Planning your Turkey itinerary?! You’ll be delighted by all the amazing sights, rich culture, and delicious cuisine that this beautiful country has to offer!
From unique sites like Pamukkale to vibrant and bustling cities like Istanbul, Turkey is a travel destination that is not to be missed.
Begin your trip in the city of Istanbul, where you’ll find amazing restaurants, historical sites, and beautiful architecture, and from here continue your journey to the most beautiful locations throughout the country which I’ll tell you more about in this guide!
I have put together this Turkey itinerary based on my experience on the 9 Day Essential Turkey Tour with Travel Talk Tours.
OVERVIEW – 9 DAY TURKEY ITINERARY
Here is an overview of the 9 day Turkey itinerary with Travel Talk Tours:
- Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul
- Day 2: Istanbul City
- Day 3: Istanbul, Cappadocia
- Day 4: Cappadocia
- Day 5: Pamukkale
- Day 6: Pamukkale, Ephesus, Kusadasi
- Day 7: Kusadasi, Pergamum, Troy, Canakkale
- Day 8: Canakkale, Gallipoli, Istanbul
- Day 9: Depart from Istanbul
WHAT’S INCLUDED ON THE 9 DAY TOUR OF TURKEY
Below is a list of what is included in the itinerary of Turkey with Travel Talk Tours:
- Accommodation in 4 and 5-star hotels
- 8 breakfasts, 5 dinners
- Where available, complimentary hotel and coach Wi-Fi
- Air-conditioned, modern coach or mini-bus to get around Turkey
- Airport transfer from Istanbul Airport on day 1
- Experienced Travel Talk local guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY ESSENTIAL TURKEY TOUR
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED IN THE 9 DAYS IN TURKEY TOUR
Below is a list of what is not included on tour:
- Flight tickets
- Travel insurance
- Optional activities
- Tips and donations
- Entrance fees to the sights and museums
- Other services not stated in the itinerary
9 DAY TURKEY TRAVEL ITINERARY
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
You’ll arrive at the Istanbul Airport and will be greeted by the Travel Talk sign at the airport terminal, which will point you to the hotel transfer. At 7:00 pm, meet in the hotel lobby for a quick meeting with your group of new travel buddies and tour guide.
If you arrive earlier in the day, you can begin to explore Istanbul by going to the top of the Galata Tower for stunning views or trying some delicacies at the Grand Bazaar.
DAY 2: ISTANBUL CITY
After breakfast, you’ll start the day going through the opulent ancient city of Istanbul with your tour guide. Stroll around the ancient city’s historic center, stopping at the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia on your way.
Later on in the afternoon, take a cruise down the beautiful Bosphorus River and see breathtaking views of Istanbul’s skyline, as well as spot some important landmarks including the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, and the Bosphorus Bridge.
You should know that the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia entrance is free, but both the Bosphorus Boat Cruise and Topkapi Palace Museum are not. The cost is 160 Lira ($11) for the museum and 200 Lira ($13) for the boat cruise.
DAY 3: ISTANBUL TO CAPPADOCIA
After an amazing day in Istanbul, you’ll take the coach to Cappadocia which is known as The Land of Beautiful Horses and it’s one of Turkey’s most unique places to visit.
On the 8-hour-long journey, take in the stunning Turkish countryside and observe tiny towns and settlements along the way.
One of the stops in Cappadocia that makes this Turkey itinerary so unique is Derinkuyu Underground City. This 60m-deep historic city is home to a church, wells, and stables. It’s a little chilly underground so be prepared with some warm clothing.
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DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA
Get up at the crack of dawn for an optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the world-famous landscapes of Cappadocia. Alternatively, if you opt out of the balloon ride, you can take a taxi to some viewpoints and take photos of the dozens of balloons that float swiftly across the tops of the fairy chimneys.
Note: The hot air balloon ride is an additional cost of 2,700 Lira ($180 USD) and is weather-dependent. If it is too windy to fly, this activity will be canceled for safety reasons. Fingers crossed for blue skies and no wind!
After the balloon flight, head back to the hotel for a buffet breakfast before a jam-packed day visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site Göreme as well as some of the notable locations in Cappadocia such as the Göreme Open Air Museum, Pigeon Valley, Uchisar, and Cavusin.
In the evening, put your dancing shoes on, along with some smart-casual attire for the Turkish Night experience. This is an optional activity that costs $30 which includes some light snacks and all you can drink for 2 hours!
DAY 5: PAMUKKALE
Another long day on the coach from Cappadocia to reach Pamukkale. It’s a total of 500 kilometers and will take about 8 hours, but there will be a few rest stops on the way for lunch and to stretch your legs.
Upon arriving in Pamukkale, if time permits, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at the famous white terraces to take some photos at sunset. From here, it’s a short 10-minute drive to the beautiful Hierapark Hotel for an overnight stay.
Inside the hotel, guests have free access to the sauna, swimming pool, and thermal pools to relax after a long day. You can also book in for a traditional Turkish bath and massage if you’re up for some extra pampering!
DAY 6: PAMUKKALE, EPHESUS, KUSADASI
You’re in Pamukkale, so what can you do? Well, the most popular attraction is the beautiful white terraces that are formed by mineral-laden spring water. It’s a sight to behold and you won’t regret visiting this spot on the Turkey itinerary.
There is also the option to take another hot air balloon flight over the white terraces of Pamukkale for $150. This is a great opportunity if you missed out on the hot air balloon flight in Cappadocia, and the experience is equally as impressive, in my opinion.
At around 11 am, the next stop on this Turkey travel itinerary is Ephesus, located 156 kilometers from Pamukkale. Ephesus is an ancient city that is both spectacular and well-preserved. Ephesus was mentioned in the book of Revelations and is an important site if you’re religious.
After a guided tour of the ancient city of Ephesus, continue to the seaside town of Kusadasi which is only about 30 minutes away and you’ll sleep here for the night before exploring more on day 7 of your Turkey itinerary.
Of course, a buffet dinner is included and you may also head into the town to a local bar for some drinks with your comrades.
DAY 7: KUSADASI, PERGAMUM, TROY, CANAKKALE
An early departure from Kusadasi to make tracks north to visit Asklepion, an ancient and well-preserved healing center in Pergamum, and afterward heading to the historical city Troy.
Troy is one of the most famous places in Greek mythology and was featured in movies such as Troy with Brad Pitt.
The ruins of Asklepion and Troy are fascinating, to say the least, so prepare your camera to take lots of photos.
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Following a fun-fuelled visit to each of these places in your Turkey itinerary, the journey continues to Canakkale for an overnight stay in a 5-star hotel.
DAY 8: CANAKKALE, GALLIPOLI, ISTANBUL
On day 8, wake up in beautiful Canakkale and travel to Gallipoli, which is just 1-hour away.
Gallipoli is a place of great importance, especially for Australians and Kiwis, because this region was once a battlefield during World War I.
On April 25th, 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers arrived on these very shores and fought an 8-month battle against Turkey, many of which lost their lives in combat. You’ll learn all about it during a guided tour of Gallipoli.
Here, you will visit the cemetery by the beach in ANZAC Cove, the war trenches, and the memorial monuments Chunuk Bair and Lone Pine.
Following a tribute visit to Gallipoli, it’s a 3-hour journey back to Istanbul which concludes this 9 day Turkey itinerary.
BOOK NOW: 9 DAY ESSENTIAL TURKEY TOUR
DAY 9: ISTANBUL
On the last day in Turkey, if you have some extra time before departing, I recommend visiting the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, which has a large collection of pottery, metalwork, and textiles from across the Muslim world.
After you’ve had your fix of museums, spend some time strolling around Istanbul’s many markets. The Grand Bazaar is the most famous, but there are also smaller ones like the Spice Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar. Here you can find everything from spices to carpets to jewelry. Bargaining is expected, so don’t be afraid to haggle!
Additionally, if you’d prefer to put your feet up, check out Nova Santiye Cafe which is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and something to eat while taking in the stunning views of the city skyline from the rooftop terrace.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN ISTANBUL
HOW TO GET TO TURKEY
Arriving by plane is the easiest and most convenient way to begin your adventures in Turkey. Istanbul International Airport is the largest in Turkey and is served by dozens of airlines.
I recommend arriving as early as possible on your first day to give yourself time to adjust to the time change and explore a bit before the 9 day Turkey tour begins.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TURKEY
The best time to visit Turkey is during the spring and fall seasons (April-May and September-October). During these times, the weather is milder and more pleasant, making it easier to explore all of the sights without feeling uncomfortable in the heat or cold.
However, this shouldn’t deter you from visiting at other times as well – summer can be very nice in Turkey, especially along the coast, and winter can be a great time to visit Istanbul and Cappadocia with fewer tourists around.
TURKEY TRAVEL ITINERARY – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY) and the exchange rate is approximately $1 USD = 14 TRY.
Purchasing a sim card in Turkey is relatively cheap and simple. You can do this at the airport on arrival or find a phone store close to the hotel in Istanbul. Alternatively, I recommend purchasing an eSIM online in advance and enjoy unlimited data throughout all of Turkey.
Also, make sure to bring your camera and your best lenses, so you can capture all the unforgettable adventures and experiences on the trip!
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey, which can be applied for online via www.evisa.gov.tr.
Travelers from Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, and the USA can apply for a 90-day e-visa online. This process usually takes only a few minutes, however, I recommend obtaining it at least 2 weeks before your arrival in Turkey.
Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa if staying for less than three months: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Travelers entering Turkey must carry a passport or travel document valid for at least 60 days from the expiry date of their visa.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
Turkey is an incredible country full of so much history and beauty. Whether it’s the food, the culture, or the stunning landscapes, there is something here for everyone.
I hope with this guide I’ve given you some great ideas for exploring this amazing part of the world, and now it is time to go out and experience it all for yourself.
If you have any questions about this Turkey travel itinerary, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
THANKS FOR READING
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