Turkey isn't just evocative culture and history. The cityscapes and landscapes bristle with outdoor adventure, a thousand experiences to be had beneath dazzling Mediterranean skies. Cappadocia's surreal landscape offers an iconic playground; hot air ballooning, mountain biking, rock climbing. Then two continents are explored on two wheels and two legs in Istanbul.
Cappadocia – Touching Down in a Fairytale Landscape
It's a surreal start to the vacation as you land in Cappadocia. Strange chimney-like geological formations extend across the valleys; entrances to caves and troglodyte dwellings can be spotted all around, and there's a feeling of incredulity as you say hello to your boutique cave hotel. Your international flight will have landed in Istanbul. Then it's a short transfer and domestic flight to Kayseri, where your driver and guide are waiting to transfer you into the fairytale landscape. The rest of the day is free, giving you a chance to relax and gaze out at the Cappadocia geology. Dependent on your energy levels, it's possible to arrange a visit to Mustafapasa Town, where old Greek houses stand resplendent in the late afternoon light.
Cappadocia – Mountain Biking Through Surreal Valleys
Cappadocia – Exploring Underground Cities and Rock Churches
Cappadocia – Hot Air Balloon Above Cappadocia and Unique Rock Climbing Adventure
Istanbul – Walking Tour of Istanbul's Wonders
Istanbul – Exploring Hidden Istanbul by Bicycle
Istanbul – Spice Market and Elegant Bosphorus River Cruise
Istanbul – Farewell to Istanbul
- Mountain bike through Cappadocia, exploring the troglodyte dwellings and bizarre chimneys of a surreal landscape
- Enjoy a stunning hot air balloon flight above Cappadocia and then continue the aerial adventure with some of the world's finest rock climbing
- Spend four days in Istanbul and take walking tours that reveal the old-world glories of a famous city
- Delve into the heart of Istanbul with a cycling tour that explores evocative suburbs rarely seen by tourists
- Take a river cruise along the divide between continents and wander through the Grand Bazaar, two more highlights from your time in Istanbul
- Soak up the culture and history of Turkey with visits to rock cut churches, underground cities, and traditional villages
Think about Turkey and there's an evocative history that springs to mind. It's true that the country excels in revealing architectural brilliance and archaeological remains. The blend of East and West is also non-fiction and it fills the country with unrivaled charm. However, few are aware of the country's playground for outdoor adventures. Mountain biking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, cycling across two continents in two hours; not only do the activities provide excitement, they offer a unique angle from which to explore the wonders of Turkey. Furthermore, experiencing this playground combines journeys into both world-renowned and off-the-beaten-track Turkey.
This itinerary includes four nights in Cappadocia and three nights in Istanbul. The destinations provide two very different landscapes and platforms to explore. First you will discover Cappadocia, where a strange concoction of geological chimneys and troglodyte caves fill valleys of intrigue. Immerse yourself in the lunar-like wonder with a full day mountain bike tour that weaves a trail through the bizarre rock formations. Hot air balloon above it all and revel in the scale. Then try some rock climbing and rappel down cliffs that stand above the caves. You'll also explore the region's fascinating history and longstanding culture; visit underground cities and rock cut churches, enjoy a home cooked dinner in a traditional village, and see the Greek style houses of Avanos.
On the morning of day five you fly to Istanbul where the adventure is all about two legs and two wheels. Take a private walking tour of the city's famous wonders on day five, including visits to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace. Day six is about hidden Istanbul, a private cycling tour taking you across the Bosphorus as you cycle on two different continents. Explore markets and local suburbs, stop for photos of steeped domes, and then cruise back to your boutique hotel in Sultanahmet. You're staying in Istanbul's most historic suburb, so you're ideally positioned to soak up the charm in the evenings. The final day crosses off the remaining must-do Istanbul experiences; the scents of the Spice Market, a serene river cruise, and the opulence of Dolmabahce Palace.
Throughout the itinerary a number of lunches and dinners have been included. Each of these offers a unique take on local cuisine and ambiance. All tours are private and conducted by specialist local guides. This allows them to be handcrafted to your pace and fitness levels; for example, there are hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails in Cappadocia and your guide will meet with you to select an appropriate route.
$2,075 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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