This country is absolutely on our top favorites and that’s where we made some of the most amazing experiences of our life! From exploring the beauty of Istanbul, riding on a hot air balloon over the fairy Cappadocia to paragliding over Oludeniz.
Here is our 12 day itinerary!
Day 1 & 2 – Istanbul
Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating city in the world! With its history, magical islamic art, and unforgettable views over bosphorus and mosques is one of our favorites! And is one of the few cities in the world to be built on two continents: one part of Istanbul lies in Europe and the other part lies in Asia.
What to see/do
- Hagia Sophia
- Sultan Ahmed Mosque known as the Blue Mosque
- Süleymaniye Mosque
- Get lost in the Grand Baazar
- Watch the sunset from Kubbe, the most insta famous but hidden rooftop in Istanbul
Where to sleep
If you’re looking for a cheap place, in the heart of Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet District then Angel’s Home Hotel is the best choice! It also features a rooftop terrace with stunning views over Sultanahmet, Hagia Sophia and Bosphorus.
Where to eat :
- Seven Hills Hotel: this hotel features an epic rooftop terrace with the best views over the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque!
- Kybele hotel: one of the most colorful spots in Instanbul!
Day 3 & 4 – Cappadocia
From Istanbul take the direct flight to Kayseri (1h and 20 min) to land in the magical Cappadocia!
Top sites to see:
- Uchisar Castle
Where to sleep:
Obviously we reccomend to stay into a cave hotel!
We spent 2 nights at Sultan Cave Suites which is very insta famous so expect to queue for a picture!
You can book the balloon ride directly with them (the price is around € 150 each) or via Viator. There are so many hot air balloon companies in Cappadocia but don’t be lured in by the cheap price! Your safety comes first.
How many days should you stay?
We suggest you to stay 2-3 days. If you can, 3 days are better and I’ll explain why.
- Not all hot air balloons take flight! It depends on the weather, so you can be lucky or not.
- The hot air balloon rides take flight only at sunrise so that is the only time to see Cappadocia’s hot air balloons.
You’ll spend one of the mornings in a basket doing a magical balloon ride and the other morning you’ll be taking photos of the balloons in flight (if you’re interested).
Getting around Cappadocia
There are plenty of taxis in Cappadocia and they are really cheap so we think that is the best option! Remember to agree on the price before!
Where to eat :
- Seten Anatolian Cuisine
- Kelebek Special Cave Hotel
Day 5 & 6 – Antalya
From Cappadocia we took a direct flight to Antalya. Why Antalya? There’s actually nothing worth visiting but there are no direct flights from Kayseri to Fethiye (our last stop); the only direct one closest to Fethiye was the one to Antalya so we decided to take advantage of it and chill 2 nights at the amazing Akra Hotel. They have a beautiful infinity pool, a private beach and many restaurants!
Day 7 & 8 – Oludeniz beach
From Antalya we took a bus to Fethiye (3 hours) and then a taxi to Oludeniz.
Oludeniz is famous for its deep blue waters and scenic views but even more for paragliding! We suggest you to come here only if you’re inclined to try something this exciting! We highly recommend this bucketlist experience, it is truly unforgettable.
Where to sleep:
We spent 2 nights at the beautiful Jade residence! It’s just 50 m from Ölüdeniz Beach, and features a pool surrounded by a 250-year old tropical garden!
Top things to see/do:
- Blue lagoon
- Paragliding over the blue lagoon
- Saklikent National Park
Day 9 – Pamukkale
To get to Pamukkale we took a bus from Fethiye to Denizli which is the nearest major city! From Denizli bus terminal (otogar), take a dolmuş to Pamukkale ( 20-min ride and 4.50 TL per trip).
Pamukkale is famous for its travertine hot springs. We actually were very disappointed by this place! Not only was too crowded (we went during opening hours) but it didn’t look like the pictures at all!
Anyway this “Cotton Castle” (it’s the literal meaning in Turkish) is accessed via a gate near Pamukkale, and the walk up takes about 30 min and offers numerous opportunities to soak in pools that are generally no more than a foot deep.
Shoes aren’t allowed to walk on the travertines so bring something to put your shoes in!
Where to sleep :
One night in Pamukkale is quite enough since there aren’t other significant attractions
Day 10 & 11 – Istanbul
We then took a direct flight to go back to Istanbul and stayed other 2 nights!
What else can you do?
- Visit Ortaköy area
- Explore the colorful Balat
- And last but not least, if you’re interested in clubs or in modern Turkish cuisine, sophisticated bistros/European-style cafes go to Beyoglu!
That’s it.. We hope to have encouraged you to visit this beautiful country. So many people are staying away because they are afraid since Turkey has been portrayed in a bad light by the media and that’s a pity! Don’t believe in everything you read and just be careful as you should be in every country in the world!
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