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Istanbul & Cappadocia Family Holiday

Explore the blue mosque and cruise the Bosphorus in Istanbul, then trek among fairy chimneys, visit underground cities and marvel at mother nature in Cappadocia. A family holiday with hand-picked boutique accommodation and a perfect balance of culture and the great outdoors.

Tailor-made Classic 8 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $434 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview

A fantastic holiday to Turkey, visiting two of this vast country's highlights: the ancient Ottoman capital of Istanbul and the surreal, lunar-esqe landscape of Cappadocia. Beginning in Istanbul, you will have three nights to explore the city including must-do's such as the Aya Sofia, Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and an iconic boat trip on the Bosphorus. The city, whilst busy with tourists, is a captivating metropolis. Where else can you enjoy a drink in one continent with a view of another?

You will then transfer to Cappadocia, said by some to have been the inspiration for Tolkein's middle earth. In a landscape formed millennia ago by a super volcano, the area is now typified by bizarre rock formations and labyrinthine networks of cave houses and underground cities. You will be taken on two day hikes, the first exploring the hidden valleys of Cappadocia, walking through untouched farm land and sleepy Turkish villages. The second takes you through canyons and valleys where you can marvel at the rock formations up close and explore the many hidden churches and cave houses.

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE ISTANBUL & TRANSFER TO HOTEL
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Meals Included: None Included
Transport (where relevant): Airport Transfer

DAY 2: ISTANBUL
This morning, you will no doubt be raring to go, looking forward to a day of sightseeing ahead. We can arrange a guide for you, but Istanbul is very easy to navigate on foot and on the excellent tram system. We suggest you start your day with a visit to one of Istanbul's most iconic sights: the Blue Mosque. This mosque is still in use, so it will be closed during prayer times so check with your hotel Reception before you head out. Marvel at the incredible architecture of this beautiful building which seems to float above Istanbul. After visiting the Blue Mosque, you will want to see the Aya Sofia, built originally as a basilica and then converted to a mosque. After lunch, possibly in a cafe over-looking the Bosphorus, head to the eerie Basilica Cistern, an underground water cistern built in Byzantine times. In the afternoon, you might want to go on a Bosphorus cruise. There are several companies offering guided tours, but we suggest that you take the tram to the ferry terminal and go for a 2 1/2 hour cruise. If you have more time, you could spend the day hopping from port to port along the river, using local ferries.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 3: ISTANBUL
This morning we suggest that you get up early and go to the Topkapi Palace. The palace complex gets very busy during the day, so we suggest you go there first thing to avoid the worst of the crowds. Expect to spend a good few hours there, making sure that you visit the harem (you have to pay extra for entrance, but it is more than worth it.) After lunch, you might want to catch the tram to the Grand Bazaar, wander around the stalls and indulge in a spot of shopping.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included
Transport (where relevant):

DAY 4: TRANSFER TO CAPPADOCIA
Today you will transfer to the airport to catch your plane to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included
Transport (where relevant): Airport Transfer

DAY 5: TREK
This morning you will be picked up by your guide who will take you to an underground cave complex where you can see and explore the labyrinthine cave dwellings that were inhabited in the area by Christians to escape persecution. You will then be transferred to the rural village of Kavak. From here, you will walk through sleepy rural villages, far away from the bus loads of tourists. Passing through valleys with bizarre rock formations and deserted cave dwellings, you will get a real sense of rural life in Cappadocia. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in a sleepy town. You will finish your walk in Mustaphapasa, which until the population exchange in 1924, was a predominantly Greek town.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included

DAY 6: TREK
Today sees you walking close to the town of Goreme. You will walk in valleys, exploring cave churches and seeing fairy chimney rock formations up close. You will see pigeon lofts and get a real sense of the geography of the region. Today's walk is a circular, with a lunch stop en-route, so there is flexibility to lengthen / shorten the hike depending on how the children are faring and how hot it is.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included

DAY 7: DAY AT LEISURE
Today is a day at leisure. You might want to catch a taxi to Goreme to visit the open air museum, a monastery complex with some great examples of ancient churches and frescoes. Alternatively, you might want to do some more walking, there is a lovely trail that you can follow through pigeon valley which ends up at the Uchisar castle where you can have lunch before catching a taxi back to your accommodation.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included

DAY 8: DEPART
Today you will be picked up and transferred to the airport for your return journey home.
Meals Included: Breakfast only included
Transport (where relevant): Airport Transfer

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Sari Konak

Istanbul & Around

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- A Tourdust favourite
- Individually decorated rooms
- Family run hotel
- Roof terrace with views

Esbelli Evi

Cappadocia

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Exceptional cave hotel
- Simple, yet elegant furnishings
- Ideal boutique family option
- Extremely spacious suites

Details

Getting there

You will need to fly into Istanbul and then on to Kayseri or Nevashir. Please contact us for a flight quote

Price includes

The price quoted includes all accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, two guided day hikes and airport transfers. Flights can be quoted separately.

When is best?

This holiday is best enjoyed in the spring, summer or autumn. Spring and autumn temperatures are ideal for walking and sightseeing as there is little rain and the sun is not too fierce. In the summer months, it can get hot, so the walks may need to be adjusted for early morning departures to escape the heat of the sun.

Is it for me?

There is no minimum age limit for this holiday, although we have a recommended age of 7. This is because there is a reasonable amount of cultural activity involved in this trip which may be of less interest to younger children.

The walking in Cappadocia is moderate. The day walks take about 5 hours, but can easily be adjusted if the children find it too much.

Accommodation is in boutique, but family friendly hotels.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 602 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • My kayak tour with Tour dust is an experience I will treasure forever. I believe Johnny is exactly the type of guide everyone hopes for on a trip like this. Upbeat, funny, enthusiastic, and an incredible level of skill in this sport. I have been kayaking for many years, but, being over 60 years old now, I certainly appreciated knowing we were in such very, very capable hands.
    And the other people who took part in the trip? What a great bunch! It's hard to believe we were mostly complete strangers just one week ago. I will treasure those friendships forever as well.

    MissingStephen McGrill reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break on 06 October 2014

  • On our final night now in Dubrovnik sadly.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the first half Tourdust arranged with all the kayaking etc. our son was very sad to leave and preferred the earlier part of our trip to the second half chilling by the pool!

    Accommodation was 'ok', activities were just enough, some people couldn't keep up with the amount of kayaking but for us it was just the right amount. Johnny and Mattie were superb, they went out of their way to ensure everyone was happy all the time (I hope Tourdust look after them as they are a great asset to the company!!).

    They took us to some great restaurants, arranged all the transport and ensured everyone was safe during the activities.

    5 out of 5 to you guys, we hope to be back!!

    MissingRichard Jones reviewing Family Sea Kayaking Holiday in Dubrovnik on 22 August 2014

  • A few comments on our recent trip
    Organization Excellent including pick up and drop off
    Our guide Amir was friendly, spoke good English, and competent as our instructor / guide, he went out of his way to give us a good holiday.
    Accommodation , First island was fantastic with a friendly family, Breakfast was outstanding
    second island was good although the breakfast wasn't up to the standard if the first.
    Equipment was all of good quality and in good condition
    overall the holiday was relaxing , enjoyable with sufficient paddling for two experienced paddlers,
    the restaurants and bars produced food which was fresh, tasty and reasonably priced
    we would highly recommend the holiday to friends and family
    we will hopefully return again to do more in Croatia in the future

    MissingAndrew Adamson reviewing Croatia Island Hopping Holiday on 08 July 2014

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Combine three nights in Istanbul with our family activity holiday in picturesque south west Turkey.

Tailor-made Classic 11 days

Families from $640 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $435 per person economy class from London

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