Explore Turkey in 10 days!
Exploring Turkey is like getting transported to a world with unique culture and customs. This amazing land which lies at the juncture of Asia, Europe and Africa has been the playground of several civilizations and empires. It has seen the glory days of Ottoman Empire which transformed the region with its policies and made Istanbul a major centre of learning, trade and culture. It has played a key role in the politics of the West Asia and at one point, was the head of the Islamic world.
Today, Turkey is strewn with the remains and symbols of the lost civilizations and has a rich history and culture which is unrivalled in the world. Turkish cuisine, culture, architecture, economy, military and politics plays a key role in Europe and West Asia. Spending 10 days in Turkey will offer you amazing insight into the functioning of the country including its rich cultural legacy, customs and traditions and day-to-day life of vibrant Turkish citizens.
Start your 10-day Turkey holidays from Istanbul, which is renowned for its rich history, amazing monuments and an impressive culture. Istanbul breathes history and culture as the two elements are deeply intertwined in its outlook. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of historic Istanbul, where you will get a glimpse of the iconic Sultan Ahmet Mosque renowned for its blue tiled domes and minarets. Next, check out the iconic Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine-era church which was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. Today, it’s a popular museum and a proud symbol of secular Turkey. Check out the Topkapi Palace, the erstwhile imperial residence which still has important relics of Islam.
Next, you can visit the famous Grand Bazaar which still retains its charm despite the onslaught of modernity. Check out the spices, carpet, leather goods, souvenirs, handicrafts and many more items available at great bargains. Next, head to the Dolmabahçe Palace, the official residence of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Republic of Turkey and a very revered figure in Turkish society. Enjoy a visit to the historic neighbourhood of Galata to see the Genoese architecture of Tower of Galata and the elegant Galata Bridge.
On the third day in Istanbul, visit the Basilica Cistern, an underground network of water canals constructed during the Byzantine Empire. See the Walls of Constantinople, the remnants of the fabled unbreakable wall finally breached during the Ottoman conquest in 1453. Later, enjoy a cruise in the Bosporus Strait while admiring the sunset. Check out the Taksim Square, the modern hub of Istanbul.
Next day, you can visit Izmir, the third largest city of Turkey, which is located on the Central Aegean Coast. In Izmir, visit the Konak Square, the main public square of the city. See the historic cloak tower and Konak Yali Mosque and Kemeralti Bazaar. Enjoy a stroll on the beaches of Aegean Sea and check out the Kadifekale Fortress, an old castle with a history that goes back to the Roman times.
Enjoy a drive of one and half hour drive to Ephesus, a city which has well-preserved its ancient Roman ruins. The Temple of Artemis, Library of Celcus, Temple of Hadrian are among the popular attraction here. For more info, click here
Next day, enjoy a drive to Pamukkale and Hierapolis, two amazing historical sites of Turkey. Pamukkale is renowned for its famed limestone formations of natural pools and hot springs and is one of the oldest tourism destinations of the country. Visit Hierapolis, an ancient Greek and Byzantine city which is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site. Popular attractions here include the famous Temple of Apollo, Nymphaeum, Necropolis and several other sights.
Thereafter, you can visit Cappadocia, an amazing land filled with mysterious rock formations, underground caves and dwellings. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia’s stunning landscape and check out the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Goreme. You can find nice 4 star hotels in Cappadocia!
Next day, you can take a flight to Konya, the spiritual hub of Turkey; the birthplace of Mevlevi Order founded by renowned theologian and thinker Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi. In Konya, you should visit the mausoleum of Rumi, Alaadin Mosque, Mevlana Museum and must see the Whirling Dervishes ceremony, which believes in unity of soul with the supreme creator and encompasses elements of Turkish traditional music and deep Islamic philosophy.
Thereafter, you can visit Antalya, a popular resort destination renowned for having stunning turquoise waters and pristine beaches. In Antalya, check out the Hadrian’s Gate, a triumphal arch which dates back to the Roman times. Antalya Museum offers a unique insight into the region’s history and culture. Also, check out the Düden Waterfalls and Konyaaltı Beach and if time permits, visit Atatürk’s House Museum.
Visit Ankara on your last day and admire the sights and sounds of the modern capital of Republic of Turkey on your last day. In Ankara, visit the Ankara Castle, Museum of Anatolian Civilization and War of Independence Museum before boarding your flight back home.