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Turkey Cultural Discovery Private Adventure

Ancient Marvels from Istanbul to Cappadocia

 

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, then fly to moon-like Cappadocia famed for rock formations named Fairy Chimneys and ten-story deep underground cities carved from volcanic tufa. Tour the museum of Konya and shop flavorful spices at Istanbul's bustling Spice Bazaar. From celebrated Hagia Sophia and the stunningly decorated Blue Mosque to the mesmerizing spins of whirling dervishes, this adventure takes in the best of Turkey's rich cultural heritage.

  • Marvel at Hagia Sofia, a 4th-century church turned mosque, and the gorgeously tiled Blue Mosque

  • Witness the lunar-like Cappadocia region, one of the world's most surreal and striking landscapes

  • Attend a private ceremonial dance of whirling dervishes in the holy city of Konya

Arrive:

Istanbul, Turkey

Depart:

Istanbul, Turkey

Price: from $3,695

Duration:

8 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

2-14 Guests

Min Age:

14 yrs

Activity:

Level 1

Six days of touring mostly on foot. While the activities themselves are not strenuous, participants must be comfortable standing and walking 2-3 hours per day, on terrain that can be uneven with some hills.
Learn more here.

  • Arrive in Istanbul

    Day 1

    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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Arcadia Blue

    With a prime location in the district of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's cultural and commercial heart, this elegant boutique hotel offers views to the Blue Mosque, Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The rooms showcase swish decor featuring walnut wood, satin and marble, plus upscale perks like minibar and Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants and a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna.

    Meals: Dinner

  • Visit the Old Town & Cruise the Bosphorus

    Day 2

    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 or by public tram.

    Accommodation: Hotel Arcadia Blue

    With a prime location in the district of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's cultural and commercial heart, this elegant boutique hotel offers views to the Blue Mosque, Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The rooms showcase swish decor featuring walnut wood, satin and marble, plus upscale perks like minibar and Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants and a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna.

    Activity: 1.5 hour Bosphorus cruise

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar

    Day 3

    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.

    Accommodation: Hotel Arcadia Blue

    With a prime location in the district of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's cultural and commercial heart, this elegant boutique hotel offers views to the Blue Mosque, Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The rooms showcase swish decor featuring walnut wood, satin and marble, plus upscale perks like minibar and Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants and a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Discover the Landscapes of Cappadocia

    Day 4

    Take a morning flight to Kayseri in Cappadocia and take the 1-hour transfer to one of the world's most spectacular and surreal areas. Explore this moon-like landscape with bizarre natural formations, such as pyramid-shaped rocks. Check into the hotel, have a traditional lunch, and then head out to visit one of the underground cities carved from volcanic tufa to a depth of eight to ten stories. Drive to a clutch of valleys for panoramic views, have a brief walk in the Love Valley and - at an additional cost - a hot air balloon ride.

    Accommodation: Argos in Cappadocia Cappadocia, Turkey

    Six different "mansions" make up this spectacular hideaway housed in a series of thoughtfully restored ancient dwellings, underground tunnels, and caves. The plush guest rooms come with a full array of amenities, and the splendid suites feature private cave pools. At the restaurant, savor fresh cuisine prepared with local ingredients; the wine cellar showcases Anatolian and Turkish wines in a historic setting.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour flight transfer & 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • See the Highlights of Cappadocia

    Day 5

    Start the day by visiting the majestic Goreme Valley and its open-air museum that features rock-hewn sanctuaries with remarkably preserved frescoes. Stop by one of the clay pottery workshops to see how pottery is produced using ancient methods. After lunch at a local restaurant, walk up to Uchisar Castle with its dazzling panoramic view of the Cappadocia region, and walk around the incredible area of pointed rock formations known as the Fairy Chimneys. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own.

    Accommodation: Argos in Cappadocia Cappadocia, Turkey

    Six different "mansions" make up this spectacular hideaway housed in a series of thoughtfully restored ancient dwellings, underground tunnels, and caves. The plush guest rooms come with a full array of amenities, and the splendid suites feature private cave pools. At the restaurant, savor fresh cuisine prepared with local ingredients; the wine cellar showcases Anatolian and Turkish wines in a historic setting.

    Activity: 1.5 hours walking

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Explore Konya, the Land of Whirling Dervishes

    Day 6

    Take a morning drive to Konya, with a stop on the way at the 13th-century Seljuk Caravanserai - once the largest rest stop in Anatolia for the Silk Road caravans. In the holy city of Konya, have lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the Shrine of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, famous poet, and the Karatay Madrasa Museum with its magnificent collection of brilliantly colored glazed tiles. Tonight, attend a private ceremonial performance of whirling dervishes, a spiritual dance that has been practiced since the 13th century.

    Accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn Konya Konya, Turkey

    In the heart of historic Konya, this well-appointed hotel has the full spectrum of upscale amenities. Unwind in a contemporary guest room, each equipped with an LCD TV, refrigerator, complimentary Wi-Fi, and workspace. The Sumac Grill restaurant dishes out local and international cuisine. Guests can relax by the hotel's fireplace while sipping a Turkish coffee and keep fit in the 24-hour fitness center.

    Transportation: 2.5-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Marvel at Konya & Fly Back to Istanbul

    Day 7

    Start the morning with a short walk through the city and visit the Konya Ethnography Museum with its collection of handicrafts from Konya and its surroundings. Tour the Archaeological Museum, which houses a variety of finds like Chalcolithic terracotta jars, Hittite hieroglyphs, and a grape-shaped Assyrian oil lamp. Walk through the bazaar, have lunch, and then transfer to Konya airport in the early afternoon to fly back to Istanbul. Meet an MTS representative upon arrival, and transfer to the hotel for the last overnight in Istanbul.

    Accommodation: Hotel Arcadia Blue

    With a prime location in the district of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's cultural and commercial heart, this elegant boutique hotel offers views to the Blue Mosque, Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The rooms showcase swish decor featuring walnut wood, satin and marble, plus upscale perks like minibar and Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy two on-site restaurants and a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna.

    Transportation: 1.5-hour flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Istanbul

    Day 8

    This morning after breakfast, take the transfer from the hotel to Istanbul airport for your homebound flight.

    Meals: Breakfast

Turkey Cultural Discovery Private Adventure

Detailed Itinerary

Thank you! Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has been creating immersive cultural adventures for 50 years and we've been exploring Turkey for decades!

Reason #02

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 8 days.

Reason #03

This trip features a private ceremonial performance of whirling dervishes and visits UNESCO-listed wonders in Cappadocia and Istanbul.

Meet your guides

Betul Basak

Betul Basak

Betul is a native of Turkey with a B.A. in Classical Archaeology from Ege University and M.A. in History of Art from Istanbul Technical University. Her studies allowed her to participate in numerous museum and excavations projects, including working as an archaeologist on Marmaray for Istanbul's largest railway project. Her passion for Turkish history and art led her to become a tour guide to share her knowledge with others. Now she looks forward to sharing Turkey with you!

Mesuthan Ozgen

Mesuthan Ozgen

Mesuthan is a graduate of Balikesir University's Department of Tourism for Tourist Guides, and is MT Sobek's foremost Turkish authority for hiking, exploration, and culture. He is widely regarded as one of our favorite guides and has a wonderful demeanor with tremendous leadership qualities. His latest notable adventure was summiting Mt. Ararat with fellow MT Sobek legend Sergio Fitch-Watkins! Mesuthan is excited for the return of our Turkey programs, and looks forward to an exciting new chapter of fun and exploration.rn

Activities

Guided city walks, bazaar strolls, museum visits, scenic drives, boat trips, and taking in a private ceremonial performance of whirling dervishes.

Lodging

A luxury city retreat in Istanbul as the bookend, a stylish hideaway housed in restored ancient dwellings in Cappadocia, and a well-appointed upscale hotel in Konya.

Climate

Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally around or above 86°F in the day.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Arrive any time on Day 1 and meet an MT Sobek representative at Istanbul airport for a transfer to the hotel.

Is Turkey safe?

As of December 2017, 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.

Is Turkey an Islamic country?

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.

What can I expect to eat in Turkey?

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.

Is the water safe to drink in Turkey?

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.

Will I need hiking boots for this trip?

No. However, due to many hours of walking on cobblestone and uneven, natural paths, it is highly recommended that you wear comfortable walking shoes - not sandals.

  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2 to 3 guests from $5,195 per person double occupancy

4 to 5 guests from $4,595 per person double occupancy

6 to 7 guests from $4,095 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $3,895 per person double occupancy

10 guests from $3,695 per person double occupancy

	

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

  • March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

Additional costs

  • $290 Internal Airfare
  • $550 Single Supplement

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day airport transfers

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Dinner on Days 3 and 5
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Airport transfers if arriving outside of Day 1
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

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Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.