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Absolute Turkey

This comprehensive tour of Turkey combines history and beaches, 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 CEOs will show you the regions hidden gems and make sure your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you've left this crossroads of Asia and Europe.


Duration: 15 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, History Physical rating: 2 - Light
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 126859
Starts: Istanbul, Turkey Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will visit
  • Istanbul
  • Istanbul

Itinerary

01

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

02

Day 2: Istanbul/Bolu (1B)

Enjoy an orientation walk around Istanbul before moving on to the city of Bolu.

Included Activities:
Istanbul Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))

03

Day 3: Bolu/Göreme (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

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))

04

Day 4: 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:
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

05

Day 6: Göreme/Güneysınır (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))

06

Day 7: Güneysınır/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))

07

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))

08

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))

09

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))

10

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

11

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:
G-supported çöp(m)adam Handicraft Visit
Ottoman Mansion Stay

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))

12

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 Guided Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))

13

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 (5.00 hour(s))

14

Day 15: Istanbul (1B)

Want more time in this intoxicating city? No problem – you can book post-trip accommodation. Inquire at the time of booking.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 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 (Mediterranean 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
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (12 nts), simple village homestay (1 nt), boat (1 nt, multi-share, hotel stay if inclement weather)
    Meals Included
    • 14 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private air-con van, boat
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
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Tour 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
  • Relax on an overnight boat trip
  • Live like a local in a Turkish village


Reviews (14)
Janet S. Posted on: 

Generally a great tour, lots of variety and I saw most of the things on my "must see" list.

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Kelly J. Posted on: 

Awesome. What an amazing trip. I've been back for about a month now and I look back at the pictures and can't believe what a great trip I had. Worth every penny!

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Ippolito A. Posted on: 

It was a pleasure to embrace the cultural diversity that is Turkey.

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Keith L. Posted on: 

The tour was an adventure, a learning experience, and above all a vacation.

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Regina M. Posted on: 

This is a great trip for an introduction to this multifaceted, ancient and fascinating country.

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Samuel L. Posted on: 

I had a great time in Turkey. I've been to many countries in South East Asia and wanted something different for a change and boy am I glad I did! Our tour guide brought us to all the historical sites I had my heart set on seeing and even surprised us with a few treats in the form of tea and dinner with locals in their homes. It gave us a chance to see the more natural side of Turkish culture as a break from the more common tourist attractions. I found those experiences all the more satisfying and memorable.

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Nuala O. Posted on: 

I went to Turkey to learn about the Ottoman Empire, which I did, and I also learned much more. I didn't realize that Turkey was so ancient. This made it so much more interesting.

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Judith M. Posted on: 

It was a great tour. An amazing way to get to know Turkey. I never realized how rich with history the area was or how friendly the people were.

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Peter David R. Posted on: 

An amazing trip to a wonderful country. Turkey has such a long and interesting history filled with a rich culture. Our guide, Bayram, was very knowledgeable and brought each site we visited to life with his stories and genuine enthusiasm.

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Katherine Louise B. Posted on: 

Great to have a guide who knew so much and was so passionate about the country.

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Sima T. Posted on: 

In 2 weeks we learnt so much about the history and character of Turkey from all the amazing sites we saw. Thanks to our guide Derya who was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and fun. Our driver was excellent. We had a great mix of people and a lot of laughs! The food was great and shopping was fun too!

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Emma B. Posted on: 

Loved the tour. Fantastic country, great group of fellow travelers from diverse areas, amazing sites, friendly people and a great guide.

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Angela R. Posted on: 

An excellent introduction to the culture & cuisine of Turkey - a wonderful holiday.

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Laura E. Posted on: 

This tour was an awesome experience. From first meeting our guide until we said goodbye, our days were filled with unique experiences. The history, culture and food were all highlights.

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