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 (Chief Experience Officers) 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.

October 2024 Departures
From $1,999CAD per person

Whats Included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Güneysinir Community Park , Güneysınır

  • Your G for Good Moment: Çöp(m)adam Visit, Ayvalık

  • Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group

  • Your Local Living Moment: Dinner with Local Family, Çavuşin

  • Your Local Living Moment: Turkish Village Homestay, Güneysınır

  • Istanbul city walking tour

  • Visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum

  • Underground city exploration

  • Afternoon boat trip (Mediterranean sea, weather permitting)

  • Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk

  • Ephesus entrance and visit

  • Troy entrance and guided visit

  • Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit

  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

  • Accommodations

Itinerary

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 the following activity to experience before your tour starts: Istanbul Walking Tour and Bosphorus Cruise. 

Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group

Optional Activities 

Istanbul Walking Tour and Bosphorus Cruise
Go even deeper into Istanbul, discovering diverse and lesser-visited districts with your CEO, and some of the best photography spots in the city! Today we will walk along the ancient Constantinople city walls; see Tekfur Palace(the Blaherne Palace) which has got thick walls adjacent to the landwalls ; stroll through the photogenic Fener (Greek) and Balat (Jewish) districts, known for their colourful wooden houses; enjoy lunch together; and cruise the Bosphorus Strait for stunning views of Ottoman palaces and the city skyline.

Day 2 - Istanbul/Bolu

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

Istanbul Orientation Walk
Enjoy an orientation walk of Istanbul. Each walk varies, allowing your CEO to show off their favourite spots around the city. Pass by city highlights such as the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia (also known as the Aya Sofya), and the Blue Mosque. Walks may also include the atmospheric Spice Bazaar or breathtaking Grand Bazaar.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Bolu/Cappadocia

Visit the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the father of the Modern Turkish Republic, en route to Cappadocia region.

Transfer to the region of Cappadocia for 2.5 days of exploring. 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.

Visit to the Mausoleum of Atatürk
Visit a mausoleum commemorating the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The Mausoleum of Atatürk is located in Turkey's capital of Ankara and has become one of the sprawling city's must-see locations.

Your Local Living Moment: Dinner with Local Family
Enjoy seasonal homemade dishes, and talk with friendly hosts about life in rural Cappadocia.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

Days 4–5 Cappadocia

Enjoy an included visit to the Göreme Open Air Museum before free time to explore this unique region.

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.

Göreme Open Air Museum Guided Tour
Be inspired by the natural beauty of the historic Göreme Open Air Museum, a complex of medieval painted cave churches carved out by Orthodox monks. Tour the more than 10 caves on site, and enjoy the color and vibrancy of many of the churches that are up to 1,000 years old.

Activities 

Hot Air Balloon Ride ($)
Cappadocia is captivating from the ground, but that’s just the half of it. See the seemingly hand-painted landscapes of Cappadocia as they deserve to be seen, from the air aboard a hot air balloon. Get up early and enjoy a simple breakfast before climbing in the basket and taking to the skies in one of the most favoured places in the world to experience a hot air balloon ride.

Turkish Bath ($)
Take along a towel, soap, and shampoo, and enjoy a scrub like no other. Then experience a traditional foam massage, included in the entrance fee. Get some tips from the friendly locals – they’ll show you the correct protocol. Make sure to check the hours as the bathhouses are strictly segregated, usually being used by men in the morning and evenings, and women in the afternoons.

Turkish Night ($)
Attend a "Turkish night" and enjoy a delicious multi-course meal followed by local entertainment.

Pottery Center Visit 
Learn more about the infamous local art of pottery making and take advantage of the opportunity to create your own masterpiece.

Carpet Demonstration
Enjoy an informative demonstration of one of the oldest art-forms in Turkish history. Gain a greater appreciation for the labour and workmanship involved in weaving rugs and carpets as you learn about the process.

Whirling Dervishes
Witness this spellbinding dance-like worship, practiced by followers of the Mevlevilik Sufi order.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Cappadocia/Güneysınır
Explore one of the many underground cities in the region. Visit Konya before spending the night in a local Turkish village. Visit a community park and cooperative, a project supported by G Adventures. Experience a homestay as the guest of a local family.

Depart Cappadocia 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.

Underground City Visit
Visit one of the underground cities (there are approximately 30 in the region) that were famously used as hiding places for Christians escaping the persecution of the Roman Empire between the fifth and tenth centuries. See how people transferred their surface lives to this underground world – there are cellars, rooms for food storage, kitchens, churches, stables, wine and oil presses, and shafts for ventilation.

Your G for Good Moment: Güneysinir Community Park
Located in a region prone to drought and economically-dependent on agriculture, Güneysinir is in need of diversified opportunities. G Adventures is investing in an almond plantation that doubles as a community park. While the park will be a beautiful place for travellers and locals to visit, it will also provide a source of shade and water retention, as well as a reliable source of income for the community.

Catalhoyuk Visit
Explore this interesting Neolithic proto-city settlement – there are no streets, and houses are closely clustered with rooftop access for travel. Witness the cultural evolution from the first settlers in 7500 BC to the remnants of the urban centre we see today.

Your Local Living Moment: Turkish Village Homestay
Take the opportunity to learn about local Turkish life on this village homestay. Join the group in a community experience; bathroom facilities and sleeping arrangements (in the living room) are shared.

Activities

Mevlana Museum Visit
Visit the Mevlana Museum and mausoleum of Mevlana Rumi, a Persian Sufi mystic. Learn more about the mystic Islamic sect known as the Whirling Dervishes.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 Konya/Antalya
Wander the lovely seaside town of Antalya.

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.

Free Time
Spend free time exploring the city of Antalya. Take advantage of its parks and beaches or duck into a museum or two.

Activities
Antalya Archaeological Museum Visit
Take in some culture at the Antalya Museum, home to 13 exhibition galleries. See a wide range of exhibits, including great reconstructions of life under the Ottoman Empire.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 Antalya/Kaş
Spend the afternoon onboard a boat in the Mediterranean Sea and enjoy a freshly prepared dinner before disembarking the boat and driving to our hotel for the evening.

Drive to the beautiful coastal village of Demre for lunch. After, board our boat for an afternoon 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.

Afternoon Boat Trip
Come aboard for an afternoon trip off the gorgeous coast of Turkey (dinner is included and cold drinks can be purchased). Sit back, relax, and enjoy the crystal clear waters Turkey is famous for.

Simena Castle Visit
Climb the hill to reach a medieval castle used by the Byzantines in Simena, a beautiful ancient city that dates back to fourth century BC. Find ruins of a Roman settlement, including a small amphitheatre. Take a few moments to look out at the gorgeous view of the quiet harbour below.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included:  Breakfast | Dinner

Day 9 - Kaş

Travel to Kaş and spend the afternoon relaxing however you see fit.

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before continuing on to the coastal town of Kaş.

Free Time
Spend some time exploring the cafés lining the cobblestoned streets of Kaş.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10 - Kaş/Pamukkale

This afternoon, enjoy a guided walk of Pamukkale and the ancient city of Hierapolis.

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.

Hierapolis and Pamukkale Visit
Tour the white cliffs of Pamukkale to learn about this World Heritage-listed site and natural wonder. Made up of 17 hot water springs, the cliffs are formed when the calcium carbonate hardens with time. Explore the ancient site of Hierapolis built on top of the white "castle." See the large, ancient baths within the city (thought to be evidence that the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since second century BC).

Activities
Hierapolis Archeological Museum
This museum displays works of art from excavations at Hierapolis and towns in the surrounding area, such as jewelry, sarcophagi and Bronze Age crafts. Housed within a former Roman Bath and gymnasium, this museum will grab the interest of art, history and architecture lovers alike.

Swim in an Ancient Pool
Take a plunge into an ancient swimming pool, preserved from the second century BC. Wade around in the thermally heated fresh mineral water around fallen marble columns, capitals, and plinths said to have come from the nearby Temple of Apollo. Kick back and relax, but don't forget admission is limited to two hours. Please bring a swimsuit if you wish to take part in this activity.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11 - Pamukkale/Selçuk

Enjoy free time this afternoon. Optional visits to St John's Basilica and the Mosque of Isa Bey as well as the nearby picturesque village of Şirince.

Transfer to Selcuk this morning then enjoy a free afternoon.

Opt to pre-book a traditional Selcuk cooking class, 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.

Free Time
Your free time is just that — yours. Use the afternoon to explore the area any way you like.

Activities

Mosque of Isa Bey Visit
Visit the centuries-old Isa Bey Mosque on the outskirts of Selçuk to see one of the oldest and most impressive works of art remaining in this region.

Şirince Village Visit
Head out to scenic Şirince, a Turkish-Greek village that was settled when Ephesus was abandoned; it’s now 600 strong. Wander the narrow village streets filled with people selling handicrafts, olive oil, and local wine.

Saint John's Basilica Visit
View St John's Basilica, once a grand basilica in Ephesus. Constructed by Justinian I in the 6th century, it was built in where John the Apostle is said to be buried.

Selçuk Cooking Class
Visit the one of restaurants of Selçuk and learn to cook a delicious traditional meal. Starting at the local market, you will learn about the fresh ingredients needed to create an appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert! After creating your meal (with potential vegetarian options), sit down and share with the rest of the class.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12 - Selçuk

Explore Ephesus this morning then enjoy free time. Opt to visit one of the seven wonders of the world, Temple of Artemis.

Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus.

After, head to town and enjoy some free time to explore. Opt to pre-book a traditional Selcuk cooking class, 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.

Ephesus Visit
Tour the ruins of ancient Ephesus to get a feeling of what life must have been like during Roman times. Take in its massive, well-preserved theatre, which dominates the view down Harbour Street. See the two-story library, whose façade has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces. Built in AD 125, it once held nearly 12,000 scrolls.

Free Time
Your free time is just that — yours. Use the afternoon to explore the area any way you like.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13 - Selçuk/Çanakkale

Visit the ancient city of Troy en route to Çanakkale.

Enjoy a carpet demonstration, Turkey's oldest art form, before visiting the G-supported Cöp(m)adam handicraft cooperation. Spend the rest of the afternoon at the world-famous city of Troy before continuing to the harbour town of Çanakkale, a busy port with a thriving student population.

Carpet Demonstration
Enjoy an informative demonstration of one of the oldest art-forms in Turkish history. Gain a greater appreciation for the labour and workmanship involved in weaving rugs and carpets as you learn about the process.

Your G for Good Moment: Çöp(m)adam Visit
Visit the G-supported çöp(m)adam handicraft cooperation. All products are made out of recycled goods and by making a purchase it will directly support the local women who work in the workshop and over time has contributed to over 500 women who have been part of the project.

Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Troy Visit
See historic Troy, made famous by Homer’s “Iliad,” (and more recently by Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt). Tour the city that, for centuries, was regarded as just a myth, until its ruins were found in in the mid-19th century. Imagine what a great city this must have been, while taking a tour of the remains. Don't miss the chance to have a photo taken with the Trojan horse.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

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.

Ferry
Once in the Gallipoli peninsula, transfer by bus to the Gallipoli battlefields (20 mins).

Gallipoli Battlefields Guided Tour
Visit this moving and beautiful site, a great complement to any trip to Turkey, even for those not familiar with the Battle of Gallipoli. Tour the grounds to see ANZAC Cove, the war cemeteries, and Lone Pine. Learn how the Turks fought off the numerically superior, but badly commanded, Allied forces who were forced to withdraw nine months later; this battle holds special significance for Australians and New Zealanders, as both nations lost many soldiers.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Activities
Archaeological Museum ($)
Opened in 1891, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum is a must-visit for history buffs. Home to a classical statuary, artifacts, and sarcophagi - including the stunning sarcophagus from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon - this museum presents one of the best opportunities to catch a glimpse into the life of ancient Turks.

Dolamabahçe Palace ($)
Built in the early 1800s, the Dolamabahçe Palace is the largest and the most important palace of the Ottoman Empire, after the Topkapi Palace. Marvel at its grandeur.

Galata Tower ($)
Climb up the Galata Tower - one of Istanbul's oldest architectural landmarks - for an amazing panoramic view of the city. To get the full experience, time your visit with the call to prayer that happens at sunset.

Basilica Cistern ($)
Built in 532 AD, the Basilica Cistern is the largest cistern (underground water storage) of Istanbul. Spot the pillar bases carved in the likeness of Medusa.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts ($)
This museum is home to treasures from the Ottoman and Seljuk periods, and boasts one of the world's largest collection of Turkish carpets.

Great Palace Mosaic Museum ($)
See the intricate mosaics on display from the Byzantine period, excavated from the site of The Great Palace of Constantinople.

Hagia Sophia (or Aya Sofya) Visit ($)
Visit the Hagia Sophia, one of the most important and breathtaking icons of ancient Byzantine architecture. The domes and buttresses of the mosque punctuate the skyline of Turkey's capital and stand tall as a symbol of national pride.

Topkapi Palace Visit ($)
Take a step back in time with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. Once home to the Ottoman sultans and their harems, it's now a museum hosting a number of collections, ranging from porcelains found in Europe, Asia and China to Ottoman-era weaponry.

Included Transportation - Private Vehicle
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 15 - Istanbul

Depart at any time.

Your tour might be finished, but the adventure’s far from over. Pre-book the following activity to experience after your tour ends: Istanbul Walking Tour and Bosphorus Cruise. If you do, we recommend booking accommodation for an extra night in Istanbul.

And don’t worry if you can’t decide now. This activity is available for pre-booking any time before your tour starts, or it can be booked upon arrival in Istanbul.

Activities

Istanbul Walking Tour and Bosphorus Cruise
Go even deeper into Istanbul, discovering diverse and lesser-visited districts with your CEO, and some of the best photography spots in the city! Today we will walk along the ancient Constantinople city walls; see Tekfur Palace(the Blaherne Palace) which has got thick walls adjacent to the landwalls ; stroll through the photogenic Fener (Greek) and Balat (Jewish) districts, known for their colourful wooden houses; enjoy lunch together; and cruise the Bosphorus Strait for stunning views of Ottoman palaces and the city skyline.

Please note: this is a full day (6+ hours) day excursion. Lunch is included. Your CEO will collect you from the hotel lobby at 9am. Please bring sunscreen, a water bottle, and modest clothing/coverings for shoulders and upper legs for visiting religious sites.

There will be a welcome note at the reception with more details from your CEO, so please check on arrival.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Ready to explore Turkey’s rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture?

Give us a call today to book your 15-day Turkish adventure!

 

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General Terms & Conditions:
Conditions apply. Valid on travel booked through Uniglobe Travel. All advertised prices include or disclose taxes & fees. Prices and offers are valid for new bookings only. Air only prices are per person for return travel in economy class unless otherwise stated. Package, cruise, tour, rail and hotel prices are per person, based on double occupancy for total length of stay unless otherwise stated, and are applicable for the departure date listed at the advertising deadline. Pricing that includes airfare is valid only for the departure gateway listed. Airport transfers to/from the hotel may not be included and are supplier and destination specific. Some packaged travel products for certain destinations may include flight connections at an additional cost ($). Taxes & fees due during travel or in destination are additional and may include, but not limited to, local car rental charges & taxes, one-way car rental drop fees which are to be paid upon arrival, resort fees & charges, tour ‘kitty’ or local payment, airline baggage fees, departure taxes, and cruise gratuities. Prices are for select departure dates and are accurate and subject to availability at advertising deadline, errors and omissions excepted, and subject to change without notice by the supplier. Advertising deadline: June 14, 2024. For full terms & conditions please speak with a Uniglobe Travel consultant.

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"Absolute Turkey"