Day 1- 3
Istanbul is known as the meeting place between east and west and in this multicultural city, you’ll have three nights to uncover its secrets. Get to know Istanbul with a full day walking tour with a knowledgeable guide to visit the Blue Mosque, St Sophia and Topkaki Palace, stopping for lunch at an Ottoman cuisine restaurant before learning the traditional marbling Ebru effect in a painting lesson. End the day with a wander around the atmospheric Grand Bazaar.
Your next two days will be filled with more of Istanbul’s fascinating sights. Take to the Bosphorus on a river cruise or delve deeper into Turkish culture with a baklava or Turkish delight tasting. If you’re interested in local life, let us arrange a dinner party at an Istanbul resident’s house or if you like food and wine, we can arrange a specialist guide for a stroll through the local markets, sampling its treats. You will stay at Soho House Istanbul in the Beyoglu District, close to the Pera Museum with local restaurants nearby. Swathed in typical chic Soho House style, there are smart bedrooms and a spa and gym, plus the ‘clubhouse’ has a rooftop restaurant.
From Istanbul you’ll fly to Nevsehir or Kayseri, southeast of Istanbul and transfer to Argos Cappadocia where you will stay for the next three nights. One of the world’s most extraordinary sights, Cappadocia has entranced mankind with its geological wonders – a volcanic landscape formed millions of years ago, dotted with unusual cone-shaped rock formations and ancient caves, churches and streets carved out by former settlers. Speak to your hotel about arranging to see Cappadocia from the air on a hot air balloon ride setting off at dawn; part of the spectacle is also watching the other hot air balloons rising around you, adding to the sense of visual drama.
You’ll also have a chance to explore the area by foot, bike or jeep, a must is the Göreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a 17th century pilgrimage site which includes churches, chapels and monasteries. Iconic Rose Valley and its tall, sculpted ‘fairy chimneys’ set in a landscape of pink-hued ridges and jagged peaks is a fascinating sight. Part of the experience is staying at atmospheric Argos Cappadocia hotel, which overlooks the Pigeon Valley and fairy chimneys, and is carved into the rocky landscape. Using local wood and stone the hotel has cave-like rooms, terraces set into the stone and even an underground tunnel.
After your in-depth exploration of some of Turkey’s most intriguing sights, it’s time to head to its equally famous coastline for some classic holiday relaxation. Fly to Dalaman via Istanbul and transfer to the Datça Peninsula, where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean and your panorama is filled with blues and greens that form your peaceful and natural environment.
You will stay for five nights at the beachside hotel D Maris, a stylish yet low-key hotel which provides all you need for a laid-back end to your holiday in Turkey. Relax at the pool or take the funicular down to the hotel’s five sandy beaches lapped by calm, azure water. Hop on the hotel’s water taxi to explore the low-lying, rugged peninsula which reveals secret coves backed by fragrant pine trees. Back at the hotel, eating options are plentiful, including the Greek-style taverna Manos and sharing plates at sun-dappled La Guerite. After five nights at this coastal paradise, you will begin your journey home, full of the varied joy that a holiday in Turkey can offer.
Turkey Trio City, Sights and Sea
An in-depth tour of Turkey’s gems: cultural Istanbul, otherworldly Cappadocia and blissful beachside.