Days
17
Price from
$3,050USD
Map of Turkey in Depth including Turkey

Discover Turkey in depth; from Istanbul to the Aegean, to captivating Cappadocia, then explore the rugged plateaus of the northeast and black sea villages of classic Ottoman architecture

Get under the skin of Turkey on this seventeen-day journey. Travel from the melting pot of Istanbul to the clear coastal waters and ancient cities of the Bodrum Peninsula, then discover the otherworldly landscapes of the Cappadocia region. Explore Kars, a transit point between Anatolia and the Caucasus, still undiscovered by main stream tourism. Take a train journey to Erzurum a stronghold for the Seljuks of Anatolia and then wander through cities and villages of the Black Sea region before finishing up back in Istanbul the city on two continents where east meets west.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Istanbul, Turkey
Destination
Turkey
Style
Peregrine
Code
PECSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy southern Turkey higlights with the less visited north and Black Sea regions. From Istanbul to Cappadocia and on to Kars and Safranbolu, this is an depth look at a country that is a fascinating melting pot of histroy and cultures.

  • If you like history, this trip visits two of the ancient wonders of the world: the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis.

  • Be gently rocked to sleep on the Mavi Konya, the train from Izmir to Konya, and learn how to play backgammon like a local.

  • 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.

  • Relax aboard a traditional gullet and take a dip in water so blue you wont believe it.

  • Learn all about Turkeys famous cheeses at the Cheese Museum in Kars.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip covers a lot of Turkey in 17 days.  We have made it as relaxed as we can with three flights and an overnight train so that you have more time to see the siights.  There are few longer travel days in the north but the scenery in the region is fantastic and the travel is comfortable.

  • The overnight train is a 1st class sleeper and very comfortable, compartments do have wash basins and refrigerators and all linen is supplied.  Each compartment has its own climatic control and is lockable from the inside.  A single supplement is available for the train journey if you prefer your own compartment. There are no toilets in the compartments but modern toilets at the end of each carriage.

  • 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. In direct contrast the north east  can get cold even in the spring and autumn months, you need to pack a warm fleece for this trip and a coat and hat for outside if travelling in March, April, October or Novermber.

  • Watch where you walk!  Surfaces like the cobble stones of ancient cities and the walking paths of valleys can get a little slippery.  Pack some good footwear and watch your footing, you can always sit out a walk if you prefer.

Itinerary

Welcome to Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have all called home. Your welcome meeting will take place at 1 pm today, after which the group'll head out to explore the Old City of Istanbul, visiting the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free for you to explore and there are plenty of sights left to see, including the Archaeology Museum and Hagia Sophia.


Accommodation
  • Legacy Ottoman Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Istanbul - Grand Bazaar
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY65
  • Istanbul - Dolmabahce Palace - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for your welcome 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). 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 one-hour flight to Bodrum, a modern resort town that was once the ancient city of Halicarnassus. Here, along the southern end of Turkey's Aegean coast, lies the original Mauosoluem, which the group will visit during an afternoon walking tour of Saint Peter's Castle, the Underwater Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Theatre and Mindos Gate. Potentially finish up at Cevat Sakir Caddesi, a main thoroughfare surrounded by alleys and streets hosting the local fish markets and a  number of mayhanes (taverns), where you can select your own catch of the day and have it prepared for dinner. 




Included Activities
  • Bodrum - Bodrum Castle
Optional Activities
  • Bodrum- Daily Cooking Class & Market Visit - EUR85
  • Bodrum - Mausoleum at Halicarnassus - Free
  • Bodrum - Underwater Museum - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There's a reason Bodrum is considered a boating paradise. Spend a day sailing off the beautiful peninsula on a gulet, a traditional wooden sailing vessel originating in this area. Sit back on the deck and soak up some sun as the boat sails down the coast with stops to swim, snorkel and explore the shore, as well as a break at the small island of Kara Ada. Enjoy lunch on board and a relaxing afternoon before returning to the hotel in the evening.
Included Activities
  • Bodrum - Gulet/Boat Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Selcuk (3 hours) this morning after breakfast. Check into the hotel then take a walk through this sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill. Visit the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis and the 14th-century Isabey Mosque, then journey to gorgeous little village of Sirince, nestled in the hills outside Selcuk. This was a predominantly Greek village before WWI and the narrow streets host beautifully decorated houses, silversmiths, leather shops, jewellers and market stands. Enjoy a special Peregrine Moment and meet Pervin, from whom you'll learn the art of Manti (Turkish ravioli) whilst relaxing over a glass of the local fruit wine.
Accommodation
  • Amazon Petite Palace (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY25
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Wake up early this morning to beat the crowds and head to Ephesus, one of the best-preserved classical cities in the Eastern Med and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. Tour around the amphitheatre, stroll the marble streets once walked by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsus. Return to the hotel to relax before checking out and heading to the Ephesus Museum, then transfer to Izmir for an overnight train to Konya, in Central Anatolia. The train will arrive in Konya at 7.30 am, so enjoy the first-class sleeping compartments and included dinner in the restaurant car (with backgammon lessons courtesy of your Peregrine leader).
 


Accommodation
  • Konya Mavi Train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Overnight Train - Backgammon Lessons (Peregrine Moment)
Optional Activities
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive early in Konya, an important ancient-Roman city, and tuck into a full Turkish kahvalti (breakfast). Konya is the home of the mystic Sufi practice of whirling and after breakfast you'll visit the mausoleum of Mevlana, a famous mystic, as well as the museum housing manuscripts of his work and various mystic artefacts before driving three hours to the captivating region of Cappadocia. Check in to the hotel then head out with your leader to stretch your legs on a valley walk. It could be Red Valley, it could be Love Valley, but each leader has their own special place to introduce you to. Without a doubt, one of the most amazing memories of this journey is a hot-air balloon ride over this otherworldly landscape at sunrise. It's an optional experience, but is truly once-in-a-lifetime, pardon the cliche. Please speak to your leader on Day 1 to organise a flight.


Accommodation
  • Heybe Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Goreme - Valley Walk in Capadoccia
Optional Activities
  • Goreme -Hamam Turkish Bath - EUR25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
As previously mentioned, there's an option of taking a hot-air balloon over the Cappadocian landscape this morning. Even if you don't choose to take a flight, it's worth getting up just to see the balloons rising with the sun. Have a relaxing breakfast from your terrace overlooking the valley then visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, featuring houses, churches and monasteries carved into the soft cliff faces. The Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art, cave chapels and colourful biblical frescoes from the 10-12th centuries. Later in the afternoon, go underground and make the short journey to Kaymakli to discover what life was like lived underground. Head back to the hotel in Goreme, and maybe take a relaxing Turkish bath to unwind after a long day experiencing some truly incredible history.


Accommodation
  • Heybe Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Goreme - Kaymakli Underground City
  • Goreme - Carpet Demonstration
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR230
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR175
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to the airport after breakfast for a 1.5 hour flight back to Istanbul, where you'll be transferred to your hotel on arrival. Enjoy a free afternoon then jump on a ferry early in the evening and head to Kadikoy, on Istanbul's Asian shore, for a special feature meal of local seafood in which you can even choose your own catch of the day. Known for its fish and food markets, Kadikoy is perhaps a little more laid-back than other parts of the city, particularly on the European side, but is quickly becoming a popular stop for travellers.


Accommodation
  • Legacy Ottoman Hotel (Feature Stay) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after breakfast your luggage will be transferred to the Dosso Dossi Old City Hotel which is your starting point for discovering Northeastern Turkey, you are free to check in at any time after 2.00pm.  

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change.

Your afternoon is free to discover more of Istanbul. There is an excellent spa service at your hotel and some good local Hamams close by.  The Basicila Cistern is just a 10 min walk as is the Haghia Sophia 

There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary at 6pm  and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
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
  • Breakfast
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
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
  • Safranbolu - Walking tour
  • Safranbolu - Candy tasting (Peregrine Moment)
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

16 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private aircon bus, Overnight train

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (11 nights) Overnight Train (1 night) Feature Stay (Legacy Ottoman Istanbul -2 nights) Feature Stay (Akce Konak Safranbolu – 2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Istanbul - Grand Bazaar
  • Bodrum - Bodrum Castle
  • Bodrum - Gulet/Boat Excursion
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Overnight Train - Backgammon Lessons (Peregrine Moment)
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Goreme - Valley Walk in Capadoccia
  • Goreme - Kaymakli Underground City
  • Goreme - Carpet Demonstration
  • 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 - Kaymakamlar House Museum
  • Safranbolu - Walking tour
  • Safranbolu - Candy tasting (Peregrine Moment)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information. Single supplement rooms may be smaller than double or twin rooms. Single supplement also includes the overnight train

ITINERARY
This trip has three internal flights and an overnight train, luggage on this trip is restricted to 15kg per person.  It is possible to safely store any excess  luggage in the starting point hotel.

The overnight train is reserved on a first class couchette basis.  Cabins are twin share, have individual climatic control for your comfort, a small refrigerator in each couchette and a wash basin.  Toilets are available at each end of the carriage.  Bedding is supplied.  There is a restaurant car available offering basic snacks.

Temperatures in the far north east of Turkey can get very cold with temperatures in Kars in March and April ranging 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 is a combination trip and we use two different hotels in Istanbul and it will be necessary to move hotels. Don't worry your group Leader will ensure that your luggage is transferred, and the hotels are just a short walking distance from each other.

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 - http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

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