The most exciting way to explore a destination is through a road trip. You can stop anywhere and enjoy the landscapes on the road between the two places of the planned itinerary.
Turkey is the ideal country for such a trip. It offers a variety of relief, cultures, traditions, and views that will cut your breath away.
With mountain peaks of over 3000 meters, big lakes, limestone terraces filled with emerald-shaded waters, fairies chimneys in the charming Cappadocia, and cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, Turkey has everything you can wish for.
You need at least a month to travel from North to South and East to West. So my road trip applies to those who want to see only a significant part of this beautiful country.
Fourteen days full of adrenaline, joy, unique places to see, and things to know about Turkey.
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Map of the best Turkey Itinerary:
14 Day Turkey itinerary
14-Day Turkey itinerary – Day 1: ISTANBUL
I recommend starting your 2 week Turkey itinerary with at least one day in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the most diverse in all respects.
Take advantage of the fact that Turkish Airlines fly to Turkey from almost all over the world and start your Turkish adventure in the only city in the world situated on two continents.
Stay in Sultanahmet if you want to be closer to the history of the former Constantinople or in Taksim if you are more attracted to the bustle and fun.
You must start your first day with a strong coffee at the traditional restaurant Hafiz Mustafa.
For a boost of energy, enjoy some baklava, a pudding, lokum (Turkish delight), and some halva, revani or kunefe.
The choice is yours. Further, explore the streets, which are full of charm and authenticity.
Colors, joy, hookahs, friendly cats, hanging plants, souvenirs, palm trees, curious eyes, trams, hurried drivers, ambulant sellers, and flavors.
Check out these fantastic tours in Istanbul ⇓
That’s what you will find on Istanbul’s narrow and tilted streets. Also, on the first day of your 14 day Turkey itinerary, you should go to Sultanahmet Square, the place with the most visited mosques.
Relax and admire the remaining monuments as proof of the glorious past.
In the evening, don’t miss the chance to admire Istanbul from above. The sunsets and the Bosphorus are more beautiful, seen from a rooftop bar. Fortunately, you have plenty of choices.
There are dozens of such restaurants in the city, and you must choose the table with the best view.
If you want to save some money, then you should buy this Istanbul Welcome Card, which gives you access to many museums in the city without waiting in line and also includes public transport.
⇒ Also, read 21 Best things to do in Istanbul.
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 2: ISTANBUL
Istanbul has some of the most beautiful and famous mosques in the world. The longest queues are at the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, the former Christian cathedral.
No, I’m not trying to advise you to give up on visiting them for this reason, but on the contrary.
Although you must be patient, these 2 mosques cannot be missing from your 14 Day Turkey itinerary. You can visit both on tour with a local guide for a better experience.
Patience is the key to being able to visit the spectacular interior of both.
Across the street from Hagia Sophia, underground, you will discover Cistern Basilica, another attraction you shouldn’t miss.
The tank was used to supply the Imperial Palace and several surrounding buildings with water, and it looks stunning.
As you are already in the area on the same day, you should go to Gulhane Park.
Besides being Istanbul’s oldest park, it is also an excellent opportunity to escape the crowds and retreat to a much quieter and greener place.
You can’t visit the metropolis of Turkey and not enjoy the delicacies in the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar.
Fortunately, they are located next to each other, and you can easily explore them on the same day.
⇒ Find all: hotels in Istanbul.
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 3: ISTANBUL
I wanted to see a miniature Turkey on the third day of my Turkey itinerary. The perfect place to do this is Miniaturk Park, a miniature park.
134 miniatures, to be more specific. They are all related to the country’s history and are all made at a 1:25 scale.
The details are amazingly well done, and they correspond exactly to reality.
It is a great way to carefully study the architecture of the country’s most important monuments and buildings.
Here you will even find even a mini Ataturk Airport and a mini-stadium.
You will spend some hours in the park, so for the rest of the day you can choose to relax somewhere on a terrace or in the Galata Tower.
Check out these amazing tours in Istanbul ⇓
2 week Turkey itinerary – Day 4: ISTANBUL
You can’t leave Istanbul until you have admired it from a different perspective. The Bosphorus.
Whether you choose a sunset cruise with dinner included or take the ferry to the Princes Islands or the Asian side, you must ride on the Bosphorus waves. This is one of the best-rated tours of Princes Island.
The next on the list is the Ortakoy Mosque. Although its interior is splendid, I don’t recommend visiting it on the inside, but rather admiring it from the outside.
From my perspective, the Ortakoy Mosque is the most Instagrammable place in Istanbul, especially as the background stands at the Bosphorus Bridge.
On the same bank of the Bosphorus, 2 km to the left, is Dolmabahce Palace, the most beautiful building in Istanbul, in my opinion.
⇒ Book your Dolmahahce Palace tour
Don’t settle only to admire the tall, white, well-decorated fences, but visit the inside as well. You will discover some exquisite rooms.
Later, go to Istanbul’s Times Square, Taksim. Busy Istiklal street, the famous red tram, the great shops, the chic cafes, and the street shows will fascinate you.
Best Hotels in Istanbul:
- budget: Taksim Terrace Hotel – located in the heart of the city and with a sensational panorama of the Bosphorus, room service, delicious breakfast
- mid-range: Saba Sultan Hotel–located in the mosque area, beautiful view, rooms with unique design, free parking, delicious breakfast
- luxury: Hotel Arcadia Blue Istanbul–situated in the mosque area, splendid view, ultra-modern rooms, bar, wifi, room service, restaurant
2 week Turkey itinerary – Day 5: from ISTANBUL to CAPPADOCIA
Distance: 8 hours by car
Day 5 of your 14 Day Turkey itinerary includes a road trip of at least 8 hours from Istanbul to Cappadocia.
There are not many stops to make, but you will cross Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and you will reach Lake Tuz, one of the largest salt lakes in the world.
It is so salty that the water was utterly absorbed in the area where we stopped, and we could only see the salt. As evidence, check the picture below.
You will arrive in Cappadocia very late in the evening, so there is only time for dinner and checking in to the hotel.
Cappadocia has plenty of gorgeous hotels with authentic décor styles.
I stayed at the Sofa Hotel and probably would still stay there next time as well.
READ MORE: 12 Most Beautiful places to visit in Turkey
2 week Turkey itinerary – Day 6: CAPPADOCIA
As I told you in the article about the hot air balloon, I recommend choosing this activity on your first day of staying in Cappadocia.
That’s because it might be canceled if the weather conditions are bad.
Therefore, you need time to postpone. There is a lot to say about the ride, but I have already done it in a previous article so I won’t insist.
If you are decided to take this tour, here is one of the best-rated ones.
The flight ends before lunchtime. So you have enough time to explore the city of Goreme and discover many other Cappadocia areas. You can do this on your own or on an organized tour.
Optionally, I suggest you visit Avanos, the neighboring city famous for handmade ceramic products.
Hotels in Cappadocia:
- budget: Adelya Cave Hotel – free parking, free wifi, delicious breakfast
- mid-range: Design Cappadocia Hotel – Free wifi, free parking, delicious breakfast, good location
- luxury: Museum Hotel – pool, spa, bar, fabulous breakfast
Check out these amazing tours in Cappadocia ⇓
2 weeks Turkey itinerary – Day 7: from CAPPADOCIA to PAMUKKALE
Distance: 8 hours by car
During the morning, you can still spend hours discovering these fairy-tale realms’ beauties. Until your next visit, you will miss them for sure.
For example, you can make a stop on your way to Pamukkale, at Uchisar, and from the Salkim Tepesi viewpoint.
The road to Pamukkale does not have many places to stop.
However, if you want to take a little break, Lake Edrigil can be an excellent option. Eight hours of continuous driving are not very light, so a little rest is welcome.
Hotels in Pamukkale:
- budget: Sunrise Aya Hotel– swimming pool, room service, free parking, bar, superb breakfast
- mid-range: Venus Suite Hotel – pool, room service, restaurant, fabulous breakfast
- luxury: Doğa Thermal Health & Spa –2 swimming pools, restaurant, fitness center, spa, delicious breakfast, bar
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 8: PAMUKKALE and from PAMUKKALE to ANTALYA
Pamukkale means cotton castle, a metaphor very suitable to describe the extraordinary appearance of the travertines.
What are they? Some limestone terraces formed natural thermal pools.
Due to the immaculate white, you will initially feel that it is ice or salt. It is a unique place in the world but very visited.
The queue can be extremely long, especially in the hot season, so I recommend getting here early in the morning.
There is not much to see in Pamukkale except for the limestone terraces, Cleopatra’s pool, and the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis.
For this reason, you can visit everything in the first part of the day, then head to the following destination: Antalya, especially since the distance is not very big.
Distance: 3 hours by car
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 9: ANTALYA
Antalya is reasonably considered to be the capital of the Turkish Riviera.
Therefore, it is time to combine fun with relaxation during the two days you are here. Neither are the landscapes to be ignored.
In the background of the Mediterranean Sea, the Taurus Mountains create a gorgeous picture, perfect for admiring when you relax on the beach.
On the first day, go and explore the streets of the old town, Kaleiçi, where you can also see the ruins of Emperor Hadrian’s gate.
Walk inside Karaalioglu Park, play with dozens of kittens living there, and descend into the harbor.
A bohemian and very colorful place where you can have your lunch.
Given that you are in Turkey, one of the countries with the most varied range of sweets, don’t miss a visit to the bazaar.
You don’t need to buy anything because the vendors here are more friendly and generous than anywhere else in Turkey and will serve you pieces of Turkish delights for free. Of course, they were supplemented by cold mango tea.
Best tours in Antalya:
- Old City, Duden Waterfalls & Cable Car Tour
- Olympos Cable Car Ticket
- Perge, Side, Aspendos & Waterfalls Guided Tour
- Full Day Scuba Diving Tour with Lunch
- Suluada Bays Boat Trip with Lunch
- Fire of Anatolia Dance Show
⇒ Find all: hotels in Antalya.
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 10: ANTALYA
Antalya has it all, so you can’t miss the waterfalls. River Duden is generous and offers us two waterfalls, a mere 17 kilometers long. Upper Duden Falls and Lower Duden Falls.
One is located in a park in northern Antalya, and the other has a direct fall into the Mediterranean Sea. Both are spectacular.
For the second part of the day, I have two recommendations to make.
Relaxation at the beach, whether you choose Lara, the finer sand, whether you prefer Konyaaltı, the spectacular scenery, or a ride with the Tünektepe Teleferic at an altitude of 605 meters above Antalya.
For just 15 Turkish lire, you get an amazing 360-degree view.
Hotels in Antalya:
- budget: ATICI HOTEL – free Wifi, free parking, bar, delicious breakfast
- mid-range: Atalante Hotel – 2 swimming pools, access to the beach, free Wifi, free parking, excellent breakfast, access to the beach
- luxury: Lara Barut Collection – 3 swimming pools, spa, fitness center, beach access, bar, superb breakfast
2 weeks road trip in Turkey – Day 11 – From ANTALYA to BODRUM
Distance: 5 hours 30 min by car
The most beautiful and busy day of the 14 day Turkish itinerary was the road trip from Antalya to Bodrum.
The route is full of surprises and more and more beautiful discoveries. The first stop was in the town of Kaş, the charming seafront town.
What conquered me? The narrow and cobbled streets, flowers set in cute little pots, kittens waiting to be cuddled, arches of vineyards that seem to invite you into a magical world, colorful doors and windows, smiling people, and the continuous holiday atmosphere.
The next stop, just 30 minutes from Kaş, is Kaputas beach, a paradise place.
The location between two cliffs and the water in the gorgeous turquoise shades can not leave you indifferent.
Park the car along the road, lower the wooden stairs to the beach, and enjoy at least two hours, probably the most beautiful beach in Turkey.
Approximately 50 minutes further north, you will reach the Saklikent National Park, a true hidden gem, literally and figuratively.
Although you will not have much time to enjoy it, it is worth venturing through the 300-meter High Gorge.
Space is so narrow that you will feel as if you are suffocating. It is also worth mentioning that you will have to cross the Xanthos River’s ice-cold water to reach the Canyon.
Floating terraces are decorated with traditional Turkish pillows at the entrance—the ideal place to relax with a hookah.
I feel I did not have enough time to fully enjoy all these stops between Antalya and Bodrum. So if you add an extra day to the 2-week Turkey itinerary, it would be perfect.
2 weeks Turkey road trip – Day 12: BODRUM
Bodrum looks much like Santorini, the Greek island with white houses perched on the rocky cliffs. Because that’s exactly how it looks if you replace the rocks with hills.
It is a spectacular city, both during the day and after the darkness.
The day is ideal for excursions on the coast to explore the old center, port and souvenir shops, or the nearby Greek islands.
In the evening, the resort is changed completely. The fun is in full swing, and the music echoes from all corners.
Nearby is the village of Gumusluk, with the most picturesque restaurants I have seen. You can cross the water on foot to get to Rabbit Island.
Just as the name calls it, the island is populated with cute rabbits.
⇒ Book your boat tour with lunch in Bodrum
Hotels in Bodrum:
- budget: Bodrum Sade Pension– beach access, fabulous breakfast
- mid-range: The Marmara Bodrum – Adult Only – swimming pool, spa, wellness center, private beach
- luxury: Root Redrock Yalıkavak – 2 swimming pools, spa, fitness, beach access, bar, private beach
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 13: from BODRUM to ISTANBUL
Distance: 9 hours by car
The distance between Bodrum and Istanbul is so big, especially if you drive by car, so you do not have much time to stop anywhere.
However, if you want to include a top resort in the itinerary, you can add Kusadasi.
In translation, the island of birds, Kusadasi, is a vibrant city located on the Aegean Sea, with stretched beaches and palm trees.
14 Day Turkey itinerary – Day 14: back to ISTANBUL
The last day in Istanbul is a perfect opportunity to taste the city’s flavor at a much slower pace.
Since your Turkey road trip is about to end, you can now relax and enjoy more.
My suggestions include a quiet walk along the Bosphorus, a quick snack under the Galata Bridge made up of the famous sandwich with fish, and a place decorated in a traditional style where you can smoke a hookah. Unless you have other plans.
When to visit Turkey – The best time to visit Turkey
Since it’s a vast country, about 3 times bigger than Romania, the climate differs slightly from region to region, so it’s hard to tell the best time to visit Turkey.
If you follow precisely this 14 day Turkey itinerary, the most acceptable months in terms of temperatures are May – June and September – October.
But also the summer months are a good option if you do not mind the excessive heat and the big wave of tourists.
Therefore, the best time to visit Turkey, I think, is the end of Spring beginning of Autumn.
How much it costs to make a Turkey road trip?
Turkey is not a very expensive country since the Turkish lira has dropped quite a bit. Prices are acceptable in terms of food, accommodation, and transportation.
Renting the car for a 14 Day Turkey itinerary costs around 400 Euros, and the fuel revolves around the sum of 6.5 Turkish lire (≅ 1 €). A 3-star hotel night stay starts at 40 € with breakfast, and a meal in town can vary enormously, depending on where you choose to eat.
Is it safe to travel to Turkey?
Turkey is a safe country in general; you have little reason to be afraid. Especially the cities and tourist places are safe, considering that the locals are used to tourists.
Of course, you must be as careful as you would be in any other unfamiliar area. But there are no reasons for concern.
I recommend you use known platforms when you want to order a taxi or book a hotel room or a tour. I have the utmost confidence in Booking and GetYourGuide, and I recommend them every time.