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Discover Turkey Tour

Best trip I have ever been on. I have traveled with many tour companies but none compare to the itinerary, information, and professionalism of this company.

Marijo W, 8 Feb 2018

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Discover Turkey OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

8 days

Istanbul to Istanbul

From $1400.00

$1190 (p/p)

Country(ies): Turkey

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 20

Accommodation: 4-star & boutique style hotels

Meals:

Transport: AC minibus/coach & domestic flight

Highlights: Spice bazaars, Blue Mosque & Hippodrome in Istanbul, Greek & Roman ruins at Ephesus, coastal Kusadasi, calcium travertines at Pamukkale, Hieropolis ruins, Cappadocia fairy chimneys, Goreme Valley, underground cities, Ankara

This 8-day Turkey tour takes you from bustling Istanbul to the Mediterranean at Kusadasi and then inland to the beautiful scenery of Cappadocia. The itinerary is designed to combine some of Turkey's classic highlights in a week's visit, balancing bustling cities, beautiful scenery, ancient ruins and modern Turkey. You'll stay in a mix of 4-star and boutique style properties along the way.

Starting in Istanbul, the beating heart of Turkey and historically a vitally important connecting point between the continents of Europe and Asia, we visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Spice Bazaar, Hippodrome and take a cruise on the Bosphorus before flying south to the Mediterranean coast at Kusadasi. We have two nights here, and a tour to the nearby ruins at Ephesus. One of the best preserved ancient Greek & Roman sites in the whole of the Mediterranean region, this is a spectacular site with a fascinating history. We'll also visit a village famous for producing local fruit wines, and learn about the importance of carpet making in Turkey. Our next stop is at the stepped calcium travertines and hot pools at Pamukkale, before we continue into the centre of Turkey along the ancient Spice Route, passing old caravanserais and visiting the Mervlana museum at Konya on the way. This brings us to picturesque landscape of Cappadocia where we visit the strange rock formations, cave chuches and 'fairy chimneys' in the Goreme valley and venture down into one of the labarynthine underground cities built by Christians centuries ago to hide from persecution. The tour then finishes with a drive (or optional flight) via Ankara back to Istanbul where extra nights are available to spend more time exploring the city.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul, transfer to hotel. Spice Bazaar & Bosphorous cruise

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the centre of Istanbul for the start of your trip. An afternoon tour is then available (starting at 1pm) to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, followed by a boat tour covering both the European and Asian banks of the Bosphorous. Additional nights in the hotel in Istanbul are available before the tour starts if you your preferred flights arrive in the afternoon or evening.

OVERNIGHT:

Istanbul boutique hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour
Single room supplement (TUSGDT)


Day 2 Istanbul city tour, fly to Kusadasi

Our trip begins this morning with a fully guided tour of Istanbul. Lying across two continents this historically important city played an integral role in the development of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. We visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya museum, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and the Hippodrome. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for a flight to Izmir, from where we transfer to the coastal Mediterranean town of Kusadasi, our base for the next two nights.

OVERNIGHT:

Kusadasi hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Ephesus Greek & Roman ruins, Sirince village

After breakfast we drive to the Roman site of Ephesus. The city at one time housed 250,000 people and is regarded as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. We visit the Temple of Artemis, and explore the ancient marble streets of this ruined Greek & Roman city. This afternoon we visit the fruit wine growing village of Sirince and learn about the history of carpet weaving in Turkey.

OVERNIGHT:

Kusadasi hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Pamukkale & Hieropolis

We travel east this morning to Pamukkale, site of the well known white calcium terraces known as Travertines. Pamukkale translates as ‘cotton castles’ and the naturally occuring geology here has created cloud like formations unlike anywhere else. We then head to the ancient city of Hierapolis to enjoy a dip in the hot thermal pools lodged amongst ancient columns left by the Romans who used the pools for their therapeutic powers.

OVERNIGHT:

Pamukkale hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Drive the Silk Road to Konya & Cappadocia

Travel back in time today as we follow the ancient Silk Road towards Konya. We learn more about the history of this important trade route with a stop at the Sultanhani Caravanserai before arrivingin Konya where we include a visit to the Mevlana museum - the former home of the original Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes. A fun and entertaining Turkish Folklore evening is available tonight (paid locally).

OVERNIGHT:

Cappadocia hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Cappadocia, Goreme & underground city

Today we set out to explore the beautiful and surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Unlike anywhere else on earth, this bizarre setting creates a fairytale view full of improbable rock formations and underground villages. Often described as the jewel of Turkey we have a full tour here to explore the Goreme Valley Open Air Museum, the fairy chimneys, and we'll also explore an underground city full of subterranean churches, living areas, schools and shops used by Christians to avoid persecution over a thousand years ago. Options are available locally to enjoy a hot air balloon flight or a Turkish bath.

OVERNIGHT:

Cappadocia hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Return to Istanbul via Ankara

We leave early this morning for the drive to Ankara, Turkey's modern day capital city. We visit Anitkabir - mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk before returning to Istanbul by road. This is a long day's drive, and we can arrange an upgrade to an internal flight from Kayseri in Cappadocia if you prefer (please ask for current times & prices).

OVERNIGHT:

Istanbul boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Istanbul, free time, transfer to airport

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing and shopping in Istanbul before we transfer you to the airport for your flight home. Optional tours are available locally to see more of Istanbul, and we can also add extra nights in the Istanbul hotel if you'd like to spend more time exploring the city.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour


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Included:
  • All accommodation in 4-star and boutique hotels
  • All transport and transfers in private AC minibus/coach
  • Domestic flight from Istanbul to Izmir
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a local tour guide throughout
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (7 breakfasts, 5 dinners)
  • Tipping kitty

Excluded:
  • International Flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (advance e-visa or visa on arrival available for most nationalities)
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guide & driver
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

As part of our Safer Encounters scheme, during the Coronavirus pandemic, maximum group sizes are reduced to 8 people.  

Similar tours:
The following tours also either run alongside this tour or follow a similar or extended itinerary:

  • Anatolian Adventure - adds 2 days to drive to Kusadasi instead of flying, visiting the wartime memorials at Gallipoli, and the historic sites of Troy and the Acropolis of Pergamum
  • Turkey Encounters - our most comprehensive Turkey small group tour, adding Gallipoli & Troy to the start, and additional visits along the Mediterranean coast before heading to Cappadocia. 17 days in total. 
  • Taste of Turkey - another 8-day Turkey tour, but this time missing out Cappadocia and instead spending more time along the Mediterranean coast
  • Best of Turkey - this 11-day tour travels first from Istanbul to Cappadocia, and then to the Mediterranean coast to visit Ephesus, Troy and Gallipoli before finishing back in Istanbul

Gallery


Dates and Prices

This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

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7th of Feb 2022

14th of Feb 2022

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30th of May 2022

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6th of Jun 2022

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6th of Jun 2022

13th of Jun 2022

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26th of Sep 2022

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24th of Oct 2022

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31st of Oct 2022

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17th of Jul 2023

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24th of Jul 2023

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24th of Jul 2023

31st of Jul 2023

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7th of Aug 2023

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28th of Aug 2023

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4th of Sep 2023

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11th of Sep 2023

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11th of Sep 2023

18th of Sep 2023

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Port Bosphorus Hotel

Port Bosphorus Hotel

Istanbul


This large hotel is found in the Istanbul city centre, near Karakoy and the Galata Tower. It has 111 rooms of different types, some with river views and some family-friendly.

Local rating

Our rating

 Port Bosphorus Hotel Port Bosphorus Hotel

This large hotel is found in the Istanbul city centre, near Karakoy and the Galata Tower. It has 111 rooms of different types, some with river views and some family-friendly. All feature air-conditioning, satellite TVs, a kettle and free toiletries. Hotel facilities include a rooftop terrace, restaurant and bar, free WiFi and free parking.

Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Kusadasi


This 4-star hotel is found in the centre of Kusadasi, directly across from the main beach promenade. It offers views of the Aegean Sea from its roof terrace and some of the rooms. It also features a rooftop pool and bar, conference rooms.

Local rating

Our rating

 Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Ilayda Avantgarde is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Kusadasi. It is right across from the main beach promenade and provides ocean views from the rooftop terrace and several rooms. Facilities include a Starbucks coffee shop, conference rooms, and a rooftop bar and pool. The rooms feature all amenities needed for a comfortable stay.

Adempira Hotel

Adempira Hotel

Pamukkale


The Adempira Thermal Hotel is equipped with a restaurant, bar, lounge, gardens and a lovely pool, just 4 miles from the tourist site of Pamukkale.

Local rating

Our rating

 Adempira Hotel Adempira Hotel

A luxury option, in the region of Pamukkale, land of the cotton castles. The Adempira Hotel and Spa offers 5-star accommodation, just a few miles from the main tourist monument Pamukkale. 
Rooms are the hotel are equipped with air conditioning, Satellite TV, kettles and en-suite facilities.
Hotel amenities include hot spring baths, hammams and an on site sauna.

Gamirasu Cave Hotel

Gamirasu Cave Hotel

Urgup


This quaint hotel is built into one of the famous rock formations of Cappadocia. The suites are fully furnished, each with a unique design. The hotel is situated within a walking distance of the city centre.

Local rating

Our rating

 Gamirasu Cave Hotel Gamirasu Cave Hotel

The Gamirasu Cave Hotel is found in Ayvali, Cappadocia, known for its unique landscape of rock formations. The hotel is built into one of these rock formations, and is thus known as a cave hotel. Each fully-equipped suite has its own design, while facilities include a restaurant and conference centre. The city centre is within walking distance.

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

*Price from
$65
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour

Min numbers: 1


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

*Price from
$65
per person/s

*Price based on 2 person/s

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Single room supplement (TUSGDT)

Single room supplement

Min numbers: 1


This tour is based on twin-share accommodation. This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. It is not required if you are happy to share a room.

*Price from
$365
per person/s

*Price based on 1 person/s

This tour is based on twin-share accommodation, with single bookers paired up with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If the final group make-up means that no room share is available, you do not need to pay this supplement. However, if you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then please add this option to your booking.

Note: Single supplement prices may vary seasonally.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

Our tours in Turkey use a range of hotels at the local 4 and 5-star level with some boutique style properties also used on some tours. Please check the Accommodation section for more information on the normal hotels used on this tour. This list is given as a guide though and hotels may change from time to time to others of a similar standard.
Accommodation levels and hotels are slightly different in Turkey to general Western standards. We regularly inspect all the hotels we use to ensure that the service you receive is as close as possible to your expectations. Please check your hotel room when you first arrive (hot water, cleanliness etc.), as our rep or your guide will be available to assist in case of any problems.

Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.

We will contact you with your arrival hotel details normally a couple of weeks before departure.

Check-in Times: Official hotel check- in times in Turkey are between 14.00 and 15.00. However, we do always try to ensure that if you arrive early, you can check into your room as soon as possible. We can nearly always get you into your hotel rooms well before midday, but please understand that it is out of our control if the hotel is full and it takes a little longer. You will have full use of the hotel facilities while you wait if there is a short delay.


  2. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. The distances involved in Turkey mean that we use private vehicles and tourist coaches throughout this tour.


  3. Transfers

All our tours include an airport meet and greet and transfer service on the first day of your tour. This is available from/to both of Istanbul's airports; Istanbul Ataturk (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen (SAW). Our representative will be holding an Encounters Travel signboard with your name displayed for easy identification. If you can't find our representative, our emergency contact numbers are given in your tour confirmation voucher.

No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to incorrect flight details being provided or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.

If your flights arrive/depart before/after the tour starts/ends then we will be very happy to arrange additional accommodation and airport transfers for you. We will aim to book these in the same hotel as the main tour, though this will be subject to availability (upgraded hotels are also available on request). If you do not book your additional accommodation through us, then our arrival/departure service is not included and you will need to make your own airport transfer arrangements.

Welcome meeting: Our group tours will commence with a welcome meeting at 7pm in the reception of your hotel, where you will have the chance to meet your guide and the rest of your tour group. For those arriving after 7pm, details regarding Day 2 activities will be left at reception.


  4. International flights

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from.

Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour. Nearly all our Turkey tours start and finish in Istanbul and are served by Istanbul airport (IST). Transfers from other airports are also available on request but may incur an extra fee. 

We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued. 
Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable unless the flight is cancelled for reasons such as Covid-19, in which case the airlines are more flexible. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket. 


  5. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to