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Highlights of Turkey

Watching sunrises in otherworldly landscapes, dancing, shopping and plenty of good times make this getaway a real Turkish delight.
Discover the contrasts of Turkey and experience its delicious cuisine and captivating culture on this one-week highlights trip that travels down the west coast. Explore the historic city of Istanbul, ancient Greco-Roman ruins and the Turquoise Coast.
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Quick overview

Duration
8 Days

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Starting From
₹54,509
Per person on twin-sharing basis
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Travel Operator
Explore

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Flights
Not Included

Flight booking assistance will be provided. See All Inclusions

Reviews

10 Reviews

Kay

Written on 01 May, 2019

4.0 out of 5
Good balance on the whole tablet very long days but it got easier as the week went on the trip was made by Alkan who judged the group beautifully in terms of amount of time stops level of information he gave us really enjoyed Ephesus and Pammukale
Good balance on the whole tablet very long days but it got easier as the week went on the trip was made by Alkan who judged the group beautifully in terms of amount of time stops level of information he gave us really enjoyed Ephesus and Pammukaleread less
Judy

Written on 01 Jul, 2019

5.0 out of 5
This is a wonderful “road trip” starting from Istanbul travelling south down the western coast of Turkey visiting archeological and historical sites along the way. Each day was different and whilst full-on the first half of the week gently wound down in Pamukkale and Dalyan to include leisurely river boat ...read more
This is a wonderful “road trip” starting from Istanbul travelling south down the western coast of Turkey visiting archeological and historical sites along the way. Each day was different and whilst full-on the first half of the week gently wound down in Pamukkale and Dalyan to include leisurely river boat trips, mud baths, swims in Turtle Beach etc. Our guide Tolga was excellent and really made the trip memorable with his enthusiasm, assistance and vast knowledge of Turkey. So many favourites: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon and the memorable Ephesus. A real treat for the eyes and senses and a great introduction to Turkey!read less
Maria Berrow
5.0 out of 5
I just did the "inside Vietnam" and "highlights of Cambodia trips, back to back, returned home only last weekend. Our guides were absolutely brilliant. Binh in Vietnam particularly when I contracted bronchitis after inhaling a piece of grit and required a local doctor! He also dealt superbly with the situation ...read more
I just did the "inside Vietnam" and "highlights of Cambodia trips, back to back, returned home only last weekend. Our guides were absolutely brilliant. Binh in Vietnam particularly when I contracted bronchitis after inhaling a piece of grit and required a local doctor! He also dealt superbly with the situation when we were stranded on the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue after the typhoon left the train tracks flooded. He was regularly in touch with his office and updated us accordingly. We were collected by two minibuses, returned to Hanoi and then flew to Danang and drove from there to Hue. All taken by everyone as an adventure. We saw wonderful places, met great people and there was a smooth transfer for the 4 of us travelling on to Cambodia. I loved Vietnam, can't choose a personal highlight as each place very different and I loved them all. Cambodia very special. Killing fields horrific and very distressing. I couldn't go into the genocide museum. All a part of the awful tragedy of the very recent history of this beautiful country. Angkor was staggering in terms of beauty and scale. Hotels were great. Trip notes accurate, guides brilliant throughout. These were my first adventures with Explore. They won't be my last. Highly recommended. About to book to Walk the Great Wall of China with you for 2018. Thank you Explore!read less
Sara Findlay
4.0 out of 5
We have just returned from a 14 day tour to Costa Rica, this was a family trip and very enjoyable. The tour guide Alex and our driver Antonio were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them, in fact I broke my tooth on the first Sunday and Alex found ...read more
We have just returned from a 14 day tour to Costa Rica, this was a family trip and very enjoyable. The tour guide Alex and our driver Antonio were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them, in fact I broke my tooth on the first Sunday and Alex found me a dentist immediately that could help so that my holiday was not spoilt. We had some lovely trips and saw amazing scenery and wildlife. The accommodations were acceptable, clean and comfortable. If there are any negatives to report it would be the time we spent in the bus as we travelled vast distances. The last day Friday was pretty much wasted as no excursions were planned and we were taken back to San Jose in preparation for our departure Saturday afternoon. Personally I would have preferred to spend the whole day at Manuel Antonio with an early morning departure Saturday to the airport. We met some lovely people and had a great time, thank youread less
Drew Thompson
4.0 out of 5
Just (yesterday) completes the 3 day Kiev & Chernobyl tour. Really well organised by Explore. Our guide, Anastasia, was lovely, knowledgeable, attentive and really made the trip. Please pass on my thanks to her.
Just (yesterday) completes the 3 day Kiev & Chernobyl tour. Really well organised by Explore. Our guide, Anastasia, was lovely, knowledgeable, attentive and really made the trip. Please pass on my thanks to her.read less
John Mathers
5.0 out of 5
I've just returned from walking in La Gomera. We had an absolutely great time. Excellent walking over varied and trails which were just challenging enough - lovely graded rocky tracks, mostly. Great scenery, excellent accommodation and the group of 13 bonded really well. We were overjoyed to have Emma as ...read more
I've just returned from walking in La Gomera. We had an absolutely great time. Excellent walking over varied and trails which were just challenging enough - lovely graded rocky tracks, mostly. Great scenery, excellent accommodation and the group of 13 bonded really well. We were overjoyed to have Emma as our guide having been with her in Andorra. She is seriously competent and (as one person put it) is "the sunshine on our snow" (yes, there was some snow on Teide). Emma is always cheerful and resourceful, an admirable leader. All the various arrangements passed off perfectly and I look forward to booking my next Explore trip before long.read less
Donna Horsley
4.0 out of 5
My 1st explore holiday to Botswana, Namibia & Zambia, it exceeded my expectations, very well organised, exceptional guide”Titus” 5* accommodation, would recommend this trip for anyone interested in getting up exceptionally close to wildlife, a holiday of a lifetime, a hard 1 to top!
My 1st explore holiday to Botswana, Namibia & Zambia, it exceeded my expectations, very well organised, exceptional guide”Titus” 5* accommodation, would recommend this trip for anyone interested in getting up exceptionally close to wildlife, a holiday of a lifetime, a hard 1 to top!read less
Eleanor Biggin
4.0 out of 5
My husband, four year old daughter and I have just returned from a private version of the Family Taj and Palaces trip. It was absolutely amazing. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault about the trip. We saw and did so much, but we didn’t feel rushed at all. ...read more
My husband, four year old daughter and I have just returned from a private version of the Family Taj and Palaces trip. It was absolutely amazing. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault about the trip. We saw and did so much, but we didn’t feel rushed at all. Our guide, Yadu, was brilliant and incredibly knowledgable. The highlights for me were the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers and a leopard at Ranthambore National Park. My daughter loved it so much that she has decided she wants to move to India when she’s older! We will definitely be booking trips with Explore in the future.read less
Ian Garvie
5.0 out of 5
My wife and I are just about to go on our ninth trip with Explore, each trip has been exciting, fun, and we have been to some places we have been dreaming of, what's not to recommend? :-)
My wife and I are just about to go on our ninth trip with Explore, each trip has been exciting, fun, and we have been to some places we have been dreaming of, what's not to recommend? :-)read less
Emma Feakins
4.0 out of 5
I have recently returned from the Levada Trails of Madeira trip. It was a fantastic trip and provided a real taste of what the island can offer. Our guide Benny made the trip special by offering an insight to the island, it's cuisine and nothing was too much trouble. Was ...read more
I have recently returned from the Levada Trails of Madeira trip. It was a fantastic trip and provided a real taste of what the island can offer. Our guide Benny made the trip special by offering an insight to the island, it's cuisine and nothing was too much trouble. Was one of the best holidays I had had in a long time.read less
Video

6 things about Turkey that you'll find hard to believe

This country’s whirlwind of colour, innovation, revolution and chaos will surprise you at every turn. Here are 6 things about Turkey that will definitely surprise you.

Why take this trip with us

Experiences

Our experiences and activities are expertly curated with inputs from trusted locals.

Accomodation

Best in class hotels that are conveniently located in city centres.

Safety

Our trips are organized with your safety in mind. We collaborate with local tourism authorities extensively.

Guide

Our trips always have a knowledgeable, friendly and expert guide to show you around.

Transport

Our tranport and transfers are always exclusive, private and in small buses.

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Itinerary

Join trip in Istanbul

On arrival in Istanbul, check-in to our conveniently located hotel, within walking distance or a short tram ride from the many cultural and historical sights found in the famous Sultanahmet District.

As Constantinople, the city was the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, so today it is steeped in history and fascinating architecture. Modern day Istanbul also has much to offer - not least its mouth-watering cuisine and budding cafe culture. Istanbul bridges the gap between Europe and Asia and was an important stopping point of the old Silk Road, and as such it is a melting point of different cultures and this is demonstrated in its gastronomy. Turkish food is a hearty mix of Middle Eastern, Asian and Balkan style dishes that range from barbecued meat kebabs to vine leaf wrapped vegetable and rice parcels.

Depending on your flight arrival time or if you're extending your stay by a night then we'd recommend visiting Istanbul's Grand Bazaar today, as it is closed on a Sunday, so there won't be the opportunity to go tomorrow. Located within the walls of Istanbul, there are around 60 streets and over 3,000 shops selling everything from jewellery to carpets and textiles and furniture to local arts and crafts. It's one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. The labyrinth of streets also house two mosques, two hamams (Turkish baths) and an array of restaurants and cafes, so there is plenty to experience in this historic landmark of Istanbul.

Please note that the included arrival transfer today is from Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) to the hotel. If flying into Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) then an arrival transfer can be arranged on request for an additional charge - please contact us for further details.

Explore Istanbul including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia

Spend a full day discovering historic Istanbul on foot. Visit the famous Blue Mosque, which gets its name from the vivid blue ornate tile designs and stained glass found in its interior, and the Byzantine Hagia Sophia, which reigned as the greatest Greek Orthodox church for 900 years before later becoming an imperial mosque, and it's now a fascinating and unique museum. Also see the Hippodrome, where chariot races took place in the centre of the city, before heading to the opulent Topkapi Palace, which was once home to the sultans. In the Yeldegirmeni neighbourhood of Kadikoy admire the colourful and expressive street art that has appeared in recent years. Along the way the Explore Leader will show the range of street food on offer in the city and you'll have the chance to buy lunch.

There's the opportunity to go underground into the Basilica Cistern, to see the ancient columns partially submerged in water that catch the light and reflect in the pools, giving the illusion of being endless rows.

This evening, is free to experience the city's huge selection of restaurants, bars and entertainment. Our Explore Leader will be able to offer advice based on your preferences.

See the emotive memorials at the World War I site of Gallipoli

Leaving Istanbul after breakfast to drive to the Gallipoli Peninsula. The drive will take us around five hours, but a stop to buy lunch will be made along the way. It was at Gallipoli in 1916 that, after eight months of bloody hand-to-hand fighting and loss of life, the ill-fated Allied campaign was forced to concede victory to the Turks and withdraw. Whilst here visit Anzac Cove - the infamous site of the Anzac landing, as well as the Lone Pine Australian Memorial and Cemetery and the war belongings exhibit in the sobering Kabatepe War Museum.

Later this afternoon we board a ferry to travel across the Dardanelles to Canakkale, where we will spend the night. This port city is off of the main tourist trail and is a good place to sample locally caught seafood for dinner this evening and join the locals taking an evening stroll along the seafront where you can see the Trojan Horse replica, which stands as high as the surrounding buildings.

Experience the ancient sites of Troy and Pergamon

Today we will make an early start and leave the hotel at around 7.30am as this is the longest travelling day of this trip. Driving the short distance to the ancient city of Troy where, according to legend, the artful Ulysses devised the wooden horse strategy, thereby ending the 10 year Trojan War. Here, nine ruined cities, one on top of the other, have been uncovered, going back some 5,000 years. Troy VI is the assumed walled city of King Priam (1800-1275 BC), celebrated by the blind Greek poet Homer in the Iliad and all but lost in legend until unearthed by amateur archaeologist Schliemann in 1871.

Boarding our bus again the drive to the Greco-Roman remains found at Pergamon takes around three hours. Pergamon gave its name to and was the source of 'parchment', for which it was famous throughout the Middle East. Visit the striking acropolis, impressively perched above the modern-day town of Bergama, which contains the remains of a library, a theatre, temples and altars.

The drive to Selcuk later this afternoon takes around three hours, but a stop will be made along the way to purchase lunch and stretch our legs. On arrival in Selcuk check-in to the hotel and have dinner this evening.

Visit the famed Greco-Roman city of Ephesus; drive to Pamukkale

Spend the morning exploring Selcuk's historic neighbour, the great Greco-Roman city of Ephesus accompanied by a local guide. Visited by Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, and also having inspired Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians, this famous Asia Minor seaport reached its zenith in the 2nd century AD. Ephesus became one of the main cultural and economic centres of the ancient world until it went into decline after the 7th century. Saint John spent the last years of his life in Ephesus and wrote his Gospel here. It is believed that Mary, mother of Jesus, also came here with him. Today, its impressive ruins include a theatre, gymnasium, agora and baths, as well as the photogenic intricately carved stone facade of the Library of Celsus. The ruins here are extensive with lots of ornate columns and grand arches to discover.

Before leaving Selcuk there's the chance to visit a traditional carpet weaver and to explore the town. Later this afternoon, drive to Pamukkale (takes around two and a half hours) and check-in to the hotel for the night.

Explore the white terraces of Pamukkale and historic Hierapolis

This morning discover Pamukkale, which translates as the 'cotton castle', taking its name from the extensive white terraces that cover the hillside and were created by mineral springs. It's home to one of Turkey's most impressive natural wonders - the 'frozen waterfall'. A boardwalk offers spectacular views of the unusual white cliff face with its crystal blue pools and the huge valley below. Don't miss Cleopatra's Pool - an oasis of beauty with a mirror-like clarity that allows us to see deep down to the ruins below.

Above the white cliff is the ancient spa town of Hierapolis with its well-preserved Roman baths, tombs and an impressive theatre. People have been making the most of Hierapolis' thermal waters since the 2nd century BC to as recently as the mid 20th century when shockingly hotels were constructed on top of its priceless ruins. Luckily, UNESCO World Heritage status saved the site from further damage.

Later this afternoon, drive south to the Turquoise Coast, which takes around three and half hours, to spend the last two nights of the trip in Dalyan - famous for its loggerhead turtles, reed bed estuary and the ancient site of Caunos.

Riverboat trip to ancient Caunos; chance to take a mud bath

Formally a fishing village, the small resort of Dalyan is steeped in history. A gentle riverboat trip through the reeds to the ancient site of Caunos gives the opportunity to look out for loggerhead turtles and birdlife along the way. Still under excavation, the ruins date back to 400 BC and include a Roman bath, an impressive theatre and an acropolis. The boat trip continues to the mud baths and hot springs by Lake Koycegiz. Here there is the option to relax and to coat ourselves in the mud which is reputed to have great therapeutic properties, before returning to Dalyan.

Later in the day, there's the chance to take a water taxi down through the reed beds to Iztuzu Beach, to make the most of its glorious golden sand and inviting azure coloured waters.

Trip ends in Dalyan

Our trip ends after breakfast this morning at the hotel in Dalyan. Flights booked with Explore will depart from nearby Dalaman Airport.

Inclusions

 

Included Meals
Breakfast:7

 Dinner:1

 

Trip Staff
Explore Tour Header (s)

 Driver (s)

 

Transport
Bus

 Boat

 Ferry

 

Accommodation
7 nights standard hotels

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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Frequently asked questions

Byond Travel is Asia's largest discovery and booking platform for expert-led group tours in over 50 countries. We boast 10,000+ tours by verified experts that offer unique and memorable experiences. We curate expert advice and recommendations from a community of 100k+ travellers, and bring together local operators who offer these services, making the booking of experiences comparable, fast and easy.

We enable travellers to go on group trips all around the world. We also help create customized journeys for private groups.

A comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions is mentioned on each trip page, but across all our trips, we have these in common: unique experiences, handpicked local experts, comfortable accommodation, and a trip leader who’s there to assist you around the clock.

No. We don't include flights and visa costs in our prices unless specified. We, however, will put you in touch with our partners who can help you.

Our travellers are friendly and open-minded. They come from countries all around the world. At the end of your trip with our multicultural groups, you will return with new friends, memorable experiences and incredible stories.

We have trips for all kinds of travellers. Some are suitable for 18-35 year olds, some may better suit travellers above 50, and others where everyone is welcome.

Yes, you can customize your trips. We help organize solo journeys that are highly personalized.

Our travellers come from all over the world. From India, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta are represented the most.

We believe the early-bird catches the best travel worm :) The early-bird discounts are valid for the first few spots on the group and are not time sensitive. Your travel designer will let you know about the number of spots available.

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We also have a 'Travel now, pay later' programme through which you can book a trip without any immediate payment. You only pay after your trip is over. And you can pay in three monthly installments with 0% interest. Click here for more information.

If you’ve changed your mind about a trip you’ve already registered for, all you need to do is call/email the representative who you’ve been in touch with. Cancellation fees are applicable and are based on the period of notice. All products have their own cancellation and refund policies, although we will always try our best to ensure we get you the maximum refund possible.

Your safety is our number one priority and we design our travel journeys keeping this in mind. We collaborate with tourism boards and there will always be access to emergency contacts and medical support throughout the trip.

Requirement of visas whilst travelling depends on your nationality. You are responsible entirely, for obtaining all the documents that you’re required to produce during your vacation. We will provide you with the visa documents related to your booking.

Visas take varying periods of time – sometimes several weeks – to obtain. Do ensure that you plan an experience with us knowing that you’ll have your documentation under control. Failure to obtain visas could cause delays and cancellation that could cost you unnecessary additional expenses and inconvenience, so do plan ahead.

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Byond eTravel & Entertainment Private Limited 164, 9th Cross, Indiranagar 1st Stage, Bangalore - 560 038

If you have any queries regarding our trips, please email support@byond.travel or call us on +91 80470 91112

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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