Maximize your travel time in Turkey on this 3-day tour that covers Cappadocia and Ephesus, with flights. Turkey is a big country, packed with many diverse regions, which makes it a compelling place to see but also lends to logistical constraints. This tour will ensure you don’t waste any time. First, fly to Kayseri from Istanbul, where you will explore some of Cappadocia’s main points of interest during two tours. Next, fly to Izmir and discover fascinating archeology. Enjoy 4-star accommodations. Select to upgrade your tour if you would like the tour to include your return flight to Istanbul.
- 3-day Turkey tour to Cappadocia and Ephesus from Istanbul
- Save time on traveling between regions with domestic flights included
- Tour Cappadocia and visit UNESCO-listed Göreme Open-Air Museum, Ortahisar Castle, Kaymakli Underground City and more
- Take an early morning hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, if you wish
- Explore the archeological site at Ephesus and visit the House of the Virgin Mary (Meryemana)
- Enjoy overnight 4-star stays in a boutique cave hotel in Cappadocia and a centrally located hotel in Izmir
- Upgrade to include a flight from Izmir to Istanbul at the end of the tour
Your 3-day tour kicks off with a flight from Istanbul to Kayseri. Head into the moonscape of Cappadocia, for a great introduction to this otherworldly region. Millions of years ago volcanic ash spewed into the atmosphere, only to fall and cover the earth with layers of ash that solidified. It was then carved out by wind, floodwater, and rain to form the lunar-like landscape you see today.
See the Göreme Open-Air Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, the Rose Valley and select an additional option for a sunrise hot air balloon tour. After seeing Cappadocia’s highlights, traveling to Ephesus where you will steep in Turkey’s very old history.
In Cappadocia, enjoy a 4-star boutique cave hotel. In Izmir, a city often cited as the gateway to Ephesus, you will reside in a centrally located 4-star hotel.
Day 1: Istanbul – Kayseri – Cappadocia (D)
Start your tour with a hotel pickup from central Istanbul and travel to Atatürk Airport in time for your flight. Board the plane on your own, and relax on the 1.5-hour flight southeast to Kayseri, a city deep in mainland Turkey. On arrival, meet your guide, hop inside your minibus and travel a little further into Cappadocia to see its wondrous sights.
Your first stop is Göreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to fairy chimneys and a collection of rocky monuments that attest to Byzantine days in Cappadocia. Explore with your guide, and then continue to the small town of Avanos, which is famous for its pottery production.
After a quick look around the pretty town, enjoy a stop nearby in Pasabag (Monk’s Valley), and take a walk through the area’s cone-like rocks to see where monks and hermits once lived in isolated seclusion. Continue traveling through Dervent Valley, where fairy chimneys pepper the landscape, and then travel back to your cave hotel in Cappadocia in time for dinner.
Overnight: 4-star Dilek Kaya Cave Hotel or Alfina Cave Hotel in Cappadocia
Day 2: Cappadocia – Kayseri – Izmir (B, D)
Spend the morning at leisure and enjoy breakfast in your hotel, meet back up mid-morning for another tour of Cappadocia. Start with a walk through Rose Valley, a gorgeous stretch of land that takes its name from its abundance of red-hued rock. Straddling the villages of Göreme and Çavuşin, the valley is peppered with rock-carved churches and tunnels, and your guide will point out the best ones as you walk. Finish up in Çavuşin and, after seeing its cave mosque, enjoy some free time for lunch (own expense).
Hop aboard your minibus and continue your day’s tour to the town of Ortahisar to see its crowning glory, Ortahisar Castle. Pose for photos by the unique rock fortress before traveling onward to the Kaymakli Underground City, one of Cappadocia’s best-preserved subterranean sites. Explore its maze of passages, seeing underground stables and cellars while learning about the early Christians who once hid here to escape persecution. Return to your coach, pass through Pigeon Valley, and then return to your hotel.
Check out in the late afternoon, and travel with your guide to Kayseri Airport for your 1.5-hour evening flight to Izmir. Arrive at Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport on your own, and enjoy a transfer to your hotel. Refuel with a late-evening meal of sandwiches laid on by the hotel and enjoy a good night’s sleep in readiness for tomorrow.
Overnight: 4-star hotel in Izmir
Day 3: Izmir – Ephesus – Izmir (B)
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel, and then travel to Ephesus where an important archeological site, considered as one of Europe’s best-preserved Classical cities, awaits. Explore the ruins on a walking tour and see sights such as the Temple of Hadrian — a monument built to celebrate the Emperor Hadrian’s visits to the city.
Take a break for lunch in the main town (own expense), before traveling to the House of the Virgin Mary, a site that many believe is where the Virgin Mary spent her final days. Enjoy a look around the chapel and hear about its history as a place of pilgrimage from your guide. Finally, return to your coach and travel back to your hotel to check out.
Your 3-day tour then finishes with a drop-off at the Izmir airport,Izmir hotel or Kusadasi hotel. Alternatively, upgrade to include a flight back to Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, and finish your tour there instead.