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Discover Turkey Private Journey

Turkey

from $8,295* per person 11 Days Year-round
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Wilderness Travel 15 people max
  • Istanbul, turkey
  • Active & Adventure trips
This Private Journey brings you an insider’s view of the rich culture and ancient heritage of Turkey, with visits to dazzling Istanbul and to the surreal fairytale landscape of Cappadocia in the interior heartland. Heading along the Aegean Coast, explore glorious Ephesus, the best preserved Roman city in the Mediterranean, and lovely off-the-beaten-path sites such as exquisite Priene, with its Temple of Athena, and the remote sanctuary of Zeus at Labranda. Incorporated into your Private Journey are walks on ancient trails through beautiful countryside of olive orchards, delightful picnic lunches, visits to serene rural villages where you can sip tea in cafes under age-old plane trees, and opportunities to mingle with the locals in farmers markets and artisan workshops. Your own private guides are with you from Day 2 through Day 10 and can tailor your cultural visits and hikes to your interests and abilities.

Locations visited/nearby

Turkey

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
  • May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Days 1-2
Exotic Istanbul

Explore the great monuments of this renowned city on a walking tour. Istanbul is home to the thousand-year-old Haghia Sophia, once the greatest church in Christendom, and the Blue Mosque, with its blue-themed interior, replete with panels of floral-motif tiles (20,000 of them) and graceful arabesque stenciling. Visit Topkapi Palace, where the sultans’ wives, concubines, and eunuchs lived inside the “forbidden” harem quarters. Enjoy a guided walk through the Covered Bazaar to the Spice Market, and board a sunset ferry to sail up the Bosphorus Strait, one of the most famous stretches of water in the world. Criss-cross between Europe and Asia as you savor views of the Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Hisar Castle, and traditional waterfront homes from the Ottoman period.

Days 3-4
Cappadocia’s Moonscape

Spread across the heart of Turkey is the volcanic moonscape of Cappadocia, with its mushroom-shaped rock formations into which the local people have carved homes. Christianity arrived here in the 1st century AD, as evidenced by the ornate frescoed churches hewn deep into the soft tufa rock. Enjoy a hike from the pretty village of Ortahisar to the unspoiled hamlet of Cavusin through vineyards and apricot orchards, visit the ancient underground city of Kaymakli, 13 levels deep, where thousands of Byzantine-era villagers sought refuge from invaders, and enjoy panoramas of the towering stalagmites that give this landscape a surreal quality. Enjoy a whirling dervish performance at an original 12th century Seljuk caravanserai.

Day 5
Magnificent Ephesus

Declared capital of Roman Asia by Emperor Augustus, the archeological complex of Ephesus is one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. Walk down Marble Street, where the ruts of chariot wheels can still be seen etched in the pavement, visit the striking Library of Celsus, with its elegant two-story facade, then head for dinner and overnight in the evocative hill town of Sirince, a quiet retreat known for its olive oils and wines.

Days 6-7
Treasures of the Aegean Coast, Bodrum

In the lush valley of the Meander River Delta, visit Priene on the slopes of Mt. Mycale. Often compared to Delphi for its natural setting, Priene is also known for its extensive Temple of Athena, built at the order of Alexander the Great and still in a remarkable state of preservation. On the flanks of Mt. Latmos, explore the beautiful 2nd century Temple of Zeus, hidden in the endless grove of olives. Then head to Bodrum, where whitewashed, bougainvillea-clad houses surround natural harbors lined with yachts. Enjoy the flavor of the southern Aegean as you walk narrow streets lined with artisan shops and visit the Castle of St. Peter, with its Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and the remains of the Mausoleum of Mausulus.

Days 8-11
Ancient Villages, Sacred Springs, Lake Bafa

Taking a little traveled route inland, visit beautiful country villages with tree-shaded central squares, stroll in a lively bazaar, and explore mountain-ringed Aphrodisias, a fantastic World Heritage Site in an isolated setting. The stadium at this ancient city can still seat 30,000 spectators. At Pamukkale, a remarkable natural wonder, walk along lime-white cliffs terraced with travertine pools, and visit the sacred spring at ancient Hieropolis, with its submerged marble pillars dating to the Roman era. At Lake Bafa, we visit the unspoiled village of Kapikiri, hike to Neolithic caves with fascinating pictographs, and visit the Carian site of Labranda, with its fascinating sanctuary of Zeus perched in a lovely setting overlooking the plains. Depart via Istanbul.

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