Turkey: Meat and Stuffing
We know you’re dying to taste a real Turkish kebab. But to save confusion, do a bit of research before you make your order because there’s quite a few to choose from:
· Ramadan kebab – grilled meat served on a pide with garlic, tomato, yogurt and mint
· Köfte kebab – grilled lamb and herb meatballs on a skewer
· Testi kebab – a cross between a stew and a pie with meat, pearl onions and vegetables cooked in a clay pot then sealed with dough (no testes were harmed in the making of this kebab)
(Was Turkey Explored)
Day 1-2 - Istanbul
YouTube ‘Istanbul ice cream’. Laugh. Then order one as soon as you arrive. Note: Turkish ice cream is nothing like what you get at home. It's stretchy and doesn't melt.
- Arrive in Istanbul and perhaps visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market
- Meet the tour guide and fellow travel companions at an evening welcome meeting
- Head out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe
- Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome
- Explore under your own steam in the afternoon
- Perhaps barter for a bargain, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus (optional) or indulge in a traditional hamam (Turkish bath) (optional)
Day 3 - Istanbul - Gallipoli - Çanakkale
Spend a bit of time wandering the battlefields, monuments and cemeteries at Gallipoli. It’s pretty overwhelming.
- Head for the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders
Day 4 - Çanakkale - Ayvalik
You’ll come to this seaside village for the sleepy, charming, peaceful vibe. You’ll stay for the Ayvalik tost (Google it and drool).
- Optional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient ruins
- Take an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes
- Perhaps enjoy a drink and the sunset at the harbourside bar
Day 5 - Ayvalik - Selçuk
Don’t forget to grab a bottle of olive oil before we leave for Selcuk. Walk off those kebabs in Ephesus, the world’s biggest Greco-Roman ruins.
- Take a local bus to Selçuk
- On arrival we explore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world
- Walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of Celsus
Day 6 - Selçuk – Pamukkale
Take a dip in the hot springs at Pamukkale. Apparently the water helps high blood pressure, strokes, rheumatism and skin problems. Hence all the old dudes.
- Travel to Pamukkale with its natural pools, shelves and ridges
- Perhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures
Day 7 - Pamukkale – Fethiye
We know you hate long bus trips, so we’ll get back in your good books with a swim at Oludeniz - a lagoon bestowed with the colour of a Ken Done painting.
- Head for the coast and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz, described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'
- Plenty of time to enjoy a swim at the three-kilometre-long beach
Day 8-9 - Southern coast cruising
Don't worry, the clear Mediterranean water makes it easy to find your bikini bottoms if they go flying when you leap off the boat.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast and view some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world
- Cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island from where remains of mysterious civilisations can be viewed
- Walk up to nearby Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands
- Perhaps explore some of the numerous Lycian rock tombs
- Spend some time on the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea
- Swim and explore the natural and historical sites along the way
- Indulge in feasts before being lulled to sleep by Mediterranean breezes
Day 10-11 - Cirali - Antalya - Cappadocia
Three pics that will sum up Antalya: Konyaalti beach, the Taurus Mountains, the marina at Kaleici (old city). Three snacks you need to try: pide, kofte salonu and mussels stuffed with rice.
- Disembark the boat in Uçagiz and head to Antalya
- Stop by Olympos en route and see the flames of Chimera
- Press on to the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis
- Take a local bus to Cappadocia
- Stay and explore Cappadocia for the next three nights
Day 12-14 - Cappadocia
Definitely take the optional hot air balloon trip over Cappadocia at sunrise. Then stay overnight with a local family and watch a Whirling Dervish performance – a group of men who have dedicated themselves to a life of poverty and spinning around.
- Drive to the top of the trail at the beginning of the Akvadi (White Valley)
- Walk amongst fruit gardens and vineyards
- Arrive in Uçhisar and visit the village and high viewpoint known as The Fortress
- 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
- Visit the underground city of Derinkuyu – a man-made marvel that descends 60m below the surface
- Drive to the start of Pasabaglari (Priest Valley) and follow a trail to the picturesque village of Cavusin
- Walk through Kizilcukur (Red Valley)
- Take an overnight bus back to Istanbul
Day 15-17 - Kahta - Urfa
King Antiochus I had his tomb built on Mt Nemrut (2150m) in 62BC, and surrounded it with 30ft tall statues of gods. But earthquakes decapitated most of the statues, so the mountain is now scattered with gigantic heads.
- Drive across the stunning Eastern Taurus Mountains to Kahta
- Visit Mt Nemrut National Park and see the massive Commagene stone heads
- Drive to Sanliurfa (Urfa) the city of the prophets - a city believed to be the birthplace of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)
- Fly back to Istanbul (you arrive back in Istanbul around 2pm), and enjoy free time to see the sights on arrival
Day 18 - Istanbul
Head to Istiklal Caddesi, the main shopping area, and let the crowds carry you along. Celebrate the end of your trip with raw oysters, crispy potato spirals, pistachio ice cream and fresh roasted corn.
- The trip ends after breakfast, but there is plenty more to see, eat, buy, watch and do here
What to Know
Local tour guide, all transportation, accommodation, some meals and sightseeing as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, airport/departure taxes, entrance fees for optional sites, visas, pre-tour or post-tour accommodation, additional meals (including some meals on boat), drinks, optional sightseeing tours, travel insurance, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 29 Jun 2013 - 16 Jul 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 13 Jul 2013 - 30 Jul 2013 2 Available US $1,920 On Sale Sale: US $1,483 Book Now 27 Jul 2013 - 13 Aug 2013 3 Available US $1,920 Book Now 03 Aug 2013 - 20 Aug 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 17 Aug 2013 - 03 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 24 Aug 2013 - 10 Sep 2013 7 Available US $1,920 Book Now 31 Aug 2013 - 17 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 07 Sep 2013 - 24 Sep 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 14 Sep 2013 - 01 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 21 Sep 2013 - 08 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 28 Sep 2013 - 15 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 05 Oct 2013 - 22 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 12 Oct 2013 - 29 Oct 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 19 Oct 2013 - 05 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 26 Oct 2013 - 12 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $1,710 Book Now 02 Nov 2013 - 19 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $1,710 Book Now 09 Nov 2013 - 26 Nov 2013 7+ Available US $1,710 Book Now 15 Mar 2014 - 01 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,710 Book Now 29 Mar 2014 - 15 Apr 2014 7+ Available US $1,710 Book Now 23 Apr 2014 - 10 May 2014 7+ Available US $2,026 Book Now 23 Apr 2014 - 10 May 2014 7+ Available US $2,026 Book Now 26 Apr 2014 - 13 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 03 May 2014 - 20 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 10 May 2014 - 27 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 17 May 2014 - 03 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 24 May 2014 - 10 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 07 Jun 2014 - 24 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 14 Jun 2014 - 01 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 21 Jun 2014 - 08 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now 28 Jun 2014 - 15 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,920 Book Now
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What to know
The 23 Apr 2014 departure ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 2 will be spent camping in Anzac Cove. This departure has a surcharge.