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Absolute Turkey: Winter

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 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:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: ETAW/133928
  • Starts: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will Visit
  • Istanbul

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Istanbul

Arrive at any time.
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.

02

Day 2: Istanbul/Ankara

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

03

Day 3: Ankara/Göreme

Visit Anitkabir before driving to the Cappadocia region. Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Visit Anitkabir before transferring 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.

04

Day 4: Göreme

Enjoy an included visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum before free time to explore this unique region. Opt to see it from above on a hot air balloon ride, or witness a spellbinding Whirling Dervishes ceremony. Enjoy a guided walk through the valley with a visit to an underground city.
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.

05

Day 5: Göreme

Enjoy an included visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum before free time to explore this unique region. Opt to see it from above on a hot air balloon ride, or witness a spellbinding Whirling Dervishes ceremony. Enjoy a guided walk through the valley with a visit to an underground city.
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.

06

Day 6: Göreme/Beyşehir

Visit Konya and continue to Beyşehir. Visit the Esrefoglu mosque, one of the unique mosques in the country.

07

Day 7: Beyşehir/Antalya

Wander the streets of the 'white city' and opt to visit the Catalina Convent.
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.

08

Day 8: Antalya

Enjoy more time in Antalya to explore.

09

Day 9: Antalya/Pamukkale

Guided walk of Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis.
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.

10

Day 10: Pamukkale/Selçuk

Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus.
Travel to the town of Selçuk. In the afternoon, visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus.

11

Day 11: Selçuk

Free time to walk up to the remains of St John's Basilica, visit the mosque of Isa Bey or just wander the streets and cafés of this vibrant Turkish town. Enjoy a cooking class in a nearby village in the afternoon.
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.

12

Day 12: Selçuk/Bergama

Explore the Acropolis of ancient Pergamon. Visit the G-supported handicraft workshop in Ayvalik, before enjoying free time in the surrounding area.

13

Day 13: Bergama/Çanakkale

Visit the ancient city of Troy en route to Çanakkale.
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.

14

Day 14: Çanakkale/Istanbul

Guided tour of Gallipoli, including ANZAC Cove, the war cemeteries, and Lone Pine.
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.

15

Day 15: Istanbul

Depart at any time.
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.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 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
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (14 nts)
    • 14 breakfasts, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private air-con van
    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.