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Southeastern Anatolia

Religious & Spiritual Activities

Our most recommended Southeastern Anatolia Religious & Spiritual Activities

Cappadocia: Full-Day Private Tour

1. Cappadocia: Full-Day Private Tour

Get picked-up from your hotel. First, enjoy a panoramic view of Göreme and marvel at some of the best views in the region. Your guide will have plenty of knowledge to offer you about your surroundings. Afterwards, visit Underground City which is the biggest and deepest underground settlement. It has 8 levels connected with narrow tunnels. You will visit stalls, stores, churches, wineries, kitchens and the other sections which are open for visitors. While you are visiting the sections, your guide will complement the experience with their expert knowledge. Next, enjoy a local lunch in an authentic restaurant. After, visit Pigeon Valley which is located in Uçhisar town and offers another spectacular panoramic view. The next destination is Goreme Open Air Museum, where you can see rock-cut churches carved by early Christian monks. Your guide will give you information about Christianity and the Monastic Life of Cappadocia. The next stop will be Çavuşin, which is the Old Greek Village, abandoned after Population Exchange in 192. This town is located on the banks of the Red River which is the longest river in Turkey. It is famous for its pottery which started around the 2nd millennium B.C by Hittites. You will have a tour of the town and then visit a pottery workshop and learn about red clay work and ceramics. One of the masters of the discipline will even demonstrate the ancient free-hand technique that has been used throughout history. Visit a rug workshop where all the products are made by hand in the traditional way. Then visit Paşabağı where spectacular mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen. Paşabağı is also called Monks Valley because of the Chapel of Saint Simeon which is located in the valley. The next stop is Devrent Valley, which is also known as İmagination Valley. The valley contains curious red rocks, some of which resemble animal forms: a camel, a lizard, an owl, a snake, a chicken and a penguin.

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

2. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis.  Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

3. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Travel back in time on a guided tour from Istanbul to the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing.  Start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul in the early morning and transfer smoothly to the airport to catch your flight to Izmir. Be greeted upon your arrival and travel to Ephesus to meet with your guide. Explore this iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Discover the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, and the Library of Celcius. Be awed by the the Great Theater with its capacity for 24,000 spectators, the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Continue to Pamukkale which is known for its natural thermal spring waters.  Find out why this site is known as the cotton castle as you see how the chemical properties of the water have formed pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces that line the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site is be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. Head to the Necropolis of Hierapolis which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. After your tour, transfer back to Denizli Airport for your evening flight back to Istanbul and be transferred back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

4. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

From Istanbul: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Day Trip with Flight

5. From Istanbul: Pamukkale and Hierapolis Day Trip with Flight

Experience the wonders of Pamukkale on a guided trip from Instanbul, including round-trip flight tickets and lunch. Wander around the ancient city of Hierapolis and take memorable pictures, then take a dip in the revitalizing Cleopatra Pools. This is a must-do trip during anyone’s time in Turkey. In the early morning, get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and brought to the airport for your direct flight to Denizli Airport (included). Upon arrival, meet another driver and head to the meeting point where you will meet your guide who will show you around Pamukkale and Hierapolis for the rest of the day. Pamukkale and Hierapolis are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a natural site and ancient city, famous for the hot springs believed to have healing powers. The travertines are formed by a chemical reaction and subsequent precipitation of various causes and environments. Hierapolis has been a settlement of different cults and cultures throughout history, surrounded by a mix of ideas and believes as to the true history and origins of the site. Hierapolis played an important role in spreading Christianity in Anatolia, and it was the place where Phillip, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, died. For this reason, Hierapolis became an important religious center in the 4th century A.D. The tour in Hierapolis includes the necropolis, the Gate of Domitian, Frontinus Street, the Agora, the North Byzantine Gate, the gymnasium, the Fountain of the Tritons, the Temple of Apollo, the Martyrium of St. Philip, the column church, Pluto's Gate, and more. Spend time exploring Pamukkale for another 1.5 hours, then enjoy free time to look around and take photos. If you bring your swimming clothes, you can also visit the Cleopatra Pools (extra fees apply).  After the tour, take a transfer back to the airport for your return flight to Istanbul.

Istanbul: 8-Day Cappadocia, Ephesus, and Pamukkale Tour

6. Istanbul: 8-Day Cappadocia, Ephesus, and Pamukkale Tour

Day 1: Arrival in Istanbul Arrive at Istanbul Airport (IST) or SAW airport where the tour representative will meet you with your name sign and private transfer to the hotel for your overnight stay in Istanbul. Day 2: Full Day Istanbul Tour (Breakfast) After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Istanbul. Visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place.Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping and spend the night in Istanbul. Day 3: Istanbul – Izmir – Ephesus Tour – Kusadasi (Breakfast-Dinner) Start with pickup from hotel and transfer to Istanbul IST or SAW airport for Izmir flight Arrive in Izmir Airport and met by you tour guide with your name sign. Next, drive to Ephesus for 45-minutes. First visit the Artemis Temple, before continuing to Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionia. After Ephesus, visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Transfer to the hotel for overnight in Kusadasi. Day 4: Kusadasi – Pamukkale Tour (Breakfast-Dinner) Drive to Pamukkale to visit the Travertine terraces and Hierapolis. Stay overnight in Pamukkale. Day 5: Pamukkale – Cappadocia Cave Hotel (Breakfast) Drive to Cappadocia. Visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana, the world-wide famous mystic, and Sultanhani Caravanseria, a roadside inn where travellers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. Overnight in Cappadocia in a cave hotel. Day 6: Cappadocia Tour Cave Hotel (Breakfast) Optional: Hot air ballooning with sunrise. See the Three Sisters Fairy Chimneys in Urgup. Then, visit Kaymakli Underground City. Visit the famous Goreme Open Air Museum Continue to Uchisar Rock-Castle to have a panoramic view of the valleys of Cappadocia. Spend the night in a traditional Cappadocia cave hotel. Day 7: Full Day Cappadocia Tour-Istanbul (Breakfast) In the morning, admire the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, with rock formations beyond belief in Devrent valley. Have lunch in Avanos, the center of terra cotta works of art since 3000 BC, and enjoy a demonstration in a traditional pottery workshop. Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight from Kayseri to Istanbul. Transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay. Day 8: Home (Breakfast) After breakfast check out from the hotel and enjoy a private transfer to the airport.

Trabzon: Sumela Monastery Day Tour with Lunch

7. Trabzon: Sumela Monastery Day Tour with Lunch

Begin your day with a visit to the mesmerizing Altindere National Park. Soak up the tranquility of the park as you listen to the sound of the waterfalls and snap photos. Follow your guide on a 15-minute walk to the Sumela Monastery observation point and marvel at the impressive architecture of the monastery, carved into the cliff face. After admiring the views, continue to Cosandere Valley and spend some free time exploring. Stop among the pine trees to enjoy a delcious lunch at Zigana Pass. After lunch, visit the ancient Tortul Castle and put your bravery to the test with a walk along a 240-meter-high glass observation platform. Later, enter the magnificent Karaca Caves. This natural wonder is filled with easy-to-navigate walkways and plenty of lighting to showcase its beauty. The final stop is in Hamsikoy, a peaceful region of 5 farming villages, where you’ll taste a local pudding known as sutlac before beginning the return journey to Trabzon.

Cappadocia Highlights: Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

8. Cappadocia Highlights: Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Begin the day with a pick-up from your hotel and head over to the incredible Goreme Valley. Resembling a vast monastic complex composed of scores of refectory monasteries placed side-by-side, each with its own fantastic church, Goreme is understandably the star attraction of any visit to the region. Continue the tour to Devrent Valley, also known as Imaginary Valley or Pink Valley, this area does not have cave churches like the other valleys of Cappadocia. Next, make your way to Uchisar for a walk through the beautiful valley, often called Valley of the Pigeon Lofts due to the thousands of pigeon houses carved into the soft tufa since ancient times. Enjoy the magnificent panorama of the surrounding land at Mount Erciyes in the distance from the Uchisar Castle and then continue the tour to Pasabag. Pasabag, meaning general's vineyard, is located on the road to Zelve and filled with remarkable earth pillars and mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. There are plenty of opportunities for shopping for the duration of the tour. Buy local products at the Carpet Handicraft Center and Cappadocia Stone Shop as well as ceramic, pottery, and other textiles.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

9. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

Enjoy a whirlwind tour of Ephesus and Pamukkale on a 2-day trip from Istanbul. Travel by overnight bus on a 10-hour journey and then spend 2 full days exploring the region. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Virgin Mary's home. After a night in 3-star accommodations, wake up and travel to Hierapolis to see its necropolis and other ruins. Then visit the thermal springs of Pamukkale, before beginning your return trip to Istanbul. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Istanbul - Selcuk - Ephesus - Kusadasi (Meals: L) Upon your arrival in Ephesus, you will be met at the bus station and transferred to Selcuk for a tour of the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the former site of the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, then stop for lunch. After, stop at the house of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last years of her life, and then continue on to see Isa Bey Mosque. In the afternoon, you will be taken back to your accommodation in Kusadasi, where you will have free time. Day 2: Kusadasi - Hierapolis-Pamukkale - Istanbul (Meals: B, L) In the morning, travel to Hierapolis-Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop on the way at a 4-star hotel for lunch and swimming in thermal waters. See the ancient city of Hierapolis, formerly a home to baths and location of a well-preserved necropolis. Then spend time in Pamukkale, a center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties. Finally, return to your hotel to gather your belongings before heading on the overnight bus back to Istanbul.

From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

10. From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

This 2-day tour will take you to 2 ancient cities and beautiful natural sites. Here's what you'll do across both days. First Day: Ephesus Meet your guide and drive to Ephesus, one of the most well-preserved Greco-Roman ancient cities in the world. You'll see the amphitheater, ancient temples, Roman baths, agora, and even an ancient library. The area also holds religious significance, serving as a pilgrimage center for Christians. After touring the ancient city, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, see local artisans at work on handmade carpets and rug art.  Second Day: Pamukkale Meet your guide and take a 3-hour drive (with a break) to the Pamukkale area. When you arrive, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, visit the ancient city and its white terraces to explore for a few hours. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders, with various mineral springs set along a vast white cliffside. Walk along the Hierapolis ancient city ruins, see the huge necropolis, and feel the warmth of the natural spring as you go barefoot on the Travertens. If you want, you can also swim in the ancient pool (not included). The pool is naturally heated from the hot springs and spotted with underwater fragments of ancient marble columns. Possibly associated with the Temple of Apollo, the pool provides today's visitors a rare opportunity to swim with antiquities!

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What people are saying about Southeastern Anatolia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 45 reviews

In a single day, accompanied by Ali, we were able to visit all the most beautiful and evocative places in Goreme and its surroundings. A special and fun experience was also a visit to a ceramic production factory where we could try our hand at working terracotta! Itineraries established to perfection with the possibility of appreciating each place and stopping for the time necessary before starting again towards another destination. The comparison with our guide was also wonderful, he explained to us in a very clear and objective way the most contrasting aspects of Turkish culture and its religions. Also very kind the guy driving the transfer who accompanied us throughout the day!

The organisation of the trip was excellent. We were picked up on time and it was very easy to locate our driver. I was a bit worried, because travelling in one day from Istanbul to Pamukkale and back is quite a logistic undertaking, but everything went smooth. We visited not only Hierapolis and white travertine pools, but also another source of mineral water and a place where we learnt about onyx and Sultan stone - it was short and sweet, but very interesting. Our guide and drivers were extremely kind and attentive. The lunch was in a form of buffet, so everyone can find something for themselves. Thank you again for this amazing trip, me and my husband really enjoyed it!

I had double booked one activity and when realized my mistake I took up the matter with the Company. They were prompt in their responses and highly cooperative. They refunded my amount in less than 24 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed their service. Excellent!

The excursion was great. Our guide Ulash (probably spelling that wrong, sorry) was incredibly knowledgeable and charming. The site was incredible, from the pools to the ruins. And his informative talks really brought it all to life.

Very nice,exhaustive tour.Covered most of the important locations of Cappadocia.