7 Days in Turkey — 5 Top Itinerary Ideas

By Carper | Updated Nov. 16, 2023

Turkey is a medium-sized country boasting an abundance of tourism resources.

Generally speaking, 7 days are not enough to explore Turkey and experience its top attractions. However, with a well-planned itinerary, you could make the most of your time in Turkey and discover the best destinations for you.

Read on for some itinerary ideas to inspire your trip.

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Itinerary List

Itinerary 1: 7-Day Leisurely Vacation Tour in Turkey

Woman traveler on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, TurkeyTaking photos on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey

As 7 days are not enough to explore all of Turkey, we recommend focusing on specific regions to gain a deeper experience.

This itinerary concentrates on Istanbul and Cappadocia to let you enjoy the best they offer without feeling rushed. We would ensure an excellent vacation experience with a time-smart plan and our professional local tour guides.

Below is the itinerary breakdown:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul (free day for jet lag acclimation)
  • Day 2: Istanbul old city tour (the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and a sunset cruise across the Bosphorus Strait)
  • Day 3: Istanbul food tour (the Grand Bazaar, food tasting, and attending a cooking class)
  • Day 4: Istanbul new city tour, then fly to Nevsehir, Cappadocia (the Bosphorus Bridge, Dolmabahce Palace, Istiklal Avenue, and admiring the sunset from the Galata Tower)
  • Days 5–7: Cappadocia, then fly back to Istanbul for your departure (a hot-air balloon ride, an ATV wilderness tour, Derinkuyu underground city, Goreme Open-Air Museum, and a traditional hammam Turkish bathing experience)

Upon arrival in Istanbul, the first day is dedicated to recovering from jet lag. You would spend the next 3 days in Istanbul taking in historical sites, delicious cuisines, and modern wonders.

You could fully appreciate the blend of Eurasian culture and the modern significance of the city, with its rich heritage shaped by multiple empires. From the spectacular Hagia Sophia Mosque to the world-famous Bosphorus Bridge, there is something fascinating for everyone.

After spending 4 days in Istanbul, you would fly to Nevsehir in Cappadocia and then transfer to your cozy cave hotel in Goreme as a base for the next 3 days.

You would witness a stunning sunset in Cappadocia during a hot-air balloon ride and learn about local cave dwellers' intriguing stories in Derinkuyu underground city.

For a unique and authentic experience, we would arrange a traditional Turkish bath, known as a hammam, to help you relax and rejuvenate. Indulge in an oil massage and foam bath, allowing your skin to be refreshed after days of outdoor exploration.

Our private tours are fully customizable. Please let us know your specific interests and we would personalize a private tour just for you.

Itinerary 2: 7-Day Small Circuit of Turkey

The largest city in Turkey, IstanbulThe largest city in Turkey, Istanbul

To leave out some of the popular experiences and savor more historical and natural highlights in Turkey, with this itinerary we would make the most of your time and enable you to enjoy as much sightseeing as possible.

Instead of a day of food adventure in Istanbul and a day of outdoor hiking in Cappadocia in Itinerary 1, this itinerary extends to Ephesus and Pamukkale to add more historical sites and natural wonders, including the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which is perfect if you want to check a bucket-list item off your trip.

Below is the itinerary breakdown:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
  • Days 2–3: Istanbul tours (the Hagia Sophia Mosque, the Bosphorus Bridge, and a sunset Bosphorus cruise)
  • Days 4–5: Cappadocia outdoor sightseeing (a hot-air balloon ride, Goreme tours, and a traditional Turkish bath)
  • Day 6: Fly to Izmir (a day trip to Ephesus for the most well-preserved Roman ruins of the Mediterranean coast)
  • Day 7: Transfer to Pamukkale, then fly to Istanbul for departure (natural hot springs, travertine terraces, the ruins of Hierapolis, and Cleopatra's Pool)

You would start your trip in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, for city tours exploring both historical heritages and modern wonders, including the Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge.

Over the next 2 days, you would fly to Cappadocia to experience its unique landscape and stunning scenery. Embark on a hot-air balloon ride to gain a bird's-eye view, explore the underground city to learn about its unique historical stories, and stay in a cave hotel for an exotic experience.

Then you would transfer to Izmir to visit the ancient city of Ephesus, stroll around the ancient Roman city that has lasted for thousands of years, and listen to the moving legends buried behind the ruins.

Finish your trip in Pamukkale, which is renowned for its white travertine terraces with azure hot spring water. You could walk on the terraces barefoot and soothe them in the pool to experience Mother Nature, or even swim in it if you want.

Insider tips: To create unforgettable memories in Pamukkale, don't miss the great photo angle from the uppermost of the travertines. While most people flock to the thermal pools and only see a sea of people, you could stroll along the boardwalk and enjoy the stunning panoramic view of Pamukkale.

Itinerary 3: 7-Day Turkey Beach Vacation for a Family with Kids

Happy kids looking at turquoise sea water at Kaputas beach, Antalya, TurkeyKids looking at turquoise sea water at Kaputas Beach, Antalya, Turkey

Most families' travel time is relatively limited, usually between June and August, which is summer in Turkey.

Since it may be a bit hot to visit inland areas at this time at 32°C (90°F), we recommend spending an unforgettable vacation in the famous seaside resort of Antalya on the Turquoise Coast. It is a perfect place to relax for families with kids.

Below is the itinerary breakdown:

  • Days 1–3: Istanbul (a city that was the capital of many empires)
  • Days 4–5: Fly to Cappadocia (an area with unique volcanic features)
  • Days 6–7: Transfer to Antalya, then fly to Istanbul for departure (enjoy leisurely days with beach activities or a day trip to the Duden Waterfalls and a city tour in the Kaleici district)

This itinerary is more casual and contains more activities for the whole family. You could enjoy some free days with your family or inform us to add some day trips for you.

For instance, we could arrange a private Bosphorus cruise and a private hot-air balloon ride that ensures quality time with your family. You could also opt to attend a pottery class in Cappadocia or go horseback riding in Antalya to strengthen family bonds.

If you want to visit Turkey leisurely, 7 days may feel a bit rushed, especially if you're traveling with kids. To fully enjoy this style of trip, we suggest planning for at least 10 days. This would allow you to explore Turkey at a more relaxed pace.

Contact us and we would personalize a hassle-free private itinerary tour for you.

Itinerary 4: 7-Day History Tour of Turkey

Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara,TurkeyKocatepe Mosque in Ankara, Turkey

Accompanied by your professional and knowledgeable local guide, this 7-day itinerary would take you to explore northwest Turkey and witness the changes that multiple civilizations and times have brought to Turkey. This would be perfect for those who are more interested in culture and history.

Below is the itinerary breakdown:

  • Days 1–3: Istanbul (city tours for historical heritages and modern sites)
  • Days 4–5: Bursa (Uludag National Park, the Green Mosque, and take a day trip to Canakkale for Troy and Gallipoli)
  • Day 6: Izmir (a day trip to Ephesus for the Roman ruins)
  • Day 7: Ankara, then fly to Istanbul for your departure (Ankara Citadel — The Hisar, the Temple of Augustus and Rome, and Anitkabir)

Deviating from other itineraries, you would go to Bursa after Istanbul, which was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and is now famous as a skiing resort. See wildlife in Uludag National Park, appreciate the Green Mosque built in the Seljuk style, and enjoy a thermal bath at night if you want.

Then, you would take a day trip to Canakkale to enrich your historical experience. Visit the ancient city of Troy to see the Trojan horse model used in the movie, turn to the Gallipoli Peninsula to visit the battlefield sites of World War I, and reflect on the pain that the war brought to the local people.

After immersing yourself in Ephesus — the ancient city of Roman ruins, you would conclude your trip in Ankara, which is the capital city of Turkey. Visit the Temple of Augustus and Rome — the local symbol of the ancient Roman Empire, learn about the revolutionary history of Turkey from the Anitkabir Museum, and view the panorama of the whole city from the top of the Ankara Citadel (Hisar).

If the above itinerary does not meet your requirements, you could contact us for a personalized private tour, ensuring a hassle-free trip that suits you.

Itinerary 5: 7-Day Turkey Eastern Black Sea Exploration

Mountain houses in Ayder Plateau, Rize, TurkeyMountain houses in Ayder Plateau, Rize, Turkey

If you have already visited popular areas like Cappadocia and Ephesus and are seeking a more unique experience for your next trip, consider exploring the off-the-beaten-path route of the Black Sea region in northern Turkey.

Below is the itinerary breakdown:

  • Days 1–3: Istanbul (city tours for historical heritages and modern sites)
  • Days 4–5: Trabzon (Sumela Monastery, the Pontic Mountains, Uzungol Lake, and savor some Turkish tea)
  • Days 6–7: Rize (the Ayder Plateau, Gelin Tulu Waterfall, natural thermal springs, and taste some Ayder honey)

After your sightseeing in Istanbul, you would transfer to Trabzon to begin your journey in the Black Sea region.

There, you could visit Sumela Monastery, a history-filled site dating back to the 4th century. Hiking across the Pontic Mountains would reward you with breathtaking views, and don't miss the opportunity to marvel at the hidden Uzungol Lake nestled in the Pontic Alps.

During your trip to the Ayder Plateau, enjoy a short break on the road where we would arrange a Turkish tea-tasting experience especially for you. In the tea garden, witness the process of growing and roasting the famous Turkish tea. If the season is right, you may even have the chance to pick tea leaves yourself and bring them back as a unique souvenir.

Make the most of your time by exploring the stunning Ayder Plateau at your own pace. Engage in conversations with local villagers dressed in traditional attire, take a dip in the soothing thermal spring, and see the amazing waterfalls streaming down from cliffs towering hundreds of meters high. The beauty of the natural scenery is truly captivating.

If you are interested in this itinerary, reach out to us now to customize it according to your personal preferences and travel desires. We would tailor it perfectly to ensure a wonderfully fulfilling journey for you.

Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries

7-Day Turkey Classical Wonders Tour (Istanbul–Ephesus) 13-Day Natural Highlights of Turkey 10-Day Turkey Honeymoon Tour (Istanbul to Cappadocia) 16-Day Turkey Great Circle Tour

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