Summary of the stay
Despite the size of the country, the quality of the roads and the regularity of transport can enable you to reach the main sites in three weeks. From Istanbul, you'll head to Cappadocia and then Antalya where you'll scour the archaeological finds. You will then enjoy a well-deserved rest on the beautiful beaches of Bodrum.
Map, Itinerary of the stay and pictures
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Detail of the stay : In-depth discovery of Turkey in three weeks - 21 days
Visit of the Topkapi palace and the harem in the morning. The afternoon will be devoted to the Blue Mosque and the Basilica of Saint Sophia, which are located in the same area. On leaving Sainte-Sophie, dive into the fantastic cave of the Basilica Cistern, which is only a few metres away. In the evening a visit to Beyoğlu is a must, so why not visit the Asmali Mescit Sokak or the most popular Nevizade Sokak to enjoy the nightlife in Istanbul? The restaurant terraces have completely invaded the roadway and everywhere resound with laughter and song. You can taste mezze and grilled fish accompanied by raki to the sound of gypsy or Turkish orchestras, and soon all the guests are drawn into a crazy dance. For lovers of the last drink, there are plenty of bars in the area.
Located close to Saint Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazar remains an essential step in Istanbul. To recover from your emotions, give yourself a tea in some kahve (picturesque coffee) or in the gardens of an old medersa. In the west of the bazaar, a pleasant small market will take you to Beyazit Square. Fans can take a tour at the Calligraphy Museum and cross the gardens of the university to join the mosque of Soliman the Magnificent, the largest of the city. From there, you can enchant yourself with scents and colors at the Egyptian Bazaar before joining the wharves of Eminönü. A fish sandwich will fill the little faims and you will not tire of watching the vintages of this very lively neighborhood.
Balade to the European shore of the Bosphorus with a visit to the magnificent palace of Dolmabahçe. One hour walk to the Ortaköy district to take you down the water and enjoy it to make some purchases and finish the day by enjoying the famous waffles or kumpir served in this neighborhood. Dinner on the water.
Direction the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and visit the mausoleum of Atatürk, ankabir. The Gazi died in 1938, but this mausoleum was built between 1944 and 1953. Also buried on site, the second president of the Turkish Republic and faithful companion of the Turkish leader Ismet Inönü. You can also visit a museum, where the personal effects of Atatürk and its many cars are exposed. Departure for Cappadoce by bus or plane.
Arrival in Göreme or Uçhisar. Cappadoce is a magical region, where it is hard to believe that we are still on earth. Whatever season is chosen, the landscapes, simply lunar, are breathtaking. After a good breakfast, the Göreme open-air museum is a good starting point. Make a stop at the point of view between Gôreme and Ürgüp, from where the view of the pink valley is breathtaking. And for a cooler afternoon, visit the village of Uçhisar and its kale. In the evening, prefer a troglodyte hotel to make the landslide last.
Visit of the Ihlara valley, one of the largest canyons in the world, full of rock churches and where nature is breathtaking. Then go back to one of the magnificent underground cities, Derinkuyu or Kaymakli being the most famous. In order to guard against the attacks of the barbaric hordes, the inhabitants of the region had decided to build huge underground cities, where they were hiding in the event of invasions, pretending that their villages had already been shaved. They then waited for the intruders to leave. Beautiful! Departure by bus or plane for Antalya.
Visit of the Dervish Brotherhood Centre. In the 13th century, the mystical poet Rumi settled there and developed the Mevlevi order. A must for any admirer of Islamic art. On the program, visit the Tekke of Mevlana. Continue the road to Antalya.
Less than 60 km from Antalya, the magnificent archaeological site of Phasélis is one of the most charming visits in the region where you can visit and swim. Three small ports, dating back to antiquity, have had the chance to welcome Alexander the Great and delight visitors. You can admire a theatre large enough to accommodate 1,500 people, the agora, an arch, a paved avenue... as well as magnificent enchanting coves. Visit the famous chimeras at Olympos at nightfall and night in the trees at Olympos or in the quiet village of Çirali.
This site is located in the ancient city of Simena. A boat trip over the sunken city of Kekova. Break at Kaş and stroll through the charming little town that offers fabulous craft shops. On the program, a little rest and swimming on one of the many beaches in the area. Visit of the theatre for the more adventurous.
This valley is accessible only by boat. Village grill cool set in front of the beach, a walk of half an hour allows to reach a beautiful waterfall where more than 200 butterflies are visible in spring. Even if there are no butterflies, the beauty of the place is worth a detour. Then visit the bay of Ölüdeniz, and Saint-Nicolas site for the sunset.
Boat excursion on the ancient site of Caunus or Kaunos, which has been one of the main Lycian cities until the sea is enslaved. For more than 7 centuries, Perses, Greeks and Romans succeeded. You can admire rock tombs, acropolis, theater and Byzantine basilica. Next direction the Iztuzu beach (beach to turtles), long strip of sand of 10 km, where giant turtles come to lay eggs every year!
Departure for Datça and visit Knidos, the ancient city of Knide. To get there you have to go through the magnificent beach of Palamüt Bürkü. Cnide, one of the richest cities of the Dorian confederation in the 6th and 7th centuries. You can admire a theatre, the temple of Aphrodite and many ruined buildings. The view of the Greek islands opposite is superb. Nice walk in perspective.
Visit the museum of underwater discoveries in the castle of the Crusaders and the peninsula. Bodrum is also famous for its nightlife and many shopping opportunities. Bodrum is the ancient Halicarnassus, conquered by Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Dinner at Yalikavak, a small fishing village on the peninsula. Overnight on site.
Departure by boat (from Yalikavak) to Didymes and visit of the site dedicated to the oracle of Apollo. Then go up to Millet (the most important of the Ionian cities that has the most beautiful theatre in Asia Minor) and Priena (and its great temple of Athena). These sites are among the most interesting in Turkey. Overnight on Bafa Lake and its Heraklion site.
This site d’Ephèse is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a visit to Turkey. How can you remain insensitive to the charm of this site? The wonderful Celsius Library or Hadrian's Temple are just two of the countless gems of this site. To visit preferably in the morning or late afternoon due to the heat in summer. You can also admire the Isa Bey Mosque in Selçuk. Overnight in the charming Greek village of Şirince.
Last shopping session at the big bazaar or visits and return.
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