12 days in Turkey Itinerary

12 days in Turkey Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Turkey Itinerary

Start: Cape Town
Fly:  12 h 30 min
1
Istanbul
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
2
Goreme
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h 45 min
3
Antalya
— 2 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
4
Manavgat
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
5
Pamukkale
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 45 min
6
Selcuk
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 30 min
7
Bodrum City
— 1 night
Fly:  17 h 15 min
End: Cape Town

2
nights
Istanbul

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): explore the galleries of Dolmabahce Sanat Galerisi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, soar above the sights with a balloon tour, then explore the ancient world of Basilica Cistern, and finally hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Istanbul day trip planning website .

Cape Town, South Africa to Istanbul is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Cape Town to Istanbul due to the time zone difference. While traveling from Cape Town, expect cooler days and slightly colder nights in Istanbul, ranging from highs of 7°C to lows of 7°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites Shopping Tours
Highlights from your plan
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Basilica Cistern ©
Basilica Cistern
Kapali Carsi ©
Kapali Carsi

1
night
Goreme

Goreme ©
Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Goreme National Park, then look for gifts at Chez Hakan - The Pottery Shop, then explore the world behind art at Guray Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Museu a Ceu Aberto de Goreme. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the world behind art at Naile Art Gallery- Cappadocia Ebru Art Center, then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then head outdoors with Royal Balloon, and finally see the interesting displays at Hacıbektaş Veli Müzesi.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Goreme trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Istanbul to Goreme in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Istanbul in December, Goreme is slightly colder at night with lows of -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Antalya.

Things to do in Goreme

Museums Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Avanos, Hacıbektaş Veli Müzesi, Naile Art Gallery
Highlights from your plan
Goreme National Park ©
Goreme National Park
Goreme Open-Air Museum ©
Goreme Open-Air Museum
Off-Road & ATV Trails

2
nights
Antalya

Antalya ©
Offering both sandy beaches packed with modern amenities and a historical town center filled with Roman ruins and Ottoman mosques, Antalya serves as one of the country's major tourist destinations.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Hadrian's Gate and then explore the striking landscape of Gulluk Dagi (Termessos) Milli Parki. On the next day, take in the dramatic scenery at Duden Waterfalls, examine the collection at Ataturk House & Museum, then examine the collection at Suna Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum, and finally see the interesting displays at Antalya Toy Museum.

For photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Antalya trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by flight from Goreme to Antalya takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, Antalya is somewhat warmer than Goreme - with highs of 19°C and lows of 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Manavgat.

Things to do in Antalya

Museums Nature Parks

Side Trip

Gulluk Dagi (Termessos) Milli Parki
Highlights from your plan
Suna Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum ©
Suna Inan Kirac Kaleici Museum
Hadrian's Gate
Hadrian's Gate
Lower Duden Waterfalls ©
Lower Duden Waterfalls

2
nights
Manavgat

Manavgat ©
Nestled between the Taurus Mountains and the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean coastline, Manavgat serves as a regional center of tourism, offering easy access to a long stretch of sandy beaches.
On the 30th (Mon), explore the ancient world of Seleukia (Lybre), delve into the distant past at Side Antik Kenti, and then admire the local landmark of Monumental Fountain (Nymphaeum). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Tue): buy something for everyone on your list at Dickman Textile and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Koprulu Kanyon Milli Parki.

You can plan Manavgat trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Antalya to Manavgat in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Manavgat can reach 19°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Manavgat

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Side Antik Kenti ©
Side Antik Kenti
Seleukia (Lybre) ©
Seleukia (Lybre)
Monumental Fountain (Nymphaeum) ©
Monumental Fountain (Nymphaeum)

1
night
Pamukkale

Pamukkale ©
A popular spa since the second century BCE, the modern city of Pamukkale continues to draw worldwide attention with its hot springs and travertines--naturally formed calcite bathing pools.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Wed): witness a stunning natural landmark at Pamukkale Thermal Pools, contemplate the long history of Hierapolis, and then get engrossed in the history at Hierapolis Arkeoloji Muzesi.

To find ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read Pamukkale travel planning app .

Getting from Manavgat to Pamukkale by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can go by car to Selcuk.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites Nature Museums

Side Trip

Hierapolis Arkeoloji Muzesi
Highlights from your plan
Hierapolis ©
Hierapolis
Pamukkale Thermal Pools ©
Pamukkale Thermal Pools
Hierapolis Arkeoloji Muzesi ©
Hierapolis Arkeoloji Muzesi

1
night
Selcuk

Selcuk ©
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): steep yourself in history at Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House), explore the ancient world of Bibliotheque de Celsus, then delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Ephesus, then delve into the distant past at Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu, and finally look for gifts at La Tulip Art Gallery.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Selcuk trip simple and quick.

You can drive from Pamukkale to Selcuk in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. January in Selcuk sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Bodrum City.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Bibliotheque de Celsus ©
Bibliotheque de Celsus
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu ©
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus

1
night
Bodrum City

Bodrum City ©
More than a million tourists visit Bodrum City each year, drawn by its sandy beaches and luxury hotels.
On the 3rd (Fri), browse the exhibits of Dibeklihan, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then brush up on your military savvy at Bodrum Maritime Museum.

Find out how to plan Bodrum City trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can drive from Selcuk to Bodrum City in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Selcuk in January, things will get a bit warmer in Bodrum City: highs are around 18°C and lows about 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bodrum City

Museums Wildlife Tours

Side Trip

Dibeklihan
Highlights from your plan
Bodrum Maritime Museum ©
Bodrum Maritime Museum
Scuba & Snorkeling

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