12 days in Turkey Itinerary

12 days in Turkey Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Turkey Itinerary

Start: San Francisco
Fly + bus:  21​h 15​min
1
Goreme, Cappadocia
— 2 nights
2
Selcuk
— 2 nights
3
Pamukkale
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Istanbul
— 4 nights
Fly:  17​h 15​min
End: San Francisco

2
nights
Goreme, Cappadocia

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 7th (Tue): appreciate the extensive heritage of Güvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley). Here are some ideas for day two: look for gifts at Alaturca Carpet, Head underground at Cappadocia Cave Dwellings, and then enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour.

For more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Goreme trip site .

San Francisco, USA to Goreme is an approximately 21.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of flight and taxi. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Eastern European Time (EET), which is usually a 11 hour difference. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Francisco in August: highs in Goreme hover around 91°F, while lows dip to 62°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Selcuk.

Things to do in Goreme

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Cappadocia Cave Dwellings, Alaturca Taner
Find places to stay Aug 7 — 9:
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Balloon Rides
Goreme National Park ©
Goreme National Park
Cappadocia Cave Dwellings ©
Cappadocia Cave Dwellings

2
nights
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.
Selcuk is known for historic sites, museums, shopping, theme parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Ephesus, make a splash at Aqua Fantasy- Aquapark Hotel & SPA, steep yourself in history at Public Latrine, and pause for some serene contemplation at Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House).

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Selcuk driving holiday planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and train from Goreme to Selcuk takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, flight, and train; or drive. Traveling from Goreme in August, Selcuk is a bit warmer at night with lows of 72°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites Theme Parks Museums
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Bibliotheque de Celsus ©
Bibliotheque de Celsus
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu ©
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu

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 13th (Mon): explore the ancient world of Hierapolis & Pamukkale, then take in the natural beauty of Pamukkale Thermal Pools, and then cruise along Road to Pamukkale.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Pamukkale day trip app .

Traveling by car from Selcuk to Pamukkale takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
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Hierapolis ©
Hierapolis
Pamukkale Thermal Pools ©
Pamukkale Thermal Pools

4
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.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, shopping, nature, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take an in-depth tour of Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque, explore the ancient world of Basilica Cistern, and enjoy breathtaking views from Galata Tower.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Istanbul trip builder tool .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Pamukkale to Istanbul in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. August in Istanbul sees daily highs of 85°F and lows of 71°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace

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