Southeastern Anatolia
Religious & Spiritual Activities

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Our most recommended Southeastern Anatolia Religious & Spiritual Activities

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

1. 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

Cappadocia: Full-Day Private Tour

2. 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.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

3. 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.

Cappadocia Highlights: Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

4. Cappadocia Highlights: Private Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Begin the day with a pick-up from your hotel and head over to the incredible Goreme Valley. Resembling a vast monastic complex composed of scores of refectory monasteries placed side-by-side, each with its own fantastic church, Goreme is understandably the star attraction of any visit to the region. Continue the tour to Devrent Valley, also known as Imaginary Valley or Pink Valley, this area does not have cave churches like the other valleys of Cappadocia. Next, make your way to Uchisar for a walk through the beautiful valley, often called Valley of the Pigeon Lofts due to the thousands of pigeon houses carved into the soft tufa since ancient times. Enjoy the magnificent panorama of the surrounding land at Mount Erciyes in the distance from the Uchisar Castle and then continue the tour to Pasabag. Pasabag, meaning general's vineyard, is located on the road to Zelve and filled with remarkable earth pillars and mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. There are plenty of opportunities for shopping for the duration of the tour. Buy local products at the Carpet Handicraft Center and Cappadocia Stone Shop as well as ceramic, pottery, and other textiles.

Trabzon: Sumela Monastery Day Tour with Lunch

5. Trabzon: Sumela Monastery Day Tour with Lunch

Begin your day with a visit to the mesmerizing Altindere National Park. Soak up the tranquility of the park as you listen to the sound of the waterfalls and snap photos. Follow your guide on a 15-minute walk to the Sumela Monastery observation point and marvel at the impressive architecture of the monastery, carved into the cliff face. After admiring the views, continue to Cosandere Valley and spend some free time exploring. Stop among the pine trees to enjoy a delcious lunch at Zigana Pass. After lunch, visit the ancient Tortul Castle and put your bravery to the test with a walk along a 240-meter-high glass observation platform. Later, enter the magnificent Karaca Caves. This natural wonder is filled with easy-to-navigate walkways and plenty of lighting to showcase its beauty. The final stop is in Hamsikoy, a peaceful region of 5 farming villages, where you’ll taste a local pudding known as sutlac before beginning the return journey to Trabzon.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

6. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

7. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus & Pamukkale Tour by Bus

Enjoy a whirlwind tour of Ephesus and Pamukkale on a 2-day trip from Istanbul. Travel by overnight bus on a 10-hour journey and then spend 2 full days exploring the region. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Virgin Mary's home. After a night in 3-star accommodations, wake up and travel to Hierapolis to see its necropolis and other ruins. Then visit the thermal springs of Pamukkale, before beginning your return trip to Istanbul. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Istanbul - Selcuk - Ephesus - Kusadasi (Meals: L) Upon your arrival in Ephesus, you will be met at the bus station and transferred to Selcuk for a tour of the ancient city of Ephesus. Visit the former site of the Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, then stop for lunch. After, stop at the house of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last years of her life, and then continue on to see Isa Bey Mosque. In the afternoon, you will be taken back to your accommodation in Kusadasi, where you will have free time. Day 2: Kusadasi - Hierapolis-Pamukkale - Istanbul (Meals: B, L) In the morning, travel to Hierapolis-Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop on the way at a 4-star hotel for lunch and swimming in thermal waters. See the ancient city of Hierapolis, formerly a home to baths and location of a well-preserved necropolis. Then spend time in Pamukkale, a center of natural thermal spring waters with healing properties. Finally, return to your hotel to gather your belongings before heading on the overnight bus back to Istanbul.

Daily Pamukkale (Hierapolis) Tour from Kusadasi

8. Daily Pamukkale (Hierapolis) Tour from Kusadasi

Our tour begins In the morning, when your guide will pick you up in Kusadasi and head off towards Pamukkale in a comfortable air-conditioned coach. The drive will take about 2 hours and 40 minutes. Upon arrival, you will learn the history of this fascinating ancient city, which has long since become famous for its thermal hot water springs and spas. Follow your guide on a journey through the city's most important historic sights and landmarks. The hot springs here in Pamukkale are said to cure many sicknesses, and people have been coming to the region for centuries in order to take curative baths. As you experience these soothing hot springs for yourself, take in the amazing natural beauty of the surrounding rock formations, an impressive sight in itself. These wonderful views and lovely scenery, combined with the healing powers of the water, will create an experience you are not likely to forget. After a day of relaxation on Pamukkale, your guide will take you back to your hotel.

From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

9. From Izmir: Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Explore the most iconic archaeological sites in Turkey on a private day trip. Learn about the history of Aphrodisias and Hierapolis from an expert guide. Enjoy the natural hot springs and unique landscape at Pamukkale. Meet your guide and drive to Aphrodisias, one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey, dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. See the now well-preserved and partially restored Temple of Aphrodite and imagine its ancient splendor. At Aphrodisias, explore other sites like ruins of a large theatre, a stadium, and an on-site museum displaying artifacts. Next, be whisked away to the fascinating site of Pamukkale. Considered to be the earliest spa on earth with the water of the hot springs carrying healing powers, Pamukkale is a UNESCO world heritage site. See the cotton-colored White Travertines formed by warm spring water. Visit the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis where you can see the Necropolis, Roman Bath, St. Philipe Martyrum, and Apollo Temple. Take a dip in the Sacred Pool with shallow thermal waters rippling over Roman ruins. Take photos from the nicest corners of Pamukkale. Stop at a traditional Turkish restaurant for a complimentary lunch.

From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

10. From Kusadasi: Ephesus and Pamukkale 2 Day Private Tour

This 2-day tour will take you to 2 ancient cities and beautiful natural sites. Here's what you'll do across both days. First Day: Ephesus Meet your guide and drive to Ephesus, one of the most well-preserved Greco-Roman ancient cities in the world. You'll see the amphitheater, ancient temples, Roman baths, agora, and even an ancient library. The area also holds religious significance, serving as a pilgrimage center for Christians. After touring the ancient city, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, see local artisans at work on handmade carpets and rug art.  Second Day: Pamukkale Meet your guide and take a 3-hour drive (with a break) to the Pamukkale area. When you arrive, you'll enjoy a local lunch. Then, visit the ancient city and its white terraces to explore for a few hours. The travertine terraces at Pamukkale are one of the most spectacular natural wonders, with various mineral springs set along a vast white cliffside. Walk along the Hierapolis ancient city ruins, see the huge necropolis, and feel the warmth of the natural spring as you go barefoot on the Travertens. If you want, you can also swim in the ancient pool (not included). The pool is naturally heated from the hot springs and spotted with underwater fragments of ancient marble columns. Possibly associated with the Temple of Apollo, the pool provides today's visitors a rare opportunity to swim with antiquities!

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What people are saying about Southeastern Anatolia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 45 reviews

Great experience! Best way to spend one day in Kappadochia and get most of it - plenty of information about the visited areas and touristic activities from our guide Ali, good vibes and pleasant group dinamic, gorgeous landscapes, enought time to both explore each touristic attraction and enjoy delicious lunch without beeing in a rush. We've enjoyed every moment!

This private tour was excellent as it allowed us to visit 2 significant sites in one day. Our guide Ozlem was knowledegable and flexible. We were met door to door by driver and tour guides. I would highly recommend this if you do not have a lot of time in Turkey and yet would like to visit outside of Istanbul to see this amazing country

100% recommended to get to know the Capadocia highlights. Zeki instructed us wisely about every place and organized the itinerary in a way we could avoid peak times at key locations

Very polite guidance and detailed commentary It was a very good tour! HASAN, thank you so much for talking so much that your throat hurts! take care

The tour guide was pleasant and knowledgeable. It was right mix of guiding us and then allowing us to explore by ourselves.