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Ultimate Turkey Itinerary: Explore Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Beyond

Turkey is a wondrous country spanning Europe and Asia with a rich culture and stunningly diverse landscapes to explore.

From the bustling bazaars of Istanbul to the otherworldly fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Turkey has something for all types of travelers.

Here is the ultimate 10 day Turkey itinerary guaranteed to show you the best of what this captivating country has to offer.

Getting There and Getting Around

There are many international airports to fly into Turkey, but Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) makes the most sense as a starting point for this itinerary.

From there, most domestic flights and buses can get you anywhere in the country. Turkey has excellent bus connections through companies like Metro and Kamil Koc.

Domestic flights via Pegasus Airlines and Turkish Airlines also make hopping around the country easy and affordable.

Day 1-3: Discover Historic Istanbul

Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar – Istanbul is brimming with world-famous sites.

Allow at least three full days to take in the highlights and wander through the city’s eclectic neighborhoods like bohemian Cihangir.

Be sure to try classic Turkish foods like kebabs, baklava, and Turkish coffee. Key sights include Sultanahmet Square, Galata Tower, the Spice Bazaar, and taking a Bosphorus river cruise.

Day 4-5: Marvel at Cappadocia’s Moonscape

With its otherworldly valleys and cave dwellings, Cappadocia looks like it belongs on the moon!

The whimsical landscape was formed by volcanic eruptions and sculpted by erosion, creating stone “fairy chimneys” and cave dwellings.

Here you can stay in unique cave hotels, take a hot air balloon ride over the fantastical formations at sunrise, or explore underground cities used by early Christians hiding from persecution.

Day 6: Journey to the Turquoise Travertines

Pamukkale’s stepped travertines and aquamarine pools contrast beautifully against the landscape, created by mineral deposits from the area’s hot springs.

Stroll along the white terraces, relax in the soothing thermal waters, and visit the ancient Roman ruins of Hierapolis – an ancient health spa city that once attracted emperors and kings.

Day 7-8: Ephesus – One of the Greatest Ancient Cities

The Greco-Roman ruins of Ephesus make up one of the best preserved and grandest ancient cities in the entire Mediterranean region.

Walk down marble streets rutted by the wheels of ancient chariots towards sights like the epic Library of Celsus and the Terraced Houses displaying intricate mosaics.

Nearby attractions like the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, makes the area a must-see.

Day 9: Wander Through the Bazaars of Bursa

Nestled at the base Mt. Uludag, Bursa has a charming mix of old and new. Lose yourself wandering through the sprawling Grand Bazaar, sip silky Turkish coffee, and soak in Turkish baths.

Nearby, get a dose of nature exploring mountain hot springs and waterfalls or take a cable car ride high above the city.

Day 10: Ferry to the Princes’ Islands

After an action-packed itinerary, relax on idyllic Büyükada – the largest of the Princes’ Islands off Istanbul. Here, no motor vehicles are allowed – only quaint bikes and horse-drawn carriages.

Stroll along the waterfront, relax at a cafe or restaurant with a view, and watch the ferries come and go against a skyline punctuated by tiny Ottoman mosque domes.

With dazzling landscapes, historic sights, and mouthwatering food – Turkey offers an incredibly diverse array of experiences.

Following this 10 day ultimate Turkey itinerary promises to show off all of the country’s very best highlights. Let the adventure begin!

Manvendra Singh
Manvendra Singh

Hi, I am Manvendra Singh, a passionate travel vlogger with a vision to enrich the travel experience for adventurers around the globe.

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