Turkey Real Food Adventure

Turkey Real Food Adventure

11 Days From



Turkey Real Food Adventure

11 Days Starting and ending in Istanbul

Visiting: Istanbul, Canakkale, Selcuk, Overnight train to Goreme, Konya, Göreme, Goreme, Mustafapaşa, Istanbul

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Small Group

$2462 Operator discount: -$133 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$70

NB: Prices correct on 27-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Get up close and personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions on this authentic food adventure. From ancient recipes with modern twists to Asian-inspired feasts with European influences, take a tongue-tingling journey beyond the cookbook and discover the secrets behind delicious Turkish dishes. Enjoy a cooking class in the caves of Cappadocia, learn from a celebrated local chef in Selcuk, and explore the impressive ruins of Ephesus. Whether you’re wandering through the passageways of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar or flying high in a balloon above the fairy chimneys of Goreme, embark on an experience that goes above and beyond what you think you know about Turkish cuisine.


  • Discover the secrets behind Turkish dishes during a cooking class with a celebrated local chef in Selcuk, and learn how to make central Anatolian dishes with a local chef in her cave home.

  • Meet the people behind the dishes, from the market vendors serving up sizzling street food in Izmir and Istanbul, to the owners of a local olive farm in a rural village.

  • Taste the country’s most cherished dishes, from iconic kebabs and world-famous Turkish delight to local favourites like baklava, pide, gozleme and fish sandwiches.

  • Explore bustling Istanbul, walk among the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, hear the wartime stories of Gallipoli and wander through the ancient ruins of Ephesus.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, CYDD (Cagdas Yasami Destekleme Dernegi). Donations help them provide scholarships and educational programs for economically disadvantaged youth in Turkey.

  • Get to know the artisans behind local crafts when you visit a social enterprise that trains local women in carpet weaving, and visit a family-run pottery studio that’s been in business for six generations.


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Day 1: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: dinner

Hosgeldiniz! 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 that’s represented not only in its architecture, but in its delicious cuisine. Your adventure kicks off at 6pm today with an important welcome meeting, however if you arrive early, feel free to go out and explore what this captivating city has to offer. 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. The eggplant kebab is also a winner if you fancy something vegetarian tonight.

Included Activities:
-Istanbul - Welcome Dinner

Day 2: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Start the day by heading to the celebrated Egyptian Spice Bazaar on a guided walking tour. Meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and savour a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Hippodrome. The area around Eminonu boasts some delicious street food, and local favourites include barbecued corn, roasted kestane (chestnuts), and of course lokum, which you may know better as Turkish Delight. In the afternoon, jump on a ferry and in just 20 minutes you’ll arrive on the Asian side of the city in the vibrant neighbourhood of Kadikoy. Hit the sarkuteri (delicatessen) to sample some olives, pastirma (seasoned cured beef) and a variety of delicious pickles. Your evening is free to spend as you wish.

Included Activities:
-Istanbul - Spice Market tour
-Istanbul - Kadikoy visit and street food tour
-Istanbul - City Tour

Day 3: Canakkale

Location: Canakkale

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, travel to the waterside town of Canakkale, visiting the Gallipoli battlefields en route, a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealanders. Turkey's most westerly point may feel serene, but this coastal point was once a major backdrop of World War I. After touring the former battlefields, continue to Canakkale and join your leader for an orientation walk of this exciting university city perched on the Dardanelles. During the walk you'll stop to sample locally made cheeses and jams. Canakkale has a great range of dining options – ask your leader for some recommendations. You may like to round out your day with a stroll along the waterfront with a dondurma, a type of Turkish ice-cream.

Included Activities:
-Gallipoli - Battlefields visit
-Canakkale - Leader-led orientation walk
-Canakkale - Cheese and jam tasting

Day 4: Selcuk

Location: Selcuk

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

This morning, we’ll begin our journey to Selcuk. Our first stop is Adatepe Village to see the Altar of Zeus. The altar was dedicated by King Eumenes II to Zeus and Athena Nikephoros, and its construction probably took place between 181 and 159 B.C. Travel onwards to an authentic Turkish village famed for its olive oil products. Hear the story of the regional olives, sample some of the products and wander this beautiful town. For lunch we visit a restaurant that is owned by a local woman who left the corporate world behind to become an award-winning olive & olive oil producer and restaurant owner. After lunch, we’ll drive approx. 3 hrs to Selcuk where the evening is free to spend as you wish.

Included Activities:
-Havran - Olive Oil Farm
-Adatepe - Altar of Zeus

Day 5: Selcuk

Location: Selcuk

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Today is a full day. This morning you will visit Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites. Explore this beautifully preserved classical city with your leader 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, and Roman baths. The theatre is well-preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but the marvellous library might just be the highlight. From ancient ruins to ancient traditions, next up you’ll be treated to a carpet weaving demonstration and learn about the art of traditional carpet weaving from local social enterprise; Sultanköy. Turkish carpet weaving dates back to the early Neolithic age. Sultanköy provides local women with employment while protecting and developing the ancient tradition. Later, drive past apple and peach orchards to the quaint village of Sirince, where charming, red-roofed houses clamber up the hillside. Drop by a local wine house where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the locally produced fruit wines. Try a sip of kiwi, pear, peach, quince, or all the above! Next, you’re in for an extraordinary treat - meet a local chef (who has appeared on the BBC!) for a Turkish cooking class, using olive oil produced on site as well as herbs and vegetables picked fresh from the garden. If you’re just eating Turkish food in restaurants, you’re only getting half the story. Learn how to make a range of small mezze dishes using seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour as this evening’s dinner will be the mouth-watering mezze plates you’ve made together.

Included Activities:
-Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
-Selcuk - Sultankoy Village Carpet Weaving
-Selcuk - Cooking class

Day 6: Overnight Train To Goreme

Location: Overnight train to Goreme

Accommodation: Overnight train

Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

After breakfast, join your leader for an orientation walk around Selcuk. You’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of 14th-century Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the sixth century. Late morning, drive to Izmir (1hr) where your leader will show you around the city, visiting the clock tower, Hisar Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar. While in the bazaar you will have the opportunity to try some local treats such as kumru (a favourite local sandwich), boyoz (an Izmir tahini pastry specialty) and gevrek (a chewy bread dipped in honey, water, and sesame seeds). You'll have free time to explore and eat your way around Izmir, before meeting the group and heading to the train station. Your train will depart Izmir in the evening, transporting you through the night to the central Anatolian city of Konya.

Included Activities:
-Selcuk - Leader-led orientation walk
-Izmir - Street eats and city tour

Day 7: Goreme

Location: Konya, Göreme

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

Arrive in Konya by early morning, then take a private transfer to Goreme. This is your gateway to the fabled fairy-chimneys of Capadoccia. Perhaps stop for a mid-morning snack of etli ekmek, 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 restaurant 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. 

Included Activities:
-Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City

Day 8: Goreme

Location: Goreme, Mustafapaşa, Göreme

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfastlunch

This morning you have the option to take a hot air balloon flight, a once-in-a-lifetime experience during which the sun illuminates a skyline dotted with balloons. Even if you'd prefer not to take a flight, it's still worth waking up for this truly incredible sight. Later this morning, wander through the Soganli Valley on a morning walk (approximately 1 hour), taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. Next up is a stop in Mustafapasa, a village with strong Greek Orthodox roots. Take a break at a coffeehouse to see the beans being roasted and sample the fresh results. Onwards to lunch to try a local specialty - testi kebab. Also known as pottery kebab, meat and vegetables are cooked in a clay pot for several hours, before being cracked open in front of you. This afternoon, 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 (approximately 1.5 hours) as the sun sets, enjoying a glass of the local wine.

Included Activities:
-Goreme - Sunset wine tasting
-Goreme - Red Valley walk
-Goreme - Soganli Valley walk
-Mustafapasa - Coffeehouse visit and tasting

Optional Activities:
-Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight
-Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight

Day 9: Goreme

Location: Goreme

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

This morning you will visit a family-run pottery studio that has been in the business for six generations. Speak with a local artist who will explain the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics. Discover the rich local clay and watch how it is molded into exquisite pieces. Enjoy free time before an evening cooking class. You'll be warmly welcomed into the cave home of Nuray, a brilliant home cook. Under her tutelage, learn to prepare classic central Anatolian dishes. The exact menu will vary to showcase the best of local seasonal produce. Enjoy your flavoursome creations over dinner.

Included Activities:
-Goreme - Cooking Class
-Cappadocia - Pottery demonstration

Day 10: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

This morning, wave the fairy chimneys a fond goodbye and transfer to one of the region's airports for a flight back to Istanbul. After checking into your hotel, enjoy free time before joining your group for a classic Istanbul meal - balik ekmek, the casual but delicious fish sandwich, bought and eaten alongside the Bosphorus.

Included Activities:
-Istanbul - Balik ekmek (fish sandwich)

Day 11: Istanbul

Location: Istanbul

Meals Included: breaksfast

Your Intrepid trip comes to an end this morning. If you wish to spend some more time in Istanbul, we would be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Accommodation

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Airport Transfers at Destination


  • Fully Guided

  • Meals

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • Istanbul - Welcome Dinner

  • Istanbul - Spice Market tour

  • Istanbul - Kadikoy visit and street food tour

  • Istanbul - City Tour

  • Gallipoli - Battlefields visit

  • Canakkale - Leader-led orientation walk

show more

What's Not Included

  • Insurance

  • International Travel


  • Plane , Private Vehicle , Overnight Train


  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • Please note that Turkey can have extreme weather. Winter (approx. November to February) can be very cold. Not all of our hotels have heating so consider bringing thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period. Summer (approx. June to August) can be very hot. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. Please consider the seasons when planning your trip.
  • Some hotels may also charge for air-conditioning in your room.

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 6 (Overnight Train) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to
  • availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 2. 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 advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes, 15 years old or above

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?


  • Is this trip right for you

    The cuisine of Turkey includes a lot of meat and seafood. For vegetarians and vegans we recommend reviewing the itinerary and inclusions to ensure that you will be able to fully participate and enjoy this trip. We also have many other trips to Turkey which can accommodate a range of dietary requirements.

    This trip includes a 12 hour overnight train trip from Izmir to Konya. Please see Day 6 of the itinerary for details.

    This trip involves a lot of walking, sometimes on rocky or slippery terrain such as the sites in Goreme. Please bring sturdy walking shoes, but also note that you can sit out the walks if you do not feel up to them.

    Don’t underestimate the weather at any time of year in Turkey. In the summer months, heat can be extreme. In winter months, some travellers have been surprised at how low the temperatures go. A hat, sunscreen, and clothing that can be layered will serve you well year-round.

  • Will there be an escort accompanying this tour?


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

    LOW - Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?


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

    As detailed in the itinerary

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

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


  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

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

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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