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Popular Walking holiday
Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings.
This is a small group adult holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
I had an amazing time on this tour exploring the sites of Turkey. Our guide, Zafer, had incredible knowledge of archeology, ancient history and greek mythology. I can't wait to go back and see Eastern Turkey next time.
Climbing around the ruins at Termessos, hot air ballooning at Cappadoccia and sharing turkish bath experience with the ladies in our group were definite highlights. Our tour guide went out of his way to show us extra things and teach us about Turkish language and culture which made it really special.
Zafer's expertise in archeology and ancient history as well as his ability to engage the group really made the tour. We had moments when the whole group became budding archeologists, finding pieces of old pottery, glass, carvings and metal and asking him which period it came from!
He was also happy to show us additional sites, recommend activities in our free time and take us to the best shops and local bars.
Some days we have a lot of bus travel but I expected this from other trip reviews and the sites we saw were well worth it.
Accommodation standards varied quite significantly in different locations, but you spend so little time at the hotel in any event.
Days are packed with a full itinerary, which I loved, but others might prefer more free time.
I would recommend an extra day or two in Istanbul at the end of the tour.
Wow - what a holiday! I really felt that I saw and learned a huge amount about Turkey in just 2 weeks, and though it was busy with quite a bit of time in the bus some days, there was enough down time to relax. It helps that the tour guide was fantastic and the group were a great bunch too.
The hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia was amazing, no doubt about it, definitely worth the very early start. It was actually cancelled due to bad weather (fog) the first morning but the tour guide managed to book us in with another balloon company the next morning - thank goodness. Ephesus was another highlight, and Termessos as it was so picturesque and quiet. There were plenty of other highlights but one worth mentioning was a caravanserai that wasn't on the official itinerary but the tour guide and driver took us to break up a long drive - it's an inn for travellers and camels along the Silk Road and I really loved it as I'd never seen anything like it before.
Zafer was amazing, one of the best tour guides I've had - and a few others on the tour agreed. He knows a huge amount about Turkey and Turkish history which helps make every stop interesting, he can read the crowd and knows when to crack a few jokes or get the bus singing, and he made an effort to find local cheap places for us to eat. I really appreciated his effort.
Be prepared for some long drives and if you travel in Sept, variable weather from north to south - a little cooler in Istanbul but then hot hot hot down south. I recommend at least another day or two in Istanbul before and/or after the tour to make sure you have a chance to see a bit more of the city. Most of the hotels are 2-3 stars, which are totally fine, just be prepared for a few hard beds and small bathrooms that's all. Some of the sights I could've missed but that's probably because I was so spoilt by places like Ephesus and Cappadocia. But these are all little things, overall the tour was fantastic - unbelievable history, delicious food, beautiful geography, wonderful company.
This is an interesting journey, taking in some fabulous venues, and some interesting experiences. The trip involves long hours by coach, but this is the only way to cover the key locations around Turkey. There were many highlights during the trip starting in Istanbul, and working our way around the major cities and sites.
Cappadocia was a fascinating surreal environment, those who took the ballon ride said that the experience was breathtaking. Pamakkule was again an amazing place to visit. Whirling Dervishes are a must see. I found Gallipoli very moving.
Fatih Develi was a brilliant leader. He was very knowledgable and passionate about his country. He was concerned about the group welfare, and on one occasion insisted on checking the cleanliness of a restaurant kitchen before the group sat down for a meal. He used his local knowledge to avoid crowds at various sites, especially at Ephesus where he led the group around the city when the crowds had all left.
Good quality walking shoes are helpful. Expect long hours on the road, but I found the trip an education as I had no idea about the depth of history Turkey has to offer.
This trip ticks many boxes if you are interested in the history and culture of this area.
The best place to shop in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar (one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world) where you can get antiques, rugs, jewellery, leather goods, ceramics and lots of souvenirs. Highly recommended is a visit to the Spice Bazaar as well. Its the best place to buy spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and many other goods. There is an amazing atmosphere and it's one of the world’s most exciting shopping experiences!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
Find a nice coffee shop around the old town, relax and enjoy your turkish coffee or apple tea watching locals passing by. You can go to Galate Bridge to see local fisherman, where there are great views and you can take amazing pictures. If you have more time, you can take a ferry from Kabatas to one of the Princes' Islands on the Sea of Marmara . The largest and most popular island is Buyukada, while Heybeliada is the second largest in the archipelago. There are some historical buildings, churches and museums and you can find a nice place to relax and escape from the city even for a few hours.
No matter how long you will stay in Istanbul you will have a wonderful time in this magical city!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
The most popular dish in Turkey are kebabs, dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. The aubergine and eggplant salad are used in a wide variety of dishes. Kebabs can also be cooked with onions, garlic and tomatoes and served cold as "imam bayildi". Stuffed mussels and shrimp stew are popular as well.
Turkish sweets are famous throughout the world and many of these have milk as the basic ingredient. The best-known are "baklava", "kadayif" pastries and turkish delights. If you like alcohol you can try "Raki" made of anise, it is called the "lions drink" because you must be strong as a lion to drink it!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
I normally take just Sterling cash, with a debit or credit card to use in ATMs as a back up. As long as you excercise the same degree of common sense you would at home, you won't have any problems. Make sure you advise your bank before leaving home that you will be there, to avoid any problems. You will be changing into the local currency, the Turkish lira, and spending that. Almost all towns have money changing and ATM facilities.
Katarzyna Crompton - Turkey Operations
Most nationalities (including UK and US citizens) require visas. From 10 April 2014 it will no longer be possible to purchase a Turkish visa on arrival. This can now be obtained online at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for approximately US$20.
The visa is valid for a stay of up to three months (dependent on passport holder's nationality). For a longer stay a visa from a Turkish Embassy is required.
Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain the appropriate visa if required..
Ian Langford - Sales
Breakfast: typically comprising a selection from tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, yoghurt.
Lunch and dinner: often a buffet arrangement with several freshly cooked dishes to choose from. Kebabs are of course to be found everywhere.
Picnic lunches: when taken on trek, typically comprise a selection from bread, cold meat, cheese, (sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish), fresh salad vegetables, fresh fruit.
Most people find that Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world and there is usually something to please everyone. Vegetarians will generally find themselves well catered for as many Turkish dishes are based on vegetables and dairy products.
Other than whilst on trek drinks are not included with meals (except breakfast) as a wide variety is normally available and it is better to allow you the choice. Mineral water, excellent fruit juices, beer and wine are generally readily available at about half to three-quarters of the UK price, depending on locality. Tea (usually taken in small glasses) is cheap, and so is Turkish coffee (strong, taken in small cups). The only drinks that can be more expensive are European instant coffee and spirits.
Please note that the holy month of Ramadan will take place during specific dates each year, the actual dates will be listed in the respective Trip Notes. This is a time when followers of Islam do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This can sometimes affect the opening hours of certain tourist sites. However we will ensure that that the itinerary is affected as little as possible if you travel during this period. Food and drink is available to tourists during the day.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get the answers you need!
**Please see 2015 dates and amended itnerary at http://www.exodus.co.uk/turkey-holidays/discover/highlights-turkey-2015/ath**