22 days in The Balkans Itinerary

22 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe travel route planner

Make it your trip
Drive to Denver International Airport, Fly to Izmir
1
Izmir
— 1 night
Drive
2
Kusadasi
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Pamukkale
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Fethiye
— 5 nights
Fly
5
Goreme, Cappadocia
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Istanbul
— 5 nights
Fly

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Izmir

— 1 night

Pearl of the Aegean

The birthplace of Homer, the ancient port city of Izmir boasts a colorful heritage that includes traces of Greek, Armenian, and Jewish cultures.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Tue): take in the waterfront at Kordonboyu, then explore the galleries of Arkas Art Center, then walk around Izmir Wild Life Park, and finally look for gifts at Has Deri Leather Shop. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Tarihi Asansor and then make a trip to Saat Kulesi (Clock Tower).

For ratings, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Izmir tour itinerary planner.

Colorado Springs, USA to Izmir is an approximately 20-hour combination of car and flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Colorado Springs to Izmir is 10 hours. While traveling from Colorado Springs, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Izmir, ranging from highs of 61°F to lows of 44°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Kusadasi.

Things to do in Izmir

Parks · Shopping · Museums

Kusadasi

— 3 nights
Unreservedly dedicated to tourism, Kusadasi sits on the Aegean coastline and acts as a gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the country's major Greco-Roman archaeological sites.
Attractions like Ancient City of Ephesus and Ephesus Museum make great kid-friendly stops. Step out of Kusadasi to go to Selcuk and see Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House), which is approximately 32 minutes away. The adventure continues: cool off at Aqua Fantasy- Aquapark Hotel & SPA, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, explore the world behind art at Hacivat Shop, and kick back and relax at Uzun Plaj.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Kusadasi trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Izmir to Kusadasi by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Turkey Time to Eastern European Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Izmir in May: high temperatures in Kusadasi hover around 76°F and lows are around 62°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can go by car to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Kusadasi

Outdoors · Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Tours

Side Trip

Pamukkale

— 2 nights

Cotton Castle

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.
On the 9th (Sun), explore the different monuments and memorials at Anatolia Cemetery, then steep yourself in history at Hierapolis, and then take in the natural beauty of Pamukkale Thermal Pools. Here are some ideas for day two: take a stroll through Karahayit, push the limits with an extreme tour, and then soar above the sights with a balloon tour.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Pamukkale trip planner.

Drive from Kusadasi to Pamukkale in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Standard Time to Turkey Time is 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can go by car to Fethiye.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Nature

Side Trip

Fethiye

— 5 nights
A prosperous hub of tourism on the Mediterranean coastline, Fethiye boasts one of Turkey's finest natural harbors.
Attractions like Oludeniz PlajI and The Lycian Way make great kid-friendly stops. Explore Fethiye's surroundings by going to Iztuzu Beach 2 (in Dalyan), Sarigerme Public Beach (in Sarigerme) and Babadag (in Oludeniz). And it doesn't end there: push the limits with an extreme tour, walk around Oludeniz, delve into the distant past at Tlos, and explore the striking landscape of Saklikent Milli Parki.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Fethiye road trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Pamukkale to Fethiye takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. May in Fethiye sees daily highs of 77°F and lows of 57°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sat) to allow time for the flight to Goreme.

Things to do in Fethiye

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

Goreme, Cappadocia

— 4 nights
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.
Step out of Goreme with an excursion to Kaymakli Underground City in Derinkuyu--about 32 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Goreme National Park, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, appreciate the extensive heritage of Güvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley), and take in the dramatic natural features at Fairy Chimneys.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Goreme online journey maker.

You can fly from Fethiye to Goreme in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Fethiye in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Goreme, with lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Istanbul.

Things to do in Goreme

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Istanbul

— 5 nights

Queen of Cities

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.
Bring the kids along to Hagia Sophia and Suleymaniye Cami . The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, admire the striking features of Basilica Cistern, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and contemplate the waterfront views at Bosphorus Strait.

To see reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Istanbul route builder.

Traveling by flight from Goreme to Istanbul takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and train. Traveling from Goreme in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Istanbul, with lows of 55°F. You will have some time to spend on the 24th (Mon) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Shopping

Turkey travel guide

4.4
Architectural Buildings · Sacred & Religious Sites · History Museums
Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you'll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation's most precious heritages. Adventure-seekers have plenty do to here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. A holiday to Turkey is incomplete without a cup of Turkish coffee, the pinnacle of Turkish cuisine inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Cappadocia travel guide

4.5
History Museums · Historic Walking Areas · Geologic Formations
The region of Cappadocia reveals fascinating tales of civilizations long past with its honeycombed hills characterized by geological rarities, including two World Heritage Sites. Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and ignimbrite deposits from erupted volcanoes left soft rock formations scattered across the land, which were then carved out to create houses, churches, and monasteries in 300 CE. Explore these rock houses on your own or on a tour, or take in the topography from above on a hot air balloon ride. Complete your holiday with a hike along the trails and marvel at the dusky orange panorama and accordion-shaped valleys.