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Europe
Turkey: Istanbul &...

Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia

8 days, 2 cities9
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From $1699 without flightsPayments as low as $45

An aerial view of a vibrant city with many brightly colored buildings situated next to a body of water with boats docked and traveling through the water
An aerial view of a vibrant city with many brightly colored buildings situated next to a body of water with boats docked and traveling through the water
Several hot air balloons in various stages of takeoff during sunrise with a pink sky in the background
A plate of dessert sprinkled with pistachio
Many brightly colored lamps hanging from the ceiling
Trip Type:
Activity Level:

Why go?

From exploring the bustling bazaars of Europe’s largest city to soaring high above Asia’s most unique landscapes, this Turkish adventure is truly the best of both worlds—across two continents.

Picture yourself

  • Exploring a 1,500-year-old mosque in Europe’s largest city

  • Cruising between continents on the Bosphorous Strait

  • Rising with the sun in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia

  • Wandering the Mars-like terrain of central Turkey

  • Browsing the thousands of shops of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers (or book 'em yourself)

  • 6 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 6 breakfasts

  • 3 dinners

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support

  • Entrance to the Hagia Sophia

Map for the Turkey: Istanbul & Cappadocia tour
Full trip itinerary

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Overnight flight

    It’s not quite a hot air balloon ride, but don’t worry—that’s where we’re heading. Next stop: Istanbul.

  • Day 2: Arrive in Istanbul + Welcome Dinner

    Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey, a city that straddles both Europe and Asia. Get settled in and get some rest—tomorrow you’ve got two continents to explore.

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative and fellow travelers as they arrive at the airport.
    • Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
    • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with your group at an authentic local spot.
  • Day 3: Sightseeing in Old Town Istanbul

    Did you know that Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe? You do now. Get swept up in the hustle and bustle as you explore the historic sites located across this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Today's highlights:

    • Visit the Hagia Sophia, famous for its magnificent dome and golden interior.
    • Enjoy views of the Golden Horn, one of the world’s most picturesque waterways.
    • Haggle your way through the 4,000 shops of the Grand Bazaar.

    Free time suggestions

    Basilica Cistern: Get under the city’s skin with a visit to an ancient underground cavern built to collect rainwater during Roman rule.

    Blue Mosque: Designed and built with over 20,000 blue Iznik tiles, this is the Hagia Sophia’s younger, but equally beautiful, sibling.

  • Day 4: Free day in Istanbul + optional excursions

    You’ve got 24 hours to explore (and eat obvi) your way through one of the world’s most exciting cities. Try a boat cruise, a Turkish bath house, or just get lost.

    Free time suggestions

    Topkapi Palace: Part-castle, part-palace, part-museum, Topkapi Palace was the royal residence for the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years.

    Döner kebabs: Like their Greek cousin, the gyro, döner kebabs—lamb, chicken, or beef with lettuce, tomato, onion, and sauces in a warm pita—are a must munch.

    Bosphorus cruise & walking tour (extra cost)

    Walk through a spice market, cruise the Bosphorous Strait, and feast on Turkish street food.

    This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than one day away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.

    Hammam spa visit (extra cost)

    Enter an ancient bath house and indulge in a traditional Turkish scrubbing and bubble massage.

    This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than one day away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.

  • Day 5: Flight to Cappadocia + Kaymakli Underground City

    Today you fly to the Cappadocia region of central Turkey. And while it might look like Mars, we assure you it’s actually just one of the coolest places on Earth.

    Today's highlights:

    • Hop on a plane for a quick flight across the country and into Asia.
    • Visit the ancient Kaymakli Underground City—dug up to 8 stories into the ground.
    • Catch up on the mind-blowing views over an included dinner with your group.
  • Day 6: Explore Cappadocia + optional excursions

    Today is quintessential Cappadocia. Soak in the jaw-dropping landscapes from sunrise to sunset, then opt in to an immersive Turkish night out.

    Today's highlights:

    • See an entire city carved into the rocks in the Zelve Valley.
    • Snap pics of the stunning fairy chimneys, cliffs, and valleys of Göreme National Park.
    • Head to the town of Avanos for a pottery workshop.

    Sunrise hot air balloon in Cappadocia (extra cost)

    Note: This excursion is weather-dependent and cannot be guaranteed.

    See Cappadocia’s rock pillars, cave villages, and vineyards on a sunrise hot-air-balloon ride. 

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

    Traditional Turkish night show (extra cost)

    Head to a Cappadocia cave restaurant for folk and belly dancing and unlimited beer and wine.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 7: Return to Istanbul + Farewell Dinner

    On your last day in Turkey, you’ll return to Istanbul where it all began. Grab some baklava and explore this city of 15 million people one final time.

    Today's highlights:

    • Say so long to Cappadocia and board your flight back to Istanbul.
    • Cross any final sights (and meals) off your Turkey bucket list.
    • Share some laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included Farewell Dinner with your group.
  • Day 8: Fly home

    Hoşçakalın arkadaşlar!
    Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

Reviews


Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5
Based on 9 authentic traveler reviews
  • Turkey Tour with Kubi!

      Jinali, traveled Oct. 2023

    Our Guide Kubi made our trip very stress free! He is well organized, kept us informed and communicated well with the group! He made sure the whole group was taken care of! I got to know Kubi on this trip and can tell that he really cares about people as a whole, he is kind hearted and a humble person! Thank you Kubi for everything you did for us and making t... See more

  • Turkish Delight

      Alize, traveled Oct. 2023

    Turkish delight says it all-enjoyed learning about a historical city and indulging in a new culture. Walking away with an appreciation for a culture that is rooted with traditions. Plus, we had an AWESOME tour guide- Kubi was super knowledgeable and passionate about his country's history. Would def revisit Turkey and explore more of its wonders :)

  • Perfect highlights of Istanbul & cappadocia

      Katherine, traveled Sep. 2023

    I came for Istanbul and stayed for Cappadocia!! The sites were beautiful and our tour director, Aynur, knew everything. I would recommend skipping the extra excursions in istanbul if you want any free time. Also no/very little free time in Cappadocia so plan anything you really want to do ahead of time!

  • Fast Paced Turkish Experience

      Anonymous, traveled Sep. 2023

    Amazing trip! Very fast paced as a ton is packed into a shorter length. We did not waste any time and Aynur was an amazing knowledgeable guide. I never felt unsafe in Turkey and found everyone to be super friendly. The accommodations were also great. This trip touches on the “musts” of Turkey. The hot air balloon was an experience like no other. I would abso... See more

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