For all self-identifying women wanting to discover both the traditional and modern wonders of Turkey through the lives of the women who live here. From the ancient practices of an Ottoman-style hamam to the art of Turkish coffee fortune-telling and even a visit to a Syrian refugee social enterprise, you’ll meet many extraordinary local women and experience what life is like through their eyes.

 

Rebuilding Lives Together

 

Over 70 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict across the world; many are now seeking safety – and a life – in their new homes. In Turkey, the grassroots organisation Small Projects Istanbul (SPI) is helping refugee women do exactly that.

On the upper floors of a pale yellow building is a community centre lovingly named ‘The Olive Tree.’ Small Projects Istanbul offers this space for women to build valuable skills like like computer literacy, leadership development, retail and sales, learn a new language, and find a community based on empathy. The social enterprise began as a basic sewing and craft workshop; it’s now transformed into a diverse line of handmade clothing, accessories, and jewellery called Muhra that you will experience first-hand on this Expedition.

Read More about Small Projects Istanbul via The Intrepid Foundation

 

TRANSFORMATIONAL: Turkey Women's Expedition

DEPARTING SEPTEMBER 07 - 18, 2020 || Price from $1,695pp twin share for 12 days

Want your own room? Single supplement $455    Find out more

Welcome to Istanbul; the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. You will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Your welcome meeting will be at 6 pm today. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. After the welcome meeting we will head out for a group dinner. 

 

Private Arrival Transfer Included

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation The Haze Hotel or similar 

This morning head to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market, to meet a local spice merchant and learn about Turkey’s best spice blends. You’ll also get to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to a traditional Turkish Delight merchant. Next, you’ll visit the magnificent Ottoman-built Suleymaniye Cami (Suleymanie Mosque), which sits high above the natural harbour of the Golden Horn. From here you’ll explore the Grand Bazaar with some opportunities for shopping for local wares at this bustling hub. Then, you’ll jump on the tram and head to suburban Istanbul to meet a local mother and daughter in their home. Here you’ll sample some homemade borek for a light lunch, before the women teach you how to make the best cup of Turkish coffee. They’ll also demonstrate the traditionally female art of fortune-telling from coffee grounds, which is passed down between generations in Anatolian culture. The evil eye is a very common talisman in this part of the world used to protect us from the envy of others, but what happens if we did not have our evil eye? find out how we break these curses using the ancient process of Kursun. For generations, Turkish women have used this method to remove this bad luck from their homes and their families.

Included Activities

  • Spice Market
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Turkish Coffee Reading Nazar (Evil Eye)
  • Demonstration Tasting Turkish Borek (homemade)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation The Haze Hotel or similar

This morning it’s time to prove your hips don’t lie, with a female only class in the art of ciftetelli, Turkish belly dancing. Ciftetelli goes by many names but is a traditional part of Turkish weddings for both men and women.
After class, you’ll get a tram to an area of the city that has become home to many displaced Syrians. Zeytin Agci (The Olive Tree of Istanbul) is the community centre of Small Projects Istanbul. Here you’ll meet with local Syrian women who run a small social enterprise called Drop Earrings Not Bombs, where they hand-make earrings. Join the women for lunch, learn about their stories and make your own pair of earrings.
Included Activities

  • Belly Dancing Class
  • Olive Tree visit and lunch

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation The Haze Hotel or similar 

Today you’ll take a one-hour flight to Dalaman on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and then make a two and a half journey to Kas. With its postcard-perfect harbour, bougainvilleas and whitewashed walls, it’s one the most picturesque destinations on the Mediterranean coast. On arrival, take a walk around the town centre or maybe go swimming before a relaxing sunset yoga class. If you feel like a walk in the evening, the local handicraft market is open till late and there are some spectacular pieces to choose from.
Included activities

  • Leader led orientation walk
  • Yoga class
  • Handicraft market

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation Bilgin Hotel or similar

This morning you’ll transfer to Ucagiz, a short 45 minutes by van. Declared off-limits to developers, Ucagiz is a quaint fishing and farming coastal village amid islands and peninsulas. Here you’ll meet Sabahat a local fisherman’s wife, who is as comfortable steering a traditional gulet (boat) as she is cooking a Turkish feast or embroidering one of her famous village scarves – which you will learn how to make. After a homemade lunch, Sabahat will take you by boat to visit the ruins of an ancient sunken Lycian city on the northern side of the island. There’s also plenty of opportunities to swim in the crystal turquoise waters, before heading to your simple homestay accommodation.

Included Activities

  • Turquoise Coast boat cruise

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Kekova Pension or similar

After an early breakfast, you will have a private transfer to Antalya, often considered a highlight of the Turkish Mediterranean. Your hotel is located in the Old City and there’ll be plenty of time to explore the streets and alleys that stretch out from Hadrian’s Gate. Built in honor of the Roman emperor Hadrian, it’s the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that surround the city and harbor. Weather permitting, you can head to the local women’s only beach, Sauisu. Here you’ll find a day spa, complete with a traditional Turkish hamam as well as beauticians, boutiques and cafes all exclusively for women. Alternatively, spend the afternoon exploring more of the winding streets and hidden cafes of the Old City. 

 

Included Activities

  • Orientation walk in Antalya
  • Sauisu Women's Beach

Meals included: Breakfast#

Accommodation Dogan Hotel or similar

Transfer to Antalya airport this morning for a mid-morning flight to Kayseri, located in the Cappadocia region. From here you’ll take a one-hour drive to Goreme, the most recognizable part of Cappadocia. Goreme lies in a valley 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. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your local leader. This afternoon you’ll meet a local New Zealand woman who has lived in Goreme for the last 30 years making Turkish carpets. You’ll finish the day with a guided walk around the valley at sunset with spectacular photo opportunities. This evening’s dinner is a special one – you’ll be meeting and dining with a well-known local woman named Nuray Abla, who cooks Turkish cuisine in her cave home. 

 

Included Activities

  • Goreme Orientation walk
  • Carpet shop visit & demonstration
  • Valley walk
  • Home Cooked Cappadocia

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Heybe Hotel or similar

Be prepared to wake up before sunrise to experience an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the majestic Cappadocian landscape (not included, can be booked as an optional activity). Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, you’ll head off  to explore the region including, Pigeon valley and Pasabag (monks valley) and wander through the Soganli Valley on a soft hiking trip, taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. 
In the afternoon, you’ll visit one of Cappadoccia’s most famous wine houses for a well-earned drink. Learn about the region's 4,000-year-old wine industry and take a stroll through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, with a glass of local wine in hand, of course. For dinner, you may want to try the local regional specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish.

Included Activities

  • Soganli Valley Wine tasting

Optional Activities

  • Whirling dervish performance - EUR25
  • Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR250
  • Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR195
  • Open Air Museum - TRY45

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation Heybe Hotel or similar

Today you will hop on a bus and head to Konya, where you will then take a train to Eskisehir. You will not have any set plans for today. For dinner tonight, you might want to head to Adalar, a popular waterfront district with many cafes popular with the locals. Your leader will be able to give you some great recommendations.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation Senna City Hotel or similar 

Explore the Odunpazarı district this morning. Traditional Anatolian architecture is well preserved in this neighborhood, with narrow cobbled roads and windy, dead-end streets, and it's now under protection as a historic district. Swing past the Glass museum to check out the first of Turkey's glass art museums many of the exhibits here are used to encourage and display the work of young and upcoming artists. The museum is housed in three historic buildings so the venue is an architectural delight. Today we have a special and unique lunch in Eskisehir as we join in a local “girl’s day out” or (altın günü) known as Gold Day. What’s a gold day, exactly? It’s a day for Turkish women to come together, socialise and save some money for when it’s needed. Banking is a relatively new concept in Turkey, traditionally people borrowed and lent money within a family or social circle and gold was considered a much more valuable commodity then cash.  How do you plan a Gold Day? Together with the other people in your gold day group, you decide which person you will visit next it could be on a rotating basis or maybe someone in your group is in need of cash. They can happen weekly or monthly, and often includes between 10 - 50 women. Even some of the most modern of Turkish women still enjoy a Gold Day, so get amongst some Turkish female traditions meeting local women over some good food and some girl only talk. Don’t worry about the gift of gold we have that covered. After a big day out in Eskisehir enjoy a free evening or perhaps hang out with your new Turkish friends.

 

Included Activities

  • Neighborhood Walk
  • Odunpazari Historical District and Glass Museum
  • Eskisehir - Gold Day (altin gunu)

Optional Activities

  • Eskisehir - Porsuk River Gondola - TRY30

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation Senna City Hotel or similar 

Following breakfast this morning, you’ll get on a train and head to Istanbul, followed by taking a ferry to the hotel. You’ll finish your adventure with a women’s only hamam. Initially the concept of hamams was for men only, but eventually women who were unwell or recovering from childbirth were permitted, until finally all women were allowed.  Traditionally, many women considered a visit to the hamam more than an opportunity to bathe – it was a release from the isolation of home and a place where older women could look for potential wives for their sons. Today this ritual is still a segregated retreat complete with baths, food, music and fun.

Included Activities

  • Turkish Hamam (incl. massage)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation The Haze Hotel or similar

Today is departure day and check out time is 12.00pm. If you have arranged a private transfer pick up it should arrive four hours prior to your flight departure time, otherwise you can enjoy the rest of your stay in Istanbul.

 

Meals included: Breakfast

What's included

Meals

11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private Bus, Public bus, Train, Dolmus, Gulet, domestic flight

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), pension (1 night)

Inclusions

  • Istanbul - Spice Market
  • Istanbul - Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Istanbul - Grand Bazaar
  • Istanbul - Turkish Coffee Reading
  • Istanbul - Nazar (Evil Eye) Demonstration
  • Istanbul - Tasting Turkish Borek homemade
  • Istanbul - Belly Dancing Class
  • Istanbul - Zeytin Agaci (The Olive Tree of Istanbul) Tour and Lunch
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
  • Kas - Yoga Class
  • Kas - Handicraft market
  • Kas - Full day cruise
  • Antalya - Orientation Walk
  • Antalya - Sauisu Women's Beach
  • Goreme - Orientation walk Goreme
  • Cappadocia - Carpet shop visit & demonstration
  • Goreme - Valley walk
  • Goreme - Home Cooked Cappadocia
  • Cappadocia - Soganli Valley
  • Cappadocia- Wine tasting
  • Eskisehir - Neighborhood Walk Odunpazari Historical District and Glass Museum
  • Eskisehir - Gold Day (altin gunu)
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage)

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Entrance fees
  • Early or late hotel check in/out
  • Optional activities
  • Travel insurance
  • Tipping and Services not mentioned in the program
  • Arrival transfer
  • International flights

 

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