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8 Days Istanbul, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Cappadocia Budget Tour by Bus
This 8-day Turkey budget tour definitely amazes you with the unforgettable discovery of magnificent Istanbul, breathtaking Bosphorus by cruise, Goreme open-air museum, Kaymakli underground city, Pamukkale Travertines, Temple of Artemis, and House Of Virgin Mary.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
Arrive at any time. Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be met with our company representative in the arrivals area of the airport who will be holding a signboard with your name on it. After meet and greet, you will then be transferred from the airport to your hotel in Istanbul. Rest of the day will be at leisure.
- Overnight in Istanbul
- Included Meal(s): No
DAY 2: FULL DAY ISTANBUL DISCOVER TOUR — OVERNIGHT BUS TO SELCUK/KUSADASI
After breakfast, you will need to check-out from the hotel. At around 8:00 am you will be picked up from your hotel in Istanbul to join the full-day Istanbul Discovery Tour. Today you will visit the following highlights of Istanbul on the full day tour:
HIPPODROME: The old Hippodrome (Hipodrom) of Constantinople is now a landscaped city park that is locally known as “At Meydani” (Horse Grounds). The square is well worth a visit if you want to enjoy the Mediterranean climate of Istanbul and see a glimpse of the old Constantinople at the same time.
BLUE MOSQUE: One of the biggest mosques of Istanbul from 17th-century architecture is one of the principal adornments on the skyline of Istanbul. Also famous for its blue tiles and 6 minarets.
TOPKAPI PALACE: The former imperial residence from where the Great Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today a spectacular museum that has one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and the very famous treasury of the Royal Family.
HAGIA SOPHIA: The magnificent Byzantine Church of all times; one of the finest and largest architectural works of art in the world.
GRAND BAZAAR: In addition to its historical importance, it’s a bazaar that will tempt even the nonshoppers with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather and souvenirs.
At the end of the tour, you will be taken back to your Istanbul hotel to collect your luggage and proceed to Istanbul main bus station to board the overnight bus to Selcuk/Kusadasi. The overnight bus will depart from Istanbul at around 8:30 pm and will make three brief stops for your personal needs on this 11-hour journey by road to Selcuk/Kusadasi.
- Overnight Bus to Selcuk/Kusadasi
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 3: FULL DAY EPHESUS TOUR
Arrive at Selcuk bus station. Met on arrival and transferred to our local office. You will have free time before the start of the tour. This tour will start from our office in Selcuk. You will be picked up from outside the office for the full-day tour of Ephesus. Today you will visit the following highlights of Ephesus on the full day tour:
EPHESUS ANTIQUE SITE: Enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. Your route takes you past the Odeum, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. The Theater had seating for 25,000, was the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and is used today for a local spring festival.
TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS: The temple of Artemision is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Antic world. It has been built in the areas of Ephesus on a flat area which has over the centuries turned into a swamp.
HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY: House of Virgin Mary, one of the most sacred places for Christianity, is located near Ephesus. Some believe the Virgin Mary had spent her last days in the vicinity of Ephesus.
ISABEY MOSQUE: Isa Bey Mosque is one of the most delicate examples of Seljukian architecture, situated below the basilica of Saint John. The mosque was built by the master Syrian architecture Ali son of Mushimish al -Damishki, between the years of 1374 and 1375.
SIRINCE VILLAGE: The Sirince Village; which is an old Greek village and is well-know for its quaint beauty and wine tasting and production. Here you will have one hour free to explore on your own without a guide the different foods and wines of the area and visit various small traditional village shops.
After the tour, you will be transferred to your hotel in Kusadasi for check-in.
- Overnight in Kusadasi
- Included Meal(s): Lunch
DAY 4: FULL DAY PAMUKKALE AND HIERAPOLIS TOUR — OVERNIGHT BUS TO CAPPADOCIA
You will be picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and will travel for around 3 hours to get to Pamukkale. Upon your arrival in Pamukkale, you will have lunch and following it you will join the Full Day Pamukkale tour. Your visit to Pamukkale today will include:
HIERAPOLIS THEATRE: The theatre of Hierapolis is one of the best-preserved entertainment destinations that dates back to the second century, the audience section could hold up to 10,000 and be used to show everything from music, religious ceremonies and even performing live shows. While the theatre isn’t used to put on live entertainment anymore, the seating all around can be explored and used by visitors.
AGORA: Agora is an ancient market where many of the population would have come to so shopping or to trade their good with other people who travelled. While the marketplace is only one part of the city. Outside the city is a Necropolis which was made popular thanks to the believed healing properties of the different water. This cemetery has people from different peoples across many time periods.
KARAHAYIT RED SPRINGS: Karahayit hot springs is located in Karahayit Town, Denizli, Turkey. It’s about 5 km north of the famous Pamukkale Travertine and has similar characteristics like that of Pamukkale. Due to the minerals existing in its structure, the hot spring water spreads reddish color to the environment and it is believed that they provide healing to the visitors for 5000 years. The ‘Kirmizi Su‘ which translates to red water – natural hot thermal springs bubbling from beneath the calcite rocks – are very rich in calcium, magnesium and sulphurs, at about 56 degrees.
PAMUKKALE TRAVERTINES “COTTON CASTLE”: Pamukkale is a spectacular place, located in Denizli Province, in southwestern Turkey known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces. The Pamukkale Travertines mean “Cotton Castle” in Turkish. The place is classified by UNESCO.
HIERAPOLIS ANTIQUE POOL: Pamukkale’s Antique Pool remains from Roman times when it was the spiritual center of the spa city of Hierapolis. The modernized pool is the prime public place for a swim at this hot-springs resort.
Note: Around 2:00 pm you will be given free time of around 45 minutes during which time you can walk around or go to the Antique Pools for a swim at an additional cost.
After the tour, you will be transferred to the Pamukkale bus station to board your overnight bus to Cappadocia. Your bus will depart around 08:30 pm from Pamukkale for Cappadocia. There will be three short stops en route to Cappadocia for personal needs on this 10-hour journey to Cappadocia.
- Overnight Bus to Cappadocia
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 5: FULL DAY NORTH CAPPADOCIA TOUR
Upon your arrival at the Goreme bus station in Cappadocia, you will be met at the bus station and transferred to your Cappadocia hotel. At the hotel, you can have your breakfast and be ready to meet your tour guide around 09:30 am. Today you will be visiting the following highlights of Cappadocia on the full day North Cappadocia Tour:
DEVRENT VALLEY: Devrent is situated on the northern slopes of Aktepe, 1km from Pasabaglari (Monks’ Valley) and 5 km from Avanos. The ruins at Devrent are spread over three valleys, which also house several pointed fairy chimneys with large stems.
MONKS VALLEY: The best place to see three-headed fairy chimneys. Pasabag, the Pasha’s Vineyard, is surrounded by incredible natural rock formations; a spectacular scene.
AVANOS: A center of terra cotta work of art since 3000 BC, it is a town where you will be invited to visit a traditional pottery workshop, which is possibly set deep into the hillsides. The clay, which comes from the Red River passing through the town, gives life both to the land and to the local economy.
GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM: Goreme was an important Christian center in the early years of the Middle Ages, was a bishopric administered by Mokissos near Aksaray in the 11th and 13th centuries. Despite the vast number of monasteries, churches and chapels in the vicinity of Göreme, there are not many inscriptions bearing dates. For this reason, these religious buildings are mainly dated according to the iconography or architectural features.
UCHISAR: Uchisar is a troglodyte town situated right in the middle of Cappadocia. It is named after the enormous piece of rock in the center of the town, which was once used as a castle. This extraordinary rock is the highest peak of the area with the view of whole Cappadocia and Erciyes (Argeus) Mountain.
After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Cappadocia.
- Overnight in Cappadocia
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 6: FULL DAY SOUTH CAPPADOCIA TOUR — OVERNIGHT BUS TO ISTANBUL
After breakfast, you will need to check out from your hotel in Cappadocia. At around 09:30 am, you will be picked up from your hotel to join the full-day tour of South Cappadocia. Today you will be visiting the following highlights on the full-day South Cappadocia Tour:
KIZILCUKUR: is an isolated valley behind Urgup. It has a beautiful rock formation with some great hidden rock-carved churches. The most interesting part of this area is the countless tracks connecting the small villages and towns through vineyards and gardens like a spider net. It is always possible to see villagers working in the area and offering grapes, apples or apricots to you.
CAVUSIN: One of the oldest settlements in the area, Cavusin has situated 2km from Goreme, on the Göreme-Avanos road. The Church of St.John the Baptist offers a panoramic view of the village. This church and its paintings date back to the 5th century, making the oldest church in the region. It also has a large courtyard which is unusual for Cappadocia, however, much of it has eroded away.
HOSPITAL MONASTRY: One of the oldest monasteries in Cappadocia.
KAYMAKLI: Kaymakli and Derinkuyu underground cities are the two largest and deepest of the 40 others in Cappadocia. They both have eight floors, although not all are open to the public.
PIGEON HOUSE: Visit the pigeon houses and rock formations.
After the tour, you will be transferred to the Cappadocia bus station to board your overnight bus to Istanbul. Your bus will depart around 08:30 pm from Cappadocia for Istanbul. There will be three short stops en route to Istanbul for personal needs on this 11-hour journey to Istanbul.
- Overnight Bus to Istanbul
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch
DAY 7: ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL — TRANSFER TO ISTANBUL HOTEL — HALF DAY BOSPHORUS CRUISE TOUR
Upon your arrival at the Istanbul main bus station between 7:30 – 9:00 am, you will be transferred to your hotel in Istanbul. You will need to check-in to your Istanbul hotel at around 12:00 pm. At around 1:00 pm, you will be picked up from your Istanbul hotel to join the Half-day afternoon Bosphorus Cruise Tour. On the half-day afternoon Bosphorus Cruise today, you will be viewing from the boat the following highlights:
BOSPHORUS BY BOAT (VIEWING ONLY): A traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the excursion, you will pass the magnificent Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and further along, the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. On the coastal edge of this park, is Ciragan Palace, 300 meters of is marble facade faces the shore. At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries.
RUMELI FORTRESS (FROM THE SEA, NO INTERIOR VISIT): Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul, was completed in only four months to control and protect Bosphorus. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world
PIERRE LOTI HILL: The Hill was named after the French author of the famous novel ‘’Aziyade’’. It is said that Aziyade was the name of an Ottoman woman who Pierre had fallen in love with once upon a time. The name of the hill was given due to his support of the Ottoman Empire.
CABLE CAR: Ride from the top of the hill to the Golden Horn.
NOTE: If due to technical issues or weather-related issues there is no operation of the Cable Car, we will not be held responsible and there will be refunds.
DRIVE-BY TO GOLDEN HORN (By Bus): As natural and extremely secure harbor, the Golden Horn has played an important role in the development of Istanbul. The inlet separates the European shore into two. It is approximately 8 km long, and the widest part is the entrance from the Bosphorus. Two streams drain into this inlet at its far end. At the end of the tour, you will be transferred back to your Istanbul hotel around 4:30 pm.
- Overnight in Istanbul
- Included Meal(s): No
DAY 8: ISTANBUL — END OF THE TOUR
After breakfast, you will check-out from your hotel in Istanbul (hotel check-out is before 11:00 am) and will then be transferred to the Istanbul International airport according to your flight details. This will be the end of our tour and services.
- Included Meal(s): Breakfast
INCLUDED in the Tour Price:
- Pick up and drop-off between airport & hotel
- Intercity bus tickets as per the itinerary
- 2 nights in Istanbul at Special Class or 3-Star Hotels including breakfast
- 1 night in Kusadasi at a 4-star hotel including breakfast
- 1 night in Cappadocia at a cave hotel including breakfast
- Professional licensed English speaking guide during the tours
- Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch
- Entrance fees mentioned by the itinerary
- Local taxes and service charges
- International airfare & airport taxes
- Visa to enter Turkey
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Any optional tours
- Tips & Personal Items
- Drinks with meals (except the drinks served with breakfast)
- Travel insurance
- This is a regular group tour, but if requested at cost can be provided as a private tour
- The regular group tour has shopping stops included in the tour
- The order of the itinerary is indicative and subject to change, but all visits described will take place.
- Please note that the Blue Mosque is not open for visitation on Fridays as it is closed for religious prayer services. You will only be able to visit the outside of the Blue Mosque area on tours operated on Fridays. No visitation will be allowed inside the Blue Mosque for tourists on Fridays.
- St. Sophia is closed on Monday, this will be replaced with the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)
- Topkapi Palace is closed on Tuesday, it will be replaced with the Beylerbeyi Palace
- Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday
- During religious holidays, the spice market and Grand Bazaar are closed
- Travelers using intercity ground or air transportation will not be accompanied by a tour guide. Upon reaching the touring destination, a tour guide from the local area will meet you to start the touring service. Domestic flight and/or bus tickets, as well as transportation to and from the airport and/or bus station, will be arranged by us.
- You can swim in the Antique pool in Pamukkale. However, please note that there is an extra charge that you will have to pay directly at your own expense before entry to the pools. This entrance fee to the pools is not covered as part of your tour. Please note that you must bring your own towel, swimsuit etc. if you need to use the pools.
Accommodation in below Hotels (or similar hotels depending on vacancy at the time of booking):
In Istanbul: Muyan Suites OR Aya Sultan Hotel OR Askoc Hotel
In Kusadasi: Derici Hotel OR Efe Boutique Hotel OR Marina Hotel
In Cappadocia: Holiday Cave Hotel OR Heaven Cave House OR Dedeli Konak Cave Hotel
The quoted price of this tour covers accommodations in hotels as mentioned above or in similar quality hotels.
If you wish to include a higher quality hotel, we offer two options:
Option 1: We can upgrade your hotel at an additional cost. This cost will be added to the total tour price of the standard package tour.
Option 2: You can arrange your own accommodation on the tour as per your preference. We can offer a new package tour price without including cost of hotel accommodation. If Option 2 is preferred, all services as part of the package tour will be provided except for hotel accommodation.
Please let us know the option you prefer at the time the tour request is made so that we can price the tour accordingly. If no change in hotels is needed and you wish to proceed with the hotels highlighted in our package tour at the quoted tour price then you may book the tour directly online.