Istanbul and Cappadocia: from the Bosphorus to the fairy chimneys
Set off on a week-long journey to discover Istanbul, the capital of three Empires – Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman – and Cappadocia, a region with lunar landscapes, including Göreme, Uçhisar, and Urgup.
Bosphorus Shore, Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Golden Horn… Istanbul is full of architectural wonders that bear witness to the cosmopolitanism of the city and its inhabitants. Let yourself be seduced by the hectic pace of life of the Istanbulites in a magnetic atmosphere. Then, immerse yourself in the magic and mystery of Cappadocia, a destination that has fascinated travelers since ancient times. Thousands of years of intense wind and river erosion have covered the soil with soft volcanic ash, offering one of the most fascinating sights in the world with its tormented cones that are the fairy chimneys, its valleys, as well as its canyons. A whole program that invites you to travel to the two most mystical regions of Turkey.
DAY 1 – Arrival at Istanbul Airport and private transfer service
A vehicle with a private driver will meet you at the airport (Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport) to take you to your hotel or apartment where you will be staying during your trip.
DAY 2 – Visit of the classics in the Sultanahmet district
Istanbul is a millenary city that has been the capital city of three empires: the Byzantine Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. This tour is a one-day guided visit to discover this fascinating heritage.
The day will start by visiting the emblematic monument of Istanbul: the Sainte-Sophie Basilica, built in the 6th century. We will then visit the Basilica Cistern, a mythic and spellbinding place that was used as a water tank by the city but also as a James Bond movie set. After this, we offer you a small coffee break on a panoramic terrace where you will be able to enjoy an amazing view over the whole city and its monuments. You will then visit the sumptuous Blue Mosque, named after the fabulous blue stove tiles from Iznik covering the inside. Then, we will go around the Grand Bazaar to have lunch in a local restaurant (the lunch is included in the price).
During the second part of the day, we will visit the Grand Bazaar and its hans (small workshops) built-in 1455, which, with its 4000 shops, was the trade center of Constantinople. You will also discover the Suleymaniye Mosque, the biggest imperial mosque of Istanbul, built by the architect Sinan (the Ottoman Leonardo Da Vinci) under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificient.
After a small cafe with a magnificent view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the city, you will end the day with the spice market or Egyptian market which is located in the Eminönü district, below the Suleymaniye Mosque. The Egyptian Bazaar was built by the Venetians in 1663 with the money collected with taxes from Cairo, hence the name of Egyptian Bazaar. The Egyptian Bazaar is also called the spice market for the multitude of spice choices found inside.
DAY 3 – Culinary and cultural walk on two continents
You will live a typical day in Istanbul and discover two iconic and bustling districts at the heart of two continents. The first district, Beşiktas, is located on the European side of Istanbul. This district is residential, family, and student-oriented, and it is a very lively place.
Structured as a tiny village, its narrow streets are full of life. Its shops, restaurants, bars, and terraces are never empty. Beşiktas is well-known for its street food, ever-present in each of the numerous shops that we will find all our walk long. It is a perfect occasion to taste some local dishes!
Then comes the Üsküdar district on the Asian side, at the other side of the Bosphorus. Another atmosphere, another mood: Üsküdar is one of the oldest districts of Istanbul, very family-oriented but also a little conservative. During the day, it comes alive thanks to its local market where you can find tourists but also locals.
DAY 4 – Cappadocia – Horse riding or Anatolian cooking class
A car with a private driver will transfer you from your hotel or apartment to Istanbul airport for a flight to Nevşehir or Kayseri airport. A second private transfer will take you to your hotel in Cappadocia. We also offer car rental available on arrival at Nevşehir or Kayseri Airport.
Horse riding: We offer you a horse riding, intended for seasoned riders in search of a dynamic hike, for 2, 3, or 4 hours to make you discover unusual lunar landscapes, rocky cones, tuff, which made the reputation of Cappadocia. Through its many valleys and paths, you will enjoy getting into big gallops! The route includes, among others, the Rose or Rouge valleys, the Amour valley, or its surroundings, away from the crowd.
The valleys covered during this walk will depend on one hand the weather conditions and on the other hand, on your comfort on horseback.
Anatolian cooking classes in Cappadocia: At the entrance of the small village of Ayvali located a few kilometers from Urgup, a resident, Tolga, decided a few years ago to give Turkish cooking classes at his home, supported by his wife and his mother. Everything is ultra-local, from the house to the style of women’s clothing, through the kitchens as well as the dishes studied and tested at the end of the course. You learn the regional cuisine, its techniques, and flavors. Tolga and his family will teach you different things that you will enjoy later in a friendly atmosphere. This extraordinary place will not only allow you to learn more about Turkish cuisine but also to discover the interior of a typical Anatolian house.
DAY 5 – Cappadocia – Göreme treasures tour
In an amazing landscape carved by erosion, the Göreme valley, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, hosts rocky sanctuaries, priceless testimonies of the post-iconoclastic period of the Byzantine art, and also houses, troglodyte villages, and underground cities, which are remnants of traditional human houses dating back to the 4th century. It is a real open-air museum with mural paintings dating back to between the 10th and the 13th centuries. You will enjoy all the valley’s richness, from the Snake Church to the Loop Church and the Refectory.
The Zelve Valley was a main Christian religious center between the 9th and the 10th century. We will end the day with this visit. You will walk in 3 valleys punctuated with troglodyte houses, mosques, tunnels, and small churches and will enjoy panoramic views over the red and pink Göreme valleys and the Dervent valley.
During the day, we will walk for around one hour and a half in the Gulludere valley, also called the Love Valley. Back from the walk, you will be able to visit a wine cellar in Urgup, a famous wine village.
DAY 6 – Cappadocia – Day off and departure to Istanbul
Before reaching the airport, this day is perfect for strolling through the typical alleys of the old quarter, visiting a museum, or shopping.
You can reach the airport by private transfer or with your rental car.
DAY 7 – Istanbul’s Asian Shore: half a day in Kadıköy, the city’s new cultural and arty center
Kadiköy, formerly called Chalcedon, was a city constructed before Byzantium by those who were called « blind » by King Byzas. Today, it is a lively district at the heart of Istanbul. It is here, in this fief of the political opposition and of the Fenerbahçe soccer club, that the country’s culture is always reinvented for centuries. Many artists, rockers, actors, writers, musicians, and drawers went through Kadiköy and they founded a full new culture.
Nowadays, the district is attracting all kinds of people due to its economic vitality but also the great quality of life that it offers to the newcomers. The visit will start by the arrival by boat in the çarşı – market in English – in which locals abound at any time. This market is an incredible bazaar that mixes tradition and modernity. There, you will see cafes and hipster shops next to an incredible fruit, spices, fish, and traditional pastry market.
The Kadiköy district also represents a real intellectual vortex; during this tour, you will learn more about the career of those exceptional artists. You will learn about the Ebru culture, this ancestral Turkish tradition of water marbling art, which can be seen in many fields nowadays, such as fashion, cinema, or contemporary art. We will also learn about the rock and lefty culture of the neighborhood by meeting locals.
We will end the tour by the Moda neighborhood, the so-called « Brooklyn of Istanbul » characterized by its creativity and its way of life.
A vehicle with a private driver will transfer you from your hotel or apartment to the departure airport (Istanbul International Airport or Sabiha Gökçen Airport).
OUR SUGGESTIONS TO PERFECT THIS TRIP
SMALL GROUP APERITIF CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS: Embark in a small group with the Too Istanbul team on a private boat for a 3-hour cruise between Europe and Asia. An unmissable moment to experience at sunset by sharing an aperitif of local products while discovering the history and anecdotes of a thousand-year-old city, as well as its topicality in the company of a passionate guide. Get to know more
PRIVATE CRUISE ON THE BOSPHORUS: A boat trip to Istanbul is an unforgettable moment. Sail the waves of the Bosphorus in the company of an experienced crew and get a closer look at the two mythical suspension bridges of the megalopolis, the historic buildings, and the luxurious wooden houses, remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Get to know more
MASSAGE IN THE HÜRREM SULTAN HAMMAM: Turkish baths remain a strong image for travelers and a unique experience. Indulge in a 45-minute massage at the Hürrem Sultan hammam, a 16th-century gem, located between the Blue Mosque, the ancient Hagia Sophia, and the Temple of Zeus. Get to know more
WINE TASTING IN BEYOĞLU, IN THE HEART OF ISTANBUL: Shiraz, Narince, Emir, Öküzgözü and many others… Let yourself be tempted by a break in one of the wine cellars of Beyoğlu, in the heart of Istanbul, to taste Turkish wines with very varied grape varieties from different regions of Turkey and discover the modern face of this wine country. Get to know more
What awaits you during this stay:
The budget may vary depending on the type of visit chosen. Indeed, we offer this program of visits with small groups or privatized. The average budget per person for this weekend is €520 for group visits, and €690 for private visits. Private boat rental and airport transfer rates do not affect additional guests who wish to travel with you (valid for a limited number of people). Our team will offer you a quote according to a personalized program.
The price does include:
- – Airport transfers
- – Program visits and activities
- – Transport as part of visits
- – Tickets to the monuments
- -Typical breakfast during a half-day visit to Kadıköy, Asia
- – Lunch on the visit to Sultanahmet
- – Tastings of local specialties during the culinary and cultural tour on two continents
- – The services of the English-speaking tour guides who will accompany you during the visits to Istanbul and Cappadocia
The price does not include:
- – Tickets for your international and domestic flights
- – Accommodation (upon request only)
- – Drinks and personal expenses
- – Insurance
YOUR PERSONAL TRIP
This travel proposal is 100% customizable according to your desires. You can change the length of stay, accommodation, activities, and services. Our team will accompany you to organize your perfect trip!
HOTELS & CONCIERGE SERVICE
We offer you to book your accommodation at the best offers on a selection of hotels in Istanbul according to your desires, your needs, and your budget.
Our selection offers different types of hotels including major international hotel chains such as Park Hyatt Istanbul, JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus, palaces along the Bosphorus such as Çirağan Palace Kempinski, Four Seasons Bosphorus, or even the more intimate boutique hotels, such as the House Hotel Karaköy, the Georges Hotel Galata, and the trendy and sophisticated DNA, including the Soho House Istanbul among others. Let us know your criteria, and we will send you an offer according to your desires for a successful trip.
You want an address for a restaurant, expert advice when traveling and shopping in the city, or have a specific request for us, make a request for our English-speaking concierge service. This service can be contacted every day during your stay.
BOOK YOUR TRIP!
Our team will customize your request for a tailor-made trip.