Essential Turkey

11 Days | Gettin’ quirky on the coast of Turkey.

4.8 out of 5 based on 33 reviews submitted.
18 to 29s
EUR €865
View dates and book
This trip is for the 18 to 29 year olds

You’ll be hard-pressed finding a country that can provide all the goods of a cultural crusade – ancient ruins to explore, alluring beaches to swim at, local food to indulge in, lively cities to discover, and plenty of time to travel at your own pace. Get the essential low-down of everything Turkish on this 11-day cultural adventure from Istanbul, through the peaceful Gallipoli peninsula, acclaimed Ephesus, traditional Selcuk, seaside Fethiye through to attractive Antalya. With some south coast cruising, hot springs and ghost towns all thrown in, you’ll be seeing Turkey in a whole new light.

Trip overview

Map of Essential Turkey including Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Antalya, Turkey
18 to 29s
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 29
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
This trip generates 34.92 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.
  • 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.
  • Take a group hike from the deserted ghost town of Karakoy over the hills to check out the stunning Blue Lagoon – your group leader will know all the spots to go to get the best vantage points.
  • Pay your respects of the battles fought and lives lost in Anzac Cove in Gallipoli. This once war-torn stretch of coastline is now a peaceful reminder of times past.
  • 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.
  • 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 options 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. Please note that you'll also have to carry your own luggage on and off the bus, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.
  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! 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.
  • 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 the historical sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.
  • Bring your best sweater along, as temperatures in April and October can be a bit cooler than you might expect, especially in the evenings.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Essential Turkey including Turkey



10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner


Ferry, Local bus, Private Bus, Train, Boat


Hotel (5 nights), Guest house (3 nights), Multi-share guest house/hostel (2 nights)

  • Gallipoli - Battlefields Tour
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park
  • Lycian Way - Hike from Kayakoy to Oludeniz Beach
  • Kayakoy - Ghost Village
  • Kekova - Turkish Coast day sailing
  • Antalya - Kaleici Walking Tour
Add on activities
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY390
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque Visit - Free
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY650
  • Istanbul - Bosphorus Boat Cruise (Public Boat) - TRY150
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY340
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - Free
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY900
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (inc. massage) - EUR100
  • Troy - Guided visit - TRY400
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY130
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses entry - TRY320
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY250
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY700
  • Pamukkale - Cleopatra Ancient Pool - TRY400
  • Saklikent National Park - Saklikent Gorge - TRY25
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum - TRY340
  • Antalya - Aspendos Ancient City - TRY340
  • Antalya - Mermerli Beach Kaleici - TRY150

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, subject to availability. The single supplement exclude Day 3 and Day 6.
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
EUR €865