Combining the best of western and eastern Turkey, this comprehensive adventure offers a sweeping view of this fascinating country. From the architectural highlights of Istanbul’s long history, make your way east for a glimpse of Turkey’s less travelled and more traditional side. Explore exotic covered bazaars and mud brick cities, and experience life in a place where time seems to stand still. From its incredible Mediterranean beaches to the unreal fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and giant stone heads of Nemrut Dagi—uncover all that Turkey has to offer.
G Adventures for Good: Çöp(m)adam Visit, Ayvalık
Local Living: Dinner with Local Family, Çavuşin
Local Living: Turkish Village Homestay, Güneysınır. Istanbul city walking tour. Visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum. Traditional dinner with local family (Cappadocia). Underground city exploration. Village homestay. Overnight boat trip (Aegean sea, weather permitting). Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk. Ephesus entrance and visit. Ottoman mansion stay. Troy entrance and guided visit. Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit. Stone ruins of Ani visit. Ishak Pasha Palace entrance and visit. Akdamar Island boat trip. Hasankeyf visit. Mardin orientation walk and sights. Nemrut Dagi excursion including Karakus Tumulus, Severan Bridge and Arsameia. Harran beehive houses visit. Golbasi park and Sanli Urfa bazaar guided walk. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Dine in a local family home and taste regional delicacies, relax on an overnight boat trip, explore ancient ruins and bargain in bazaars, watch the sunset over Nemrut Dagi surrounded by mysterious rock sculptures, marvel at the landscapes of Cappadocia
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Turkey is a predominately Muslim country, with many, many mosques. You should expect to be briefly woken by the dawn call the prayer which is broadcast from loud speakers at every mosque in each town or city. It is hauntingly beautiful and a very important start to the Islamic day.
Please note that while all accommodation has “western style”toilets, virtually all public toilets available on the Eastern Turkey portion of this tour will be of the Asian squat variety. You are advised to carry tissues for times when toilet paper is not be provided. Expect to pay to use public toilets in Turkey – usually between 0.50 and 1 TRL. Public toilets may sometimes not be at the expected level of cleanliness.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 15th and June 14th, 2018. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.
4. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 10
20 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Turkish breakfasts are very different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – when was the last time you had olives for breakfast?
They pretty much universally consist of large slices of fresh “french style” white bread accompanied by slices of tomato, cucumber, white and yellow cheeses, olives, jam and honey. This is accompanied by tea (which a Turk would always choose!) or coffee (which is pretty much always instant coffee)
You will of course want to sample the famous Turkish coffee, but it is usually taken after a big lunch or dinner, or in the late afternoon with a pastry.
While we think these breakfasts are absolutely delicious, some travellers do find them a bit repetitive and enjoy buying market fruit the day before and eating this for breakfast.
…will usually be simple and on the run. They are a great chance to try Turkey’s delicious and healthy array of “fast foods”.
This may include, “gozleme”, a type of Turkish savory crepe, “chorba”, delicious lentil soup, and of course doner kebabs in both beef and chicken varieties. You won’t want to miss the chance to try “pide”, Turkish pizza, and lahmucan- thin crust pizza you fold greenery into
You may also find “kumpir”, Turkish stuffed potatoes.
Most Turks start their dinners with a couple of mezes- small taster dishes such as grilled octopus, aubergine salad, and many more. You could also choose a soup made of fresh local ingredients.
Main courses tend to be based around fresh seafood if you are near the coast (expect to pay around 15 lira for a whole fish)or the ubiquitous kebab- skewers of charcoaled meat which comes on bread with salad. There are plenty of variations of the kebab-many regions have their own speciality so be sure to ask your leader.
Yum- its all about the sugar. Baklava (about 2 TKL a piece for the good stuff) is something of a national obsession and it is believed the best comes from the East. There are endless varieties of pastries and milk based deserts available and you are sure to spend at least some time in a Turkish bakery taste testing.
Don’t miss munching on a simit , a Turkish pretzel or perhaps some grilled sweet corn to get you through between meals.
Tea, served in small tulip glasses, is the number one beverage of choice in Turkey. It is freshly brewed and a tea bag is a rare thing. Turkish coffee is wonderful thing to try. The national beer is named Efes and is very good (usually 4-5 TKL a bottle) Wine is made in Turkey and is getting better every year. Expect to pay around 6-7 liras for a glass in a restaurant.
Water is approximately 1 TRL for a 1.5 litre bottle, soft drinks and juices are around 2-3 TRL.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Private air-con bus, boat, plane
About our Transportation
On this trip we will use a mixture of public and private buses, trains, planes, boats and walking. You will really have the chance to experience all the different kinds of transport on offer in Turkey. The Eastern Turkey portion of the trip is in a private van.
Day 2: our overnight train accommodation is in comfortable shared 4-bunk compartments. They are air-conditioned and all bedding is provided. The toilet is located at the end of each carriage. There is also a dining car where you can purchase drinks and snacks. The journey should take approximately 9.5hrs from Istanbul to Ankara.
Day 8: On board our boat the facilities are very basic. We sleep on deck under the stars, with mattresses and full bedding, which are provided. There is a toilet and an open air shower on board. Dinner tonight is included and cold drinks are available for purchase and we do ask that no external drinks are brought onboard. This really is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the crystal waters Turkey is famous for! Sleeping on the boat is seasonal from May to October and even during these months, will still be dependent on weather conditions. In other months, you will stay in a guesthouse at Ucagiz, but still spend a full day on a boat excursion on Day 9.
Local Flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (18 nts), boat (1 nt, multi-share, hotel stay if inclement weather), homestay (1 nt).
My Own Room Exceptions
Night 6 local village stay, Night 8 overnight boat and Night 12 Ayvalik.
While in Western Turkey you will stay in small, clean and comfortable hotels and pansiyons. All accommodation, with the exception of that mentioned below, will have ensuite bathrooms with Western style toilets.
Accommodation in Eastern Turkey is quite different to that in the more “developed” areas of Turkey. Hotels tend to be for businessmen or cater to large groups of domestic tourists. As a result they tend to be bigger and the rooms more simple.
Reception staff will speak very little or no English but will try their very best to help you.
Below are details on some of our unique accommodation experiences on this itinerary.
Day 2 Overnight Train:
Our accommodation is in comfortable shared 4-bunk compartments. They are air-conditioned and all bedding is provided. The toilet is located at the end of each carriage. There is also a dining car where you can purchase drinks and snacks. The journey should take approximately 9 hours. My own room is not available tonight.
Day 6 Village Stay :
During our village stay we aim to give you the experience of life with a a local family. We use two houses with each room sleeping up to three people and sharing the family bathroom. All bedding is provided.
In the evening we gather together to enjoy a meal or fresh, local produce with the menu dependent on what is in season.My own room is not available tonight.
Day 8 Overnight Boat:
Overnight on board the boat will take place between May and October only and will depend on weather conditions even then. The rest of the year and when the weather does not permit sleeping onboard, you will stay in a local hotel. This is a multi-share night on board a typical boat, mattresses will be put on the floor and you will be provided with bedding. There is one passenger toilet and one shower inside and one outside, both are shared. There is no hot water on board. No towels will be provided.My own room is not available tonight.
Day 12 Ayvalik
Located in a restored Ottoman house, our family-run pension is always a highlight for our travellers. This accommodation has shared bathroom facilities and some rooms may be multi-share. My own room is not available tonight.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
A metered taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost around 40-45 Turkish Lira (USD 25-28). From Ataturk Airport to the Sirkeci area where our hotels are located will take between 30 and 45 minutes depending on traffic.
It is possible to take the metro from the airport to Istanbul city centre. Go to stop “ZEYTINBURNU”. From here catch the tramway at “ZEYTINBURNU” point, going towards SIRKECI. Get off at the stop “GULHANE”. You will see Port Shield Pub just on the corner. Take a right, walk straight through the Ebusuut Street and this time take the third right. You’ll see our hotel.
For both metro and tram one ride token is 3 Turkish Lira and you can find machines to buy tokens just at stations.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Turkey)
During office hours: + 90 212 296 80 36
After hours emergency number +90 532 481 51 73 (Yavuz)
G Adventures Turkey Manager – Yaviuz (Istanbul Turkey)
Emergency number: +90 532 481 51 73
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
We are able to organise extra accommodation post-trip should you require it. Please enquire at the time of booking.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather and cooler evenings (See also “What to Take” and “Local Dress” sections of this dossier)
•Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Purification tablets or filter
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
•Camera and film
•Cover for backpacks
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provided the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Passengers travelling to Turkey for tourism or trade can purchase an electronic visa prior to entering the country. This electronic visa will replace the “sticker” and “stamp-type” visas issued at Turkish points of entry.
This e-visa can be obtained by visiting the website: www.evisa.gov.tr.
Your passport must be valid for 6 months on the date that you enter Turkey. Length of validity of your visa is dependent on your nationality, but is commonly 3 months.
For country specific visa information we recommend the following link:http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY).
Almost all local purchases in Turkey (meals, souvenirs, optional activities, etc) will be paid for in TRY
ATMs are found within main cities in Turkey and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will change a fee for overseas withdrawals.
Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are easy to exchange into Turkish Lira. Please note – while you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations, carrying cash only is a high safety risk. Money on ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.
Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.
Credit cards are in general not very useful in Turkey – they can be used at some larger stores if shopping for big items such as carpets.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Usually included in international flight tickets.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
Please see the itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
DRINKING WATER: It is advisable to drink bottled water in Turkey.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
While visiting mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn’t wear short shorts or skirts.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you’ll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Please visit http://www.gadventures.com/evaluations
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Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: ETUT, ID: 22612
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Istanbul
There are no activities planned until our evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, opt to join your CEO and fellow travellers for dinner.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Istanbul/Ankara (1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk around Istanbul before moving on to the capital city of Ankara.
Istanbul Orientation Walk
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Ankara/Göreme (1B, 1D)
Transfer to the town of Göreme, the base for exploring Cappadocia. With 2.5 days free to explore, there will be plenty of time to tour the area by bike, visit neighbouring villages, trek regional valleys or try a hot air balloon ride.
During one of the evenings, travel to a nearby village and enjoy dinner with a local family.
The local dinner may take place on any night in Göreme based on the family’s availability.
Dinner with Local Family
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Days 4-5 Göreme
Outdoor enthusiast? Hire a bike to get around on two wheels or join your CEO on an optional trekking tour through one of the beautiful valleys of the region.
If you want to go further afield, take a local bus to explore nearby villages.
If you pre-booked the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, you will be flying today (weather permitting).
Göreme Open Air Museum Guided Tour
Day 6 Göreme/Güneysınır (1B, 1D)
Depart Göreme and head to an underground city to explore. Have a quick lunch before journeying to the region of Konya.
Travel about 1 hour to a local village for a cozy homestay. On the way, visit Catalhoyuk, a uniquely well-preserved Neolithic site.
Upon arrival in the village, learn about local life and enjoy a home-cooked dinner.
Underground City Visit
Turkish Village Homestay
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
Day 7 Güneysınır/Antalya (1B)
Arrive at Antalya around lunchtime.
With a free afternoon, wander the charming cobbled hillside streets of the district of Kaleici, a great place to stop and have a drink with amazing views of the marina below. For a break from the hustle and bustle, head for the greenery and teashops at one of Antalya’s beautiful parks or catch some sun at a nearby beach.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Antalya/Kekova (1B, 1D)
Drive to the beautiful coastal village of Demre for lunch. After, board our boat for an unforgettable night on the Mediterranean Sea.
The boat trip includes sailing around Kekova Island, with plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine and scenery.
Later, walk to Simena Castle to enjoy the views and archaeological ruins. Then opt to go for a swim in the crystal clear waters or just relax on deck.
The evening may be very cold— please come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing. We will provide bedding but it is recommended that you bring a personal sleep sheet to place inside.
Overnight Boat Trip
Simena Castle Visit
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Kekova/Kaş (1B)
Wake up on board and enjoy breakfast in the fresh morning air. Opt for a swim before returning to Demre, and continuing on to the coastal town of Kaş.
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 10 Kaş/Selçuk (1B)
Leave the beautiful sea behind and head to Pamukkale, passing through fruit orchards on the way.
Visit the famous white cliffs of Pamukkale and the ancient site of Hierapolis before continuing on to Selçuk.
Hierapolis and Pamukkale Visit
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Selçuk (1B)
Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus.
After, head to town and enjoy some free time to explore. Opt to walk to the remains of St John’s Basilica, visit the Mosque of Isa Bey or wander the streets of this vibrant Turkish town. Or catch a local “dolmus” bus to the picturesque village of Şirince (8 km) to sample some local wine or shop for crafts. For dedicated sunseekers, the beach at Pamucaki is also within reach.
Day 12 Selçuk/Ayvalık (1B)
Ayvalik’s blend of Ottoman architecture, cobblestoned streets, and attractive harbour make this stop a highlight. The beach of Sarimsakli is a quick bus ride away and the harbour in town offers short cruises.
After exploring, head down to one of the waterside restaurants for a sunset drink or meal. Then enjoy the hospitality and beautiful views from the family-run pension in a restored Ottoman mansion.
Ottoman Mansion Stay
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Day 13 Ayvalık/Çanakkale (1B)
Enjoy a visit to the world-famous city of Troy. After exploring the site, continue to the harbour town of Çanakkale, a busy port with a thriving student population.
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 14 Çanakkale/Istanbul (1B)
Continue the journey to Istanbul where there will be the opportunity to carry on sightseeing.
Gallipoli Battlefields Guided Tour
Transfer to ferry.
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Ferry (0.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 15 Istanbul/Kars (1B)
Located near the Armenian border, the city of Kars offers a mixture of cultures and a wealth of stone structures and colourful houses.
Enjoy a visit to Ani, once the capital of the Armenian kingdom. The city was renowned for its sizeable population and variety of religious structures.
Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 16 Kars/Van (1B)
See Ishak Pasha Palace, perched high on a hilltop, and soak in the views of Mt Ararat en route to Van.
The afternoon is free to explore this dusty frontier town. Opt to visit the women’s co-op or purchase one of the beautiful carpets the region is known for.
The journey includes a stop at the Ishak Pasha Palace.
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 17 Van/Mardin (1B)
Mardin is a great place to experience a local hammam, or Turkish communal bathhouse. In the evening, opt for a local dinner in a beautifully restored caravanserai, an ancient inn for traders and their animals.
Akdamar Island Boat Trip
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Mardin (1B)
The beautiful and ancient hilltop town of Mardin is a real treasure. The stone houses and castle ruins set the scene. Wander the bazaar, sample some local treats, and soak in the views.
Deyrulzafaran Monastery Visit
Day 19 Mardin/Kâhta (1B)
Travel to Kahta and explore the area around Mt Nemrut. Visit the Karakus Tumulus (Women’s Monument), Severan Roman bridge, and the site of ancient Arsameia at the giant burial monuments.
Karakus Tumulus, Severan Bridge and Arsameia Visit
Nemrut Dagi Excursion
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 20 Kâhta/Sanliurfa (1B)
A world away from Istanbul, exotic Şanlıurfa gives you the chance to experience some true Middle Eastern flavour. Visit Harran, famous for its beehive houses.
Later, back in Urfa, visit Golbasi Par. After, explore the town’s fascinating covered bazaars, taking the chance to enjoy a glass of sweet tea and, perhaps, a game of backgammon in a local tea house.
Harran Beehive Houses Visit
Golbasi Park and Sanliurfa Bazaar Visit
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 21 Sanliurfa/Istanbul (1B)
We highly recommend booking pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city.
Plane (1.50 hour(s))