Tailor-Made Holiday

Highlights of Turkey

12 days

from £1,995pp (excluding flights)

Turkey is a vast country with so much to offer those on holiday. Vibrant cities, historical sites, mile upon mile of pretty coastline plus diverse scenery ranging from mountains and fertile plains to the magical landscapes of Cappadocia.

  • Explore the colourful markets, Islamic architecture and cafe culture of Istanbul
  • Relax in the coastal town of Bodrum
  • Explore the ancient Roman city of Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Stay in a cave bedroom in Cappadocia
  • View the  fairy-tale landscapes of Cappadocia by hot air balloon
  • See a mesmerising whirling dervish dance 

Begin your travels by visiting Istanbul with its eclectic mix of Europe and Asia - the architecture and mosaics of the mosques and churches are wonderful. During you visit you will be shown the highlights of the city as well as gain special insights and access to lesser known places. During your visit to the Grand Bazaar experience Turkish coffee from Sark Kahvesi, historical coffee roasters located in the Grand Bazaar. Each variety has been prepared with a blend of traditional knowledge, experience and and abiding 'love of coffee'. Other suggested tour options while in Istanbul would include taking a Turkish Bath at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam to learn about the historical and luxurious art of bathing. This hamam was built in the classical period Ottoman bath style and was an innovation in Turkish bath architecture to have the sections for men and women constructed on the same axis as mirror images of each other. Another tour option is to visit St Chora Church and Antique Store or take a guide to visit Kadikoy, the Asian side of Istanbul.

From Istanbul, fly to the coastal town of Bodrum to relax for 3 nights. During your stay a suggested tour option would be to visit Bodrum Castle which occupies the tip of the wedge-like peninsula at the centre of Bodrum. It has a massive conglomeration of courtyards, turrets, galleries and sunken gardens.

From Bodrum travel to Sirince via Didyma and Priene. Both impressive sites in wonderful locations. Continue up the coast towards the ancient site of Ephesus where you will stay in a nearby mountain village. Ephesus, famous throughout the ancient world for its Temple of Artemis is also surrounded by other historical remains, some that have been recently excavated. During your visit you will be taken to the Seven Sages for lunch and a wine tasting. 

The holiday concludes amidst the spectacular landscape of Cappadocia which has been entirely sculpted by erosion. An early morning hot air balloon flight to view the fairy chimneys, valleys and canyons, lunch at a local village house where you join local folk and learn to bake Turkish bread together, an afternoon exploring the castles and monasteries in the area and the grand finale, experience the Sema Ritual performed by Whirling Dervishes, a mystical and very special experience. 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 1995 £ 325
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Istanbul


Istanbul is Turkey's largest city, its cultural and financial centre and the city where east famously meets west. With the western half of Istanbul in Europe and the eastern in Asia, separated only by the mighty and iconic Bosphorus, it is the only metropolis in the world that straddles two continents. It is truly one of the world's great cities.


You will be staying at Arena Hotel, Istanbul, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Full Day City Tour
Your full day tour begins with a visit to the renowned Sultanahmet Mosque, known popularly as The Blue Mosque, an incredibly beautiful mosque known for its blue Iznik (Nicaea) tiles and six minarets. Continue on to the Hippodrome, once the vast arena that functioned as the heart of sporting events and political activities of the old city.

From here you continue to the nearby Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom. Ranking as one of the greatest marvels of world architecture, this awe-inspiring building was constucted as a basilica in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian. From here short walk to the Underground Cistern, the largest of the many underground cisterns built during the Byzantine Empire to supply the city with water. This cistern is especially fascinating because the Byzantine builders recycled many stone structures-capital heads and columns that had been used in earlier temples. Now an upside down Medusa stares out at you from her watery home.

Continue with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. This visit to the imperial palace of the Ottoman Sultans will include tours of the imperial treasury, the Chinese porcelain section, the calligraphy section and many more. Visit the jewellry collection segment of the palace. The tour will end with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market that is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4000 shops of antiques, jewellry and carpets.

During the visit of the Grand Bazaar taste a Turkish coffee from Sark Kahvesi, historical coffee roasters located in the Grand Bazaar. Each variety has been prepared with a blend of traditional knowledge, experience and an abiding "Love of Coffee".


You will be staying at Arena Hotel, Istanbul, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Day at Leisure
Have the day at leisure to explore the city.


You will be staying at Arena Hotel, Istanbul, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Fly Istanbul to Bodrum


Situated on the Aegean Coast, Bodrum is surrounded by pine forests and has a beautiful harbour filled with boats.

Built by the Knights Hospitaller, a striking crusader castle dominates Bodrum's seafront. Now housing the Underwater Archaeology Museum, it contains artefacts such as Byzantine and Bronze Age shipwrecks, a unique glass collection and the sarcophagus of a Carian Princess.

Days can be spent relaxing on the beaches, enjoying great water sports and exploring the surrounding peninsular.


You will be staying at Marmara Bodrum, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Day at Leisure


You will be staying at Marmara Bodrum, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Day at Leisure


You will be staying at Marmara Bodrum, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Travel from Bodrum to Sirince Via Didyma & Priene


Drive north along the coast to Sirince, a drive of approx 3 hours. En route visit the following sites:

Didyma: This is the third largest temple in the ancient world after those of Ephesus and Samos. Even though it is incomplete it is still impressive with breathtaking remains from the 8th century BC.

Priene: This city dates back to the 4th century BC, and has a wonderful location overlooking to River Menderes (old name is Meander).


This pretty mountain village is famous for the liqueur-like fruit wines produced there.


You will be staying at Kirkinca House Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Full Day Sightseeing of Ephesus
Ephesus was one of the wealthiest and most important cities of Asia Minor. The remains that survive, long buried under the silt of the river Meander, testify to the former grandeur of the city and it is certainly the best preserved antique city in Turkey.

The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC) which is now one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Also explore structures including houses, government buildings, fountains and terraced houses, all with high quality decorations including wonderful mosaic floors.


You will be staying at Kirkinca House Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Drive from Sirince to Izmir (Road Journey)

Fly Izmir to Kayseri


You will be staying at SOS Cave Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Activities and excursions
Places to visit and excursions to do around Cappadocia:
- Goreme Open Air Museum.
-       Keslik Monastery.
-       Hot air balloon ride over the magical Cappadocia countryside.
-       Kaymakli Underground city is a vast maze of underground tunnels
-       Visit Uchisar Citadel, the highest rock citadel in the region.
-       A Whirling Dervish performance at Saruhan Caravanserai
-       Avanos the centre of terracotta work art since 3,000 BC

Central Anatolia's mountain lined plains hide a unique land of fairy chimneys and valleys full of underground cities. The spectacular landscape of Cappadocia is entirely sculpted by erosion.


You will be staying at SOS Cave Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Day at Leisure


You will be staying at SOS Cave Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 12

Fly Kayseri to Istanbul

Fly Istanbul to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Arena Hotel, Istanbul

Arena Hotel, Istanbul

Arena Hotel is located in the old city part of Istanbul - Sultanahmet, tucked away on a quiet street yet within easy reach of all the main sites....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Turkey

Katie Benden, Travel Expert

"Katie was brilliant and very helpful. Helped to put together the itinerary I was dreaming of for my honeymoon and she was excellent with communication."

"Very happy with Katie Benden. Great service – always prompt reply to queries and always polite, attentive and informative. A wonderful holiday."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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