Essential Turkey

10 Days | Gettin’ quirky on the coast of Turkey

4.8 out of 5 based on 33 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
AUD $1,391
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This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

Explore some of the best bits of Turkey – a cultural melting pot that straddles Europe and the Middle East – on this 10-day trip with likeminded travellers. Indulge your senses with some incredible, traditional Turkish food (don’t forget to try a coffee and some shisha, too!), explore ancient ruins and walk in the footsteps of Marc Antony, Cleopatra and the Trojan army. Dip your toes in the Dardanelles Strait, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea and sail along the south coast, uncovering the mysteries of ancient sunken cities. With so much on offer, what more could you ask for?

Trip overview

Map of Essential Turkey including Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Antalya, Turkey
18 to 35s
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
This trip generates 37.56 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations
Great value
Responsible travel

Why you'll love this trip
  • Eat, swim, sunbake, repeat – that’s what will happen when you get cruising along Turkey's Mediterranean coastline. The choice is yours if you’d like to go exploring or just relax on deck.
  • Thought all the best Roman ruins were in Italy? Think again! Turkey is home to one of the best-preserved classics of Ephesus – so discover it just like Anthony and Cleopatra did 2000 years ago.
  • Wade through the scenic hot springs at Pamukkale – pure white calcium deposits that cascade down the cliffs overlooking the town, are said to have magical healing properties.
  • The thriving metropolis of Istanbul is where East literally meets West. Explore the city that straddles the continents and discover its incredible and varied history.
  • Learn the history of the Gallipoli Peninsula, hearing the harrowing stories of the ANZACs and one of the most infamous battles of World War I.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, CYDD (Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği). Donations help them provide scholarships and educational programs for economically disadvantaged youth in Turkey.

Is this trip right for you?
  • You’ll get an extra taste of local life on this trip, with most travel done on public buses. There are loads of reasons why this is great, but here are just a few: it minimises our carbon footprint, gives you a real chance to interact with the local community, and these aren’t your regular buses. Most Turkish buses have wi-fi, in-seat entertainment and serve refreshments.
  • Lots of time allocated for optional activities means freedom and flexibility, but it does require a level of independence. Only are few meals are included, so mostly you'll find your own (with plenty of suggestions from your leader of course) – a great way to mingle with locals and discover unexpected delights! This trip puts it in your hands with the option of free time or taking optional tours. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities that aren’t included.
  • The cobblestone streets, narrow steps and tiny bridges of Turkey are very romantic. They’re also another good reason to pack light and leave the wheeled suitcase at home. You'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the buses, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.
  • Summer temperatures can be very high in Turkey (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water. The weather can be hot in July and August, but keep in mind that this is the best time to enjoy the clear water of the Mediterranean. It can also get quite cool in these destinations, particularly from October to April, so don't forget to pack extra layers if travelling at this time.
  • While this trip doesn't require a high level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to take part in all activities. You’ll need your walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack to explore some of historical sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.


Map of Essential Turkey including Turkey



9 breakfasts, 2 lunches


Ferry, Local bus, Private Bus, Boat, Tram


Hotel (5 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Multi-share guesthouse (2 nights)

  • Gallipoli - Battlefields Tour
  • Ayvalik - Copmadam Visit (trashyteyze / Tara Hopkins)
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park
  • Kekova - Turkish Coast day sailing
  • Antalya - Kaleici Walking Tour
Add on activities
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque Visit - Free
  • Istanbul - Bosphorus Boat Cruise (Public Boat) - TRY150
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY1500
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (inc. massage) - EUR100
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - EUR30
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - EUR25
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - EUR15
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - EUR17
  • Troy - Guided visit - EUR27
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - EUR6
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) - EUR15
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses entry - EUR15
  • Pamukkale - Cleopatra Ancient Pool - TRY200
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - Free
  • Antalya - Mermerli Beach Kaleici - TRY250
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum - EUR15
  • Antalya - Aspendos Ancient City - EUR15

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is bookable if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip and is subject to availability. The single supplement excludes Day 3 & 4 (multi-share Guesthouse).
2. Some accommodation on this tour is is multi shared. Multishare typically includes triple and quad rooms. You may be required to share with group members of same gender. People travelling together may occasionally be separated due to rooming configurations.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.8 out of 5 based on 33 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Gilda · Traveled October 2023
Would highly recommend this tour. A great way to experience the Turkish coast and amazing historic sites. Taha was an incredible guide, going above and beyond to ensure we had the best possible experience and teaching us about the local culture and history.
Review submitted 17 Oct 2023

Alex · Traveled October 2023
The trip was overall really great! We got to see a lot of places and the tour involved quite a few activities. Just be mindful that it is very fast pace with one night in each place for the first week or so, however the itinerary does specify this.
Review submitted 26 Oct 2023

Bryan · Traveled September 2023
Essential Turkey was an amazing tour. Loved the mix of history, adventure, and cultural experiences. The rest of the group and tour guide Taha were awesome people.
Review submitted 26 Sep 2023

Arthur · Traveled September 2023
Taha was the best guide, we didn’t have to worry about anything. I made a friend.
Review submitted 26 Sep 2023

Dylan · Traveled September 2023
The itinerary provided a mix of historical / cultural sites with relaxation and leisure. Our guide Cumhur Ilter provided excellent advice to authentic local restaurants and bars. He found the perfect balance of being a professional guide and a fellow traveller.
Review submitted 02 Oct 2023
Essential Turkey
AUD $1,391