Hot air balloon flying over rock landscape at Cappadocia, Turkey

Highlights of Turkey

15 days
from
$1,879 USD
incl. taxes
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
ATH
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

The diverse culture and history of Turkey and its people provide an absorbing trip with memorable highlights aplenty.

Turkey is one of the most important countries in the development of the western world; over the centuries it has provided a geographical and cultural bridge between Asia and Europe, with ruins and monuments attesting to the rise and fall of many great empires. Starting in Istanbul, we travel through the country, visiting ancient cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Ephesus, Hierapolis and Aspendos, exploring the natural wonders at Pamukkale and Cappadocia and taking some time out to relax on the Aegean coast. Add to that the memorials of Gallipoli and you can be sure of a fascinating journey that showcases the best of this country.

Highlights

  • Ancient history and monuments of the Ottoman Empire
  • Visit the Roman city of Ephesus
  • Limestone cascades and thermal springs at Pamukkale
  • Discover one of the best-preserved theatres of the ancient world, Aspendos
  • Optional hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia

Key information

  • 14 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite
  • Travel by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Countries visited: Turkey

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Istanbul.

    You will make your own way to the start hotel and check in. There is no formal sightseeing planned today (an orientation walk is included on your return to Istanbul on Day 14). Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world with a history spanning thousands of years. It has been through several incarnations, firstly as Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Istanbul. If there is time, you can wander through the bustling streets and absorb the vibrancy of this exciting city that links Europe and Asia. 

    Accommodation: The Haze Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Transfer to Çanakkale via Gallipoli peninsula.

    This morning the welcome meeting will be at 9am. Then, we will depart for the Gallipoli Peninsula, the site of many significant battles during the First World War. We will visit the battlefields, learn about the events that took place here, and their particular importance to the ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). We will then cross the famous Dardanelles Strait, arriving in the city of Çanakkale in the late afternoon.

    Approx. driving time from Istanbul to Çanakkale is 5.5 hours (not including stop in Gallipoli).

    Accommodation: Anzac Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Visit the ancient city of Troy; head to the Aegean coastal town of Ayvalik.

    This morning after breakfast we visit the city of Troy, immortalised in Homer’s Iliad. Once thought to be a place of legend, we will see the remnants of the ancient city walls and the famed wooden horse, while learning more about the ground-breaking archaeological digs that have taken place here.

    We continue this afternoon to the seaside town of Ayvalik on Turkey's north-western Aegean coast. Surrounded by an archipelago of picturesque islands, the town is full of historic stone houses, narrow cobblestoned streets and small shops/cafés selling local produce. We will have free time to explore the town, perhaps sampling some of the renowned local olive oil or Ayvalik tost (similar to a club sandwich).

    Approx. driving time from Çanakkale to Ayvalik is 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Elisa Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit the ancient city of Pergamon; afternoon transfer to Kuşadasi.

    After breakfast, we depart for the ancient Greek city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pergamon, the capital of the Attalid dynasty during the Hellenistic period (approx. 323-31 BC). We will take a scenic cable car up to the Acropolis, which contains the most important remains of Pergamon. See the temples, palaces, library, and theatre and learn about the significance of this special archaeological site.

    We will continue on to the coastal town of Kusadasi, where the evening will be free for you to rest or explore at leisure.

    Approx. driving time from Ayvalik to Kusadasi is 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Demir Suites or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit the historic site of Ephesus and the town of Selçuk.

    This morning we will visit the ancient site of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean and a great example of Greco-Roman architecture. Always an important religious centre, Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC and flourished under Roman rule. The Greeks replaced the cult of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with Artemis and built a fabulous temple in her honour. With the arrival of the Romans, it became the Temple of Diana and was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. We visit the vast amphitheatre, stroll the marble streets once graced by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and wonderfully restored Library of Celsus.

    After the visit to Ephesus, we will head to Selçuk and visit Isa Bey Mosque - a fine example of early Seljukian architecture - and St John's Basilica. There will also be some free time, during which we recommend a visit to the fascinating Ephesus Archaeological Museum. We return to Kusadasi for the evening.

    Approx. driving times between Kusadasi and Ephesus/Selçuk is 30 minutes.

    Accommodation: Demir Suites or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Explore the limestone cascades of Pamukkale and the Roman ruins of Hierapolis.

    Today, we will drive to the unique site of Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle'. This spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming myriad pools and terraces. As the water overflows from the pools, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with hot spring waters that supposedly have healing properties. Close to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, which was founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC and by the 2nd century AD had become an important Roman bath centre. The extensive ruins of Hierapolis are well worth exploring and include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. We will spend the afternoon discovering the travertines and ancient city. 

    Approx. driving time from Kusadasi to Pamukkale is 3 hours. 

    Accommodation: Uyum Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Visit Xanthos; transfer to coastal town of Kaş.

    This morning we depart Pamukkale and travel to the seaside town of Kas. On the way, we will stop to visit Xanthos, the capital city of the Lycian Federation and arguably its most important city throughout Lycian history. After a guided visit, we will continue on the road to Kas.

    Situated on the Teke Peninsula, the small port town of Kas was known as Habesos or Habesa in ancient Lycia, and as Antiphellos to the ancient Greeks. Today, there are still several Lycian rock-cut sarcophagi in the town, as well as a well-preserved Hellenistic theatre on the outskirts of town. The afternoon is free to explore Kas' cobbled streets, handicraft shops and lively cafés. 

    Approx. driving time from Pamukkale to Kas is 4 hours. 

    Accommodation: Linda Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day to rest or choose from the many activities available.

    Today is a free day to relax or take advantage of the many activities available on the Turquoise Coast in and around Kas. Options include a boat trip to the sunken city of Kekova, relaxing at Kaputas Beach or a visit to the ancient theatre in Kas.

    Accommodation: Linda Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Transfer to the lively city of Antalya; afternoon sightseeing.

    This morning we depart for Antalya, one of Turkey's most popular beach resorts. Arriving in the early afternoon, we will visit the ancient Kaleiçi (old city). With its narrow, cobbled streets and historic Ottoman-era houses, the Kaleiçi has retained much of its historical character while hosting a plethora of bars, restaurants and shops. During our walk, you will see Hadrian's Gate (also known as the Triple Gate due to its three archways), the old Roman harbour and the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. You may also want to visit the Antalya Museum this afternoon, with its wonderful collection of sculptures from the Roman period, or Phaselis Ancient City.

    Approx. driving time from Kas to Antalya is 3.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Dogan Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Visit the world-renowned theatre of Aspendos; afternoon transfer to Konya.

    This morning we will visit Aspendos, considered to be the best-preserved theatre of the ancient world. Once named Belkis, the city of Aspendos was founded by the Hittites, but it was Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) who ordered the 15,000-seater theatre to be built. After exploring the ancient site, which is still used for performances today, we continue on to Konya, known as Iconium in Roman times. Konya was an important city of the Seljuk Empire and is the birthplace of the mystic Sufi order popularly known as the 'Whirling Dervishes'.

    Approx. driving time from Antalya to Konya is 4.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Selçuk Mevlana Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Visit the Mevlana Museum then on to the Cappadocia region.

    This morning we visit the Mevlana Museum, the former home of the Whirling Dervishes and the location of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi's tomb. Mevlana, also known simply as Rumi, was a 13th century Anatolian mystic and Muslim saint whose poetry is known across the world. The museum is now a pilgrimage site and the building's fluted dome of turquoise tiles is one of Turkey's most recognisable sights.

    We continue to the fascinating Cappadocia region. Shaped by wind and water, the rock formations, rock-hewn churches, cave dwellings and underground cities must be seen to be believed! This afternoon we will visit the Sultanhani caravanserai, one of the largest in the world. Constructed in the 13th century, this Seljuk caravanserai was used as a rest stop for merchants and other travellers on the Silk Road.

    Our last stop of the day is the breath-taking Ihlara Valley on the slopes of Mount Hasan (one of the volcanoes responsible for the formation of Cappadocia). We will embark on a walk beside the Melendiz River, seeing beautiful natural scenery and dozens of rock-hewn churches and monasteries, many of which are decorated with exquisite biblical frescoes. We end the day at our accommodation in Göreme.

    Approx. driving time from Konya to Cappadocia is 4 hours. 

    Accommodation: Heybe Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Discover Göreme Open Air Museum and one of Cappadocia's fascinating underground cities.

    Early in the morning, you have the option to experience a memorable hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia's otherworldly fairy chimneys.

    After breakfast, we will visit Cappadocia’s main attraction: the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Göreme Open Air Museum, a vast monastic complex comprising churches, monasteries and dwellings, as well as its underground city. Thought to have started life as a Byzantine monastic settlement, Göreme Open Air Museum became a pilgrimage site during the 17th century and is a must-see location for all visitors to Cappadocia. The rock-hewn churches contain wonderful frescoes, whose colours are still vivid after hundreds of years.

    We will also visit one of Cappadocia's fascinating underground cities (Derinkuyu or Kaymakli, depending on availability and other local considerations). It is believed that these cities were formed as early as the 8th century BC by the Phrygian people to protect their inhabitants from wars and conflicts taking place above ground. The dwellings continued to be used until the early 20th century, when they were abandoned.

    Accommodation: Heybe Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Transfer to the charming UNESCO-listed town of Safranbolu.

    This morning we have an early departure for the charming UNESCO-listed town of Safranbolu. Arriving late in the afternoon, we will take an orientation walk around this quaint and picturesque town. Wander the cobblestone streets and take in the beautifully preserved timber houses with their distinctive red-tiled roofs. Safranbolu has a strong Ottoman heritage and is a great place to experience the Turkey of yesteryear.

    Approx. driving time from Cappadocia to Safranbolu is 6.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Akce Konaklari or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Transfer to Istanbul; afternoon sightseeing including the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar.

    This morning we will depart Safranbolu for Istanbul. In the afternoon, you may have free time or you can take an orientation walk around this culture- and history-rich city. We will head to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where ancient empires were found and historical sites intertwine with the living, breathing Istanbul of today. We will visit sites including the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, where Byzantine Emperors observed chariot races along with thousands of baying fans. We will also meander through the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books, along with the renowned Spice Market.

    Approx. driving time from Safranbolu to Istanbul is 5 hours. 

    Accommodation: The Haze Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Istanbul.

    Our adventure ends after breakfast in Istanbul. You may choose to take the group transfer to the airport if you wish.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Turkey

From 2 March 2020, nationals of Great Britain, the European Union Schengen area, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland travelling to Turkey for tourist or business purposes will no longer need a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you’re travelling before 2 March, you will still need a visa.

Vaccinations

Turkey

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Eating and Drinking

All hotels are included on a bed and breakfast basis. All other main meals are not included, and we suggest you allow about £300 to cover them, add more if you include alcoholic or expensive fruit juice drinks with each meal. Your group leader will normally assist in organising group meals at most stops so that you may benefit from better choice and prices.
Lunches are normally taken in local restaurants, known as lokantas, or organised as a picnic, and evening meals in lokantas in each town or village; such eating places are widespread throughout Turkey, and the variety, price range and choice is usually quite extensive, but obviously less so in some of the smaller towns in Central Anatolia.

Weather

Temperatures in July and August can reach 40 degrees Celsius during the day; on the Anatolian plateau this is normally a dry heat, while in Istanbul and the coastal areas tend to be higher in humidity.  During increased temperatures, activities are scheduled to be more comfortable in the earlier or later part of the day.
Night-time temperatures are some degrees cooler. April and October it may get a little chilly at night. Rain is rare although the occasional storm can be experienced. There is the occasional cloudy day, but protracted spells of bad weather are unlikely at this time of year.
December will be a lot cooler. In Istanbul, the temperature will only be slightly higher than in the UK but on the south coast, temperatures often reach 15-16ºC. There could even be snow in Cappadocia!

Kas

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely):
This trip is the most wide-ranging, varied and exploratory of all our Turkey programmes, combining the coastal region, history and landscapes of the interior in a kaleidoscope of contrasts for the true traveller, with lots of sightseeing every day. A fair amount of travelling is involved and there are some long days, but these are generally broken up with sightseeing en route or on arrival.
Although the tour is not physically demanding, there is a lot of road travel; the total distance covered during the trip is about 3,250 km but of course there are plenty of sites en route. Some of the main roads are good and fast, but others are not and there are some bumpy stretches that take us to some of the archaeological sites away from the main road.
Some of the archaeological sites involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides, but if you don't feel up to it on a hot day you can either not take part or wander around at your own pace.
In July and August it will be hot during the day on the Anatolian plateau but this is normally a dry heat and easier to cope with than humidity. Istanbul and coastal areas can be more humid.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

Hotel standards in Turkey can vary but there is a great deal of investment taking place to improve infrastructure and accommodation. We have carefully selected the hotels on this itinerary to ensure we are contributing to the local economy and providing clean, welcoming accommodation for our clients.
In Istanbul we use a hotel situated in the historic neighbourhood of Karaköy. Some hotels have swimming pools, including in Pamukkale, and many hotels offer complimentary WiFi. Accommodation in Kas is close to the coast and the town's many cafés/shops, and in Cappadocia we stay in the picturesque Göreme area.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Travel literature, whether it’s the fascinating memoirs of a life-changing trip into the mysterious Himalayan mountai

  • Reviewed September 2019
    Vivienne Hodgins

    A varied tour...history,culture,swimming,great food...what more could you want!

    This was our ninth Exodus tour and it didn’t disappoint. We saw so much in 2weeks..Gallipoli,Cannukale, Pammukale,Ephesus,Troy,Antalya and Kas, Capadoccia........the list goes on..... so much interesting history ,architecture, beaches etc etc. There is a lot of travel so you need to expect that.....most was broken up with interesting visits. Our guide was so knowledgeable and we felt we really got the most out of our visits to the various sites. The driver was a lovely man... very safe. The hotels were on the whole good...some very nice eg Safronbolu ,Kas and Antalya. The food was excellent and varied...our guide took us each evening to great local restaurants and helped us choose local dishes. The final two days were full on travel so that was hard. A delay caused by an accident on the motorway meant we hit Istanbul rush hour traffic. We went two days early......worth it to see Istanbul but you need even more time! It is a fantastic city...very walkable although the Bosporus cruise is worth doing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lots..... The boat trip at Kas to the sunken city .Enough members of our group went so we got a private boat. Ephesus Capadoccia...scenery and underground city Gallipoli Antalya...lovely town Sunsets Whirling dervish ceremony and the Rumi mausoleum in Konya The theatre at Aspendos Others in the group would say the hot air balloon ride.....it is very expensive...195 euros.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emir was a five star leader.Our group was very varied with some young people as well as a variety of older people with varying levels of energy but Emir tried always to keep everyone happy. He was always patient and was great fun. His English was excellent and his knowledge and love of his country while remaining objective was amazing. He was very stimulating to be with. If he didn’t know the answer to a specific question he researched it.....he was keen to know everything. I have come home determined to read up about Greek gods etc. A real people person.....he seemed to know lots of people on every stop and they all loved to talk to him. He took us every evening for a group meal and that helped us enjoy the Turkish food and order confidently. The driver was such a nice man but not much English.....frustrating not to be able to chat to him. We did learn a bit of Turkish in the end!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t bother to take walking boots...strong trainers are enough. None of us did the Lycian walk although we intended to do it. It was too hot and only a two hour walk so not really worth it. The boat trip was a better option. It is hot in August....take light clothes. There were opportunities to wash clothes. Go early or stay to see Istanbul. Take a head scarf...long shorts were fine. They give you a skirt if it is necessary. Loads of ATMs and change places. All hotels had hairdryers. Take swimming stuff...lots of chances to swim in pools and beaches.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You do need to be able to manage your own luggage at times....not all hotels have lifts so best to travel fairly light. Sometimes the bus can’t drive up to the hotel in the old parts of town. Several restaurants don’t serve alcohol if they are near a mosque....but they have good soft drinks and of course,tea!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Pamela Gardiner

    A Comprehensive Tour

    This is a very interesting and comprehensive tour of all the major sites in Turkey though with 11 different hotels in 14 days it's not particularly "leisurely" and some hotels I would describe as "basic" rather than "comfortable". Apart from the obvious (Ephesus, Cappodocia, Whirling Dervishes etc) my highlights were the lovely seaside resort of Kas where I had a free day to explore, the clean and bright Islamic town of Konya and the beautiful World Heritage town of Safranbolu where our hotel was a former Ottoman house. Many towns are cobbled, particularly in Safranbolu, where this could be a problem for anyone with less than perfect mobility. Be prepared for very hot temperatures in August and appropriate clothes for visits to the mosques which should not be missed. On this trip there is no time for sightseeing in Istanbul and despite arriving a day early 24 hours wasn't enough. As the oldest in my group at 69 I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and am already planning to re-visit Istanbul. Highly recommended if you want to learn about Turkey's amazing history.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were lots of highlights but the less obvious was the beautiful seaside resort of Kas where I had a day to relax and explore on my own and the lovely Islamic town of Konya. The floodlit mosque was stunning as was watching the sunset at Pamukkale with wine provided by our tour leader!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Emir was a lovely man and very knowledgable about all the gods and extensive history of Turkey as well as being fun.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for 38C+ heat in August, take appropriate clothing for mosque visits, including headscarves for ladies, long trousers for men. Last 2 road journeys are long - ours were 9 hours plus including toilet and lunch stops. Driver is obliged to take at least a 45 minute break for Tachograph reasons so take plenty of music or reading material.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Monica Avram

    Great mix!

    This trip is a great mix of man-made and nature-made. If you like ruins and nature it's an amazing trip! The scenery was great, you can't get bored and the ruins in Troy don't look like the ones in Ephesus which don't look like the ones in Bergama, which don't look like the ones in Aspendos and so on...they are different and each one is unique and fabulous. It's really hard to compare Cappadocia to anything else and the balloon ride over those interesting rock formations was absolutely wonderful! I loved every moment of this trip!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The underground city of Derinkuyu and Cappadocia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Atahan did his best. His knowledge about Turkey was impressive and his organizational skills really good.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Gill Denyer

    Turkey review

    We visited all the places that we booked the trip to see and our excellent guide Ali also took us to a number of smaller less well known places. Although some of the coach journeys were long, they were split up as best as possible. A few times lunch and dinner were much later than expected.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the candy mountains at Pamekalle and paddling in the warm spring water.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ali was very informative amd knowledgeable about the history of all the places we visited. He was always considerate towards all the members of the group and treated us all equally.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wear long sleeves and long trousers for the Lycian way walk in Kas and be prepared for a spot of mountain climbing!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Christine Jeffrey

    Amazing country

    Very good value for money, some amazing sights and scenery, hotels quite basic with the exception of one or two. Be prepared to lug cases around now and then. Hours of travel but the scenery helped the time go by and lots of stops included.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent knowledge and very good English, very professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t expect great hotels and be prepared to carry/drag cases around now and then.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have been prepared to pay a little more for better hotels.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Janet Watkins

    Hightlights of Turkey

    A very comprehensive tour of this country travelling over 3000 km. Our guide was excellent, one of the best I have had. He was knowledgable and not only gave us the history of each place we visited, but also knew some fabulous restaurants where we could sample Turkish food and wine, not to mention some of the more unusual local drinks. I don't think there was any meal that I didn't enjoy (and the wine wasn't bad either). Of course your fellow travellers can make or break a holiday. I was lucky that I was with a super group, all very considerate of each other. No one was late at meeting points and everyone was very friendly so thanks to them too. I can thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone who would like to experience the true Turkey, visiting ancient sights, staying in old and new cities and towns and experimenting with different foods and drinks. I would have liked more time in Instanbul but perhaps I will save that for another visit. Something I would realy like to do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I think the best was when some of us visited a local hamman. It was very old but very beautiful inside the building. After being steamed, scrubbed and pummelled I realised that this is what people had been having for centuries, and now I myself had been able to participate in the experiance. being a bit of a history buff I loved the fact that I had been able to continure with a practice so old.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. I have travelled the world and before only 2 group leaders had made anygood impression, one in the Dolomites and one in Uzbekistan. Our tour leader was Ali Kartal and he has now joined as one of the best.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that you do spend a lot of time in a coach. However, your compensation is that you see a lot of the countryside and visit some wonderful sites.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Sharon Wall

    A great trip!

    Overall, the trip was wonderful! It was my first time doing a trip where we covered so many kilometres which made it tiring, but I expected that at the outset. Some of the hotel rooms could have been of a slightly higher standard.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Galipoli and gaining a greater understanding of the battles fought there. Generally getting a sense of the ancient history of this part of the world Experiencing the power of nature at Cappadocia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ali was excellent! He’s knowledgeable, organized, personable and has a brilliant sense of humour. He’s also wonderful at managing a diverse group - although we regularly told him we were his best group ever.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To understand the pace and how that, more than anything else will be challenging. I would also suggest that walking poles could be offered as a suggestion in the trip notes for anyone who may need than. This is relevant for only a few days.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip was invaluable in teaching me how to determine which types of trips to book in the future.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    David Petyt

    Highlights of Turkey

    Wonderful introduction to this huge and beautiful country. Ancient history, beautiful coastlines, Turkish Baths, friendly people, gorgeous food

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Wow moment was the Roman theatre at Aspendos,

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aysenur Geng was excellent, her depth of knowledge was incredible and her organisational skill very good. Personally I did have some problems with her pronunciation of English

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    \be prepared for anything
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Maria Somjen

    Turkey was fascinating but tour leader was not the best

    Turkey is a fascinating place historically, politically and culturally and definitely worth visiting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We were blown away by the “Cotton Castles” and, of course, Cappadocia and the underground dwellings. The rock formations in both those areas are really unusual and beautiful. Unfortunately the group was not able to take the balloon ride at Cappadocia because of weather conditions.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had just finished a tour of Sri Lanka with an outstanding guide so maybe it made us more dissatisfied with the guide we had on this trip. Her English was difficult to understand and her explanations more convoluted; she was often repetitive. It took up too much time at the site which could have been spent exploring. It might have been better given on the bus. A couple of times we wanted to stop for photographs, but told it was too dangerous or cost money when there was an obvious pull off or we would have been glad to pay. We did not really learn about other aspects of Turkish life, the politics, religion (except for Sufism) and culture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We suggest that if you take this trip, you spend a few extra days in Istanbul before or after exploring Topkapi, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Dolmadahce Palace and various other museums, plus hanging out with the locals.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Couple of the hotel rooms were so small we had nowhere to put our suitcases, and one had no hot water, another no separate shower, might be better to charge a little more for the trip and provide slightly better accommodation. A leisure level trip is likely to have more senior people on it so I think it would be better to have a more senior guide.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Susan Darnton

    Highlights of Turkey

    An excellent introduction to this large and fascinating country. The itinerary allowed us to get a real flavour of the history, archaeology and topography. The sites and ordering of the stop-overs were excellently chosen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having been steeped in ancient history from an early age I was amazed to find myself in Troy and to realise that it was a very small small acropolis but with great influence both geographically and historically.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have been on many Exodus trips and generally have admired the leaders. This time though, Tolga excelled all my previous experience. Knowledgeable and caring about his country and caring of his guests ---and a gastronome who led us to all the best eateries [all Exodus clients seem ready for the next meal].

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take the trip. One tip is that in terms of cash, it is better to put money into your back account at home and to use the many ATM's available everywhere. There are far more ATM's [and they are open all hours of course] than there are exchange outlets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus are so reliable-- trustworthy in all circumstances. On this trip we had to be diverted because of unrest in Ankara and it happened calmly, seamlessly and very satisfactorily.

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