Essential Turkey

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Essential Turkey

8 days/7 nights - from $2,095 per person Land Only

Departures & Rates

Discover the highlights of Turkey, on this 7-night trip that begins in Istanbul, where your tours include a cruise up the Bosporus toward the Black Sea, an unforgettable excursion that takes you between Europe and Asia. Also, visit the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Hagia Sophia, which contains some of the finest mosaics from the Byzantine period, Fly to central Turkey and visit the city of Cappadocia, where a day of touring includes Goreme National Park and its incredible rock formations, a ceramic cooperative, and the valley of churches. Back in eastern Turkey, take an excursion to the ancient city of Ephesus, a World Heritage Site where the renowned ruins are among the most extensive in the world. Starting at $2095, land only, with guaranteed weekly departures.

Day 1 – Arrive Istanbul
Arrival in Istanbul, where you are met and transferred to your hotel in the center of the city. Rest and refresh at your hotel. (Antik/Marmara Pera)

Day 2 – Istanbul
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your guide and set out on a full-day walking tour that covers Istanbul’s highlights, including the city’s most historic section, Sultanahmet. First, visit the Hippodrome, which was once the social center of Constantinople (the city’s Byzantine name). Built by the Romans in the 3rd century, only fragments are left of what was once a grand stadium. Later, continue touring with a visit to the Blue Mosque, one of the world’s most important temples, named for the blue Iznik tile work that decorates its interior.  Next, visit the Topkapi Palace, the Imperial residence of twenty-five Ottoman sultans. After lunch at a local restaurant, continue with a visit to the Hagia Sophia. Built by the Emperor Justinian and inaugurated in 537 AD, the Hagia Sophia was the center of the Eastern Orthodox Church for more than nine centuries. It contains some of the finest mosaics to have survived from the Byzantine period. Complete the tour at the Grand Bazaar, where construction began in 1455. The end result is an enormous labyrinth of covered streets lined with thousands of shops. Return to hotel at the end of the tour. (B/L)

Day 3 – Istanbul
This morning’s tour includes a visit to the famous 17th-century Spice Market, also called the Egyptian Bazaar. From medieval times, spices were an important and expensive part of Oriental cooking, and they gradually became the bazaar’s main focus, taking advantage of Istanbul’s strategic position on the main trade route between the East and Europe. Continue with your guide to Eminonu to board a local boat for a cruise up the Bosphorus toward the Black Sea (about 1-1/2 hours). Allowing you to see all the interesting structures along this historic waterway, this cruise is one of the most unforgettable excursions between two continents, Europe and Asia. Along the way, see the latest palaces of the Ottomans, the Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi, and, from the 19th and 20th centuries, the beautiful wooden kiosks, mansions and modern villas that form the elegant section of the city. Afternoon is at leisure. (B)

Day 4 – Istanbul/Kayseri or Nevsehir/Cappadocia
This morning, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Kayseri or Nevsehir. Upon arrival, your driver meets you at the airport for transfer (approx. 1 hr) to Cappadocia, an area famous for its cone-shaped geological formations. After lunch at a local restaurant, your guide takes you to one of Cappadocia’s underground cites (Derinkuyu or Kaymakli), which were cut out of volcanic rock as deep as 300 feet between the 6th and 10th centuries. Used by the local population for hiding when invading armies were passing through, these underground cities are believed to have housed thousands of people. Later, continue on to see the Pigeon Valley, where, for centuries, the locals kept pigeons in niches carved in the rock. You may also be able to climb the rock-carved Uchisar Castle and, from its peak, enjoy breathtaking views over the valley. Check into your unique cave hotel in Cappadocia. (Dinler Urgup/Alfina Cave) (B/L)

Day 5 – Cappadocia
This morning, you are met by your driver and guide for a full day of touring in the Goreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin with seeing the amazing rock formations in Dervent Valley. Then visit Zelve Valley, the oldest example of Cappadocian architecture, where elaborate shelters were carved into the rock by the earliest monastic settlers. Nearby is Pasabag, also known as Monk’s Valley, which has examples of hermitages hollowed out of volcanic rock formations. After lunch, visit the village of Avanos, situated on the banks of the river Kizil Irmak, Turkey’s largest river. The city is known mainly for the millenarian handmade confections of tapestry and red clay pottery, extracted from the banks of Kizil Irmak. After a stop for lunch, visit a ceramic cooperative and learn about the production of Turkish ceramics. Continue with a visit to the Goreme Open-Air Museum, which contains the fines of the rock-cut churches. Then visit the Goreme Valley, the valley of churches, which has been occupied since the dawn of history. Beautiful primitive frescoes, from the 11th and 12th centuries, cover the walls of the churches. The area’s oldest churches date back to the 6th century. Later, you have a chance to visit some local villages and craftspeople, possibly including a traditional rug workshop. (B/L)

Day 6 – Cappadocia/Izmir/Kusadasi
After breakfast at the hotel, you are transferred to Kayseri airport for your flight to Istanbul, which connects with your flight to Izmir. You are met at the Izmir airport and transferred to your hotel in Kusadasi. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. (Ilayda Avantgarde/La Vista) (B)

Day 7 – Ephesus
Today’s excursion takes you to the ancient city of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its renowned ruins are among the most extensive in the world. In its heyday, Ephesus rivaled Rome in its splendor. Visit the Gymnasium, Odeon, Prytaneion, Nymphaion, Domitian Temple, Thermal Baths, and much more. The Temple of Artemis is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. After a home-style cooked lunch at a local restaurant, visit the neighboring pastoral village of Sirince, located on a hillside surrounded by apple and grape orchards. Originally settled by Greeks, the village was inhabited by Ephesian Christians who moved up into the surrounding hills during the Selcuk conquests. In 1924, in the massive population exchanges between Greece and Turkey, Muslims from Salonica resettled here, creating a farming community highly adept at winemaking. Apple wine is a local specialty. Return to your hotel in Kusadasi. (B/L)

Day 8 – Kusadasi/Izmir/Istanbul
In the morning, a drive of about 1-1/2 hours takes you to Izmir International Airport, where you board a short flight to Istanbul. Connect with your departure flight from Istanbul. (B)

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Departure DatesLand & Air *
Land Only *Single Supplement
January 1 - December 31 01/01 - 12/31
$ $0
$2095 S$2,095 S
$2250 FC$2,250 FC
$295 S$295 S
$435 FC$435 FC

Land Only prices are per person based on double occupancy. Hotels are S (standard) and FC (first-class), as indicated.

Suggested Airfare: From $1100 for Jun 1 - Aug 20 and Dec 10 - Jan 10; and from $750 for Jan 11 - May 31 and Aug 21 - Dec 9. Suggested airfare is per person from New York JFK airport to destination city on itinerary and return. Other gateway cities are available. Prices include government taxes and fees. 

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  • Private arrival and departure transfers with comfortable A/C vehicles
  • 7 nights’ hotel accommodations at 4-star hotels listed in itinerary or similar
  • Open-buffet breakfast daily
  • Lunches as per itinerary, except drinks
  • Touring with professional licensed English-speaking local tour guides (2 days in Istanbul, 2 days in Cappadocia, 1 day in Ephesus)
  • Domestic Flights (Istanbul to Kayseri or Nevsehir, Kayseri to Izmir via Istanbul, and Izmir to Istanbul)
  • All sightseeing and admission fees for museums indicated in the program
  • Expenses for public transportation for Istanbul
  • Private A/C luxury minivan in Cappadocia and in Kusadasi
  • Welcome packages, including wet napkins, maps, bookmarks and postcards
  • Bottled water in minivans during transfers
  • Local taxes, VAT, and service charges

Not Included
  • International airfare
  • Customary tips to local guides and drivers
  • Meals and beverages not specified in the itinerary
  • Optional tours
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as tips, laundry, table drinks, telephone calls, etc
  • Any item not mentioned above

Optional Tours – Cappadocia
  • Whirling Dervishes Show (evening) – $95 per person
  • Hot-Air Balloon Tour - $240 per person
  • Turkish Night Dance & Dinner - $115 per person

Optional Tours – Istanbul
  • Beyoglu District Walking Tour - $55 per person
  • Asia Side Food Walking tour - $65 per person


  • If hotels listed are not available at the time of reservation, alternative hotels at the same category could be used. Prices may differ.
  • During trade fairs season and during Christmas and New Year’s Days, some hotels may require surcharges. The prices may increase.
  • Full payment must be received 90 days prior to departure
  • Major credit cards accepted; credit card authorization required
  • Change and cancellation penalties ($250-$600 per person) apply; Pacific Holidays’ general cancellation policy applies
  • Hotel upgrades, additional hotel nights and extensions are available


from $2,095
General information about the region
Istanbul. Turkey
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Average High 46 47 51 60 69 78 82 82 76 67 57 50
Average Low 37 37 40 47 54 62 66 67 61 55 47 42
Average Rainfall 3.7 2.8 2.3 1.7 1.2 0.9 0.7 0.6 1.1 2.1 3.5 4
* Degrees are in Fahrenheit. Rainfall are in inches.
Time zone
Health requirements
Turkish Lira
$1.00 USD = 5.86 TRY
Visa requirement
Yes Apply
Cappadocia. Turkey
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Average High 37 43 48 54 63 70 75 75 67 58 46 38
Average Low 19 21 24 30 37 44 47 46 40 33 26 21
Average Rainfall 1.4 1.4 1.8 2.2 2.2 1.5 0.5 0.3 0.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
* Degrees are in Fahrenheit. Rainfall are in inches.
Time zone
Health requirements
Turkish Lira
$1.00 USD = 5.86 TRY
Visa requirement
Yes Apply
Kusadasi. Turkey
January February March April May June July August September October November December
Average High 55 57 60 66 75 82 86 86 80 73 64 59
Average Low 39 41 42 48 53 60 64 64 59 53 48 42
Average Rainfall 6.3 4.4 3.5 1.9 0.8 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.9 1.6 3.6 5.8
* Degrees are in Fahrenheit. Rainfall are in inches.
Time zone
Health requirements
Turkish Lira
$1.00 USD = 5.86 TRY
Visa requirement
Yes Apply
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