Map of Premium Turkey including Turkey

Discover a place of fairy-tale landscapes, incredible history and tantalizing cuisines.

From otherworldly landscapes to glistening seaside towns and a healthy mix of architectural jewels and fascinating cultural sites – this is the best of Turkey. This 8-day Premium journey has been carefully crafted to show you the best spots in the most efficient timeframe; with fewer travel days so you’ve got more time to explore the places you visit. Begin the adventure in the great city of Istanbul, before making your way to Kusadasi and finally finishing in Cappadocia. You’ll marvel at the world-famous mosques in Istanbul, walk in the footsteps of ancient rulers in archaeological sites like Pergamon and Ephesus and see (almost) every inch of Cappadocia, from subterranean cities to incredible cave hotels.


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Cappadocia, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
ERPI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

premium accommodation

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Cruise the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline and incredible artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments at shore.

  • Walk in the footsteps of ancient emperors and explore extraordinary archaeological sites of Pergamon and Ephesus with your local guide.

  • Discover the flavours of Turkey, tuck into a traditional home-cooked meal in Cappadocia and get tips from a BBC-presenter chef during a cooking class in Kusadasi.

  • Experience an exclusive carpet weaving demonstration at a social enterprise that’s keeping tradition alive and providing employment for local women.

  • From subterranean cities to whimsical fairy chimneys and incredible cave accommodation, this trip features some of the best experiences in Cappadocia.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

Welcome to Istanbul, the first step of our Turkish adventure. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in the heart of the Old City. Istanbul is the largest city in all of Europe, it’s a place filled with history, culture and charm. From the magnificent mosques to the bustling bazaars, this place is sure delight you at every turn. On arrival, you might like to stretch your legs, get acquainted with the city and make your way to visit the 1500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage monument, Hagia Sophia. With incredible architectural beauty and varied history, it was originally built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, then converted into a mosque, then a museum and has now been turned back into a mosque again. After exploring the city, this evening, join your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at the hotel. Then, take a short stroll to a local restaurant to enjoy dinner together and be welcomed with richly flavoured Ottoman and Turkish cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Fer Hotel Istanbul or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Welcome Dinner
  • Istanbul - Welcome Meeting
Meals Included
  • Dinner
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 arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.
After breakfast, join your small group and local leader to explore Sultan Ahmet I’s Blue Mosque. With six minarets, 260 windows and it’s iconic, blue-tiled walls (made up of more than 20,000 Iznik ceramic tiles), the Blue Mosque is known as one of the most magnificent in all of Istanbul. After some time to gaze upon its beauty, you'll head out to explore the rest of the city on an orientation walk. Make your way to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where historical sites and backstreets filled with hidden gems intertwine. Explore the hippodrome and the decorative statues and obelisks that remain from a time when this now tree-lined land would hold thousands of chariot racing fans. Then, get into some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. After exploring the best this fascinating city has to offer, it’s time to kick your feet back on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline from sea. This fairy-tale experience across the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, features panoramic views from the waterway that’s dotted with artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments. Sit back and soak up the vistas after a jam-packed day of exploration.
Accommodation
  • Fer Hotel Istanbul or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque Visit
  • Istanbul - Orientation Walk
  • Istanbul - Private Bosphorus Cruise
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY320
  • Istanbul - Ebru Marbling Workshop - TRY330
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Istanbul and journey to Kusadasi, with a stop in Pergamon along the way. The ancient city of Pergamon, sitting high above the Bakirçay Plain in Turkey’s Aegean region, is easily accessible by cable car. At the top of the hill, you’ll discover crumbling ruins, large and small. Some of the most fascinating spots to explore include the well-known library that helped put Pergamon on the map, the colossal Temple of Trajan, 10,000-seat Hellenistic theatre and the Altar of Zeus. After some time here, walking in the footsteps of ancient emperors, we’ll continue to Kusadasi. Tonight, get comfortable at your perfectly appointed boutique hotel on the edge of the Aegean Sea – this will be your home away from home for the next three nights.
Accommodation
  • La Vista Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pergamon - Ancient City Visit & Cable Car
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 7 hours.
After breakfast today, you’ll explore the ancient city ruins of Ephesus. This is one of the best-preserved classical cities in the Eastern Mediterranean and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. As you walk in the footsteps of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, you’ll get a glimpse into how the ancient Romans lived. Stroll the marble streets surrounding the ancient theatre and explore the gymnasium, baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsus. From ancient ruins to ancient traditions, next up you’ll be treated to a carpet weaving demonstration and learn about the art of traditional carpet weaving from local social enterprise; Sultanköy. Carpet weaving holds incredible history in Turkey and has been dated back to the early Neolithic age – Sultanköy provides local women with employment while protecting and developing the ancient tradition. After a picnic lunch at Sultanköy, you’ll learn all about Turkish recipes and flavours with a hands-on cooking class. Get to know the local chef as you prepare a traditional meal and feast on your creations together – the perfect end to an incredible day.
Accommodation
  • La Vista Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Kusadasi - Sultanköy Carpet Demonstration & Picnic Lunch
  • Kusadasi - Cooking Class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up without an alarm today and enjoy this coastal paradise at your leisure. Kusadasi is the perfect springboard to see some Turkey’s most incredible ruins and natural wonders, you might choose to take advantage of this and book an optional tour to explore Pamukkale & Hierapolis Ancient City. Pamukkale’s mineral springs have become well-known for their magical turquoise waters framed by a snow-white mineral build-up that cascades over the cliffs. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the hot springs were believed to hold therapeutic healing properties by ancients Greeks and Romans. After marvelling at the mineral pools and taking in the incredible landscape, discover nearby Hierapolis Ancient City. Explore the ruins of this equally beautiful ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’d rather skip the optional tour and stay closer to town, perhaps, stroll the seafront promenade and grab a bite to eat by the harbour or enjoy a little banter with the locals at the main bazaar area. However you choose to spend your day, you can swap stories with your fellow travellers over your group dinner this evening.
Accommodation
  • Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, catch a flight to Kayseri and be swept away by the mystical beauty of Cappadocia, where we’ll stay in specially restored cave suites in the Old City centre. After checking in, you’ll be welcomed into a local home for home-cooked Turkish lunch – the best way to start this leg of our adventure. Next up, it's time to explore Goreme Open Air Theatre. Another incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site to check off our list, you’ll find richly decorated rock-carved churches, monasteries and chapels to marvel at. After getting to know Goreme, it’s time to get to know Cappadocia on a panoramic sights tour. Discover the region’s highlights like Imagination Valley where rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, stand majestically amid the orange-coloured landscape. With your local leader by your side, you’ll learn how these unusual formations came to be.
Accommodation
  • Aya Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Izmir - Flight to Kayseri
  • Cappadocia - Home-cooked lunch
  • Cappadocia - Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Cappadocia - Panoramic Sights Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, we make our way to yet another out-of-this-world location to explore the underground cities beneath Cappadocia. It’s believed that these intricate subterranean homes were created in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. Amazingly, there are roughly 200 them – more incredibly, they were abandoned in 1923 and not rediscovered until some 40 years later. You might spot remnants of subterranean wine cellars, stables and chapels, although it’s believed they were below ground for safety reasons, these city folk seem to have lived their lives to the fullest. Next, visit the studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. You’ll learn the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics and discover how the rich clay from the red river is moulded into exquisite pieces. Finally, in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy an easy hike through Red Valley – named for the incredible red hues the rock formations throw at sunset. Watch in awe as the sun sets over the landscape before heading back to town to enjoy our final dinner together with a delicately prepared traditional central Anatolian dish.

There’ll also be time today to take to the skies with an optional hot air balloon ride (at your own expense) if you wish.
Accommodation
  • Aya Hotel (Feature Stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cappadocia - Kaymaklı Underground City
  • Cappadocia - Farewell Dinner
  • Cappadocia - Pottery demonstration
  • Cappadocia - Red Valley Hike
Optional Activities
  • Optional: Hot Air Balloon Ride - EUR255
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that hot air ballooning can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader at the beginning of the tour to organise this.
After breakfast, our Turkish adventure comes to an end. If you would like to extend your stay in Cappadocia or Istanbul, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat, Plane

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (11 nights), Feature Stay (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Welcome Dinner
  • Istanbul - Welcome Meeting
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque Visit
  • Istanbul - Orientation Walk
  • Istanbul - Private Bosphorus Cruise
  • Pergamon - Ancient City Visit & Cable Car
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Kusadasi - Sultanköy Carpet Demonstration & Picnic Lunch
  • Kusadasi - Cooking Class
  • Izmir - Flight to Kayseri
  • Cappadocia - Home-cooked lunch
  • Cappadocia - Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Cappadocia - Panoramic Sights Tour
  • Cappadocia - Kaymaklı Underground City
  • Cappadocia - Farewell Dinner
  • Cappadocia - Pottery demonstration
  • Cappadocia - Red Valley Hike

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

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

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room?on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip?and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.?
3. This trip includes domestic flights. The luggage allowance is 15kg for check in luggage and 8kg for carry on. You can store excess luggage at the start point hotel.
 

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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