Explore Turkey’s Mediterranean delights on an active tour

Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep into the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, cycling breathtaking Mediterranean coastlines, hiking the Lycian Way and kayaking over sunken cities. Take up the challenge and be amazed by all that this active travel adventure has to offer.


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Antalya, Turkey
Country
Turkey
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
ERXT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets

  • Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli, a moving and educational experience regardless of your age or background

  • Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive

  • Cycle along the shores of Lake Gokova, get down and dirty in the thermal mud baths, take a refreshing lake swim, and enjoy a boat trip to Caunos by the Daylan Channels – all in one day

  • A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean

  • Antalya is one of Turkey's true coastal jewels, and you'll stay in what is arguably its most charming neighbourhood, the old town of Kaleici

Is this trip right for you?

  • Though you don’t need to be an athlete by any means, you do need to have a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this trip. Most activities are moderate, slow paced. Hiking activities range from 3km to 14km in a day, and they can be uphill and in full sun. The cycling activity is 32km and basic mountain biking skills are required. The kayaking is approximately 2.5 hours of paddling (12km), with no previous experience required.

  • Hiking in the Gallipoli Battlefields can be windy and temperatures can get quite cool; a wind proof jacket is required in April and October.

  • Most travel is on public buses. The aim behind this is two-fold: to give you a taste of local life and a chance to interact with the local community, and to minimise the carbon footprint. In fact, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!

  • You will need to carry your own bags to and from hotels, bus stops and train stations. So it's a good idea to travel light if you can.

  • There is a homestay on Day 8 in a local village. This cabin accommodation is comfortable and clean but basic with share bathroom facilities. There is a pool to cool off and the view of butterfly valley is breathtaking. This is an authentic local experience and a way to experience Turkish hospitality at its best.

  • Where possible, we have tried to plan the hiking and cycling to mornings and afternoons, but please be aware it can get hot in the summer months.

  • You will need to pack good walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack. Don’t forget a jacket and swimming gear.

Itinerary

Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Aya Sofia Museum - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY45
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy free time in the morning to further explore Istanbul. After lunch it's time to head towards Gallipoli, with a bus ride to Canakkale (approximately 5 hours). You will travel past fields of sunflowers and the glorious Sea of Marmara. Spend the evening in Eceabat, perhaps with a fresh fish dinner by the sea.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast this morning you will cross the Dardanelles and arrive at the battlefields of Gallipoli. Make sure you have packed some water and are wearing long pants, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Visit all the major sites on the peninsula as you hike your way up to Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand memorial. You will walk in the trenches, visit cemeteries and sit down to a picnic lunch at Lone Pine, the Australian memorial. This will be a day of mixed feelings, as the raw beauty of this environment lies in contrast with the sobering history of the Great War. Head back to Eceabat as the day draws to a close.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gallipoli - Guided visit of Gallipoli Peninsula
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today we travel by bus to Selcuk (approximately 7.5 hours). This town is steeped in many Turkish traditions and has an air of the 'real' Turkey about it. Explore Ayasoluk Hill and its many historical buildings, such as Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this Wonder of the Ancient World is a pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved ruins of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering Library of Celsus. Learn more about its 1,500-year history and how sophisticated it was for its time. When it's over, you will return to Selcuk on foot.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Seluck - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY25
  • Selcuk - Hamam - TRY50
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart mid-morning for the scenic town of Akyaka (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy some free time on arrival as you prepare for an adventurous day tomorrow. You might like to go for a swim or take a boat tour to the lovely Istuzu Beach, a major breeding ground for loggerhead turtles.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is full of fun activities. Cycle through olive groves and along the shore of the bay of Gokova; visit a hot spring and take a moment to relax before boarding a ferry with the option to visit the Lycian ruins of Kaunos. Lunch is also included today. After a big day of exploring, head back into the town of Akyaka
Bike ride distance is appx 30km's
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Dalyan - Biking Excursion
Optional Activities
  • Kaunos - Lycian Ruins - TRY12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel to Fethiye by public bus (approximately 1.5 hours). Spend some time exploring this friendly town and its Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, beautiful coastline and renowned market. An excellent optional day trip is to hike the Kayakoy–Oludeniz walking trail, a 3-hour trip with a cool 'blue lagoon' you can take a dip in.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
  • Fethiye - Half Day Boat Cruise - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadağ looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozağaç and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lycian Way - Faralya to Kabak Guided Hike
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Fethiye Museum - TRY5
  • Saklikent National Park - Saklikent Gorge - TRY20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Hike to Kabak for some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire Lycian Way (3 hours, 8 km). Enjoy some lunch and perhaps take a swim at Kabak, which is more like a small nature resort than a village. Then head back Fethiye to collect your bags and take a local bus to Kas (approximately 3 hours). Walk the cobbled streets here and enjoy the charming scenes of whitewashed walls. The best swimming spots are accessible via the waterfront restaurants, where the price of an occasional drink gets you a deck chair, umbrella and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take to the water today as you head down the coast to Ucagiz and board a sea kayak, your vehicle for exploring the Byzantine Sunken City (you will paddle for around 2.5 hours or 12 km. No previous experience is required). Drift about the many islands and coves, soaking up the ambience of a village that has thankfully been placed off-limits to developers. Lunch is included today.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kas - Sea Kayaking Sunken City of Kekova
Optional Activities
  • Kas - Handicraft market - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by public bus to the jewel of the Turkish Mediterranean, Antalya (approximately 4 hours). Though it's not a particularly small town, it will feel like a charming little village where you're staying – a family-owned hotel in Kaleici, the old city of cobbled streets and alleys. In the afternoon, take a short trip in a van (38 km) to the ancient city of Termessos, the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, and the one with the highest altitude: 1,000 metres. Spend a few hours exploring the Agora, the theatre and the temples here before returning to Antalya for one last seaside dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Termessos - Archaeological site visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private Bus, Public Bus

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Pension (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Gallipoli - Guided visit of Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Seluck - Orientation Walk
  • Dalyan - Biking Excursion
  • Lycian Way - Faralya to Kabak Guided Hike
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
  • Kas - Sea Kayaking Sunken City of Kekova
  • Termessos - Archaeological site visit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip starts on Day 1 in Istanbul at 1pm.
2. An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information. Please note: single supplement rooms are smaller than double or twin rooms.

Essential trip information

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