Depart on an adventure through the magical landscapes of Turkey

Experience the stunning sights and tantalising tastes of Turkey on this two-week adventure that takes in all the highlights and then some. Become acquainted with illustrious Istanbul, behold landscapes like no other around Cappadocia, and sail the all-too-pretty islands off Kekova. Marvel at the ancient ruins of Ephesus, settle in for a spectacular soaking in Pamukkale’s thermal hot springs, and reflect on the tragedies and gallantries that took place along Gallipoli’s windswept peninsula. Brimming with history, bustling with progress and bursting with flavour, Turkey intrigues and delights at every turn of this perfectly paced small group adventure.


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Country
Turkey
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
ERKT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Feast your eyes on Turkey's most spectacular and surreal sights, from the 'Cotton Castle' of Pamukkale to the psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia

  • Enjoy a local lunch while sailing the Kekova islands. Spot underwater cities from above, then spend the afternoon snorkelling

  • Your exploration of Derinkuyu is a walking tour with a twist. This astounding ancient city extends some 60 metres underground

  • Forget about Greece or Italy – bliss out on the beaches of Fethiye. Here are some of the bluest waters you will find

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

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip covers a lot in two weeks, so there are some long travel days (especially Day 6 and Day 13). All travel is in comfortable air-conditioned private and public buses; stops are frequent and the scenery is superb. We believe this is the best way to really see a country like Turkey and experience the diverse landscapes.

  • Much of the travel is on public buses, which not only minimises the carbon footprint, but also provides opportunities to interact with the locals. You will be pleasantly surprised that most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!

  • You will need sturdy walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen and a day pack to explore some of the historical sites. All site tours are guided but you can wander at your own pace if your prefer.

  • Anzac Cove can get quite cool in the months of April and October. Bring a wind-proof jacket if you can.

  • The weather can be warmer in July and August, but this is the best time to enjoy the clear waters of the Mediterranean, and our activities will be timed to miss the heat of the day.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Turkey. This adventures kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. If arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST) you will be met and transferred to your hotel. If arriving at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) airport please make your own way to the hotel (unless you have booked a transfer). You have the whole day free to explore the capital until a Welcome Meeting at 6pm – make sure you have all your important documents and details for your leader. Double check with the hotel reception or the noticeboard for meeting confirmations. Until then, maybe get out and explore the frenetic streets of Turkey's crown-jewel metropolis. After the meeting, maybe gather together your new friends and seek out some Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. For Monday departures we recommend you visit the magnificent opulence of Topkapi Palace on Day 1 as it is closed on Tuesday.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise, Istanbul (Public) - TRY25
  • Galata Tower - TRY18
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY65
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Kick off your adventure with a leisurely walk this morning to discover some of the hidden charms of Istanbul. You'll visit the 17th-century Blue Mosque and learn more about its one-of-a-kind architecture, with its six minarets and 20,000 dazzling handmade Iznik tiles. A visit to the ancient Hippodrome, with its intriguing monuments the Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II, is also included. At around 11am you'll take a private minivan to the beautiful rural town of Beypazari. Around 100 kilometres from Ankara, Beypazari is a small city with a village feel that reflects the beauty of the Turkish Culture with its historical houses out of Seljuks and Ottoman times. You'll spend the night here in Beypazari.

Notes: Total driving time today is approximately 5.5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Istanbul - City Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend your morning visiting the Living Museum of Beypazari. The initiative of Sema Demir, a language teacher and academic on folk culture, this unique Museum has re-enactments that offer an interactive experience through the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Turkey. A pioneer in the country, the museum shows traditional life in the setting of authentic Turkish houses, built in the style of a century ago. Mid-morning, you'll depart for Cappadocia on a minibus (approximately 4 hours). You'll pass through Tuz Gölü, one of the richest salt lakes in the world and the source of over half of Turkey's total salt production. Stop to visit the 13th-century Agzikarahan Caravanserai, one of many centuries-old stone shelters built along the ancient trade routes to protect nomadic merchants. The town of Goreme lies in a fantastic region of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles. In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. End the day at your hotel in Goreme.

Notes: Remember to pack sturdy walking shoes or boots and a comfortable day pack today.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Whirling Dervishes - Sema Performance - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
If you're ready for an early start this morning, there is the option of a hot-air balloon ride over the strange and stunning landscapes of Cappadocia. Those preferring a more leisurely start to the day can relax into breakfast and then depart for the underground city of Derinkuyu, just a short trip away. Explore these ancient subterranean labyrinths and dwellings, some of them extending as deep as seven levels underground, with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. In the afternoon, discover the handicrafts of the area and visit a carpet workshop for an insight into one of Turkey's most revered traditions. In the evening you have the option of pampering yourself in a traditional Turkish bath.

Notes: The balloon trip can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Carpet shop visit & demonstration
  • Capadoccia - Valley Walk
  • Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City tour
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum
Optional Activities
  • Wine & Sunset Tour Cappadocia, Turkey - USD48
  • Hot Air Balloon, Cappadoccia (Exclusive Flight/ Standard) - EUR165
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll explore the Göreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex and Christian sancturary of carved houses, churches and monasteries. One of the earliest centres for religious education, there are at least 10 churches and chapels in the museum area, dating between AD900 and 1200, with each one named after a prominent attribute by the local villagers. Explore the many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. Enter the cave chapels and witness the exquisite colour of the biblical frescoes found within. Then, say goodbye to Cappadocia and travel by public bus across the Toros Mountain range to Konya, your stop for the night (approximately 4 hours). On arrival you'll take an orientation walk of the town, plus a guided tour of the Mevlana Museum for a fascinating insight into the history of Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes.

Notes: As Konya is quite a religious area, it is best to dress to dress conservatively here to show your respect.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after breakfast you'll drive to one of Turkey's true coastal gems, Antalya (approximately 5 hours), the jewel in the Turkish Mediterranean. It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina, and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. Your leader will introduce you to the delights of the old city with an orientation walk. Visit such sites as the clock tower, Hadrian’s gate and the old Roman Harbour. Kaleici – the old city area that’s now a historical zone and protected from modern development – is home to relics of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman occupation. Swim, relax and enjoy stellar views overlooking the crystal blue Mediterranean. Tonight, be sure to try Antalya’s signature dish, Piyaz, a zesty bean, vegetable and egg salad.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antalya - Orientation Walk
  • Antalya - Kaleici visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a guided tour of the Antalya Museum today. Its excellent collection is spread across 13 exhibition halls and an open-air gallery. The beautifully preserved statues in the Hall of Gods, Heracles now among them, are not to be missed. After lunch, continue to the lovely seaside village of Kas, which is pronounced 'karsh' (approximately 4 hours). Its whitewashed houses adorned with bougainvilleas, as well as an ancient Greek theatre, makes this place great for walking around and exploring. The best places in town to swim are from the waterfront restaurants that have their own private water access. For the price of an occasional drink, you get your own deck chair, umbrella and unbeatable views. When the sun goes down there is the chance to explore the handicraft markets, where you can find beautiful handmade wares with a distinctly Turkish flavour. Make sure you sample the delicious local cuisine in the fishing village.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Kekova this morning and board a local boat for a relaxing cruise through a series of peaceful and picturesque islands, all with distinctive rock formations. Keep your eyes peeled for a strange sight: ancient houses submerged in the clear water. You will enjoy a homemade Turkish meal onboard, cooked by our host family. Arrive at the settlement of Ucagiz and the quaint village of Simena, a township of stone houses drenched in colourful flowers. Also sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets, where there is the chance to take a refreshing dip just off the boat. Return to Kas for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Head to Kayakoy in the morning (approximately 2.5 hours). Walk around and take in its strange atmosphere, which owes to an interesting history. Kayakoy was once a ghost village, its ancient stone houses abandoned after their Greek inhabitants left Turkey during the great population exchange of the 1920s. Now protected by the Turkish government, it provides the opportunity to enjoy a quiet, traditional Turkish lifestyle. Open 24 hours, the ghost village has an entrance fee which helps towards the upkeep of the paths and rubbish clearance. One church in the lower area of the village, Kataponagia, is of particular interest due to an interesting room out the back – it was used to collect the bones of the dead. Wander the ruins, enjoy the solitude, or play backgammon and sip tea with the locals. Then continue to Fethiye, where you'll have plenty of time to soak up the picture-perfect views by the harbour and perhaps enjoy dinner by the waterfront.
Accommodation
  • Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kayakoy Ghost Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head to Pamukkale after breakfast (approximately 4.5 hours) and visit one of Turkey's most photographed sights. Pamukkale, which literally translates to “cotton castle”, is home to spectacular natural hot springs of high calcium bicarbonate content, which cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving bright white deposit terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes), and these pools are said to fix up any circulation and digestion problems. Take some time to visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be Celopatras’s old pool – the transparent water-filled pool, sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo, is stunning. You can also check out the other ruins of the city – Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, vast necropolis and strange tombs, and the amphitheatre shouldn’t be missed. After exploring these extensive ruins, you'll return to Pamukkale for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make an early start for your drive to Selçuk (approximately 4 hours), your base for visiting Ephesus. Selcuk itself is culturally rich and retains many Turkish traditions, and its relatively undisturbed nature means this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings – you’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built over the supposed burial site of the saint. Also just a short distance out of Selcuk is one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single column (of 127 originally) remains. The Temple of Artemis was unfortunately destroyed in AD 401, after being successively damaged by floods, a Greek arsonist seeking notoriety, and the Goths. You’ll arrive in Selcuk with enough time to check in to the guesthouse and then take a leader-led orientation walk of the town.
Accommodation
  • Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leader-led orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Isa Bey Camii - Free
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, visit the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus; one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world and Turkey's premier tourist site. Once the capital city of Roman Asia Minor, the city has a fascinating history, which really comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. Considering their age, the ruins are in incredible shape, and it’s not difficult to image them in their full glory 2,000 years ago. You will be awed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but it's perhaps the magnificent library that takes most people's breath away. Also not to be missed are the tomb of the Seven Sleepers, Marble Street, and the Church of the Virgin Mary. Later you will stop for lunch at a family-run restaurant, where you’ll feast on gozleme – the famous and very popular Turkish pancake – made fresh before your eyes.
Accommodation
  • Boutique Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Selcuk- Local Lunch taste of Gozleme
  • Ephesus- guided Archaeological site visit
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
  • Sirince - Wine Tasting - Free
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by public bus up to the waterside town of Çanakkale (approximately 5 hours). Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation of this exciting university city perched on the Dardanelles. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you please. You might like to see the Trojan horse used in the film Troy in 2004, which was later gifted to the city. The city has a great range of dining and nightlife option, or perhaps you'd like to simply take a stroll along the waterfront and sample some dondurma – Turkish ice-cream.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Cross the Dardanelles and return to 'Europe' today to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula, a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealanders. Turkey's most westerly point may feel serene despite its dark history as a major backdrop of the Great War. You'll visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill to pay homage at the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair memorials. From the Ataturk Memorial you can look down on the blue waters of the Dardenelles and see them in a more sombre light. You'll find the remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers around this area. After touring the former battlefields, head back to Istanbul where your journey began, arriving late afternoon or early evening. The night is yours to spend as you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gallipoli - guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast in Istanbul.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 2 lunches

Transport

Private Bus, boat, Public Bus

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Included Activities

  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Istanbul - City Tour
  • Goreme - Carpet shop visit & demonstration
  • Capadoccia - Valley Walk
  • Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City tour
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Antalya - Orientation Walk
  • Antalya - Kaleici visit
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
  • Kayakoy Ghost Village
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
  • Leader-led orientation walk
  • Selcuk- Local Lunch taste of Gozleme
  • Ephesus- guided Archaeological site visit
  • Gallipoli - guided visit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

A single supplement is available on this trip.

PLEASE NOTE: This Itinerary has been permanently changed, and will no longer visit Ankara.
Please trip notes for more details

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 Turkey Encompassed trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 29 reviews in the last year.

Turkey Encompassed, October 2016

Katherine Sheehan

Turkey Encompassed, October 2016

Jodie Walsh