Not easy to select the best in a country that is so vast and full of treasures on its coasts as inside the land. Here's a one-week itinerary that will suit the most pressing and allow them to have a complete overview of the country without losing a miette of the great necessities.
Day 1: The essentials of Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul Basics (continued)
Day 3: Cappadocia
Day 4: Cappadocia (continued)
Day 5: Archaeological sites of Antalya
Day 6: The ports of Phasélis
Day 7: Discovery of the Hieropolis site
Day 8: Last hours in Istanbul
Visit of the Topkapi palace (Topkapi Sarayi) and the harem in the morning. In the afternoon, the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) and the Basilica of Saint Sophia (Aya Sofya) will be dedicated to 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 Beyo?lu is a must, so why not visit Asmai 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.
The bazaars, the mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Bosphorus or the church of Saint-Sauveur-in-Chora. Located not far from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays) remains an essential stopover in Istanbul. You will spend more or less time there depending on whether or not you want to bring back some souvenirs, a harsh bargain being required. To recover from your emotions, have a cup of tea (possibly with a chicha) in some kahve (picturesque coffee) or in the gardens of an old medersa. Coming out west of the bazaar, a pleasant little book market will take you to Beyazi Square. Fans can take a tour of the Calligraphy Museum and then cross the university gardens to reach the Suleiman the Magnificent Mosque, the largest in the city, built by the brilliant architect Sinan and whose restoration work has been completed. From there, you will be intoxicated by the scents and colours of the Egyptian Bazaar (or spice market) before reaching the quays of Eminönü. A fish sandwich will satisfy the hungry and you will never get tired of watching the comings and goings of this very lively neighbourhood. Bus or plane to Cappadocia.
Cappadocia is a magical region, where it is difficult to believe that we are still on earth. Whatever the season chosen, the landscapes, simply lunar, are breathtaking. After a good breakfast, the Göreme Open Air Museum is a good introduction to the subject. Stop at the viewpoint 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 change of scenery last longer.
Visit the Ihlara Valley, one of the largest canyons in the world, full of rock churches and where nature is breathtaking. Then go up through one of the magnificent underground cities, Derinkuyu or Kaymakli being the most famous. To protect themselves from attacks from the barbarian hordes, the inhabitants of the region had decided to build huge underground cities, where they would take refuge in case of invasions, making it appear that their villages had already been razed to the ground. They then waited for the intruders to leave. Beautiful! Beautiful! Departure by bus or plane to Antalya.
A short stroll through the old town of Antalya, which is the only interesting part of the city and leaves for a Hellenic site. The beautifully preserved Aspendos theatre is magnificent, as are the ruins of Perge or the ancient city of Thermessos. Overnight in the old town (Kaleiçi).
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 in Olympos at nightfall and night in the trees in Olympos or in the quiet village of Çirali.
Departure for Pamukkale and visit the archaeological site of Hieropolis and the travertine natural site, splendid "cotton castle". The visit only takes two hours. Then go toAphrodisia, among the most beautiful ancient sites in Turkey. Go up to Istanbul.
This weekend, why not take the time of a Turkish breakfast (kahvalti) on one of the many terraces in Istanbul with the breathtaking view overlooking the city. Then last shopping and departure for the airport.
Each Travel Idea is customizable according to your wishes