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Turkey Cultural Culinary Holiday

Welcome to Turkey! If you've been looking for a memorable destination with rich history, spectacular landscapes, history, culture, great beaches, special culinary lessons, belly dancing and folklore class, ceramics lesson, leather, and textiles that you will see including carpets, kilims, clothing, and homewares such as pillow covers, then you must come to Turkey!

Highlights

  • Guided Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Cappadocia tours
  • Istanbul Bosphorus cruise and Antalya Duden Waterfalls tour
  • Acropolis of Pergamon and Pamukkale and Hierapolis guided tours
  • 1 ceramics lesson, 4 cooking classes, and 1 textile and fruit wine tasting
  • Visit the Grand Spice Bazaar and chat with gourmet experts in Turkish cuisine
  • 13 breakfasts, 1 welcome dinner, 2 lunches, and 9 dinners will be served
  • There will be professional English-speaking tour guides
  • 13 nights accommodation

Styles


13 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Turkish
Group size: 6-40 participants
Airport transfer included: Istanbul Atatürk Airport
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Accommodation

TravelShopTurkey uses mostly four-star, five-star, or boutique hotels for your convenience and comfort. For example, in Istanbul and other regions, they have four or five-star hotels wherein Cappadocia and such areas, TravelShopTurkey uses classy cave resorts. On guaranteed tours, they declare the accommodation venues but it may differ for private ones within the same category, with good reviews.

Hotel list

  • Istanbul - Silver package: Pullman Hotel and Ramada Golden Horn | Gold package: The Marmara Pera Hotel
  • Canakkale - Silver package: 4-star Troia Tusan Hotel | Gold package: 4-star Troia Tusan Hotel
  • Kusadasi - Silver package: 4-star Comfort Ada Class Hotel | Gold package: 5-star Suhan 360 Hotel
  • Pamukkale - Silver package: 5-star Pam Thermal Hotel | Gold package: 5-star Pam Thermal Hotel
  • Antalya - Silver package: 4-star Best Western Khan Hotel | Gold package: 5-star Porto Bello Hotel (all Inclusive)
  • Cappadocia - Silver package: Antique Cave House Hotel or 5-star Suhan Hotel | Gold package: Cappadocia Cave Resort and Spa or Wyndham Hotel Kayseri or Gamirasu Cave Hotel

If this hotel list is not available at the time of your booking then TravelShopTurkey will arrange similar other hotels for your group. If you prefer a different category hotel, there might be an additional cost. For more information, please send an inquiry.

Program

Day 1: Istanbul - Arrival day - Welcome dinner

Welcome to Turkey, arrive in Istanbul. Transfer from the airport and check in to your hotel. You will be offered a welcome drink and a chat with gourmet experts in Turkish cuisine. Tonight, you will have a welcome dinner, be introduced to the friendly crew and other travelers while enjoying traditional Turkish food, and enjoy the mystical atmosphere of Istanbul at night. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 2: Istanbul city tour - Turkish cooking lesson in Istanbul

After a morning orientation, sightseeing tour of Istanbul, you'll participate in your first Turkish cooking lesson. During your Istanbul cooking tour, you will taste various flavors of Turkey from different regions, preparing lunch which you will enjoy!

After lunch, visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle, and enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.

You will also visit Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque, across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, it is known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles. Hippodrome, ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine. Overnight in Istanbul.

Day 3: Istanbul city tour - Belly dancing and folklore class

Pick up at 8:30 a.m. from your hotel for the daily tour of old Istanbul city. Visit St. Sophia; this ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time. Visit the Grand Spice Bazaar which is a unique atmosphere with reasonable prices for your shopping on many Exotic Spices and Herbs, Turkish Baklava, Turkish Delights, Turkish Coffee, nuts and fruits, small souvenirs such as ceramic handicrafts, Evil Eyes totems, all-natural olive oil, soaps, and many other goods in souvenir shops and stores.

After the tour, return to the hotel for a rest. In the evening, depart for your belly dancing and folklore classes. This will be a very memorable class, learning belly dancing techniques and folkloric dance. You will learn the special moves and how to get the attention of the audience. Have dinner at the restaurant and overnight in Istanbul.

Day 4: Gallipoli tour - Cooking lesson in Canakkale

At 6:30 a.m., depart for Gallipoli to visit the battlefields. Two hours later, you will be given 20 minutes to relax in a restaurant area. Arrive at Gallipoli around 12 noon and have a lunch break, relax a little bit, and then depart for the battlefields. Visit Gabatepe Museum. Start visiting the fields with Ariburnu Cemetery and Anzac Cove because these are the places where the war had started.

Then the Beach Cemetery, Shrapnel Valley, and Plugges Plateau. After the tour, drive to your hotel. Today, you will taste the delicious cuisines of Western Turkey. The area is famous for “pide” and “lahmacun” with cheese and vegetables. Have dinner and overnight in Canakkale. 

Day 5: Troy tour - Pergamon tour - Kusadasi

Depart at 8:30 a.m. and drive for 30 minutes to Troy. Visit the famous archeological and mythological site of Troy, home of the Trojan Horse and Helen of Troy. After the Troy tour, have a three-hour drive to Pergamon. Have a lunch break at around 1 p.m. and after, depart for the tour of the magnificent acropolis of Pergamon. Its impressive temples and library made it a renowned cultural and political center at that time. %Pergamon is a famous city for its jewelry, stones, and silver. So on the way, visit a jewelry center for 30 minutes. Arrive at Kusadasi around 6 p.m. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. 

Day 6: Kusadasi - Ephesus tour

A fully guided Ephesus tour starts at 8:30 a.m., one of the best-preserved ancient ruins in the world. A visit to Ephesus, once the commercial center of the ancient world, is a highlight of any visit to Turkey. The city, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis.

Her enormous temple, once considered as one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and rebuilt several times, dates in its latest form from the third century B.C. The tour of the ruins also includes a theater, gymnasium, agora, and baths, as well as the Library of Celsus and the final abode of the Virgin Mary where she spent her last years.

On the way to the hotel, visit a place that continues to perform one of the oldest arts of Turkey, a carpet weaving center. Have dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 7: Tour of Village Sirince - Textiles and fruit wine tasting

After breakfast at 8:30 a.m., depart for Sirince Village. Visit the beautiful village of Sirince and the ruins of 42 churches, the suggested birthplace of the Virgin Mary. Today, go to Sirince Village to see locals making handmade textiles. The textiles that you will see include carpets, kilims, clothing, and homewares such as pillow covers.

You will see firsthand the ancient techniques used by the Turkish women to make these intricate styles and patterns that are famous to Turkey and the local region. Sirince is also very famous for its many different varieties of fruit wine. You will have a chance to enjoy some of these wines at the local wineries. Have dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.

Day 8: Kusadasi - Pamukkale tour

At 8 a.m., depart for Pamukkale. Check-in at the hotel around 12 noon and have a lunch break until 1:30 p.m. Afterward, visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale (cotton castle) and the ruins of Hierapolis, then walk around this natural phenomenon and have the option of lying in the waters of the natural springs. Have dinner and overnight in Pamukkale.

Day 9: Pamukkale - Antalya

Today, travel from Pamukkale to Antalya. You will also have one break on the way after 2.5 hours. Only five hours drive to Antalya. Have dinner and overnight in Antalya.

Day 10: Antalya Duden waterfalls - Cooking lesson

After breakfast, visit the Duden Waterfalls. The Duden Waterfalls makes a pleasant side trip from Antalya and its surrounding gardens are a popular picnic spot with locals. The Duden River extends from the Taurus Mountains all the way to the Mediterranean and creates two cascades known as the Upper and Lower Duden Waterfalls. Today, taste the Mediterranean flavors, the Mediterranean kitchen is famous for its salads and mezze. Have dinner and overnight in Antalya.

Day 11: Antalya - Cappadocia (By flight)

After breakfast, at 12 noon, check out and enjoy your free time till departure. Then, depart for Antalya Airport for your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Transfer from Kayseri Airport to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Cappadocia. Have dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 12: Cooking lesson and Cappadocia tour

After having had breakfast, participants will take part in another cooking lesson in Cappadocia. You will have the opportunity to taste the great food of Central Turkey, including pancakes and tasting kebabs. In the afternoon, visit Goreme Open Air Museum, the Heart of Cappadocia. Goreme Open Air Museum is famous for frescoes dating to the 10th century describing the life of Jesus Christ and monks.

The next stop is Cavusin, which is an abandoned village with old cave Greek houses, visit a pottery workshop to see how to make potteries. Then you'll go to Pasabagi where you can see three-headed fairy chimneys. Have dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 13: Ceramics lesson and Cappadocia tour

After breakfast, depart for your ceramics class. You will be assisted by professional ceramic artists to make your own ceramic piece that you will take home as a memory and souvenir of your trip to Turkey. Ceramic art is the most famous artwork coming from the Cappadocia region.

In the afternoon participants will enjoy a guided tour through the spectacular sight of Cappadocia; Derinkuyu Underground City, where dwelling was started during the Hittites (2000 BC) and became a big shelter for 12 different nations. Have dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.

Day 14: Cappadocia to Istanbul - End of tour

After breakfast, you will have free time for shopping in Cappadocia. Then, depart for Kayseri Airport for the domestic flight to Istanbul and then back home. TravelShopTurkey hopes your tour was a memorable one and they would like to see you in the future in one of their tours again. Have a nice trip back home and thanks for choosing TravelShop Turkey.

Tour guide

All of the tours include professional and knowledgeable tour guides. The guides have all the information that may be requested by yourself whether historically, culturally, or locally with very good English spoken. Although regular tours will have an English-speaking guide, for private tour options, you will have multi-lingual professional tour guides available as you may need.

Location

Enjoy first-class service and guided transportation through the historical and picturesque sites of Istanbul, battlefields of Gallipoli, the Trojan Horse of Troy; Pergamon offers one of the Seven Churches of St. John from the Bible before reaching the ancient city of Ephesus, the white calcium hot pools of Pamukkale, beautiful views of the Mediterranean coast in Antalya, and the underground cities of Cappadocia.

Distances

  • Istanbul to Gallipoli - 4 hours, 297 kilometers/185miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Canakkale to Troy - 40 minutes, 31 kilometers/20 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Troy to Pergamon - 3, 194 kilometers/121 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Pergamon to Kusadasi - 3, 195 kilometers/122 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Kusadasi to Ephesus - 20 minutes, 18 kilometers/12 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Kusadasi to Pamukkale - 2 hours and 40 minutes, 185 kilometers/115 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Pamukkale to Antalya - 3 hours and 30 minutes, 240 kilometers/150 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Antalya - Kayseri (By Plane) - 1 hour, 546 kilometers/340 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)
  • Kayseri Airport - Cappadocia - 1 hour, 75 kilometers/47 miles
  • Cappadocia - Istanbul (By Plane) - 1 hour and 10 minutes, 730 kilometers/479 miles (Tour start time: 08:30 | Tour end time: 17:00)

Food

13 open buffet breakfasts, one welcome dinner, two local lunches, and 10 dinners, as well as one wine tasting, are included in the package price. Dinners are usually served in the hotels on a half-board category. Lunches will be served in restaurants on the destination route. Meals are mostly served as a set menu or open buffet style. If you have meal preferences or special diet requirements, please inform TravelShopTurkey beforehand for necessary arrangements during your tour confirmation.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

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

  • Other dietary requirements on request
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)

Museum

On the tour routes, TravelShopTurkey includes all the “must-see” museums and sight-seeing venues in the itinerary. This service is included within the tour price. Some museums have different operation days and times but you will have similar sites to fill in for them.

Shopping

Turkey is a great destination for shopping opportunities especially Turkish rugs/carpets, jewelry, leather, textile, ceramics, and many other hand-made artifacts. During the tours, TravelShopTurkey recommends some of the reliable and reasonable shopping venues to be visited. The shopping stops consist of trustworthy, guaranteed vendors. The guide will direct you to such stores during the tours. You may get informed by the guide in regards to shopping matters while on the tour. Some of the shopping venues may apply a group discount that you may want to take advantage of.

Optional tours

Most of the major sightseeing and museums are included within the tour prices. However, some of the activities and excursions that are not favored by everyone are not included, such as hot-air ballooning, paragliding, dinner cruise, Turkish night dhows, Whirling Dervishes ceremony, and Turkish bath visits, these may be extra upon requests.

The prices for such exclusions are available upon request. TravelShopTurkey recommends that you book before the booking of your tour to make sure of the availability. You may not find space for some of these activities at the last minute or once you have arrived.

Other activities

Istanbul

  • 1001 nights dinner show: 45 EUR per person
  • Bosphorus dinner cruise: 45 EUR per person
  • Indian dinner at a restaurant: 15 EUR per person

Cappadocia

  • Daily Turkish night show: 35 EUR per person
  • Daily Whirling Dervishes: 35 EUR per person
  • Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia: 160 EUR per person
  • Indian Dinner at Bollywood restaurant: 25 EUR per person

Kusadasi

  • Daily Turkish bath in Kusadasi: 40 EUR per person
  • Ephesus skydiving: 180 EUR per person
  • Indian dinner at the hotel by catering: 25 EUR per person

Pamukkale

  • Hot-air ballooning in Pamukkale: 140 EUR

What's included

  • 1 Turkish cooking lesson Istanbul
  • 1 cooking lesson in Canakkale
  • 1 cooking lesson in Antalya
  • 1 cooking lesson in Cappadocia
  • 1 belly dancing and folklore class
  • 1 textiles and fruit wine tasting
  • 1 ceramics lesson
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • 13 nights accommodation (3 nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul, 1 night hotel accommodation in Canakkale, 3 nights hotel accommodation in Kusadasi, 1 night hotel accommodation in Pamukkale, 2 nights hotel accommodation in Antalya, and 3 nights hotel accommodation in Cappadocia)
  • Guided Istanbul City tour
  • Guided Istanbul Bosphorus cruise
  • Guided Gallipoli tour
  • Guided Troy tour
  • Guided Acropolis of Pergamon tour
  • Guided Ephesus tour
  • Guided Pamukkale and Hierapolis tour
  • Guided Antalya Duden waterfalls tour
  • Guided Cappadocia tour with Goreme Air Museum
  • 13 open buffet breakfasts
  • 1 welcome dinner
  • 10 dinners
  • 2 local lunches
  • Professional English-speaking tour guides
  • Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
  • Roundtrip Istanbul Airport transfers
  • Hotel room taxes (8%)

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Antalya to Cappadocia to Istanbul domestic flights (The domestic flight price for adult travelers is approximately 50 EUR for one way and for under 2 years old, approximately 20 EUR as an insurance policy)
  • City tax
  • Insurance: All types
  • Tipping: Tips for guides and drivers
  • Turkey entry visa
  • Items of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, cold drinks, laundry, etc.
  • Any other expenses which are not mentioned in the included section

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

TravelShopTurkey will provide your airport transfers for arrival and returns. Please, provide the flight details when purchasing the tour for proper arrangements with flight code, destination, date, and arrival timing. The airport officer will be present to welcome you after you pass the customs, luggage claim, and greet you with a name board outside the gates.

  • Domestic flights

Many of the tours include domestic flights. These flights have a limitation of 15 to 20 kilograms of luggage with eight kilograms of in-cabin weight, depending on the airlines. Please abide by these in-flight regulations. You should be present at the airport an hour prior to flight times.

TravelShopTurkey reserves and books your flight tickets a week before the travel dates with the names provided by yourselves. If there is a typo or a lettering mistake on the names, the company holds no responsibility for any inconvenience that may be experienced so it is best to have a copy of the passport provided to your representative.

Coach transfers

The vehicles differ in line with group sizes. For 8 pax, they have Mercedes Vito, over 14 pax, they provide Sprinter, for over 29 pax, they have midibuses, and finally, for up to 45 pax, they have coaches available. Taking into consideration of guests’ luggage, they make an arrangement as below:

  • For 8 pax van: Maximum 5 persons
  • For 14 pax van: Maximum 10 persons
  • For 29 pax van: Maximum 24 persons
  • For 45 pax Coach: Maximum 40 persons

The vehicles are fully equipped with A/C, refrigeration, clean, comfortable, and brand new or latest models. For long bus rides, you will have regular breaks in rest points on highways for a quick coffee and food, restroom breaks, and such necessities.

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

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
14 days / 13 nights
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Special discounts

If there are more than five travelers, TravelShopTurkey can provide a special discounted price. Please send an inquiry for requests and more information. They also have special rates for private tours if you are interested in doing your tour on a private basis.

Pricing information
  • Under 2 years of age, your child will travel free of charge by land. Flight ticket insurance cost will be 20 EUR only.
  • 3 - 6 years of age are charged at 50% of a full-priced adult
  • 7-11 years of age are charged at 75% of a full-priced adult
  • Children above 11 years are charged the full priced-adult fare
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 6 participants

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