Explore Turkey’s Mediterranean delights and Valleys of Cappadocia on an active tour

Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep into the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, cycling through valleys for fairy chimneys, hiking the Lycian Way with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean;  and kayaking over sunken cities. Take up the challenge and be amazed by all that this active travel adventure has to offer.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Original
Theme
Active Adventures, Walking & Trekking
Code
ERXT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets

  • Hike and Cycle the Valleys of Cappadocia and picnic amongst a forest of Fairy Chimneys

  • Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive

  • A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean

  • Hike the famous Lycian Way with breathtaking views of the Turquoise Coast. 

Is this trip right for you?

  • Though you don’t need to be an athlete by any means, you do need to have a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy this trip. Most activities are moderate, slow paced. Hiking activities range from 3km to 14km in a day, and they can be uphill and in full sun. The cycling activity is 30km and basic mountain biking skills are required. The kayaking is approximately 2.5 hours of paddling (12km), with no previous experience required.

  • Most travel is on public buses. The aim behind this is two-fold: to give you a taste of local life and a chance to interact with the local community, and to minimise the carbon footprint. In fact, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!

  • You will need to carry your own bags to and from hotels, bus stops and train stations. So it's a good idea to travel light if you can.

  • There is a homestay on Day 8 in a local village. This cabin accommodation is comfortable and clean but basic with share bathroom facilities. There is a pool to cool off and the view of butterfly valley is breathtaking. This is an authentic local experience and a way to experience Turkish hospitality at its best.

  • Where possible, we have tried to plan the hiking and cycling to mornings and afternoons, but please be aware it can get hot in the summer months.

  • You will need to pack good walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack. Don’t forget a jacket and swimming gear.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Aya Sofia Museum - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
  • Urban Adventures - Picnic On Two Continents - EUR35
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY45
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast, jump on the local metro and head to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Flight schedules depending, we should arrive in the lunar-esque landscapes of the Cappadocia region by mid-afternoon. Begin exploring with a short walk, through either the phallic pillars of Love Valley or the pink-hued rocks of Red Valley. Enjoy a quiet night in the town of Goreme as we prepare for our bike ride in the morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Valley Walk in Capadoccia
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Wine & Sunset Tour Cappadocia - USD48
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With its towering chimneys and beehive-esque mountain caves, Cappadocia really does feel like a dreamscape. After breakfast, jump on your bike and begin exploring the area where volcanic rock was eroded by both wind and ancient humans. You’ll take a circular route around the valleys and towns, stopping at many points of interest to wonder (and snap photographs). Peddle through the bulging, twisted rock formations that give Devrent Valley a dreamlike feel. Then check out Urgup, a town built from the rock ago hundreds of years ago that is still operational. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the lesser-known Cappadocia town of Cavusin and enjoy a refreshment with the locals. Ascend the narrow path that leads to the 5th-century church of St John the Baptist. Here you can see patches of faded frescos, columns and arches in a hollowed out cave. All up, you’ll ride about 30 km over hilly and sometimes uneven terrain, reaching heights of about 550 metres. Cycling is a great way to cover more ground quickly, freeing up your afternoon for you to do as you please. You’ve definitely earned a rest, so maybe put your feet up on an Ottoman, tea in hand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme- Bike Riding
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR175
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR230
  • Goreme -Hamam Turkish Bath - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
One of the most iconic images associated with Cappadocia is that of colourful hot air balloons drifting high above the semi-arid rock formations and valleys below. If you can handle the early start, you have the option of rising high with the sun on one of these balloons, experiencing this truly stunning wonderland from above. If you would prefer to stay grounded, your leader will organise a short walk in the morning so you can stretch out your tired legs before a free afternoon. Maybe you’d like to see some of the earliest Christian churches in history at the Goreme Open Air Museum? Depart for Konya in the afternoon, a Central Anatolian Plains city that is as dense and urbane as Cappadocia is ancient and expansive. Konya has its own unique religious history as the home of the Mevlevi Order, a spiritual sect better known as the whirling dervishes. You can ponder the influence of this Islamic mysticism on the city around you at the Mevlana Museum, before grabbing a bite and jumping on the overnight train to Izmir.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Valley Walk in Capadoccia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The train has first-class cabins with twin beds, a fridge and a wash basin. All bedding is provided.
Good morning and welcome to Izmir! From here you’ll take a one hour transfer to Selcuk. This town is steeped in Turkish traditions and packed with remnants of the past. First up are the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where you will find a castle fortress and 14th-century Isa Bey Mosque amoung other gems. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this ancient wonder is a single pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – the ruins of Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved remains of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering stadium and delicately carved facades. Learn about its 1,500-year history in a guided tour. Then, return to Selcuk on foot and enjoy a balmy evening in the local square, and enjoy a very Turkish evening watching locals play cards and backgammon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Seluck - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY25
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
A port city with a stunning coast, an archaeological hotspot and the site of precipitous green cliffs – Fethiye has an abundance of natural and manmade beauty. You’ll arrive here after a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride and begin exploring with a hike along part of the historical Lycian Way trail. This two-hour, six-kilometre trek along the rugged coast will take you up a steep rocky path and through forest before you emerge with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Descend into Oludeniz and witness the stunning vista of the Blue Lagoon hemmed by an arching peninsula. This evening you may want to rest up and sort out your pack for tomorrow, as you prepare to tackle another section of the Lycian Way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lycian Way - Hike from Kayakoy to Oludeniz
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadağ looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozağaç and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lycian Way - Faralya to Kabak Guided Hike
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Fethiye Museum - TRY5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Rise and shine for the three-hour hike from Faralya to Kabak, a rather strenuous uphill journey. You’ll be rewarded with the incredible views of lush forest against glittering blue waters. Descend and enjoy lunch at the bay below, and if you’d like, a dip in the clear water. Return to Fethiye and jump on a local bus to Kas. It’s a three-hour ride, so make sure you’ve got a book, a podcast or the desire to strike up a conversation with a local. Kas is a charming city, with cobblestone streets and whitewashed walls galore. You might want to rest your aching limbs at one of the waterfront restaurants, where the price of a drink will get you a deck chair, and umbrella and gorgeous views of the sea. Another early night in order. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity, and the small ancient theatre offers the best sunset, but don’t forget you’ll be up early tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will kayak over the sunken city near Kekova, where ruins jut from the crystal clear water. Off the coast of Ucagiz, lies the island of Kekova. On the northern side of the island, you’ll find the stone archways, worn down steps and crumbling walls of a an ancient Lycian settlement, rebuilt during the Byzantine era but has long been abandoned. It will be a 12 kilometre paddle, taking about two hours to complete. The sunken city isn’t the only sight in the area – explore myriad of coves and tiny islands. Then you will return to beautiful Kas, where you may wish to catch the local handicraft market.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kas - Handicraft market - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
You've earned a day to relax, and today you’ve got it! What better place to relax than sundrenched Kaz. You may want to head out on the water again, this time on a gullet (a traditional sailing vessel) and enjoy cruising around the calm waters. Or maybe hit one of the local beaches with a good book. If you’ve somehow still got energy to burn, the night life of Kaz is the perfect place to burn it. There are bars and restaurants aplenty for you to while away the evening.
Accommodation
  • Pension (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Istanbul awaits after a morning of travel. Take a four-hour public bus ride to Antalya, then transfer to the airport for a one-hour flight to Istanbul. Settle into your hotel, then head out on a scenic walk across the Galata Bridge in the early evening. A dinner of local indulgent delights caps off your trip. Munch on a local fish sandwich, tuck into some famous baklava and sip some cay (Turkish tea) while reminiscing and saying goodbye to your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private Bus, Public Bus, Overnight Train, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights), Guesthouse (1 nights), Overnight Train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Goreme - Valley Walk in Capadoccia
  • Goreme- Bike Riding
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Seluck - Orientation Walk
  • Lycian Way - Hike from Kayakoy to Oludeniz
  • Lycian Way - Faralya to Kabak Guided Hike
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk

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Important notes

This trip starts on Day 1 in Istanbul at 1pm.

An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information. Please note: single supplement rooms are smaller than double or twin rooms.

TURKEY:
We recommend that you check your government's advice for their 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 this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/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.

Reviews

Our Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak trips score an average of 4.63 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak, September 2018

Eoin O Callaghan

Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak, September 2018

Deirdre O'Mahony