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: Local Culture & Cuisine, History Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 133928
Starts: Istanbul, Turkey Finishes: Istanbul, Turkey
You will visit
  • Istanbul
  • Istanbul



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

Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))


Day 3: Ankara/Göreme (1B, 1D)

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.

Additional Notes:
The local dinner may take place on any night in Göreme based on the family's availability.

Included Activities:
Anitkabir Visit
Dinner with Local Family

Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))


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
Underground City Visit


Day 6: Göreme/Güneysınır (1B, 1D)

Depart Göreme and head to the region of Konya.

Travel about one 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:
Catalhoyuk Visit
Turkish Village Homestay

Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))


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.

Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))


Day 8: Antalya (1B)

Enjoy more time in Antalya to explore.


Day 9: Antalya/Pamukkale (1B)

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.

Included Activities:
Hierapolis and Pamukkale Visit

Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))


Day 10: Pamukkale/Selçuk (1B)

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

Included Activities:
Ephesus Visit

Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))


Day 11: Selçuk (1B, 1D)

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.

Included Activities:
Cooking Class


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

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 Guided Visit

Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 32km)


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

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))


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.

    • 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)
    • Village homestay
    • Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk
    • Ephesus entrance and visit
    • Cooking class in a nearby village
    • Ottoman mansion stay
    • Troy entrance and guided visit
    • Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit
    • Hotels (13 nts), simple village homestay (1 nt)
    Meals Included
    • 14 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 3 dinners
    • 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
  • Meet a local family on a homestay