5 Days Istanbul Tour Cappadocia Tour. Spend five glorious days in Turkey seeing some of the must see sights. Soak up the culture and history of Istanbul. Tour the sites in the historic old city. Soar above the fairy chimneys…
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5 Days Istanbul Tour Cappadocia Tour. Spend five glorious days in Turkey seeing some of the must see sights. Soak up the culture and history of Istanbul. Tour the sites in the historic old city. Soar above the fairy chimneys at dawn on a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. Explore the underground cities and impressive frescoes. Don’t miss this trip, which is jam packed with adventure and beautiful places waiting to be seen!
About Istanbul Cappadocia Tour, Your Turkey Tour Destination
Istanbul has been around for thousands of years. It’s packed with culture, history and amazing sites. Every part of the city has something exciting waiting to be discovered. Give yourself at least 3 days to see everything. The city has been around since 600 BCE and there is so much to explore.
The city was founded by the Greeks around 600 BCE who named it Byzantium after their leader Byzas. After the Romans came into power, they conquered the city and implemented their Christian religion. In the year 306 AD the Emperor of Rome, Constantine, declared Byzantium the Roman capital of the East and renamed it Constantinople and so began the Byzantine Era. Constantinople enjoyed prosperity until the Ottoman Turks conquered it in 1453. The Ottomans renamed the city Istanbul and changed the religion to Islam. Istanbul was part of the Ottoman Empire until it fell in 1918 after its defeat during WWI. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923 and moved the capital from Istanbul to Ankara. However, Istanbul still remains the country’s central hub of all things historically, culturally and socially.
Due to the many different cultures and religions that have occupied the city over its long history, Istanbul is packed with historical relics from every era. It is a treat to visit the old city, or Sultanahmet, as locals know it, and visit the palaces, mosques, basilicas and bazaars that are so well preserved today. The main square in Sultanahmet boasts the city’s two most popular sites, the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The Blue Mosque was built in 1603 by Sultan Ahmet II and was quite controversial. This was the first mosque to be built with six minarets instead of four. The Hagia Sophia dates back to the Byzantine Empire and was built in the year 537 AD as a Christian basilica and still remains standing today.
Within easy walking distance of Sultanahmet Square are Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Bazaar, all a must see on a visit to Istanbul. Topkapi Palace was built in the late 1450’s and was the place of residence for 30 sultans. Today it is open as a museum where you can see what life was like in court during the Ottoman Empire. It also contains other precious relics of the Islamic faith. The Basilica Cistern was used during the Byzantine Empire to store water for the city to use. Back in its heyday it held 80,000 meters of water. It is no longer filled with that much water and tourists can walk through the beautifully lit passages. The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered bazaar in the world and is still fully operational. While there was always a bazaar in that location, it was covered in 1463 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The Grand Bazaar contains over 3,600 stores and is definitely worth a visit.
Istanbul is unique in being the only city in the world that spans two continents. The Bosphorus Bridge connects the European side of the city to the Asian side. Other great sites around Istanbul are Dolmabahce Palace, the Galata Tower, Pierre Loti Hill and Taksim Square. Another popular activity is to take a cruise on the Bosphorus. It’s a great way to see the city from a different view.
Cappadocia is one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. The area’s daily hot air balloon rides at sunrise have become something of legend and people flock here to get the best photos. The “fairy chimney” rock formations that make up the landscape were formed thousands of years ago as a result of volcanic eruptions. The earliest documented settlers here were the Hittites around 2,500 BC. Over the next few thousand years, control over the region passed between the Assyrians, Phrygians, Lydians and Persians before finally coming under Roman rule around 17 AD. With the Romans came Christianity and communities started sprouting all over the region. During that time, people were being persecuted for following Christianity so they built underground cities and carved monasteries into the rock formations as a way to survive while still being able to practice their religion. In 1071, the Seljuq Turks took control over the region. It eventually was annexed into the rapidly growing Ottoman Empire after they defeated the Byzantines for control of the region in 1453. With the Ottomans came Islam and the area was converted.
Archeologists have uncovered the underground cities built by the early Christian settlers and the most famous is called Derinkuyu. The city is 18 stories deep and is open for visitors daily. However, for safety reasons, visitors can only tour the first 8 stories. Day tours of the area also include the Goreme Open Air Museum and Selime Monastery. Both are well-preserved monasteries carved into the rocks. Visitors can still see the frescoes painted on to the rock. Other highlights of the area include Uchisar Castle, a castle carved into a boulder with a stunning view of the region and the Ihlara Valley, a beautiful scenic gorge that is a treat to hike through.
A trip to Cappadocia isn’t complete with out a sunrise hot air balloon ride. However, in the past few years, their fame has skyrocketed and the balloons fill up fast. If you are unable to ride in one, the next best thing is to have breakfast at your hotel while the balloons fly overhead. The site of all of the balloons in the air is the next best thing!
If you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in a cave, then Cappadocia is the perfect place for you! Many of the hotels are carved into the rocks that line the landscape of the region. However, despite their cave-like appearance, they are all fully furnished with modern facilities. Don’t miss out on the unique experience of staying in one of these hotels.
Due to the volcanic tuff that covers the area, the land is quite fertile and the perfect condition to grow grapes! As a result, the region is also known for wine making. You can take tours of the wineries and see how Turkey’s wines compare to those around the world!
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Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to your hotelOnce you arrive in Istanbul, our driver will be waiting to pick you up and escort you to your boutique hotel in the heart of the Old City, also known as Sultanahmet. After checking in the Byzantium Hotel, or similar, you'll have the rest of the day to get acclimated and explore the city on your own.
Istanbul Old City Walking Tour (B,L)Following breakfast at your hotel, you'll be picked up at 8:30 by our experienced guide to begin a full day walking tour of the Old City. You'll start by seeing the Hagia Sophia, one of the oldest buildings in the city. From there, you'll continue on the Blue Mosque where you can admire the beautiful interior. The Blue Mosque lets out on to the Hippodrome where your guide will tell you of the significance of each item. Lunch is provided at a traditional Turkish restaurant. After lunch, you'll walk through the historic neighborhoods of Fener and Balat before coming to Topkapi Palace. Admire the longtime palace of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire as you learn how they spent their days. You'll finish your tour in the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest covered bazaars in the world. At the end of the tour, our guide will take you back to your hotel. You will have the rest of the evening to rest or explore.
Istanbul to Cappadocia by plane and day tour of Southern Cappadocia-Green tour (L)Our driver will pick you up at 4:00 AM and take you to the airport for a one-hour flight to Cappadocia. Upon your arrival, our driver will be waiting to pick you up and take you to our office in Goreme town. From there you will join the South Cappadocia Tour. You'll begin your tour with a visit to Derinkuyu Underground City before continuing on to the Ihlara Valley. After a pleasant stroll through a section of the gorge, you will stop for lunch at a traditional Turkish restaurant. From there, you will continue on to Selime Monastery and explore the rock formations that the Monks called home. You're next stop is Pigeon Valley for a spectacular view and photo op. Your last stop will be at an onyx factory to learn how it's made. When the tour is finished, our guide will drop you at your hotel. You will be staying in Holiday Cave Hotel or similar. The rest of the evening is free to rest or explore.
Day tour of Northern Cappadocia (Red Tour) / Flight back to Istanbul (B,L)If you choose to add on the optional hot air balloon ride, you'll be picked up at 4:30 AM and taken to the balloon site where you will watch the balloons be blown up and prepared for departure. You'll enjoy a one-hour hot air balloon ride over the landscape of Cappadocia as the sun rises. Once the balloon ride is finished, our guide will take you back to your hotel where you can enjoy breakfast before your next tour. Our guide will pick you up from your hotel at 9:30 AM for a tour of the North side of Cappadocia. Your first stop will be at Uchisar Castle, which is one of the best views in the area. Next, you'll visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take in the stunning frescoes. For lunch, you will be stopping in Avanos at a traditional Anatolian restaurant. Following lunch, you'll make short stops for photo ops at the beautifully scenic landscapes of Pasabag Monk's Valley, Devrent Valley and the Urgup Fairy Chimneys. Before returning to your hotel, you'll stop at a traditional kick wheel pottery factory and see a demonstration. If you're lucky, you may even get to try it yourself! At the end of the tour, our driver will take you to the airport for a one-hour flight back to Istanbul. When you arrive, our driver will pick you up and take you back to your hotel.
Istanbul (B)According to your flight time, our driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport.
All Airport transfers mentioned by the itinerary
All flight tickets with taxes (Istanbul-Cappadocia-Istanbul)
3-day tour mentioned by the itinerary (Guide, Lunch, Transportation and all entrance fees )
3-Night Hotel in Istanbul (Boutique Hotel) with breakfast
1- Night S-class cave boutique hotel in Cappadocia with breakfast
All meals mentioned by the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
Vegetarian meals available
Full travel insurance
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