12 days

Essence of Turkey

Essence of Turkey

Trip rating
  • Why we love it

    • Picnic of local delicacies collected on a private tour of the spice market
    • Private wine tasting session in Sirince
    • Private wooden motor yacht (Gulet) cruise on the Mediterranean
    • Sunrise hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia
    • Private sunset cruise on the Bosphorus in Istanbul


    Day 1 - Istanbul

    On arrival you will be welcomed by your tour leader and transferred to the hotel in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet. Spend your day at leisure before a group dinner at Matbah restaurant.

    Hotel Amira

    Day 2 - Istanbul

    Walk to Aya Sofya, a 6th century masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. You’ll also visit the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace, which contains large collections of porcelain, weapons and Ottoman jewellery.

    Hotel Amira
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - Istanbul

    Follow your nose to the Spice Bazaar, where you can sample fresh food including pastirma (Turkish dried beef), local cheeses, halva, olives, simit and Turkish Delight. As you wander, your local guide will purchase ingredients for this afternoon’s picnic lunch. Shop for keepsakes at over 4000 stalls in the famous Grand Bazaar then spend the rest of the day at leisure.

    Hotel Amira
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Sirince

    Fly to Izmir and transfer to your hotel in the hillside village of Sirince, famous for its olive oil and wine production. After you’ve freshened up, take a short tour of the property and sample some of these local products at a private wine tasting session.

    Güllü Konaklari
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Ephesus

    Take a guided tour of Ephesus, possibly the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world and definitely a highlight of this trip. Arrive early to avoid the crowds then visit the House of Virgin Mary before lunch under a tent in typical nomadic tradition.

    Güllü Konaklari
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Kas

    After breakfast it’s time to depart for the seaside village of Kas (pronounced 'karsh'). Check into your hotel on the Çukurbağ Peninsula, boasting exquisite gardens, architecture and décor. The day is free to make your own discoveries.

    Lukka Hotel
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 7 - Mediterranean Coast cruising

    Cruise along the Mediterranean Coast in a private wooden motor yacht known as a gulet. Visit the settlement of Ucagiz and the village of Simena, with its stone houses covered in bougainvillea. Swim at some protected inlets and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch of regional delicacies, chilled local wines and beers.

    Lukka Hotel
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8 - Kas

    Today is yours to spend as you please. Catch up on some reading, relax by the pool or take the short walk from the hotel to the beach. Your tour leader can offer suggestions and help with any arrangements you might wish to make.

    Lukka Hotel
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Antalya ~ Cappadocia

    Drive to Antalya, stopping to visit the ancient Lycian city of Olympos on the way. After lunch you will fly to Cappadocia, which boasts one of the world’s most unique and intriguing landscapes. Your hotel is built into the natural rock citadel of Urchisar, the highest point in Cappadocia, and offers magnificent views of the surrounding region and the town of Goreme.

    Argos Hotel
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 10 - Cappadocia

    A hot-air balloon flight at sunrise takes you across the surreal valleys and rock formations of Cappadocia. Back on land, you can toast the experience with a champagne breakfast. Discover the secrets of the Goreme Open Air Museum and Pasabaglari Valley, where fairy chimneys lend a lunar-like atmosphere to the area.

    Argos Hotel

    Day 11 - Derinkuyu ~ Istanbul

    Explore the underground city of Derinkuyu, weaving through the stone tunnels and arches. It’s astounding that communities could live in this environment for months on end. A short flight takes you back to Istanbul where you’ll board a sunset cruise on the mighty Bosphorus.

    The House Galatasaray

    Day 12 - Istanbul

    Share a final breakfast and Turkish tea before a private transfer to Istanbul airport for your onward flight.

  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches and 3 dinners
    • Private sightseeing (including all entrance fees) as outlined in the itinerary.
    • Comfortable private transportation with driver. Other modes of transportation include a gulet, a hot air ballon & a luxury yacht.
    • Snacks and refreshments along the way
    • Tipping & porterage taken care of by tour leader along the way
    • Airport meet and greet service
    • Departure transfer

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Visas
    • Airport taxes
    • Laundry
    • Gratuities
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code REET
Start City: Istanbul
End City: Istanbul
Style: Small Group

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