HomeToursAsia Tours 〉Turkey

Premium Turkey


From otherworldly landscapes to glistening seaside towns and a healthy mix of architectural jewels and fascinating cultural sites – this is the best of Turkey. This 8-day Premium journey has been carefully crafted to show you the best spots in the most efficient timeframe; with fewer travel days so you’ve got more time to explore the places you visit. Begin the adventure in the great city of Istanbul, before making your way to Kusadasi and finally finishing in Cappadocia. You’ll marvel at the world-famous mosques in Istanbul, walk in the footsteps of ancient rulers in archaeological sites like Pergamon and Ephesus and see (almost) every inch of Cappadocia, from subterranean cities to incredible cave hotels.

8 days, from

$2,448

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: ERPI
Style: Premium
Theme: Explorer
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  Turkey
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel (11 nights), Feature Stay (3 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle , Boat , Plane
Included Meals:

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 3 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Cruise the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline and incredible artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments at shore.

  • Walk in the footsteps of ancient emperors and explore extraordinary archaeological sites of Pergamon and Ephesus with your local guide.

  • Discover the flavours of Turkey, tuck into a traditional home-cooked meal in Cappadocia and get tips from a BBC-presenter chef during a cooking class in Kusadasi.

  • Experience an exclusive carpet weaving demonstration at a social enterprise that’s keeping tradition alive and providing employment for local women.

  • From subterranean cities to whimsical fairy chimneys and incredible cave accommodation, this trip features some of the best experiences in Cappadocia.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Istanbul

Welcome to Istanbul, the first step of our Turkish adventure. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in the heart of the Old City. Istanbul is the largest city in all of Europe, it’s a place filled with history, culture and charm. From the magnificent mosques to the bustling bazaars, this place is sure delight you at every turn. On arrival, you might like to stretch your legs, get acquainted with the city and make your way to visit the 1500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage monument, Hagia Sophia. With incredible architectural beauty and varied history, it was originally built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, then converted into a mosque, then a museum and has now been turned back into a mosque again. After exploring the city, this evening, join your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at the hotel. Then, take a short stroll to a local restaurant to enjoy dinner together and be welcomed with richly flavoured Ottoman and Turkish cuisine.

Day 2: Istanbul

After breakfast, join your small group and local leader to explore Sultan Ahmet I’s Blue Mosque. With six minarets, 260 windows and it’s iconic, blue-tiled walls (made up of more than 20,000 Iznik ceramic tiles), the Blue Mosque is known as one of the most magnificent in all of Istanbul. After some time to gaze upon its beauty, you'll head out to explore the rest of the city on an orientation walk. Make your way to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where historical sites and backstreets filled with hidden gems intertwine. Explore the hippodrome and the decorative statues and obelisks that remain from a time when this now tree-lined land would hold thousands of chariot racing fans. Then, get into some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. After exploring the best this fascinating city has to offer, it’s time to kick your feet back on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline from sea. This fairy-tale experience across the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, features panoramic views from the waterway that’s dotted with artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments. Sit back and soak up the vistas after a jam-packed day of exploration.

Day 3: Kusadasi

After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Istanbul and journey to Kusadasi, with a stop in Pergamon along the way. The ancient city of Pergamon, sitting high above the Bakirçay Plain in Turkey’s Aegean region, is easily accessible by cable car. At the top of the hill, you’ll discover crumbling ruins, large and small. Some of the most fascinating spots to explore include the well-known library that helped put Pergamon on the map, the colossal Temple of Trajan, 10,000-seat Hellenistic theatre and the Altar of Zeus. After some time here, walking in the footsteps of ancient emperors, we’ll continue to Kusadasi. Tonight, get comfortable at your perfectly appointed boutique hotel on the edge of the Aegean Sea – this will be your home away from home for the next three nights.

Day 4: Kusadasi

After breakfast today, you’ll explore the ancient city ruins of Ephesus. This is one of the best-preserved classical cities in the Eastern Mediterranean and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. As you walk in the footsteps of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, you’ll get a glimpse into how the ancient Romans lived. Stroll the marble streets surrounding the ancient theatre and explore the gymnasium, baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsus. From ancient ruins to ancient traditions, next up you’ll be treated to a carpet weaving demonstration and learn about the art of traditional carpet weaving from local social enterprise; Sultanköy. Carpet weaving holds incredible history in Turkey and has been dated back to the early Neolithic age – Sultanköy provides local women with employment while protecting and developing the ancient tradition. After a picnic lunch at Sultanköy, you’ll learn all about Turkish recipes and flavours with a hands-on cooking class. Get to know the local chef as you prepare a traditional meal and feast on your creations together – the perfect end to an incredible day.

Day 5: Kusadasi

Wake up without an alarm today and enjoy this coastal paradise at your leisure. Kusadasi is the perfect springboard to see some Turkey’s most incredible ruins and natural wonders, you might choose to take advantage of this and book an optional tour to explore Pamukkale & Hierapolis Ancient City. Pamukkale’s mineral springs have become well-known for their magical turquoise waters framed by a snow-white mineral build-up that cascades over the cliffs. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the hot springs were believed to hold therapeutic healing properties by ancients Greeks and Romans. After marvelling at the mineral pools and taking in the incredible landscape, discover nearby Hierapolis Ancient City. Explore the ruins of this equally beautiful ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’d rather skip the optional tour and stay closer to town, perhaps, stroll the seafront promenade and grab a bite to eat by the harbour or enjoy a little banter with the locals at the main bazaar area. However you choose to spend your day, you can swap stories with your fellow travellers over your group dinner this evening.

Day 6: Cappadocia

Today, catch a flight to Kayseri and be swept away by the mystical beauty of Cappadocia, where we’ll stay in specially restored cave suites in the Old City centre. After checking in, you’ll be welcomed into a local home for home-cooked Turkish lunch – the best way to start this leg of our adventure. Next up, it's time to explore Goreme Open Air Theatre. Another incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site to check off our list, you’ll find richly decorated rock-carved churches, monasteries and chapels to marvel at. After getting to know Goreme, it’s time to get to know Cappadocia on a panoramic sights tour. Discover the region’s highlights like Imagination Valley where rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, stand majestically amid the orange-coloured landscape. With your local leader by your side, you’ll learn how these unusual formations came to be.

Day 7: Cappadocia

After breakfast, we make our way to yet another out-of-this-world location to explore the underground cities beneath Cappadocia. It’s believed that these intricate subterranean homes were created in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. Amazingly, there are roughly 200 them – more incredibly, they were abandoned in 1923 and not rediscovered until some 40 years later. You might spot remnants of subterranean wine cellars, stables and chapels, although it’s believed they were below ground for safety reasons, these city folk seem to have lived their lives to the fullest. Next, visit the studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. You’ll learn the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics and discover how the rich clay from the red river is moulded into exquisite pieces. Finally, in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy an easy hike through Red Valley – named for the incredible red hues the rock formations throw at sunset. Watch in awe as the sun sets over the landscape before heading back to town to enjoy our final dinner together with a delicately prepared traditional central Anatolian dish.

There’ll also be time today to take to the skies with an optional hot air balloon ride (at your own expense) if you wish.

Day 8: Cappadocia

After breakfast, our Turkish adventure comes to an end. If you would like to extend your stay in Cappadocia or Istanbul, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

8 days, from $2,448

to book call 1-844-205-6226


Privacy Preference Center