Days
22
Price from
$3,660CAD

Take in Turkey's many wonders, both natural and man-made, on this comprehensive circuit route around the country

Turkish Delight was invented over 230 years ago by confectioner, Bekir Effendi, at his shop in the Bahcekapi district of Istanbul. Its popularity quickly spread and Bekir was appointed chief confectioner for the Ottoman Court and awarded a medal of honor by the Sultan. You can still visit the original shop, run by Bekir’s descendants which is the oldest company in Turkey to operate from its original location.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will increase by 1 day from 22 days to 23 days
These changes come as a result of traveller feedback and will allow us to travel at a more relaxed pace and include an additional days in Selcuk. In Selcuk you will have the chance to further explore Ephesus or the town of Selcuk.
To cover the cost of the extra days, a surcharge to the current advertised price is likely to apply to this trip when the full itinerary is launched in the coming months. The new itinerary is outlined below:

1 Istanbul
2 Istanbul
3 Safranbolu
4 Safranbolu
5 Amasya
6 Sivas
7 Sivas
8 Darende
9 Kahta
10 Cappadocia
11 Cappadocia
12 Cappadocia
13 Konya
14 Antalya
15 Antalya
16 Kas
17 Kas
18 Pamukkale
19 Selcuk
20 Selcuk
21 Canakkale
22 Istanbul
23 Istanbul (Departure Day)

The code for this trip will change to PEBEC in 2017. Please use this code when searching for the new itinerary, dates and prices


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Country
Turkey
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Explorer
Code
PEBE
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
51 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 14

Why we love this trip

  • Enjoy fully guided explorations of Istanbul's icons the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and Topkapi palace

  • Feast your eyes on the best of Turkey's other-wordly sights, from the 'Cotton Castle' of Pamukkale to the psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia

  • Your 3-night 'feature stay' in Goreme is at one of the first boutique hotels in the region

  • Step back in time at Ephesus, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive. This is one of the best preserved classical cities in all of Europe and yet to be completely excavated

  • Spend some time reflecting on battles fought and lives lost in Gallipoli. This peaceful place has seen many atrocities due to its significant role in WW1

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves a lot of walking, sometimes on rocky or slippery terrain such as the sites in Goreme. Please bring sturdy walking shoes. You also have the option to sit out many of the walks if you don't feel up to them.

  • Nighttime temperatures can be quite cool, particularly in April and October. Not all hotels will have heating so make sure you bring a few warm items with you.

  • You'll be covering a lot of land during the trip, which means a few long days of driving, especially en route to Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Canakkale. Usually, however, longer drives are broken up with stops in interesting places.

  • Turkey can get hot in the summer months of July and August but this is normally a dry heat and is easier to cope with than humidity. Where possible, you'll be taken to sites in the early morning before it gets too hot.

Itinerary

Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for more details. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these to provide to your leader. Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world, with a history spanning thousands of years. It has been through several incarnations, firstly as Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Istanbul. The colourful streets are always brimming with busy locals. You may like to arrive a few days earlier to wander through the city, but you'll be returning to Istanbul at the end of the trip and will have the option of staying on your own then.

Notes: if you arrive at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST) you will be met and transferred to your hotel. If you arrive at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) please make your own way to the hotel or book your own transfer. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • The Golden Horn Hotel Sirkeci (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you'll see some of Istanbul's most important sites. Start with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, former home of the Ottoman sultans, then visit the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 Isnik tiles. You'll also visit the 6th-century Basilica Cistern. This floodlit cistern is the largest and most impressive of the ancient cisterns that lay beneath the city of Istanbul. For the remainder of the day, you'll be walked through the famous covered Grand Bazaar or the Spice Market. Your leader will give you some advice on how to get the best bargains by the fine art of haggling. You'll find from clothing and jewellery to sweets and spices at the frenetic marketplaces.
Accommodation
  • The Golden Horn Hotel Sirkeci (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Head to Amasra today. This is arguably one of the prettiest of the coastal towns on the Black Sea: a fortified promontory overlooking harbours and sandy beaches. You'll go on a sightseeing tour of the town, including the Kale (citadel), the old bazaar and the Byzantine church which later became a mosque. Continue to Safranbolu where you'll stay for the evening. The time spent driving today is approximately six hours.
Accommodation
  • Akce Konak Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend the day in Safranbolu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town has a strong Ottoman heritage, with beautifully preserved timber houses and cobblestone streets. Here you'll get a feel for Turkish life and see the works of traditional artisans practicing their age-old crafts. In the evening you will continue on to the town of Kastamonu and spend the night there.
Accommodation
  • Akce Konak Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the 4-hour journey to the charming town of Amasya today, which sits in a valley on the banks of the Yepilyrmak River. Once the capital of the Pontic Kingdom, Amasya still has tombs of Pontic kings in the cliffs. Today, the town is famous for its attractive Ottoman-period timber houses and its lush orchards. Venture out to explore the 13th-century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the fountain, Seljuk tombs and the bedesten (covered bazaar). Stay in Amasya for the night.
Accommodation
  • Apple Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Pontic King Tombs Amasya - TRY5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy some free time in Amasya this morning, perhaps by taking a stroll along the banks of the river or by sitting down to some lunch beside the water. In the afternoon you will head to Sivas, which should take around 3 hours. This is the most mountainous city of the central Anatolian region and sits at an altitude of 1,275 metres. Once an important commercial centre due to its location at the crossroads of the Persia and Baghdad caravan routes, the city later became an important centre for learning and culture during the rule of the Seljuks. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you please. You might take this opportunity to try some regional dishes.
Accommodation
  • Köşk Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Witness some of the most famous monuments and sites of Sivas. The Çifte Minare Medressa with its twin minarets and grand gateway was built in 1271 and was formerly a law faculty. The Ulu Cami or Great Mosque, built in 1197 by the Seldjoukides Sultan Kýlýçaslan II, is the oldest building in the city. The Gok Medressa (theological school) and the Buruciye Medressa, both built in 1271, display the best examples of Seljuk art work. The city of Sivas is also famous for its nomadic Kangal dog, a unique breed of sheep dog which has become the national dog of Turkey and a designated 'national treasure'.
Accommodation
  • Köşk Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel towards Darende. On the way, you'll go for a walk to the picturesque Gunpinar waterfalls. Perhaps stop at a riverside eatery and sample the local fish. After lunch, take another walk in the beautiful surrounds and get back in the bus to Darende. Today's drive will take a total of three and a half hours. Reach the Darende town centre and go on an orientation walk. During this tour you'll see the 300-year-old covered bazaar. If you're lucky, you'll come across the Turkish dried apricot which is famous in the area. Stay the night in Darende.
Accommodation
  • Tiryandafil or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast you'll drive to Adiyaman, located in the Central Euphrates. The driving time today is approximately four and a half hours. Part of the Fertile Crescent, Adiyaman sits at the crossroads of major ancient routes and has been occupied by many civilisations. This town will be your base for visiting Mount Nemrut National Park. Mount Nemrut is thought to house the tomb of the ancient king, Antiochus. Here you will see archaeological relics from the Commagene civilisation, including enormous statues of human and animal heads. If it's clear today, you'll catch the spectacular sunset over the ruins before heading back to Adiyaman for the night.
Accommodation
  • Zeus Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mt Nemrut
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today will be a long day of travel towards Cappadocia. You'll spend about seven and a half hours in the bus and reach the town of Goreme in the evening. Your first glimpse of a fairy chimney will make it all worth it. Enjoy an orientation walk of this enchanting town. You will be based here for the next three nights to explore the wonders of Turkey's most surreal region. Don't forget to pack sturdy, well worn-in walking shoes or boots and a comfortable day pack for exploring the valleys of Cappadocia.
Accommodation
  • Heybe Hotel, or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you have the option of taking a very early hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia to see this otherworldly scene at sunrise. Those who are interested in this optional extra will have a truly awe-inspiring experience. The day officially starts with a tour of the Goreme Open Air Museum. Here you can explore houses, churches and monasteries carved out of the cliff. See colourful early Christian frescoes dating as far back as the 10th century. In the afternoon, you'll visit a carpet workshop and learn about the nomadic origins of the Turkish people. Finally, take a short walk through the unusual Love Valley, which is full of bizarre phallic rock formations. In the evening, you have the option of taking a traditional Turkish bath to unwind from the day's activities.
Accommodation
  • Heybe Hotel, or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum
Optional Activities
  • Hot air balloon Goreme - EUR165
  • Hamam Cappadocia - TRY85
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast with the group and make your way to Kizilcukur or Red Valley. Widely considered the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia, the landscape is flecked with magical rock formations. You'll see small cones, peaks and fairy chimneys formed by sand and wind. There are also several early Christian chapels built into the rock. In the afternoon you'll drive to Pasabaglari (Monk's Valley), another moon-like landscape. Here you'll see the famous three-headed fairy chimney which has a chapel and hermit's shelter built inside. Discover the local pottery tradition and learn more about it from the artisan villagers. Then head back to Goreme. Depending on the time of year, you may have the opportunity to attend a folk dance or witness an original Whirling Dervish performance.
Accommodation
  • Heybe Hotel, or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll travel to Konya. It is approximately a three-hour drive in in total. Along the way, you'll make a stop to the underground city of Derinkuyu. This fascinating ancient labyrinth goes as deep as seven levels underground. After exploring the underground city, continue your drive to Konya where you will stay the night. Note that Konya is a very religious town, so please dress conservatively to show your respect.
Accommodation
  • Selçuk Mevlana Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Konya was known as Iconium in Roman times and later became the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the 12th to the 13th centuries. It was also home of the famous Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi who founded the Whirling Dervishes. Today you'll visit Mevlana's mausoleum, and the museum devoted to his works. Take a five-hour drive to the coastal city of Antalya, one of the best-known classical sites in Turkey. You'll visit the old city, the old Roman harbour and the famous Hadrian's Gate. Perhaps enjoy an optional dinner of fresh local seafood.
Accommodation
  • Aspen Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit the Antalya Museum this morning. Ranked third in Turkey, it includes 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery. Have a free afternoon to explore Antalya. Perhaps head down to the harbour for an afternoon boat tour or venture a bit further out to Konyaalti Beach to soak up some sun.
Accommodation
  • Aspen Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Aspendos Ancient City - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make your way to the region of Lycia and to the ancient Greco-Roman city of Phaselis, which flourished from the 7th century to the 12th century. The Phaselians were more concerned about preserving the affluence of their commerce than with staking any political independence, so they pragmatically accepted any conquerors that came their way. Today this place is a beautiful picture-postcard setting with bays surrounded by mountains and fragrant woods. The driving time is around two and a half hours today. Continue on to the seaside village of Kas. Here you'll see charming whitewashed houses covered in bougainvilleas as well as an ancient Greek theatre. Sample the local cuisine and enjoy the night in the town's quaint centre.
Accommodation
  • Linda Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phaselis
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short drive to Kekova and get on a local boat for a cruise around the islands. Look out for rock formations and houses that have been submerged under the clear water. The cruise takes you to the settlement of Ucagiz and also the village of Simena, with its stone houses covered in bougainvilleas. You'll also sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets where you can go for a swim. In the evening, return to Kas.
Accommodation
  • Linda Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Simena Ancient Castle
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle'. This magical natural phenomenon is made of terraced hot springs and pools. As the water cascades down the mountain, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites form, giving the appearance of cotton or snow. These pools are said to have healing properties for a person's circulation and digestion. You'll then make your way to the nearby ruins of Hierapolis, an important Roman bath centre. Explore the extensive ruins of Hierapolis which include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. Return to Pamukkale for the night. Today you'll be driving for around six hours in total.
Accommodation
  • Melrose Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early for a four-hour drive to Selcuk. From here, drive to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved classical cities and a great example of Roman architecture. The visit to Ephesus is often the highlight of the trip for many travellers. Tour around the amphitheatre, walk the marble streets once walked by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and wonderfully restored Library of Celsus. You'll then go on an orientation walk around Selcuk, a sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient Aysoluk Hill fortress. You'll visit the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis, the ancient aqueducts and the 14th-century Isabey Mosque. At this point you have the option to visit the last home of the Virgin Mary. Legend has it she came to this beautiful spot with St. John to live out her final days. Spend the night in Selcuk.
Accommodation
  • Jimmy's Place Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ephesus Archaeological Site - TRY40
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll make your way to the city of Canakkale, but along the way you'll stop at the site of ancient Troy. For many years people believed that this city was merely a fable. Archaeological digs have proved that the area was settled by major civilisations, but historians are still at odds as to whether Troy really existed. Here you'll see the remnants of ancient city walls and a replica of the famed wooden horse. Arrive at Çanakkale later in the day and spend some free time wandering around the waterfront town. The driving time today is approximately six and a half hours.
Accommodation
  • Grand Anzac Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Cross the Dardanelles, the strait which separates the Asian and European sides of Turkey. This area played an important role for Australians and New Zealanders during the First World War. You'll visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill toward the poignant memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. Look down upon the rough and barren hills and gullies that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Tour the former battlefields and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Head back to where your adventure began, Istanbul. You'll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening and have the remainder of the evening free. Perhaps spend a final night with the group and indulge in a Turkish feast in town.
Accommodation
  • The Golden Horn Hotel Sirkeci (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. There are no other activities planned for the day and you can leave the accommodation at any time. For those who wish to stay on in Istanbul to further explore the city, we are happy to help in booking accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

21 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Boat, Private aircon bus

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (21 nights)

Included Activities

  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace
  • Mt Nemrut
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum
  • Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Phaselis
  • Simena Ancient Castle
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park

Reviews

Our The Best of Turkey trips score an average of 4.78 out of 5 based on 51 reviews in the last year.

The Best of Turkey, October 2016

Thomas Beckman

The Best of Turkey, October 2016

Dayna Beckman

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information. Please note: single supplement rooms are smaller than double or twin rooms.

2017 ITINERARY AND DEPARTURES:
The code for this trip will change to PEBEC in 2017. Please use this code when searching for the new itinerary, dates and prices.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.