10 Day Turkey Itinerary: A Complete Guide

10 Day Turkey Itinerary: A Complete Guide

Turkey, an astounding country that nestles between Asia and Europe is home to a rich cultural heritage, delicious food, plenteous history and immense beauty. If Turkey is on your bucket list and you wish to visit this enchanting country then with this 10 day Turkey itinerary you can explore the ruins of Ephesus, Travertines of Pamukkale, beaches of Antalya, moonlike landscape of Cappadocia and last but not the least Istanbul.

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Plan a perfect visit to Turkey with this 10 day Turkey itinerary: Visit Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Ephesus and Pamukkale. #turkey #turkeyitinerary #istanbul #travelturkey

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN IZMIR

Begin your 10 days Turkey Itinerary by arriving in Izmir.

To reach your hotel, you can book a cab or if you are a budget traveller like me, take a metro. On the other side of the road of the arrival gate, you can find the metro station.

After reaching the hotel if you have free time and energy, visit the clock tower and take a stroll along the Aegean Sea.

Make sure to settle in your hotel on time and take an ample amount of sleep to prepare yourself for a busy day ahead.

DAY 2: EPHESUS

After breakfast head straight to the Izmir Basmane station and board the train to Denizli.

The train leaves at the following hours.

07:42    08:53    11:30        15:30        16:41        17:54

Get down at Selçuk station and from there take a minibus, which will drop you to Ephesus

Spend your day exploring the ruins of Ephesus and do not forget to visit the Celsus Library, The Great Theatre, Commercial Agora and Terrace Houses.

Ephesus Ticket: 60TL

Opening Hours:

April to October 8:30 am – 6:30 pm

November to March 8 am – 4:30 pm

You need a separate ticket to visit the terrace houses, but it is worth every penny. The terrace houses are the houses of the riches adorned with beautiful fresco and mosaics.

Terrace houses is a part of the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey
Terrace Houses

Terrace Houses Ticket: 30 TL

Opening hours:

April to October 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

November to March 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

In the evening, take the minibus from the same stop, where it dropped you in the morning to reach Selçuk station. Take the train going to Izmir and enjoy your stay in the hotel.

DAY 3: PAMUKKALE

I do not see Pamukkale on many travellers bucket list, and it is much unexpected because it is an extremely interesting and a unique place and should be a part of every Turkey itinerary.

Denizli is the nearest city to Pamukkale, so take a bus from Izmir to Denizli. It will take around three and a half hours to reach Denizli and therefore start the day early.

From Denizli, you can easily find shuttle services, which will drop you to Pamukkale in 15 to 20 mins.

It is always better to book your bus tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute hassle. You can choose to travel by Pamukkale Turism, Metro Turism or any other bus company depending upon your travel needs.

Tip: Most of the Bus Companies provide luggage storage service and therefore you can drop your luggage at their Denizli office.

TRAVERTINES

Visit the Travertines of Pamukkale on the 3rd day of your 10 day Turkey itinerary

Pamukkale is famous for its travertines and hot springs.

It translates to “Cotton Castle” in Turkish and once you visit this dreamy place, you will know why.

Since ancient times the thermal springs of Pamukkale are used as a spa because of the healing property of the water, so don’t miss the opportunity of taking a dip.

Keep the following things in mind before you visit:

  • You will have to take off your shoes to enter the site, so make sure you bring a bag if you do not want to carry your shoes all the time in your hand.
  • The travertines are hard rock and are very rough. At certain areas, due to the constant flow of water, the rocks get slippery and therefore watch your steps all the time.




HEIRAPOLIS

The ancient city of Heirapolis should be a must on your Turkey Itinerary

Hierapolis is an ancient Roman city in Pamukkale which is overshadowed by the travertines.

The entry to Hierapolis is included in the ticket to the travertines. When you keep on walking upwards from the travertines, you can see the city.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ruins tell the story of an ancient flourishing and a rich city.

If you have time, you should visit the Great Theatre, which is the most well-preserved structure in Hierapolis.

The theatre can house up to 15,000 people.

TRAVEL TO ANTALYA

In the evening take a bus from Denizli to Antalya. It will take you somewhere between 3 to 4 hours to reach Antalya.

DAY 4: ANTALYA

Spend your entire day exploring Antalya today and begin with visiting the old town.

You can hire a taxi for a day, or you can use public transport as all the places where you will be going today are well connected with either bus or metro.

OLD TOWN

As most of the hotels in Antalya happen to be in the old town, hence the likelihoods are pretty high that you will wake up to a beautiful view of the old town.

Wander through the cobbled streets, grab a cup of coffee in any of the colourful cafes and indulge in some souvenir shopping before heading to your next stop.

HADRIAN GATE

Hadrian gate is a monumental gate in Antalya which leads to the old town.

The gate was built in 130 A.D to honour Roman Emperor Hadrian but was discovered only in 1817 by an Irish-British hydrographer.

You will find the silhouette of this gate in most of the souvenirs in Antalya.

DUDENFALLS

Duden waterfall in Antalya should be a part of your Turkey Itinerary

Board the bus KL08 from Hadrian gate and get down at Duden Park. From here, walk your way to the falls.

There are two Dudenfalls in Antalya: Upper Dudenfall and Lower Dudenfall.

As you are here just for a day, therefore visit the Lower Dudenfall as it is the highest waterfall in Europe, and the landscape is simply breathtaking.




RUINS OF PERGE

The ruins of the ancient city of Perge are well preserved in Antalya, Turkey.

This place is underrated and is not popular amongst the tourists, which came as quite a shock to me.

But the good side of this is that you can have the place all by yourself, and you can explore the ruins in peace.

The city is huge and is a half-day activity on its own, but due to lack of time, I would suggest not to spend more than two hours here.

Make sure to visit the Great Theatre. It is on the opposite side of the road of the ticket counter.

KONYAALTI BEACH

It is one of the two famous beaches of Antalya and my favourite, the other one is Lara Beach.

Reach there before the sunset, find a quiet place to sit and watch the sun hide in the water.

The water is safe to swim and changing rooms are available on the beach.

Get more details about the places to visit in Antalya in my post:

Best things to do in Antalya ,Turkey : The ultimate guide

Day 5: CAPPADOCIA

The nearest airport to Cappadocia is Nevsehir and Kayseri.

You can also take a bus to Cappadocia, but it will take around 8 to 9 hours.

In the morning, take a flight from Antalya and reach Kayseri or Nevsehir. From both the places, you will have to take a shuttle service to reach Cappadocia.

Check in to your hotel, have lunch and rest for some rest.

In the evening visit Galerie Ikmn and the Rose Valley sunset point.

GALERIE IKMAN

This is an open roof shop with its walls and floor completely draped in Turkish carpets.

The main idea of this shop like any other is to sell its carpets to the customers.

But due to its classic Turkish feel, vibrant colours and photogenic look, it has turned into a must-visit place in Cappadocia to get the perfect viral pictures.

ROSE VALLEY SUNSET POINT

Rose Valley is famous for its sunset and sunrise.

Due to its height, you can see the entire Cappadocia from there, which makes the sunset even more beautiful.

Although you can reach here by car, I suggest you hike, so that you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes on your way.




Day 6: CAPPADOCIA

HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT

hot air balloon ride in cappadocia over the fairy chimneys

Nothing is more appealing than being up in the sky with hundreds of other colourful hot air balloons and watch the sunrise in the breathtaking landscape.

Depending upon the type of flight and the company, the ticket costs between 150 € to 250 €.

The basic type of flight lasts for approximately an hour, which is an ample amount of time to enjoy the magical landscape and watch the sun paint the sky golden.

DERINKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY

Explore the underground city as a part of your Turkey Itinerary

It is one of the two famous underground cities in Cappadocia, the other one is Kaymakli. I chose to visit Derinkuyu underground city, as it is the deepest (200 ft)

The city is believed to have housed up to 20,000 people along with food and livestock. There are large and small rooms, wineries, churches, ventilation shafts, wells and everything else that it takes to build a city.

It was used by the people to escape the harsh weather and enemies during the time of war.

IHLARA VALLEY

hiking the Ihlara Valley in Cappadocia

Ihlara Valley is a canyon formed as a result of many volcanic eruptions of Mount Hasan. Melendiz River flows through the area, making it one of the most mesmerizing places to hike in Cappadocia.

Hiking through the Ihlara Valley is a pleasant experience where you find yourself surrounded by the soothing sound of flowing water and chirping birds.

PIGEON VALLEY

Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia

Pigeon valley got its name from the many pigeon houses which are present in this valley.

In ancient times people of Cappadocia made many pigeon houses by carving the soft volcanic rocks.

LOVE VALLEY

End your 6th day of your Turkey Itinerary by viisting the unique Love Valley

Do you want to see how creative Mother Nature can get sometimes? Visit love valley. You need a good sense of humour to understand why it is called love valley.

You can see love valley from the viewpoint near the parking or can trek down to the base of these giant rocks. I could not trek down because it started to rain (the weather is unpredictable) and also I was running short on time.

To get more details about the Things to do in Cappadocia read the post:

10 Things to do in Cappadocia, Turkey

 

DAY 7: CAPPADOCIA

CAVUSIN VILLAGE

It is an old village between Avanos and Goreme towns. Many people used to live in the rock-cut cave houses. But with time these houses were abandoned due to weathering and falling rocks.

Not many tourist visits this little village but those who do take in the real Turkish views.




PASABAG

Pasabag also called as Monk Valley is famous for its mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys.

These fairy chimneys are different from rest of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia as these are double or even triple-headed.

GÖREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM

Goreme open air museum, a part of your Turkey itinerary is a UNESCO world heritage site.

This place needs no introduction. It is a UNESCO world heritage site which has incredibly carved out churches with some of the most beautiful Frescos.

Photography is not allowed inside the churches because flashlight destroys the frescos over a period of time.

UÇHISAR CASTLE

Uchisar Castle in Cappadocia

It is located at the highest point in Cappadocia. The castle was used to hide from enemies during war.

The rooms are well connected through stairs or tunnels. You are required to take more than 120 steps to reach the top, with a breathtaking view to welcome you.

To get more details about the most beautiful places to visit in Cappadocia read the post:

7 Most beautiful places in Cappadocia

In the evening take a flight from Kayseri to Istanbul, which will take around one and a half hour.

You can also take a bus to Istanbul but it will be an overnight 12-hour journey.

DAY 8: ISTANBUL

BLUE MOSQUE

must visit blue mosque in istanbul

Blue Mosque a.k.a Sultanahmet Camii is the most famous mosque of Istanbul.

The mosque owes its name to the blue tiles used to decorate the interior walls of the mosque.

Although it is seen as a tourist attraction, it is an active mosque, and therefore the mosque closes for the tourists five times a day during the time of prayers.




HIPPODROME OF CONSTANTINOPLE

Hippodrome of Constantinople was a social centre of Constantinople (the ancient capital city of the Roman Empire), mainly for the chariot race.

Today it is called Sultanahmet Square.

The hippodrome had many monuments, but today you can see only three: Serpent Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and Constantine Obelisk.

HAGIA SOFIA

 Hagia Sofia- a must visit part of any Turkey itinerary

Hagia Sofia was a church (AD 360- ) later a mosque (1453- ) and now a museum.

The first president of Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk turned Hagia Sofia into a museum in 1935.

It is one of the most magnificent buildings in Istanbul, with an extraordinary façade and interior architecture.

You can see exquisite mosaics inside the museum. For the best view, go to the upper gallery.

SPICE MARKET

Spice market also called as Egyptian market is one of the most beautiful markets you will ever see. The amalgam of colours and aroma makes Spice market extra special.

Explore the market and buy some spices. Every spice that you could think of can be found here. If you are not a spice fan, then buy some Turkish Delight and dry fruits. You will find Turkish Delight in all flavours and colours.

DAY 9: ISTANBUL

BASILICA CISTERN

Basilica Cistern is one of the largest ancient cisterns which lie underneath the city.

The cistern has a 52 step staircase and is 140 m long.

As it now serves mainly as a tourist attraction, therefore only a little amount of water is maintained in the Cistern.

TOMB OF SULTANS

The Tombs of Sultans is an underrated place of your Turkey Itinerary

These are the Tombs of five Sultans of the Ottoman period.

You can enter the tombs from the back of Hagia Sofia. When you go towards Topkapi palace, the tombs will fall on your left.

AHMET ÇEŞMESI

Ahmet Çeşmesi (also known as Fountain of Sultan Ahmed III), is a beautiful square structure near the gate of the Topkapi Palace.

When you walk towards Topkapi palace(next destination) from the Tomb of Sultans, you will witness this magnificent structure which is worth taking a few pictures.

TOPKAPI PALACE

Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans in the 15th century, but now it serves as a museum.

The palace has hundreds of rooms but only a few important rooms are accessible to the public. Apart from the main palace, the harem (residence of the female members of Sultan’s family) is also open to the public.




GRAND BAZAAR

every Turkey itinerary is incomplete without a visit to the famous Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar needs no introduction and as the name suggests, it is huge. It has around 4000 shops.

There are 22 entrances to the market and it can get a little confusing for the first-timers.

If you are looking for something particular and running short on time then taking the right entrance is extremely important. If you are not sure about the entrance, then feel free to ask any local.

For a more detailed Istanbul Itinerary read the post:

Must Visit Places in Istanbul, Turkey-3 day itinerary

DAY 10: ISTANBUL

DOLMABAHCE PALACE

must visit dolmabache palace in istanbul

Dolmabahce Palace was built in the 19th century, along the Bosphorus shore, and was completed in 13 years.

The last of the Ottoman Sultans lived in this palace.

This palace was also used by the first President of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, but he resided in a very basic and a small room of the palace.

BOSPHORUS

Bosphorus Cruise is that part of your Turkey itinerary which lets you see Asia and Europe at the same time

A visit to Istanbul would be incomplete without a Bosphorus cruise tour.

You can either take a private cruise or a public cruise depending upon your need.  Private cruise tours are expensive but at the same time, they are more flexible and allows you to take a tour in a private environment with a small group.

I took a public cruise tour to Bosphorus with Şehir Hatları (Istanbul’s official ferry company).

GALATA TOWER

Galata Tower was built in the 14th century and was initially called the Tower of Christ.

In the 20th century the tower was made open to the public.

You can reach the roof of the Tower to have a 360° view of the city.

Surprisingly enough, the interior of the Galata Tower is extremely modern.

There is a lift which takes you to the 7th floor and then you just have to climb two floors to reach the roof.

TAKSIM SQUARE

Taksim square and the neighbouring Istiklal street will for sure win your heart. It is a lively place from dusk to dawn.

At the centre of the Taksim square is the Monument of the Republic. The monument feature Atatürk, the Turkish army and other prominent figures.

From the centre make your way to the famous Istiklal Street and do some shopping, watch various artists perform, eat good food and enjoy the lively vibes the place.

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Here is a perfect 10 day Itinerary, capturing the best things to do and the best places to visit in Turkey. #turkey #istanbul #turkeyitinerary #cappadocia #turkeytravel

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4 Comments

  1. Yusra
    / 8:28 am

    loved every bit of it. Turkey has never fascinated me more. keep it up . keep exploring !!!

    • Humera
      Author
      / 9:40 pm

      Happy to know that.

  2. E
    / 5:42 pm

    This gives such a nice insight for new travellers. What would you say an estimated budget for this itinerary

    • Humera
      Author
      / 9:16 pm

      The budget depends on your preferences. The choice of hotels and the restaurants where you like to dine make all the difference.

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