Uncover Turkish mysteries from iconic Istanbul to ancient Ephesus

Explore the mysterious land of the Ottomans Intrepid-style. Marvel at Mehmet Aga's masterpiece, the Blue Mosque, and bargain for trinkets in Istanbul's massive Grand Bazaar. Try delicious Turkish snacks, be mesmerised by the Whirling Dervishes and discover the underwater treasures of the Mediterranean on a relaxing boat cruise. From the laneways of ancient Ephesus to the bizarre landscapes of Cappadocia - take the plunge and discover a unique travel adventure waiting for you in Turkey.

Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Countries
Turkey
Themes
Explorer
Code
ERSI
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
289kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Discover lesser known sights on an Istanbul city walking tour
  • Visit Konya, home to the mesmerising Whirling Dervishes
  • Explore the ruins of Ephesus
  • Soak away worries in the Hierapolis hot springs
  • Taste traditional Turkish fruit wines
  • Admire the travertine pools of Pamukkale
  • Trek along part of the Lycian Way
  • Sail over a sunken city on Turkey's Mediterranean coast
  • Enjoy a home-cooked meal with a Cappadocian family
  • Travel across the Turkish plains to the Anatolian Steppe

Itinerary

Kickstart the adventure by checking out some lesser-known sights of Istanbul city on an orientation walk. In free time, why not drop by the famed Topkapi Palace, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts or head underground to see the eerie Basilica Cistern.
Depart Istanbul and travel to Bursa. Relax in a traditional Turkish bath, stop by a local teahouse, nosh on a hearty iskender - the local style of kebab - or explore the bazaar in this former capital of the Ottoman Empire. In the evening, visit a Dervish lodge and be treated to a mesmerising sema performance.
Allow history to come alive while strolling through ancient Ephesus, the former capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. Learn how to make delicious gozleme and taste aromatic fruit wine in Sirince. In free time, perhaps take a walk through the Ephesus Museum to uncover myths of the Roman Empire or take a look inside the Basilica of St John.
See the fascinating, chalky terraces of Pamukkale and take the opportunity to bathe in the healing thermal waters of the nearby hot springs. While here, maybe delve further into local history with a vist to the Hierapolis Museum.
Discover ghost houses or play backgammon and sip tea with the locals in Kayakoy. Set out on a half-day trek along the rugged coastline of the Lycian Way, and cool off with a dip in the beautiful Oludeniz lagoon.
Travel to Kas and cast away on a cruise along Turkey's Mediterranean coastline, which boasts shimmering crystal waters, an ancient sunken city and mysterious Lycian tombs. Drift off to sleep under a blanket of stars. Back on dry land, spend time appreciating the distinctively Mediterranean feel of Kas.
Move away from the coastline and travel to the plains of the Anatolian Steppe. Stop to take a walk through a unique Cappadocian valley. Then, arrive in Konya, a city intimately connected with the Whirling Dervish sect of Islam and boasting a large student population. Learn more about the Dervishes on an optional visit to Mevlana Museum or get lost amid the commotion of the local bazaar.
Be astounded by the quirky rock formations of Cappadocia, which jut from the ground like mushroom-shaped fairy houses. Why not take in this surreal landscape from a unique vantage point - floating over the region in a hot air balloon - or head below into one of Goreme’s underground cities. Afterwards, be treated to warm Turkish hospitality while breaking bread with a local family in their home.
Travel by bus to Ankara.
Arrive back to Istanbul where the call to prayer echoes over the cobbled streets. Perhaps visit a traditional hamam, be wowed by the intricate detail of the Blue Mosque or take a boat cruise on the mighty Bosphorus.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport
Bus, Dolmus, Ferry, Gulet, Private Bus, Taxi
Accommodation
Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (11 nights), Overnight boat (1 night)
Included activites
  • Bursa - Dervish Lodge Visit
  • Goreme - Home-cooked dinner
  • Goreme - Valley walk
  • Kayakoy - Ghost Village
  • Kayakoy - Lycian Hike
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Archaeological site
  • Selcuk - Gozleme making demonstration and lunch
  • Selcuk - Sirince visit & fruit wine tasting

Dates

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Notes

A single supplement is available on this trip.

This itinerary operates on a seasonal Itinerary. See Trips notes for further information.

On the final day, this trip finishes at the Büyük Otogar (big bus station). We recommend not booking flights any earlier than 7:00pm to allow for any delays, time to transfer to the airport, and check in time required at the airport.

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Best of Turkey trips score an average of 4.95 out of 5 based on 58 reviews in the last year.

Best of Turkey , April 2015

Best of Turkey , April 2015