Europe

Discover Turkey Itinerary

Duration
13 Days Itinerary
From
USD $2,695 Dates/Prices
Day
Day 1
1

Istanbul

Welcome to Turkey, and the eclectic city of Istanbul. The meeting point of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is a diverse and magical mix of culture and history, a dazzling array of bustling streets, delicious cuisine and lively locals.

Our small group tour begins this evening where we enjoy a welcome dinner with our fellow travelers and small group tour leader.

[Dinner]

Day 2
2

Istanbul: a city tour

After breakfast this morning we get acquainted with Istanbul during a guided city tour. We pass by the Hippodrome, once used by the Byzantine emperors, before visiting Hagia Sophia. Serving as a cathedral, then a mosque and now a museum, Hagia Sophia is one of the most impressive architectural structures in Istanbul. We admire its architectural design and beauty from the outside before touring its interior and learning about its impressive history. Next, it’s on to the incredible Topkapi Palace. Constructed between 1460 and 1478, the palace was the residence of the Ottoman sultans until the 1850s. Steeped in history, we explore the palace and its grounds as we walk in the footsteps of those who once ruled. Our last stop is at the Blue Mosque where we admire its intricate details and learn about the role it has played in Istanbul’s history.

Special Experience 

This afternoon we treat our taste buds to a tour of the city’s finest street food vendors. We mingle with the local vendors, learning about their food culture and tasting it for ourselves.

We enjoy our evening at leisure.

[Breakfast]

Day 3
3

Istanbul to Cappadocia

The iconic landscape of Cappadocia, where incredible rock formations rise tall from the ground, is our destination today. Once inhabited by humans who built a series of underground cities, the region’s history is equally as fascinating as it is beautiful.

After breakfast this morning we make our way to Cappadocia. Our first stop in the region is in Pasabag, or Monks Valley, home to an incredible and fascinating collection of fairy chimneys – rock formations formed by ancient volcanic eruptions and erosion. We enjoy a group dinner this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 4
4

Cappadocia: a day to explore

Special Experience

It’s time for tea! After breakfast this morning, we connect with a local family of the region over a cup of Turkish tea as we exchange stories and hear about local life in Cappadocia.

Next, we visit a local carpet factory and learn about the handmade process of making a traditional Turkish rug before we move onto one of the jewels in Cappadocia’s crown, the open-air museum of the Goreme Valley. We enjoy a walk through the valley, as we admire the rock formations and uncover what was left behind by the people who once called the valley home. A photographer’s delight, we take in the view of the valley from the Goreme lookout before heading underground. We meander our way through the hallways and rooms of the underground city of Kaymakli and learn about what life was like for the people that lived there. As deep as 275 feet and with eight different levels, several thousands of people lived in this city in the 6th century.

We enjoy a group dinner together this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 5
5

Cappadocia to Aglasun

We make our way to the town of Aglasun today, the gateway to the ancient city of Sagalassos.

Cappadocia has one more treat in store for us before we leave this morning. En-route to Aglasun, we stop in the Cappadocia town of Avanos, famous for its traditional Turkish pottery. Here, we learn about the pottery process, witness the local ateliers in action and treat ourselves to a souvenir to take home with us.

We arrive in Aglasun this afternoon where we check into our hotel and enjoy a dinner together this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 6
6

Aglasun to Fethiye

We swap land for water today as we make our way to the port city of Fethiye. Located on Turkey’s azure Mediterranean coast, visitors flock to the coastal city for its crystal-clear waters, relaxed lifestyle and fascinating history.  

This morning we visit the ancient city of Sagalassos, one of Turkey’s best-preserved sites. Conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, the city of Sagalassos thrived until the sixth and seventh centuries. Ruins remain today which we explore this morning, learning more about the city’s rich history.

Special Experience

We visit the home of a local family for lunch this afternoon where we are not only treated to a delicious lunch, but to a traditional music performance as well. We connect with the family, share stories and learn more about their traditions and culture.

We continue to Fethiye where we enjoy the remainder of our day at leisure.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 7
7

Fethiye: abandoned history

After breakfast this morning we explore the history of Fethiye, visiting the ancient Lycian Rock Tombs. Carved into the side of a mountain, the impressive ornate tombs date back to the 4th century. Next, we visit the Ghost Village of Kayakoy. Once a flourishing town home to around 10,000 people, Kayakoy has been abandoned since 1923. We explore its abandoned streets and buildings that have been at a stand still for almost 100 years.

This remainder of our day is ours to explore Fethiye at our own leisure.

[Breakfast]

Day 8
8

Fethiye to Pamukkale

Known for the incredible thermal waters that cascade down white travertine terraces, the town of Pamukkale is our destination today.

We see the cascading thermal waters and admire this natural phenomenon that has survived thousands of years, before visiting the ancient city of Hierapolis. Dating back to the 2nd century we explore the ruins of Hierapolis – from the Roman Theater, Byzantine Gates, Necropolis and more. Next we visit the nearby sculpture school before enjoying the remainder of our afternoon at leisure. We enjoy dinner together this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 9
9

Pammukkale to Kusadasi

The coastal city of Kusadasi located on the country’s Aegean coast is our destination today. The picturesque city lines the shores of the azure waters of the Aegean Sea and is the gateway to the ancient ruins of Ephesus.  

We make our way to the coast after breakfast this morning, stopping along the way at Aphrodisias, the City of Aphrodite (Goddess of Love). We visit the city’s ruins and learn about its fascinating history as we explore what’s left of the once flourishing ancient city. We continue to Kusadasi and enjoy the remainder of our day at our own leisure to explore the coastal delights of the city.

[Breakfast]

Day 10
10

Kusadasi: ancient sites

After breakfast this morning we visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient city of Ephesus. This impressive example of a Roman port city is in fact the largest ancient city ever uncovered. We explore what is left of the city that was once home to 300,000 people, strolling the marbled covered streets and seeing the gymnasiums, bath houses, the amphitheater and more. Next, it’s on to a local leather factory where we learn about the process of leather making before we enjoy free time for lunch.

This afternoon we further explore Ephesus visiting the House of Virgin Mary, the Temple of Artemis and the Isa Bey Mosque. We enjoy our evening at leisure.

[Breakfast]

Day 11
11

Kusadasi to Canakkale

We make our way further up the coast today towards the city of Canakkale. Referred to as the gateway to Gallipoli, the coastal city is steeped in history making it fascinating to explore.

After breakfast we begin our journey to Canakkale, stopping en-route at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pergamum. Here, we visit the ancient ruins of the city of Pergamum including the Asclepion, a 4th century BC shrine to the healing God Asclepius. We continue on to the Archaeological Site of Troy, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, that dates back 4,000 years. We explore the famous site, learning about its rich and fascinating history before visiting the Trojan Horse.

We check into our hotel and enjoy a group dinner together this evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 12
12

Canakkale to Istanbul

We travel back to Istanbul this morning, but not before visiting the infamous World War I battlefields of Gallipoli. We enjoy a ferry ride across to Gallipoli where we spend our morning exploring the historic sites of World War I including Anzac Cove, the Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish and Allied trenches and tunnels) and more.

We arrive back in Istanbul this afternoon where we enjoy a farewell dinner together, a prime opportunity to reminisce on our time in Turkey and share our favorite moments.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 13
13

Istanbul

Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning. We bid farewell to our newfound friends and to the wonders of Turkey.

[Breakfast]

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