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  • Explore the city Istanbul with some Grand Bazaar and Old Town times
  • Visit Gallipoli for some delicious treats
  • Konya for Whirling Dervishes, and Cappadocia for slightly phallic, lunar-like landscapes

Kick off your trip in Istanbul with some Grand Bazaar and Old Town times. Head to Gallipoli then on to Ayvalik for some delicious treats. Next up is ancient Selcuk and Greco-Roman Ephesus, then Pamukkale for healing natural pools, Konya for Whirling Dervishes, and Cappadocia for slightly phallic, lunar-like landscapes.

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Travel Theme
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

Geckos Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 5 Great 2 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
Whirling Turkey

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Amazing and insightful tour! January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We just completed the Nile Highlights tour in Egypt with tour director Ahmed Helmy. This was the most amazing, insightful tour I have ever been on. The knowledge that the guide had was outstanding and made it all the better. Can't believe how amazing Egypt is and the!!
Would definitely recommend this tour to everyone as one of the best experiences. Reasonably priced, fantastic accommodation and attention to detail.
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Operator Geckos Adventures



Entertaining and informative trip! January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just got back from the 17 day Billion Shades of Sand (Egypt and Jordan), and was lucky in that I got a brilliant group of people and a brilliant guide in Mohamed, which just made everything in the trip that much better - he was everything you could ask for in a tour leader and more. Plus as an added bonus, he's Australian-proof! Despite our best efforts to get him to crack with stories, jokes and ribbing he just kept one-upping us in return and had us nodding in admiration!! Both a very entertaining and informative trip! Pictures just don't do justice to the actual experience of walking through history older than you can comprehend.
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Operator Geckos Adventures



Was absolutely amazing! August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Went on a tour called "The road to Delhi"... Weaved through Nepal and northern India. Was absolutely amazing! My guide Vivek was excellent, very good English and a joker. Always making the adventures fun! Can't wait to go on another geckos adventure!
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Operator Geckos Adventures



Massive Thank You August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Tracey Ellis from Geckos in nothing short of AMAZING!! I was meant to fly to India today and unfortunately there was some confusion with my visa & I was unable to board the plane. I called Tracey at 9am and she has been working tireless all day to have this sorted. Tracey kept in contact with me at regular intervals to give me status updates and options. She was so lovely & really went above & beyond to get my travel plans back on track. Massive THANK YOU to Tracey & the Geckos Team!!! You are a star Ps. I will definitely send you an email & photos of my trip :)
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Operator Geckos Adventures



abosolutely recommend August 2015

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just completed the Indochina All Stars Tour, amazing! The tour leaders are awesome and the whole concept of the Geckos Adventure travel is excellent. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone.
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Operator Geckos Adventures


Day 1-2 – Istanbul

Meals: Breakfast

Merhaba! Welcome to Turkey.

We've found accommodation right near the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market (so you won't have to lug your treasures very far). Convenient, no?

Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception or the hotels noticeboard for confirmation of where and when this meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your trip leader.

Head out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe

Day 2

Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome

Explore under your own steam in the afternoon. Maybe visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market

Perhaps barter for a bargain, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus or indulge in a traditional hamam (Turkish bath)

Day 3 - Gallipoli – Eceabat

Meals: Breakfast

No jokes about Gallipoli. If you choose to take the optional trip to Troy, however, you're free to remember Brad Pitt's terrible accent in the movie and laugh yourself silly.

Take a bus to the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders (approx. driving time: 5.5 hours). It is a spot of pilgrimage and reverence and the calm lapping waters belies the murderous campaign that took place here. This now-serene site is located at Turkey’s most westerly point and played a crucial role in 1915 for Allied forces during the First World War. The combatants here included other Commonwealth and British troops, as well as the French and Turkish

Cross the Dardanelles by ferry to accommodation in Çanakkale

Day 4 – Ayvalik

Meals: Breakfast

We suggest you devote this day to finding the best burek of the trip. Or the best kebab. Or the best baklava. Maybe just devote this day entirely to food. Your local guide can help.

Drive down the coast to Ayvalik (approx. driving time: 3.5 hours)

Optional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient walls, climb around the ruins and gaze across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the waters of the Dardanelles and the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula

Take an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes

A drink at a harbourside bar is a great way to enjoy the sunset

Day 5 - Ephesus – Selcuk

Meals: Breakfast

Ephesus is the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. Antony and Cleopatra lived here for a while, as did the Virgin Mary. These days it would be known as something of a hotspot.

Take a local bus to Selçuk (approx. driving time: 7 hours)

Explore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world (optional). Ephesus, founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC and brought to full flower under Roman rule, was always an important religious centre

Walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of Celsus

Close by is the last home of the Virgin Mary who, as legend has it, came here accompanied by St John and lived out her days in this beautiful spot

Day 6 – Pamukkale

Meals: Breakfast

This place is so pretty Walt Disney would be jealous he didn't invent it. Apparently the thermal waters can cure asthma, but bring your inhaler just in case.

Set off on a morning orientation tour around Selçuk, a town full of history and packed with artifacts and relics that reflect its past as an ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill

Travel to Pamukkale (approx. driving time: 6 hours), with its spectacular natural pools, shelves and ridges, formed by a spring with high calcium bicarbonate content that cascaded over the edge of the cliffs, leaving calcium deposits

Perhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures

Day 7 – Konya

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Konya is home to the famous Whirling Dervishes. Please note that most of the whirling takes place behind closed doors. You won't see people spinning randomly on the street.

Catch a bus to Konya (approx. driving time: 5 hours). This town dates back to Roman times and was also the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the 12th to 13th centuries. It is most famous as the home of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who founded a mystic Sufi order popularly known as the 'Whirling Dervishes'

Seize the chance to visit Mevlana's Mausoleum and the museum housing manuscripts of his works (optional), as well as various artefacts relating to the mystic sect that he founded

Please note that Konya is a very religious town, so it is best that we dress conservatively during our time here

Stay overnight in a great local homestay near the neolithic ruins of Catalhoyuk

Day 8-9 – Cappadocia

Meals: Breakfast

Explore Cappadocia, the lunar-like landscape in the interior of the country. Moon boots optional.

Day 8

Take the bus to Cappadocia (approx. driving time: 3.5 hours) - an extraordinary region that has bewitched travellers for centuries. Cappadocia was formed thousands of years ago as volcanic ash settled, hardened into soft rock and then eroded, forming strange and fantastic spires, domes and gorges

On arrival in Göreme (our base for two nights) we can catch another bus for an hour that takes us to Derinkuyu (optional) – an incredible underground city that descends eight floors (60 metres) below the surface

Day 9

Drive to the top of the trail at the beginning of the Akvadi (White Valley)

Walk amongst fruit gardens and vineyards

Take in Uçhisar and visit the village and high viewpoint known as The Fortress (optional)

Take a stroll in Pigeon Valley before heading back to Göreme

Enjoy free time to experience Göreme’s nightlife

Perhaps attend a traditional Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance (optional)

Day 10-11 - Cappadocia - overnight bus – Istanbul

Meals: Breakfast

Jess said her favourite part of Istanbul was the Basilica Cistern. After the initial shock of discovering it's not a giant toilet, she described it as "...amazing, creepy, Medusa head, fishy, haunting, lovely". Jess has a way with words.

Day 10

Spend a free day exploring the Cappadocia region

Perhaps stop by the Göreme Open Air Museum - always worth a visit (optional). It is a fascinating complex of medieval painted cave churches carved out by rock

Farewell Cappadocia and make the long journey by overnight bus back to Istanbul (approx. driving time: 10-12 hours)

Day 11

The trip ends on arrival in Istanbul at the bus station (between 7 am and 8 am), but there are plenty more kebabs to be eaten if you're thinking of sticking around a bit longer. Additional accommodation can be booked if you wish to further explore this great city. Alternatively you may wish to book a departure transfer to connect with an onward flight - please inquire at time of booking.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 1,020

Price Per Day:

$ 93 per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • Accommodation: Accommodation: 8 nights Hotel, 1 night Overnight coach, 1 night Homestay
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal transfers
Meals Included:

10 Breakfasts and 1 Lunch

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 18
Start City
End City

Age Notes

Min. Age: 18

Max Age: 39

Trip ID#: WhiTurGec

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