Turkey Real Food Adventure

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
11 days
From: $ 2,085 $ 190 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Discover Istanbul, a city brimming with delectable dishes! The options can be dizzying, but your expert local guide will have you headed straight for the local hot spots.
  • Experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality as a local family takes you into their beautiful home nestled in the hills of Ortahisar, a small town famous for its friendly inhabitants.
  • Get a feel for life in ancient times by exploring the beautifully preserved city of Ephesus. Your local guide will walk you through the remarkable ruins and bring its colourful 1500-year history to life.
  • Enjoy a cooking class under the tutelage of renowned chef Nuray, as you’re welcomed into her enchanting cave house to experience some delicious Central Anatolian cuisine.

Short Description

Get up close and personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions on this authentic food adventure. From ancient recipes with modern twists, to Asian-inspired feasts with European influences, take a tongue-tingling journey beyond the cookbook and discover the secrets behind delicious Turkish dishes that are as heart-warming as their people. Enjoy a cooking class in the caves of Cappadocia, discover the traditional technique behind creating the classic gozleme and explore the impressive ruins of Ephesus. Whether you’re wandering through the passageways of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar or flying high in a balloon above the fairy chimneys of Goreme, embark on an experience that goes above and beyond what you think you know about Turkish cuisine.

Style Small group tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Istanbul
End City Istanbul

Destinations

Turkey

Attractions & Cities Visited

Ephesus Istanbul Izmir Selcuk

Activities & Interests

Cooking

Age Requirement

15-99

No single supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 Istanbul

Hosgeldiniz! Welcome to Turkey. Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so when you explore the streets, you'll see a great clash of east and west, that’s represented not only in its architecture, but in its delicious cuisine. Your Real Food Adventure kicks off at 6pm today with an important welcome meeting, however if you arrive early, feel free to go out and explore what this captivating city has to offer. Following the meeting, head out for your first taste of Turkey with a classic – a kebab. While you might be familiar with the shaved meats and pita bread sensation, nothing beats the kind they wrap up in Istanbul. The eggplant kebab is also a winner if you fancy something vegetarian tonight.

Day 2 Istanbul

Start the day by heading to the celebrated Egyptian Spice Bazaar on a guided walking tour, meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and savour a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Hagia Sophia Mosque and the Hippodrome. The area around Eminonu boasts some delicious street food, and local favourites include barbecued corn, roasted kestane (chestnuts), and of course Turkish delight. In the afternoon, jump on a ferry and in just 20 minutes you’ll arrive at the side of Turkey that lies on the continent of Asia, and the vibrant neighbourhood of Kadikoy. Hit the Sarkuteri (delicatessen) to sample some olives, pastirma (seasoned cured beef) and a variety of delicious pickles. 

Day 3 Canakkale

This morning, travel to the waterside town of Canakkale visiting Gallipoli battlefields en route, a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealanders. Turkey's most westerly point may feel serene; however, this coastal point was once a major backdrop of the Great War. After touring the former battlefields you will continue onto Canakkale where you will join your leader for an orientation walk of this exciting university city perched on the Dardanelles. On the walk you will have the chance to try some local cheeses and jams. Canakkale has a great range of dining options – ask your leader for some recommendations. Afterwards, why not take a stroll along the waterfront and sample some dondurma, a type of Turkish ice-cream.

Day 4 Seluck

This morning, we’ll drive to Selcuk (5 hour drive) along the way your first stop is Adatepe Village to see the Altar of Zeus. The altar was dedicated by King Eumenes II to Zeus and Athena Nikephoros, and its construction probably took place between 181 and 159 B.C. Leaving Adatepe, its onto an authentic Turkish village famed for its olive oil products. Turkey has been the amongst 5 largest olive oil producers in the world, here you will hear the story of the regional olives, sample some of the product and wander this beautiful town. For lunch (included) we visit a restaurant that is own by a local woman who went from her corporate business life to the award-winning olive & olive oil producer and restaurant owner. After lunch, we’ll drive approx. 3 hrs to Selcuk. In town, on the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings – you’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of 14th-century Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the sixth century. A short distance out of Selcuk is one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single column (of 127 originally) remains. It was destroyed in AD401, after being successively damaged by floods, a Greek arsonist seeking notoriety, and the Goths.

Day 5 Selcuk

Today is a full day. This morning you will visit Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites. Explore this beautifully preserved classical city with your leader who will bring its colourful 1500-year history to life. Watch in awe as the sophistication of this former metropolis reveals itself. It had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well-preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but the marvellous library might just be the highlight. From ancient ruins to ancient traditions, next up you’ll be treated to a carpet weaving demonstration and learn about the art of traditional carpet weaving from local social enterprise; Sultanköy. Carpet weaving holds incredible history in Turkey and has been dated back to the early Neolithic age – Sultanköy provides local women with employment while protecting and developing the ancient tradition. Later, drive past apple and peach orchards to the quaint village of Sirince, where charming, red-roofed houses clamber up the hillside. Drop by a local wine house where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the locally produced fruit wines. Try a sip of kiwi, pear, peach, quince, or all the above! Next, you’re in for an extraordinary treat - meet a local chef (who has appeared on the BBC!) for a Turkish cooking class, using olive oil grown and made on site as well as herbs and vegetables picked fresh from the garden. If you’re just eating Turkish food in restaurants, you’re only getting half the story. Learn how to make a range of small meze dishes using seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour as this evening’s dinner will be the mouth-watering meze plates you’ve made together.

Day 6 Overnight train to Goreme

After breakfast join your leader for an orientation walk around Selcuk with some free time until mid-morning. You will drive to Izmir (1hr) where your leader will show you around the city visiting the clock tower, Hisar Mosque and Kemeraltı Bazaar. While in the bazaar you will have the opportunity to try some local treats such as Kumru, Boyoz and Gevrek - a chewy, soft bread shaped into a ring which is then dipped in honey and water, topped with sesame seeds. Tonight your train will leave early evening. Your leader will arrange a transfer from Izmir town to the train station.

Day 7 Goreme

Arrive in Konya by early morning, then take a private transfer to Goreme (approximately 3.5 hours). This is your gateway to the fabled fairy-chimneys of Capadoccia. Perhaps stop for a mid-morning snack of etli ekmek, a larger local variation of the traditional Turkish lahmacun: flat bread baked with ground meat, tomato, peppers and onion. Stop in at Derinkuyu, the astounding old subterranean city that goes as deep as 60 metres underground. It used to have wine and oil presses, cellars, refectories, stables and chapels, not to mention some 20,000 residents. For lunch perhaps hit a local pide saloon for Turkey's answer to the Italian pizza, enjoy toppings like grilled lamb, black pepper, tender spinach, fresh egg and Turkey’s famed peynir cheese made from sheep’s milk. For the next three nights you'll stay in the village of Ortahisar, which is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named. The rest of the day is yours to explore.

Day 8 Goreme

For early birds, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape is a highly recommended experience. Wander through the Soganli Valley on a morning walk (approximately 1 hour), taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. Take the opportunity to stop for lunch at a local restaurant in this beautiful place, savouring fresh local flavours next to the memorable landscapes. Visit one of Cappadoccia’s most famous wineries to learn about the region's 4000-year-old wine industry. Afterwards, walk through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set (approximately 1.5 hours), enjoying a glass of the local wine. For dinner, perhaps try the local specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious clay pot dish

Day 9 Goreme

This morning you will visit a Family-run pottery atelier. The studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. Speak with a local artist who will explain the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics. Discover the rich clay from the red river and watch how it is molded into exquisite pieces. You will have some free time before this evening when you’ll be warmly welcomed into the cave home of Nuray, an award-winning regional cook. Under her tutelage, learn to prepare some classic central Anatolian dishes (the menu will depend on the season). Sit down and enjoy the results over dinner.

Day 10 Istanbul

This morning, wave the fairy chimneys a fond goodbye and transfer to one of the regions airports for a flight back to Istanbul. You will be transfered to the hotel where you will have some free time. This evening round off your adventure by joining your group and leader for a farewell dinner.

Day 11 Istanbul

Your Intrepid trip comes to an end this morning. If you wish to spend some more time in Istanbul, we would be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 2,085
Price Per Day: $ 190 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Apr-22-2023May-02-2023$ 2,1959 spots left Reserve
May-20-2023May-30-2023$ 2,08511 spots left Reserve
Jun-12-2023Jun-22-2023$ 2,16611 spots left Reserve
Sep-02-2023Sep-12-2023$ 2,19512 spots left Reserve
Sep-16-2023Sep-26-2023$ 2,28012 spots left Reserve
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May-18-2024May-28-2024$ 2,23512 spots left Reserve
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Sep-21-2024Oct-01-2024$ 2,23512 spots left Reserve
Oct-05-2024Oct-15-2024$ 2,23512 spots left Reserve
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4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,164
Great 667
Average 132
Disappointing 66
Terrible 157
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Turkey Real Food Adventure

Well organised trip and excellent option for

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Well organised trip and excellent option for sole travellers

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Great trip made better by the guide.

This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature.

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Plane,Dolmus,Train,Public Bus,Overnight Train

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Hotel (9 nights),Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)

Guides

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. Intrepid endeavours 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. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Istanbul New Airport
  • Array
  • Istanbul
  • TURKEY

Trip ID#:

intrepid-ERZZ

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