1. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul
Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary. On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.