Turkey Backroads

Turkey Backroads

From $ 555 AUD


Set out on a five-day Lonely Planet Experience through Turkey, packed full of ancient monuments and local moments, and centred around a visit to the summit of sacred Mt Nemrut. Wander around a 300-year-old bazaar in Darende, stay with a local family in a small rural village, watch the sun set over the giant stone heads scattered around the mountaintop tomb of King Antiochus I, then stroll the lively streets of Istanbul with your local leader and let them show you where to get the best islak burger in town. This trip is designed so that even if you’re short on time, you can explore the backroads of Turkey and uncover all the good stuff.

Trip Name
Turkey Backroads
Last Updated
  • Discover a lesser-seen side of Turkey, taking the backroads from Cappadocia to the eastern province of Malatya to experience local life and local flavours.
  • Enjoy a homestay experience in Kahta, helping out in the fields or the kitchen, cooking with the family and enjoying village life.
  • Spend a day exploring the ancient city of Darende, wandering through a 300-year-old bazaar and sampling famous local delicacies like dried apricot.
  • Watch the sun set over the massive stone heads that sit atop Mt Nemrut, which were once part of the elaborate necropolis built by King Antiochus I.
  • Explore the continent-straddling metropolis of Istanbul, strutting your stuff with the locals on a popular street, sipping rich coffee and discovering (and falling in love with) wet burgers.


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 is 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, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. 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 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 leader know you are interested in the Group 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 leaders 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.

Day 1 - Cappadocia/Darende
Gunaydin! Your Lonely Planet Experience begins bright and early at 8.30 am with a welcome meeting in Cappadocia. With the formalities out of the way, hop on a private bus to Darende. On the way, stop for a short walk to Gunpinar Waterfall. Arrive in Darende in the afternoon. Best known as the resting place of the contemplative Sufi Seyyid Hamid-i Veli (1331–1412), Darende was once a thriving Silk Road centre and it still a cultural hub. Explore the town centre on an orientation walk and visit the 300-year-old bazaar, where local women sit working on embroidery and other needlework. There’s also the chance to sample the area’s famous dried apricot in a local shop. Afterwards, settle in for a relaxing night in Darende.
Day 2 - Kahta Homestay
Head to the Kahta region for a unique homestay experience in a small village. Spend the afternoon playing a game of football, walking in the fields and experiencing the simple pleasures of village life. It’s possible that you may even get to pick the vegetables for your dinner! Learn about the local culture and enjoy a feast prepared by your host family. You can choose to curl up on a mattress or bunk under the stars.
Day 3 - Mt Nemrut
This morning, visit the Karakus Tumulus – a monumental tomb that King Mithradates II of the Commagene civilisation built for his mother. A handful of colossal columns remain to mark the burial place; the Romans dismantled most, with the limestone blocks used to construct the nearby Cendere Bridge. This is one of the world’s oldest bridges still in use, spanning an impressive 122 metres. Arrive in the village of Khata in the afternoon, then make the journey up to the top of Mt Nemrut. See the ruins of Arsameia – a holy burial area built by King Antiochus I in memory of his father almost 2500 years ago. At the top of the mountain, Antiochus I also constructed a tomb-sanctuary for himself and surrounded it with statues of various gods and ancestors. The size and magnitude of the colossal stone heads is stunning, and the views from the summit are sublime, especially as the sun begins to set.
Day 4 - Istanbul
Depart early this morning for the south-eastern city of Adiyaman, where you’ll board a 2-hour flight to Istanbul. Land and take the local metro and tram to tonight’s hotel in Sultanahmet. This afternoon, your tour leader will introduce you to the lively Taksim district, the beating heart of modern Istanbul. Walk across the Golden Horn in view of the medieval Galata Tower. Board one of the world’s oldest funicular railways, operating since 1875, for the short journey 500 metres to Taksim. Alight at Istiklal Caddesi, arguably the city’s most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, and take a walk among the local people who call this city home. Try an islak burger (a burger drenched in sauce) and visit a hidden local coffee house. Maybe stay with your travel companions for an optional celebratory dinner and take advantage of the late-night entertainment.
Day 5 - Istanbul
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation any time after breakfast. If you plan to stay on to see all Istanbul has to offer – which is highly recommended – we are happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability). Please enquire at the time of booking to see if this is an option.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-03-202101-04-2021AUD $ 650-
04-04-202108-04-2021AUD $ 675-
18-04-202122-04-2021AUD $ 675-
02-05-202106-05-2021AUD $ 700-
11-05-202115-05-2021AUD $ 700-
23-05-202127-05-2021AUD $ 700-
13-06-202117-06-2021AUD $ 700-
20-06-202124-06-2021AUD $ 675-
27-06-202101-07-2021AUD $ 675-
11-07-202115-07-2021AUD $ 650-
25-07-202129-07-2021AUD $ 650-
10-08-202114-08-2021AUD $ 650-
15-08-202119-08-2021AUD $ 650-
29-08-202102-09-2021AUD $ 650-
12-09-202116-09-2021AUD $ 675-
26-09-202130-09-2021AUD $ 700-
03-10-202107-10-2021AUD $ 700-
24-10-202128-10-2021AUD $ 675-
20-03-202224-03-2022AUD $ 555-
03-04-202207-04-2022AUD $ 555-
17-04-202221-04-2022AUD $ 575-
24-04-202228-04-2022AUD $ 575-
08-05-202212-05-2022AUD $ 575-
22-05-202226-05-2022AUD $ 600-
05-06-202209-06-2022AUD $ 600-
12-06-202216-06-2022AUD $ 600-
26-06-202230-06-2022AUD $ 600-
10-07-202214-07-2022AUD $ 575-
24-07-202228-07-2022AUD $ 555-
07-08-202211-08-2022AUD $ 555-
14-08-202218-08-2022AUD $ 555-
28-08-202201-09-2022AUD $ 575-
11-09-202215-09-2022AUD $ 600-
25-09-202229-09-2022AUD $ 600-
09-10-202213-10-2022AUD $ 575-
30-10-202203-11-2022AUD $ 555-


Hotel (2 nights),Pension (1 night),Homestay (1 night)


Private Bus,Plane