Turkey - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour 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.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
- CITY TOUR in Istanbul
- VISIT the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Basilica, Blue Mosque, Byzantine Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Anzac Cove and the poignant War Cemeteries at Gallipoli, the Asclepion Medical Centre at Pergamon, the ancient city of Ephesus, the Virgin Mary's House at Ephesus, the Cotton Castle springs at Pamukkale, the ruins of the Roman health spa at Hierapolis, the old silk market and the Grand Mosque in Bursa
- VIEW the Wooden Horse at Troy
- Ancient history and monuments of the Ottoman Empire
- Visit the Roman city of Ephesus
- Optional balloon ride over Cappadocia
- Limestone cascades and thermal springs at Pamukkale
- Explore the elegant Blue Mosque
- Visit to the Spice Market, the exotic food market
- Cappadocia Rock Formations
- Enjoys a choice location overlooking Turkey’s fabled Turquoise Coast
- Explore Ephesus considered to be the world’s best-preserved classical city
- Visit to the House of Virgin Mary
- Visit the massive Acropolis, an impressive structure that houses the Temple of Trajan
- See the Dardanelles, a narrow strait connecting the Aegean and Black Sea
- Sightseeing of Ancient city of Troy.
- Whether you want to revel in the atmosphere of mykonos or relax on own your private paradise at manganari beach, there are plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun
- Watch the spectacular colours of santorini’s famous sunset bathe the caldera as you enjoy an evening picnic with fellow travellers – what could be better!
- Get off the tourist trail with a stop in amorgos, where a striking 11th-century monastery built into a cliff offers breathtaking views of the aegean sea
- Brush up on your history and mythology by touring the important archaeological sites of akrotiri and delos with local guides
- Cross into turkey to tour the ruins of ephesus and discover the fascinating relics that remain of this vibrant ancient city including the temple of artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world
- The Blue Mosque, the Galata Bridge, the Spice Markets - discover Istanbul with our expert local guide
- See the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Suleymaniye Mosque
- Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets
- Hike and Cycle the Valleys of Cappadocia and picnic amongst a forest of Fairy Chimneys
- Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive
- A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean
- Hike the famous Lycian Way with breathtaking views of the Turquoise Coast.
- CITY TOUR in Athens
- VISIT the Acropolis in Athens, Mykonos, Milos, Oia on Santorini, Heraklion, Kusadasi
- VIEW the Parthenon, the Caldera on Santorini and the windmills on Mykonos
- SEE Hadrian's Arch and the 1896 Olympic Stadium in Athens
- Guided tour of the Acropolis and visit to Acropolis Museum; exploring Mycenae
- including Agamemnon's tomb; cruising the Greek Isles; visits to Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque; a boat ride in Istanbul on the Bosphorus; a carpet demonstration in a village near Kusadasi; and a special Greek dinner in ancient Rhodes
- Trek amongst the fairytale rocks of Cappadocia
- Discover the historic and cultural secrets of this region
- Visit the underground city of Kaymakli
- Be mesmerised by the hypnotic rituals of the devout Whirling Dervishes in their home of Konya
- Explore thousands of years of history hidden within the remarkable ruins of Ephesus, and taste Turkey in the local produce of the mountain village of Şirince
- Paddle through the magical healing hot springs at Pamukkale and uncover the streets of Hierapolis that Cleopatra once walked
- Discover the atmospheric remains of a Ghost Village and trek along the ancient trail of the Lycian Way to a lagoon of unforgettable turquoise
- Set sail on the Mediterranean – explore sunken cities and hike to a knight’s castle
- Walk into valleys honeycombed with caves churches, underground cities, prehistoric rock formations and fairy chimneys in Cappadocia
- Athens: See Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus.
- Corinth Canal: Cross the amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
- Olympia: Join a local chef and savour the regional specialties in a fun, exciting introduction to Greek cooking.
- Athens: Toast the culmination of your journey in true Greek tradition at a lively Celebration Dinner with wine.
- Cruising: While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on board daily. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and hot beverages.
- Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (BB), 4 Lunches (L), 7 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW), all with tea or coffee. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and hot beverages.
- Kusadasi: If you choose to visit Kusadasi, your Local Expert guides you through the famous archaeological site of Ephesus.
- Heraklion: If you decide to visit Samos, you will enjoy free time on the island and while in Crete, join in a guided visit of the Palace of King Minos.
- Santorini: Your Local Expert takes you to the village of Oia, one of the most picturesque Cycladic village.
- Mycenae: Meet the artisans of a family-run pottery studio and learn about their unique traditional methods.
- Athens: Ascend the Acropolis with a Local Expert to admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century B.C., as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike and the Porch of the Maidens.
- Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
- Meteora: With a Local Expert, visit one of the remarkable centuries-old monasteries of Meteora, teetering on towers of rock and arguably the most spectacular place to visit in Greece.
- Delphi: With your Local Expert, walk to The Sacred Way once lined with offertory temples. See the reconstructed Athenian Treasury and pass the superb Polygonal Wall to reach the Temple of Apollo, where the people would seek divine wisdom from the mysterious Oracle.
- Olympia: The stadium of Olympia hosted the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women's games in honour of Hera. See the Temple of Zeus, athlete's gymnasium and the stone marker where the sprint began.
- Mycenae: Walk through the Lion Gate past the royal beehive-tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure, while hearing tales of Agamemnon from your Local Expert.
- Mediterranean Dreams Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini. Call in at the Turkish port of Kusadasi or the Greek Island of Samos.
- Experience 4-night Greek Island Cruise
- Visit Mykonos, Ephesus and Santorini
- House of Virgin Mary (Ephesus)
- Visit Patmos, Crete and Oia Village
- Explore Olympia, Mycenae and Rhodes
- Discover Parthenon (Athens) and Acropolis (Athens)
- Watch the sunset at Mount Nemrut
- Discover the beginnings of civilisation at Göbekli Tepe
- Harran, the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham
- Beautiful ancient architecture and frescoes
- Explore the ancient Zeugma Region
- Taste Gaziantep’s culinary delights
- Explore the vast depths of Cappadocia's underground cities
- Marvel at the world famous “fairy chimneys”
- The unique city of Çatalhöyük
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Top Turkey Experiences
Gazing awed at the massive treasures of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul’s Topkapi Museum.
Dining at a rooftop restaurant situated between Istanbul’s Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, as the sun sets and the iconic, exotic structures are illuminated.
Wandering through the seemingly endless market stalls in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar as persistent salesman hawk rugs, jewelry and souvenirs.
Watching a whirling dervish twirl and sway for hours on an outdoor stage, seemingly mesmerized by the entrancing rhythms of the sufi music played in the background.
Making a quick but tasty lunch of a fresh grilled fish sandwich sold at a sidewalk stand near the Bosphorus.
Taking a hot air balloon ride over the amazing landscape at Cappadocia, where the unusual volcanic rock formations are pocked with underground cave dwellings.
Exploring the old town at Antalya, Turkey’s largest beach resort, situated on a dramatic cliffside perch overlooking the Mediterranean.
Visiting the classical-era, beautifully preserved ruins of Ephesus near the coastal town of Kusadasi, a frequent cruise-ship stop.
Sailing down the Turkish coast in a traditional gulet, a two- or three-masted wooden vessel.
Turkey Trip Reviews
901 Turkey Tour Reviews - Summary 96% Recommend
Turkey Tours and Travel Guide
Turkey Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Turkey straddles two continents -- Europe and Asia -- but even the smaller European section, on the western side of the Bosporus, has a strong Middle Eastern feel. The star attraction of the European side is Istanbul, with its iconic Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The Asian side features classical ruins at Ephesus, cave dwellings at Cappadocia, and beach resorts along the coasts. It's a don't-miss destination, whichever continent you're exploring.
Istanbul alone is worth the trip to this fascinating country that spans two continents, Europe and Asia. In fact, greater Istanbul itself spans two continents, with ferry boats making continual trips across the Bosphorus between the western and eastern sides of the city.
Istanbul is rich in architectural and historic treasures. The city’s two iconic landmarks, the enormous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia -- a onetime Greek Orthodox basilica turned mosque and museum -- stand near each other within easy viewing distance of the Bosphorus. With their minarets and domes, especially when illuminated at night, the two help create as distinctive a skyline as any city in the world.
You could easily spend days examining the wealth of jewelry, china, costumes and carvings at the Topkapi Palace museum, most of them dating from the era of the old Ottoman Empire, which at one point dominated much of Europe and the Middle East. A jeweled dagger featured in the 1964 Peter Ustinov heist film Topkapi remains the top draw.
The Turkish Coast
Much of southwestern Turkey is lined with Aegean and Mediterranean Sea beach resorts, often packed with Europeans on holiday. The largest is Antalya, whose old section of winding cobbled streets sits on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean and is the site of numerous boutique hotels and chic shops. Antalya is said to be the third most visited city in the world after Paris and London, largely based on cruise ship stops and packaged flights from northern Europe.
Kusadasi on the Aegean coast is another popular resort, but many foreign visitors go there to see the nearby ruins of Ephesus, a 3,000-year-old Greek commercial center that was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (a single column remains). Ephesus later played important roles in the Roman empire and early Christianity, and the ruins of the House of the Virgin Mary are said to be the last home of Jesus’ mother. The most striking ruin is probably the Library at Celsus, whose dramatic facade is still standing, though vast streets lined with ruins of temples and ancient house foundations can hold your interest for hours.
Cappadocia, a World Heritage site in central Turkey’s Goreme Valley, has become a must-stop on many Turkish tour itineraries. Not only does it contain strange volcanic rock formations produced by age-old forces of wind and rain, but dwellings and even churches have been chiseled out of the soft rocks. You can also find entire troglodyte cities connected by underground tunnels -- some dating from as early as the 5th century AD. Ancient monks decorated many of the chapels with striking Byzantine art.
Hot air balloon rides have become a popular way to view the unusual valley landscape, and are options offered by many tours.
Culture and Cuisine
Turks can sometimes seem aggressive, especially when trying to sell you something, but if your tour encompasses elements of cultural exchange, you’ll find the typical citizenry to be gracious hosts.
One highlight is the fine Turkish cuisine, epitomized by the mezes -- hummus, stuffed grape leaves, baba ghanoush (pureed eggplant), olives, and pita bread that constitute the start of just about any Turkish meal. These could be followed by lamb or vegetable stews or grilled kebabs, all aromatic of exotic spices.
If your mouth is watering for some of these dishes -- or just for a taste of Turkey in general -- let Stride help you plan your ideal multi-day tour to Istanbul and beyond.
All Turkey tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Turkey trips.