Beyond the Bosphorus

Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, Sirince and Ephesus


Indulge your senses with the sight of turquoise coastline, the sound of traditional music, the smell of burning incense, the taste of Mediterranean cuisine, and the touch of hand-woven carpets. This trip takes you to the best corners of Turkey, combining cosmopolitan cities and their historic foundations, charming rural villages, and stunning landscapes and seascapes on an unhurried two-week exploration of the country.  Begin in historic Istanbul, on either side of the Bosphorus waterway, the crossroads where Europe and Asia meet. Lose yourself in the otherworldly terrain of Cappadocia. Explore the Sunken City near Kas, on the Mediterranean, then wonder at the travertine rock formations as you soak in the hot springs at Pamukkale. Weave your way through the hillside village of Sirince on your way to the massive, well-preserved ancient city at Ephesus.  At the journey's end, back in Istanbul, make time to wander the great bazaars one last time and sample the many interesting spices and sweets on offer. Try a nargileh (water pipe), sip some cay (tea) or Turkish coffee, and nibble on baklava while unwinding and taking in the sights at a sidewalk cafe. Perhaps you will even choose to venture to a classic hamam (Turkish bath)!  Listen for the imams' last calls to prayer as your exotic adventure winds down.

Continue to detailed itinerary...


  • Day 1: arrive istanbul
    Arrive in fascinating Istanbul

    Welcome to Turkey!  Our representative will meet you at Istanbul's international airport for a private transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay in Istanbul. Tonight, connect with your group and guide, and enjoy a welcome dinner.

    Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 2: istanbul
    View of the Blue Mosque

    After breakfast, begin a journey through Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul -- its three names span more than 2,600 years, nearly 1,600 of them as the capital of two of the greatest empires the world has known, the Byzantine and Ottoman. You will visit the Topkapi Palace, including its harem, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for amazing photography opportunities and a huge diversity of wares, from food to incense to carpets. Return to your Istanbul hotel for the night.

    Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 3: istanbul / bosphorus
    Savor the scents and sights of Istanbul's bazaars

    You'll be picked up at your hotel after breakfast for another fascinating day in this crossroads capital. First visit the Spice Bazaar, where the air is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme, and practically every other herb and spice you can imagine.  Later, enjoy a traditional excursion by boat along the the Bosphorus, the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, marble palaces, fortresses, and small fishing villages.  Later in the afternoon, visit the evocative Basilica Cistern, the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns under the city.  Return to your hotel for your last night in the city.  Consider visiting Istanbul's famous hamams for the local version of a cleansing and relaxing steam bath, a quintessential Turkish experience.

    Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 4: cappadocia
    Spend a few days in the unusual landscape of Cappadocia

    Have an early breakfast, then transfer to the airport for your one-hour morning flight to Kayseri, Cappadocia, where you will head to your cave hotel for a three-night stay. In the afternoon, head out for Uchisar Citadel, driving first to Uchisar Rock Castle, the highest and most dominant point in the area, with breathtaking panoramic views. End the day with a visit to Esentepe Windy Hill for panaromic views and photos, then return to your evocative, comfortable cave hotel for the night.

    Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 5: cappadocia
    Visit fascinating villages, cave homes, fairy chimneys

    Early morning hot-air ballooning is an option before breakfast (additional cost). Following breakfast at the hotel, begin your full day exploration of this fascinating region, visiting Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup, then Güvercinlik, or Pigeon Valley, which runs between Göreme and Uçhisar.  Pigeons have always been important here, and you'll see that the pigeon houses that the Cappadocian people have carved into the rock look much like their own houses! Later, you will head underground at Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and the deepest of 200 such ancient communities in Cappadocia. Afterward, drive to Mustafapasa, through the unspoiled villages of Cappadocia, surrounded by picturesque tabletop mountains, visiting Ayvali Village on the way. Mustafapasa (also known as Sinasos) is an ancient town with spectacular old houses, very fine examples of late Greek architecture. Your next stop is Rose Valley, far away from tourist crowds, where your group will embark on an easy 5-km walk (about three miles) in one of Cappadocia's most attractive valleys. Stop to visit hermit churches cut right into the rock with well-preserved ancient frescoes and paintings and reflect on the strange, beautiful history of the area. Your walk ends in the ancient village of Cavusin, where you will explore a bit before returning to your village for dinner in a cave restaurant, then to your hotel for the night.

    Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 6: cappadocia
    Walk through Devrent Valley's lunar landscape

    Embark on a second day of exploring Cappadocia after breakfast. First, you'll drive to a local handicrafts center where you can see traditional carpet weaving techniques.  Drive to Devrent Valley, taking a walk through its lunar landscape and bizarre rock formations. You'll see some of the area's best examples of fairy chimneys at Pasabag Fairy Chimneys Valley before driving on to the town of Avanos, famous for its tile and pottery workshops. After lunch, your next stop is Goreme Open Air Museum, where you'll enjoy fantastic rock churches and beautiful, ancient frescos decorating their walls. After dinner, return to your cave hotel for your final night in Cappadocia.

    Gamirasu Cave Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 7: konya
    Admire the 13th century Caravanserai on your travels today

    After breakfast, you'll depart on a drive toward Konya, visiting the 13th-century Seljukian masterpiece Sultanhan Caravanserai along the way and arriving in time for lunch. Caravanserais made the Silk Route passable, housing camels and their drivers during their journeys. After lunch you then visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-famous Sufi mystic. Proceed to Karatay Theological School, in which beautiful tiles are on display.  Overnight in Konya.

    Bera Mevlana (or similar), Konya
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  • Day 8: antalya
    Explore historic ruins

    Following breakfast, head for Anatalya for your private tour of the ruins of Perge, Aspendos, and Side, taking the day to savor the sights and explore in depth. At day's end, enjoy a special fish dinner in Antalya and before proceeding to your hotel for the night.

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Tuvana Hotel (or similar), Anatalya
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  • Day 9: antalya / st. nicholas / myra / kekova / kalkan
    Explore the streets of Kas lined with traditional homes

    Drive south to the Mediterranean coast's untouched bays, visiting St. Nicholas along the way and stopping in Kekova to take a private boat to the Sunken City and Simena. After a delicious fish lunch in an atmospheric little village, drive to Kalkan though the charming seaside town of Kas and nearby Kaputas Beach.

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Patara Prince (or similar), Patara
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  • Day 10: kalkan / pamukkale
    Explore the strangely-shaped mineral pools at Pamukkale

    After breakfast, visit the ancient city of Patara and enjoy a morning swim at Patara Beach. In the afternoon, relax on a drive to Pamukkale, then explore the travertine terraces and Hierapolis at Pamukkale, one of the most spectacular natural wonders in this part of the world.  Here, mineral springs form a white cliff about 200 yards long, overlooking the calcite-laden waters that have dripped down over a series of terraced levels to create a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins. The Turkish name Pamukkale translates roughly as cotton castle -- "pamuk" for cotton and "kale" for castle -- you'll immediately see why. After your visit - and maybe a swim! - head to a hotel in Pamukkale for the night.

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Tripolis Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 11: pamukkale / aphrodisias / sirince
    Enjoy getting to know picturesque, small Sirince

    Leave Pamukkale after breakfast for a drive to Sirince, visiting Aphrodisias on the way. Aphrodisias was primarily known as a center for the arts, specifically sculpture, and the Aphrodisias School of Sculpture had a distinctive style and made its way throughout the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Arrive at the traditional Greek village of Sirince in the afternoon, check into your hotel, wander the town's narrow streets, and meet with local people. Later today, you will also have the opportunitiy to taste different kinds of local fruit wines. Overnight in Sirince, your base for the next two nights.

    Nisanyan Evleri (or similar)
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  • Day 12: ephesus / sirince
    At Ephesus, marvel at the great Library of Celsus

    After breakfast, drive to Ephesus where you will spend several fascinating hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, apostles Paul and John, and many other familiar historical names. The recently-opened slope houses on the site, where the wealthiest Romans lived, are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and preservation, with spectacular mosaics and frescos. Tradition has it that the Virgin Mary was brought here by St. John after Christ's crucifixion and that she lived her final years near the city of Ephesus. Visit a lovely chapel on the site, a major Catholic pilgrimage destination, then stop at the Basilica of St. John and the Ephesus museum before returning to Sirince at the end of the day.

    Nisanyan Evleri (or similar)
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  • Day 13: sirince / istanbul
    Learn about the different spices grown in Thekkady

    After an early breakfast at your hotel in Sirince, transfer to Izmir airport for your flight to Istanbul . On arrival, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel to settle in, then spend a free afternoon as you wish -- perhaps in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. If you have not yet partaken, consider trying a traditional and restorative Turkish bath - ask your guide for suggestions of where to go for the best experience (Cagaloglu or Cemberlitas Hamami are recommended).  Return to your hotel for your last night in Turkey.

    Sultanhan Hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 14: istanbul / onward
    Along the Bosphorus...

    You will be picked up at your hotel after breakfast and transferred to Istanbul's airport for your flight home.  Or, if your schedule permits, why not consider a few days in the Greek islands?  Contact Journeys for more information about this and other extension options.

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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
Based on double occupancy. Includes domestic flights (cost subject to change with airfare changes)
Single Supplement:
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Oct 4-17, 2015
Oct 5-18, 2015
Oct 10-23, 2015
Oct 11-24, 2015
Oct 12-25, 2015
Oct 17-30, 2015
Oct 18-31, 2015
May 1-14, 2016
May 2-15, 2016
May 7-20, 2016
May 8-21, 2016
May 9-22, 2016
May 14-27, 2016
May 15-28, 2016
May 16-29, 2016
May 21-Jun 3, 2016
May 22-Jun 4, 2016
May 23-Jun 5, 2016
May 28-Jun 10, 2016
May 29-Jun 11, 2016
May 30-Jun 12, 2016
Jun 4-17, 2016
Jun 5-18, 2016
Jun 6-19, 2016
Jun 11-24, 2016
Jun 12-25, 2016
Jun 13-26, 2016
Jun 18-Jul 1, 2016
Jun 19-Jul 2, 2016
Jun 20-Jul 3, 2016
Jun 25-Jul 8, 2016
Jun 26-Jul 9, 2016
Jun 27-Jul 10, 2016
Jul 2-15, 2016
Jul 3-16, 2016
Jul 4-17, 2016
Jul 9-22, 2016
Jul 10-23, 2016
Jul 11-24, 2016
Jul 16-29, 2016
Jul 17-30, 2016
Jul 18-31, 2016
Jul 23-Aug 5, 2016
Jul 24-Aug 6, 2016
Jul 25-Aug 7, 2016
Jul 30-Aug 12, 2016
Jul 31-Aug 13, 2016
Aug 1-14, 2016
Aug 6-19, 2016
Aug 7-20, 2016
Aug 8-21, 2016
Aug 13-26, 2016
Aug 14-27, 2016
Aug 15-28, 2016
Aug 20-Sep 2, 2016
Aug 21-Sep 3, 2016
Aug 22-Sep 4, 2016
Aug 27-Sep 9, 2016
Aug 28-Sep 10, 2016
Aug 29-Sep 11, 2016
Sep 3-16, 2016
Sep 4-17, 2016
Sep 5-18, 2016
Sep 10-23, 2016
Sep 11-24, 2016
Sep 12-25, 2016
Sep 17-30, 2016
Sep 18-Oct 1, 2016
Sep 19-Oct 2, 2016
Sep 24-Oct 7, 2016
Sep 25-Oct 8, 2016
Sep 26-Oct 9, 2016
Oct 1-14, 2016
Oct 2-15, 2016
Oct 3-16, 2016
Oct 8-21, 2016
Oct 9-22, 2016
Oct 10-23, 2016
Oct 15-28, 2016
Oct 16-29, 2016
Oct 17-30, 2016
Need to Know

Need to Know

There are scheduled weekly departures of this trip Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May through October, or choose to undertake the itinerary privately on your own dates (additional surcharge).

14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
(see full descriptions)
Wonderful, unique, small boutique hotels
Activity Level:
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 


Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or FAX. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.