Cappadocia, Pamukkale & Ephesus (4-day tour) – From Istanbul

How much can you see in 4 days?

Combine three of Turkey’s most visited destinations in this 4-days tour by flight and bus.

Fly from Istanbul and get an insider’s view of Cappadocia’s most iconic spots, where you can also opt for a memorable balloon flight. In this small-group tour, we will walk in the land of fairy chimneys and get inspired by the magical scenario and its history. Wonder at the magical travertines at Pamukkale’s “Cotton Castle” and get an insight into the Roman golden age at Hierapolis along with your professional tour guide. At last, explore one of the most well-preserved Roman cities in the Mediterranean area and Turkey’s paramount archaeological site – Ephesus.

  • Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage
  • Explore underground cities and rock-cut churches of the Byzantine Era
  • Spend a night in a Cappadocian-style Cave Hotel
  • Discover the beauty of Pamukkale’s stalactites, waterfalls, and basins
  • Explore the ruins of Hierapolis including the Roman theater and the Necropolis
  • Swim in the ancient Pool of Cleopatra
  • Explore Ephesus Ancient City and admire the architectural beauty of Isabey Mosque
  • Visit the House of Virgin Mary
  • See the Temple of Artemis and the Great Theatre
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Included:
    • Hotel pick-up and airport transfers
    • Flight tickets
    • Professional tour guide
    • Entry fees
    • Accommodation
    • Lunch on both days (Vegetarian option available)
    • Breakfast at the hotel on day 2

    Check for included meals: B – breakfast L – lunch D – dinner

  • Excluded:
    • Drinks with the lunch
    • Dinner
    • Personal expenses

The main places that you will get to see:

Day 1 – North Cappadocia / Red Tour (L)

Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and catch a domestic flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir. At the airport, our driver will meet you and transfer you to the tour’s starting point where you will meet with the group and your tour guide. The tour begins with the following highlights of north Cappadocia:

  • Uchisar: Enjoy the spectacular scenario over the fairy chimneys and capture the beautiful moment. From this panoramic viewpoint, you can wonder how Uchisar Castle is raised to the highest peak of Cappadocia.
  • Goreme Open-Air Museum: Famous for its unique frescoes, the open-air museum is filled with a diversity of cave churches and chapels skillfully built within the rocks. Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage, it holds an emblem of the early Byzantine era.
  • Cavusin: One of the oldest settlements in the region, this small village stands below the edge of a cliff and is still home to locals who live in cave dwellings and stone houses. A variety of historical sites can be found, as well as ruins from the Christian monks who used to live here.
  • Pasabag: Known as the Monk’s Valley, here one can bewilder at the astounding 3 headed rock formations. Here can be found some of the best examples of fairy chimneys, which once were used by the monks to seclude themselves in religious/spiritual activities.

  • Avanos: Not far from Goreme is the village of Avanos, where the thousands-years tradition of pottery and ceramic art is still alive to this very day. What is the best way to experience it if not watching a master doing it and then trying it yourself?
  • Devrent Valley: The perfect place to give wings to our imagination. This astonishing landscape with rock formations in the shape of animals is what is known as the Imagination Valley. A place to contemplate the beauty and brilliance of Nature while taking photos that would challenge our friends’ credibility.
  • 3 Beauties: Magnificently standing in the most famous photographed place in the region, the 3 beauties represent Cappadocia with its charm and uniqueness. Along with other similar rock formations, it is from them that the name “Fairy Chimney” originates from.

End of day 1:

Having explored the first half of Cappadocia, take time for yourself and enjoy the evening atmosphere at your Cave Hotel, where you will spend the night.

Day 2 – South Cappadocia / Green Tour (B, L)

Start the day with a memorable sunrise balloon flight (extra costs), or just wake up earlier to see this magical scenario. After breakfast, meet with the tour guide and head to the tour’s starting point. In south Cappadocia we will visit the following highlights:

  • Goreme Panorama: Start with a spectacular view looking over ancient Goreme and its surrounding valleys. This small village has seen the rise and fall of many empires such as the Hittite Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire, Persian Empire, Greek Seleucid Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. It is a perfect time for taking pictures or having a hot drink while enjoying the panoramic scene.
  • Underground City: Hand-carved by the Hittites, this underground city is truly an engineering wonder. With its 8 levels deep connected by tunnels and around 600 entrances, it could accommodate thousands of people who were seeking refuge from invaders. This marvelous construction consists of areas for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, pits for cooking, ventilation shafts, communal rooms, bathrooms, and tombs. More than a journey into the ground, this is a journey into our past.
  • Ihlara Valley: On a 3km hike alongside the river we will wonder at the remnants of the earliest days of Christianity. Cave churches with frescoes, chapels, monasteries, and hermit caves are hidden and preserved in this wonderful valley. After a long hike, nothing better to unwind and contemplate the beauty and peace of this place than a lunch break by the river bank.
  • Selime Monastery: Located at the northern entrance of Ihlara Valley, this is the largest religious artifact from the Byzantine era, decorated with figurative frescoes dated back to the end of the 9th With a picturesque view looking down over the valley, the fairy chimneys which cannot be seen from other parts of the valley can be gazed at from here.
  • Pigeon Valley: This lovely valley took its name after the thousands of pigeon houses carved into the soft rocks. It allows a spectacular view over Uchisar and its castle – the highest point in the region. It is another great opportunity for taking panoramic pictures or having a look at the artifacts from the shops along the valley.

End of day 2:

Having covered the highlights of Cappadocia we will embark on an overnight bus and continue our tour towards Pamukkale

Day 3 – Pamukkale (B, L)

Meet our team and be transferred to your hotel in Pamukkale where you can unwind and rest from the trip for a few hours. After breakfast, meet with your professional tour guide and start the tour at Pamukkale.

  • Pamukkale: Pamukkale, which means cotton castle, is comprised of a series of limestone terraces formed by the action of the hot springs which rise from the ground at a temperature of 35ºC. The water is highly concentrated on carbonic acid and lime and, flows downhill forming wonderful stalactites, waterfalls, and basins. While marveling at this fairytale atmosphere, learn from your guide how the Romans used to dip in these therapeutical waters to vitalize their bodies.
  • Hierapolis: This ancient Hellenic and Roman city stands right on top of the Cotton Castle, on a plateau made of sedimentary limestone rock formed over the centuries. Learn how Stephanus of Byzantium influenced the creation of its real name, which translates to Sacred City and marvel at the glorious temples that are found here. Along with the Necropolis and the Grand Theater, we will also visit:
    • Roman Basilica Baths
    • Domitian Gate
    • Latrines
    • Agora
    • Colonnaded Street
    • Byzantine Gate
    • Roman fountains
  • Ancient Pool of Cleopatra

End of day 3:

Having finished the tour at Pamukkale, our driver will transfer you to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi, where you will spend the night.

Day 4 – Ephesus (B, L)

Morning pick-up after breakfast. Meet with the team and head to the tour starting point at Ephesus.

  • Ephesus: Ancient Greek city that rose to prominence as a seaport during the Roman golden age. In this most important archaeological site of Turkey, you will get the chance to visit highlights such as the Library of Celsus and the massive Great Theater, where St Paul once preached.
  • Baths of Varius
  • Odeon
  • Prytaneion
  • Fountain of Polio
  • Temple of Hadrian
  • Temple of Domitian
  • Library of Celsus
  • Basilica of St. John
  • Isabey Mosque: After a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Isabey Mosque, an excellent example of the stunning medieval Anatolian architecture.
  • Temple of Artemis: Also known as the Temple of Diana, the Temple of Artemis was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While you wander amidst the temple’s remnants, admire the magnificent pieces of ancient Greek architecture.
  • House of Virgin Mary: Pay a visit to one of the most important Christian shrines. It is believed that Virgin Mary spent the last years of her life in this monumental stone cottage, where St. John brought her.

End of the tour:

Having the tour finished, you will be transferred to the Izmir airport for a flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival, our team will meet you and drive you back to your hotel.

Important Notice: this is a shared group tour; however, it can be provided as a private tour upon request.

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