Enjoy a gourmet adventure of Turkey from Istanbul to Bodrum, Selcuk and Goreme

Take a culinary journey through Turkey, a country steeped in history and tradition, where east meets west and the ancient bleeds into the modern day. Begin in astonishing Istanbul, discovering the real Turkish kebab, being awed by the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque and exploring the well-trod passageways of the Grand Bazaar. Soak in seaside flavours of Bodrum and forage for local produce, try your hand a making gozleme and meet a family passionate about wine making. Be astonished by the fairy chimneys for Cappadocia and walk through valleys of rock cut churches. Spend time with a local Goreme family and learn the secrets behind central Anatolian cuisine in a cooking class with a local legend. 


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Original
Code
ERZZ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Istanbul is brimming with delectable dishes, and the options can be dizzying. But your expert local guide will have you headed straight for the best spots

  • Forage in the field around Bodrum for local produce and learn how to make gozleme like a pro

  • With hands-on cooking classes, you'll get up close and personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions, preparing specialties like manti and tatli

  • Experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality as a local family takes you into their beautiful home nestled in the hills of Ortahisar

  • Taste the renowned home cooking of Nuray and try your hand at Central Anatolian cuisine under her tutelage

Is this trip right for you?

  • If you like real food served to your plate with a dose of famous Turkish Hospitality and you want to experience local food made in local kitchens then this trip is right for you. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please be aware that in many countries dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, simply contact your agent at the time of booking for further information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed!

  • The itinerary includes a long overnight train trip from Izmir to Konya. In your first-class cabin, however, the trip may not feel as long as twelve hours!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 12 October 2018

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Turkey. Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so when you explore the streets you'll see a great clash of east and west. Before you dive in there will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Make sure you have your next of kin and insurance details on hand for this meeting, and let your travel agent or hotel reception know if you are going to be late. Following the meeting, head out for your first taste of Turkey with a classic – a kebab. While you might be familiar with the shaved meats and pita bread sensation, nothing beats the kind they wrap up in Istanbul. Please let your leader know beforehand if you will be requiring a vegetarian option (the eggplant kebab is also a winner, so don’t worry)!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Head to the celebrated Egyptian Spice Bazaar today. Meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and savour a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your walking tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Suleymaniye Mosque and the Hippodrome. The area around Eminonu boasts some delicious street food. Local favourites include barbecued corn, roasted kestane (chestnuts), and of course Turkish delight. In the afternoon, jump on a ferry. In just 20 minutes you’ll arrive at the side of Turkey that lies on the continent of Asia in the hip city of Kadikoy. Hit the Sarkuteri (delicatessen) to sample some olives, pastirma (seasoned cured beef) and a variety of delicious cheese? Grab some provisions and head out for a picnic.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market and Street Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Fly from Istanbul to Bodrum (approximately 1 hour). Located on a bay on the Aegean coast, the region is all about hilly landscapes, rustic villages and beautiful bays. Bodrum is a relaxing and stunning corner of Turkey, with charming resorts adored by sailors and beach-lovers alike. But don’t be deceived. While it may be popular among international visitors, the region retains an authentic side, with traditional Turkish cuisine and incredible ancient ruins. Check in to the hotel and spend some time exploring Bodrum Town, then take a public dolmus (bus) to meet a local wine-making family. The Yurut family have been making wine for 20 years, and now produce 12,000 bottles a year. Learn about their journey and perhaps find a new favourite drop.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
What better way to discover the local produce then pick it yourself? Today you'll journey to a local farm and join farmers in the fields and hot houses. Forage for vegetables and pull them all together to make a gozleme using traditional techiques. Don't forget your hat and sunscreen, in addition to your appetite, on this fun day out discovering regional produce.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Catch a public bus to Selcuk (approximately 3.5 hours). When you arrive, take the time to wander around this fascinating town. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Selcuk is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis (though sadly only a single pylon remains). This evening you will visit the Sirince, a local village steeped in Greek Ottoman tradition. It's a photographer's dream. Postwar settlers revived the town's wine industry, which makes use of local fruit. Enjoy a tasting and consider buying a bottle to take on a walk up a gentle slope through cobbled streets and alleys to an atmospheric garden cafe. Up here you'll see how manti (Turkish stuffed dumplings) are made. After trying your hand preparing them, feast on a serving for dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Selcuk - Manti Cooking Demonstration
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you'll visit Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites. Explore this beautifully preserved classical city with your local guide who will bring its colourful 1500-year history to life. Watch in awe as the sophistication of this former metropolis reveals itself. It had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but the marvellous library might just be the highlight. Continue then to Izmir (approximately 1.5 hours). Head back to Selcuk and hit the local market and buy some vine leaves, then spend a hour or so adding rice and spices and rolling them into tasty morsels called sarma. Just perfect for the train picnic tonight. Board the overnight train,wich featuresfirst-class cabins with twin beds, a fridge and a wash basin with all bedding provided. 
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Arrive in Konya by early morning, then take a private transfer to Goreme (approximately 3 hours). This is your gateway to the fabled fairy-chimneys of Capadoccia. Perhaps stop for a mid-morning snack of Etliekmek, a larger local variation of the traditional Turkish lahmacun: flat bread baked with ground meat, tomato, peppers and onion. Stop in at Derinkuyu, the astounding old subterranean city that goes as deep as 60 metres underground. It used to have wine and oil presses, cellars, refectories, stables and chapels, not to mention some 20,000 residents. For lunch perhaps hit a local pide saloon for Turkey's answer to the Italian pizza. Enjoy toppings like grilled lamb, black pepper, tender spinach, fresh egg and Turkey’s famed peynir cheese made from sheep’s milk.

For the next three nights you'll stay in the village of Ortahisar, which is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
For early birds, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape is a highly recommended experience. Please advise your leader if you wish to make a reservation. Intrepid only recommends balloon rides by our experienced operators. The cost of the activity can vary depending on the type of flight chosen. Wander through the Soganli Valley on a hiking trip, taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. Take the chance to stop for lunch at a local restaurant in this beautiful place, savouring fresh local flavours next to the memorable landscapes. Visit one of Cappadoccia’s most famous wineries to learn about the region's 4000-year-old wine industry. Afterwards, walk through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, enjoying a glass of the local wine. For dinner, perhaps try the local specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Sunset Wine Tasting in Cappadoccia Valley
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy a free morning to do as you please. Later be welcomed into the home of a local Nuray, an award winning regional cook. Under her tutelage, learn to prepare some classic central Anatolian dishes (the menu will depend on the season). Sit down and enjoy the results over lunch. For the rest of the afternoon, you are free to visit the excellent Goreme Open Air Museum or indulge in a Turkish hammam (bath). In the evening, perhaps choose to dine in a restaurant set inside a 475-year-old building. The testi kebab is highly recommended.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Cooking Class & Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, wave the fairy chimneys a fond goodbye and transfer to one of the regions airports for a flight back to Istanbul. Your incredible Turkey trip will finish on arrival at the airport and Intrepid Leader will be available to assist you with your onwards travel plans. Transport facilities are available at the airport including metro, local buses and taxis to take you anywhere in the greater Istanbul area.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you are flying out of Istanbul today, please do not book any onward flights prior to 4pm.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Plane, Dolmus, Train, Public Bus, Overnight Train

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Pension (3 Nights), Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Istanbul - Spice Market and Street Food Tour
  • Selcuk - Manti Cooking Demonstration
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Goreme - Sunset Wine Tasting in Cappadoccia Valley
  • Goreme - Cooking Class & Lunch

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. ISTANBUL AIRPORTS:
Ataturk International airport is situated 25 km west of Istanbul's city centre. The airport has several banks and ATMs open 24hrs for either withdrawals or cash advance. The quickest and easiest way to the hotel is by taxi - there are ranks outside the arrivals terminal. Insist they use the meter. The fare during the day should be approx 60TRY but expect to more in the evening hours. There is a metro service available; better to take the Metro to Zeytinburnu station and then change to the Tramway to Gulhane, the hotel is a short walk from the tram station. Vending machines at the airport metro will have Istanbul karts available which can be used on the transport network in the city.

If you have pre-booked a transfer, please look for your name on the transfer barrier when exiting the customs area. A representative will be there to collect you.
There are often large crowds here so please look carefully for your transfer representative. If you cannot immediately find your transfer driver please proceed to the information counter and wait at this location. If you still cannot find your driver kindly ask the information counter to call the emergency contact number listed below.
Office: +90 212 512 7144
Mob: +90 532 641 2822

2. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A single supplement is available on this trip with exception of Day 6 (Overnight Train).

3. FINAL DAY
Please note we fly to Istanbul on the morning of Day 10. Depending on flight time and scheduled changes, expect to arrive back into Ataturk Airport between 1pm and 4pm however this could change. Please ensure you leave enough time for any connections. If you are flying out on the final day, we recommend not to book an onward flight prior to 4pm.

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 Real Food Adventure trips score an average of 4.83 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.

Turkey Real Food Adventure, July 2018

Neil Trujeque Mejia

Turkey Real Food Adventure, July 2018

Jayne Mandic