Things to do in
Southeastern Anatolia

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Our most recommended things to do in Southeastern Anatolia

Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

1. Antalya: Full-Day Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour & Lunch

Your full day excursion begins in the early morning when you’re picked up at your Antalya hotel and begin the drive to Pamukkale. After a lunch break you’ll visit the cascading snow-white terraced cliffs of this mysterious Cotton Palace. The calcite-laden waters that had created this unreal landscape come from springs located in a 200-meter high cliff that overlooks the plain. Marvel at the mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and the series of terraced basins created by these waters. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the kings of Pergamon established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. The temples were significant trade centers for ancient Hierapolis. See the Roman theater, the Apollo temple, Roman baths, fountains and the agora. After the tour, have a chance to swim in thermal pools. An additional option is to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool, for an extra fee.

Antalya City Tour and Duden Waterfalls Visit with Boat Trip

2. Antalya City Tour and Duden Waterfalls Visit with Boat Trip

Discover the natural beauty of Antalya on this full-day tour. Visit the Duden Waterfall, explore a natural cave, and take a boat trip to see even more. Then visit the highlights of the old city of Kaleici. Your full-day Antalya City and Waterfalls Tour begins in the morning with a drive to the Duden Waterfalls National Park. Take a walk through the beautiful park and take in views of the spectacular 15-meter-high Duden Waterfall. Behind the waterfall is a natural cave you can enter to watch the cascades. Back in Antalya, you’ll enjoy a 1-hour boat trip from the old harbor to the spectacular Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall, also known as the Lower Duden Waterfall. At 30 meters, it is the highest cascade in the Antalya region. You’ll have views of the coastline of Antalya’s old city as you arrive in the harbor. Take a break for lunch at a local restaurant followed by some free time to explore Kaleici – the old city. See the main attractions, including Hadrian’s Gate, the Clock Tower, Kesik Minare and the city walls dating back to the 2nd century. You’ll also have time to visit some of the numerous boutiques, art galleries and interesting museums in the old town.

Antalya: City Tour including Waterfalls and Cable Car

3. Antalya: City Tour including Waterfalls and Cable Car

Your experience begins as you are picked up at around 10:00AM from your hotel, before driving to the west side of the city. Antalya is surrounded by sandy beaches, soaring mountains, and picturesque waterfalls, and this tour takes in some of these most scenic spots. Ride the cable car to the top of Tünek Tepe Mountain for a magnificent view along the coast. Afterwards, visit two different waterfalls: Düden Falls and the Kursunlu Waterfall. There will be plenty of time granted at these two waterfalls for you to explore and take photos. This tour provides you with a fantastic chance to discover the local culture as well as the ordinary life style of Turkish people. At the conclusion of your experience, your driver will return you back to your accommodation.

Cappadocia: Full-Day Private Tour

4. Cappadocia: Full-Day Private Tour

Get picked-up from your hotel. First, enjoy a panoramic view of Göreme and marvel at some of the best views in the region. Your guide will have plenty of knowledge to offer you about your surroundings. Afterwards, visit Underground City which is the biggest and deepest underground settlement. It has 8 levels connected with narrow tunnels. You will visit stalls, stores, churches, wineries, kitchens and the other sections which are open for visitors. While you are visiting the sections, your guide will complement the experience with their expert knowledge. Next, enjoy a local lunch in an authentic restaurant. After, visit Pigeon Valley which is located in Uçhisar town and offers another spectacular panoramic view. The next destination is Goreme Open Air Museum, where you can see rock-cut churches carved by early Christian monks. Your guide will give you information about Christianity and the Monastic Life of Cappadocia. The next stop will be Çavuşin, which is the Old Greek Village, abandoned after Population Exchange in 192. This town is located on the banks of the Red River which is the longest river in Turkey. It is famous for its pottery which started around the 2nd millennium B.C by Hittites. You will have a tour of the town and then visit a pottery workshop and learn about red clay work and ceramics. One of the masters of the discipline will even demonstrate the ancient free-hand technique that has been used throughout history. Then visit Paşabağı where spectacular mushroom-shaped rock formations can be seen. Paşabağı is also called Monks Valley because of the Chapel of Saint Simeon which is located in the valley. The next stop is Devrent Valley, which is also known as İmagination Valley. The valley contains curious red rocks, some of which resemble animal forms: a camel, a lizard, an owl, a snake, a chicken and a penguin.

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

5. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis.  Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel. And during the tour you'll have the chance to have a look at the Turkish traditional handcrafts.

Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

6. Full-Day Private Pamukkale and Hierapolis Tour from Istanbul

After being picked up between 5:00 AM and 5:30 AM from your hotel in Istanbul, you will be driven to the airport where you will catch a flight to Denizli. Meet your private guide in Denizli and make your first visit to Pamukkale.  The beautiful white cascades of Pamukkale is well worth a trip to see eye candy of a natural site. Walk through Pamukkale and find a chance to relax in the hot waters of the ancient pool. Built just above the hot spring waters of Pamukkale, Hierapolis is a mighty ancient city and a UNESCO world heritage site. Hierapolis was built in the 2nd century B.C. by the King of Pergamon and became a Roman city. The city was famous for several important sanctuaries and also as an important trade center. Hierapolis was famous for purple dye and cloth making and it is still famous for textile products. Afterwards, drive back to Denizli airport to make your flight back to Istanbul. The Istanbul tour guide will met you at the Istanbul airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

7. From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

Discover the natural wonders of Pamukkale on this guided tour with lunch. Marvel at formations of travertine and explore Hierapolis to learn the history of the ancient city. Get the chance to also visit jewelry, leather, carpet, or ceramic centers. Begin at the ancient city of Hierapolis, established in 200 B.C. and one of the most important settlements during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Walk around the recently restored theater and the city’s majestic buildings and monuments. Later, see why Pamukkale means “cotton castle.” Step into a world of wonders as you witness spectacular formations of travertine and the natural hot spring pool. Learn more about the area and spend some relaxation time in the spring pool.

Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

8. Pamukkale and Hierapolis Full-Day Tour from Bodrum

Explore the unique travertine terraces of Pamukkale (literally “Cotton Castles” in Turkish), and enjoy a full-day trip to one of Turkey’s most popular attractions. Depart Bodrum and transfer by air-conditioned coach to Pamukkale, known as the “8th Wonder of the World” to those in the know. Explore the natural landscape of limpid pools, hot springs and travertine, terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water. Inscribed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1988, Pamukkale attracts some 2 million visitors every year. Get a view of the terraces from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli. Then, go to the ruins of the ancient Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis, built on top of the “Cotton Castles” in the 2nd century BC. See the remains of the Roman amphitheater, and visit the former Turkish Bath, now converted to an archaeological museum. Discover where Cleopatra used to swim, and the monumental tomb of the Christian apostle St. Philippe. Marvel at the Necropolis of Anatolia, filled with sarcophagi, most notably that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.

Full-Day Cappadocia Blue Tour with a Small Group

9. Full-Day Cappadocia Blue Tour with a Small Group

After a pickup from your hotel at 10 AM, hike along the Red and Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly and mysteriously beautiful valleys in the region. Conclude your hike at the Cavusin Cave Village. Here, marvel at the rock castle and troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the 20th century. Then, enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Descend towards the center of the earth with a trip to the Underground City, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many such settlements. Discover this underground city and its stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, churches, and wineries. Visit the Pigeon Valley, enjoy a spectacular view of dovecotes, see old abandoned cave homes, marvel at the old Greek houses of Uchisar, and visit Ortshisar Castle, the biggest mass of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. Return to your hotel at the end of the tour.

Side: Guided Day Trip to Pamukkale & Salda Lake

10. Side: Guided Day Trip to Pamukkale & Salda Lake

Start the tour with pickup from your hotel at 4:00 AM. Meet your guide and board the air-conditioned bus. Your first stop will be at Korkuteli Town, where you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast in a local restaurant. Next, continue the journey to Salda Lake. Once you’ve arrived at the lake, enjoy 1 hour to take photos and swim in the natural mud baths. After your swim, drive from Salda Lake to Pamukkale, stopping for lunch along the way. Following lunch, you’ll then visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, the Pamukkale Travertens, and the ancient Roman Kleopatra Pool. You’ll also take a short trip to Karahayit Hot Springs for a second swim. After a full day of exploring these history and scenic sites, be returned to your hotel between 8:00 PM and 9:00 PM, in time for your dinner.

Other Sightseeing Options in Southeastern Anatolia

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What people are saying about Southeastern Anatolia

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 1,130 reviews

Tour started at 7am. Patient and lovely tour guide. Tour included a stop at Lake Salda which we were not expecting but greatly appreciated as it was magnificent. Before reaching Pamukkale we stopped at a glass tour and then had lunch with a balcony view of pamukkale. Lunch was tasty and adequately filling with provision to pray when asked. Then we embarked on Pamukkale for which we had two hours free time. The walk up was a little difficult having to be barefoot and the distance, particularly ensuring we kept up with our guide (so worth ensuring you are able to call and receive calls abroad) but again amazing views. Make sure to wear sun protection as it gets very hot. Tour included swimming tickets in thermal springs which was a great experience-felt like a nice warm hug. We arrived back at our hotel at around 8pm. Overall no complaints ! A great day!

Our tour guide was very kind and gave us a lot of info about the place and its history…I strongly recommend to spend more time in the natural pools…I didnt do the Cleopatra pool, it was nice, but something you can see in other places, instead of the natural pool. Walk further all the way enjoying all the pools, dont stay in the first and second one which are to crowded…I stayed in the third and I could have picture with the entire pool only for me…Use sunscreen, you get burned very easily…have fun!

Great tour and our guide Amir was fantastic. Since we did a private tour, he was able to personalize it to suite our interest and time restraints.

Lovely tour guide with lot's of knowledge ,varied things to do plenty of free time for shopping stunning views ,really enjoyable. Thank you.

Excellent day tour with great tour guide. A good mix of walking and sightseeing.