Turkey In Depth Premium Tour Including Flights
20 Day guided holiday with flights
From AU$8,395* per person, twin share
Turkey, replete with ancient history, fascinating landscapes, magical cities and delicious food, awaits us on this in-depth small group tour. Journey from Istanbul to Gallipoli, via Cappadocia, Kaş and Ephesus. Delight in local delicacies, be enchanted by the fairytale chimneys of the Göreme Valley and the cascading hot springs of Pamukkale.
|Price Per Person, Twin Share
Please enquire about solo traveller rates
|Tour Dates||From Price|
|6 May 23 – 25 May 23# Fully Booked||AU$8,395*|
|20 May 23 – 8 Jun 23 #||AU$8,395*|
|27 May 23 – 15 Jun 23# Last Seats||AU$8,395*|
|10 Jun 23 – 29 Jun 23 #||AU$8,395*|
|5 Aug 23 – 24 Aug 23||AU$8,395*|
|19 Aug 23 – 7 Sep 23||AU$8,395*|
|2 Sep 23 – 21 Sep 23||AU$8,395*|
|16 Sep 23 – 5 Oct 23 #||AU$8,395*|
|7 Oct 23 – 26 Oct 23# Fully Booked||AU$8,395*|
|Bookings are subject to availability. Valid for sale until 28 February , unless sold out prior. Departures marked with # are guaranteed departures|
- Visit the Underground Basilica Cistern in Istanbul
- Walk across the Hippodrome
- Taste Turkish cuisine including coffee, turkish delights and baklava
- Tour Istanbul’s magnificent Topkapi Palace
- Tour Istanbul’s domed Basilica of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia)
- Admire the interior walls of the unique Blue Mosque
- See the Ihlara Valley
- Visit the open-air museum at Zelve Valley
- Visit the hidden monastic valley of Paşabaği
- Travel to the fascinating Göreme Valley
- Follow the paths of the stunning Red Valley
- Explore the village of Avanos
- Enjoy a hands-on cooking class with the locals
- Visit one of Cappadocia’s underground cities
- Visit the Mevlana Museum
- Watch a cooking demonstration of the Turkish, pizza-like dish called elti ekmek
- In Beyşehir visit Esrefoğlu Mosque
- See Eflatun Pinar, a Hittite spring sanctuary
- Learn about life in Turkey over a coffee with a local
- Enjoy a free day to relax or explore Antalya
- Stop at the ancient city of Phaselis
- In Antalya view Hadrian’s Gate
- Spend a day cruising along the coast of the Mediterranean
- See the unique natural site of Pamukkale
- Visit the site of Hierapolis
- See the beautiful city of Aphrodisias
- Explore Ephesus
- Visit local winery for wine tasting and dinner
- Visit the Asclepion, an ancient medical centre in the city of Pergamum
- Stop in the famous town of Troy
- Visit the World War I battlefields famous for the ANZAC involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign
- Enjoy a walking tour through the neighbourhoods of Fener and Balat
- Explore Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar
- Browse the Istanbul Spice Bazaar
- Return economy-class flights from Australia to Turkey. Taxes included
- Economy-class flight within Turkey
- Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
- All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
- Full-day cruise along the beautiful Mediterranean coast
- Tipping Made Easy- $275pp pre-paid
Properties include (Hotels listed are an indication, and are subject to change without notice):
- Amethyst Hotel, Istanbul
- Alfina Cave Hotel Cappadocia, Cappadocia
- Ali Bilir Hotel, Beysehir
- Best Western Plus Khan Hotel, Antalya
- Belinda Hotel, Kas
- Doga Thermal Health & Spa, Pamukkale
- Charisma De Luxe Kuşadası, Kuşadası
- Kolin Hotel, Canakkale
- 17 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 9 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners
- Meal highlight: Cappadocia, learn to make traditional Turkish cuisine including keskek, manti and gozleme in a hands-on cooking class
- English-speaking locally-based tour director
- Specialist Gallipoli guide
Day 1: Depart Australia
Day 2: Arrive Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey and the legendary city of Istanbul, a unique city that stretches over two continents, straddling the Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait), with one bank in Europe and the other in Asia. Its position has given the city an unmistakably cosmopolitan atmosphere. The life and colour of the Middle East coupled with its high standard of living and European atmosphere highlights the contrast between the traditional and modern aspects of the city. This evening meet your fellow travellers and Tour Director for a welcome drink.
Day 3: Istanbul
Get set for a full day exploring the fascinating city of Istanbul! We begin our day with a visit to the Underground Basilica Cistern, the largest surviving Byzantium Cistern. Our next stop is a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace. Once home to the great Sultans and their families, the Topkapi Palace was built between 1466 and 1478 and was the centre of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. Today it is filled with treasures and antiquities including twelve thousand pieces of fine Chinese porcelain. We’ll then visit the Hippodrome, once the heart of the political and sporting life of the city. It was the scene of games and riots throughout 500 years of Ottoman history.
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Excite your taste buds with some of Turkey’s most famous delicacies, including baklava, Turkish coffee, and of course, Turkish delight!
The afternoon is at leisure to further explore this extraordinary city. If you have the opportunity, try some Dondurma, a Turkish ice cream. It’s chewy, stretchy and does not melt! Tonight we’ll enjoy a group welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Istanbul – Cappadocia
Today we travel to Cappadocia, renowned for its spectacular landscape and now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Before our flight in the afternoon, we tour the impressive domed Basilica of St. Sophia (Hagia Sophia), which has inspired architects and religious leaders for almost 1,500 years. The first church on this site was constructed in 326 by Constantine the Great; the current church dates back to 537 and has been a cathedral, a mosque, and is now a museum. Our next stop is at the unique Blue Mosque built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmet. Here, we admire its interior walls which are covered with twenty thousand blue Iznik tiles. Later we transfer to the airport for our flight to fascinating Cappadocia.
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Stay in a cave hotel in the heart of Cappadocia for four nights and experience the true culture and beauty of the region.
Day 5: Cappadocia
This morning we begin our sightseeing in Ihlara Valley, a 14-kilometre-long canyon formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago. The valley once held thousands of dwellings and a hundred cave churches. Later we visit Zelve Valley which became one of the most important settlements and religious centres for the Christian community between the 9th and 13th centuries. After some time exploring this open-air museum, we return to our hotel.
Day 6: Cappadocia
Today we’ll visit the hidden monastic valley of Paşabaği, which has a large number of carved rock houses and churches. We’ll then visit the local municipality carpet cooperation where we’ll learn about the production of famous Turkish carpets. In the afternoon we travel to the unique Göreme Valley. Over thousands of years, the rain has eroded this landscape to give rise to strange rock formations known as ‘Fairy Chimneys’. Many of these formations now have homes and churches carved into them. Some of the grottoes are even magnificently decorated with colourful frescoes depicting biblical scenes. Why not join your guide and follow the paths of the stunning Red Valley as the sun sets this evening and admire the richly coloured rock formations?
Day 7: Cappadocia
This morning we explore the small village of Avanos, famous for its hand-made pottery and ceramics. With its cobblestone streets and beautiful views over the Red River, it is no wonder Avanos is an extremely popular destination.
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Visit a family in Cappadocia and learn to prepare some of the local culinary specialties in a hands-on cooking class.
Later this afternoon we’ll visit one of Cappadocia’s underground cities. During the 6th century the Christian inhabitants of this region began to tunnel into the large soft volcanic rock hills. Some of these tunnels are as deep as 80 metres with eight different levels where thousands of people are believed to have lived.
Day 8: Cappadocia – Konya – Beyşehir
Today we make our way west to Beyşehir, a central Anatolian town located on the lake shore with a backdrop of the Taurus Mountains. Our journey begins after breakfast, as we drive southwest to Konya, one of Turkey’s oldest cities. Here we’ll visit the Mevlana Museum and learn about the mystical religious order known as the Whirling Dervishes. They use music and dance to induce themselves into a trance-like state. As the ceremonial music plays, they begin whirling, and their long skirts billow, giving the impression that they are floating on air.
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Watch on as a chef prepares our lunch for today – etli ekmek, a pizza-like specialty that originated in Konya.
We arrive in Beyşehir in the evening with the rest of the day to enjoy at leisure.
Day 9: Beyşehir – Antalya
Our journey today takes us further south along the Mediterranean coast until we reach Antalya, the largest city of the region and a buzzing tourism centre with the longest stretch of beach in Turkey. Despite the modern tourism infrastructure, Antalya has retained its rich history dating back to 133BC, with its monuments and spectacular tombs surviving the test of time. First, we begin the day with a short drive to Eflatun Pinar, a Hittite spring sanctuary dating back to the late Bronze Age. Our next stop is Esrefoğlu Mosque, a mostly wooden structure constructed in the 13th century. When we arrive in Antalya later this afternoon, we will have a special guest joining us for a coffee. We’ll meet a local resident which is a great way to discover more about the culture and way of life in beautiful Turkey.
Day 10: Antalya
Enjoy the day at leisure to relax or explore at your own pace. Why not sample some of the delicious street cuisine or visit the spectacular Düden Waterfalls?
Day 11: Antalya – Kaş
We make our way to the fishing village of Kaş today, located on the coast of the sparkling Mediterranean. Kaş has enjoyed relative isolation until quite recently and, as such, continues to boast a relatively laidback vibe. It hosts a mix of cultural eras with the ruins of the ancient town of Antiphellos, dating back to the 4th century BC, sitting adjacent to modern structures – a unique town where old meets new. We travel along the Turkish coastline, stopping at Hadrian’s Gate, a triumphal arch built in honour of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It is considered the region’s most beautiful gate with pillars built entirely of white marble. Next, we continue our travels to Phaselis. Set up by the Rhodians in 700BC, the city is located on an isthmus that separates two harbours; it became the most important harbour city of western Lycia. We’ll arrive in Kaş in the afternoon, where you can soak up the village’s relaxed ambience at leisure.
Day 12: Kaş
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Enjoy a leisurely day cruising the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Relax and soak up the sun and the spectacular coastal scenery.
On the cruise we will also learn about the ancient sunken city of Simena, off the island of Kekova. In the 2nd century the area was hit by a series of fierce earthquakes, which in turn sank the city beneath the Mediterranean waters. Remember to pack your swimwear today as their will be plenty of time for a relaxing swim!
Day 13: Kaş – Pamukkale
An unusual natural and historical site, Pamukkale is one of the highlights of Turkey, and will be our home for the night. Over the last 14,000 years, calcium rich water from an underground thermal spring has flowed over the mountainside and slowly solidified, creating shallow white basins and twisted stalagmites. The water of Pamukkale is famous for its benefit to the eyes and skin, and its curing properties of the ills of asthma and rheumatism.
On arrival we’ll visit the site of Hierapolis, an ancient Greek city that sits atop the famous cascading pool terraces. Established by the kings of Pergamum at the end of the 2nd century BC, this ancient spa town is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site revered for its striking natural formations and its complex Greco-Roman engineering techniques.
Day 14: Pamukkale – Kuşadasi
Kuşadası is one of Turkey’s popular beachside towns boasting 300 days of sunshine each year, and also serves as the gateway to the impressive Roman ruins of Ephesus. On our way there we’ll visit Aphrodisias, not surprisingly dedicated to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. Aphrodisias was an important centre of the arts and the Sculpture School of Aphrodisias enjoyed great fame. This is evident in the fine marble statues and architectural reliefs scattered throughout the site. We also see the largest stadium of the classical world – it held 30,000 seats! This stadium was built initially for athletic contests however due to damage sustained as a result of a 7th century earthquake, the stadium was used for games, circuses, gladiatorial combats and wild beast shows. After our sightseeing we continue to Kuşadası
Day 15: Kuşadası – Ephesus – Kuşadası
This morning is at leisure for you to explore the sights of Kusadasi before we make our way to Ephesus. Step back in time today as we visit Ephesus, the largest Roman city ever uncovered. Initially established as a port, it was used as a very important commercial centre due to its strategic position. Once populated with 300,000 people, Ephesus has an enormous amphitheatre, which can still hold 24,000 spectators.
As we walk down the marble covered streets, we get a feel of what life was like during these times and see the gymnasiums, bath houses, public latrines, the Library of Celsus and all that remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We’ll also stop at a local leather factory where handmade leather goods are produced. As the site of Ephesus is quite large with little shade, we recommend taking a hat and plenty of water with you as drinks are only sold outside of the complex. This evening we’ll head to a renowned vineyard in western Turkey for wine tasting and dinner.
Day 16: Kuşadasi – Çanakkale
Situated on the southern coast of the Dardanelles, Çanakkale is a historic port city, which has been home to a number of civilisations over the past 6000 years. Çanakkale is also seen as a gateway to the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the way to Çanakkale we stop at the Pergamum where we’ll visit the Asclepion, a famed ancient medical centre and the world’s first psychiatric hospital! Pergamum stands today as a supreme example of the region’s multi-layered cultural landscape.
This afternoon we’ll visit Troy, one of the oldest discovered sites in Asia Minor. It actually holds nine settlements, dating from the Stone Age to the Roman Empire along with a replica of the famous Trojan Horse. The celebrated city of the Iliad, the Odyssey of Homer and the Aeneid of Virgil were long believed to be fictional until eccentric archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered the ruins near the modern city.
Day 17: Çanakkale – Gallipoli – Istanbul
SPECIAL EXPERIENCE Pay homage to the spirit of the ANZACs in Gallipoli. We visit ANZAC Cove, the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair Memorials, and Johnston’s Jolly with a specialist Gallipoli guide.
We visit the World War I battlefields, most notable for being held by the ANZACs from 25th April to 20th December 1915, during what is referred to as The Gallipoli Campaign or Battle of Gallipoli. At the end of the war the bodies, still unburied, were cleared by the Allies on returning to the peninsula. Of the 22,000 graves at the 31 war cemeteries, only 9,000 are identified burials with grave markers. The remaining graves are commemorated with a special memorial. Today is an incredibly moving day. It is a tangible reminder of a not-so-distant past and a significant event in history that shaped Australia’s national identity. Later this afternoon we’ll return to Istanbul.
Day 18: Istanbul
We begin the day with a visit to the Grand Bazaar. Built in 1457, the Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world. It is most famous for its antique shops, jewellery, carpets, hand-painted ceramics, embroideries and spices. Making our way to the exotic Spice Bazaar, you’ll have some time to browse through the stalls at your leisure and soak up the scents of hundreds of spices permeating the air. Next we’ll have a walking tour through the neighbourhoods of Fener and Balat, an area rich in history, architecture and religious monuments. As a historic area of Istanbul these districts are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon soaking in the culture of this beautiful city for the last time. Why not head to Eminonu and join the locals for the best fast food you can find? We recommend the fresh grilled fish sandwiches that are cooked while you wait and served on crusty bread with lettuce. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner.
Day 19: Depart Istanbul
Today marks the completion of our adventure through fascinating Turkey. We hope you leave with fantastic memories!
Day 20: Arrive Australia
*Terms & Conditions:
- Bookings subject to availability.
- Prices are per person twin share, in Australian Dollars.
- Pricing correct as at 3 January 2023 and may fluctuate due to changes in availability, surcharges, fees or taxes.
- Standard Travel Club Terms and Conditions apply.
- This tour is offered and managed by Bunnik Tours and their terms and conditions apply.
- No airfares are included in the featured package, but assistance with booking can be provided.
- Cancellation and change fees apply. Bookings are non-transferable.
- Travel insurance is not included in the package. Please ensure you have valid Travel Insurance, or request a quotation.