(We offer this program on different days other than Friday.)
Friday - Day 1 - Fethiye to Pamukkale - (D)
At 10:00 AM, we will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the bus station for your 11:00 AM departure to Pamukkale (arriving at about 3:00 PM).
You'll check-in the hotel, and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Pamukkale
Saturday - Day 2 - Pamukkale - (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will continue on the guided tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis.
* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish) is the result of limestone formations created over thousands of years. Warm, calcium-rich mineral water from nearby thermal hot springs flowed over these cliffs and, as these waters cooled, they deposited the calcium that we see today.
* Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded as an ancient healing care center in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral waters. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire. Over time, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents. Overnight stay in Pamukkale.
Sunday - Day 3 - Pamukkale to Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast, we'll depart Pamukkale and drive to Cappadocia; en route, we'll stop in Konya and have lunch near the Mevlana Museum.
* The Mevlana Museum is a holy site for Muslims because of its historical significance as a lodge of the whirling dervishes; in addition, the architecture and famous Iznik turquoise tiles make for a stunning backdrop.
(Note: a museum visit is not included in the guided tour, however, you may choose to either explore this site or to explore Konya.)
In the afternoon, we'll continue on to Cappadocia, where you will check into your hotel and have free time to relax and explore Cappadocia on your own. Overnight stay at URGUP Cappadocia
Monday - Day 4 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
As we have a lengthy drive to our first destination, we'll be starting out quite early this morning. Today, we'll stroll through an amazing subterranean city where ancient Christians once hid from Arab invaders; we'll then wander through the Ihlara Gorge and spend time in a classic Anatolian village.
* Underground City of Derinkuyu--You'll gradually make your way down into the depths of the earth of this ancient settlement that has 18-20 floors which boast depths as long as 40 meters. (Don't worry, we'll only go down to the 8th floor!) Youll marvel at the fact that Derinkuyu is just one of 36 Cappadocian underground cities, which archaeologists date back to the time of the Hittites around 4,000 years ago.
* Ihlara Gorge is an oasis in the middle of the Anatolian plain. We'll explore the canyon and take in the beautiful green scenery as we stroll casually alongside the river. Here, you'll see ancient monasteries complete with pigeon holes carved into the cliffs by the monks; the pigeons acted as messengers to communicate with neighboring monks!
* Traditional Anatolian village -- You'll see head-scarved women in the fields (where they work from sun up until sundown) and the mustachioed, vest-wearing men hard-at-work playing cards or tavla (backgammon) in the kahvehane (coffee shop). You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play. Overnight in Urgup - Cappadocia
Tuesday - Day 5 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
This day will be devoted to exploring more of the unforgettable sights of Cappadocia.
(If you have purchased the optional hot-air ballooning tour, please note that you'll need to rise very early in the morning to go to the balloon-launch site. After the trip has concluded, we'll come back to the hotel for breakfast and have a rest before setting out in later in the morning to see the rest of the sites listed below.)
Sites you'll see today:
* Goreme Open-Air Museum - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme is an ancient town carved right out of the rock (tufa); you'll explore Byzantine-era churches, chapels and monasteries which house wonderfully-preserved 11th- and 12th-century cave frescoes.
* Fairy Chimneys--This strange geological phenomenon was created over millions of years, and were formed during regional volcanic eruptions. Reaching at times 40 meters in height, they are conical in shape and have a whimsical "hat" top to them.
* Devrent Valley--This valley is known as "the pink valley" because of the color of its soil. This is a lovely place to wander about and really take in the magical rock formations indicative to Cappadocia, including the Fairy Chimneys.
* Uchisar Castle, also known as Uchisar Fortress, is actually a formation of two gigantic rocks surrounded by smaller ones that together, form a natural fortress with towers. These formations were inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
If time permits, we'll also visit local crafts people and learn the special art of making dolls and traditional pottery.
We leave Cappadocia at 8:30 PM tonight on a first-class overnight bus to Fethiye. (We can also provide a bus or flight back to Istanbul, if you wish.)
We look forward to seeing you on a future trip!
Prices are starting from 585 Euros per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates
* All hotels
* All land transfers in comfortable vehicles
* All of the meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* Admissions to Ephesus, Pamukkale, all sites in Cappadocia
* All taxes and service charges
* International flight tickets to Istanbul
* Drinks with meals
* Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia (15% discount if booked with this tour)