Ultimate Turkey

Classic, Istanbul to Istanbul

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Combining the best of western and eastern Turkey, this comprehensive adventure offers a sweeping view of this fascinating country. From the architectural highlights of Istanbul's long history, make your way east for a glimpse of Turkey’s less travelled and more traditional side. Explore exotic covered bazaars and mud brick cities, and experience life in a place where time seems to stand still. From its incredible Mediterranean beaches to the unreal fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and giant stone heads of Nemrut Dagi—uncover all that Turkey has to offer.

What’s included

  • G Adventures for Good: Çöp(m)adam Visit, Ayvalık Local Living: Dinner with Local Family, Çavuşin Local Living: Turkish Village Homestay, Güneysınır
  • Istanbul city walking tour
  • Visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum
  • Traditional dinner with local family (Cappadocia)
  • Underground city exploration
  • Village homestay
  • Overnight boat trip (Aegean sea, weather permitting)
  • Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk
  • Ephesus entrance and visit
  • Ottoman mansion stay
  • Troy entrance and guided visit
  • Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit
  • Stone ruins of Ani visit
  • Ishak Pasha Palace entrance and visit
  • Akdamar Island boat trip
  • Hasankeyf visit
  • Mardin orientation walk and sights
  • Nemrut Dagi excursion including Karakus Tumulus, Severan Bridge and Arsameia
  • Harran beehive houses visit
  • Golbasi park and Sanli Urfa bazaar guided walk
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Dine in a local family home and taste regional delicacies
  • Relax on an overnight boat trip
  • Explore ancient ruins and bargain in bazaars
  • Watch the sunset over nemrut dagi surrounded by mysterious rock sculptures
  • Marvel at the landscapes of cappadocia

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. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Istanbul/Ankara (1B) Enjoy an orientation walk around Istanbul before moving on to the capital city of Ankara. Included Activities: Istanbul Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Bolu/Cappadocia (1B, 1D) Transfer to the town of Göreme, the base for exploring Cappadocia. With 2.5 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, 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: Dinner with Local Family Anitkabir Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Days 4-5 Cappadocia 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: If you pre-booked the Cappadocia hot air balloon ride, you will be flying today (weather permitting). Included Activities: Göreme Open Air Museum Guided Tour
Day 6 Cappadocia/Konya (1B, 1D) Depart Göreme and head to an underground city to explore. Have a quick lunch before journeying to the region of Konya. Travel about 1 hour to a local village for a cozy homestay. On the way, visit Catalhoyuk, a uniquely well-preserved Neolithic site. Upon arrival in the village, learn about local life and enjoy a home-cooked dinner. Included Activities: Underground City Visit Catalhoyuk Visit Turkish Village Homestay 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/Kekova (1B, 1D) Drive to the beautiful coastal village of Demre for lunch. After, board our boat for an unforgettable night on the Mediterranean Sea. The boat trip includes sailing around Kekova Island, with plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine and scenery. Later, walk to Simena Castle to enjoy the views and archaeological ruins. Then opt to go for a swim in the crystal clear waters or just relax on deck. Additional Notes: The evening may be very cold— please come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing. We will provide bedding but it is recommended that you bring a personal sleep sheet to place inside. Included Activities: Overnight Boat Trip Simena Castle Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Kekova/Kaş (1B) Wake up on board and enjoy breakfast in the fresh morning air. Opt for a swim before returning to Demre, and continuing on to the coastal town of Kaş. Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 10 Kaş/Selçuk (1B) Leave the beautiful sea behind and head to Pamukkale, passing through fruit orchards on the way. Visit the famous white cliffs of Pamukkale and the ancient site of Hierapolis before continuing on to Selçuk. Included Activities: Hierapolis and Pamukkale Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Selçuk (1B) Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus. After, head to town and enjoy some free time to explore. 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. Included Activities: Ephesus Visit
Day 12 Selçuk/Ayvalık (1B) Ayvalik’s blend of Ottoman architecture, cobblestoned streets, and attractive harbour make this stop a highlight. The beach of Sarimsakli is a quick bus ride away and the harbour in town offers short cruises. After exploring, head down to one of the waterside restaurants for a sunset drink or meal. Then enjoy the hospitality and beautiful views from the family-run pension in a restored Ottoman mansion. Included Activities: Ottoman Mansion Stay Çöp(m)adam Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Day 13 Ayvalık/Çanakkale (1B) Enjoy a visit to the world-famous city of Troy. After exploring the site, continue to the harbour town of Çanakkale, a busy port with a thriving student population. Included Activities: Troy Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 32km)
Day 14 Çanakkale/Istanbul (1B) Continue the journey to Istanbul where there will be the opportunity to carry on sightseeing. Included Activities: Gallipoli Battlefields Guided Tour Transport: Transfer to ferry. Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s)) Ferry (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (4.50 hour(s))
Day 15 Istanbul/Kars (1B) Located near the Armenian border, the city of Kars offers a mixture of cultures and a wealth of stone structures and colourful houses. Enjoy a visit to Ani, once the capital of the Armenian kingdom. The city was renowned for its sizeable population and variety of religious structures. Included Activities: Ani Visit Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s))
Day 16 Kars/Van (1B) See Ishak Pasha Palace, perched high on a hilltop, and soak in the views of Mt Ararat en route to Van. The afternoon is free to explore this dusty frontier town. Opt to visit the women's co-op or purchase one of the beautiful carpets the region is known for. Transport: The journey includes a stop at the Ishak Pasha Palace. Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 17 Van/Mardin (1B) Mardin is a great place to experience a local hammam, or Turkish communal bathhouse. In the evening, opt for a local dinner in a beautifully restored caravanserai, an ancient inn for traders and their animals. Included Activities: Akdamar Island Boat Trip Hasankeyf Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Mardin (1B) The beautiful and ancient hilltop town of Mardin is a real treasure. The stone houses and castle ruins set the scene. Wander the bazaar, sample some local treats, and soak in the views. Included Activities: Deyrulzafaran Monastery Visit
Day 19 Mardin/Kâhta (1B) Travel to Kahta and explore the area around Mt Nemrut. Visit the Karakus Tumulus (Women's Monument), Severan Roman bridge, and the site of ancient Arsameia at the giant burial monuments. Included Activities: Karakus Tumulus, Severan Bridge and Arsameia Visit Nemrut Dagi Excursion Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 20 Kâhta/Sanliurfa (1B) A world away from Istanbul, exotic Şanlıurfa gives you the chance to experience some true Middle Eastern flavour. Visit Harran, famous for its beehive houses. Later, back in Urfa, visit Golbasi Par. After, explore the town’s fascinating covered bazaars, taking the chance to enjoy a glass of sweet tea and, perhaps, a game of backgammon in a local tea house. Included Activities: Harran Beehive Houses Visit Golbasi Park and Sanliurfa Bazaar Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 21 Sanliurfa/Istanbul (1B) We highly recommend booking pre- or post-accommodation to fully explore this vibrant city. Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s))
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