Turkey Explored

Intrepid Travel Premier
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4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
18 days
From: $ 2,166 $ 120 / day
Checking price


Highlights (Bullets)

  • Explore the continent-straddling metropolis of Istanbul, and step back in time to when it was Constantinople with the backstreets of the Grand Bazaar and at the Hagia Sophia.
  • Reflect on battles fought and lives lost with a moving visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a serene stretch of coastline where it's now hard to picture the horrors of war.
  • Spend two days exploring the cliffside waterfalls, cobblestone alleyways and ancient ruins of Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean Coast.
  • You'll dig into local Turkish delicacies like the famous wet burgers, enjoy a local lunch at a traditional Aspava and get your taste buds tingling with a borek tasting.
  • Discover UNESCO world heritage site - Hattusas Ancient Site - known for its well-preserved temples and royal residences.

Short Description

Travel from Istanbul through the very best of Turkey – Gallipoli, Fethiye, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia and Ankara – and discover the people, cultures, cuisine and landscapes that make this country such a treasure. Historically rich with its medieval Ottoman period and chronicle of Gallipoli, and fashionably chic with the cosmopolitan buzz of Istanbul and celebrity getaway of Antalya, Turkey is an unmissable country that overflows with character. Pay your respects in Gallipoli, hike into the Valley of Love in Cappadocia, cruise the south coast on a traditional gulet and understand why Istanbul is considered the centre of the world. Take 18 days with Intrepid to get the absolute best out of this intriguing nation.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Istanbul
End City Istanbul



Attractions & Cities Visited

Antalya Cappadocia Ephesus Fethiye Goreme Istanbul Pamukkale

Activities & Interests


Age Requirement


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Day 1 Istanbul

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul, a bustling mega-city with a rich history and food scene waiting to be explored. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you will meet your leader and fellow travellers. After the meeting, you might want to head out as a group to grab dinner and get to know each other.

Day 2 Istanbul

Meet your local guide early this morning for a guided tour of Sultanahmet AKA the Old City, formerly Constantinople, to see Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and the Grand Bazaar. Enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Maybe visit the jaw-dropping Hagia Sofia, said to have changed the history of architecture. Or maybe enjoy a steam session at a traditional hamam (public bath). Your tour leader knows all the best places, so they can recommend some great options for places to eat.

Day 3 Gallipoli - Canakkale

Head for the shores of Gallipoli, the site of the ANZAC landings, one of the most disastrous Allied campaigns of WWI. Visit the battlefields of Nek and Lone Pine and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Hear stories of the heroism and camaraderie that unfolded among the tragedies and take the time to read moving inscriptions etched onto a sea of gravestones. There will also be the option to visit the Kabatepe Museum, which includes interactive presentations of the battle, as well as numerous relics from the campaign. Then, take the short ferry ride from Europe to Asia across the Dardanelles to Canakkale, a charming traditional fishing town that has a great range of dinner and nightlife options, not to mention medieval ruins to explore.

Day 4 Selcuk

After breakfast, take a local bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk. Take a guided walk around the town and the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill in the afternoon. See the 14th-century Isa Bey Mosque, the imposing the Grand Fortress and the ruins of the Basilica of St John. According to Christian lore, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100. The basilica stands over his alleged burial site. Your evening is free.

Day 5 Selcuk

Today, choose whether you would like to take a guided tour of Ephesus with your tour leader or strike out on your own via a dolmus (local bus). One of the best-preserved Greco Roman cities in the world, Ephesus once had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. In the afternoon, you can choose to join an optional excursion to Sirince to taste some local wines.

Day 6 Pamukkale

Take a train inland to one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to ‘cotton castle’. Here spectacular natural hot springs with high calcium bicarbonate content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving white terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since 200 BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes). You can choose to take an optional excursion to the ancient city of Hierapolis in the afternoon – speak to your leader for more information.

Day 7 Fethiye

Take a local bus to Oludeniz and enjoy some time at the three-kilometre-long beach. Please note you will need to pay a small fee if you want to access the Blue Lagoon. Later, transfer to the quaint town of Fethiye. If conditions allow, it is possible to take an optional excursion to Kayakoy ghost village, an abandoned town that is both eerie and beautiful. This evening, enjoy a walk by the harbour and look up to see massive Lycian rock tombs cut from the cliffside.

Day 8 Southern Coast Cruising/Kekova

This morning take a local bus to Ucagiz. Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast, viewing some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world. Cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island, where ancient remains can be viewed just below the water’s surface, and take a walk to Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands. Late afternoon, transfer to Kekova and spend a night in this lovely town.

Day 9 Antalya

After breakfast, continue to Antalya, your base for the next two nights. Enjoy free time on arrival to explore at your own pace. It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya due to it charming cobblestone streets, historic Old City, vibrant marina and the Taurus Mountains framing the city. You may like to take a walk around the markets, jump on the old Nostalgic Tram or go to Konyaalti Beach for some more time chilling out beachside. If you're in the mood for some history, check out some of the best museums in the country, or get theatrical at Aspendos ancient city with a beautiful, intact theatre from Roman times. Tonight, why not stake out some food and shisha with your group – Antalya has a thriving nightlife scene, so use it to your advantage.

Day 10 Antalya

Enjoy a free day to explore at your own pace. There are a number of optional excursions to choose from if you want a little guidance. For those after a nature fix, Duden Waterfalls is a lovely spot to relax. If you’re interested in visiting historical sites, there are optional excursions to Termessos, Aspendos or Side to choose from. Alternatively, stay in Antalya and soak up the charms of this seaside town.

Day 11 Konya

This morning take a local bus inland to Konya, a traditional Turkish city where mainstream tourism is yet to arrive. The city is closely linked with the Whirling Dervish sect of Islam developed in the 13th century by Rumi (or Mevlana). Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader and enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the many tea gardens. Later this evening, maybe join your group for some central Anatolian cuisine.

Day 12 Cappadocia

This morning after breakfast, travel by local bus to Goreme, Cappadocia, a city made from the soft volcanic rock of the region. On arrival stretch your legs with an orientation walk with your leader.

Day 13 Cappadocia

Today is free for you to explore Goreme and surrounds, including the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex is composed of churches, rectories and dwellings carved from the earth. Perhaps explore one of the region’s underground cities, the largest of which are almost ten levels deep with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. If you’re a hiker, you may like to walk the valleys of Red, Rose, or Love. Your leader is available help you organise your day.

Day 14 Cappadocia/Ankara

Gunaydin! Your morning begins bright and early at 8.30am in Cappadocia. Once the formalities are out of the way, we'll make our way to the UNESCO World Heritage – Hattusa Ancient Site. This site is the former capital of the Hittite Empire, known for its well-preserved temples and royal residences. You'll have time to explore the site with your local leader and discover the Lions' Gate and the Royal Gate, and the ensemble of rock art at Yazilikaya before we make our way to Ankara for the evening.

Day 15 Ankara

After breakfast this morning, you'll enjoy an orientation walk through the city with your locally based leader. First up, we'll visit the Mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, founder, and first president of the Turkish Republic. Then we'll visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations where you'll be guided through the deep history of Turkey. Finally, we’ll visit the Castle of Ankara and our last stop will be the Haci Bayram Mosque which is located next to the temple of Augustus from Roman era. "Res Gestae Divi Augusti" (The Works of the Deified Augustus) was written on the walls of the Ankara Augustus-Roman Temple in two languages and painted red. You'll enjoy a stop at a traditional local spot for lunch, your leader will guide you in choosing the best delicacies to try. The afternoon is all yours to explore as you wish.

Day 16 Eskisehir

After breakfast this morning, you'll take a fast train to Eskisehir. Drop your bags at our hotel and hit the street to start exploring this fascinating city. First stop - a gondola ride along the Porsuk River to get a glimpse into why they call this the Venice of Turkey. Once back on dry land, you'll visit Eskişehir Odunpazarı Village where you'll dig into a ci börek tasting at a locally run restaurant before wandering the quaint and colourful houses nearby. In the afternoon, you might like to visit one of the many museums in the area.

Day 17 Istanbul

After breakfast this morning, we'll depart on a train bound for Istanbul. This afternoon, your tour leader will introduce you to the lively Taksim district, the beating heart of modern Istanbul. Walk across the Golden Horn in view of the medieval Galata Tower. Board one of the world’s oldest funicular railways, operating since 1875, for the short journey 500 metres to Taksim. Alight at Istiklal Caddesi, arguably the city’s most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, and take a walk among the local people who call this city home. Try an islak burger (a burger drenched in sauce) and visit a hidden local coffee house. Maybe stay with your travel companions for an optional celebratory dinner and take advantage of the late-night entertainment.

Day 18 Istanbul

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation any time after breakfast. If you plan to stay on to see all Istanbul has to offer – which is highly recommended – we are happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability). Please enquire at the time of booking to see if this is an option.


Checking price
Price From $ 2,166
Price Per Day: $ 120 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Oct-02-2023Oct-19-2023$ 2,360Sold Out Reserve
Oct-06-2023Oct-23-2023$ 2,2402 spots left Reserve
Oct-09-2023Oct-26-2023$ 2,1665 spots left Reserve
Mar-04-2024Mar-21-2024$ 2,53513 spots left Reserve
Mar-18-2024Apr-04-2024$ 2,53516 spots left Reserve
Mar-25-2024Apr-11-2024$ 2,53516 spots left Reserve
Apr-08-2024Apr-25-2024$ 2,53516 spots left Reserve
Apr-15-2024May-02-2024$ 2,53511 spots left Reserve
Apr-29-2024May-16-2024$ 2,63514 spots left Reserve
May-06-2024May-23-2024$ 2,73013 spots left Reserve
May-13-2024May-30-2024$ 2,73015 spots left Reserve
May-16-2024Jun-02-2024$ 2,73014 spots left Reserve
May-20-2024Jun-06-2024$ 2,73014 spots left Reserve
May-27-2024Jun-13-2024$ 2,63513 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2024Jul-04-2024$ 2,53513 spots left Reserve
Jun-20-2024Jul-07-2024$ 2,53515 spots left Reserve
Jun-24-2024Jul-11-2024$ 2,53516 spots left Reserve
Jun-26-2024Jul-13-2024$ 2,53516 spots left Reserve
Jul-01-2024Jul-18-2024$ 2,63516 spots left Reserve
Jul-08-2024Jul-25-2024$ 2,63516 spots left Reserve
Jul-15-2024Aug-01-2024$ 2,63516 spots left Reserve
Jul-22-2024Aug-08-2024$ 2,63514 spots left Reserve
Jul-29-2024Aug-15-2024$ 2,63515 spots left Reserve
Aug-12-2024Aug-29-2024$ 2,63514 spots left Reserve
Aug-19-2024Sep-05-2024$ 2,73016 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2024Sep-12-2024$ 2,73016 spots left Reserve
Sep-02-2024Sep-19-2024$ 2,73015 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2024Sep-26-2024$ 2,73013 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2024Oct-10-2024$ 2,73014 spots left Reserve
Sep-30-2024Oct-17-2024$ 2,73016 spots left Reserve
Oct-07-2024Oct-24-2024$ 2,63516 spots left Reserve
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4,331 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,259
Great 675
Average 140
Disappointing 77
Terrible 180

Turkey Explored

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Reviews from previous and similar itineraries

The trip was amazing, great scenery, lots

The trip was amazing, great scenery, lots of opportunities to learn about the culture, food._x000D_
I would like to spent more time at the attractions than at the bus.
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This is my (and our) Intrepid trip

This is my (and our) Intrepid trip and all have been excellent in terms of the guides, the experience, the sights, just the right mix of free time and managed time.
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This trip exceeded my expectations. A great

This trip exceeded my expectations. A great itenrary with a mix of history, relaxation and beach time and experience in the smaller inland villages.
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Exceeded all my expectations. Guven was an

Exceeded all my expectations. Guven was an excellent guide, very knowledgable. The time spent traveling around Turkey was perfect and spread out very well.
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The content of the tour was good

The content of the tour was good and the guide was very good

Company Reviews

Sardines in a can

Love adventures but the size of the cabins on our trip to the Cyclades Islands are extremely cramped . We have three mature adults in one cabin with no space to move and no space to hang or store anything ( including wet towels ).
If any of us had been physically inflexible or overweight we could not have coped with the sleeping arrangements . It is impossible to sit on the top bunk and even turning over in bed requires considerable planning .
An adventure does not mean cutting back on basic essentials …
In our view there were too many people in too small a space .
Two complete strangers were also asked to sleep together in an extremely small double bed , which meant that one of them decided to sleep on deck or in the living space .
The only redeeming factor was our Skipper who is professional, friendly , informative and skilled .
I would recommend this trip if the numbers were reduced .
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Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Public Bus,Private Vehicle,Train,Tram,Funicular

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16


Hotel (15 nights),Pension (1 night),Guesthouse (1 night)


All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip. In Turkey, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a registered Guide with the Ministry of Tourism. They will have vast general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, specialized knowledge of the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Centrum Hotel Istanbul
  • Hoca Paşa Mh. İbn-i Kemal Caddesi No:14
  • Istanbul
  • 34080

Trip ID#:


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