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Essential Turkey

8 Days / 7 Nights

Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia

Travel and LeisureFodorsUSA TodayNew York TimesNational GeographicWashington PostVogue
Vast and diverse, Turkey is a country you could spend a lifetime exploring. That said, a week is enough to get a taste of some of Turkey's most fascinating destinations. Scented with spices and sugar, the dream of a city that is multicultural Istanbul is your first stop before you explore the charms of Ankara, the vibrant Turkish capital. End your one-week itinerary to Turkey gazing at Cappadocia's otherworldly rock formations as you glide through the sky in a hot air balloon. One of our team members in Turkey will be available to you leading up to and during your trip to answer any questions and arrange local services. You will receive access to your Guest Page, with information on the best these destinations have to offer, including things to see and do, and other inside tips from restaurant recommendations to tipping advice. Upon arrival, we will provide you with a local SIM card with data that you can use to reach your local JayWay contact (who you will meet in person) throughout your trip. In all of our destinations, we offer a variety of memorable 3-5 star accommodation options, including boutique hotels and charming B&Bs. With our firsthand experience, we can ensure they are all clean, comfortable, and centrally located, with local ambiance.
Route for Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia tour

3 Nights in Istanbul

3 Nights in Istanbul

4 days in Istanbul
4 days in Istanbul

3 Nights in Istanbul

Istanbul is a sprawling city of 15+ million people that contains two continents and a wealth of history. From the Byzantines to the Ottoman Empire to the modern Turkish Republic, Istanbul has seen the churn of history throughout the centuries, and the remains of all these eras live alongside the ever-changing face of contemporary Turkey. The Hagia Sophia, formerly a Byzantine church, an Ottoman mosque, and a Republic-era museum, before reverting recently to a mosque, is Istanbul’s most significant site, located in the heart of Sultanahmet. The hip districts of Beyoglu, Besiktas, and Kadikoy overflow with restaurants and cafes, and the central boulevard Istiklal Caddesi serves as the main artery for shopping, food, and nightlife in this buzzing city.

Istanbul is a sprawling city of 15+ million people that contains two continents and a wealth of history. From the Byzantines to the Ottoman Empire to the modern Turkish Republic, Istanbul has seen the churn of history throughout the centuries, and the remains of all these eras live alongside the ever-changing face of contemporary Turkey. The Hagia Sophia, formerly a Byzantine church, an Ottoman mosque, and a Republic-era museum, before reverting recently to a mosque, is Istanbul’s most significant site, located in the heart of Sultanahmet. The hip districts of Beyoglu, Besiktas, and Kadikoy overflow with restaurants and cafes, and the central boulevard Istiklal Caddesi serves as the main artery for shopping, food, and nightlife in this buzzing city.

Day 1

Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul

After your flight arrives at Istanbul Airport, a driver will meet you at the airport to bring you to your accommodation. The drive from the airport lasts around 50 minutes.

Our representative will then meet with you to answer any questions you have and to get you settled for the rest of your trip.

Day 2

Day 2 - Your First Full Day in Istanbul

Highlights of Istanbul - Old City Walk Private Tour

The Best of Istanbul in a Day

Included in your vacation package price.

Today you are about to delve into the rich history of a city like no other, a city that sits at the crossroads of East and West, the enchanting Istanbul. During this 6-hour tour, you will visit top-rated attractions, such as the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia. Moreover, you will marvel at breathtaking views of the city from some of the best viewpoints in Istanbul. End the tour among locals in one of the world's most famous markets, the colorful and historic Grand Bazaar.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 6 hours

Day 3

Day 3 - Your Second Full Day in Istanbul

Tasting Istanbul

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

At the crossroads of East and West, Istanbul is one of the most fascinating and diverse cities. With influences from the many different people that co-existed within the Ottoman Empire for centuries on end, Turkish food is equally diverse. Apart from world-renowned savory and sweet specialties, such as kebabs or baklava, Turkish cuisine features countless other delicious dishes. One of the best ways to get to know Istanbul is through the city's unique tastes during a full-day private tour that will take your tastebuds on an unparalleled culinary trip. From the mesmerizing scents of spices to the sweet aromas of butter and sugar, follow your guide on a quest to uncover the city's secrets through the most authentic tastes. Alternatively, join a small-group cooking class to learn how to prepare some staple Turkish specialties and bring your new skills back home with you, keeping Istanbul in your heart forever in the most delicious way.

Tastes of Istanbul Private Tour

Tastes of Istanbul Private Tour

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

From kebabs to baklava to Turkish delight, Turkish food is famous all over the globe. Yet, there is so much more to Turkish food than just these staple delicacies. During this thorough food tour of Istanbul, your knowledgeable guide will take you off the beaten track to sample the real tastes of Istanbul and experience delicious Turkish specialties, many of which you probably never knew existed.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 6-7 hours

Istanbul Small Group Cooking Class

Istanbul Small Group Cooking Class

Suggested activities for an additional cost, depending on your choice

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and tie on a cooking apron. During this 3-hour cooking class, you will learn how to prepare five delicious authentic Turkish recipes and then enjoy them for lunch or dinner in a traditional restaurant with a glass or two of local wine. This is undoubtedly one of the most fulfilling cultural experiences you can enjoy in Istanbul.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 3 hours

Day 4

Day 4 - Traveling to Ankara by Private Transfer

A driver will pick you up from your accommodation in Istanbul and take you directly to Ankara.The journey lasts about five hours.

Ankara by Private Transfer
We also offer the following excursions in Istanbul

Bosphorus Full-Day Private Tour
Moderate7 hours 30 minutes
Bosphorus Half-Day Private Tour
Light4 hours
Bosphorus Tour with a Private Yacht
Light2 hours
Cumalikizik and Bursa Private Full Day Tour
Moderate11 hours 30 minutes

1 Night in Ankara

1 Night in Ankara

2 days in Ankara
2 days in Ankara

1 Night in Ankara

With a variety of archaeological sites throughout the area and the epic Anitkabir Mausoleum, there are a variety of sites from different eras for visitors to Ankara to explore. This city is heavily associated with Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first president, who served from Ankara and is buried in the mausoleum. Before modern Ankara became modern Ankara, it was known as Angora and was an important city dating all the way back to the Bronze Age. Angora wool originates from this region, and was a well-known century for Christianity during the 4th century AD.

With a variety of archaeological sites throughout the area and the epic Anitkabir Mausoleum, there are a variety of sites from different eras for visitors to Ankara to explore. This city is heavily associated with Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first president, who served from Ankara and is buried in the mausoleum. Before modern Ankara became modern Ankara, it was known as Angora and was an important city dating all the way back to the Bronze Age. Angora wool originates from this region, and was a well-known century for Christianity during the 4th century AD.

Day 4

Day 4 - Arrival in Ankara

Upon arrival in Ankara, your driver will take you to your centrally located accommodation.

Ankara Full-Day Private City Tour

Getting Acquainted With Ankara

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Often overshadowed by beautiful Istanbul, Ankara has no shortage of treasures in store for those who embark on a trip to discover the Turkish capital's charms. On your first day in Ankara, we recommend taking an eye-opening private tour that will reveal the many layers of this city to you. From relics that date back to the Ottoman Empire to the resting place of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of modern Turkey, Ankara will amaze you with its rich history.


Activity Level : Moderate
Duration : 8 hours 30 minutes

Day 5

Day 5 - Traveling to Cappadocia by Private Transfer

Α driver will pick you up from your accommodation in Ankara and take you directly to Cappadocia. The drive lasts three hours and 30 minutes.

Cappadocia by Private Transfer
We also offer the following excursions in Ankara

Ayone Farm Private Day Tour
Light7 hours 30 minutes
Beypazari Private Day Tour
Light8 hours
Gordion Private Day Tour
Moderate10 hours
Hattusas Private Day Tour
Moderate11 hours 30 minutes

3 Nights in Cappadocia

3 Nights in Cappadocia

4 days in Cappadocia
4 days in Cappadocia

3 Nights in Cappadocia

With a name drawn from the region’s ancient Christian history, Cappadocia combines stunning natural landscapes with a complex and still-visible history. Cave churches throughout the region boast still-colorful frescos and a shady respite from the Cappadocia sunshine. In Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, underground cities twist and turn in a knot of hidden hallways, preserved throughout hundreds of years. Above ground, the volcanic landscape seems to change every few miles, curling into stunning new rock formations and undulating hillsides around every turn. This is a perfect place to be in nature, with the quiet sounds of birdsong and wind filling the big open sky.

With a name drawn from the region’s ancient Christian history, Cappadocia combines stunning natural landscapes with a complex and still-visible history. Cave churches throughout the region boast still-colorful frescos and a shady respite from the Cappadocia sunshine. In Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, underground cities twist and turn in a knot of hidden hallways, preserved throughout hundreds of years. Above ground, the volcanic landscape seems to change every few miles, curling into stunning new rock formations and undulating hillsides around every turn. This is a perfect place to be in nature, with the quiet sounds of birdsong and wind filling the big open sky.

Day 5

Day 5 - Arrival in Cappadocia

Upon arrival in Cappadocia, your driver will take you to your centrally located accommodation.

Get to know Goreme

Suggestion to explore on your own

Goreme is the central city in the Cappadocia region, and because of that most of the notable restaurants and bars are clustered around its center. Take time to stroll the charming streets and check out the different restaurants and shops in Cappadocia’s busiest area. Once you get out of Goreme and begin to explore the region, you will be struck by the calm and quiet of the area. In Goreme, though, everything is bustling.

Day 6

Day 6 - Your First Full Day in Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Group Tour

Glide Over Cappadocia's Stunning Scenery

Included in your vacation package price.

Today you are enjoying a hot air balloon flight experience in Cappadocia, in the company of a group of like-minded travelers. Get ready to glide smoothly through the air, marveling at Cappadocia's unique scenery along the way. Finish this amazing experience in style with a glass of champagne once the hot air balloon lands.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 2 -3 hours

Day 7

Day 7 - Your Second Full Day in Cappadocia

Half Day Jeep Off-Road Private Tour

Going Off-Road in Cappadocia

Please ask your travel advisor for the cost to add this to your package

Exploring the stunning scenery of Cappadocia from an open-top jeep is one of the most fascinating things to do while there, and this is why we recommend booking an off-road jeep safari during your trip to this unique region. With views of dramatic valleys and visits to traditional villages and impressive churches, Cappadocia offers the perfect setting for an off-road experience like no other.


Activity Level : Light
Duration : 4 hours

Day 8

Day 8 - Departure Day

Sadly your time in Turkey draws to a close, but you'll have left on a high note! We'll arrange for a driver to transfer you to Kayseri Airport for the first leg of your journey home.

We also offer the following excursions in Cappadocia

ATV Private Two-Hour Tour
Light3 hours
Cappadocia Green Private Tour
Moderate8 hours
Cappadocia Green Small Group Tour
Moderate7 hours and 30 minutes
Cappadocia Red Private Tour
Light8 hours
What's Included

Here are all the services provided as part of your complete vacation package. See what every JayWay trip includes.
Please let us know if you'd like to upgrade any transfers or add any additional tours or excursions to your itinerary.

Istanbul

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Istanbul Airport Transfer
Highlights of Istanbul - Old City Walk Private Tour
Istanbul - Ankara Private Transfer

Ankara

1 Night Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Ankara - Cappadocia Private Transfer

Cappadocia

3 Nights Accommodation
Breakfast (hotels only)
Hot Air Balloon Group Tour
Kayseri Airport (ASR) Private Transfer
The package excludes:

  • Flights to and from Europe.
  • Tips for Tour Guides, Drivers and Local Reps.
  • Meals (other than breakfast if included in room rate and meals listed as included in food tours and excursions, unless explicitly stated otherwise).
  • Parking fees for your Rental Car (if you are booking one with us) unless otherwise indicated. Some hotels provide free parking facilities.
  • Travel Insurance. See the insurance link on our website
Benefits of Traveling with JayWay

A JayWay vacation is more than the sum of its parts. Our team work tirelessly to ensure your experience is memorable for all the right reasons. Your trip is personalized to maximize your enjoyment. You're taken care of every step of the way.

A Travel Advisor who speaks your language
We will make sure that all your requirements and interests are taken into account in preparing your itinerary.
A totally tailored itinerary for your vacation
Your trip is customized for you by  an experienced trip planner and an expert on the region.
A choice of hand-picked hotels and excursions
We've personally inspected and tested all the hotels and local tour providers we work with to ensure quality.
Detailed pre-trip preparation to make the most of every day
Your Europe-based Tour Manager will be in touch by email and phone a month before you arrive to finalize timings.
On-trip Concierge Service to smooth out any bumps in the road
Your tour manager is at your service throughout your journey. We'll provide a local SIM so you can stay connected.
Personalized Guest Page to make sure you're not missing out
Packed with detailed information and recommendations curated by locals on the best things to do, see and eat.
Get an Instant Price Estimate

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