28 days in Turkey & Iraq Itinerary

28 days in Turkey & Iraq Itinerary

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Route & dates

28 days in Turkey & Iraq Itinerary

Start: Baghdad, Iraq
Fly:  6 h 45 min
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 6 nights
Fly + Train:  3 h 45 min
2
Selcuk, Turkey
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
3
Pamukkale, Turkey
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5 h 30 min
4
Goreme, Turkey
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 15 min
5
Guzelyurt, Turkey
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  16 h 45 min
6
Karbala, Iraq
— 4 nights
Drive:  2 h
End: Baghdad, Iraq


Learn more about your trip

6
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
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.
Istanbul is known for museums, historic sites, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get engrossed in the history at Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), take in the spiritual surroundings of Suleymaniye Cami , admire the landmark architecture of Basilica Cistern, and admire the masterpieces at Kariye Museum (The Chora Church).

To see reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Istanbul online route planner.

Baghdad, Iraq to Istanbul is an approximately 7- hour flight. While traveling from Baghdad, expect much colder days and about the same nights in Istanbul, ranging from highs of 14°C to lows of 14°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Selcuk.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Mar 1 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hagia Sophia Museum ©
Hagia Sophia Museum
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

5
nights
Selcuk, Turkey

Selcuk ©
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
Selcuk is known for historic sites, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Ancient City of Ephesus, see the interesting displays at Maket Koy, get engrossed in the history at Selcuk Efes Kent Bellegi-History Museum, and step into the grandiose world of Keci Kalesi.

For more things to do, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, read Selcuk trip planner.

Getting from Istanbul to Selcuk by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Istanbul in March: highs in Selcuk hover around 19°C, while lows dip to 5°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can go by car to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Mar 7 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus
TCDD Tren Muzesi ©
TCDD Tren Muzesi
Meryemana (The Virgin Mary's House) ©

3
nights
Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale ©
A popular spa since the second century BCE, the modern city of Pamukkale continues to draw worldwide attention with its hot springs and travertines--naturally formed calcite bathing pools.
Pamukkale is known for nature, historic sites, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Pamukkale Thermal Pools, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, stroll around Bagbasi Mesire Yeri, and Head underground at Kaklik Cave.

To find ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Pamukkale trip planner.

Traveling by car from Selcuk to Pamukkale takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Goreme.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Denizli
Find places to stay Mar 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Hierapolis ©
Hierapolis
Pamukkale Thermal Pools ©
Pamukkale Thermal Pools
Balloon Rides

5
nights
Goreme, Turkey

Goreme ©
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.
When in Goreme, make a side trip to see Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri in Derinkuyu, approximately Derinkuyu away. There's lots more to do: enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, take in the spiritual surroundings of Gore Harabeleri, stop by Alaturca Taner, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Goreme National Park.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Goreme driving holiday planning tool.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Pamukkale to Goreme in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 16°C in March, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to drive to Guzelyurt.

Things to do in Goreme

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Uchisar, Ortahisar Abdioglu Camii, Bezirhane Pottery, Keslik Monastery, Derinkuyu Yeralti Sehri
Find places to stay Mar 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Goreme National Park ©
Goreme National Park
Balloon Rides
Alaturca Taner ©
Alaturca Taner

3
nights
Guzelyurt, Turkey

Guzelyurt ©
Step out of Guzelyurt with an excursion to Kayaardi Baglari in Nigde--about 1h 10 min away.

For maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Guzelyurt trip builder website.

Drive from Goreme to Guzelyurt in 1.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to travel to Karbala.

Things to do in Guzelyurt

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Kayaardi Baglari
Find places to stay Mar 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Guzelyurt Valley Monastery ©
Guzelyurt Valley Monastery
Kilise Camii ©
Kilise Camii
Selime Monastery ©
Selime Monastery

4
nights
Karbala, Iraq

Karbala ©
Karbala is a city in central Iraq, located about 100km southwest of Baghdad, and a few miles east of Lake Milh. Change things up with these side-trips from Karbala: Kufa (Al Sahlah Great Mosque, Great Mosque of Kufa, &more), Najaf (Wadi Al-Salaam Cemetery & Shrine Amir al-mo'menin Ali bin Abi Talib peace be upon him) and Babylon (in Al Hillah). It doesn't end there: take in the spiritual surroundings of Imam Hussain's Shrine and make a trip to Shrine of the two sons of Muslim Ibn Aqeel.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Karbala road trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Guzelyurt to Karbala. In March, daily temperatures in Karbala can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride back home.

Things to do in Karbala

Historic Sites

Side Trips

Kufa, Najaf, Babylon
Find places to stay Mar 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Imam Hussain's Shrine ©
Imam Hussain's Shrine
Babylon ©
Babylon
Great Mosque of Kufa ©
Great Mosque of Kufa

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