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Wine Holiday in Turkey

This 17-day wine exploration will dive deeply into the two most prolific wine regions of Turkey: Thrace around the Marmara Sea, and the Urla peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea west of Izmir. Combing two new, magnificent wine routes, the Urla Vineyard Road and the Thrace Vineyard Route (Urla Bag Yolu and Trakya Bag Rotasi) this is the longest most in depth tour for those who wish to learn about the 3000 year history of wine in Turkey, while also visiting the UNESCO historic sites and major attractions of Turkey in a longer tour with minimal road travel. The Italian-trained Sommelier guide, Murat Yanki, will lead the elite group through the best history and wines of Turkey.

Highlights

  • Tour with an Italian qualified Sommelier
  • Visit numerous wineries, taste dozens of wines
  • Discover the unique grape varietals of Turkey and meet local winemakers
  • Visit the ancient city of Troy, the Blue Mosque, museums, Gallipoli Battlefields
  • 16 nights accommodation at luxury hotels
  • Airport transfers

Styles


16 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Italian, Japanese, Turkish
Group size: 5-12 participants
Airport transfer included: Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Airport transfer included: Istanbul New Airport
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Accommodation

This 16-night tour will start at luxury hotels in Istanbul and along the coast of Urla, then stay at lodges and luxury wine hotels on the Thrace peninsula.

Program

Common international varietals include:

Cabarnet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabarnet Franc, Pinot Noir, Marselan, Malbec, Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Grenache, Mourvedre, Chardonnay, Vioginier, Rousanne, Marsanne, Semillion

Common local varietals include:

Bogazkere, Okuzgozu, Barburi, Kalecik Karasi, Papazkarasi, Karasakiz, Karalahna, Kuntra, Calkarasi, Bornova Misket, Sultaniye, Emir, Narince

This tour is perfect if you:

Have been to Turkey before and

  • Are looking to go deeper into the progressive exploding wine and culinary scene. Join us to combine archaeology with Turkey's ancient but very modern wineries.
  • Want to visit regions outside the normal tourist path including Thrace, the Wine Island of Bozcaada, the progressive Alacati Wine Peninsula and Ancient Bodrum.
  • Enjoy a mix of wine tastings, excellent meals, laid-back country estate hotels, beaches, and ancient sites, with time left for excellent spa treatments (Thrace tour) at some of the wineries.
  • Enjoy short distances, excellent hotels, lots of wine tastings with sommeliers, wine-related archaeological sites, amazing locations, and undiscovered wine varietals.

Are a wine and food aficionado who wants to

  • Tour with an Italian qualified Sommelier
  • Rediscover the ancient history of wine, lost over the last 100 years in Turkey and now experiencing a reawakening.
  • Learn about Turkey viticulture the fourth-largest producer of grapes, while not yet in the top 50 for wine production.
  • Learn about archaeological connections to wine in this ancient land.
  • Discover the unique grape varietals of Turkey, as well as their expressions of some of the Mediterranean’s beloved varietals.
  • Meet the interesting, fun, and diverse owners and winemakers of Turkey’s blossoming wine market in their vineyards and wineries.
  • Experience a very high-value winery tour.
  • Enjoy the agricultural and culinary abundance of Turkey

Upon arrival, you’ll explore Istanbul and its ancient monuments, from the mosques to the Roman-influenced architecture, and get an introduction to wine from local experts as well as your first Turkish wine tastings with your guide and Sommelier.

Next, you’ll fly to Izmir, and immediately after landing you'll visit an outstanding winery for lunch and tasting on the ancient road from Smyrna to Ephesus. You'll visit another winery this day that features the much acclaimed Bornova Misket, an explosive, flavorful white wine said to be the same as drunk by Homer in Smyrna 3000+ years ago.

While staying at a luxurious seaside resort on the Aegean, for the next few days you will explore the Urla Wine Route and the 15 wineries throughout this unique mountainous peninsula in the Aegean, where wine has grown for thousands of years.

After these days near Urla, and after a short stay in a small boutique winery hotel in the hills, the trip will continue south through Ephesus heading to the fantastic ancient city (now sea resort and marina) of Bodrum and the amazing castle museum focusing on ancient shipwrecks. A short one-hour flight back to Istanbul on day 9 ends the tour for those only touring the Urla region.

For those continuing on the full 16-day tour, after a night in Istanbul, you'll head to the ancient city of Adrianapolis, now Edirne, which is in Thrace. This area has a climate that is driven by the Marmara and Aegean Seas, which border the long Dardenelle Straights and makes a unique climate for red wines.

You'll cross the straights to visit one of the numerous islands, the wine island of Bozcaada. You'll visit its wineries, taste dozens of wines in Thrace, and have the chance to visit Troy, as well as some downtime for spa services at various top-class winery hotels. On the final day, you will return back to the heart of Thrace, with a final night near the airport before departure.

Itinerary

Day 1: Istanbul

Your guide and driver will greet you upon arrival at the airport. After hotel check-in joins a welcome dinner and orientation at Beyoglu Saraphanesi.

  • Hotel: JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus: Deluxe Partial Bosphorus Room

Day 2: Istanbul

Sultanahmet Old City tour, lunch, intro to Turkish wines, Spice Bazaar, evening free time.

  • Hotel: JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus: Deluxe Partial Bosphorus Room

Day 3: Urla

Fly to Izmir, lunch and wine tasting at Isa Bey / Sevilen, visit Nif Winery. Drive to Alacati, check-in followed by dinner.

  • Hotel: Biblos Resort Alacati: Comfort

Day 4: Urla

Visit Limantepe, Klazomenai and ship site. Lunch at Od Urla Restaurant and Urlice Winery. Sunset wine at HUS Winery and late dinner at Ikidenizarasi.

  • Hotel: Biblos Resort Alacati: Comfort

Day 5: Urla

Stroll through Alacati town and visit Kostem Olive Oil Museum. Lunch and wine tasting at Peridix, Visit URLA and USCA for wine tasting. Dinner and wine tasting at Cakir Winery.

  • Hotel: Biblos Resort Alacati: Comfort

Day 6: Urla

Check-out and stroll downtown Urla’s Art Street. Lunch at Hic Urla. Cooking class and olive oil tasting. Afternoon tasting at MMG Winery. Check-in and dinner at Ayda Winery Hotel.

  • Hotel: Ayda, Deluxe room

Day 7: Urla

Check-out and visit Lucien Arkas Museum and Key Museum. Lunch and wine tasting at Lucian Arkas Winery. Visit Ephesus and Museum. Check-in and dinner at Yedi Bilgeler Winery.

  • Hotel: Vinifera, Deluxe room

Day 8: Bodrum

Check-out and visit Miletus and Didim ancient sites. Drive on to Karnas for lunch, wine tasting, and cooking class. Arrive in Bodrum, check-in, and free evening.

  • Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Bodrum Marina Vista, Superior room

Day 9: Bodrum

Explore Bodrum Castle. Check-out and continue to Garova winery for Lunch. Flight to Istanbul. Check-in and then free evening.

  • Hotel: JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus: Superior

Day 10: Thrace

Check-out and drive from Istanbul to the Thrace region. Wine tasting at Chamlija or Gurbuz Winery. Lunch and tasting at Arda Vineyards, visit Synagogue, Edirne Museum, and Selimiye Mosque. Check-in and dinner with wine tasting at Bakucha Vineyard.

  • Hotel: Bakucha, Deluxe

Day 11: Thrace

Relax morning for optional spa treatments. Wine tasting at Saranta. Lunch and tasting at Vino Dessera. Walk through the Arcadia Winery. Dinner at Bakucha.

  • Hotel: Bakucha, Deluxe

Day 12: Thrace

Check-out and continue to Chateau Nuzun for wine tasting. Lunch and tasting at Barel Winery and Umurbey. Check-in at Barbare then dinner and evening tasting.

  • Hotel: Barbare Bağevi, Standard

Day 13: Thrace

Check-out and visit Ucmakdere Winery for tasting. Lunch and tasting at Melen or Gulor, and Gali Vineyard. Check-in and tour of Caeli Winery before dinner.

  • Hotel: Caeli, Deluxe

Day 14: Thrace

Relax morning for optional spa treatments. Check-out and visit Gallipoli Battlefields. Lunch and tasting at Suvla. Check-in to Bengodi, tasting at Etruscan. Dinner and wine tasting at Bengodi.

  • Hotel: Bengodi, Deluxe

Day 15: Bozcaada

Check-out and cross the Dardanelles to visit the Troy site and museum. Lunch in Ezine before the ferry to Bozcaada Island. Wine tasting at Corvus and Amadeus Wineries. Check-in and free evening to explore the harbor.

  • Hotel: Bozcaada Boutique

Day 16: Bozcaada

Check-out and free time to explore the island shops. Ferry and begin the return journey to Istanbul.

  • Hotel: Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul

Day 17: Istanbul, departure day

Transfer to the airport.

Location

This tour visits both Urla peninsula near Izmir with the Aegean sea on both sides and vineyards and villages in between. After traveling south through Ephesus and Bodrum the trip returns to Thrace peninsula home to one of Turkey's best wine regions.

Istanbul

The heartbeat of Turkey - an amazing cosmopolitan place. A must-see. Also, your starting place to meet the wide and varied wine culture of Turkey. See the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Bosphorous.

Urla

The warm peninsula is the heart of the Urla Wine Trail and 15+ modern wineries. The soil is light and sandy- and the hot summer is cooled by the breezes from the Aegean sea, both North and South of the area. Both Red and White wine grape varietals grow here - the dry warm summer and hilly, sandy soil make unique terriors for bold wines. Delightful villages such as Alacati and Urla are home to vineyards and stone houses.

Ephesus / Aegean

On the southernmost edge of the Aegean Once a mix of Greeks and Turks under the Ottoman rulers - it has been the center of viticulture since the Romans called it "Asia". This wide region gets lots of sun, wind and has mild winters - and a huge variety of grapes are grown here. The vineyards here benefit from close proximity to Izmir and its modern, educated, wine-drinking citizens. And some vineyards lay in the foothills of Ephesus.

Bodrum

The southern point where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean, the Archaeological Museum is a must-see for wine enthusiasts with an interest in archaeology. The 3000-year-old shipwrecks and amphora displayed there is evidence of the antiquity of this region's wine culture. This area also is home to ancient vineyards and wineries, with some appearing in the ancient literature, known for their excellent, abundant wines.

Thrace

The crossroads of Asia and Europe, this region west of Istanbul has mild summers and mild winters due to the influence of the Black Sea in the north, the Sea of Marmara in the south, and the Aegean Sea to the West. The region's climate and soil produce excellent wines especially red varieties, which some liken it to the Bordeaux region, but there are dozens of ancient Anatolian varietals with more unique local expressions. Troy and Edirne are major UNESCO sites here.

Bozcaada

Known locally as 'the wine island' the climate and conditions are nearly perfect for 8 or so wine varietals. Everything that gets planted on this island seems to find a beautiful wine expression. The wines here are often so good they don't require sophisticated, complex production techniques or barreling and allow the essence of the Island's excellent grapes to be fully experienced.

Food

Included in the price are all breakfasts, 12 winery lunches, 11 winery dinners, with 32 + wine tastings over 16 days.

Urla

  • 20 wine tastings (Urla) at local wineries
  • 6 gourmet lunches
  • 6 winery lunches
  • 5 dinners at wineries

Trakya

  • 25 wine tastings at local wineries
  • 12 wine-related historical / archaeological sites
  • 6 winery lunches
  • 6 dinners at wineries

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Shopping in Istanbul on your own, at your leisure.

Spa treatments

Four of the luxury hotels will have time and availability for spa treatments, inquire with Sojourn Tourism to pre-book.

What's included

  • 16 nights in luxury accommodations: JW Marriott Istanbul, Hilton Hagia Sophia Mansions and Hilton Bodrum, Boutique Vineyard Hotels, Biblios Seaside Resort
  • Meals: all breakfasts, 12 winery lunches, 11 winery dinners
  • 32 + wine tastings over 16 days
  • Archaeological Site Admissions including:
  • Ephesus
  • Ancient City of Troy
  • The Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Underground Cisterns
  • Limantepe and Ancient Klazomenai
  • Alacati and Urla Stone / Old Greek Villages
  • Arkas Museum
  • Priene, Miletus Harbor, Oracle at Didyma
  • Karnas and Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum
  • Edirne Museum, Synagogue, and Mosque
  • Tekridag Museum
  • Gallipoli Battlefields
  • Services of a private licensed professional English speaking guide and Italian trained Sommelier
  • Airport transfers with private drivers in luxury travel vehicles
  • All transportation with private drivers in luxury travel vehicles
  • Domestic flights: Istanbul-Izmir, Bodrum-Istanbul
  • Parking, portage, tipping (except guide and driver), toll road
  • Coordination and attentive customer service throughout the tour by Sojourn staff
  • Required Association of Turkish Travel Agencies Foreign Visitors Insurance (a basic mandatory policy and not an adequate replacement for purchasing your own travel insurance)

What's not included

  • International flight tickets and international air and departure taxes
  • Additional beverages at lunch not already included in wine tastings
  • Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry, room extras, and personal items
  • Entry visas
  • Optional programs listed in the itinerary

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) or Istanbul New Airport (ISL). Airport transfer is included in the price. All passengers will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to the hotel.

Airport: Istanbul Atatürk Airport Airport transfer included: Istanbul Atatürk Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Istanbul New Airport Airport transfer included: Istanbul New Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
17 days / 16 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 5 participants

Availability

Arrival: Saturday September 24, 2022
Departure: Monday October 10, 2022

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