Best of Turkey

Best of Turkey

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14 Days
From

$2890

$2811

Best of Turkey

14 Days Starting in Istanbul and ending in Cappadocia

Visiting: Turkey

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

BOT

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Adventure touring

From:
$2890
$2811 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $79

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

We combine the classic highlights with forays into some of the country's more unusual places. In Istanbul we explore the Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque, before we journey to the historical cities of Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Then we have the opportunity to swim in the clear Aegean waters while discovering the ancient towns of Fethiye, Antalya, Kas and Kekova that characterise this exquisite coastline. Konya, known for its Whirling Dervishes, is next on the itinerary before we head to Cappadocia, famous for the underground cities and extraordinary rock formations scattered throughout the Goreme Valley, where we conclude this fascinating trip.

Highlights

  • A moving visit to the WW1 battleground of Gallipoli

  • Explore the spectacular and dramatic landscapes of Cappadocia including Red Valley and White Valley

  • Tour of the ancient city of Ephesus and Troy

  • Cruise to Kekova Islands along the Mediterranean coast

  • Swim in the turquoise coastal waters of Oludeniz Lagoon

  • Discover the spectacular Lycian Coast

  • Experience the hot springs of Pamukkale

  • Marvel at the Whirling Dervishes Museum in Konya

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Join Istanbul

If you are arriving in Istanbul today, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 2 : In Istanbul
Meals Included: B

Meet with your tour guide after breakfast at your hotel's reception at around 9:00am/9:30am. An exciting day of discovery as your guide introduces you to Istanbul's famous sites; all are close to the old part of town - Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was the hub of the Ottoman Empire, and many of the grand buildings of this period are present today. The markets too, would be little changed from early times, a chaotic mix of goods and wares brought by people near and far to trade. Foods, clothing, jewellery, leather goods can be found at reasonable prices if you bargain. Late afternoon is at your leisure.

Day 3 : To Gallipoli, Ferry To Canakkale
Meals Included: B

Today we leave Istanbul and drive to Gallipoli (Gelibolu) located on the Dardanelles Peninsula. This is a moving place and one cannot help but wonder at the tragedies that occurred in such a stunning location. We wander the national park housing many relics of the naval and land battles that took place in 1915 during World War One. Amongst other places, we visit Anzac Cove, the site of the first bungled ANZAC landing and Lone Pine, the largest graveyard memorial to those buried in unmarked graves or at sea. Then we take the ferry across to Canakkale for overnight. Transfer Time: 5/6 h; Transfer Distance: 345 km.

Day 4 : Drive To Selcuk, En Route Visit Troy
Meals Included: B

Today we leave Canakkale and drive to Selcuk. Along the way we visit the famous site of Troy. This archaeological site is believed to be a series of cities built in succession and is the site of the Trojan War. With a little imagination it is not too difficult to establish what the city, now UNESCO World Heritage listed, would have been like during its peak. We continue to Selcuk for overnight. Transfer Time: 6/7 h; Transfer Distance: 395 km.

Day 5 : Explore Ephesus
Meals Included: B

Today we visit the ancient city of Ephesus. With the exception of Pompeii, Ephesus is the largest and best-preserved ancient city around the Mediterranean. The first half of our morning at this exceptional site will be with our guide who will bring to life the various rooms and buildings, and following this there will be ample time to further absorb the site at your leisure. After visiting Ephesus, we drive to Pamukkale for overnight. Transfer Time: 3/4 h; Transfer Distance: 190 km.

Day 6 : Visit Pamukkale And Hierapolis, Transfer To Fethiye
Meals Included: B

After breakfast we explore Pamukkale. The travertines form shallow pools supported by stalactites created by lime deposits from thermal waters that have cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years. The resulting myriad of pools and terraces is extraordinary. As the water overflows from the pools, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. White pools are full with hot-spring water that is said to have healing powers for circulation and digestive systems. Just next to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, built in the 2nd Century B.C., and later became a health centre. In the afternoon we leave Pamukkale, and drive to Fethiye for overnight. Transfer Time: 4/5 h; Transfer Distance: 230 km.

Day Walk From Kayakoy To Oludeniz, Drive To Kas
Meals Included: B

The beginning of our hike is in Kayakoy, originally named “Karmilassos”. This is an old Greek village that was given up at the beginning of the 20th century. After the visit to the village we walk for about 2 to 3 hours along a forest trail which offers a splendid panorama. We walk directly down to the crystal clear waters and beaches of Oludeniz ‘Blue’ Lagoon before our transfer to Kas for overnight. Walking time: 2/3 h; Walking Distance: 6/7 km; Ascent: 200m; Descent: 300m (Kayakoy – Oludeniz Lagoon). Transfer Time: 2/3 h; Transfer Distance: 110 km.

Day 8 : Cruise To Kekova Islands
Meals Included: B, L

In the morning, a short transfer to the Kekova area. Today we will enjoy the turquoise waters of Mediterranean by boat. We start cruising to the village of Kale where we plan to explore the ruins of ancient Simena and the medieval Byzantine fortress set above the village. Further time will be spent on Kekova Island where the shoreline boasts Byzantine foundations and ruins partly submerged in the sea. This is known as the sunken city. Following a swim and exploration of the sunken city by land we continue on to Ucagiz, an unspoilt fishing village with white washed houses dotted with Lycian tombs. Return to Kas for overnight.

Day 9 : To Antalya, En Route Visit Ancient Myra And Phaselis
Meals Included: B

We leave Kas after breakfast and drive to Antalya. Along the way we visit the township of Demre, famous for the ruins of Myra with its Lycian rock-hewn tombs and a Roman theatre. In the afternoon we continue onto the beautifully located ruined Lycian city of Phaselis. We overnight in the Mediterranean town of Antalya. Transfer Time: 3/4 h; Transfer Distance: 190 km.

Day 10 : To Konya And Cappadocia
Meals Included: B

After breakfast, we drive to Konya to visit the Whirling Dervishes Museum. Known to the west as the Whirling Dervishes, the members of the Mevlevi order had a prolific impact throughout the Ottoman Empire in classical poetry, calligraphy, visual arts and music. Afterwards we visit Sultanhani, the largest Caravanserai in the country. Overnight in Cappadocia. Transfer Time: 7/8 h; Transfer Distance: 560 km.

Day 11 : Cappadocia - Goreme Open Air Museum, Meskendir Valley, Red & Rose Valleys
Meals Included: B

Cappadocia is an extraordinary geological area in central Turkey - reminiscent of a lunar landscape pitted with small volcanic craters, vast barren plateaus and steep jagged cliffs. Only an occasional oasis laying low in semi fertile valleys fed by mineral laden volcanic soil breaks its moonlike landscape. Several centuries ago the Christians hid from encroaching Arab, Persian and Roman forces by building underground cave-like cities linked by secret tunnels. Only when it was safe to surface did the people tend to their fields above. Some of the cities descend some 21 stories. We explore the Museum of Goreme, one of the area's most interesting sights with some of the best preserved frescoes in Cappadocia. Afterwards, we start walking in the Meskendir Valley, which is full with old cave houses and complexes from the old Christian civilisation. Next we cross over to the beautiful Red and Rose Valleys with its spectacular formations and colours where, time permitting, there is an opportunity to visit some hidden churches. Afterwards, optional visits can be made to a pottery centre to learn the 5000 yr old traditions of this craft; and to a carpet workshop, where the knotted or flat woven (kilim) carpets are among the best known art forms produced by the Turks. There are environmental, sociological, economic, and religious reasons for the art of carpet weaving among the Turkish people. Some of these are incorporated into the colourful carpet designs. Walking time: 4/5 h; Walking Distance: 9 km; Ascent: 85m; Descent: 135m (Meskendir Valley; Red & Rose Valley).

Day 12 : Derinkuyu Underground City, Ihlara Canyon And Selime Monastery
Meals Included: B

This morning we drive to Ihlara, enroute we visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu. Then we visit Ihlara Canyon area for a beautiful half day walk. Ihlara is one of the best hiking areas in the region and home to a river that has gouged a 100m vertical gorge through this valley. Here the trees, birds and acoustics of water offer a very pleasant walk as well as a good taste of ancient Christian life. We will have time to visit a couple of churches and have lunch at Belisirma before we visit the Selime Monastery, one of the largest in the region. Return to Cappadocia for overnight. Walking time: 3/4 h; Walking Distance: 8 km (Ihlara - Belisirma). Transfer time: 1/2 h; Transfer Distance: 95 km.

Day 13 : Cappadocia - Uchisar, White Valley, Cavusin Zelve Monastery, Pasabaglari
Meals Included: B, D

After breakfast, we continue our exploration of this fascinating region. First we climb Uchisar Fortress, which is the highest point of Goreme and has panoramic views of the surrounding area. Next we walk in the White Valley or ‘Love Valley’ as it is sometimes known. We continue to Cavusin, from where we start our walk amongst fascinating rock formations and with magnificent views to the fairy chimneys at Monk’s Valley (Pasabaglari) down below. Our walk concludes with a visit to the Zelve Monastery Valley and open air museum. Next we drive to the interesting triple capped fairy chimneys in Pasabaglari. Afterwards there is the option to enjoy a traditional Turkish bath or discover local handicrafts. Farewell Dinner with a local family in Cappadocia.
Walking time: 2/3 h; Walking Distance: 6 km; Ascent: 0m; Descent: 280m; (White Valley).
Walking time: 2/3 h; Walking Distance: 4 km; Ascent: 60m; Descent: 70m; (Cavusin – Zelve - Pasabaglari).

Day 14 : Trip Concludes In Cappadocia
Meals Included: B

Trip arrangements conclude this morning after breakfast.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    13 nights hotel

  • 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner

  • arrival transfer from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST) on Day 1 only

  • 2 to 3 star hotels on a twinshare basis with private facilities

  • private transportation

  • day cruise Kekova Islands

  • expert English speaking guide throughout

  • sightseeing and site entrance fees as listed

What's Not Included

  • International airfares and taxes

  • Arrival transfers (from Sabiha Gokcen Airport, or on any day other than Day 1) and departure transfers - ask us for additional costs

  • Additional sightseeing, entrance fees and meals other than that stated

  • Transport other than that stated in the itinerary

  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks

  • Items of a personal nature such as beverages, phone calls, laundry, etc.

  • Travel Insurance

  • Visa

  • Tips

Accommodation

13 nights hotel
Our hotel accommodation will be in 2 – 3 star hotels / guesthouses which are well located to ensure we make the most of our time. All accommodation will be on a twin-share basis with private bathroom facilities. In some of the more rural areas the hotel facilities may be quite simple but the best available accommodation will be used.

What You Carry

In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc.

Grading

Although there is no commitment to extended walking on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect. Although the day walks are optional there is no shortage of advantages of packing as much into your time in Turkey as possible. Whether this includes exploring the cave dwellings in Cappadocia or swimming in secluded bays, the fitter you are the more this will enhance your experience.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

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

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Margaret Neill(Mission Bay, Auckland)  

Best of Turkey

12 Oct 2022

We had a great guide , who was very knowledgeable and energetic, also a very helpful and competent driver, we saw and did a lot in 14 days touring western Turkey, a highlight was having a meal on our last night with a local family

Mark Neill(Auckland, NZ)  

Best of Turkey

5 Oct 2022

Excellent itinerary aided by a first class guide

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Saturday

May 05, 2024 - May 18, 2024
$2890 $2811 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $79 (USD)

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Jun 16, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $79 (USD)

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Jul 14, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $79 (USD)

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Sunday - Saturday

Oct 05, 2025 - Oct 18, 2025
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $83 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person 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 world expeditions charges.

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

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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