11 days in Turkey & Egypt Itinerary

11 days in Turkey & Egypt Itinerary

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1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 2 nights
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2
Goreme, Turkey
— 2 nights
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3
Cairo, Egypt
— 3 nights
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4
Luxor, Egypt
— 3 nights
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S M T W T F S
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2
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Tue): admire the landmark architecture of Dolmabahce Palace and then hunt for treasures at Kapali Carsi. On the 20th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get engrossed in the history at Galata Tower.

For where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Istanbul attractions planning site.

New York City, USA to Istanbul is an approximately 15-hour flight. Traveling from New York City to Istanbul, you'll lose 8 hours due to the time zone difference. While traveling from New York City, expect a bit warmer days and much warmer nights in Istanbul, ranging from highs of 48°F to lows of 48°F. On the 20th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Shopping · Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:

2
nights
Goreme, Turkey

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 21st (Thu): appreciate the views at Gulludere Vadisi, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Goreme National Park, then see Off-Road Tours, and finally stop by Turquoise Rugs & Bags. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: learn about winemaking at Turasan Sarapcilik, soar above the sights with a balloon tour, and then contemplate the long history of Goreme Open-Air Museum.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Goreme itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Istanbul, expect slightly colder days and much colder nights in Goreme, ranging from highs of 41°F to lows of 25°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) early enough to travel to Cairo.

Things to do in Goreme

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 20 — 22:

3
nights
Cairo, Egypt

City of a Thousand Minarets

More than 20 million people call Cairo their home and, as soon as you set foot in the sprawling metropolis, it's evident they make it crowded and chaotic, but also exuberant and charming.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sat): appreciate the history behind Great Sphinx. Here are some ideas for day two: browse the exhibits of Oum El Dounia Gallery, explore the ancient world of Pyramids of Giza, stop by Fair Trade Egypt, then explore the activities along Nile River, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Mosque of Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbay.

For more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Cairo attractions website.

Getting from Goreme to Cairo by flight takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Goreme to Cairo. Traveling from Goreme in January, things will get much hotter in Cairo: highs are around 65°F and lows about 50°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can travel to Luxor.

Things to do in Cairo

Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 22 — 25:

3
nights
Luxor, Egypt

A monumental number of archaeological relics from ancient Egypt remain evident in Luxor, the former capital of the New Kingdom.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Nile River Cruise. There's lots more to do: stroll the grounds of Valley of the Kings, don't miss a visit to Deir el-Shelwit Temple, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Medinet Habu, and pause for some photo ops at Luxor Temple.

To see where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Luxor road trip planning app.

Getting from Cairo to Luxor by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. When traveling from Cairo in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Luxor, with highs around 72°F, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 45°F. You'll have a few hours on the 28th (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Luxor

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 28:

Turkey travel guide

4.5
Architectural Buildings · History Museums · Sacred & Religious Sites
Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you'll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation's most precious heritages. Adventure-seekers have plenty do to here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. A holiday to Turkey is incomplete without a cup of Turkish coffee, the pinnacle of Turkish cuisine inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Cappadocia travel guide

4.7
History Museums · Historic Walking Areas · Geologic Formations
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.

Egypt travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Scuba & Snorkeling · Monuments
Gift of the Nile
The land of pharaohs, pyramids, sphinxes, and papyrus, Egypt needs little by way of introduction. Visitors find more than a textbook readout of ancient history when visiting the country--the power, scale, art, and mysticism of its centuries-old culture bleed out from each landmark attraction and seep into the everyday life. Bustling markets, the slow-flowing Nile, the vast desert, and inspiring archeological sites often sit right alongside palaces of great excess and historical importance. All ensure you have plenty to see and do during your vacation in Egypt. In the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011, travel to certain areas where conflict and terrorism are deemed likely remains inadvisable for foreign visitors.