La Merca Travel


Turkey is a country where the echo of ancient civilizations resonates in modern metropolises, where mountains meet the sea, and culinary traditions have been perfected over centuries. This 10-day itinerary is designed to offer you a complete experience of Turkey, balancing cultural richness, delicious gastronomy, and thrilling outdoor adventures. From the domes and minarets of Istanbul to the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia, each day promises to be an adventure in itself.

This journey will not only allow you to explore some of the most iconic sites but will also immerse you in the vibrant daily life of Turks, offering you a true sense of the country’s diversity and hospitality. Get ready to be swept away by the history, culture, and natural beauty of Turkey.

Day 1-2: Istanbul – Cultural and Gastronomic Heart

Day 1: Exploring the Historic Center

Begin your adventure in Istanbul, a city that literally bridges continents. On your first day, spend time visiting the Hagia Sophia, whose stunning architecture has dominated Istanbul’s skyline for centuries. A short walk away, the Blue Mosque impresses with its delicate tiles and serene atmosphere. Don’t miss exploring the Topkapi Palace, where Ottoman sultans lived and ruled.

For lunch, delve into Turkish culinary culture by trying various types of kebabs and enjoying a sweet slice of baklava in one of the historic cafes near the Grand Bazaar.

Day 2: The Bosphorus and Beyond

The second day in Istanbul can start with a leisurely cruise along the Bosphorus, an experience that offers spectacular views of Ottoman fortresses and palaces along the shores. In the afternoon, visit the Spice Bazaar to experience a whirlwind of aromas and colors. For dinner, choose a restaurant in the Golden Horn area, where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes with waterfront views.

Day 3-4: Cappadocia – Adventure and Unique Landscapes

Day 3: Discovering Göreme

Your third day begins early with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia’s Martian landscape at sunrise. After the flight, explore the underground cities that once served as safe havens for ancient communities. In the afternoon, relax in one of Göreme’s cozy cafes.

Day 4: More Lunar Landscapes

On your fourth day, the Ihlara Valley offers an excellent opportunity for a hike through a canyon with rock-cut churches dating back to early Christianity. End the day with dinner at a local restaurant inside a cave hotel, enjoying regional cuisine in a unique setting. During your stay in Cappadocia, don’t forget to take the hot air balloon flight. Cappadocia is considered the world capital of hot air ballooning. Nowhere else in the world is as spectacular as Cappadocia for hot air ballooning. You will fall in love with the views.

Day 5-6: Antalya – Sun, Sea, and Antiquity

Day 5: Relaxation on Beaches and in the Old Town

Antalya, known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean,” offers a refreshing contrast to Cappadocia’s rural scene. Spend your fifth day relaxing on the stunning beaches of Konyaaltı or Lara, where the deep blue of the sea meets wide stretches of white sand. After a day of sun, head to Antalya’s old town, known as Kaleiçi. This labyrinth of cobblestone streets is filled with art shops, cafes, and bars. Have dinner at one of the old town’s restaurants, where you can enjoy traditional Ottoman dishes in a charming courtyard.

Day 6: Excursions near Antalya

The sixth day is reserved for exploring the rich history surrounding Antalya. Start with a visit to the ruins of Perge, an ancient Greek and Roman city that offers a fascinating glimpse into past daily life. Continue to Aspendos, known for its impressive Roman theater, one of the best-preserved in the world. In the afternoon, venture on an exciting rafting excursion on the Köprülü River, a perfect way to experience the region’s natural beauty from a different perspective.

Day 7-8: Pamukkale and Izmir – Natural Beauties and Urban Exploration

Day 7: Natural Wonders of Pamukkale

The seventh day takes you to Pamukkale, famous for its snow-white travertines, terraces of calcium carbonate filled with thermal waters. Explore this unique natural phenomenon and soak in the warm waters, considered therapeutic since ancient times. Not far from here, visit the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient thermal city that offers incredible views of the travertines and surrounding landscape.

Day 8: Ephesus and Dinner in Izmir

In the morning, head to Ephesus, one of the grandest and best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. Spend several hours exploring its impressive ruins, including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), and the Grand Theater, where the apostle Paul once preached. The city offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life in ancient Rome and is a testament to the region’s cultural richness.

After visiting Ephesus, return to Izmir to enjoy dinner in the city’s vibrant culinary scene, offering everything from exquisite seafood dishes to local delights like boyoz and kumru. Izmir, with its blend of history and modernity, provides the perfect setting to reflect on past wonders while enjoying present-day comforts.

Day 9-10: Return to Istanbul and Farewell

Day 9: Last Shopping and Visits

Return to Istanbul for your final two days. The ninth day is ideal for exploring the modern and vibrant Istiklal Avenue, where you can shop in local boutiques, enjoy live music, and taste Turkish sweets in historic cafes. For a more tranquil experience, consider a visit to the Princes’ Islands, a perfect retreat with charming Victorian houses and no motorized vehicles.

Day 10: Farewell to Turkey

On your last day, reflect on the adventures lived while enjoying a final stroll through Istanbul’s streets. Depending on your flight time, you might visit a museum you missed or simply relax in one of the many parks overlooking the Bosphorus. Finally, make sure to take with you not only souvenirs but also memories of a journey full of discoveries and enriching experiences.

This 10-day itinerary through Turkey has taken you through vibrant cities, incredibly beautiful natural landscapes, and deep encounters with the country’s history and culture. Turkey is a destination that continues to reveal its treasures to those willing to explore beyond the ordinary, promising new adventures with each visit. Enjoy your visit to Turkey.