Premium Turkey with Istanbul Extension

Premium Turkey with Istanbul Extension

From $ 5,825 AUD


Complete with endless architectural jewels and fascinating cultural sites, not to mention otherworldly landscapes and glistening seaside towns – this is the best of Turkey. This 9-day Premium journey has been carefully crafted to show you the best spots in the most efficient timeframe; with fewer travel days so you’ve got more time to explore the places you visit. Begin the adventure in the great city of Istanbul, before making your way to Kusadasi and picture-perfect Cappadocia, before returning to Istanbul. You’ll marvel at the world-famous mosques in Istanbul, walk in the footsteps of ancient rulers in archaeological sites like Pergamon and Ephesus and see (almost) every inch of Cappadocia, from subterranean cities to incredible cave hotels.

Trip Name
Premium Turkey with Istanbul Extension
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  • Walk in the footsteps of ancient emperors and explore extraordinary archaeological sites of Pergamon and Ephesus.
  • Discover the flavours of Turkey, tuck into a traditional home-cooked meal in Cappadocia and get tips from an expert local chef during a cooking class in Sirince.
  • Cruise the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline and incredible artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments at shore.
  • Experience an exclusive carpet weaving demonstration at a social enterprise that’s keeping tradition alive and providing employment for local women.
  • From subterranean cities to whimsical fairy chimneys and incredible cave accommodation, this trip features some of the best experiences in Cappadocia.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, CYDD (Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği). Donations help them provide scholarships and educational programs for economically disadvantaged youth in Turkey.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. HOT AIR BALLOON CAPPADOCIA: Please note that the optional activity of the Hot Air Balloon is weather dependent. In the case of bad weather we will be unable to fly. Your trip leader will co-ordinate this with our local supplier and the Civil Aviation Authority in Cappadocia.

Day 1 - Istanbul
Welcome to Istanbul, the first step of our Turkish adventure. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in the heart of the Old City. Istanbul is the largest city in all of Europe, it’s a place filled with history, culture and charm. From the magnificent mosques to the bustling bazaars, this place is sure delight you at every turn. On arrival, you might like to stretch your legs, get acquainted with the city and make your way to visit the 1500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage monument, Hagia Sophia. With incredible architectural beauty and varied history, it was originally built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, then converted into a mosque, then a museum and has now been turned back into a mosque again. After exploring the city, this evening, join your local leader and small group for an important welcome meeting at the hotel at 6pm. Then, take a short stroll to a local restaurant to enjoy dinner together and be welcomed with richly flavoured Ottoman and Turkish cuisine.
Day 2 - Istanbul
After breakfast, join your small group and local leader to explore Sultan Ahmet I’s Blue Mosque. With six minarets, 260 windows and it’s iconic, blue-tiled walls (made up of more than 20,000 Iznik ceramic tiles), the Blue Mosque is known as one of the most magnificent in all of Istanbul. After some time to gaze upon its beauty, you'll head out to explore the rest of the city on an orientation walk. Make your way to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where historical sites and backstreets filled with hidden gems intertwine. Explore the hippodrome and the decorative statues and obelisks that remain from a time when this now tree-lined land would hold thousands of chariot racing fans. Then, get into some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. After exploring the best this fascinating city has to offer, it’s time to kick your feet back on a private yacht and marvel at the Istanbul skyline from sea. This fairy-tale experience across the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, features panoramic views from the waterway that’s dotted with artisan palaces, mansions and historic monuments. Sit back and soak up the vistas after a jam-packed day of exploration.
Day 3 - Kusadasi
After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Istanbul and journey to Kusadasi, with a stop in Pergamon along the way. The ancient city of Pergamon, sitting high above the Bakirçay Plain in Turkey’s Aegean region, is easily accessible by cable car. At the top of the hill, you’ll discover crumbling ruins, large and small. Some of the most fascinating spots to explore include the well-known library that helped put Pergamon on the map, the colossal Temple of Trajan, 10,000-seat Hellenistic theatre and the Altar of Zeus. After some time here, walking in the footsteps of ancient emperors, we’ll continue to Kusadasi. Tonight, get comfortable at your perfectly appointed boutique hotel on the edge of the Aegean Sea – this will be your home away from home for the next three nights.
Day 4 - Kusadasi
After breakfast today, you’ll explore the ancient city ruins of Ephesus. This is one of the best-preserved classical cities in the Eastern Mediterranean and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. As you walk in the footsteps of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, you’ll get a glimpse into how the ancient Romans lived. Stroll the marble streets surrounding the ancient theatre and explore the gymnasium, baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsus. From ancient ruins to ancient traditions, next up you’ll be treated to a carpet weaving demonstration and learn about the art of traditional carpet weaving from local social enterprise; Sultanköy. Carpet weaving holds incredible history in Turkey and has been dated back to the early Neolithic age – Sultanköy provides local women with employment while protecting and developing the ancient tradition. After a picnic lunch at Sultanköy, you’ll learn all about Turkish recipes and flavours with a hands-on cooking class. Get to know the local chef as you prepare a traditional meal and feast on your creations together – the perfect end to an incredible day.
Day 5 - Kusadasi
Wake up without an alarm today and enjoy this coastal paradise at your leisure. Kusadasi is the perfect springboard to see some Turkey’s most incredible ruins and natural wonders, you might choose to take advantage of this and book an optional tour to explore Pamukkale & Hierapolis Ancient City. Pamukkale’s mineral springs have become well-known for their magical turquoise waters framed by a snow-white mineral build-up that cascades over the cliffs. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the hot springs were believed to hold therapeutic healing properties by ancients Greeks and Romans. After marvelling at the mineral pools and taking in the incredible landscape, discover nearby Hierapolis Ancient City. Explore the ruins of this equally beautiful ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’d rather skip the optional tour and stay closer to town, perhaps, stroll the seafront promenade and grab a bite to eat by the harbour or enjoy a little banter with the locals at the main bazaar area. However you choose to spend your day, you can swap stories with your fellow travellers over your group dinner this evening.
Day 6 - Cappadocia
Today, catch a flight to Kayseri and be swept away by the mystical beauty of Cappadocia, where we’ll stay in specially restored cave suites in the Old City centre. After checking in, you’ll be welcomed into a local home for home-cooked Turkish lunch – the best way to start this leg of our adventure. Next up, it's time to explore Goreme open air museum. Another incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site to check off our list, you’ll find richly decorated rock-carved churches, monasteries and chapels to marvel at. After getting to know Goreme, it’s time to get to know Cappadocia on a panoramic sights tour. Discover the region’s highlights like Imagination Valley where rock formations, known as fairy chimneys, stand majestically amid the orange-coloured landscape. With your local leader by your side, you’ll learn how these unusual formations came to be.
Day 7 - Cappadocia
After breakfast, we make our way to yet another out-of-this-world location to explore the underground cities beneath Cappadocia. It’s believed that these intricate subterranean homes were created in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. Amazingly, there are roughly 200 them – more incredibly, they were abandoned in 1923 and not rediscovered until some 40 years later. You might spot remnants of subterranean wine cellars, stables and chapels, although it’s believed they were below ground for safety reasons, these city folk seem to have lived their lives to the fullest. Next, visit the studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. You’ll learn the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics and discover how the rich clay from the red river is moulded into exquisite pieces. Finally, in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy an easy hike through Red Valley – named for the incredible red hues the rock formations throw at sunset. Watch in awe as the sun sets over the landscape before heading back to town to enjoy our final dinner together with a delicately prepared traditional central Anatolian dish. There’ll also be time today to take to the skies with an optional hot air balloon ride (at your own expense) if you wish.
Day 8 - Cappadocia
This morning, say goodbye to Cappadocia and return to where it all began – Istanbul. When you arrive, you may wish to join your leader for a trip across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city. Here you’ll find lively, close-knit communities and jumbles of cute cafes, markets and restaurants. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore more of the many charms of this enthralling city. This evening, consider rounding off your adventure by joining your group for an optional farewell dinner at one of Istanbul’s excellent waterfront restaurants.
Day 9 - Istanbul
After breakfast, our Turkish adventure comes to an end. If you would like to extend your stay in Istanbul, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
22-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 5,825-
20-10-202428-10-2024AUD $ 6,230-


Comfortable hotel (6 nights),Feature Stay (2 nights)


Private vehicle,Boat,Plane