With a year-round temperate climate, an intriguing history and a wealth of ancient sites, cultural holidays in Turkey take you on a unique journey of discovery. Our expert guides navigate centuries-old cities and towns that lead you to historical gems and lesser-known places off the beaten path, all the while teaching you about Turkey’s incredible past.
Throughout the centuries, Turkey has played host to turbulent empires that have shaped the Western world and the ruins and monuments that can still be seen today pay testament to its past. Explore the ancient cities and UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Istanbul at places such as Hierapolis, Ephesus and Aspendos where you’ll learn about the country’s Roman history and Ottoman empire.
As well as discovering the history and culture in Turkey, there are also lots of natural wonders to uncover. Cappadocia is arguably one of the most famous of them all with its epic fairy chimneys, rock-hewn churches and underground cities. One of the best ways to see the true magnificence of Cappadocia is on a hot air balloon ride where you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of this surreal landscape.
Our cultural tours of Turkey are designed to introduce you to the locals and immerse you in the local traditions. Visit the town of Kas, which lies on the Teke Peninsula, and see the Lycian stone-carved sarcophagi or walk around the ancient Hellenistic theatre. In the centre of the town, narrow cobbled streets are lined with craft shops and cafes where you can sit with the Turks and watch the world go by.
Turkey Culture Holidays
15 DaysfromUSD 2,749
Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)
Visit some of Western civilisation's most iconic sites in Turkey
Top 5 Places to Explore on Cultural Holidays in Turkey
Cappadocia: One of the most bizarre and spectacular landscapes in the world, Cappadocia is like nowhere else on earth. Its giant rock pillars form a distinctive skyline that is often described as a fairytale setting by anyone that visits. Found among central Turkey’s hilly landscape, these geological wonders are known as the ‘fairy chimneys’. One of the most beautiful sights you’ll see are colourful hot air balloons floating across the sky with visitors wanting to gain a bird’s-eye perspective of Cappadocia.
Goreme Open-Air Museum: Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme Open-Air Museum is one of the most incredible places to visit in Turkey. It’s believed to be a monastic settlement dating back to Byzantine times, later becoming an important pilgrimage site. The museum has been meticulously preserved throughout the centuries and you can see wonderful examples of Byzantine architecture and artwork that pepper the landscape. Wander around rock-hewn churches, monasteries and chapels where fabulous frescoes give you an insight into Goreme’s past. The Dark Church and the Chapel of St Basil are particularly interesting buildings to explore when you visit Goreme.
Ephesus: This ancient site is located in the Central Aegean region of Turkey and is one of the finest classical cities you’ll see in the Mediterranean. The well-preserved remains of Ephesus include Greco-Roman architecture, ancient squares and magnificent monuments. Ephesus was first discovered in the 11th-century BCE by the Ionian Greeks and was deemed a significant religious site. Originally built in honour of Artemis, the temple of Ephesus would later become the Temple of Diana, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As you explore the marble paved streets, step back in time and walk in the footsteps of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
Pergamon: Rising above Tukey’s Aegean region, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pergamon is a Greek city home to ancient temples, theatres and monuments protected by the city walls. This fascinating site was once the capital of the Hellenistic Attalid dynasty and dates to circa 323 to 31 BCE. A cable car ride takes you up to the Acropolis of Pergamon where some of the most significant archaeological remains and burial mounds can be found. Roam around the temples, library and palaces and discover the history of the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine empires of Turkey.
Istanbul: One of the most unique and fascinating cities in western Europe, Istanbul is a heady concoction of cultures from the East and West. This alluring capital of Turkey flaunts imposing mosques, basilicas and palaces among its frenetic streets and the sound of bustling bazaars fills the air. There are so many sites to explore in Istanbul that it’s hard to know where to start but the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque should be top of your list. If you need a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, head to Gülhane Park, a beautiful green space next to the palace.
Please refer to Charle Waterworth who is our group contact with Exodus
The trip was very tiring due to many early starts and very long bus journeys and the high altitude, but oh my goodness it was so worth it. Overall the trip far exceeded my expectations and ranks amongst the best experience of my lifetime.