Delve Deep: Turkey (Jul ’24)

13 Days

12 nights Istanbul round-trip with Topdeck

Overview

TRIP VIBE = iconic sights and in-depth adventures with a local Trip Leader. An intoxicating mix of continents, culture and cuisine, Turkey is everything you’ve heard… and then some. Go deeper than the balloon-filled skies of your Instagram account and uncover the real Turkey – from tucking into dinner with a local Cappadocian family to wandering the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, paying your respects at Lone Pine or cruising the aquamarine waters of Fethiye’s jagged coast. Oh, and there’s more to eat here than Turkish Delight and kebabs.

Included Topdeck Experiences:

  • Walking tour of Istanbul with Trip Leader
  • Entry to the Blue Mosque
  • Entry to Topkapi Palace

Map

Itinerary

Ancient ruins. Colourful bazaars. Intoxicating flavours. And a unique culture waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Turkey! Check into the hotel and meet the gang – we’re a mixed bunch but are all in it together, just like it should be. Tonight, start your Turkish love affair with an included dinner at a local restaurant – then watch Hagia Sofia turn a million shades of orange as the sun sets on your first day. Sh*t, this is gonna be good.
• Meals: Dinner.

Day 2 :
Istanbul

Rise and shine – if the call to prayer didn’t wake you, the anticipation for today will. First up: a walking tour to soak up the city’s icons. We’ll roam the courts and pavilions of Ottoman sultans at Topkapi Palace. Wander the home of Byzantine entertainment at the Hippodrome. Gawp at the mesmerising interior of the Blue Mosque. Head into the cavernous depths of the Basilica Cistern. And be swept away in Hagia Sophia’s beauty. Then? The rest is up to you. Get lost amongst the maze of jewellery, lanterns, rugs and everything-in-between stalls of the Grand Bazaar. Sip on Turkish coffee at one of Yildiz Park’s old-school pavilions. Or take the ferry across to Asia for an explore (yeah, this place straddles two continents – cool, right?). Tonight, seek out somewhere local for a drool-worthy kebap or share meze with your trip mates. Think: Turkish tapas board. Mmm.
• Included Today: Walking tour of Istanbul with Trip Leader | Entry to Topkapi Palace | Entry to Hagia Sophia | Entry to Basilica Cistern | Entry to the Blue Mosque.
• Meals: Breakfast.

Wave goodbye to Istanbul – we’re rolling on to the vibrant city of Eskisehir (es-kee-sheh-heer). Literally meaning ‘old city’, this place has a history that dates back to 3000 BC. Get your bearings on an orientation walk with our expert Trip Leader – before heading out to do your own thing. Need some suggestions? Wander the banks of the Porsuk River. Check out the old Odunpazari quarter. Then, seek out a local haunt for some çigbörek – meat filled pastries deep fried to perfection. Yes please. Thanks to the university here, the nightlife is pumping – so gather the gang, track down a bar and get ready to discover it like a local.
• Included Today: Orientation walk of Eskisehir with Trip Leader.
• Meals: Breakfast.

No lies – today is a bit of a drive day. BUT we’ve got some awesome stops to make. First: check out the out-of-this-world Tuz Gölü (aka Salt Lake). Then: there’s the opportunity to head underground and take a peek at Cappadocia’s famous cave dwellings. Used as a place of hiding for centuries, this maze of hand-carved passages, tunnels and rooms is 100% worth an explore. Trust us. Feeling a bit tense from all the coach-napping and cave-exploring? We got you. Sign up for an optional Turkish Bath experience later. The Ottomans have been raving about it since 1405. Meaning? It’s gotta be good. Tonight’s included dinner is Turkish home-cooking at its best. Grab a cushion and tuck in – this is as authentic as it gets.
• Included Today: Photo opportunity at Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake)
• Meals: Breakfast | Dinner.
• Optional extras: Visit Saratli Underground City: from 25 TL | Turkish Bath experience: from €45.

Day 5 :
Cappadocia

You’ve seen the balloon-filled skies of Cappadocia on Instagram. Now it’s time to experience it without the filter. Jump on an optional hot air balloon ride, and watch the sun rise over the otherworldly valley – prepare to be WOWed. Then? We’ll head to Göreme National Park to explore more 4th-century dwellings, rock-carved churches and Byzantine artwork. Take in all the views from Uchisar Castle, before we check out the impressive structures of Love Valley. Tonight, let the pros show you how it’s done at a traditional Turkish dance show. Disclaimer: don’t try Dervish whirling unsupervised.
• Included Today: Visit Love Valley | Photo opportunity at Avcilar Valley.
• Meals: Breakfast
• Optional extras: Visit Göreme Open-Air Museum: from 150 TL | Visit Uchisar Castle: from 50 TL | Traditional Turkish dance show: from €45 | Hot air balloon ride: from €320.

Onwards! We’re swapping psychedelic rock valleys for glittering turquoise beaches. Today’s drive to Antalya is your chance to catch up on some zzzs, pump the tunes and message the rents (you’ll be too busy later, trust us). Dump your stuff at the hotel and head out on an orientation walk with your in-the-know Trip Leader. Then: the rest is up to you. Soak up some rays at Konyaalti Beach. Relax at a local hammam. Explore the cobblestone streets of Kaleiçi. Seek out some fresh AF seafood and meze. Then, head up to Karaalioglu Park for allll the sunset views over the Med.
• Included Today: Orientation walk of Antalya with Trip Leader.
• Meals: Breakfast.

Squeeze in one last dip before we make tracks to Fethiye (feh-tee-yeh). But first: we’ll make a pit stop at one of the world’s deepest canyons. You charged your camera, right? Take an optional wading tour through the crystal-clear water of Saklikent Gorge – surrounded by towering canyon walls and rushing rapids, sexy reef shoes are a must. Or sit back with a Turkish tea and enjoy the serenity. Later we’ll roll into the aquamarine paradise of F-Town. Locals say this place was gifted to Earth by God – when you see the beaches, you’ll know why. Tonight, get the gang together for an included dinner and watch the sunset over the harbour. This is livin’.
• Included Today: Visit Saklikent Gorge.
• Meals: Breakfast | Dinner.
• Optional extras: Saklikent Gorge tour: from 25 TL.

Day 8 :
Fethiye

You’ve got 24 hrs to do your own this-is-what-I-came-for-thing. Need some suggestions? Sign up for an optional cruise around the islands, and spend the day worshipping the sun aboard a traditional Turkish gulet. Treat your eyeballs to some I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E views, in between refreshing dips in turquoise water and catching some zzzs above deck. Prefer dry land? Easy. History buffs should take a trip to the ghost city of Kayaköy. Adrenalin enthusiasts find a seat at Zirve Bar to watch the paragliders do their thing off Mt Babadag (or partake, if that’s your thing). Then, burn off those second helpings of baklava with a hike to Amyntas Rock Tomb. Top tip: go later for allll the sunset views.
• Meals: Breakfast.
• Optional extras: Islands of Fethiye day cruise: from €60.

That’s not a hot spring, THIS is a hot spring. We’re headed inland to check out the World Heritage-listed ‘Cotton Castle’ of Pamukkale. The gleaming white terraces are on alllll the socials (eye roll), but they’re even more incredible in person. Trust us. Wade in the warm, mineral-rich waters. Explore the ancient Greek-Roman ruins of Hierapolis. Or unleash you inner Cleopatra with a soak in the Antique Pool. Then? We’ve got our GPS set for Kusadasi, where an included dinner and rooftop cocktails along the glittering Aegean Coast awaits.
• Included Today: Visit the ruins of Hierapolis | Visit Pamukkale Natural Park.
• Meals: Breakfast | Dinner.
• Optional extras: Hierapolis Archaeology Museum: from 200 TL.

Ready to tick a Wonder of the Ancient World off your list? Thought so. Channel all the Indiana Jones vibes as we check out the ruins of Ephesus. Jump on a guided tour or explore the Temple of Hadrian, forgotten city halls, massive amphitheatre and statue-lined Curetes Way on your own. Don’t leave without gawping at the Temple of Artemis – this one’s for the memory bank. Back in Kusadasi, the afternoon is yours for the taking. Cross over to Pigeon Island and check out the Byzantine fortress (birds not included). Hit the beach in town or journey south to buzzing Kadinlar Denizi. Flex your haggling skills at the Grand Bazaar. Or hunt down a harbourfront restaurant for fresher-than-fresh seafood. This is what you came for.
• Included Today: Entrance to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus.
• Meals: Breakfast.
• Optional extras: Guided tour of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus: from 200 TL.

From one ancient archaeological site to another – we’re making tracks to the impressive Pergamon Acropolis. Catch allll the panoramas as we ride the cable car to the top. Then: wander through the colossal marble columns, explore ancient libraries, altars and temples – and soak up the views from the world’s steepest ancient amphitheatre. Tip: don’t look down. After, we’re setting our sights on the Ruins of Troy. Thanks to Brad Pitt’s oiled six-pack you know part of the story, but our expert Trip Leader will help set the REAL scene as we wander around what’s left of this legendary city. We’re winding things up in the waterfront city of Çanakkale tonight.
• Included Today: Entrance to Pergamon Acropolis | Entrance to Troy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Meals: Breakfast.

Today, we’ll make our way back to Istanbul. But first: Gallipoli – the historic peninsula with views stretching out over idyllic sandy beaches. We’ll pay our respects at the Australian War Memorial at Lone Pine and the New Zealand Memorial at Chunuk Bair. Then it’s onto ANZAC Cove and the Turkish Memorial for a chance to stop and reflect on a piece of the past that changed the histories of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey forever. Back in Istanbul, we’ve got one last group dinner together. Suck up those tears – we’re going to give this unbelievable trip the send-off it deserves!
• Included Today: Gallipoli visit including Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair and ANZAC Cove.
• Meals: Breakfast | Dinner.

Day 13 :
Istanbul

1 country. 13 days. Ancient wonders. Scenic stunners. And countless good times with a bunch of randoms, who are now like family. Get down to breakfast and swap those contact deets – you’re going to need them for that reunion trip. Then, squeeze in one last dondurma (Turkish ice cream) before you go. Where to next?
• Meals: Breakfast.

Departures & Prices

  • Travel dates: selected departures in July 2024
  • Prices from: R43,452 pps SAVE R2,000 pp!

Includes / Excludes

Inclusions

  • ACCOMMODATION: 12 nights in hotel-style accommodation (twin or double)
  • MEALS: 12 Breakfasts & 5 Dinners.
  • TRANSPORT: air-conditioned minicoach.
  • EXPERIENCES: listed above.

Exclusions

  • International flights and taxes
  • Visas (if required)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals and drinks not included above
  • Items of a personal nature

Terms & Conditions

  • Prices are per person, capacity controlled, subject to availability and further subject to rate of exchange fluctuations at time of booking.
  • For standard booking terms and conditions see
    www.topdeck.travel/terms-and-conditions
  • Valid for sale until 31 May 2024.
4% Off
From R45,452 R43,452
/ Person
  • Currency
  • Pricing

Summary

  • SAVE R2,000 per person!
  • Tour
  • Selected departures in July 2024
  • 12 nights
  • Turkey
  • Topdeck Travel (TTUII3)