|from $5,690* per person||16 Days||June-August
Exertion level: 3
|Operator: Thomson Family Adventures
24 people max
T urkey—it’s magical and mystical, friendly, fun and fascinating. And it’s one of the Mediterranean’s best-kept travel secrets. For a family adventure, few destinations offer such a wide range of activities in so many geographically distinct landscapes. Our journey through this ancient and culturally diverse land will entertain your senses, challenge your inner explorer, and stoke the fires of your children’s imagination. Ultimately we know you’ll be wowed.
Istanbul, with its palaces, mosques and markets, reaches across the Bosphorus and connects two continents. Discover the fragrant spices first carried from the far ends of the Silk Road in the legendary Spice Market. Stand in awe beneath the soaring domed space of timeless Hagia Sophia. And bargain your way through the bustling, colorful, tempting Grand Bazaar.
Venture into Turkey’s interior to hike through the lunar-like, geological wonderland of Cappadocia with its stone “fairy chimneys” and underground dwellings.
Aboard a private gulet—a traditional Turkish wooden yacht—discover the exquisite natural beauty of the Turquoise Coast and explore the ruins of the ancient Lycian and Lydean civilizations. Kids will love jumping into the warm waters, snorkeling above ruins claimed by the sea, and hiking to a real Crusader castle. Our day exploring magnificent Ephesus, from the Temple of Artemis to the façade of the Celsus Library, is yet another highlight in a country that was once the center of the known world’s greatest empires.
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- May accommodate certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.
Day 1 and 2 - Depart U.S. / Arrive Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! From Istanbul’s mosques to the peaks of the Taurus Mountains, and from the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia to the warm waters that grace the Turquoise Coast, the mystery and magic of this extraordinary land are yours to discover in this memory-making family vacation.
Day 3 – Istanbul
At the crossroads of East and West and straddling two continents, Istanbul is a cultural and ethnic melting pot. Soaring minarets, bustling marketplaces and non-stop water traffic are part of the city’s daily scene.
Marvel at the Blue Mosque
Tour Topkapi Palace
Visit the Spice Market
Explore Basilica Cistern
Days 4 and 5 – Cappadocia
Once an active volcanic region, Cappadocia claims a landscape of surreal beauty—where strange and fanciful rock formations, known as the fairy chimneys, rise from the surrounding countryside. Entire underground villages, carved out of tuff, soft volcanic stone, are tucked into this region. We all turn into wide-eyed children here as we discover and explore the underground passageways and the mind-boggling numbers of connecting rooms.
Discover the underground city of Kaymakli
Hike the Valley of the Spears
Visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum
Meet local artisans
Hike the Valley of Roses (optional)
Day 6 – Ephesus
Exploring the wonders of Ephesus is a memory-making family travel experience. Kids will love the chance to imagine what the city looked like in its heyday, from its opulent baths and gymnasium to the Great Theater, which held 24,000 people. The Temple of Artemis, the largest known temple of its time, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. And the Library of Celsus once contained nearly 15,000 scrolls.
Fly to Izmir
Visit the House of the Virgin Mary
Visit the Temple of Artemis
Day 7 – Ephesus to the Mediterranean
Visit Ephesus arrow Drive to Göcek
Göcek - Board your private gulet!
Days 8 to 10 – Yachting along the Mediterranean Coast
Enjoy three days aboard a traditional Turkish gulet, a private yacht, sailing along the fabled Turquoise Coast and dropping anchor in quiet coves, discovering sheltered beaches and calling at small harbor towns. Originally the land of the ancient Lydians (685-547 B.C.), the region was later colonized by the Greeks and the Romans. Along the way kids will love snorkeling and swimming in the warm waters.
Sail to Bedri Rahmi
Anchor at Cleopatra's Sunken Baths
Optional hike to Lydea
Explore Gemiler Island
Trek through Soğuksu National Park
Day 11 – Mediterranean to Antalya
Founded in 159 B.C.E. by a Pergamum king, clifftop Antalya has become one of Turkey’s most popular resort towns.
Disembark in Fethiye
Drive to Antalya
Day 12 – Antalya
Leisure day for family time
Hike to Termessos
Day 13 – Depart Antalya / Arrive Istanbul
Tour the amazing Hagia Sophia
Day 14 – Depart Istanbul / Arrive U.S.
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