Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Northern Turkey Explorer tour
Cultural Culture Northern Turkey Explorer package

Northern Turkey Explorer

Peregrine Adventures Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
91%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
9 days
From: $ 1,596 $ 177 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Kars, a transit point between anatolia and the caucasus, a city and a region still undiscovered by main stream tourism with quirky little villages and unique architecture coupled with stunning scenery
  • Ani, recognised at a unesco site in 2016 and once the stately armenian capital, an abandoned city on a wind swept plateau,  the eerie silence, the crumbling proud buildings - unforgettable  
  • Cag kebab originating in the eastern anatolian province of erzurum, the kebab looks like a horizontal döner, but tastes otherworldly.
  • The dogu express, sit back and watch the magnificent geography of north eastern turkey glide effortlessly past
  • Amasya one of turkey's most beautiful small cities that sits in the mountains over the black sea region, stroll river side in the evening feasting your eyes on the beautifully preserved ottoman houses - they sure knew how to build a home.
  • Taste the unique flavor of safron turkish delight and enjoy a feature stay in a konak in the heritage listed safranbolu the entire village is a museum.

Short Description

Explore the lesser-known sights of Turkey on this Peregrine adventure through the NE Anatolia region. Soak up the history of Istanbul before flying to Kars, near the Armenian border, and exploring the ruins of Ani, then travel back along the Black Sea through the historic towns of Amaysa and Safranbolu. From sampling regional specialties like saffron-flavoured Turkish delight to relaxing on the Black Sea’s coast, history buffs, food lovers and sun seekers will all enjoy this Turkish trip.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Istanbul
End City Istanbul

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

Turkey

Cities & Attractions

Istanbul

Activities

Culture

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Istanbul

Welcome to Istanbul; the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have all called home. You'll meet your group at 6 pm this evening, and can then join them for an optional group dinner or strike out on your own to find some Turkish delight. There's plenty to do if you arrive early too, why not visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, or take a stroll across the Galata Bridge.

Day 2 Kars

Transfer to the airport after breakfast for a two-hour flight to the northeastern province of Kars. This town is known for the ruins of Ani, a medieval Armenian city once called the City of 1001 Churches. Historians believe it sustained a population of 100,000 at one stage, and the rugged ruins present a haunting scene on the high plateau near the Turkish-Armenian border. Arrive mid-afternoon and check into the hotel before taking a walking tour around town to see the castle and Kumbet Camii, a beautiful Armenian church now converted into a mosque. In the evening, perhaps enjoy some roasted goose, a local specialty, for dinner, and you may even be lucky enough to catch some local musicians playing the baglama.

Day 3 Kars

Explore the local region this morning, including a visit to the Ani Ruins. Ruled by a vast array of kingdoms and empires over the centuries – from the Byzantines to the Ottomans – the city of Ani once housed many thousands of people, becoming a cultural hub and regional power under the medieval Bagratid Armenian dynasty. The crumbling, rust-coloured brick Cathedral of Ani guards this deserted city, perched alone on the remote highlands of North Eastern Turkey. Then head to Cildir Lake, a large, fresh-water lake situated at 1900 metres. Winter lasts a long time here and the lake is frozen for eight months of the year. Enjoy a lunch of fresh fish by the lake and, depending on the season, you may get to take a walk both on the lake and around it. Finish the day with a visit to the Bogatepe Cheese Museum, tasting a few samples of Kars' gruyere – a little taste of Switzerland in Easatern Anatolia. Return to Kars for the evening.

Day 4 Erzurum

After an early breakfast the group will make its way to the train station for an 8.30 departure on the Dogu Express. This train connects the NE of Turkey with Ankara, the capital, but the group will hop off at Erzurum after a four-hour journey through spectacular scenery. Erzurum, the largest city in Eastern Anatolia, sits at 1950 metres and was a stronghold for the Seljuk Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. Spend the afternoon exploring important Seljuk sites like the Cifte Minareli Medrese, the Mongol-built Yakutiye Medrese and various distinctive tombs. Try a cag kebab in the evening, a horizontally stacked kebab and a local specialty.

Day 5 Amasya

Enjoy a leisurely morning before departing for Amasya, a journey of approximately 5.5 hours. Amasya sits in a valley on the banks of the Yepilrmak River. It was once the capital of the Pontic Kingdom and the tombs of the Pontic Kings are carved into the cliffs behind the town, making an impressive sight when lit at night. Today, the town is famous for both its timber houses and lush orchards. Take a walk around the town centre then join a local family for a home-cooked meal in the evening. 

Day 6 Safranbolu

Travel to Safranbolu this morning, a journey of 4.5 hours. Safranbolu is a UNESCO-listed town that played a key role in the caravan trade over several hundred years. The town influenced architecture all over the Ottoman Empire as a result of its trade-related prosperity, and this architecture is still well preserved. Spend the afternoon strolling through town and enjoy a special Peregrine Moment tasting safron-flavoured Turkish Delight, a regional specialty and favourite of many Ottoman sultans. The group will also visit Hidirlik Hill for superb views over the town, and spend the evening staying in a local konak (a large Ottoman house). 

Day 7 Safranbolu

Depart for a half-day tour to Amasra after a traditional Turkish breakfast. Drive through the countryside, mountains and little villages to arrive in what is arguably one of the prettiest villages on the Black Sea. Amasra is well loved by Turkish tourists but not yet popular with foreign travellers, especially when compared with some of the Mediterranean or Aegean destinations. Take a tour of the town including the Byzantine citadel and Old Bazaar, and look down from the bridge into the bright blue water. Return to Safranbolu in the afternoon for some free time wandering around the Old Bazaar and watching the traditional craftsmen at work. Coppersmiths, cobblers and saddle-makers will go about their business then you can go about yours, picking somewhere for dinner and a drink before spending another night in a traditional konak.

Day 8 Istanbul

Depart for Istanbul after breakfast, arriving mid-afternoon for some last-minute exploration and shopping. Walk through the bazaars or visit the sights you may have missed earlier in the trip before meeting up with the group in the evening to enjoy an optional farewell dinner. Toast Turkey and all its treasures you've discovered, then perhaps share one last Turkish delight together.

Day 9 Istanbul

Today is your final day and there are no activities planned after breakfast. You're free to depart your accommodation at any time, and hotel check out is midday.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,596
Price Per Day: $ 177 per day
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Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Sep-15-2019Sep-23-2019$ 1,596Yes9 spots left Reserve
Nov-10-2019Nov-18-2019$ 1,680Yes10 spots left Reserve
Mar-29-2020Apr-06-2020$ 1,765Yes12 spots left Reserve
Apr-12-2020Apr-20-2020$ 1,765Yes12 spots left Reserve
May-10-2020May-18-2020$ 1,765Yes11 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2020Sep-21-2020$ 1,765Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-11-2020Oct-19-2020$ 1,765Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-01-2020Nov-09-2020$ 1,765Yes12 spots left Reserve

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Stride Featured in

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22 Peregrine Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

91%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 19
Great 1
Average 1
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.7
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.6

Northern Turkey Explorer

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Company Reviews

Great itinerary with brilliant guide!

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Had a Turkey tasting tour in August with Peregrine. Great itinerary, brilliant guide. Good accommodation (mostly). The experience with a small group of people who are now friends was amazing.

Wonderful trip.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The trip was absolutely wonderful and gave us the opportunity to explore many different towns and aspects of urban and rural Cuba in such a short time period. Natalia was an amazing guide; she was incredibly knowledgable and (most importantly) passionate about Cuba and wanted to share her love for the country. Natalia in particular went above and beyond what was required and helped us all to organize anything following the conclusion of the trip and made herself available over the coming days should we need assistance!
The combining of Intrepid and Peregrine tour groups was the only downside- most of those who booked through Peregrine were much older and would have benefited from a smaller group size- despite the guides best efforts to involve everyone and provide diverse options of activities (even get some to hear!) there were obviously different priorities and expectations within the group.
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Perfect 'first timer' itinerary

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I took my mom on Peregrine’s Secrets of Italy trip in August. The itinerary is a perfect “first timer” itinerary and hits the major highlights of Italy. In addition to all of the usual highlights (walking tour of Rome, boat trip in Venice, trip to see the leaning tower of Pisa, time to hike at Cinque Terre) we did a lot of unique activities as well. Some of our favorites included a pesto making class and a wine and food tasting at a local enoteca (we were full for weeks!). Our leader Florian was wonderful and went above and beyond to make sure we had a great time. We both loved it and would travel with Peregrine again in a heartbeat!

(This trip is a public transport trip, so make sure to pack light, as you will need to carry your own bags through train stations, etc.)
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Peregrine Tours are fantastic

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We used them in Egypt. It was worth every cent. I've never been happier with a tour company and the lovely local guide they chose for us.

It was an amazing experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Completed an Classical Egypt & Jordan in March. The sites are just breath taking & Our tour Leaders are more then just leaders, full of passion & knowledge. An unforgettable experience . Thank you Peregrine.
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Thank you, Peregrine. What a fabulous adventure in a land of beauty.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just completed this morning when our private bus dropped us all off at Verona Train Station. Sad to say goodbye to our fellow tourists and our excellent guide Roberta.

First tour of the year, the weather included a few grey days, but we scored big when the sky cleared and the stunning scenery of the region reached its full potential. The jackpot was the crystal clear day when we crossed the Maloja Pass to St Moritz, walked to the glacier at Morteratsch, threw a few balls of crisp, new-fallen snow, and took the Bernina Express back over the border to Tirano. OMG, the scenery was incredible!

The steep mountains, picturesque villages and blue waters of Lakes Como and Garda were thrilling to the eye as well. We dined at lakefront restaurants, explored historic villas, walked along woodland paths under fresh spring leaves to glorious outlooks, touched mediaeval walls, drank fresh spring water and local wine, and learnt about the food, the customs, the history and the wildlife of the area.

We were lucky with the other tourists. We all got along well, and as the tour progressed, the lunches and dinners became less reserved and more fun. We laughed a lot and enjoyed each others' company.

Our guide, Roberta, was superb. She kept her eye on the ball, and our comfort and convenience was her first thought. When things went wrong - rain on a mountain track, a local bus timetable change, she was able to arrange alternate activities.Her humour, her knowledge, and above all her open, thoughtful heart made this a five star trip. She really cared.

She worried a little over her English, but honestly, it was fine. The occasional mispronunciation - talking about a wildlife program that reintroduced "beers" to the forest, for instance - was charming more than confusing.

The hotels were excellent. Big rooms, filling breakfasts, astounding views from the lakeside balconies, hotels with character and charm. The private buses were (mostly) spacious and comfortable. One mountain road demanded a smaller vehicle, but who am I to complain when the sixteen tourists, guide and driver occupied an eighteen-seater bus? The drivers were skilled on the often tight roads, in fact, we often applauded their abilities.

We also walked, but it was a walking tour, after all, and the pace was never overly fast, the paths never too steep, the distances never too long for we middle-aged and senior travellers. We also got to see a great many sights denied to those depending on cars and buses and trains.

My only real complaint was that it was too short. I guess that means I'll be back for another tour.
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Details

Accomodations

Comfortable hotel (7 nights) Boutique Hotel (Akce Konak Safranbolu 2 nights - Feature Stay)

Guides

All 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. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. 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. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. In Turkey, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a licensed Tour Guide and will not only have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip; but will also have specialised knowledge on the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Legacy Ottoman
  • Hobyar Mahallesi Hamidiye Cd. No:16
  • Fatih / Sirkeci
  • Istanbul
  • 34112
  • TURKEY
  • Phone: 90 2125276767

Trip ID#:

peregrine-PETN

Peregrine Adventures Preffered
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