Highlights
  • Istanbul is brimming with delectable dishes, and the options can be dizzying. But your expert local guide will have you headed straight for the best spots
  • On no other Intrepid trip can you taste the tantalising flavours of Akyaka's Wednesday farmers' market, a true local gem in this tiny town dedicated to slow food
  • With hands-on cooking classes, you'll get up close and personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions, preparing specialties like manti and tatli
  • Experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality as a local family takes you into their beautiful home nestled in the hills of Ortahisar
  • Taste the renowned home cooking of Nuray and try your hand at Central Anatolian cuisine under her tutelage

Take a culinary journey through Turkey, a country steeped in history and tradition, where east meets west and the ancient bleeds into the modern day. Begin in astonishing Istanbul, eating meze in a traditional meyhane, being awed by the Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque and exploring the well-trod passageways of the Grand Bazaar. Soak in seaside flavours in the slow food town of Akyaka, visit the impressive ruins of Ephesus near Selcuk and marvel at the astonishing underground cities of Cappadocia. Spend time with a local Goreme family and learn the secrets behind central Anatolian cuisine in a cooking class. Arrive back in Istanbul, where this adventure into Turkey’s sights, sounds and incredible cuisine comes to an end. NEW UPDATES FOR 2019: This trip will not visit Akyaka in 2019. We have replaced this destination with Bodrum, a small city on the Aegean, where new food based activities such as a visit to a local wine producer and a “forage and feast” activity can be explored.

Travel Theme
Destinations
Cities & Attractions
Activities

2,863
Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
97% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 2,593 Great 707 Average 136 Disappointing 53 Terrible 50
Value
4.6 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.6 Transportation
4.6 Meals
4.6
Turkey Real Food Adventure

M

Recommends

Well organised trip and excellent option for September 2015

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
Well organised trip and excellent option for sole travellers

Operator Intrepid Travel

L

Recommends

The tour combined cultural as well as October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The tour combined cultural as well as active activities. I liked the use of local transport and guides.

Operator Intrepid Travel

T

Recommends

Enjoyable tour, interesting parts of Turkey, good October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Enjoyable tour, interesting parts of Turkey, good guide.

Operator Intrepid Travel

J

Recommends

This was my first trip to Turkey October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was my first trip to Turkey, I thought this was the only way to see the country. Ugur was absolutely fantastic, considering everyone's abilities.

Operator Intrepid Travel

J

Recommends

I really like that the group was October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I really like that the group was small and our guide Salih was constantly giving us feedback and tips. He was always able to recommend places to eat or things to do when we had free time. I believe for this reason it felt less like a tour and more personal. I also believe the Intrepid's aim to immerse yourself in local culture in the most important things about traveling.
Read more

Operator Intrepid Travel

Itinerary

Day 1 Istanbul

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Turkey. There will be an important welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so when you explore the streets you'll see a great clash of east and west. A 'kebab crawl' kicks off your food adventure today. Learn to tell your shish from your iskender as you sample this signature Turkish dish in its many varieties. The perfect way to cap it off is with a baklava tasting.

Day 2 Istanbul

Head to the celebrated Egyptian Spice Bazaar today. Meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and savour a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your walking tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Suleymaniye Mosque and the Hippodrome. The area around Eminonu boasts some delicious street food. Local favourites include barbecued corn, roasted kestane (chestnuts), and of course Turkish delight. Your walking tour concludes at the Kapali Carsi (Grand Bazaar). At this point you'll be able to take some time exploring the narrow alleyways and myriad shops as you please. As night falls, head to a small kitchen in the Capa district, which is also home to an NGO helping displaced families from the Syrian crisis to find their feet. Sit down for a simple meal of Syrian cuisine – maybe moujadara (burgal, green lentils and fried onion), maklube (spiced rice, chicken, and nuts), or fetteh (rice, crispy bread, chicken, and tahini) – proudly prepared by the ladies of the centre. Talk informally with some of the brave individuals who have had to flee their home, as well as with the eclectic group of volunteers from Turkey, Syria, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and beyond, who give up their time to help.

Day 3 Akyaka

Fly from Istanbul to Dalaman (approximately 1 hour), then take a private shuttle to Akyaka via Gokava. The beautiful and tiny southern-Agean coastal town of Akyaka is part of the international citta-slow movement. Citta-slow towns follow the tenets of the slow food movement at a community and governmental level. They celebrate eco-gastronomy – reliance on locally-grown produce and a commitment to the preservation of regional culinary traditions. Akyaka is also the perfect place to unwind, as it's surrounded by lush forests and overlooked by Sakartepe Mountain, with the Azmak River running through the town. There are some great beaches nearby too. The best place to try the town's excellent seafood and vegetables is at one of the riverside restaurants, where you can sit at a wooden terrace overlooking the water.

Day 4 Akyaka

Take a tasting tour through Akyaka's Wednesday market. You'll meet the villagers who come into town each week to sell their wares. Sample local olive oil, spices and regionally grown fruit and vegetables. Next head out to a nearby farm to and learn what life on the land is like in this part of the country (this activity will be seasonal). Enjoy the perfect cup of tea with the local farmers and fresh made Gozleme made just for you in the local village.

Day 5 Selcuk

Catch a public bus to Selcuk (approximately 3.5 hours). When you arrive, take the time to wander around this fascinating town. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Selcuk is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Temple of Artemis (though sadly only a single pylon remains). This evening you will visit the Sirince, a local village steeped in Greek Ottoman tradition. It's a photographer's dream. Postwar settlers revived the town's wine industry, which makes use of local fruit. Enjoy a tasting and consider buying a bottle to take on a walk up a gentle slope through cobbled streets and alleys to an atmospheric garden cafe. Up here you'll see how manti (Turkish stuffed dumplings) are made. After trying your hand preparing them, feast on a serving for dinner.

Day 6 Selcuk

Today you'll visit Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites. Explore this beautifully preserved classical city with your local guide who will bring its colourful 1,500-year history to life. Watch in awe as the sophistication of this former metropolis reveals itself. It had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but the marvellous library might just be the highlight. Continue then to Izmir (approximately 1.5 hours). There will be time for dinner before you board your overnight train to Konya. The train has first-class cabins with twin beds, a fridge and a wash basin. All bedding is provided. The dining car is the perfect place for an evening raki (Turkey's anise-flavoured alcoholic drink) before you retire for the night.

Day 7 Goreme

Arrive in Konya by early morning, then take a private transfer to Goreme (approximately 3 hours). This is your gateway to the fabled fairy-chimneys of Capadoccia. Perhaps stop for a mid-morning snack of Etliekmek, a larger local variation of the traditional Turkish lahmacun: flat bread baked with ground meat, tomato, peppers and onion. Stop in at Derinkuyu, the astounding old subterranean city that goes as deep as 60 metres underground. It used to have wine and oil presses, cellars, refectories, stables and chapels, not to mention some 20,000 residents. For lunch perhaps hit a local pide saloon for Turkey's answer to the Italian pizza. Enjoy toppings like grilled lamb, black pepper, tender spinach, fresh egg and Turkey’s famed peynir cheese made from sheep’s milk. For the next three nights you'll stay in the village of Ortahisar, which is famous for its friendly inhabitants, picturesque stone houses, narrow streets and lovely churches as well as the castle-like rock formation after which the town is named.

Day 8 Goreme

For early birds, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape is a highly recommended experience. Please advise your leader if you wish to make a reservation. Wander through the Soganli Valley on a hiking trip, taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. Take the chance to stop for lunch at a local restaurant in this beautiful place, savouring fresh local flavours next to the memorable landscapes. Visit one of Cappadoccia’s most famous wineries to learn about the region's 4,000-year-old wine industry. Afterwards, walk through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, enjoying a glass of the local wine. For dinner, perhaps try the local specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish. Notes: Intrepid only recommends balloon rides by our experienced operators. The cost of the activity can vary depending on the type of flight chosen.

Day 9 Goreme

After breakfast, head to a market in nearby Neveshir to learn about the ingredients of the Central Anatolian region. Next, be welcomed into the home of a celebrated local cook. Nuray has won many awards for her regional cooking. Under her tutelage, learn to prepare some classic Central Anatolian dishes (the menu will depend on the season). Sit down and enjoy the results over lunch. For the rest of the afternoon, you are free to visit the excellent Goreme Open Air Museum or indulge in a Turkish hammam (bath). In the evening, perhaps choose to dine in a restaurant set inside a 475-year-old building. The testi kebab is highly recommended.

Day 10 Istanbul

This morning, wave the fairy chimneys a fond goodbye and transfer to one of the regions airports for a flight back to Istanbul. Your incredible Turkey trip will finish on arrival at the airport and Intrepid Leader will be available to assist you with your onwards travel plans. Transport facilities are available at the Airport including Metro, Local Buses and Taxi to take you anywhere in the great Istanbul area.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 1,240

Price Per Day:

$ 124 per day
 
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Apr-14-2019Apr-23-2019$ 1,240Yes6 spots left Reserve
May-05-2019May-14-2019$ 1,240Yes8 spots left Reserve
Jun-30-2019Jul-09-2019$ 1,240Yes8 spots left Reserve
Sep-01-2019Sep-10-2019$ 1,240Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-29-2019Oct-08-2019$ 1,240Yes5 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2020Apr-21-2020$ 1,550No12 spots left Reserve
May-03-2020May-12-2020$ 1,550No12 spots left Reserve
Jun-28-2020Jul-07-2020$ 1,550No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-06-2020Sep-15-2020$ 1,550No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-27-2020Oct-06-2020$ 1,550No12 spots left Reserve
Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel
Details
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 12
Accomodations
Hotel (5 nights),Pension (3 Nights),Overnight Sleeper Train (1 night)
Start City
Istanbul
End City
Istanbul
Guides All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect your Intrepid Food Adventures group leader to be passionate about the local food scene and keen to share their insider knowledge on the best authentic local food and drink experiences throughout your trip. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Additional Information:

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 30 Sep 2018 (ERZZ180930)
  • Hotel Evsen Istanbul
  • Hocapaşa Mahallesi, İbnikemal Caddesi, No:9
  • Sirkeci
  • Istanbul
  • 34110
  • TURKEY
  • Phone: +90 2125276295

Trip ID#: intrepid-ERZZ

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