Here are some of my favorite 6- to 10-Day guided tours of Turkey, perfect for a first visit to the country.
They are all operated by partners of Turkey Travel Planner, tour companies and travel agencies that I have followed for years, and have confidence in.
Prices vary according to length, accommodation, transport, etc.
You start this 6-day self-drive Argeus tour in Istanbul,
drive to Gallipoli,
the Dardanelles, Çanakkale and Troy, then Assos, Mount Ida, Pergamum, Ephesus and Kuşadası,
then return to Istanbul by plane. Spend as many days as you like in Istanbul before or after your driving tour. More...
8 Days/7 Nights
This value-priced Efendi Travel tour features simple but comfortable rooms with private bath in 3-star hotels. You spend two nights in Istanbul to visit Topkapı Palace (Harem visit optional, at additional cost), the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, the Byzantine Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, the Basilica Cistern, the Milion stone, cemetery of the Ottoman sultans, the Çemberlitaş (Burnt Column), the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, a half-day cruise on the Bosphorus, and free time at the Grand Bazaar.
You then fly to Cappadocia for two nights to see the Göreme Open-Air Museum, Paşabağı Valley,Devrent Valley, Avanos, Ortahisar, Uçhisar rock castle, Rose Valley, Pigeon Valley, and the underground city of Kaymaklı before flying to İzmir for two nights to visit the ruins of Ephesus, Temple of Artemis, House of the Virgin Mary, İsa Bey Mosque, Pamukkale and Hierapolis. You then fly back to Istanbul. More...
(Efendi Travel also operates great value-for-money budget tours of 7 days and 10 days on which you travel by bus and cover a similar itinerary. More...)
8 Days/7 Nights
This small-group tour by Efendi Travel features quite comfortable 4-star and charming boutique hotels. It includes all of the sights of the aforementioned Turkey Specials tour as well as additional sights in Cappadocia: the Soğanlı Valleys, the Roman city of Sobesos, the Ottoman theological college at Taşkınpaşa, the Keslik Monastery, and the Ottoman-Greek town of Mustafapaşa (Sinasos).
You may want to add a day or two in Istanbul to either tour. More...
8 Days/7 Nights
This is Efendi Travel's deluxe, 8-day private tour of Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale. Featuring deluxe 4- and 5-star hotels, Best of Turkey is just for you, with private guide and private air-conditioned vehicle for you alone.
It includes all the sights on the Turkey Specials tour itinerary, as well as these additional sights:
Cruises on both the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn in Istanbul, tours of Dolmabahçe Palace, Pera (Beyoğlu), Süleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul's largest), the Chora Church with its splendid Byzantine mosaics, the Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, and the panoramic views of the Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti Café. At Ephesus, the Saint John Basilica and Ephesus Museum, as well as the ancient city of Aphrodisias on the way to Pamukkale. More...
This tour (RV101) by Rock Valley Travel shows you Istanbul, Cappadocia, the Silk Road, Konya, Antalya, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Kuşadası and Ephesus, traveling by plane and motorcoach, but you must start in Istanbul in the morning. Their 7-day version (RV100) allows you to make your own plans for Istanbul, and their 9-day version (RV102) allows you to arrive in Istanbul at any time of day and begin the tour on the following day. More...
8 Days/7 Nights
After touring the sights in Istanbul, this circle tour by motorcoach takes you to Çanakkale, Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, and Troy; Bergama (Pergamum); Ephesus and Kuşadası; Pamukkale; Konya and Cappadocia; then back to Istanbul via Ankara. All travel is by land, which really lets you see Turkey close-up, and the price is excellent. More...
9 Days/8 Nights
Similar to Orion's Affordable Turkey, this tour follows a similar circle route, but clockwise, starting with a flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia. More...
Orion-Tour has many more, guaranteed-departure, fixed-price, similarly value-priced short tours of Turkey. Look here...
Can you see the top sights in Turkey comfortably in
only 10 days? Yes—and more—if you take a high-quality
luxury small-group tour like Express Turkey offered by Argeus. This tour visits not just the top sights (Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus) but also the Silk Road, Konya, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias and Kuşadası. More...
If you have two weeks, you can really enjoy Turkey on Classical Turkey, a 14-day tour that visits all the top sights, or on Highlights of Turkey, a 14-day tour that includes 4 days on a gulet yacht sailing the Mediterranean coast. More...
Read this to understand what makes a good tour, and to know that the lowest price is not always the best value.
—by Tom Brosnahan