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Highlights
  • Marvel at Istanbul’s finest historic sites, including the Blue Mosque, Roman Hippodrome and the Grand Bazaar
  • Feast like a sultan at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace and enjoy fresh seafood beside the Bosphorus Strait
  • Join the harvest celebration during the Festival of Wild Greens in Alaçati (April departure only)
  • Revel in the bounty of farmers markets and fish auctions
  • Sample wines at an organic vineyard and witness the Slow City movement at Seferihisar
  • Wander the ancient ruins of Ephesus
  • Hike through canyons and rock formations in Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Learn Turkish cooking during classes in Turkey’s coastal and interior regions

Historically located along the Silk and Spice Road trade routes, Istanbul has fused the flavors of 1,001 cultures, including the Persians, Arabs, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Indians and Slavs. We’ll sample this diverse Turkish cuisine in authentic restaurants; from street vendors in colorful bazaars; and at fish markets, farmers markets and spice markets. Our through-the-back-door walking tour includes Istanbul’s must-see cultural spots, including mosques, palaces and the beautiful Bosphorus Strait.

Moving from Turkey’s bustling capital to its slower-paced villages, we’ll explore the hilly region overlooking the Aegean Coast—including the ancient ruins of Ephesus—before delving into Cappadocia’s breathtaking lunar landscapes and volcanic chimneys. Everywhere we walk, we’ll discover up-and-coming wines and local specialties created from the natural ingredients of each region—with flavors and tastes to delight all palates.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

2
Whole Journeys Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
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Value
4.5 Guide
4.5 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.5
Stride Take

Whole Foods Market has entered the tour business, and organizes this culinary taste-fest – kebabs and beyond -- through Istanbul, Izmir and Cappadocia.

Turkish Delights

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c

Recommends

Fantastic! August 2015

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
So enjoying my trip to Provence with WJ. It has far exceeded my expectations. Thanks, Kathy Dragon, for all of the attention to details.........fantastic!!!!

Operator Whole Journeys

R

Recommends

Unforgettable trip December 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Kathy Dragon is a master tour guide and knows how to bring people, food, fun and activities together for an unforgettable trip.

Operator Whole Journeys

Itinerary

DAYS 1–3: Walking through Istanbul

We’ll stroll through Istanbul’s European and Asian historic districts, stopping to take in the city’s architectural and cultural wonders: the minarets and domes of the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Roman Hippodrome (the place of chariot races), the 400-year-old Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, (a maze of covered streets lined by more than 3,000 shops), and the Topkapi Palace (the royal residence of Ottoman sultans). We’ll even visit a water-pipe café to share a hookah filled with flavored tobacco.

Istanbul’s culinary specialties are ours for the tasting—including kebabs, baklava (künefe), fresh seafood eaten along the Bosphorus Strait, Ottoman-style lamb, raki (anise-flavored alcoholic drink) and sweets such as Turkish Delight. We’ll also taste the artistry of an organic chef and feast like sultans at a Topkapi restaurant devoted to historically accurate royal cuisine

DAYS 4–8: Turkey’s Aegean Flavors & Wonders of the Ancient World

We’ll fly to Izmir, a province on the Aegean Sea, where picturesque coastal villages continue food traditions reaching back to ancient Greece. The coastal town of Urla offers a lively fish auction, an ancient olive press, and an incredible farmers market with in-season produce (such as figs, artichokes, okra, olives, grapes, pomegranates and melons—along with wild greens harvested fresh from the countryside).

Our adventures include cooking Aegean home-style cuisine, visiting an organic winery, hiking to an ancient amphitheater and acropolis with sea vistas, and exploring Turkey’s first “Slow City”—where the town’s indigenous foods, lifestyle, cultural traditions and natural landscapes are preserved.

Our April departure potentially coincides with Alaçati’s Festival of the Wild Greens, a one-of-a-kind celebration of the coastal village’s culture and bounty.

We’ll spend a day in Tire, home to a bustling market—a multicultural experience that showcases hundreds of crafts from surrounding villages and the region’s seasonal produce. For a rest, we’ll stop at a coffee house for a cup of rich, sweet Turkish coffee.

Our guide will escort us through the beautiful ruins of ancient Ephesus; its Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The tour is followed by an authentic meal prepared using recipes from Ephesus’ ancient records

DAYS 9–11: Colorful Cappadocia

Next we fly from Izmir to Cappadocia in Turkey’s interior where the unusual geological landscape features canyons and underground cities carved into the volcanic stone. This desert climate produces fewer greens and more red meat and dairy, grains, chickpeas, and pastries than we encountered in the Aegean. Cappadocia is known for its manti (a dumpling with spiced lamb), pastirma (seasoned, air-dried beef), tandoori lamb, and borek (phyllo-like pastry filled with feta cheese, minced meat or vegetables). During a cooking class, we’ll try our hand at making one or two local delicacies, such as gnocchi-like pasta or stuffed grape leaves.

Each of these three days includes a magical hike through Cappadoccia’s breathtaking landscape. We’ll walk through the Göreme National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site), summit Uchisar Castle (an imposing rock formation with carved-cave rooms), and roam the Red Valley’s narrow, high-walled canyons. Our hike through the Ihlara Valley takes us through one of the region’s most impressive subterranean towns complete with ancient churches, private living quarters, wine-making chambers and deep wells. We’ll also pass rock-cut Byzantine chapels and 11th-century frescoes.

DAY 12: Departure

Flights to Istanbul or other regions of Turkey.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,895

Price Per Day:

$ 491 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.
Details
Trip Includes
  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) in itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals with the exception of one dinner
  • Transfers and ground transportation from the meeting location to the drop-off location
  • Admissions fees to itinerary sites and museums,
  • Services of leader/guide throughout the tour
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person
Trip Excludes
  • Domestic flights within Turkey,
  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Spa visits
  • Visas & Immunizations
  • Other items of a personal nature.
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Start City
Istanbul
End City
Cappadocia

Trip ID#: turdelwho

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