A richly historical land with some of the best cuisine you will ever taste, scenery from beaches to mountains and the great city of İstanbul.

Why I Love Turkey

By James Bainbridge, Writer
My first visit to Turkey was 20 years ago, when I finished a European rail odyssey in İstanbul, discovering the Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet’s sights. I’ll never forget drinking çay on my hostel’s roof terrace, scribbling in my notebook and watching the ferries cross over to Asia. Wanting to visit somewhere between the continents, I jumped on a boat to the Princes’ Islands, where an old man gave me a lift in his horse-drawn fayton carriage. It was my first taste of the Turkish friendliness and hospitality I’ve been experiencing ever since.

Culinary Exploration

The best thing about sampling Turkey’s delicious specialties – ranging from meze on a Mediterranean harbour to a pension breakfast featuring ingredients fresh from the kitchen garden – is that they take you to the heart of Turkish culture. For the sociable and family-orientated Turks, gathering together and eating well is a time-honoured ritual. So get stuck into olive oil–lathered Aegean vegetables, spicy Anatolian kebaps and dishes from Turkey’s many other corners – and as you drink a tulip-shaped glass of çay and contemplate some baklava for dessert, remember that eating is deepening your understanding of Turkey.

Activities Galore

Turkey offers activities to suit every temperament, from outdoors adventure to cultural enrichment. Watery fun includes diving, windsurfing, rafting and canyoning in mountain gorges, kayaking over Kekova’s sunken ruins and traditional gület cruises on the Mediterranean and Aegean. Or take to the air with Ölüdeniz’ thrilling paragliding flights or a hot-air balloon flight over Cappadocia. For a fresh angle on stunning Turkish scenery, trek to highland pastures or walk part of the Lycian Way trail. In town, take a culinary course, soak in the hamam or hit İstanbul’s Grand Bazaar to buy a carpet or flat-weave kilim rug.

Epic History

From the ancient port city of Ephesus to the soaring Byzantine dome of Aya Sofya, Turkey has more than its fair share of world-famous ruins and monuments. A succession of historical figures and empires – including the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans – have all left their mark on this former stopover along the Silk Road. Experiencing their legacy takes you from the closeted quarters of the sultan and his harem in İstanbul’s sprawling Topkapı Palace to the romantic and mysterious Lycian ruins on Mediterranean beaches.

Lyrical Landscapes

Turkey’s diverse landscapes from Aegean olive groves to eastern steppe provide a lyrical setting for its many great ruins. The country’s most magical scenery is to be found in Asian Anatolia, where beautiful vistas are provided by vertiginous Mediterranean coastline, Cappadocia’s otherworldly ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations and wavy valleys, the alpine pastures of the Kaçkar Mountains, and golden beaches such as 18km-long Patara. Whether you settle down with a çay to enjoy the the view across mountain-ringed Lake Eğirdir or explore the hilly hinterland on the southwest coast’s many peninsulas, Turkey’s landscape will leave a lasting impression.

Source: Lonely Planet

Itinerary Details

Day 1 - İstanbul Arrival Day

After arriving in Istanbul Airport, meet with our representative and transfer to your hotel. Today is a Free Day. Dinner at Indian or Traditional Turkish Restaurant with many variety of the vegetables alternatively.Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2 – Full Day Ottoman Relics and Byzantium City Tour with Lunch:

Hagia Sophia Byzantium largest cathedral, converted to mosque 1453 by the Ottoman Empire and today open as a museum to see both religion remains. Blue Mosque This mosque complex, containing Istanbul's only mosque with six minarets was built by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga for Sultan Ahmed 1st. early 17th century. Hippodrome Center of sport activities and political events of the Eastern Roman Empire. Grand Bazaar Famous shopping center worldwide. Shopping possibilities for carpet, jewellery, leather etc. Topkapi Palace Built between 1475 and 1478 by Mehmet II, Fatih, the conqueror of Istanbul, served as the residence of the sultan and administrative seat of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. After tour dinner at Indian Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3 - Full Day Princes’ Island Tour with Lunch and Horse Carriage:

Pick up from your hotel for full day tour of Princes’ Island. Cruise in the Marmara Sea to Princes’ Island by public ferry. During the summer months the Princes’ Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. As there is no traffic on the Islands, the only transport being horse and cart, they are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. During the Byzantine period, princes and other royalty were exiled on the islands, and later members of the Ottoman sultan’s family were exiled there too, giving the islands their present name. There are several historical buildings on Büyükada. Evening return to Istanbul and transfer to hotel. After tour dinner at Indian Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.

Day 4 - Daily Green Bursa Cable Car Tour with Lunch

Pick up from hotel and continue for the tour. Departure from Istanbul to the ferry boat at Eskihisar. Enjoying the lovely country and seaside. Drive to Bursa, former Ottoman Capital. The city BURSA is frequently cited as "Green Bursa" in a reference to the beautiful parks and gardens located across its urban tissue, as well as to the vast forests in rich variety that extend in its surrounding region. The city is synonymous with the mountain Uludag which towers behind the city core and which a famous ski resort. The mausoleums of early Ottoman sultans are located in Bursa and the numerous edifices built throughout the Ottoman period constitute the city's main landmarks. The surrounding fertile plain, its thermal baths, several interesting museums, notably a rich museum of archaeology, and a rather orderly urban growth are further principal elements that complete Bursa's overall picture. Lunch in a Traditional Turkish Restaurant, Visit to Ulucami (Grand Mosque), the Green Mosque and the Green Mausoleum, the old Silk Market in the Covered Bazaar. After tour transfer back to hotels. After tour dinner at Indian Restaurant. Overnight at hotel.

Day 5 - Full Day Bosphorus Cruise and Two Continents Tour with Lunch

Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar): The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. Boat Trip on the Bosphorus; A traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the excursion you will pass the magnificent Dolmabahce. Palace, and further along, the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace. On the coastal edge of this park, is Ciragan Palace, 300 meters of is marble facade faces the shore. At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries. Rumeli Fortress (From The Sea ) Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul, was completed in only four months to control and protect Bosphorus. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world. Lunch, Bosphorus Bridge; Unique chance to step from one continent (ASIA) to another (EUROPE) Camlıca Hill, The highest point in Istanbul. At the top of it you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from the beautiful gardens, landscaped in traditional style. Shopping Possibility at Bedesten, exhibits the traditional silk weaving girls at the carpet weaving courses authorised by the Ministry of National Education Possibility to see jewellery, handicrafts center and leather ware show. Free time provided for shopping. After tour dinner at Indian Restaurant. O/N hotel.

Day 6 - End of İstanbul Tour:

After Breakfast, Transfer to Airport for homebound flight.