Arycanda

Arykanda Mount Nemrut Pamukkale Ephesus Sumela Monastery, Trabzon Sanliurfa Cappadocia Dalyan

Exploring Turkey by Car

Turkey

Our tailor-made itineraries are designed to offer complete independence but take care of all the planning and practical arrangements, leaving you the time and freedom to pursue your own particular interests. To the uninitiated, the idea of touring off the beaten track in Turkey may seem like a daring adventure, but as any regular visitor would attest, the Turkish people are extremely hospitable and take great pride and pleasure in helping visitors to discover the charms of their country. Touring the parts of Turkey that few tourists ever reach can be an immensely rewarding and stimulating experience, especially when you travel safe in the knowledge that your clean and comfortable accommodation has already been arranged for you at your next port of call. The hotels we have selected are chosen not for their star ratings (although some are in fact four-star), but for their situation, ambience, hospitality and service. Although most have restaurants on site, the arrangements are all on a bed & breakfast basis to give you complete flexibility.

We offer two distinct types of itinerary: Our "Ultimate Discoveries" cover the width and breadth of the country, utilising scheduled flights with connections via Istanbul to enable you to fly into the nearest airport both at the start and end of your holiday and thus avoiding driving unnecessary distances.

For those who wish to explore the treasures of south-west Turkey but prefer the convenience of direct flights, our "Essential Discoveries" are based around our regular Monday charter services to and from Dalaman. With ten different "Ultimate Discoveries" and ten "Essential Discoveries" to choose from, we believe we offer a comprehensive selection to cater for most tastes, from the curious first-time visitor to the most seasoned explorer. However, if you have particular interests that are not sufficiently addressed in any of our itineraries, please contact us and we can prepare a programme especially for you.

Ultimate Discoveries

Low-season prices apply for travel from 01 March to 24 June, and from 21 September to 31 October.
High-season prices apply for travel from 25 June to 20 September.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 1 - Istanbul and the Western Coast

14 nights (Istanbul 4, Canakkale 1, Candarli 2, Selcuk 2, Ortakent 2, Dalyan 3)
£1380 low season, £1465 high season
Airports: Istanbul / Dalaman

Spend the first few days in Istanbul in a quiet hotel in the heart of the old city from where you can explore Saint Sophia, the Topkapi Museum, Sultanahmet, the Kapali Carsi (grand bazaar), the underground cisterns and many more churches and museums on foot. On the fifth morning take the ferry across the Sea of Marmara to Bandirma where your car is delivered and then drive on to Canakkale where you overnight. The following morning drive via the Troad and Assos to the seaside town of Candarli. Continue down the coast and spend two nights in Selcuk (Ephesus). From here cross the wide Meander plain to Ortakent, another quiet coastal resort, visiting Priene, Miletus and the Oracle of Apollo en route. Spend the last three days at Dalyan enjoying the river, mud baths, rock tombs and beach.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 2 - The Turquoise Coast and Cappadocia

14 nights (Oludeniz 3, Kalkan 3, Egirdir 2, Konya 1, Cappadocia 5)
£1270 low season, £1355 high season
Airports: Dalaman / Kayseri

A popular itinerary giving a week on the coast and a week on the Anatolian plateau, starting with three nights in Oludeniz where you can relax by the sea or explore the many local Lycian sites. Travel eastwards along the coast and spend the next three nights in Kalkan, a picturesque little port within easy reach of Xanthos and Patara. Turn inland and spend two nights in the Turkish Lake District before continuing to Konya, the capital of the Selcuk Empire and the centre for the Mevlevi (whirling) Dervishes. From here you can explore Catalhoyuk, Kilystra, Lystra and Derbe. Spend the last five nights in the heart of Cappadocia exploring this unique area.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 3 - Central and Southern Turkey

14 nights (Ankara 1, Yozgat 2, Cappadocia 4, Konya 2, Silifke 4, Adana 1)
£1460 low season, £1560 high season
Airports: Ankara / Adana

Spend the first night in Ankara, the capital, and visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations before driving to Yozgat in the Camlik National Park where you spend the next two nights. From here you can visit the main sites of the Hittite kingdom, Hattusas, Yazilikaya and Alacahoyuk. Continue south to Cappadocia, staying at the delightful History Cave Hotel. Spend the time here exploring the cave dwellings, monastic settlements, the fantastic landscape and perhaps walk the valleys before continuing to Konya, home of the Dervishes, where you spend the next two nights. Here you can visit the local Selcuk buildings, Mevlana, Catalhoyuk and even Kilystra. Drive down to the south coast on a very scenic route via the Alahan Monastery and Mut to Silifke where you spend four nights in a four star hotel on its own beach and explore the early Christian coastal sites. Your last night is spent in Adana, Turkey's fourth largest city.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 4 - Coast to Coast - from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean

14 nights (Trabzon 2, Artvin 3, Erzurum 1, Malatya 1, Adiyaman 2, Urfa 2, Antakya 2, Adana 1)
£1535 low season, £1750 high season
Airports: Trabzon / Adana

The most interesting of routes covering over a thousand miles in fourteen days, only to be considered if you enjoy driving. The route starts at Trabzon and the Monastery of Sumela and continues to Artvin, the mythical site of the Garden of Eden. From here you drive through a mountainous landscape past old Georgian churches and rushing streams to Erzurum, one of the Selcuk Empire's capitals set on a plateau at 1800 metres. After one night here you continue via Erzincan with its waterfalls, lakes and fine Caravansaray and on to Malatya, most famous for its apricot orchards. Spend two nights in Adiyaman to visit the famous funerary monument of King Antiochus on Mount Nemrut. Continue via Urfa, ancient Edessa, to Antakya to visit the grotto church of St Peter and the Mosaics of Daphne. The final night is spent in Adana.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 5 - From Ankara to the Turquoise Coast via Cappadocia & Pamukkale

14 nights (Ankara 2, Yozgat 2, Aksaray 2, Egirdir 3, Pamukkale 2, Antalya 3)
£1550 low season, £1625 high season
Airports: Ankara / Antalya

Trace the various civilisations who settled on the Anatolian plateau over the last ten thousand years. The first two nights are spent in the capital, Ankara, where you can prepare for your journey and visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations before driving to Yozgat, the centre of the Hittite kingdom. Two nights are spent here in the National Park before moving on to Aksaray in Capadoccia where you spend a further two nights exploring the fabulous landscape and underground cities. From here you move on to Egirdir, the centre of the Turkish Lake District for a three night stay. The next stop is Pamukkale, famous for its fairytale chalky terraces and the remains of the ancient city of Hieropolis. After two nights here the final destination is Antalya where you spend the last three nights in a charmingly restored period hotel in the old port area and can relax by the sea or explore Termessos, Perge and Aspendos.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 6 - The Turquoise Coast

7 nights (Antalya 2, Kalkan 3, Dalyan 2) - £1115 low season, £1240 high season
or 14 nights (Antalya 3, Kalkan 3, Faralya 2, Fethiye 3, Dalyan 3) - £1550 low season, £1625 high season
Airports: Antalya / Dalaman

The ideal itinerary if you wish to stay by the sea yet have a change of surroundings and a wide choice of sites to visit. You start your tour in Antalya in a lovely period hotel in the old port area where you can investigate the sites and beaches of Pamphylia before continuing via Phaselis, Olympos, Limyra and Kekova to the attractive port of Kalkan. Here you stay in a comfortable hotel by the sea and can explore Patara, Xanthos and Letoon. For the seven night itinerary the final stop is Dalyan to enjoy the rock tombs, mud baths, ancient Caunos, the river delta and the amazing beach. Those staying for a further week climb up into the Cragus Mountains to stay at Faralya before driving down to the beachside village of Oludeniz, famous for its stunning lagoon, before continuing to their final stop at Dalyan.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 7 - From Van to Trabzon

14 nights (Van 3, Dogubeyazit 1, Kars 2, Artvin 3, Camlihemsin 3, Trabzon 2)
£1645 low season, £1865 high season
Airports: Van / Trabzon

An itinerary of great contrasts beginning in the Kingdom of Urartu and passing through the heart of Turkish Georgia to the Euxine coast. You will explore the shores of Turkey’s largest lake, pass through the foothills of Turkey’s highest mountain and sample Turkey’s most famous cheese. The first few nights are spent in Van where you can visit Akdamar Island and the sites along the lakeshore. The road north from Van takes you via Ishak Pasa Saray, the Taj Mahal of Turkey and skirts Mount Ararat before reaching Kars from where you can visit Ani. You explore the area around Artvin, considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden, and isolated 10th century Georgian churches in fantastic settings. After three days here you drive towards the Black Sea coast and spend a couple of nights in the Pontic Mountains before completing your journey in Trabzon to visit the Sumela Monastery.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 8 - Pamphylia and Cilicia

14 nights (Antalya 5, Anamur 2, Silifke 4, Antakya 2, Adana 1)
£1460 low season, £1615 high season
Airports: Antalya / Adana

An exploration of the southern Turkish coast and plains taking in classical sites, early Christian settlements, medieval castles and the Mosaics of Daphne. The first five nights are spent in Antalya in a period hotel in the old port from where you can visit Perge, Selge, Side and Aspendos, white water raft or just relax by the sea. You continue your exploration of the Pamphylian plains and stay in the small seaside settlement of Gazipasa. From here you continue along a stunning, winding and precipitous road, not for the fainthearted, to Silifke where you stay in a lovely hotel on its own beach and visit the many early Christian sites and shrines and the Maiden's castle. From here you journey to Antakya (ancient Antioch) with its famous mosaics depicting the Roman lifestyle and the Grotto Church of St Peter. Your journey through this rich historical pageant ends in Adana.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 9 - The Black Sea Coast

14 nights (Istanbul 2, Bolu-Abant 2, Sanfranbolu 1, Amasra/Bartin 1, Sinop 2, Rize/Yayla 2, Camlihemsin 3, Trabzon 1)
£1630 low season, £1760 high season
Airports: Istanbul / Trabzon

A chance to explore a cooler coastline and region less well-known by foreign visitors. Your journey starts at a beach resort near Istanbul before driving inland to the beautiful Lake Abant. From here it is a short drive to Safranbolu, 'the saffron city', with its beautiful wooden Ottoman buildings. You then rejoin the Black Sea at Amasra and continue to Samsun to visit Turkey's most important wetlands, the Kizilirmak Delta. East of here lies the teaplanting region and you spend two nights at Rize from where you can journey up to the Yayla (summer pasture) of Ikizdere. You now continue round the coast and climb inland again to the most beautiful of yaylas, Camlihemsin, where you can walk and relax for three days before journeying to Trabzon, a small Byzantium, the capital of the Comnene Dynasty is the last port of call.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 10 - Major sites at leisure

14 nights (Antalya 4, Pamukkale 3, Bodrum 3, Kusadasi 4)
£1940 low season, £2155 high season
Airports: Antalya / Izmir

An itinerary designed for those who wish to linger and enjoy the ambience staying in the best accommodation possible, rather than rush from site to site. You will stay in Antalya, Pamukkale, Bodrum and Kusadasi allowing you to visit the two major sites of Ephesus and Pamukkale as well as other classical sites such as Perge, Aprhodisias, Nysa, Didyma and Miletus. The four hotels are selected for their comfort, surroundings and service and we believe them to be the best a private traveller can stay in at the chosen locations.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 11 - Istanbul, Phyrgia, Pisidia and Lycia

10 nights (Istanbul 3, Eskisehir 1, Burdur 1, Faralya/Fethiye 5)
£1170 low season, £1255 high season
Airports: Istanbul / Dalaman

Spend the first few days in Istanbul in a quiet hotel in the heart of the old city from where you can explore Saint Sophia, the Topkapi Museum, Sultanahmet, the Kapali Carsi (grand bazaar), the underground cisterns and many more churches and museums on foot. On the fourth morning collect your hire car and drive to Eskisehir, where you overnight in a hotel in the old town. Drive through the ancient kingdom of Phyrgia, visiting the sites of Seyitgazi and Yazilikaya to Lake Burdur. From here, proceed via the ancient cities of Pisidia - Sagalassos, Kremna and Kybira, to Faralya near Fethiye, from where you can explore the sites of Lycia in between relaxing at the charming Mandarin Boutique Hotel.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 12 - Central Anatolia and the Turquoise Coast

14 nights (Istanbul 3, Izmir 1, Sivrihisar 1, Eskisehir 1, Burdur 1, Faralya/Fethiye 7)
£1460 low season, £1560 high season
Airports: Istanbul / Izmir / Dalaman

After 3 nights exploring the sights of Istanbul from your base in the heart of the old town, fly to Izmir and collect your hire car to visit Ephesus, staying at nearby Selcuk or in bustling Izmir itself. The next morning, head inland via Ardis and Aizanoi to Sivrihisar for your overnight stay. From here, proceed to Eskisehir, where you overnight in a hotel in the old town, and onwards to Lake Burdur, passing the sites of Seyitgazi and Yazilikaya in Phyrgia on the way. Visit the ancient sites of Sagalassos, Kremna and Kybira on your way to the Turquoise Coast, where you can spend a whole week relaxing in natural surroundings, or taking in some of the nearby Lycian sites.

Ultimate Discoveries Itinerary 13 - Romans, Greeks, Lydians, Phrygians, Pisidians, Carians and Lycians

14 nights (Istanbul 3, Canakkale 1, Dikili/Candarli 1, Selcuk 1, Pamukkale 1, Sivrihisar 1, Burdur 1, Faralya/Fethiye 5)
£1425 low season, £1515 high season
Airports: Istanbul / Dalaman

Follow in the footsteps of a whole host of civilisations, travelling through several of Asia Minor's ancient kingdoms. After 3 nights in Istanbul, take the ferry to Bandirma, collect your hire car and visit Canakkale/Ancient Troy. The following day continue south to Bergama and overnight in Dikili. From here proceed to Selcuk and visit Ephesus. The next day, continue to Pamukkale and Aphrodisias, then visit Aizanoi on your way to Sivrihisar. Visit the Phyrgian sites of Seyitgazi and Yazilikaya on your way to Lake Burdur, and the Pisidian sites of Sagalassos, Kremna and Kybira the following day en route to the Turquoise Coast. Your final 5 nights in Faralya can be spent unwinding or exploring the nearby Lycian sites.


Essential Discoveries

Low-season prices apply for travel from 28 April to 08 June, and from 22 September to 29 October.
High-season prices apply for travel from 09 June to 13 July, and from 25 August to 21 September.
Essential Discoveries are not available between 14 July and 24 August.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary N1/7

Dalyan (2 nights) - Ephesus (2 nights) - Pamukkale (1 night) - Faralya (2 nights)
£885 low season, £955 high season

Designed for those who only have a week to spare but want to take in their fair share of Western Turkey's most important attractions, this itinerary starts in the scenic riverside village of Dalyan, renowned for its impressive rock tombs, famous mud baths, the ancient site of Caunos and the protected beach of Iztuzu. From here, you progress via Pamukkale - the unique 'cotton castle' that has graced countless postcards and tourist board posters - to Ephesus, Turkey's most famous archaeological site and one of the most impressive in the whole of the Mediterranean. The final two nights near the stunningly situated resort of Oludeniz allow you to end your week on a relaxing note, enjoying the beach and the famous lagoon.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary N2/7

Ephesus/Selcuk (3 nights) - Dalyan (4 nights)
£865 low season, £910 high season

A relaxed itinerary for those who do not wish to change accommodation too often, but wish to have enough time to do Ephesus justice, as well as visiting some of the other nearby sites, such as the Basilica of St John, the House of the Virgin Mary, and the superbly preserved Greek village of Sirince. At Dalyan you can enjoy the river delta, the mud baths, the ancient site of Caunos, the famous rock tombs and the spectacular beach at Iztuzu.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S1/7

Faralya (2 nights) - Antalya (2 nights) - Kalkan (2 nights) - Dalyan (1 night)
£930 low season, £990 high season

Taking in the ancient kingdoms of Lycia and Pamphylia, this tour features spectacular coastal drives, an extraordinary wealth of archaeological sites and the opportunity to enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the cosmopolitan port of Antalya. From Faralya near Oludeniz, you can enjoy the stunning beach and lagoon (or get a bird's eye view of it by paragliding from nearby Mount Babadag!) and visit the hauntingly beautiful deserted Greek village of Kaya. Antalya is a fascinating town in its own right, as well as an excellent base for exploring Phaselis, Olympos, Side and Aspendos, and further archaeological sites - including Xanthos, Pinara and Letoon - can be reached from the picturesque harbour village of Kalkan, as can the splendid sandy beach of Patara. A night in the delightful riverside village of Dalyan with its famous rock tombs rounds off this itinerary.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S2/7

Kas (4 nights) - Dalyan (3 nights)
£940 low season, £1020 high season

This appealingly unhurried itinerary combines the pleasantly bustling coastal town of Kas with the beautifully situated riverside village of Dalyan. From Kas, you can visit such diverse attractions as the seemingly endless sandy beach of Patara with its partially excavated archaeological site, the Lycian excavations at Xanthos, Pinara and Letoon, the eternal flames of Chimaera and the Olympos coast, the sunken city of Kekova and the picturesque harbour village of Kalkan. Dalyan boasts a fabulous setting on the delta of the eponymous river, Lycian rock tombs, the ancient site of Kaunos and access to the vast beach at Iztuzu.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S3/7

Kalkan (4 nights) - Oludeniz (3 nights)
£865 low season, £925 high season

This itinerary allows you to discover the treasures of Lycia without having to change accommodation too often. The picturesque fishing village of Kalkan is well placed for exploring the many impressive and beautifully situated archaelogical sites of Central and Eastern Lycia, as well as visiting Kekova and Patara. Xanthos, Tlos and Letoon can easily be reached from either centre, whilst Faralya is also perfectly situated for visits to the lagoon at Oludeniz, the old ghost town of Kaya and the bustling market town of Fethiye.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary N1/14

Dalyan (2 nights) - Pamukkale (2 nights) - Bergama (2 nights) - Assos (2 nights) - Dikili (1 night) - Ephesus (2 nights) - Dalyan (3 nights)
£1170 low season, £1310 high season

For those with a serious interest in archaeology, this voyage along Turkey's west coast will be an immensely rewarding experience. After two nights in Dalyan, blessed with a gorgeous riverside setting, fascinating rock tombs, therapeutic mud baths and the atmospheric site of Caunos, you head north and inland to Pamukkale. From here, you continue to Bergama, site of the ancient city of Pergamon with its stunning acropolis, the imposing second-century Red Basilica and its quirky old quarter. Your next stop, Assos is a charmingly preserved village reputedly dating back to the 13th century BC and is ideally situated for visiting ancient Troy, immortalised in the writings of Homer. After a night in the seaside resort of Dikili, which gives you the chance to take a day's well-earned rest on the long sandy beach, you reach Ephesus, which requires no introduction. Then, it's back to Dalyan, to take in any attractions you missed out at the beginning of your trip, or simply to unwind and enjoy the splendid setting.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary N2/14

Faralya (4 nights) - Ephesus (2 nights) - Pamukkale (2 nights) - Dalyan (6 nights)
£1200 low season, £1320 high season

The two-week itinerary is designed for those who wish to explore the highlights of western Turkey at a fairly leisurely pace. The initial four nights near the beach resort of Oludeniz allow you to acclimatise, either relaxing on the beach or visiting the deserted Greek village of Kaya, the gorge at Saklikent and the bustling harbour of Fethiye. Two nights at Ephesus allow you to do this most impressive of ancient sites justice, whilst the same amount of time is allocated to one of Turkey's most photographed sights - Pamukkale. With six nights in Dalyan, you will have plenty of time to visit ancient Caunos, try out the mud baths, take a boat trip on the river delta to Iztuzu beach and simply relax by the pool whilst marvelling at the fascinating rock tombs.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S1/14

Faralya (2 nights) - Antalya (2 nights) - Cappadocia (3 nights) - Konya (1 night) - Lake District (2 nights) - Dalyan (4 nights)
£1290 low season, £1340 high season

A comprehensive itinerary for those not averse to driving long distances, covering both the charms of the Turquoise Coast and the wonders of the Anatolian Plateau. From Faralya, you can explore a range of Lycian sites, as well as Kaya and Fethiye, whilst the bustling and cosmopolitan port of Antalya allows you to discover the remnants of the Pamphylian kingdom. The highlight of this itinerary is a 3-night stay in the otherworldly, volcanic landscape of Cappadocia with its fairy chimneys, rock-cut churches and vast networks of underground dwellings. After a night in Konya - the capital of the Selcuk empire and the home of theWhirling Dervishes - and a couple of nights in the Turkish Lake District, you end your journey in Dalyan, where rock tombs, mud baths, a stunning river delta and the ancient site of Caunos await.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S2/14

Kas (3 nights) - Antalya (2 nights) - Lake District (2 nights) - Pamukkale (2 nights) - Ephesus (2 nights) - Dalyan (3 nights)
£1240 low season, £1290 high season

Covering two of Turkey's most important sights, as well as several lesser-known attractions, this circular itinerary explores both the coast and the inland regions of south-western Turkey. Starting in the bustling harbour town of Kas, which makes an excellent base from which to explore ancient Lycian sites such as Xanthos and Pinara as well as the sunken city of Kekova, the tour continues to the lively yet unmistakably Turkish port town of Antalya, taking in some of the most scenic coastal roads in the country. After visiting the Pamphylian sites around Antalya, head inland for a relaxing two-night stay in the Lake District, before proceeding to Pamukkale, famed for its unique travertine terraces. Your next stop, Ephesus, is one of the most important archaeological excavations in the whole of the Mediterranean, and the tour concludes with three nights in Dalyan, where you can visit ancient Caunos or simply relax on the splendid, protected beach of Iztuzu.

Essential Discoveries Itinerary S3/14

Kalkan (4 nights) - Faralya (3 nights) - Ephesus/Selcuk (3 nights) - Dalyan (4 nights)
£1250 low season, £1300 high season

This predominantly coastal journey covers the ancient kingdoms of Caria and Lycia at an appealingly leisurely pace. Four nights in Kalkan give you enough time to enjoy the delightful ambience of this pretty village and to relax on the nearby beach of Patara as well as to explore some of the many Lycian sites that lie close by. Further Lycian treasures can be visited from Faralya, or you may take the opportunity to swim in the lagoon at Oludeniz, paraglide from Mount Babadag or hunt for bargains in the market at Fethiye. Selcuk is ideally placed for visiting Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St John, whilst Dalyan, your final stop, never fails to enchant with its fabulous riverside setting, its atmospheric rock tombs and its proximity to one of Turkey's most glorious beaches.

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