36 days in The Balkans Itinerary

36 days in The Balkans Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Turkey trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Izmir
— 1 night
Drive
2
Cesme
— 1 night
Drive
3
Canakkale
— 3 nights
Fly
4
Istanbul
— 5 nights
Fly
5
Goreme, Cappadocia
— 4 nights
Bus
6
Ankara
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Fethiye
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Kas
— 2 nights
Drive
9
Kekova
— 1 night
Drive
10
Olympos
— 1 night
Drive
11
Kemer
— 1 night
Drive
12
Manavgat
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Pamukkale
— 2 nights
Drive
14
Aydin
— 2 nights
Drive
15
Selcuk
— 4 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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Usakizade Kosku, admire the striking features of Fatih Cinili Cami, and then stop by Has Deri Leather Shop. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at KEY Museum and then pause for some serene contemplation at Basilica of St. Jonh.

For traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Izmir trip itinerary planner.

London, UK to Izmir is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of car and train; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from London to Izmir, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in June, and nighttime lows around 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can drive to Cesme.

Things to do in Izmir

Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping

Cesme

— 1 night
The ancient coastal town of Cesme has managed to preserve its natural beauty, even after many years as one of the most popular beach resorts in Turkey's Aegean Region.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Wed): explore the ancient world of Erythrai archaeological ruins, then stroll through Ilica Plaji, and then take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Cesme trip builder site.

You can drive from Izmir to Cesme in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a shuttle. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Izmir to Cesme due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Izmir in June, things will get somewhat warmer in Cesme: highs are around 33°C and lows about 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can drive to Canakkale.

Things to do in Cesme

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Beaches

Canakkale

— 3 nights
A center of landmarks from Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman eras, Canakkale showcases natural beauty and myth.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Canakkale: Eceabat (Gallipoli Battlefield, Seyit Onbasi Monument, &more) and Gallipoli (Anzac Cove, Gallipoli National Park, &more). There's still lots to do: pause for some photo ops at Conk Bayiri Mehmetcik Park Aniti Kemalyeri Yaziti, step into the grandiose world of Bigali Kalesi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Namazgah Tabyalari, and stroll the grounds of SoganlIdere Sehitligi.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Canakkale online trip builder.

Drive from Cesme to Canakkale in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Traveling from Cesme to Canakkale, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In June in Canakkale, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Canakkale

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

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.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia, visit Ortakoy, explore the world behind art at Chora Museum, and browse the exhibits of Galata Tower.

To find maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Istanbul trip builder app.

Traveling by flight from Canakkale to Istanbul takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In June, daily temperatures in Istanbul can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Thu) early enough to travel to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Neighborhoods

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Goreme side-trips: Derinkuyu (Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri & Kaymakli Underground City). There's lots more to do: enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, look for gifts at Alaturca Taner, appreciate the views at Red Valley, and go for a walk through Gore Harabeleri.

To find where to stay and more tourist information, read our Goreme road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Istanbul in June, Goreme is little chillier at night with lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can catch the bus to Ankara.

Things to do in Goreme

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trips

Ankara

— 2 nights

Heart of Turkey

Turkey's capital and second-largest city, Ankara supports a large population of foreign diplomats and young students, contributing to the city's international feel.
On the 29th (Tue), explore the galleries of 8 Hubb Art Gallery, examine the collection at Altindag Belediyesi Sair ve Yazarlar Evi, examine the collection at Rahmi M. Koc Muzesi, then examine the collection at Erimtan Arkeoloji ve Sanat Muzesi, and finally learn more about the world around you at Anadolu Medeniyetleri Muzesi. On the next day, appreciate the extensive heritage of Hamamonu Restored Area, take in the spiritual surroundings of Tacettin Sultan Cami, then take an in-depth tour of Anitkabir, and finally walk around Ahlatlibel Tesisleri Parki.

For other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Ankara trip planner.

You can take a bus from Goreme to Ankara in 4.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Goreme in June, expect nights in Ankara to be a bit warmer, around 20°C, while days are little chillier, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel to Fethiye.

Things to do in Ankara

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Fethiye

— 4 nights
A prosperous hub of tourism on the Mediterranean coastline, Fethiye boasts one of Turkey's finest natural harbors.
Get out of town with these interesting Fethiye side-trips: Babadag (in Oludeniz) and Dalyan (Iztuzu Beach 2, Lycian Rock Tombs, &more). The adventure continues: push the limits with an extreme tour, explore the stunning scenery at Saklikent Milli Parki, stop by Epoca Carpet, and stroll through The Lycian Way.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read Fethiye online holiday planner.

Getting from Ankara to Fethiye by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Ankara in June: highs in Fethiye hover around 35°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) so you can go by car to Kas.

Things to do in Fethiye

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kas

— 2 nights
An unspoiled fishing village for most of its existence, Kas now serves as a mostly quiet tourist town, located on the southern section of the country's Mediterranean coastline.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Mon): enjoy the sand and surf at Kaputas Beach, then don't miss a visit to Lions Tomb, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: take in panoramic vistas at Patara Kum Tepesi, tour the pleasant surroundings at Kaputas Beach, and then stop by Silver Harmoni.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Kas holiday website.

You can drive from Fethiye to Kas in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In July, daily temperatures in Kas can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to drive to Kekova.

Things to do in Kas

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Shopping

Side Trips

Kekova

— 1 night
Kekova, also named Caravola, is a small Turkish island near Demre district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kaleköy and Üçağız . Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): get outside with Outdoor Activities, then head off the coast to Island of Kekova, and then explore the ancient world of Sunken City Ruins of Simena.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Kekova driving holiday planning website.

Kekova is very close to Kas. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Olympos.

Things to do in Kekova

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Olympos

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then kick back and relax at Cirali Beach.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Olympos trip itinerary maker tool.

You can drive from Kekova to Olympos in 2.5 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Olympos can reach 41°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Kemer.

Things to do in Olympos

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

Kemer

— 1 night
Situated on the Turkish Riviera, Kemer represents a coastal Mediterranean resort set against a dramatic mountainous backdrop.
On the 9th (Fri), steep yourself in history at Phaselis, then identify plant and animal life at Blue World Diving Center, and then get great views at Kemer Cumhuriyet MeydanI.

To find reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Kemer journey planner.

Getting from Olympos to Kemer by car takes about an hour. In July, daily temperatures in Kemer can reach 41°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to drive to Manavgat.

Things to do in Kemer

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

Manavgat

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): relax and rejuvenate at Q Spa & Wellness, explore the ancient world of Aspendos Ruins and Theater, and then get in on the family fun at Hip-Notics Cable Ski. Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Bizans Hastanesi, ponder the design of Monumental Fountain (Nymphaeum), then delve into the distant past at Ancient Theater, then admire the striking features of Temple of Apollo, and finally make a trip to Vespasianus Aniti.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Manavgat itinerary app.

Getting from Kemer to Manavgat by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In July, plan for daily highs up to 41°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Manavgat

Historic Sites · Spas · Baths · Theme Parks

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 12th (Mon), push the limits with an extreme tour, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Pamukkale Thermal Pools. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: Head underground at Kaklik Cave, then stroll the grounds of Anatolia Cemetery, and then delve into the distant past at Hierapolis.

To find ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Pamukkale sightseeing planner.

Drive from Manavgat to Pamukkale in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can travel to Aydin.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors · Nature

Aydin

— 2 nights
Aydın, ancient Greek Tralles, is a city in and the seat of Aydın Province in Turkey's Aegean Region. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Wed): buy something for everyone on your list at Oleatrium, then steep yourself in history at Ilyas Bey Kulliyesi, and then see the interesting displays at Aydin Museum. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of KocarlI Cihanoglu Kulliyesi, then steep yourself in history at Alinda Ruins, and then stroll around Guzelcamli National Park.

For maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Aydin tour builder site.

Traveling by car from Pamukkale to Aydin takes 2 hours. In July, plan for daily highs up to 43°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Selcuk.

Things to do in Aydin

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Selcuk

— 4 nights
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
Change things up with a short trip to Serenad Dive Center in Seferihisar (about 1h 20 min away). Next up on the itinerary: delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Ephesus, examine the collection at Camlik Locomotive Museum, make a splash at Aqua Fantasy- Aquapark Hotel & SPA, and contemplate the long history of Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House).

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Selcuk tour planner.

Getting from Aydin to Selcuk by car takes about an hour. In July, plan for daily highs up to 41°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Antalya Province travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Ruins · Waterfalls
Once a land of ancient cities, Antalya Province lies along the Mediterranean coast and is now home to Turkey's largest international sea resort. Tour the narrow, cobbled streets and historical houses in the province's eponymous city, or pay a visit to the World Heritage Site of Xanthos. Ancient cities and ruins scattered throughout the province give it its historical character. The 657 km (408 mi) long shoreline offers plenty of space to relax along its immaculate beaches and ports. Fill your holiday itinerary with a yacht tour, game of golf, rock climbing, and bird-watching.