Here's an 11-day self-guided TripKit™ tour to
the top sights of Turkey,
including Ephesus, Kuşadası, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Konya, Cappadocia and
Day 1 - Arrival & Fly to Ephesus
and transfer to a flight to İzmir's Adnan
Menderes Airport (ADM). Rent a car at the airport
and drive to Selçuk, the town
next to Ephesus (62
km/39 miles, 1 hour—here's how), or to Şirince, or
If jet lag is a challenge,
have an early dinner when you arrive at your hotel, then a good long
sleep, to prepare you for a full next
Day 2 - Ephesus
the morning, explore the Artemision and
of Ephesus (2 to 3 hours).
In the afternoon, the Saint
John basilica, İsabey
Day 3 - Priene, Miletus, Didyma
excursion to these three fine
Hellenic and Hellenistic cities. More...
Day 4 - Aphrodisias & Pamukkale
to Aphrodisias (143
km/89 miles, 2 hours), tour the
to 2 hours), then drive to the ancient
mineral-water spa of Pamukkale (123
km/76 miles, 1-1/2 hours), arriving
in time for lunch. In the afternoon,
tour the ruins of Roman Hierapolis,
then relax and swim in the hot calcium-laden
minearl waters of the Sacred
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in
Day 5 - Eğirdir, Beyşehir & Konya
Leave Pamukkale after breakfast
and drive through Turkey's lake
country to Eğirdir (140
miles, 3.5 hours) for a tea break
and a look at the medieval
then continue to Beyşehir (88
miles, 2.25 hours) for lunch and
a visit to the historic Eşrefoğlu
to Konya (48
miles, 1.25 hours), arriving in
late afternoon for a visit to the whirling
Day 6 - Konya, Silk Road, Ihlara, Ürgüp
breakfast, check out of your hotel
and visit the Seljuk
Turkish monuments (1200s) on
and around Konya's Alaettin
the morning (2 to 3 hours), then
drive east along the ancient Silk
Road to Sultanhanı (110
km, 68 miles) for a visit to
the grandest of Seljuk
Turkish caravanserais (built
through Aksaray (42
km, 26 miles, 40 minutes), then turn
right (south) 11 km east of Aksaray
for Selime, Belisırma and Ihlara
Visit the Ihlara
then head east via Güzelyurt to Derinkuyu or Kaymaklı to
see its underground
city. From the underground cities,
drive north to Nevşehir,
then east to Ürgüp,
Göreme or Uçhisar and your hotel.
7 - Göreme, Zelve, Avanos,
you wish, get
up and out before dawn to fly in
balloon over Cappadocia (optional). After you land, have
breakfast, then explore more of Cappadocia.
Open Air Museum in the
morning, then drive to Uçhisar,
the highest point in Cappadocia,
and ascend the natural volcanic rock "castle" for
the panoramic view.
Then head for the Zelve
Valley for more cave-church
explorations before heading to the
riverside town of Avanos
to see how local pottery is made.
8 - Istanbul
Fly to Istanbul in the morning,
settle in at your Istanbul hotel and
explore the city as you wish. The Byzantine
Hippodrome is nearby! If
you wish, visit the Museum
of Turkish and Islamic Art (9-5,
closed Monday; stay to 2 hrs), right
on the Hippodrome across from the
Blue Mosque, or try a Turkish
bath (1 to 3 hrs), amazingly
refreshing after a long day.
Start the day at Topkapı
Palace, touring the palace,
the Harem and the famous Treasury.
Walk next door to Ayasofya (Hagia
Sophia) for a visit, then across the street
to the Yerebatan
Basilica Cistern, and on to
the Byzantine Hippodrome.
Also visit the Sultanahmet
(Blue) Mosque, according
to prayer times.
Arrive at the Eminönü ferry
docks by 10
am to get a seat on the Nostalgic
Bosphorus Tour ferryboat.
Leave the boat at Sarıyer,
then go by taxi or bus south along
shore of the Bosphorus stopping
at Büyükdere to see the Sadberk
Hanım Museum, and at
Bebek to see the fortress of Rumelihisarı.
Have afternoon tea in
the shore village of Ortaköy,
with its Ottoman-baroque waterside mosque and old Ottoman houses.
11 - Free Day in Istanbul
of possibilities for your last day.
not a bad idea to leave most of your shopping until
the last day so you won't have to
lug your purchases around with you. Spend
most of the day in the Grand
Bazaar and the Egyptian
(Spice) Bazaar, or in the boutiques
and antique shops in Çukurcuma,
Caddesi in Beyoğlu.
Square, the hub of
modern Istanbul, you can go downhill
north to the Military
or you can wander
southwest along İstiklal
Caddesi, the former
Grande Rue de Péra,
the main boulevard of 19th-century
Istanbul: grand old embassy buildings,
Palace Hotel, lots of boutiques,
and even a whirling
dervish hall. Plenty of restaurants for
lunch. Walk downhill from Tünel
Square at the southwestern
end of İstiklal Caddesi to...
Tower (9-7; stay
1/2 to 1 hr) Best views of the
city from this Genoese cone-topped
stone tower. Continue downhill
to Galata (Karaköy)
Bridge (stay 1/2
hr) Cross the bridge over the Golden
Horn which links Old and
New Istanbul, taking in the view.
At the southern end in Eminönü,
take the Bağcılar
tram back to Sultanahmet.
afield, you can visit the
mosaics in the Kariye
Museum out by the gigantic city
the evening, take a taxi to Beyoğlu for
dinner and perhaps an evening in
one of the small cafés or music clubs.
12 - Departure
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Above, the Tetrapylon (Quadruple Gate) at Aphrodisias:
easy to get to if you have your own vehicle.