9 days in Istanbul, Cappadocia & Rize Itinerary

9 days in Istanbul, Cappadocia & Rize Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Turkey itinerary planner

Make it your trip
— 2 nights
Goreme, Cappadocia
— 2 nights
Drive to Kayseri Erkilet Airport, Fly to Trabzon International Airport, Drive to Rize
— 4 nights
Drive to Trabzon International Airport, Fly to Dubai



— 2 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Rahmi M. Koc Museum and Halic. Do your shopping at Kapali Carsi and Forum Istanbul Alisveris Merkezi. There's much more to do: admire the striking features of Hagia Sophia Mosque, take in the spiritual surroundings of The Ecumenical Patriarchate, take a stroll through Bebek, and contemplate the long history of Galata Tower.

For maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Istanbul road trip planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Istanbul is an approximately 8-hour flight. Traveling from Dubai to Istanbul, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Dubai in December: high temperatures in Istanbul hover around 7°C and lows are around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:

Goreme, Cappadocia

— 2 nights
Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): explore the striking landscape of Goreme National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Mon): enjoy unforgettable views with Royal Balloon and then stop by Dowry Carpet Capadocia.

To see more things to do, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Goreme tour itinerary builder app.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Istanbul in December, plan for a bit cooler nights in Goreme, with lows around -3°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) so you can travel to Rize.

Things to do in Goreme

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:


— 4 nights
Rize is the capital city of Rize Province in the eastern part of the Black Sea Region of Turkey.NameThe name comes from Greek (riza) or Ριζαίον (Rizaion), meaning "mountain slopes". You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Lazika Cay and Ataturk House & Ethnography Museum. Visiting Gito YaylasI and Kackar Daglari Milli Parki will get you outdoors.

For maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Rize trip itinerary builder app.

Explore your travel options from Goreme to Rize with the Route module. In December, Rize is a bit warmer than Goreme - with highs of 14°C and lows of 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Rize

Nature · Parks · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:

Cappadocia travel guide

History Museums · Geologic Formations · National Parks
The region of Cappadocia reveals fascinating tales of civilizations long past with its honeycombed hills characterized by geological rarities, including two World Heritage Sites. Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and ignimbrite deposits from erupted volcanoes left soft rock formations scattered across the land, which were then carved out to create houses, churches, and monasteries in 300 CE. Explore these rock houses on your own or on a tour, or take in the topography from above on a hot air balloon ride. Complete your holiday with a hike along the trails and marvel at the dusky orange panorama and accordion-shaped valleys.