Real Turkey

15 Days | Coastal cruising to city schmoozing – see it all, Turkish style

4.7 out of 5 based on 45 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
AUD $1,930
View dates and book
This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

See the real Turkey on this 15-day adventure through the best bits. Discover the cultural melting pot that is this fascinating landscape, which straddles both Europe and the Middle East. Indulge in some incredible local bites (and maybe some shisha, too), explore ancient ruins and walk in the footsteps of Marc Antony, Cleopatra and the Trojan army. Wander Istanbul at your own pace, then hit the coast to swim and sunbake in the Dardanelles Strait, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, sailing along the south coast. Learn about the practices of Sufism and the art and performance of the whirling dervish, then spend a few days getting to know otherworldly Cappadocia. Wander the fairy chimneys, get up early to see the iconic sight of hot air balloons floating along the city’s skyline and maybe even treat yourself to a ride at sunrise! This trip is all the best bits of Turkey and more! What more could you need?

Trip overview

Map of Real Turkey including Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, 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 41 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

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities

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. 
  • Delight your tastebuds with exceptional Turkish cuisine, from kebabs to coffee and the famous Ayvalik tost – a Turkish-style toasted sandwich. Then, dine in the home of a local family, where you’ll be treated to a traditional home-cooked Turkish meal.
  • 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. 
  • Explore the weird and wonderful world of Cappadocia – this might be the most unusual place in Turkey. Learn all about its fairy chimneys and sprawling rock formations from your expert local leader. 
  • 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.

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 Real Turkey including Turkey



12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner


Ferry, Local bus, Private Bus, Boat, Overnight Bus


Hotel (9 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Multi-share guesthouse (2 nights), Overnight Bus (1 night)

  • 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
  • Cappadocia - Kaymakli Underground City
  • Cappadocia - Dinner at Local Family Home
  • Cappadocia - Sunset Hike
  • Cappadocia - Pigeon Valley and Devrent Valley
  • Cappadocia - Pottery demonstration
  • Istanbul - Historical Peninsula 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
  • Cappadocia - Hamam Turkish Bath - EUR100
  • Cappadocia - Hot Air Balloon Regular Flight - EUR260
  • Cappadocia - Hot Air Balloon Deluxe Flight - EUR330
  • Goreme - Whirling dervish performance - EUR30
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum - EUR20
  • Goreme - Bike Riding - EUR230

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) and Day 13 (Overnight Bus).
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


4.7 out of 5 based on 45 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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Rachael · Traveled October 2023
Incredible tour with everyday seeing something beautiful and amazing. Experienced some of the best Roman sites in the whole world, better than those seen in Rome. This trip included some amazing home stays and beautiful home cooked meals. Plus got to do it all with wonderful new friends.
Review submitted 20 Nov 2023

Aleisha · Traveled October 2023
The Turkey tour offered a glimpse of the country's beauty, but the experience was negatively impacted by rushed and poorly organised segments. Some transport lacked sufficient seats, forcing passengers to sit on the floor during lengthy journeys without seatbelts, which was unacceptable.
Review submitted 17 Nov 2023

Emily · Traveled October 2023
Would 100% recommend this trip to everyone! Taha (our guide) was incredible, teaching us lots about Turkish culture and history. He looked after us all so well! We got to see so many amazing places and I've definitely made friends for life!
Review submitted 21 Oct 2023

Erin · Traveled September 2023
This trip was amazing!! Our guide Oz was the BEST and everyone in the group was awesome. The places we went and activities we did couldn’t have been better. The only thing that could improve is travelling back to Istanbul from Cappadocia during the day, skipping the overnight bus and having a night in Istanbul with the group at the end to go for one last dinner together and being able to wake up fresh in the morning before travelling on. After two weeks with the group it felt like family and it was so sad saying goodbye and to Oz as well. Türkiye exceeded my expectations, I loved this trip!
Review submitted 22 Oct 2023

Jessy · Traveled September 2023
Turkey is absolutely beautiful and this tour was a perfect way to experience it. Yes it's fast paced but don't let that put you off, there is plenty of down time if you need it, but if your group was as good as mine you'll want to be apart of everything! Thanks Oz for being the best guide! Şerefe!
Review submitted 23 Oct 2023
Real Turkey
AUD $1,930