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Southeastern Anatolia

Romance & Special Occasions

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Our most recommended Southeastern Anatolia Romance & Special Occasions

Pamukkale: Hot Air Balloon Flight

1. Pamukkale: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Get picked up from your hotel in Pamukkale at approximately 4.30 AM in summer and 6:30 AM in winter for a convenient transfer to the launch site. Warm up from the early morning chill with complimentary tea or coffee. Watch the professional flight team prepare your balloon for your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Take off at sunrise and watch as the beautiful and unusual landscape below you is lit up from the glow of the sun. Slowly fly over Pamukkale's white cliffs, declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, and the nearby ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Celebrate your landing with a champagne toast and get your personal flight certificate before heading back to your hotel.

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.

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

3. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

Explore the unique travertine terraces of Pamukkale (literally “Cotton Castles” in Turkish), and enjoy a full-day trip to one of Turkey’s most popular attractions. Depart Bodrum and transfer by air-conditioned coach to Pamukkale, known as the “8th Wonder of the World” to those in the know. Explore the natural landscape of limpid pools, hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale attracts some 2 million visitors every year. Get a view of the terraces from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli. Then, go to the ruins of the ancient Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis, built on top of the “Cotton Castles” in the 2nd century BC. See the remains of the Roman amphitheater, and visit the former Turkish Bath, now converted to an archaeological museum. Discover where Cleopatra used to swim, and the monumental tomb of the Christian apostle St. Philippe. Marvel at the Necropolis of Anatolia, filled with sarcophagi, most notably that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

4. 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

5. 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 Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

6. From Istanbul: Pamukkale Day Tour With Flights and Transfers

Delight in the ancient history and spectacular natural beauty of Pamukkale on a full-day, guided tour with flights and transfers from Istanbul included. Start the day bright and early with a morning flight from Istanbul to Denizli. There you will catch a transfer to meet your professional tour guide who will uncover Pamukkale’s Greco-Roman past. Explore the hot springs in Karahayit, which have taken on an Instagram-worthy shade of red due to mineral deposits. Then head over to the Roman ruins in Hierapolis, a place twinned with Pamukkale to create a single UNESCO World Heritage site. After exploring toppled ancient columns and sacred temples, you will have the chance to swim in Cleopatra’s Antique Pool—a majestic spot purportedly frequented by the Egyptian queen for its healing powers. Take an hour for yourself to discover hidden corners of Pamukkale at your own pace before reuniting with your guide and the group for lunch. The next stop is one of the most picturesque spots in Turkey—the travertines of Pamukkale. Take a barefoot walk across these bright, white limestone terraces filled with pools of cascading water. Finally, stop by a local Onyx factory before heading back to Istanbul after an unforgettable day spent in nature and history.

Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale Tour

7. Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale Tour

Hierapolis, or "holy city", was an ancient Greco-Roman city in Phrygia, located on top of hot springs in Southwest Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to the modern city of Pamukkale. Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs there have been used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C, when people came to soothe their ailments and many of them retiring or dying there. Some of the highlights include the large sarcophagi-filled necropolis, the main street with its gates and latrines, the cathedral, the theater, and St. Philips Tomb. The hot springs causing cascades which are called the Cotton Castle. At the conclusion of your day of sightseeing, you will return back to Antalya.

Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

8. Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

The rock formations of Pamukkale (literally, "Cotton Castle") are a series of white terraces saturated with dissolved calcium bicarbonate, bubbling up from the feet of the mountains beyond. As the water flows over the edge of the plateau and cools, carbon dioxide is given off and calcium carbonate precipitates as hard chalk, or travertine. The spring emerges in the middle of the ancient resort city of Hierapolis (the ruins themselves are worthy of a stop as well). Sadly, the travertine that makes up the Pamukkale is gradually turning from white to yellow, and is even thought to be drying up. Thirsty hotels are blamed by the government, which has demolished many of them. This is good for the Pamukkale, but it makes finding a hotel increasingly difficult. Most stay in Pamukkale Koyu. The Hierapolis archaeological site lies west of Pamukkale Koyu. Its main features include a temple of Apollo and the adjacent Plutonium, a cavern emitting a deadly sulphur and carbon dioxide gas. East of here is a restored Roman ampitheatre, dating from the second century AD. Most of the stage buildings and their elaborate reliefs remain intact. An interesting part of the city is the colonnaded street, once extending almost 1km to a series of monumental portals. Today, only the most northerly, a triple arch flanked by towers and dedicated to the Emperor Domitian in 84 AD, still stands. Just south of the arch is the elaborate tomb of Flavius Zeuxis. This is only the first of more than a thousand tombs that constitute the full necropolis, the largest in Asia Minor.

From Istanbul: Pamukkale Trip with Hot Air Balloon Ride

9. From Istanbul: Pamukkale Trip with Hot Air Balloon Ride

Take a break from bustling Istanbul and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pamukkale on this 2-day trip. See extraordinary views of thermal pools and terraces and visit the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Your trip begins with a flight from Istanbul to Denizli Airport. Upon arriving at Denizli Airport your driver will meet you and drop you off at your hotel for you to retire and relax in the evening. The next day in the early morning, your driver will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the meeting point for your hot air balloon ride. Rise up into the sky and see the white travertines from above. Have a memorable experience as you taking stunning views of the surrounding landscape and Hierapolis. Once your air balloon flight finishes have breakfast back in the hotel. Take a break before beginning your excursion to Hierapolis. Follow your guide as they tell you about interesting historical events. Wander through ancient ruins before taking your transfer to Denizli Airport for your flight back to Istanbul.

From Antalya: Pamukkale 1-Day Group Tour with Lunch

10. From Antalya: Pamukkale 1-Day Group Tour with Lunch

After being picked up from your accommodation in Antalya, you will transfer to Pamukkale (which was known as Hierapolis in ancient times), a 250 km drive that will take around 3.5 hours.  On the way, there will be two breaks for coffee, tea, and breakfast. If you inform your hotel 1 day in advance of the tour, they may be able to prepare your breakfast to take with you (if breakfast is included with your accommodation).  Just before arriving in Pamukkale, there will be time to stop for lunch. Then, continue on towards the ancient holy city, located just 5 minutes from the lunch stop. Your guide will help you to gain an understanding of this ancient and fascinating city. Take some time to admire the natural spring water terraces or perhaps take a dip in the Cleopatra Pool (not included in the cost of the tour). Other highlights include the main street (also known as Colonnade Street) and the antique theater.    At the end of the day, transfer back to Antalya.

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What people are saying about Southeastern Anatolia

Our tour guide was very kind and gave us a lot of info about the place and its history…I strongly recommend to spend more time in the natural pools…I didnt do the Cleopatra pool, it was nice, but something you can see in other places, instead of the natural pool. Walk further all the way enjoying all the pools, dont stay in the first and second one which are to crowded…I stayed in the third and I could have picture with the entire pool only for me…Use sunscreen, you get burned very easily…have fun!

Was picked up from Izmir, then changed the bus twice. But it was organized smoothly. Tour guide Gökhan was great and knew everything. Free time in Pamukkale is enough to see everything. Be sure to walk up to the theater! Insane view. After lunch in an okay restaurant, the typical jewelry and carpet presentations.

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.

Ibrahim a very good guide, we met the schedule, they picked us up at the time it was, the explanation was very good, the food was delicious and the whole tour was great. Thanks to Ibrahim for everything

Super guide super organization, however we were rushed all day. And 30min for lunch. And the driver drives like crazy.