Turkey Panorama

Turkey Panorama information and booking

from
$2890
  • Duration
    14 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-16
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Moderate
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 14 day trip
  • 5 day trek
  • 8 nights hotels
  • 5 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required includes walking boots, day pack and sleeping bag (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).

Highlights

  • The stunning cityl of Istanbul
  • Trekking in the Taurus Mountains
  • Walking in Cappadocia
  • Ancient city of Phaselis
  • Half day cruise along Mediterranean coast

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Capture the incredible history and geographical diversity of Turkey, combining ancient wonders with a trek in the Taurus Mountains and a short cruise off the Aegean shores. Explore the fascinating remains of underground cities and the unique rock formations of Cappadocia. Trek in the picturesque Taurus Mountains where an ascent of Emler Peak (3723m) is possible. A half day cruise on the azure waters of the Mediterranean provides a delightful contrast to the mountains and adds another dimension to our journey. The ancient town of Antalya, dating back to 150BC is our final stop where Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman influences inspire the imagination.

What's included

  • 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners
  • Arrival transfer day 1 only
  • Tourist class twin share hotel accommodation
  • All group camping gear for trek including 2 person dome tents, sleeping mattress (sleeping bag not included), kit bag for your luggage
  • Entrance and camping fees aladaglar national park (taurus mts)
  • All internal ground transport by private bus
  • Porterage whilst trekking
  • English speaking local guide
  • Camp crew/kitchen staff during trek
  • Half day boat cruise cirali
  • Flight istanbul to kayseri valued at approx usd $160

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Istanbul
If you are arriving in Istanbul today, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel. Please check at hotel reception for details of departure time the next day and when to meet your guide. Remainder of day is at leisure.
Day 2 Istanbul sightseeing, evening flight to Cappadocia
This morning your guide will take you around some of Istanbul's famous sites; all are close to the old part of town. Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul was the hub of the Ottoman Empire and many of the grand buildings of this period are still present. The markets too, would be little changed from early times, a chaotic mix of goods and wares brought by people near and far to trade.Today we will explore the old Sultanahmet Area. It would be easy to spend a week in this city and still not have seen all the sites. We will visit the Topkapi Palace and the Hippodrome square (obelisks) and the Basilica Cistern. In the late afternoon we drive to Ataturk Airport (Istanbul) for our flight to Kayseri, where we will meet our vehicle and transfer to Ihlara for overnight. (Please note: flight is subject to availability and schedule changes. On some occasions it may be necessary to fly to the smaller airport of Nevsehir, also in the Cappadocia region.)
Day 3 Ihlara Valley, Selime Monastery, Goreme (14km walking, approx 4 hrs)
Today we start walking in the Ihlara Valley, a 14km long canyon with hundreds of rock hewn houses and churches. We will explore some of these and gain an insight into what it must have been like for the early civilisations living here. After lunch in the valley we continue walking to Selime Monastery. A visit to this complex of buildings on a steep mountain slope is not to be missed and this is where our walk today ends. From here we will drive to Goreme for overnight. The town has been known by many former names which will appear in historical records of the region including Korama, Matiana, Maccan or Machan, and Avcilar. The surrounding Göreme National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 for its distinctive and unique rock churches from early Christian periods.
Day 4 Cappadocia - Red and Rose Valleys (9km walking, approx 5 hrs)
Today we will start our walking in the Meskendir Valley past a series of ancient cave houses and villages. From this valley we cross to the Red Valley, with its beautiful rock formations and colours. In the Red Valley we visit the hidden Cross Church before also discovering the Church of the Three Crosses in Rose Valley. This church was carved out of the cliff face in the 7th Century. The decorative reliefs and frescoes were added in the 10th and 11th centuries and are a fascinating insight into that period of time. We continue our walk to Cavusin, one of the first Christian villages built in the Cappadocia area. After lunch we will walk through the amazing Pasabaglari Area (or Monk's Valley) with its magical fairy chimneys. We return to our accommodation in Goreme for overnight.
Day 5 Cappadocia - White and Pigeon Valleys, Uchisar (10km walking, approx 5 hrs)
A morning drive will take us to the trailhead at the beginning of the Akvadi Valley (or White Valley). We will commence our walk following an old river bed that now supports many small vineyards. The beginning of this valley is very picturesque. Around noon we should reach Uchisar village which has a fantastic viewpoint known as “The Fortress”. After lunch we continue walking through the Pigeon Valley directly to Goreme. There is time to visit the Göreme Open Air Museum this afternoon. The houses, churches and monasteries carved out of soft rocks became sanctuaries for the local communities and contain many examples of Byzantine art. Many frescoes inside the Open Air Museum are unique from this period. We overnight in Goreme for one last night before we begin the camping section of our itinerary.
Day 6 Cappadocia - Pancarlik & Zemi Valleys (approx 5 hrs walking)
This morning we will start with a gentle walk near Urgup along a plateau offering magnificent views over the Uzengi valley. We will then explore the Pancarlik Valley with its numerous cones and fairy chimneys. We also visit the architecturally interesting Kepez and Sarica churches before continuing along the path to Ortahisar village. In the afternoon we drive to the Zemi Valley trailhead and walk down to Goreme village surrounded by extraordinary rock formations. Overnight at the same hotel in Goreme where we have been based for the last 3 nights.
Day 7 Drive to Taurus Mountains and commence trek (approx 2 -3 hrs walking, ascend 900m)
After breakfast we leave Goreme and drive to the Aladaglar National Park in the Taurus Mountains, about 115 km to the southeast of Cappadocia. On the way we visit the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu (8 levels connected by a series of tunnels, extending to a depth of 64m under the ground). Carved in ancient times as a shelter during periods of siege and continuous raids, this huge hidden city under the plains of Central Anatolia can best be described as “Swiss Cheese”! Once we reach the mountains in the Aladaglar area we will enjoy a traditional village lunch in either Cukurbag or Demirkazik. After this lovely welcome to the region we pack our main luggage into kit bags that are loaded onto our mules. We commence trekking from nearby Pinarbasi village. Initially we will follow small roads that service local mines and then little creeks until we reach our first Camp at the Karagol (Black Lake).(Note: any excess luggage not required on the trek will be stored securely for collection again on Day 12)
Day 8 Karogol to Yedigoller (approx 7 - 8 hrs walking, ascend 917m, descend 417m)
We leave our camp at the Karagol and walk southeast, following the path up to high green pastures. During summer, semi-nomadic families can be seen here with their livestock. After approximately 2 hrs walking we reach the foot of the Teke Kalesi Pass where we take a short break. From here we start ascending to today’s highest point (3517m). At this point, on the top of Teke Kalesi Pass, a picnic lunch will complement incredible panoramic views over the Seven Lakes (or Yedigoller) area below. After lunch we descend to the Seven Lakes Plateau (3100m) and continue to our camp here.
Day 9 Emler Summit, 3723m (approx 5 - 6 hrs, ascend/descend 623m)
Today's climb to the summit of Mt Emler is optional, starting and finishing at our base camp on the Seven Lakes Plateau. It is, however, well worth the effort with 360o vistas over the surrounding ranges. To commence we climb to the Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m) and ascend from there for about an hour to the Mt Emler summit (3723m). From the peak it is possible to see Mt Erciyes (3917m) to the north, Mt Hasan (3268m) to the west, the Bolkar Range to the south and all the main peaks of the Aladaglar Range. Weather permitting we will enjoy a picnic lunch on the summit before descending via the same route to our camp on the Seven Lakes (Yedigoller) Plateau.
Day 10 Yedigoller to Sokulupinar (approx 7 - 8 hrs walking; ascend 400m, descend 1723m)
This morning we again follow the path to the Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m). From the Pass we will take a different route for our descent. Just beyond the Pass there is a small spring. With clear, sparkling mountain water this makes an ideal place for a short break. From here the descent to Sokulupinar Camp, where we will overnight, is a steady 5 hr walk. Over a cup of tea at the camp we can reminisce on a stunning day of activity.
Day 11 Sokulupinar to Emli Valley (approx 6 - 7 hrs walking; ascend 538m, descend 688m)
This morning we will do some more climbing from our camp to the Sakartas Pass (2300m). From there we walk through the pastures of the Eznevit Yaylasi until we reach the highest point on this Pass (2538m) with a beautiful panoramic view to the Siyirmalik Valley. It is a truly picturesque region and we will take a break for lunch here with time to absorb the scenery and magnitude of the mountain landscape. After lunch we walk down to the Siyirmalik Valley and pass through its elegant forest of fir trees until we reach the Emli Valley for our final night of camping.
Day 12 Drive to Antalya via Konya
We have opportunity to rest our trekking legs today as we leave the Emli Valley and Aladaglar area by car and drive to Konya (about 4 - 5 hrs). We will have lunch here and also visit the Mevlana Museum, the mausoleum of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Sufi mystic known as Mevlana or Rumi. It was also the dervish lodge of the Mevlevi order, better known as the whirling dervishes. The members of the Mevlevi order had a prolific impact throughout the Ottoman Empire by way of classical poetry, calligraphy, visual arts and music. From Konya we continue driving until we arrive in Antalya on the Mediterranean coast. Attalos II, King of Pergamon, was believed to have founded the city around 150 BC, naming it Attalia and selecting it as a naval base for his powerful fleet. However, excavations in 2008 in the Dogu Garaji district of Antalya have uncovered older remains, suggesting that the city was founded earlier than previously supposed. Antalya became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC and the city now exhibits sites reflecting ancient architecture and cultures. We spend the next two nights in a hotel in the Old Part of Antalya next to the Harbour.
Day 13 Mediterranean coast and ancient city of Phaselis
After a short drive to Cirali Bay we board our boat for a half day cruise exploring the turquoise waters and beautiful bays of the Mediterranean. We will discover pirates' caves and stop at small bays for swimming, snorkelling, fishing and lunch. In the late afternoon we drive to Antalya and will take time to visit the ancient City of Phaselis en route. Phaselis has three harbours of which the 'Protected (Sun) Harbour' is the most important today. A 24m wide ancient street runs through the middle of the city, intersected by the 'Hadrian Waterway Gate' at the southern end. There are ruins of 2nd century BC shops and public places such as Roman baths, agora and theatres along and nearby this street . Ancient water canals connect the town centre with the plateau beyond, providing a clue to water supplies from earlier times. There are also numerous sarcophagi around the town. We return to Antalya after exploring this fascinating remnant of days passed.
Day 14 Trip concludes
Trip arrangements end in Antalya after breakfast.