Venture across Turkey, a treasure trove of marvelous landscapes and architectural wonders. In Istanbul, at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, boat along the Bosphorus, take in celebrated Hagia Sophia and marvel at the stunningly decorated Blue Mosque. Fly to Adiyaman to see the spectacular UNESCO site of Mount Nemrud and discover Urfa, the famed historic city of prophets. Then embark on a scenic four-day gulet cruise along the Turquoise Coast, witness the ancient site of Aphrodisias and the thermal spa of Hierapolis and take in the best of Turkey's rich cultural heritage.
Spend unforgettable days cruising the magnificent Turquoise Coast of Turkey on a deluxe gulet
Marvel at Hagia Sofia, a 4th-century church turned mosque, and the gorgeously tiled Blue Mosque
Discover UNESCO-listed off-the-radar wonders of Mt Nemrud and Aphrodisias
Arrive any time today and meet an MT Sobek representative at Istanbul airport for a transfer to the hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city on your own or simply relaxing before the welcome dinner this evening.
Start the day by discovering the highlights of the ancient Hippodrome, including the Egyptian Obelisk and the Serpentine Column. Visit the spectacular Hagia Sophia, a former mosque that today houses a museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, walk through the vibrant streets of the old town to catch a public boat along the Bosphorus for a 1.5-hour scenic cruise. Back on land, wander through the 17th-century Spice Bazaar and its colorful stalls filled with spices, herbal teas, and saffron. Return to the hotel on foot.
Today visit the 17th-century Blue Mosque, famed for the beautiful blue tiles decorating its interior walls and for its six minarets. Continue with the Topkapi Palace, former residence of the Ottoman sultans for about 400 years. See the Harem section, a palace inside the Topkapi, to hear about the history of eunuchs and concubines. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, explore the buzzy streets of the Grand Bazaar, a 15th-century covered market with 90 alleyways. Roam around for unique souvenirs and walk back to the hotel. Enjoy dinner on your own.
Take a flight to Adiyaman in southeastern Turkey and transfer to downtown for lunch at a local restaurant and a visit to the city's archaeological museum, showcasing a collection of artifacts from different periods in history. Then have a short drive up to Mount Nemrud, one of the highest peaks of Mesopotamia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the summit (7237'), take in the fascinating tomb of King Antiochus I of Commagene, with gigantic statues of gods gracing the terraces.
This morning head out to the prophets' city of Urfa, in ancient times known as Edessa. Check into the hotel, have lunch at a local restaurant, and then head out to explore the city. Visit the Pool of Abraham, Balikli Gol, a sacred lake with a biblical history. It is believed that Abraham was thrown into fire by Nimrod but God turned the flames to water and the burning logs into fish. Then walk up to the ancient citadel, an open-air museum with panoramic views of the city.
This morning set out for a short drive to Gobekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill), where German archeologist Klaus Schmidt made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. These megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. Back in the city, visit the archaeological museum with its stellar collection of findings from the region. End the day with a walk through the bustling markets and bazaars of the city.
This morning transfer to the airport and fly to Antalya (via Istanbul), an ancient city that serves as the gateway to Turkey's enchanting Turquoise Coast. Enjoy a scenic drive to the port city of Fethiye, through beautifully forested Tauros Mountains. Arrive to Fethiye and embark the deluxe gulet. Meet the crew, check into the cabins and enjoy a welcome dinner on board.
After breakfast on board, take a ride to the haunting ghost town of Kayakoy and walk through its deserted churches and homes inhabited by the Turkish-Greek population until 1924. Ride back to Fethiye to embark the boat again and savor lunch on board. This afternoon, enjoy a 2-hour cruise to a secluded bay and take a hike among the ruins of Cleopatra's baths, where she often met Marc Anthony according to lore. Enjoy time for swimming and a special dinner on board.
Set out early and after a 3-hour voyage, arrive to Koycegiz. After breakfast on board, have a short cruise through the Dalyan River and visit the ruins of the ancient city of Kaunos. Walk through the archaeological site founded as early as 8th century BC and marvel at the rock tombs. After another lunch on board, enjoy a 2.5-hour cruise to the Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris. Wander around town and then, back on the boat, set out for a short cruise to a secluded bay for the final overnight.
After breakfast on board, disembark the gulet in Marmaris and set out toward Pamukkale in western Turkey. On the way visit Aphrodisias, an ancient Greek-Hellenistic site dedicated to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Admire this UNESCO World Heritage Site with its temples, dating back to 3rd century BC, a theater, an agora, two bath complexes, and a large hippodrome. Continue on to the town of Pamukkale, known for its mineral-rich thermal waters, and check into the hotel.
Set out to explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, today's Pamukkale, also known as Cotton Palace. Deriving from springs in a tall cliff overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created a surreal landscape made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls, and a series of terraced basins. Walk through the ruins of the baths, temples and other monuments of the thermal spa of Hierapolis, established in 2nd century BC, and visit its amphitheater and archaeological museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to hotel for some rest and the farewell dinner.
This morning after breakfast, take the transfer to the airport for your flight to Istanbul, and connect with your homebound flight in the afternoon.
MT Sobek has been creating immersive cultural adventures for 50 years and we've been exploring Turkey for decades!
Our local expert guides, whom we have worked with for over 20 years, will help you get to the heart of Turkey, revealing insider knowledge and going deeper in just 12 days.
This trip features a three-day gulet cruise along Turkey's scenic Turquoise Coast and visits little-known UNESCO-listed wonders.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Guided city walks, bazaar strolls, museum visits, tours of off-the-radar ancient ruins, scenic drives, and a three-day gulet cruise.
A boutique city retreat in Istanbul, upscale city hotels throughout, and a deluxe gulet for three nights.
Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally around or above 86°F in the day.
Arrive any time on Day 1 and meet an MT Sobek representative at Istanbul airport for a transfer to the hotel.
Although the water is considered safe, most people don't drink tap water in Turkey. We will provide clean, safe-to-drink water to our guests each day.
Turkey's cuisine is vibrant, colorful and flavorful! There is an abundance of healthy and delicious options in Turkey, including soups, stews, assorted kebabs, mountains of bread, kofte (meatballs), pide (Turkish pizza), olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, salads, lentils, rice, yogurt soups, and more.
As of April 2019, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel advisory Level 3 for Turkey, advising that travelers avoid certain areas. This trip does not travel through or near any of those areas.
Islam is the largest religion in Turkey. Turkey is also a secular country, and there is freedom of religion. The Turkish Government recognizes three minority religious communities: Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Apostolic Christians and Jews.
Yes, U.S. citizens can obtain an e-Visa for Turkey is you are travelling for less than 90 days.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Excellent food, swimming, hiking, gulet crew, exposure to diverse parts of the country, historical context - ruins, civilizations, philosophies, beauty of the Mediterranean. Logistics were masterfully handled. Great variety of restaurants with excellent and diverse foods and settings."
MT Sobek Guest, Treasures of Turkey
"It's a high quality experience with a very professional staff and excellent service."
MT Sobek Guest, Treasures of Turkey