Days
9
Price from
15016
Map of Northern Turkey Explorer including Turkey

Explore the rugged plateaus, ruins and towns dotting the northeast of Turkey.

Explore some lesser-known sights of Turkey on this nine-day small-group adventure through the north eastern Anatolia region. Soak up the history of Istanbul before flying to Kars, near the Armenian border, exploring the ruins of Ani, then travel along the Black Sea through the historic towns of Amaysa and Safranbolu. From sampling regional specialties like saffron-flavoured Turkish delight to relaxing on the Black Sea’s coast, the history buffs, food lovers and sun seekers will delight in the rustic splendour of Turkey.


Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Peregrine
Code
PETN
Physical rating
Trip rating
1 review
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Kars, a transit point between Anatolia and the Caucasus, is a region with quirky little villages and unique architecture coupled with stunning scenery.

  • Explore the UNESCO-listed ruins of Ani. Once a stately Armenian Capital, Ani is now an abandoned city with crumbling structures lying out on a windswept plateau.

  • Indulge in a Cag Kebab, which originates in the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, and taste the unique flavour of saffron Turkish delight along the way.

  • Stroll along the Black Sea in Amasya, feasting your eyes on the beautifully preserved Ottoman houses dotted along the banks.

  • Enjoy a feature stay in the traditional Ottoman stately dwelling of a konak in the Heritage-listed Safranbolu – the entire village is a museum!

Is this trip right for you?

  • Some of the sites visited are remote, so this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.

  • The diversity of the seasons in Turkey makes for incredible scenery, but the weather in this region can be unpredictable. It’s best to wear layers at all times of the year in case conditions change during the day. At night the temperature can really drop, so bring your warm clothes. Even in the warmer months the temperature can be low in the mountains.

  • There are some long travel days on this trip as there is a lot to see in a short amount of time. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Welcome to Istanbul – the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have all called home. You'll meet your group at 6 pm this evening and can then join them for an optional group dinner or strike out on your own to find some Turkish delight. There's plenty to do if you arrive early too, why not visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, or take a stroll across the Galata Bridge.
Accommodation
  • Legacy Ottoman (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Dolmabahce Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Urban Adventures - Istanbul Conquered - EUR95
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Grand Bazaar - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

All Optional Activities listed are all entry fees only. Please note there is an Istanbul Museum Pass available for purchase at most Istanbul Museums, and may be useful if you choose to arrive earlier in Istanbul. This card is valid for 5 days use and costs 185 TL (approximately USD 33). This card is not available for entry at Dolmabahce Palace, Basilica Cistern and Galata Tower.
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for a two-hour flight to the north eastern province of Kars. This town is known for the ruins of Ani, a medieval Armenian city once called the City of 1001 Churches. Historians believe it sustained a population of 100,000 at one stage, and the rugged ruins present a haunting scene on the high plateau near the Turkish-Armenian border. Arrive mid-afternoon and check in to the hotel before taking a walking tour around town to see the castle and Kumbet Camii – a beautiful Armenian church now converted into a mosque. In the evening, perhaps enjoy some roasted goose (a local specialty) for dinner, and you may even be lucky enough to catch some local musicians playing the baglama.
Accommodation
  • Kars-ı Şirin Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kars - Kars Castle and Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, head out of town to a small Malakan village called Bogatepe for a local organic breakfast. Continue with a visit to the Bogatepe Cheese Museum, tasting a few samples of Kars' gruyere – a little taste of Switzerland in Eastern Anatolia. Then, explore the local region this afternoon, including a visit to the Ani Ruins. Ruled by a vast array of kingdoms and empires over the centuries – from the Byzantines to the Ottomans – the city of Ani once housed many thousands of people, becoming a cultural hub and regional power under the medieval Bagratid Armenian dynasty. The crumbling, rust-coloured brick Cathedral of Ani guards this deserted city, perched alone on the remote highlands of North Eastern Turkey. Return to Kars for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Kars-ı Şirin Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kars - Cheese Museum and Tasting
  • Kars - Ani Ruins UNESCO Site
  • Kars - Bogatepe Village Organic Breakfast
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After an early breakfast, make your way to the train station for an 8.30 am departure on the Dogu Express. This train connects the north-east of Turkey with Ankara, the capital, but the group will hop off at Erzurum after a 4-hour journey through spectacular scenery. Erzurum, the largest city in eastern Anatolia, sits at 1950 metres and was a stronghold for the Seljuk Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. Spend the afternoon exploring important Seljuk sites like the Cifte Minareli Medrese, the Mongol-built Yakutiye Medrese and various distinctive tombs. Try a cag kebab in the evening – a horizontally stacked kebab and a local specialty.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Zade or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Erzurum - Cifte Minareli Madrasah
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a leisurely morning before departing for Amasya, a journey of approximately 5.5 hours. Amasya sits in a valley on the banks of the Yepilrmak River. It was once the capital of the Pontic Kingdom and the tombs of the Pontic Kings are carved into the cliffs behind the town, making an impressive sight when lit at night. Today, the town is famous for both its timber houses and lush orchards. Take a walk around the town centre then join a local family for a home-cooked meal in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Apple Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel to Safranbolu this morning, a journey of around 4.5 hours. Safranbolu is a UNESCO-listed town that played a key role in the caravan trade over several hundred years. The town influenced architecture all over the Ottoman Empire as a result of its trade-related prosperity, and this architecture is still well preserved. Spend the afternoon strolling through town and enjoy a special Peregrine Moment tasting saffron-flavoured Turkish delight – a regional specialty and favourite of many Ottoman sultans. The group will also visit Hidirlik Hill for superb views over the town, and spend the evening staying in a local konak (a large Ottoman house).
Accommodation
  • Akce Konak Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Amasya - Pontic King Tombs
  • Safranbolu - Walking tour
  • Safranbolu - Candy tasting (Peregrine Moment)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart for a half-day tour to Amasra after a traditional Turkish breakfast. Drive through the countryside, mountains and little villages to arrive in what is arguably one of the prettiest villages on the Black Sea. Amasra is well loved by Turkish tourists but not yet popular with foreign travellers, especially when compared with some of the Mediterranean or Aegean destinations. Take a tour of the town including the Byzantine citadel and Old Bazaar and look down from the bridge into the bright blue water. Return to Safranbolu in the afternoon for some free time wandering around the Old Bazaar and watching the traditional craftsmen at work. Coppersmiths, cobblers and saddle-makers will go about their business then you can go about yours, picking somewhere for dinner and a drink before spending another night in a traditional konak.
Accommodation
  • Akce Konak Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Safranbolu - Kaymakamlar House Museum
  • Amasra - Amasra Daily Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart for Istanbul after breakfast, arriving mid-afternoon for some last-minute exploration and shopping. Walk through the bazaars or visit the sights you may have missed earlier in the trip before meeting up with the group in the evening to enjoy an optional farewell dinner. Toast Turkey and all its treasures you've discovered, then perhaps share one last Turkish delight together.
Accommodation
  • Legacy Ottoman or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, there are no activities planned after breakfast. You're free to depart your accommodation at any time, and hotel check out is midday.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private aircon bus

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (7 nights) Boutique Hotel (Akce Konak Safranbolu 2 nights - Feature Stay)

Included Activities

  • Kars - Kars Castle and Walking Tour
  • Kars - Cheese Museum and Tasting
  • Kars - Ani Ruins UNESCO Site
  • Kars - Bogatepe Village Organic Breakfast
  • Erzurum - Cifte Minareli Madrasah
  • Amasya - Pontic King Tombs
  • Safranbolu - Walking tour
  • Safranbolu - Candy tasting (Peregrine Moment)
  • Safranbolu - Kaymakamlar House Museum
  • Amasra - Amasra Daily Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

INCLUDED FLIGHT
This trip has an included internal flight. Luggage on this trip is restricted to 15kg per person checked and 8kg cabin. It is possible to safely store any excess luggage in the starting point hotel.

ITINERARY
Temperatures in the far north east of Turkey can get very cold with temperatures in Kars in March and April raging from 4 -12 during the day and 3 below in the evening. It is important that you pack warm clothing. Hotels will be heated but walking during the day you will require a hat, scarf and coat.

TRANSFERS
A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. For 2020 departures this transfer will be available from both Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) and Istanbul Airport (IST).

TURKEY
We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/travel-alerts

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.

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