10-Day Itinerary in Turkey

10-Day Itinerary in Turkey

Turkey, a country where the past and present converge, offers an adventure that’s as diverse as its landscapes. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene beaches of the Aegean, this 10-day itinerary is designed to showcase the best of Turkey. Ideal for those exploring Turkey tour packages, this guide promises a blend of historical exploration, cultural immersion, and natural wonders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the historical wonders of Istanbul and its Byzantine and Ottoman relics.
  • Visit the ancient city of Ephesus and delve into its fascinating ruins.
  • Experience the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale and Hierapolis.
  • Discover the ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos, and Side near Antalya.
  • Enjoy a free day in Antalya to relax and indulge in Turkish cuisine.

Day 1: Arrive and Overnight in Istanbul

Your adventure begins in the fascinating city of Istanbul, where the past and present coexist. Upon landing at the Istanbul Airport, get settled in your accommodation and prepare yourself for an exciting journey ahead.

As you arrive in Istanbul, the vibrant energy of this historic city will captivate your senses. From the elegant architecture of the Hagia Sophia to the bustling markets of the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul offers a blend of rich history, multicultural influences, and breathtaking views.

After a long flight, take some time to relax and rejuvenate at your chosen accommodation. Whether you prefer a luxurious hotel or a cozy boutique guesthouse, Istanbul boasts a wide range of options to suit every traveler’s needs. Settle into your room and take a moment to admire the stunning city skyline or unwind with a cup of traditional Turkish tea.

Once you’re refreshed and ready to explore, venture out into the vibrant streets of Istanbul. Begin your journey by strolling through the bustling neighborhoods, such as Sultanahmet or Beyoglu, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Discover hidden gems, taste authentic Turkish cuisine, and get lost in the maze of narrow streets that lead to historical landmarks.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit iconic sites like the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, or the Basilica Cistern. These architectural marvels offer a glimpse into Istanbul’s rich past and provide a perfect starting point for your cultural exploration.

As the day comes to a close, find a cozy spot to enjoy a traditional Turkish dinner. Indulge in mouthwatering kebabs, mezes, and baklava while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of Istanbul’s dining scene.

As the night settles in, retire to your comfortable accommodation and get a restful night’s sleep, ready to continue your Turkish adventure the next day. Istanbul’s captivating charm will leave you longing for more as you navigate through the ancient streets, savor the tantalizing flavors, and uncover the hidden treasures of this remarkable city.

Day 2: Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour

On the second day of your adventure in Turkey, immerse yourself in the rich history of Istanbul with a captivating tour of the Byzantine and Ottoman relics. Begin your exploration in the Sultanahmet district, which lies at the heart of old Istanbul.

Your first stop is the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia. Once a church, then a mosque, and now a museum, this architectural masterpiece is a testament to the city’s fascinating past. Marvel at the intricate mosaics, grand domes, and soaring minarets that adorn this iconic landmark.

Next, make your way to the Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Admire its striking blue ceramic tiles, cascading domes, and six minarets. Step inside and feel the tranquil ambiance as natural light filters through the stained glass windows.

Continue your journey through history by visiting the Topkapi Palace, the former residence of the Ottoman sultans. Explore the opulent chambers, gaze at the priceless treasures in the Treasury, and stroll through the lush gardens that offer breathtaking views of the Bosphorus.

No visit to Istanbul is complete without experiencing the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar. Lose yourself in the labyrinthine alleys filled with vibrant colors, enticing aromas, and a myriad of shops selling everything from Turkish carpets to delicate ceramics.

As you wander through the narrow streets, take a moment to savor the flavors of Istanbul. Indulge in traditional Turkish delicacies such as kebabs, baklava, and Turkish tea, immersing yourself in the culinary delights of this captivating city.

Overall, the Istanbul Byzantine and Ottoman Relics Tour offers a captivating journey through the city’s storied past, allowing you to witness the grandeur of these historical landmarks and embrace the vibrant culture that makes Istanbul truly unique.

Day 3: Fly to Izmir from Istanbul – Ephesus Tour

On day three of your 10-day Turkey itinerary, you will have an opportunity to explore the ancient city of Ephesus after a short flight from Istanbul to Izmir.

Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a testament to the rich history and architectural grandeur of ancient Turkey. As you wander through the well-preserved ruins, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of Roman rule.

Highlights of Ephesus Tour

During your Ephesus tour, you’ll have the chance to visit some of the most iconic landmarks and structures that make this ancient city so remarkable. Here are the must-see highlights:

  • The Library of Celsus: Admire the impressive facade of this ancient library, which once housed thousands of scrolls and manuscripts.
  • The Temple of Hadrian: Marvel at the intricate carvings and artwork that adorn this well-preserved temple dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
  • The Great Theatre: Explore the sprawling amphitheater, which could hold up to 25,000 spectators and was once a venue for gladiatorial contests and theatrical performances.

Throughout your tour, an expert guide will provide fascinating insights into the history and significance of each site, allowing you to fully appreciate the architectural marvels and cultural heritage of Ephesus.

Time Activity
9:00 AM Depart from Izmir
10:00 AM Arrive in Ephesus
10:30 AM Begin the guided tour of Ephesus
1:00 PM Lunch break
2:00 PM Continue exploring Ephesus
5:00 PM Return to Izmir

After a day filled with historical exploration, you’ll return to Izmir, where you can choose to relax in your hotel or venture out to explore the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

Stay tuned for the next section of our 10-day Turkey itinerary, where we’ll journey to the mesmerizing landscapes of Pamukkale and the picturesque city of Antalya.

Day 4: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour – Bus to Antalya – Overnight stay in Antalya

On day four of your Turkey itinerary, get ready to unearth the mysteries of the ancient city of Hierapolis and experience the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale, also known as the “Cotton Castle”.

Start your day by exploring the fascinating ruins of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the well-preserved structures, including the magnificent theater, the Roman bathhouses, and the ancient necropolis. As you wander through this ancient city, imagine the lives of those who once walked these same streets.

After immersing yourself in the history of Hierapolis, it’s time to witness the awe-inspiring natural wonder of Pamukkale. The terraces of white mineral-rich travertine created over centuries by thermal waters will leave you breathless. Take off your shoes and walk on the warm, calcium-rich waters that flow down the terraces, enjoying the rejuvenating properties of the natural springs. Don’t forget to capture some stunning photos to immortalize this surreal experience.

Next, hop on a comfortable bus that will take you from Pamukkale to Antalya, often referred to as the Turkish Riviera. The journey offers breathtaking views of the Turkish countryside, allowing you to relax and soak in the picturesque landscapes along the way.

The Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour:

Highlights Duration Included
Exploring the ancient city of Hierapolis 2-3 hours Entrance fees, guided tour
Walking on the terraces of Pamukkale 1-2 hours Entrance fees
Bus transfer to Antalya 4-5 hours Comfortable bus ride

Arrive in Antalya, a vibrant city known for its stunning coastline and rich history. With its palm-lined boulevards, picturesque harbor, and charming old town (Kaleiçi), Antalya offers a perfect blend of ancient charm and modern amenities.

Settle into your hotel for an overnight stay in Antalya, where you can relax and rejuvenate after an eventful day of exploration. Take a stroll along the Mediterranean Sea, enjoy the vibrant nightlife, or savor a delicious meal at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Antalya is the gateway to many natural wonders and historical sites, making it an ideal base for further exploration in the region. Get a good night’s rest and prepare yourself for more adventures in the days to come!

Day 5: Full-Day Tour to Perge, Aspendos, Side, and Waterfall

Dedicate your fifth day to exploring the ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos, and Side, located close to Antalya. Embark on a full-day tour that will transport you back in time to witness the rich history and architectural marvels of these captivating destinations.


Begin your journey with a visit to Perge, an ancient Greco-Roman city that dates back to the 4th century BC. As you stroll through its well-preserved ruins, imagine the bustling streets and vibrant life that once thrived here. Marvel at the grandeur of the Hellenistic Gate, the magnificence of the Roman Baths, and the intricate mosaics that adorn the floors of the houses.


Next, venture to Aspendos, renowned for its remarkable Roman Theatre. Step into this ancient amphitheater, an architectural masterpiece that still echoes with the applause of audiences from centuries ago. Be captivated by its breathtaking acoustics and imagine the grand performances that once graced its stage.


Continuing your journey, explore the coastal town of Side. Admire the Temple of Apollo, an iconic symbol that stands proudly at the water’s edge, offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Wander through the narrow streets of the old town, soaking up the charming atmosphere, and discover hidden gems tucked away in every corner.

Duden Waterfalls

Conclude your day with a visit to the picturesque Duden Waterfalls. Stand in awe as the cascading water plunges into the sea, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of nature’s power. Capture unforgettable moments and breathe in the refreshing mist as you explore the surrounding park.

Escape into the past and witness the wonders of Perge, Aspendos, Side, and the beauty of the Duden Waterfalls on this unforgettable full-day tour. Immerse yourself in history, soak in the beauty of nature, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Day 6: Free day in Antalya to explore

After days filled with adventure, day six allows for a well-deserved break to immerse yourself in the enchanting Mediterranean charm of Antalya. This free day gives you the opportunity to leisurely explore the many wonders this coastal city has to offer, allowing you to set your own pace and create your own adventure.

One of the highlights of Antalya is the historic district of Kaleiçi. Wander through its narrow winding lanes, adorned with Ottoman houses that exude a sense of timeless beauty. Marvel at the ancient Roman Harbour, where history comes to life as the turquoise waters meet the ancient walls.

Take your time to soak in the atmosphere, savoring each moment as you explore the cobblestone streets and stumble upon hidden gems tucked away in every corner. From quaint cafes to boutique shops, Kaleiçi invites you to engage with its vibrant culture and history.

Indulge in the rich flavors of Turkish cuisine as you treat yourself to a delightful culinary experience. Sample mouthwatering kebabs, savory mezes, and traditional Turkish desserts. Whether you choose to dine at a street-side cafe or indulge in a fine dining experience, every bite will transport you deeper into the heart of Turkish culture.

To make the most of your free day, consider embarking on a relaxing boat trip along the breathtaking coastline. Sail across the Mediterranean and discover hidden coves, swim in crystal-clear waters, and marvel at the stunning landscape that surrounds you.

As the day slowly comes to an end, find a serene spot to witness a captivating Antalya sunset that paints the sky with vibrant hues. Reflect on the memories you’ve made during your journey and prepare for the next chapters of your Turkish adventure.

Must-See Attractions in Antalya:

Attraction Description
Hadrian’s Gate Ancient Roman triumphal arch marking the entrance to the city.
Karaalioglu Park A scenic park offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Antalya Museum A treasure trove of ancient artifacts showcasing the region’s rich history.
Düden Waterfalls Nature’s spectacular display of cascading waterfalls amidst lush greenery.

Day 7: Fly to Kayseri/Nevsehir from Antalya – Overnight stay in Cappadocia

As my Turkish adventure continues, I board a flight from Antalya to Kayseri/Nevsehir on day seven. This marks the beginning of my exploration of Cappadocia, a region famous for its otherworldly landscapes.

Upon arrival at Kayseri/Nevsehir, I’m captivated by the unique moon-like scenery that awaits me. Cappadocia’s surreal rock formations, also known as fairy chimneys, are a sight to behold. To fully immerse myself in the beauty and magic of this place, I check into a cave hotel. Yes, you read that right – a hotel built into the rocky terrain, providing an authentic and unforgettable experience.

As I settle into my cave hotel, I can’t help but feel both amazed and grateful for the opportunity to spend the night in such a remarkable setting. The thought of waking up surrounded by the enchanting Cappadocian landscape excites me for the adventures that await on the following day.

Why Stay in a Cave Hotel?

Staying in a cave hotel allows you to fully immerse yourself in the unique charm of Cappadocia. These traditional cave dwellings offer a blend of authenticity and comfort, providing a truly extraordinary experience. With their natural insulation, cave hotels also keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, ensuring a pleasant stay throughout the year. Plus, the views from these hotels are simply breathtaking, offering panoramic vistas of the captivating landscapes.

Benefits of Staying in a Cave Hotel Drawbacks of Staying in a Cave Hotel
1. Unique and authentic experience 1. Limited amenities compared to conventional hotels
2. Natural insulation for comfortable stays 2. Some cave hotels may have smaller rooms
3. Breathtaking panoramic views 3. Potential for a damp atmosphere
4. Immersion in the local culture 4. May not be suitable for those with mobility issues

Overall, staying in a cave hotel adds an element of wonder and excitement to your Cappadocia experience. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with the history and natural beauty of the region while enjoying a comfortable and memorable stay.

Day 8: North Cappadocia Tour

Prepare to be enchanted by the otherworldly landscapes of North Cappadocia on this unforgettable tour. Immerse yourself in the wonders of this historical region as you explore its unique attractions.

1. Zelve Open Air Museum

Begin your day by visiting the Zelve Open Air Museum. This incredible site showcases ancient cave dwellings and rock-cut churches that date back to the Byzantine era. Wander through the labyrinthine paths, carved into the soft volcanic rock, and marvel at the intricate frescoes adorning the walls.

2. Pasabag (Fairy Chimneys)

Next, head to Pasabag, also known as the Fairy Chimneys. These extraordinary rock formations resemble chimneys with multiple caps and have been sculpted by nature over thousands of years. Admire the unique shapes and capture stunning photos amidst this magical landscape.

3. Devrent Valley

Continue your journey to Devrent Valley, often referred to as the Imagination Valley. Let your imagination run wild as you gaze upon the whimsical rock formations, which resemble animals, people, and objects. This surreal landscape is a testament to the power of nature’s creativity.

4. Uçhisar Castle

Climb to the top of Uçhisar Castle, the highest point in Cappadocia, and experience breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding region. This natural fortress offers a glimpse into the region’s strategic importance throughout history and provides an excellent vantage point to appreciate the captivating beauty of Cappadocia.

As you explore North Cappadocia, take a moment to pause and soak in the serenity of this extraordinary place. The surreal landscapes, ancient dwellings, and fascinating history combine to create an unparalleled experience.

Attractions Description
Zelve Open Air Museum Ancient cave dwellings and rock-cut churches from the Byzantine era.
Pasabag (Fairy Chimneys) Extraordinary rock formations resembling chimneys with multiple caps.
Devrent Valley Whimsical rock formations resembling animals, people, and objects.
Uçhisar Castle The highest point in Cappadocia offering panoramic views of the region.

Day 9: South Cappadocia Tour – Fly back to Istanbul

On day nine of your 10-day Turkey itinerary, embark on a mesmerizing South Cappadocia Tour that unveils the hidden gems of this enchanting region. Explore the fascinating Kaymakli Underground City, an ancient complex carved into the volcanic rock that once served as a shelter for early Christians.

Continue your journey to the stunning Rose Valley, known for its breathtaking rock formations and vibrant hues. As you walk through the valley, marvel at the unique colors of the rocks, ranging from shades of pink to vivid red, creating a truly surreal landscape.

Next, venture into the historic village of Çavuşin, where ancient cave dwellings and rock-cut churches await discovery. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the region as you explore the remnants of this once-thriving settlement.

Conclude your South Cappadocia tour with a visit to Love Valley, renowned for its phallic-shaped rock formations that create a captivating natural wonder. Take in the awe-inspiring views and capture memorable photos against the backdrop of Cappadocia’s unique geological formations.

Highlights of the South Cappadocia Tour: Duration:
Kaymakli Underground City 1 hour
Rose Valley 2 hours
Çavuşin 1 hour
Love Valley 1 hour

After a day filled with exploration and wonder, it’s time to bid farewell to the magical land of Cappadocia. Take a short flight back to Istanbul, where you can reflect on the incredible memories and experiences gained during your 10-day journey through Turkey.

Stay tuned for the concluding section of our 10-day Turkey itinerary, where we recap the highlights and bid farewell to this captivating country.


As my 10-day journey through Turkey comes to an end, I can confidently say that I have experienced the best that this incredible country has to offer. From the historical wonders of Istanbul, where the ancient Byzantine and Ottoman relics beautifully coexist, to the stunning landscapes of Cappadocia, with its unique moon-like formations, and the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of Ephesus, Turkey has left a lasting impression on me.

Throughout my travels, I have been captivated by the rich history, the vibrant culture, and the warmth of the Turkish people. Exploring the narrow streets of Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, marveling at the architectural marvels of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and getting lost in the enchanting Grand Bazaar have been unforgettable experiences.

But it doesn’t end there. Turkey’s natural beauty has also taken my breath away. From the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale, where terraces of white travertine cascading with mineral-rich waters create a mesmerizing sight, to the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia, where ancient cave dwellings and fairy chimneys are scattered across the horizon, the country’s diverse landscapes have left me in awe.


What is the duration of this 10-day itinerary in Turkey?

This itinerary spans a total of 10 days, allowing you to explore the best of Turkey within that time frame.

What are some of the highlights of this itinerary?

Some of the highlights include exploring the historical sites of Istanbul, visiting the ancient city of Ephesus, experiencing the surreal landscapes of Pamukkale, discovering the Mediterranean charm of Antalya, and exploring the unique landscapes of Cappadocia.

Are there any cultural experiences included in this itinerary?

Yes, this itinerary includes opportunities for cultural immersion, such as visiting historical relics in Istanbul, experiencing Turkish cuisine in Antalya, and exploring the unique traditions and architecture of Cappadocia.

What outdoor activities can be enjoyed during this itinerary?

While this itinerary focuses more on historical and cultural experiences, there are opportunities for outdoor activities such as exploring the natural wonders of Pamukkale and participating in optional hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia.

Are there any tips for a Turkey vacation included in this itinerary?

While specific vacation tips are not included in this itinerary, it is recommended to pack comfortable walking shoes, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, try local Turkish cuisine, and be mindful of local customs and traditions.

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