With its grand history, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes, Turkey is undoubtedly one of the world's most fascinating countries. If you have a week to spare, our seven-day travel plan will guide you through an array of experiences that capture the essence of this remarkable nation.
The best time to visit Turkey is during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November), when the weather is mild and tourist sites are less crowded.
Day 1 & 2: Istanbul
Start your journey in Istanbul, the only city in the world that straddles two continents. Spend your morning visiting the historic Sultanahmet district. Here, you can marvel at the grandeur of the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. After a lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy an afternoon stroll in the sprawling Grand Bazaar, a haven for shoppers. End your day with a traditional Turkish bath (Hamam) experience.
On your second day, explore the modern side of Istanbul. Start your day with a boat tour of the Bosphorus and then visit the Dolmabahce Palace. In the afternoon, visit the trendy district of Beyoglu for shopping and sample the vibrant Istanbul nightlife.
Day 3: Cappadocia
Fly to Cappadocia early morning and start your day with a sunrise hot air balloon ride, offering breathtaking views of the lunar-like landscape. Spend the day exploring the Goreme Open-Air Museum, underground cities, and unique rock formations. In the evening, relax at a traditional cave hotel.
Day 4: Pamukkale
Take an early morning flight to Denizli for Pamukkale, known for its terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water. Visit the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis situated on top of the white terraces. After a day of exploration, unwind in one of the many thermal pools.
Day 5: Ephesus
Travel to Selcuk, home to the ancient city of Ephesus. Spend your morning wandering around this well-preserved Roman city, stopping by the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. After lunch, visit the House of Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis.
Day 6: Canakkale
Head to Canakkale, the gateway to the Gallipoli Peninsula and Troy. Visit the historic battlefields of Gallipoli in the morning and proceed to the legendary city of Troy in the afternoon. Discover the history of the ancient city immortalized by Homer in "The Iliad."
Day 7: Bursa
Travel back to Istanbul and take a ferry to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Visit the Grand Mosque, Bursa Citadel, and historic market area. Don't miss out on trying the local specialty, Iskender kebab. Return to Istanbul by evening.
Remember, this is just a guide. Turkey offers endless opportunities for exploration, so feel free to modify this itinerary to suit your interests and pace. Whether you're an adventurer, a history buff, a foodie, or simply someone looking for an immersive cultural experience, Turkey is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences.