10 Day Turkey Itinerary - The Ultimate Turkish Adventure

in #travel2 years ago (edited)

Turkey is one of my favourite travel destinations. Breathtaking geographical landscape, grand historical buildings, unique archaeological sites, rich culture, appetizing local cuisine and generous local hospitality - the country has it all! It offers you an incredible diversity in nature, history and culture. After exploring the neighbouring countries like Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, I wondered how this beautiful bridge of a country between Asia and Europe would be like. And I must admit, it exceeded my expectations. If you're planning a visit to this country, then I have the best 10 day Turkey itinerary for you.



There are many places worth visiting in Turkey but 10 days isn't enough to cover them all. So, I have personally curated a 10 day Turkey itinerary in which you'll explore three places- Istanbul, Pamukkale and Cappadocia. Each place is completely different from the other and has it's own individualistic personality.



"If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul"- Alphonse de Lamartine. 

Istanbul is a great melange of history and modernity

I strongly agree with Alphonse. Istanbul is a fabulous melange of history and modernity, making it an absolute must-visit in any Turkey itinerary.


DAY 1: 

Hagia Sophia is one of the most famous attractions in Istanbul

You'll be exploring the following places- Hippodrome of Constantinople, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Spice Bazaar. 

The two activities you can do on this day are: TurYol's Bosphorus day cruise and Bosphorus dinner cruise with entertainment. I did both of them and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

In the Bosphorus day cruise, you get a clear daylight view of the Asian and European sides of Istanbul

I'd suggest you do them as well. Why? Because they are completely different experiences! In the day cruise, firstly, you get to see the lovely Bosphorus strait. Secondly, you get to enjoy enchanting views of the Asian and European sides of Istanbul in natural daylight.

The Bosphorus bridge lit up with LED lights is a sight to behold during the night cruise

In the dinner cruise, you get to see the historical buildings on either side come alive thanks to the night lighting which gives them a scintillating glow. This is also the time when the Bosphorus bridge is lit up with LED lights and is a sight to behold. Add to that the royal Turkish wine and dine experience, and you have a night to remember!


DAY 2: 

Interiors of the Basilica Cistern

The royal Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

You'll be covering the following places- Little Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Kariye Museum, Pierre Loti Hill & Cafe, Suleymaniye Mosque and Galata Tower.

After all the sightseeing during the day, you can relish a "dinner with a view" experience at the Alexandra Cocktail Bar. Raise a toast to the view of the sparkling suspension bridge lighting up the Bosphorus and enjoy a night filled with scrumptious food, delicious cocktails and foot-tapping music.


DAY 3: 

Dolmabahce Palace gives you a wonderful insight into Turkish history

The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is always buzzing with people

On your third day in Istanbul, you'll be exploring the following places- Dolmabahçe Palace, Taksim Square and Grand Bazaar. 

In terms of activities, you can rejuvenate yourself by visiting a traditional Turkish Hammam. Hammam is a term used for a "Turkish bath". It's basically a Middle Eastern spa tradition that uses steam to reinvigorate tired muscles. So gift yourself a much deserved Turkish therapy session and get rid of all the stress and physical exhaustion.


DAY 4: 

You begin your penultimate day in Istanbul by visiting the Beylerbeyi Palace

On your last day, you'll be visiting the Beylerbeyi Palace. After that you can enjoy an appetizing lunch at Ioki Asia which is just 4.5 km away from the palace. The place specializes in Asian cuisine so you can rest assured that the best Asian food in Istanbul is on your plate.
You have to sit in the tram and experience the vibe of Taksim Square

Spend the rest of your day bar hopping around the Taksim Square. To leave the magical city of Istanbul without experiencing it's dazzling nightlife would be a sin. So go out there, let your hair down and end your Istanbul sojourn on a high!





Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is the white heaven of Turkey. It is mainly famous for the pristine white travertines with beautiful terraced spring pools that contain warm mineral-rich water.
Pamukkale means cotton castle in Turkish

Pamukkale can be defined as "a desktop wallpaper that's come to life". It's paradisiacal beauty leaves you spellbound. There are many things to do in Pamukkale besides the travertines and you'll be covering almost all of them in this itinerary.


DAY 5: 

Hierapolis is one of the most popular ancient cities in Turkey

Pamukkale Natural Park and Mineral Lake is a lovely picnic spot for both locals and tourists

You'll be covering the following places- Karahayit Red Springs, ancient city of Hierapolis and Archaeology Museum, Travertines of Pamukkale and Pamukkale Natural Park and Mineral Lake.

In terms of activities, I'd suggest you to try paragliding over the stunning landscape of Pamukkale. Imagine getting a chance to fly over the travertines and antique pools, soaking in the terrific natural views from above. That's bucket-list stuff right there!

Pamukkale Tandem Paraglidingwith it's expertise in the paragliding domain, provides you with the best paragliding experience you can ask for. Fair pricing, experienced pilots, excellent service, great communication and optimal safety standards make the company an absolute favourite of the tourists. To make a booking, simply click here.


DAY 6: 

The archaeological site of Laodicea was once an ancient Roman city

On your penultimate day in Pamukkale, you'll be covering two beautiful archaeological sites- Laodicea and Aphrodisias. They aren't as touristy or popular as Hierapolis but their historical significance makes them worth visiting.

Aphrodisias is the most well preserved archaeological UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkey

If Biblical history excites you and exploring a destination on foot is your thing, then these two gems have to feature in your Pamukkale itinerary. While Laodicea was an ancient Roman city that once became a seat of Christianity, Aphrodisias was a royal Greek city that was named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.

Both these sites have their own distinctive personalities and standing amidst their ruins makes you wonder what life in ancient times would have been like!


DAY 7: 

Ephesus is located in Selçuk town in the Izmir province of Turkey

On your last day in Pamukkale, you'll be exploring the following places- the House of Virgin Mary, ancient city of Ephesus and Isa Bey Mosque.

Don't miss out on writing a wish (on a fabric or paper) and tying it on the "wishing wall" at the House of Virgin Mary. It's believed that the wishes made here eventually come true. Also, don't forget to visit the "Terraced Houses" section in the ancient city of Ephesus. This particular section requires a separate entry ticket.



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Cappadocia is an otherworldly region in Turkey that takes your breath away with it's strange yet gorgeous landscape.
Cappadocia is famous for the conical shaped rock formations called Fairy Chimneys

The place is mainly known for it's fantastical cone-shaped rock formations called "Fairy Chimneys". There's a ton of interesting things to do in Cappadocia and in this itinerary, you'll be covering most of them.


DAY 8: 

The Goreme Open Air Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Northern Cappadocia

Uchisar Castle is a tall volcanic-rock outcrop situated on the highest point of Uchisar town

On your first day, you'll be exploring the following places in northern Cappadocia (as part of the Cappadocia Red Tour program)- Göreme Open Air Museum, Uchisar Castle, Carpet shop, Love Valley, Rose Valley, Ceramik Kapadokya Pottery Workshop, Urgup Fairy Chimneys and Devrent Valley.

The activity that I strongly recommend you to do and that may or may not be a part of your Red Tour (depending upon the travel agency you choose) is wine tasting in Urgup. 

Wine tasting is a must-do activity if you are in Urgup

Why do I recommend it? Because firstly, wine is an integral part of the Turkish cuisine. And secondly, Urgup is the heart of the wine producing region of Cappadocia.


DAY 9: 

On your penultimate day, you'll be traversing the southern part of Cappadocia. This region, according to me, is the best part of Cappadocia as it has a fascinating mix of valleys, underground cities and monasteries.

Breathtaking panoramic view of Goreme

One of the most exciting part of the Green Tour of Cappadocia is exploring an underground city

The places and activities that you'll be covering (as part of the Cappadocia Green Tour program) are- Göreme Panorama Viewpoint, Kaymakli Underground City, Ihlara Valley hike, Selime Monastery, Pigeon Valley, Turkish delights tasting and Kapadokya Onyx Stone Centre.


DAY 10: 

You must be aware of the popular quote-"Save the best for last". The activities that you'll be doing on your final day in Cappadocia justify this quote.

No trip to Turkey is complete without an epic Hot Air Balloon ride. Royal Balloons Cappadocia is an expert when it comes to hot air balloon rides.

The most epic thing to do in Cappadocia is a Hot Air Balloon ride

Best quality balloons (ensuring no compromise on safety), pre-flight breakfast buffet, experienced pilots, exclusive launch sites (which distances you from the other balloons) and lovely post-ride surprises are some of the reasons which make Royal Balloons the preferred choice of most tourists. Contact them to book your ride by clicking here.

The other activity that I would recommend you to do is an ATV Bike tour of Göreme. Besides these activities, you can visit the Red Valley, Sword Valley and enjoy a spa treatment at a local Turkish Hammam.





Turkey was on my travel wish-list ever since I first saw the picture of a hot air balloon flying over a peculiar landscape that looked similar to that of Mars. Little did I know that one day I'd be on a hot air balloon myself, living that very image in reality.
Istanbul is one of my favourite cities in the world and a place that I wouldn't mind visiting again

Turkey is not just a place, it's an emotion. I've made some of my best travel memories during my time in Istanbul, Pamukkale and Cappadocia. Istanbul, in fact, is one of my favourite cities in the world.

Turkey offers the perfect blend of nature, culture, history and adventure

Turkey won me over with it's amazing amalgamation of natural beauty, rich history, cultural diversity and warm hospitality. And I hope that my 10 day Turkey itinerary helps you experience this remarkable amalgamation too. So go ahead, book that trip to Turkey and brace yourself for the experience of a lifetime!

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