Days
9
Price from
$1,596USD
Map of Northern Turkey Explorer including Turkey

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

Explore the lesser-known sights of Turkey on this Peregrine adventure through the NE Anatolia region. Soak up the history of Istanbul before flying to Kars, near the Armenian border, and exploring the ruins of Ani, then travel back 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, history buffs, food lovers and sun seekers will all enjoy this Turkish trip.

BOGO Asia Adventure Cruising

Bring a travel companion for free when you book select Asia Adventure Cruises before November 30th.

Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Kars, a transit point between Anatolia and the Caucasus, a city and a region still undiscovered by main stream tourism with quirky little villages and unique architecture coupled with stunning scenery

  • Ani, recognised at a UNESCO site in 2016  and once the stately Armenian Capital, an abandoned city on a wind swept plateau,  the eerie silence, the crumbling proud buildings - unforgettable  

  • Cag Kebab originating in the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, the kebab looks like a horizontal döner, but tastes otherworldly.

  • The Dogu Express, sit back and watch the magnificent geography of North Eastern Turkey glide effortlessly past

  • Amasya one of Turkey's most beautiful small cities that sits in the mountains over the Black Sea region, stroll river side in the evening feasting your eyes on the beautifully preserved Ottoman houses - they sure knew how to build a home.

  • Taste the unique flavor of Safron Turkish delight and enjoy a feature stay in a Konak in  the Heritage listed Safranbolu the entire village is a museum.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This region can be cold, but that is the best time to visit, when the mountains are snow capped and the lakes frozen.  You will need cold weather clothing for this trip

  • There is a reasonable amount of walking on this trip, some of the sites visited are remote.  You will require good footwear for this tour.  It is possible to sit out some walks

  • There are some long travel days on this trip but there is a lot to see in a little time.  Please refer to our trip notes for the duration of daily travels.

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
  • Dosso Dossi Old City Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Dolmabahce Palace - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Urban Adventures - Istanbul Conquered - EUR70
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY18
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Grand Bazaar - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, 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). If you are going to be late, please inform your booking agent. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand.
Transfer to the airport after breakfast for a two-hour flight to the northeastern 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 into 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
Explore the local region this morning, 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. Then head to Cildir Lake, a large, fresh-water lake situated at 1900 metres. Winter lasts a long time here and the lake is frozen for eight months of the year. Enjoy a lunch of fresh fish by the lake and, depending on the season, you may get to take a walk both on the lake and around it. Finish the day with a visit to the Bogatepe Cheese Museum, tasting a few samples of Kars' gruyere – a little taste of Switzerland in Easatern Anatolia. 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 - Cilder Lake Visit with Lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After an early breakfast the group will make its way to the train station for an 8.30 departure on the Dogu Express. This train connects the NE of Turkey with Ankara, the capital, but the group will hop off at Erzurum after a four-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 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 safron-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
  • Dosso Dossi Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is your final day and 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 lunch, 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 - Cilder Lake Visit with Lunch
  • 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

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Northern Turkey Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 
A single supplement is available on this trip.  Please contact your booking agent

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.

This trip has an internal flight. Luggage on this trip is restricted to 15kg per person plus hand luggage.  It is possible to safely store any excess luggage in the starting point hotel.

TRANSFERS
A complementary arrival transfer may be available on this departure.  For 2019 departures this transfer will be available from both Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) and Istanbul Airport (IST).  Please check with your booking agent for further details.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport will be re-locating at the end of 2018.  The airport code will remain the same but the name of the airport will change, trip information will be updated when further information is available.

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 - 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.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews