see the dramatically lit 6th century Basilica Cistern built by Emperor Justinian. Continue past the Blue Mosque to the nearby Hippodrome, which served as the center of Byzantine social life. The Hippodrome was used during Roman times for horse races, gladiator contests, and public celebrations. Step inside the Ibrahim Pasa Palace to see the extraordinary collections of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts.  Following lunch at a historic Sultanahmet eatery that specializes in kofte (tasty flame-grilled meatballs), take a stroll through the less-touristy streets of Istanbul to a coffee shop to enjoy a rich Turkish coffee. Browse through the Spice Market to sample the different flavors of Turkey, from Turkish delight to varieties of olives and cheeses. Later, explore the blue tiles in the magical Rustempasa mosque, built by Sinan, architect for Suleyman the Magnificent.


Istanbul Guided Tour
Today’s tour begins with Topkapi Palace, from where Ottomans ruled over most of Europe and the Middle East. Admire the riches of the Treasury and the sultans’ private quarters in the Harem. Continue onto Eminonu to enjoy a fish sandwich – freshly caught and grilled and served from a boat near the shore. Walking past locals fishing off of the Galata Bridge, we proceed to Europe’s first metro which carries you to a whole new Istanbul. Climb up Galata Tower; in the 17th century, an Ottoman inspired by DaVinci ‘s drawings strapped on wings and flew over the Golden Horn to Topkapi Palace. Meet the modern face of Istanbul as you join the thousands of people on the pedestrian walkway of Istiklal Street.  Board your craft for an afternoon cruise between Europe and Asia along the Bosphorus Strait. Take advantage of the afternoon light to photograph palatial estates and Ottoman palaces along the water as you sail past the Bosphorus Bridge.  


Fly Istanbul - Ephesus
An early morning transfer takes you from your hotel in Istanbul to meet your flight to Izmir (Ephesus), where you are greeted by your licensed tour guide. Start today's explorations at the Temple of Artemis, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient world. Next, head to the Isa Bey Mosque for an impressive display of 14th century Turkish architecture. Continue on to visit the Basilica of St John, part of the magnificent church built over the tomb of St. John the Evangelist by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century. St. John is said to have lived in Ephesus with the Virgin Mary up to the time of his death. Following lunch at a local eatery specializing in Cop Sis (tasty flame-grilled lamb skewers), visit the superbly presented Ephesus Archaeological Museum. This collection of artifacts from Ephesus includes furniture and personal items from the Terrace Houses, fabulous marble statuary, and a gladiator exhibit featuring skeletal remains showing evidence of these warriors' fatal injuries and the weapons that inflicted them. A short drive takes you to the House of the Virgin Mary, authenticated by Pope Paul II in 1967 and a pilgrimage site for many religions. Next, we explore the unmatched archaeological site of ancient Ephesus. The sheer size and grandeur of the site make this the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean. As you wind your way down through the city of colonnaded avenues, you will see the magnificent façade of the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, City Hall, the public baths, marketplaces, courthouses, fountains, the theater, as well as a brothel and public latrine. Your tour also includes a visit to see the Terrace Houses - well-preserved private homes of the Roman upper-class with many intact mosaics and frescoes. Transfer to tonight's accommodations at one of our select hotels in Ephesus area.


Aphrodisias - Pamukkale - Hierapolis Guided Tour and Fly to Istanbul
Today we drive through the fertile Meander Valley to Aphrodisias, one of the most beautiful (and least visited) ancient cities in Turkey. Named after Aphrodite, the goddess of love, this Greco-Roman site was once an important cultural and intellectual center renowned for its school of sculpture. See the well preserved monumental gateways, the thirty-thousand-seat stadium, and a rich array of public buildings, all of which offer important clues to the city's high standard of living. With a fine supply of quality marble nearby, the school at Aphrodisias cultivated the finest master sculptors, whose coveted works were found all over the Roman empire. Most of the magnificent statues found in the public buildings in the city are on display at the Aphrodisias Museum inside the ancient city. After enjoying the splendors of Aphrodisias, lunch at a local eatery in an unspoiled Anatolian town. From there, a short drive takes us to the unique natural wonder of Pamukkale. Enjoy walking in the warm mineral waters of Pamukkale, where sparkling white basins formed by limestone deposits cascade dramatically down the mountainside. As you can see by the remains of marble columns in the picturesque Baths of Cleopatra, the thermal waters here have been used for their therapeutic powers since the Roman period. We will also explore the surrounding area of Hierapolis with its 2nd century Roman TheaterApollo Temple, and the largest and best preserved Necropolis in Anatolia. At the end of the day, you are transferred to Denizli (Pamukkale) Airport for an evening flight to Istanbul, where you are greeted and driven to your hotel.


Istanbul at Leisure
Enjoy a free day at Leisure in Istanbul, explore the local bazaars for last minute shopping. Stay overnight in Istanbul. 


Fly Istanbul/Home
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

3 Day Cappadocia Explorer Trip Features


  • An incredible experience without the hordes of tourists
  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • Domestic Flights
  • Air-conditioned vehicle with non-smoking private driver
  • Entrance to all sites
  • Guided tour at sites by licensed, non-smoking private tour guide
  • A la carte lunches with beverages
  • Airport transfers in Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale
  • Complimentary bottled water throughout the day tours
  • Taxes




This tour can be customized for you, adding or omitting places as you wish. Final pricing will depend upon your personal selections.

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"I have traveled quite a bit over the years and you are perhaps the best travel agency I have ever dealt with. Cappadocia should be on everybody’s travel list, and you really made it possible to really get as much as possible out of a short visit. The small group size of your tours and personal attention from staff makes the trip much more satisfying than a “big bus” experience. I would recommend a trip to Cappadocia with you to everyone." 
Danielle from USA





Ozgur Guker

Hello! I am Ozgur, your friendly local travel consultant in San Francisco, and state-licensed tour guide in Turkey from Spring through Fall. Call / Text or Whatsapp me at +1.415.786.9486, or reach out to me by clicking here, have a wonderful day...




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