Enjoy a gourmet adventure of Turkey from Istanbul to Bodrum, Selcuk and Goreme

Take a culinary journey through Turkey, a country steeped in history and tradition, where east meets west and the ancient bleeds into the modern day. Begin in astonishing Istanbul, eating meze in a traditional meyhane, being awed by the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque and exploring the well-trod passageways of the Grand Bazaar. Soak in seaside flavours in the slow food town of Akyaka, visit the impressive ruins of Ephesus near Selcuk and marvel at the astonishing underground cities of Cappadocia. Spend time with a local Goreme family and learn the secrets behind central Anatolian cuisine in a cooking class. Arrive back in Istanbul, where this adventure into Turkey’s sights, sounds and incredible cuisine comes to an end.

1,000 holidays, 120 countries 20% OFF everything

Get 20% OFF all trips when you travel before 31 March 2018. Hurry - offer only available until midnight on 25th September 2017.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Country
Turkey
Style
Original
Theme
Food
Code
ERZZ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Istanbul is brimming with delectable dishes, and the options can be dizzying. But your expert local guide will have you headed straight for the best spots

  • On no other Intrepid trip can you taste the tantalising flavours of Akyaka's Wednesday farmers' market, a true local gem in this tiny town dedicated to slow food

  • With hands-on cooking classes, you'll get up close and personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions, preparing specialties like manti and tatli

  • Experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality as a local family takes you into their beautiful home nestled in the hills of Ortahisar

  • Taste the renowned home cooking of Nuray and try your hand at Central Anatolian cuisine under her tutelage

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • The itinerary includes a long overnight train trip from Izmir to Konya. In your first-class cabin, however, the trip may not feel as long as twelve hours!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Turkey. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so when you explore the streets you'll see a great clash of east and west. A 'kebab crawl' kicks off your food adventure today. Learn to tell your shish from your iskender as you sample this signature Turkish dish in its many varieties. The perfect way to cap it off is with a baklava tasting.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Kebab Crawl
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Head to the celebrated Egyptian Spice Bazaar today. Meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and savour a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your walking tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Suleymaniye Mosque and the Hippodrome. The area around Eminonu boasts some delicious street food. Local favourites include barbecued corn, roasted kestane (chestnuts), and of course Turkish delight. Your walking tour concludes at the Kapali Carsi (Grand Bazaar). At this point you'll be able to take some time exploring the narrow alleyways and myriad shops as you please. As night falls, there are further options: share a home-cooked meal with a local family, take a street food crawl on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, or make a booking at one of the city's world-class restaurants. Your leader will have plenty of suggestions.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market and Street Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly from Istanbul to Dalaman (approximately 1 hour), then take a public shuttle to Akyaka via Gokava. The beautiful and tiny southern-Agean coastal town of Akyaka is part of the international citta-slow movement. Citta-slow towns follow the tenets of the slow food movement at a community and governmental level. They celebrate eco-gastronomy – reliance on locally-grown produce and a commitment to the preservation of regional culinary traditions. Akyaka is also the perfect place to unwind, as it's surrounded by lush forests and overlooked by Sakartepe Mountain, with the Azmak River running through the town. There are some great beaches nearby too. The best place to try the town's excellent seafood and vegetables is at one of the riverside restaurants, where you can sit at a wooden terrace overlooking the water.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Akyaka - Lokanta Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Take a tasting tour through Akyaka's Wednesday market. You'll meet the villagers who come into town each week to sell their wares. Sample local olive oil, spices and regionally grown fruit and vegetables. Sit down alongside local shoppers for a lunch of gozleme accompanied by ayran (a refreshing yoghurt drink). The afternoon is free for you to enjoy. Perhaps go kayaking along the river, hike up the nearby mountain, relax on a beach or check out the small township. There are a number of great cafes serving ev yemekleri (home-cooked cuisine).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Akyaka - Wednesday Market Tasting Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a public bus to Selcuk (approximately 3.5 hours). When you arrive, take the time to wander around this fascinating town. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Selcuk is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis (though sadly only a single pylon remains). This evening you will visit the Sirince, a local village steeped in Greek Ottoman tradition. It's a photographer's dream. Postwar settlers revived the town's wine industry, which makes use of local fruit. Enjoy a tasting and consider buying a bottle to take on a walk up a gentle slope through cobbled streets and alleys to an atmospheric garden cafe. Up here you'll see how manti (Turkish stuffed dumplings) are made. After trying your hand preparing them, enjoy a taste.
Included Activities
  • Selcuk - Manti Cooking Demonstration
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you'll visit Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites. Explore this beautifully preserved classical city with your local guide who will bring its colourful 1,500-year history to life. Watch in awe as the sophistication of this former metropolis reveals itself. It had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but the marvellous library might just be the highlight. Continue then to Izmir (approximately 1.5 hours). There will be time for dinner at a nice local restaurant before you board your overnight train to Konya. This will see you enter the Central Anatolian region of Turkey. The train has first-class cabins with twin beds, a fridge and a wash basin. All bedding is provided. The dining car is the perfect place for an evening raki (Turkey's anise-flavoured alcoholic drink) before you retire for the night.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive in Konya by early morning, then take a private transfer to Goreme (approximately 3 hours). This is your gateway to the fabled fairy-chimneys of Capadoccia. Perhaps stop for a mid-morning snack of Etliekmek, a larger local variation of the traditional Turkish lahmacun: flat bread baked with ground meat, tomato, peppers and onion. Stop in at Derinkuyu, the astounding old subterranean city that goes as deep as 60 metres underground. It used to have wine and oil presses, cellars, refectories, stables and chapels, not to mention some 20,000 residents. For lunch, hit a local pide saloon for Turkey's answer to the Italian pizza. Enjoy toppings like grilled lamb, black pepper, tender spinach, fresh egg and Turkey’s famed peynir cheese made from sheep’s milk. You may notice in Central Anatolian cuisine the tendency towards claypot cooking and the use of wheat. For the next two nights you'll stay in the village of Ortahisar. Here your host Nazim and his family will welcome you into their home, which is nestled in a beautiful valley and has been lovingly converted into a guesthouse.
Included Activities
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City
Meals Included
  • Lunch
For early birds, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape is a highly recommended experience. Please advise your leader if you wish to make a reservation. After breakfast, be welcomed into the home of a celebrated local cook. Nuray has won many awards for her regional cooking. Under her tutelage, learn to prepare some classic Central Anatolian dishes (the menu will depend on the season). Sit down and enjoy the results over lunch. Celebrate your final evening by visiting one of Capadoccia’s most famous wineries to learn about the region's 4,000-year-old wine industry. Afterwards, walk through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, enjoying a glass of the local wine. For dinner, perhaps try the local specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish.

Notes: Intrepid only recommends balloon rides by our experienced operators. The cost of the activity can vary depending on the type of flight chosen.
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Cooking Class & Lunch
  • Goreme - Sunset Wine Tasting in Cappadoccia Valley
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy some free time this morning for final explorations. Perhaps visit the excellent Goreme Open Air Museum or indulge in a Turkish hammam (bath). In the afternoon you will be introduced to one of the region’s most interesting desserts in a cooking demonstration. 'Aside' is a deliciously odd dough-like dish comprising grape syrup, flour and butter, typically topped with walnuts. Enjoy this final taste of Central Anatolia with a cup of rich Turkish coffee. Afterwards you'll be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Istanbul for your final night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Tatli (Dessert) demonstration & tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventure ends this morning and you are free to leave at anytime.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Dolmus, Train

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), Pension (3 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night), Overnight bus (1 night)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Kebab Crawl
  • Istanbul - Spice Market and Street Food Tour
  • Akyaka - Lokanta Dinner
  • Akyaka - Wednesday Market Tasting Tour
  • Selcuk - Manti Cooking Demonstration
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Goreme - Cooking Class & Lunch
  • Goreme - Sunset Wine Tasting in Cappadoccia Valley
  • Goreme - Tatli (Dessert) demonstration & tasting

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Real Food Adventure - Turkey trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Jump to a departure month
Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Important notes

ISTANBUL AIRPORTS:
If booking an airport arrival transfer please inform us at the time of booking which of Istanbul's two airports you will be arriving at. Sabiha Gokcen is on the Asian shore while Ataturk Airport is on the European side and much closer to our hotels.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
The price of the Single Supplement doesn't include the following nights where single supplement is not available.
Day 9: Overnight bus

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our Real Food Adventure - Turkey trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Real Food Adventure - Turkey , May 2017

Victor Luk

Real Food Adventure - Turkey , May 2017

Celina Luk