Absolute Turkey: Winter

Classic, Istanbul to Istanbul

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

This comprehensive tour of Turkey combines history, man-made wonders and natural phenomena, as well as a vibrant and welcoming culture. Begin your trip roaming the palaces and mosques of Istanbul before journeying into the bizarre as you explore otherworldly Cappadocia. From the amazing white cliff waterfalls of Pamukkale to the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, our local Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will show you the region’s hidden gems and make sure your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you've left this crossroads of Asia and Europe.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Çöp(m)adam Visit, Ayvalık Your Local Living Moment: Dinner with Local Family, Çavuşin Your Foodie Moment: Cooking Class, Selçuk
  • Istanbul walking tour
  • Visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum
  • Guided walk in a valley with Underground City exploration
  • Traditional dinner with local family (Cappadocia)
  • Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk
  • Ephesus entrance and visit
  • Cooking class in a nearby village
  • Troy entrance and guided visit
  • Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit

Highlights

  • Discover historic cities and explore the ancient ruins of ephesus
  • Marvel at the extraordinary scenery of cappadocia
  • Enjoy dinner in a local family home.

Itinerary

Day 1 Istanbul There are no activities planned until our evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, opt to join your CEO and fellow travellers for dinner. Get the most out of your time in Istanbul by pre-booking one of the following full-day activities to experience before your tour starts: Istanbul Backstreets Walk or Dolmabahçe Palace Visit and Bosporus Cruise. If you do, we recommend booking accommodation for an extra night pre-tour. And don’t worry if you can’t decide now. These activities are available for pre-booking any time before your tour starts, while any of the optional activities listed can be booked independently upon arrival in Istanbul. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Istanbul/Bolu (1B) Enjoy an orientation walk around Istanbul before moving on to the small, but vibrant town of Bolu. Included Activities: Istanbul Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Bolu/Göreme (1B, 1D) Transfer to the town of Göreme, the base for exploring Cappadocia. With two and a half days free to explore, there will be plenty of time to tour the area by bike, visit neighbouring villages, trek regional valleys or try a hot air balloon ride. During one of the evenings here, travel to a nearby village and enjoy dinner with a local family. Additional Notes: The local dinner may take place on any night in Göreme based on the family's availability. Included Activities: Anitkabir Visit Dinner with Local Family Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Days 4-5 Göreme Outdoor enthusiast? Hire a bike to get around on two wheels or join your CEO on an optional trekking tour through one of the beautiful valleys of the region. If you want to go further afield, take a local bus to explore nearby villages. Additional Notes: Want to do more with your tour? Pre-booking is available for Cappadocia Balloon Ride and Whirling Dervishes. Any of the optional activities listed on this day can also be booked upon arrival. If you pre-booked the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, you will be flying on Day 4 or 5 (weather permitting). Included Activities: Göreme Open Air Museum Guided Tour Underground City Visit
Day 6 Göreme/Konya (1B) Visit Konya and continue to Beyşehir. Visit the Esrefoglu mosque, one of the unique mosques in the country. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))
Day 7 Konya/Antalya (1B) Arrive at Antalya around lunchtime. With a free afternoon, wander the charming cobbled hillside streets of the district of Kaleici, a great place to stop and have a drink with amazing views of the marina below. For a break from the hustle and bustle, head for the greenery and teashops at one of Antalya's beautiful parks or catch some sun at a nearby beach. Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Antalya (1B) Enjoy more time in Antalya to explore.
Day 9 Antalya/Pamukkale (1B) Passing through fruit orchards on the way to Pamukkale. In the afternoon, visit the famous white cliffs of Pamukkale and the ancient site of Hierapolis, built on top of the white "castle". This UNESCO World Heritage Site is evidence that the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the second century BC. Included Activities: Hierapolis and Pamukkale Visit Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 10 Pamukkale/Selçuk (1B) Travel to the town of Selçuk. In the afternoon, visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus. Included Activities: Ephesus Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Selçuk (1B, 1D) Opt to walk to the remains of St John's Basilica, visit the Mosque of Isa Bey or wander the streets of this vibrant Turkish town. Or catch a local “dolmus” bus to the picturesque village of Şirince (8 km) to sample some local wine or shop for crafts. For dedicated sunseekers, the beach at Pamucaki is also within reach. Late in the afternoon, drive to a nearby village for a local cooking class. Our host will demonstrate some Turkish dishes for everyone to enjoy at the end of the class. Included Activities: Cooking Class
Day 12 Selçuk/Bergama (1B) Travel to the market town of Bergama, and explore the Acropolis of ancient Pergamon. Transport: Private Vehicle (2.25 hour(s))
Day 13 Bergama/Çanakkale (1B) çöp(m)adam began as an experimental project in Western Turkey, meant to address lack of employment opportunities for women alongside the importance of recycling/re-using. The co-op aims to use waste in a creative, aesthetic, and unique way, all while providing work for women from impoverished communities. When G Adventures travellers visit the workshop, they can purchase souvenirs and handicrafts that directly support the women that made them. After a visit to this project, continue exploring the seaside town of Ayvalık. Afterwards, enjoy a visit to the world-famous city of Troy. Continue to the harbour town of Çanakkale, a busy port with a thriving student population. Included Activities: Çöp(m)adam Visit Troy Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 32km)
Day 14 Çanakkale/Istanbul (1B) Make an early morning visit to Gallipoli, where thousands gave their lives during WWI in the battle of the same name. Take in the sights and learn the sombre story. Continue on to İstanbul for the opportunity to finish up your sightseeing or get in some last minute shopping. Included Activities: Gallipoli Battlefields Guided Tour Transport: Once in the Gallipoli peninsula, transfer by bus to the Gallipoli battlefields (20 mins). Ferry (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))
Day 15 Istanbul (1B) Your tour might be finished, but the adventure’s far from over. Pre-book one of the following activities to experience after your tour ends: Dolmabahçe Palace Visit and Bosporus Cruise or Istanbul Backstreets Walk. If you do, we recommend booking accommodation for an extra night in Istanbul. And don’t worry if you can’t decide now. These activities are available for pre-booking any time before your tour starts, or they can be booked upon arrival in Istanbul.
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