From Turquoise Coast to the chimneys of Cappadocia

See the best of Turkey on this 14-day Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. Travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia and experience cosmopolitan cities, historic battlegrounds, glittering beaches, cities carved from rock and rugged coast. Enjoy an itinerary that takes you to Turkey’s essential destinations, a local leader for insider info and plenty of flexibility and free time to explore at your own pace. With optional excursions to historical sites, abandoned villages and underground cities, you can create the Turkey tour that’s perfect for you.


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Goreme, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience
Code
ERRS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the Old City of Istanbul on a walking tour that includes the majestic Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome of Constantinople and the Grand Bazaar.

  • Explore Cappadocia’s wild natural rock formations while hiking through valleys, and see incredible stone-carved buildings in Goreme.

  • Board a ‘gulet’ boat for a day and night on the sea. Cruise over the sunken city around Kekova Island, swim in crystal-clear water and relax on deck.

  • Reflect on battles fought and lives lost with a moving visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, touring former battlefields and the remains of Turkish trenches.

  • Spend two days exploring the cliffside waterfalls, cobblestone alleyways and ancient ruins of Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean Coast.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The weather can be hot in July and August, but this is also the best time to enjoy the clear water of the Mediterranean – don’t forget your swim gear.

  • This trip gives you lots of control over your travels, with some included site visits and lots of choices for your free time.

  • You’ll need walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen and a daypack for the Gallipoli site visit and the valley walk in Cappadocia. These tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.

  • On Day 8, the overnight cruising excursion takes place on a traditional boat called a 'gulet'. Sleeping arrangements are multishare and open-air. Bathroom facilities are shared. All bedding is provided. The gulet has shared bathroom facilities, with limited fresh water for washing.

Itinerary

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul, a bustling mega-city with a rich history and food scene waiting to be explored. Your Lonely Planet Experience begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you will meet your leader and fellow travellers. After the meeting, you might want to head out as a group to grab dinner and get to know each other.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market - Free
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise (Public Boat) - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
The prices listed for optional activities cover entry fees only and do not include any transport fees. Prices are subject to change.
Meet your local guide early this morning for a guided tour of Sultanahmet AKA the Old City, formerly Constantinople, to see Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Maybe visit the jaw-dropping Hagia Sofia, said to have changed the history of architecture. Or maybe enjoy a steam session at a traditional hamam (public bath). Your tour leader knows all the best places, so they can recommend some great options for places to eat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head for the shores of Gallipoli, the site of the ANZAC landings one of the most disastrous Allied campaigns of WWI. Visit the battlefields of Nek and Lone Pine and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Hear stories of the heroism and camaraderie that unfolded among the tragedies and take the time to read moving inscriptions etched onto a sea of gravestones. There will also be the option to visit the Kabatepe Museum, which includes interactive presentations of the battle, as well as numerous relics from the campaign. Then, take the short ferry ride from Europe to Asia across the Dardanelles to Canakkale, a charming traditional fishing town that has a great range of dinner and nightlife options, not to mention medieval ruins to explore.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gallipoli - guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total travel time today is approximately 5.5 hours.
After breakfast, take a local bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk. Take a guided walk around the town and the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill in the afternoon. See the 14th-century Isa Bey Mosque, the imposing the Grand Fortress and the ruins of the Basilica of St John. According to Christian lore, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100. The basilica stands over his alleged burial site. Your evening is free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Troy - Guided visit - TRY120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, choose whether you would like to take a guided tour of Ephesus with your tour leader or strike out on your own via a dolmus (local bus). One of the best-preserved Greco Roman cities in the world, Ephesus once had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. In the afternoon, you can choose to join an optional excursion to Sirince to taste some local wines.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ephesus - archaeological site - TRY60
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY30
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Prices listed for optional activities listed include entry fees only and exclude any transport costs.
Take a train inland to one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to ‘cotton castle’. Here spectacular natural hot springs with high calcium bicarbonate content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving white terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since the 200 BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes). You can choose to take an optional excursion to the ancient city of Hierapolis in the afternoon – speak to your leader for more information.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY50
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park - TRY50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Prices listed for optional activities listed include entry fees only and exclude any transport costs.
Take a local bus to Oludeniz and enjoy some time at the three-kilometre-long beach. Please note you will need to pay a small fee if you want to access the Blue Lagoon. Later, transfer to the quaint town of Fethiye. If conditions allow, it is possible to take an optional excursion to Kayakoy ghost village, an abandoned town that is both eerie and beautiful. This evening, enjoy a walk by the harbour and look up to see massive Lycian rock tombs cut from the cliffside.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
  • Kayakoy- Ghost Village - TRY8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Travel time today is approximately 4 hours. Prices listed for optional activities listed include entry fees only and exclude any transport costs.
This morning take a local bus to Ucagiz. Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast, viewing some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world. Cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island, where ancient remains can be viewed just below the water’s surface, and take a walk to Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands. Spend your time on the boat swimming in the Med, relaxing and exploring the natural and historical sites along the way.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kas - Overnight Boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Travel time today is approximately 4 hours.
The overnight cruising excursion takes place on a traditional boat called a 'gulet'. Sleeping arrangements are multishare and open-air. Bathroom facilities are shared. All bedding is provided. The gulet has shared bathroom facilities, with limited fresh water for washing.
Disembark the boat in Ucagiz this morning after breakfast and continue to Antalya, your base for the next two nights. Enjoy free time on arrival to explore at your own pace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum - TRY30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Travel time today is approximately 3 hours.
Enjoy a free day to explore at your own pace. There are a number of optional excursions to choose from if you want a little guidance. For those after a nature fix, Duden Waterfalls is a lovely spot to relax. If you’re interested in visiting historical sites, there are optional excursions to Termessos, Aspendos or Side to choose from. Alternatively, stay in Antalya and soak up the charms of this seaside town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Aspendos Ancient City - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Prices listed for optional activities listed include entry fees only and exclude any transport costs.
This morning take a local bus inland to Konya, a traditional Turkish city where mainstream tourism is yet to arrive. The city is closely linked with the Whirling Dervish sect of Islam developed by in the 13th century by Rumi (or Mevlana). Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader and enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the many tea gardens. Later this evening, maybe join your group for some central Anatolian cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Travel time today is approximately 5.5 hours.
This morning after breakfast, travel by local bus to Goreme, Cappadocia, a city made from the soft volcanic rock of the region. On arrival stretch your legs with an orientation walk with your leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cappadocia - Valley Walk
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Whirling dervish performance - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Travel time today is approximately 3.5 hours.
If you are interested in an optional hot air balloon ride, please speak to your trip leader on Day 1. The cost of this activity varies depending on what type of flight you choose. This activity can only be booked locally.
Today is free for you to explore Goreme and surrounds, including the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex is composed of churches, rectories and dwellings carved from the earth. Perhaps explore one of the region’s underground cities, the largest of which are almost ten levels deep with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. If you’re a hiker, you may like to walk the valleys of Red, Rose, or Love. Your leader is available help you organise your day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cappadocia - Goreme - Open Air Museum - TRY45
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City - TRY35
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR195
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR250
  • Cappadocia -Kaymakli Underground City - TRY35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Prices listed for optional activities listed include entry fees only and exclude any transport costs.
It is possible to organise a group tour of the region that includes multiple sites, please speak to your leader for more information.
Your trip ends after breakfast this morning. Check-out time is 11 am.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

13 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Public bus, Private Bus, Train, Gulet

Accommodation

Hotel (11nights), Pension (1 nights), Boat (1 night)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Gallipoli - guided visit
  • Kas - Overnight Boat trip
  • Cappadocia - Valley Walk

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Turkey Uncovered trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available on this trip, except for Day 8 Overnight Boat (1 night).

GROUP MEETING
There is a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1.

ENTRANCE FEES
Most entrance fees are not included. If you wish to take part in these activities, you pay these fees as you go along.

Departure 22nd April 2020 ERRS200422 – this departure of Turkey Explored includes attendance at ANZAC Day commemorations for 2020. We would also like to advise that attendance at this event requires an attendance pass. We recommend applying for this pass in advance via the link below. Passes are available in electronic format and can be emailed to you if you are travelling and unable to physically receive your pass. It is necessary to carry this pass and your personal identification at all times while on site. For those that arrive without a pass, you can apply before the tour departs Istanbul OR at the coach registration upon arrival, however you may be too late to secure a spot.

Please note that passes may not be available until 60 days prior to the event. We encourage anyone attending this service to check for regular updates at: dva.gov.au/commemorations-memorials-and-war-graves. 

DEPARTURE
This trip finishes on Day 14 in Cappadocia and does not include a transfer back to Istanbul. Overnight buses are available, and Cappadocia is serviced by two airports, Kayseri and Neveshir. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent if you wish to secure additional accommodation (subject to availability).

SAFETY
We recommend that you check your government's advice for the latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting tours on the Travel Alerts page – intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts.

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.

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