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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 $435 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.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 496 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • Service rating : Jayne was very quick to respond to our initial enquiries. Once we had booked, she was also extremely helpful with a few hiccups we had - we had difficulties with the online check-in for our outbound flights, which she resolved for us. Then our outbound flight (on a Saturday, outside the company's office hours) was hugely delayed, and the details for our Istanbul hotel stated that they didn't have 24 hour reception, so Jayne contacted them to let them know we were arriving late and rearranged the airport transfer. The whole trip was well organised and ran very smoothly.
    Product : Hotels extremely well chosen and located for families - we were travelling with our 12 year old son and 8 year old daughter. The Istanbul hotel was a few minutes walk from the Blue Mosque, and the Cappadocia cave hotel was just stunning. The guide and driver in Cappadocia were excellent and went out of their way to make our time in their region as enjoyable as possible. And the sights and scenery were just breathtaking.

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Istanbul & Cappadocia Family Holiday on 16 November 2018

  • On the first week the guides and staff were really flexible on times to transfer to and from Lopud which was really helpful. We were due to leave Dubrovnik on the 6 pm ferry on the Sunday but as it was so hot we decided to take the earlier ferry as suggested by the Adria rep.

    Accommodation in Dubrovnik was comfortable. We explored a little outside Dubrovnik city and wondered if it might have been nicer to stay nearer one of the little coves, five minutes from the city gates to get out the city.

    The sea kayaking week was excellent. Great guides and good trips. The accommodation was really comfortable - lovely family and the air condition was rather essential! I think we had booked a family trip but the guides asked if we would like to join a larger group which we did and this worked really well. Kayak trips were superb - about the right length and a good mix of destinations including the botanical gardens and lots of time to swim and snorkel. It was surprisingly manageable despite the heat. At the end we wished we had booked the 5 day tour. The farm evening meal was great fun.

    The two nights at Hotel More were a lovely bit of luxury. Really liked the hotel - quite small and slightly away from the main areas of activity in the bay. Again good advice on how to get around from staff.

    The second week with Huck Finn was also excellent. A good mix of activities - the rafting day in Bosnia was particularly good as we got to see a different country - quite a contrast with Croatia. Guides were again really good - very well informed and all trips were well organised. All transfers good. We had breakfast and evening meals with a local family which were lovely - lots of traditional cooking and they catered really well for different dietary requirements. The accommodation was rather more basic. We had two rooms on an upper floor with a shared bathroom so not our own space. It seemed that the accommodation varied quite a lot with others having small apartments with kitchens and fridges, which would have been helpful. Weather had cooled a little by then which was good as we would have had no means to cool the rooms down at night. Having said that our owner was a lovely lady - made us cakes and apple strudel when we came home at the end of the day.

    All in all an excellent trip!

    MissingDavid Withycombe reviewing Dubrovnik Kayaking Short Break on 25 August 2017

  • 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

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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 $661 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 $450 per person economy class from London

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