Turkey Food Adventure

Turkey Food Adventure

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10 Days From

$2010

$1799

Turkey Food Adventure

10 Days Starting in Istanbul, Türkiye and ending in Göreme, 50180 Göreme/Nevsehir Merkez/Nevsehir, Türkiye

Visiting: İstanbul, Galata Tower, Ayvalık, Pergamon Ancient City, Selçuk, Kuşadası, Şirince, Pamukkale, Konya, Sultanhanı Caravanserai, Kaymaklı, Cappadocia, Göreme

Tour operator:

Explore!

Tour code:

XTU

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

8 - 10

Physical rating:

Medium, Moderate

Age range:

16-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

From:
$2010
$1799 Operator discount: -$160 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$51

NB: Prices correct on 24-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Tickle your taste buds with specialties from the Marmara, Aegean and Central regions of Turkey from slow cooked kebabs to sweet delights and moreish street food. Between visits to a wealth of ancient sites, we'll feast on Turkish meze and baklava.





Discover delicious street food - From balik ekmek (grilled mackerel sandwich) to chewy ice cream and gozleme (savoury pastries)


Cookery classes - Learn how to stuff vine leaves and make cacik (tzatziki)


Cappadocia - Tour a wine cellar in this fairytale landscape

Highlights

  • visits to a wealth of ancient sites, we'll feast on Turkish meze and baklava.

  • Discover delicious street food - From balik ekmek (grilled mackerel sandwich) to chewy ice cream and gozleme (savoury pastries)

  • Cookery classes - Learn how to stuff vine leaves and make cacik (tzatziki)

  • Cappadocia - Tour a wine cellar in this fairytale landscape

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Join Trip In Istanbul

Location: İstanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Erboy

Meals Included: No Meals

Our trip begins in Istanbul. As Constantinople, the city was the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, so today it is steeped in history and fascinating architecture. Geographically, the city straddles Europe and Asia and because of this, it was an important stop on the old Silk Road and a melting pot of different cultures which is demonstrated in its gastronomy. Turkish food is a hearty mix of Middle Eastern, Asian and Balkan style dishes that range from barbecued meat kebabs to vine leaf wrapped vegetable and rice parcels.



For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Istanbul at any time, if you miss the briefing, your Tour Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.



If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive at Istanbul Airport (IST), which is about one hour and 30 minutes' drive or Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW), which is around two hours' drive from the hotel, depending on traffic, which can be heavy at times.

Day 2 : Discover Istanbul’S Street Food Scene. Walking Tour Of The Sultanahmet District

Location: İstanbul, Galata Tower

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Erboy

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we'll get our first chance to try a traditional Turkish breakfast, one of the most important meals in Turkish culture. Breakfasts are big and savoury, including; fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, different kinds of cheese, eggs, jams, honey, and a clotted cream known as kaymak, along with tea and fruit juice.



Heading out on foot, we walk to the Sultanahmet district, passing through historic Istanbul's lively and colourful streets to reach the hub of Sultanahmet Square. Also known as the Hippodrome of Constantinople the square was used for chariot racing in the Roman era; nowadays it's more sedate with a number of landmarks including the Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and the Walled Obelisk. We have a guided tour of the square, ending up at its most famous building the impressive Sultanahmet Blue Mosque, one of the most widely recognized sites in Istanbul, which still dominates the skyline to this day.



Colourful and varied, Istanbul is a street food lover's paradise, it's diverse, delicious and sold everywhere from small carts, to street corners, shop fronts & restaurants. For lunch we will try a popular on-the-go meal, balik ekmek (grilled mackerel sandwich) accompanied by a glass of pickle juice!



The afternoon is left free to continue your exploration of the city independently. You may choose to visit the impressive 6th century Sunken Palace cisterns or there is the chance to take a boat trip on the Bosphorus, offering stunning views of the Istanbul skyline. To appreciate the wonderful skyline of domes and minarets further, you may opt to climb the Galata Tower.



Tonight's dinner location is Galata Bridge, there's an array of street food stalls where the locals head to after work and the restaurants under the bridge serve a variety of dishes including the speciality of fresh fish caught daily.

Day 3 : Sip Turkish Tea On The Ferry To The Asian Side. Baklava And Turkish Delight Tasting In The Spice Bazaar

Location: İstanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Erboy

Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we explore a locals residential area, walking to the Suleymaniye Mosque, and from the back streets head down to the Golden Horn waterway.



We take the public ferry across the straits of the Bosphorus to the Asian side. Taking around thirty minutes, the ferry offers great views of the city skyline from the busy waterway that separates the continents of Europe and Asia. During the crossing we can sip Turkish tea and munch on a simit, a round, sesame-coated bread that is a very popular Turkish street snack. Kadikoy district has a quieter more laid-back feel, we wander through the market tasting local specialities such as pickles, olives, cheese and honey. We'll break in a cafe to be revived with Turkish coffee - an essential part of Turkey's culinary heritage, their coffee, poured from a cezve (small long-handled copper pot) is unfiltered making it thicker and richer.



On the way back to the hotel we'll make a stop at the Spice Bazaar, an expansive covered market filled with delicious treats and exotic smells. We'll snack on a pick 'n mix of Baklava and lokum(Turkish delight) the local's favourite remains plain jelly combined with pistachios.



This evening, you might choose to enjoy Istanbul's nightlife, with its large selection of restaurants, bars and entertainment. There will be the opportunity to book your own dining experience in Istanbul for tonight if you wish - The Michelin Guide's first restaurant selection for Istanbul will be unveiled on October 11, 2022, be sure to book well in advance of travel. Your Tour Leader will be able to offer you advice based on your preferences.

Day 4 : Meze Tasting In Ayvalik On The Way To Selcuk. Visit The Ancient Greek City Of Perergamum

Location: Ayvalık, Pergamon Ancient City

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Efe Boutique

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we leave the city lights behind and drive south to Ayvalik, a four-and-a-half hour journey. This old town has a long history of occupations and origins in Greek mythology. For lunch we'll feast on meze, an assortment of small dishes eaten as appetizers or a light meal, designed to be shared by the table. They can be served hot or cold and may contain meat or fish accompanied by fresh and grilled vegetables, olives and a selection of dips - the selection of Ayvalik meze will vary depending on the time of year.



After lunch we continue south, passing endless olive groves and pomegranate trees before stopping to visit the Greco-Roman remains of Pergamum. Now the typical Turkish town of Bergama, Pergamum gave its name to the word 'parchment', for which it was famous for throughout the Middle East.



Our hotel for the next three nights is located in Kusadasi on the Aegean coast.

Day 5 : Visit Epheus & Temple Of Artemis. Street Food In Selcuk

Location: Selçuk, Kuşadası

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Efe Boutique

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we visit the great Greco-Roman city of Ephesus. We aim to get there in time for the site opening and before it becomes overly crowded with visitors. Once visited by Mark Antony and Cleopatra, this famous Asia Minor seaport reached its zenith in the 2nd century AD, becoming one of the main cultural and economic centres of the ancient world until it went into decline after the 7th century. It boasted an excellent gymnasia and a stadium with seating for 70,000 spectators. Other highlights include the Baths of Constantine, the Temple of Hadrian with its beautiful facade, the theatre (a giant with 24,000 seats), the Arcadian Way (where Cleopatra entered from the harbour) and the Marble Avenue featuring the 2-storey Library of Celsus, which is one of the most photographed Greco-Roman buildings in the world.



Driving on a short distance, we will visit the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before continuing to Selcuk to taste some typical specialities. Street food in Selcuk includes bulgar wheat balls (vegan) & stretchy ice cream that's doesn't melt! - traditionally, it's made with milk, sugar, salep flour and mastic gum, salep is a thickening agent, from the root of an orchid.



In your own time this afternoon, you may choose to explore St John's Basilica, the Isa Bey Mosque or Selcuk Museum. Alternatively, you may prefer to enjoy a bit of shopping or relaxation, soaking up the town's laid-back vibe. Selcuk is the ideal place to people-watch as you sip Turkish tea with the backgammon-playing locals in the many open air café's and parks.

Day 6 : Gozleme And Fruit Wine Tasting In Sirince. Evening Cooking Class

Location: Şirince

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Efe Boutique

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we head into the mountains to the colourful little village of Sirince surrounded by fig trees, Aegean olive trees, walnut and apple trees. Famed for its fruit vines we'll try various flavours at a Winehouse including raspberry, banana, chocolate, pomegranate and mulberry. Wander the cobbled car-free streets, watching ladies cooking Gozleme (savoury spinach stuffed pancakes) and purchase some freshly collected mountain thyme.



Back in Selcuk this afternoon, we take a cookery class in a local restaurant, learning how to make four dishes - stuffed vine leaves, mucver (courgette fritters), lentil soup and refreshing Cacik (yogurt & cucumber dip).

Day 7 : Visit The Ancient Sites Of Pamukkale And Hierapolis On The Way To Konya. Whirling Dervishes Show

Location: Pamukkale, Konya

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Dergah

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we travel inland to Konya, a journey of five hours, on the way we'll visit the ancient sites of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Situated on a high escarpment, Pamukkale 'frozen waterfall' has been an attraction since Roman times. Stalactites of a bright white petrified waterfalls, formed from calciferous mineral deposits from the hot springs here, cascade from basin to basin. We visit the incredible travertine pools, where you can opt to swim and enjoy the views overlooking the Menderes Valley.



Above the terraced pools you'll find the ancient spa town of Hierapolis where the ruins date back to 2nd century BC and the time of Eumenes II. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site we visit the theatre, Temple of Apollo, Frontinus Gate and see a number of sarcophagi as well as having the chance to go into the Archaeology Museum housed in the former Roman baths.



Arriving into Konya, for dinner there will be the opportunity to try a succulent oven lamb kebab (cooked for around 6hrs in wood fire) served with flatbread. Konya is Turkey's holiest city and the home of the Mevlana sect, better known as the Whirling Dervishes, as we are staying on a Friday we'll be able to catch the free ceremony show!

Day 8 : Try Turkish Pide And Pottery Kebab, Visit Kaymakli Underground City

Location: Sultanhanı Caravanserai, Kaymaklı

Accommodation: Hotel

Accommodation Name: Sobek Stone House

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continuing our journey into the central region, our first stop is the 13th century Sultanhani Caravansarai - once the largest roadside inns in Turkey, supporting the flow of commerce between the East and the West. We then drive for a further two hours to the heart of Cappadocia.



On the menu for lunch is Turkish pide, a savoury oval shaped baked bread with various combinations of toppings or stuffing's, Turkey's version of pizza! The most common fillings are cheese and egg or ground meat and red pepper.



This afternoon we'll visit Kaymakli Underground City. Built by Christians escaping Arab oppression and once home to 3,500 people, this troglodyte cave-city is one of the largest of 34 similar excavations in Cappadocia. Built under the Citadel of Kaymakli, it contains nearly 100 tunnels on eight subterranean floors. We will explore the four that are open to the public, containing stables, a church and storage places.



Tonight's dinner is a real taste of Cappadocia, the speciality dish of 'pottery kebab' - meat and veg cooked slowly in special clay pots sealed with dough. The high temperature and pressure inside the sealed pots increase the flavour and tenderness of this dish. When ready, the blazing hot pot is cracked in front of us, releasing the aromas and adding a bit of spectacle to the evening!



Our last two nights are spent in a traditional style stone hotel on the outskirts of Goreme with, indoor & outdoor swimming pools, sauna, terrace bar and fantastic, mountain views - if you're up early you will be able to see hot air balloons filling the sky.

Day 9 : Explore The Unesco World Heritage Site Of The Goreme Open Air Museum. Wine Cellar Tour And Tasting

Location: Cappadocia

Accommodation Name: Sobek Stone House

Meals Included: Breakfast

After a leisurely breakfast there is the option of a three hour walk through the spectacular rock formations in the Red and Rose Valleys.



This afternoon we'll enjoy panoramic views from Uchisar Castle and spend time in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Goreme Open Air Museum. We'll take our time to explore its many rock-carved churches and monastic buildings; some of which feature a stunning collection of wall paintings. Formed by volcanic eruptions which covered the valleys with mud, ash and blocks of hard rock, over the ages this volcanic 'tufa' was sculpted by erosion into strange and improbable shapes. Byzantine hermits settled in this area and carved churches, houses, fortresses and even complete underground cities into these cone formations known as fairy-tale chimneys.



Cappadocia is considered to be one of the regions where the making of wine originated, nearly 7000 years ago. The mineral-rich volcanic soil and temperate climate makes the perfect growing conditions for grapes and fruits. The wines are smooth, dry and delightful, we'll have a cellar tour and sample the different varieties - red, blush and white wines, as well as dessert wines are produced here. Grape growing and harvesting is still carried out with ancient techniques in the many small vineyards and orchards that dot the landscape. We'll enjoy a final dinner together at a typical local restaurant.

Day 10 : Trip Ends In Goreme, Cappadocia

Location: Göreme

Meals Included: Breakfast

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Goreme.



There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Goreme at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kayseri Airport (ASR), which is about an hours drive from the hotel.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    7 nights comfortable hotel,2 nights premium hotel

  • Fully Guided

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

    Complimentary airport transfer to Istanbul Airport (IST), or, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) first day.
    Complimentary airport transfer to Kayseri Airport (ASR), last day.

  • Meals

    As per details given in an itinerary.

What's Not Included

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No, not included

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    7 nights comfortable hotel, 2 nights premium hotel

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes, minimum age 10 years or above.

  • What is the fitness level required to do this tour?

    Moderate

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes, complimentary airport transfer is provided on the first and last day of tour.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    Yes, as detail within the itinerary

  • What is the maximum group size?

    10

  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at https://www.explore.co.uk/about/sustainability/charities-and-partners

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

  • Do I need to be very fit to book with you?

    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

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Excellent company

07-Dec-2022

Excellent company, there are so many trips, you really get looked after. Everything is dealt with by your Tour Leader, all logistics are taken care of and usually things go smoothly, I only use explore because I know what to expect each time, that makes me happy, with a stress free holiday

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 70 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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