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8 Days Wonderful Turkey Culinary Holiday

  • Ramada Golden Horn Hotel, Istanbul - Charisma Hotel, Kusadasi - Luxury Gamirasu Cave Hotel, Cappadocia

Culinary Tours Turkey

Join an exquisite tour specially designed to show you the best Turkey has to offer. During this holiday, you will not have to endure long bus rides, as there will be domestic flights to get you to your destinations comfortable and relaxed. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Turkish culture and discover the extraordinary flavors of the region through its food and wines.

Highlights

  • Embark on a Bosphorus Cruise tour
  • Visit a famous leather production center
  • Visit a wine shop in Urgup for a wine tasting
  • Tour local vineyards and learn how to make fruit wine
  • Visits to historical and picturesque sites of Turkey
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • Delicious meals served daily
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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These are the suggested hotels for this trip. All hotels are four or five stars. In case one of them is not available at the time of booking, a similar hotel will be arranged for the group. A different category hotel can also be arranged, but there might be an additional cost.

Charisma Hotel, Kusadasi

The five-stars Charisma Hotel has 116 standard rooms, six connected rooms, seven family rooms, two suites, one king suite, and one suite deluxe. The rooms offer direct-dial telephone, hair dryer, Jacuzzi, fire alarm, mini-bar, wake up service, safety box, balcony, 24-hour room service, LCD television, satellite television, wireless internet, and split air conditioning. Rooms with sea views are available.

The hotel features two meeting rooms with a total capacity of 350 persons. Meeting rooms include wireless network, wireless microphone, table microphone, illumination system, DVD player, stage, lectern, projection screen, Barco vision, flip chart, writing board, fax, air conditioning, and laser pointer.

Services such as medical room, babysitting, wake-up service, secretarial services for businessmen, internet, market, dry cleaning, laundry service, power generator, and parking lot are available. An outdoor swimming pool with a children section, an indoor swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, massage, Jacuzzi, healing center, beauty salon, and mini club can also be found.

The hotel offers many activities to choose from, such as table tennis and billiards. Water sports can also be practiced, including windsurfing, canoeing, water skiing, parasailing, pedal boating, jet skiing, and banana riding. If you want to learn how to dive, there is a school nearby.

Luxury Gamirasu Cave Hotel, Cappadocia

Garimasu Cave Hotel offers 18 rooms, which can be classified as one king suite, two honeymoon suites, two suites, two connected rooms, 14 non-smoking rooms, and eight standard rooms. All rooms have a phone, shower, private bathroom, music, hair dryer, central heating, and Jacuzzis in the suites.

There are valley and garden views available. To ensure your comfort, the following services and facilities are offered: room service, balloon tours, outdoor parking without fee, hairdresser, garden, internet, laundry, ironing, and doctor on call. Animals are allowed.

Ramada Golden Horn Hotel, Istanbul

Ramada Hotel and Suites Istanbul Golden Horn is located in Beyoglu, near Golden Horn, in the center of Istanbul. The hotel is close to Halic Congress Center, Miniaturk, Musiad headquarters, Istanbul Trade University, Halic University, Koc Museum, Vialand Theme Park, and Bilgi University. It is 10 minutes away from many places of interest, such as Historic Feshane, Taksim, Besiktas, and Levent.

All of the rooms are decorated with the latest technology and comfort to simplify your journey. Equipped with a shower, private bathrooms include a hairdryer, bathrobes, and bathroom amenities. The hotel also has meeting halls, a ball hall, a spa center, a vitamin bar, laundry and dry cleaning service, doctor on call, babysitting service, and transfer and car services on request.

Day 1: Sunday - Arrival in Istanbul

Today, you will be met at the airport and be transferred to your hotel. After receiving the key to your room, you will be free to explore Istanbul. You will spend the night in Istanbul. Today, dinner is included.

Day 2: Monday - Istanbul City tour

Today, you will be picked up at 08:30 at the hotel for a day tour of the old Istanbul City. You will visit Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries, which houses an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain. You will also find robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle, and relics of the Prophet Mohammed.

You will also visit Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque, located across Saint Sophia and 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. The Ancient Hippodrome is also part of your tour. Here, you will enjoy the scene of chariot races, the three monuments, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.

Lunch break will be at 13:00. Later, Murtis Tour will take you to the Grand Covered Bazaar. In this labyrinth of streets and passages, are more than 4,000 shops with each trade having its own area. You will find the goldsmiths' street, the carpet sellers, and Turkish arts and crafts, such as hand painted ceramic plates, hand-honed copper ware, brassware and trays, water ewers, onyx-ware, and meerschaum pipes. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 3: Tuesday - Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise, Istanbul to Izmir, and Kusadasi

After breakfast, depart for a Bosphorus cruise tour. Bosphorus by boat is a traditional excursion along the waterway separating Europe and Asia. Enjoy a magical Istanbul Bosphorus boat cruise and spice market tour starting at 08:30. Enjoy the array of sites you can see from the boat, including the Egyptian spice bazaar.

There will be a lunch break at a Turkish restaurant and, after lunch, you will depart for Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) for a domestic flight to Izmir. Then, you will transfer from the airport to your hotel in Kusadasi and check in. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 4: Wednesday - Kusadasi, Ephesus tour, and visit to Sirince

Your day will begin at 08:30, when you will depart for a guided tour of Ephesus, one of the best-preserved ancient sites in the world. On your way, you will visit the Temple of Artemis, Curetes Street, the famous Roman baths, Celsus Library, the Grand Theater, and the house of the Virgin Mary. There will be a lunch break at around 13:00.

After lunch, you will visit a place which continues to perform one of the oldest arts of Turkey: a carpet weaving center. You will also do a Turkish village tour. Sirince's construction style belongs to Anatolian Greeks. The houses on the slope are all original with their white walls. Sirince Village also has a fantastic reputation for making some of the best wines in Turkey, especially fruit wines.

You will visit the vineyards and learn how to make fruit wine with Turkish winemakers. In the evening, your knowledge of making fruit wine will be tested.

Today, you will also visit one of the famous leather production centers of the region and have the opportunity to get a good factory rate. On this guided tour, you will avoid the constant nagging and bullying that is well-known in the Turkish markets, enabling you to enjoy the shopping experience while you learn. After the tours, you will go back to Kusadasi, where you will spend the night. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 5: Thursday - Kusadasi, Pamukkale tour

At 08:30, you will depart for Pamukkale. You will check into the hotel around 12:00 and have a lunch break until 13:30. Afterwards, you will visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale (cotton castle) and the ruins of Hierapolis. Then, you will walk around this natural phenomenon and have the option of lying in the waters of the natural springs. You will spend the night in Pamukkale. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 6: Friday - Cappadocia.

After breakfast, you will depart for Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) for your domestic flight to Cappadocia. Transfer from Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore Cappadocia. You will spend the night in Cappadocia. Today, breakfast and dinner are included.

Day 7: Saturday - Cappadocia tour

You will be picked up approximately 09:30 and taken to Derinkuyu Underground City, one of the best preserved and deepest underground cities in Cappadocia. Derinkuyu Underground City is 55 meters deep and eight levels are open to visitors. Then, you will visit Uchisar Castle, the highest point of Cappadocia.

After Uchisar, you will visit Goreme Open Air Museum, the heart of Cappadocia. Goreme Open Air Museum is famous for frescoes dating back to the 10th century, describing the life of Jesus Christ and the monks. The next stop is Cavusin, an abandoned village with old, Greek cave houses.

After Cavusin, you will have lunch in a restaurant in Avanos. Then, you will visit a pottery workshop to see how to potteries are made, and Pasabagi, where you will see the three-headed, fairy chimneys. After Pasabagi, you will visit another workshop to see Cappadocian handwoven carpets and kilims.

The next stop is Devrent Valley, also called the Imagination Valley, where you can see natural rock formations that look like animals. Then, you will head to a wine shop in Urgup for a wine tasting. The last stop is Three Beauties, three beautiful fairy chimneys with their hats, the symbol of Cappadocia. This tour will end approximately at 18:00 and you will go back to Cappadocia to spend the night. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 8: Sunday - Cappadocia to Istanbul and departure

After breakfast, you will have free time shopping in Cappadocia. Today, you will depart for Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) for your domestic flight to Istanbul and then back to home. Today, dinner is included.

  • Bosphorus cruise tour
  • Discover some of Istambul's historical and picturesque sites
  • Explore Derinkuyu Underground City
  • Guided tour of Ephesus
  • Guided tour of Istanbul
  • See natural rock formations in Devrent Valley
  • Tour of a famous leather production center
  • Tour of Sirince
  • Tour the Ancient Hippodrome
  • Visit a carpet weaving center
  • Visit a jewelry center
  • Visit a pottery workshop
  • Visit a workshop to see Cappadocian handwoven carpets and kilims
  • Visit Cavusin
  • Visit Celsus Library, the Grand Theater, and the house of the Virgin Mary
  • Visit Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Visit Pasabagi
  • Visit Sirince Village and vineyards with wine tasting
  • Visit Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque
  • Visit the calcium terraces of Pamukkale and the ruins of Hierapolis
  • Visit the Grand Covered Bazaar
  • Visit the Temple of Artemis, Curetes Street, and the famous Roman baths
  • Visit Topkapi Palace
  • Visit Uchisar Castle
  • Visit wine shop in Urgup for a wine tasting

The lands of Turkey are located at the point where Asia, Africa, and Europe are closest to each other and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet. Geographically, it is located in the northern hemisphere, at a point that is about halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

Because of its geographical location, the mainland of Anatolia has always found favor throughout history and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.

Turkey is generally divided into seven regions: the Black Sea, the Marmara, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, East Anatolia, and Southeast Anatolia. It is surrounded by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea. In the northwest, there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara. Between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, there are important waterways that connect the Black Sea with the rest of the world.

Cappadocia

Three million years ago, violent volcano eruptions covered the surrounding plateau with a deep layer of solidified mud, ash, and lava. The winds, rivers, and rains eroded this soft volcanic rock into hundreds of strangely shaped pillars, cones, and fairy chimneys, creating a vast outdoor museum of stone sculptures in an incredible variety of shapes, layers, textures, and colors. Cappadocia is famous for its rock-cut churches and underground cities.

Ephesus

According to ancient inscriptions, Ephesus is thought to have been inhabited since around 3,000 BC, roughly at the same time as Smyrna. Evidence of Ion, Roman, Byzantine, Seljukian, and Ottoman civilizations are still seen today. The ancient city was a good center for trading, mainly because of its location close to coast and religion.

Istanbul

Istanbul is known as the pearl of the East and the jewel of the West. Historically and geographically, this great city has the weight of a nation behind it and a country that still claims several of the wonders of the world. Every street corner has a story, every building has a past. Istanbul is an amalgamation of east and west and the division between the two. It is the starting point for tourism in Turkey and the crossing point from Europe to Asia.

Kusadasi

Kusadasi is reputed as one of the most attractive cities of the Aegean, as it is close to important historical sites, including Ephesus, Didyma, Priene, and Miletos, the main centers of ancient times. Apart from the great historical beauties around Kusadasi, the city also preserves excellent examples of Ottoman and Turkish mosques, such as the Fortress Mosque, the Hanim Mosque, Haji Ibrahim Mosque, the Turkmen Mosque, and the Camiatik Mosque.

Pamukkale

The terraces of Pamukkale are composed of layers of accumulated limestone sediment. For thousands of years, an underground spring on the hills above has been pouring out streams of hot, mineral-saturated water. As it flows down the mountainside, its rich mineral content coats them in a smooth layer of white calcareous rock. Since these white slopes resemble castles when observed from the plain, the area is called Pamukkale, which means cotton castle in Turkish.

During this holiday, three daily meals are included. Each region of Turkey has its own distinct taste and you will get to try local dishes that will allow you to see for yourself why this cuisine has gained a world wide reputation. Your breakfasts will be open buffets and you will also enjoy wine tastings in Urgup and Sirince, where you will also learn how to make Turkish fruit wine.

Charisma Hotel has one restaurant, where you will find a patisserie, snack bar, a la carte restaurant, lobby bar, pool bar, beach bar, and restaurant bar. Turkish, international, and seafood cuisine are served.

Garimasu Cave Hotel offers breakfast lounge, restaurant bar, a la carte restaurant, indoor restaurant, and outdoor restaurant. Both the indoor and outdoor restaurant have a capacity of 35 persons. Ottoman, Turkish, and vegetarian cuisine are served.

Special dietary requirements can be catered for. This includes vegetarian, diabetic, children menus, and dairy-free options. For meal requests, please send an inquiry to TravelShopTurkey at least two weeks before your tour start date.

1001 Nights dinner show

Drive through illuminated Istanbul and tour the Bosphorus coastline. During this experience, dinner will be served at a first class restaurant with a bottle of wine or a soft drink.

You will watch a spectacular floorshow, famous belly dancers, and typical Anatolian Folklore groups featuring popular musical instruments and a Turkish singer.

Being in an Oriental atmosphere, enjoy the Kanun, a typical musical instrument and discover the delights of a typical Fasil orchestra. Then, experience the flavour of words and customs of Turkish folklore and belly dancing. Have Turkish coffee in a Turkish home furnished with lacework all around and, as a finale, enjoy a nostalgic journey into the very heart of entertainment. This dinner show costs 35 EUR per person.

Bosphorus dinner cruise

Join a luxurious night out in Istanbul. Enjoy delicious gourmet foods while you dance with the panoramic view of the Bosphorus, which separates Europe and Asia. As you dine, you will see historical places like Dolmabahce Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Ortakoy, Rumeli Forthress, Fatih Bridge, Beylerbeyi Palace Maiden's Tower, and Istanbul's famous night clubs.

No other Istanbul experience can match this unique romantic ambiance. A combination of fresh food with unparalleled views of Istanbul and live entertainment will create an unforgettable experience. After dinner, you can enjoy the entertaining music provided by a professional DJ and the traditional show, or simply relax with a drink and enjoy the view. The Bosphorus dinner cruise costs 40 EUR per person.

Daily Turkish night show

The Turkish Night Show is organized, not only to let you experience Turkish culture and traditions, but also to have a real entertainment and show after a relaxing Cappadocia day.

You will be picked up from your hotel in Goreme or other towns of Cappadocia at 20:00 in winter and 20:30 in summer and be driven to one of the cave restaurants of Cappadocia, where the show will be performed.

The show begins with a short, 10-minute version of Whirling Dervishes Ceremony, which will give you an idea about how it is. During the whole night, there will be live music performed by a band wearing traditional costumes. After the dervishes, folk dancers come in their local dresses and the dances start.

The dancers, including the bride and groom, come on the dance floor and perform the traditional way in which a girl gets married in Turkey. The bride, dressed in a beautiful red dress, dances in the middle and the groom comes up and puts on different shows for her.

He first shows how handsome he is, then how strong he is, and finally how rich he is. After rejecting all these shows one by one, the bride accepts to get married with him when the groom tells that his heart beats for her. While they are performing their wedding dance, all the guests are invited to dance with them.

After a couple of other folk dances from different parts of Turkey, the highlight of the night comes: a belly dancer. She will perform her breathtaking dance and then go around all the tables to take one man from each table. The men have a great time while they are learning the secrets of belly dancing with some basic figures.

After some other dances and shows, like a fire dance, a caucasian dance with knives and drum show, the night ends at around 23:30 and you will be driven back to your hotel for a deep sleep.

During the Turkish night show, the waiters will serve unlimited soft and alcoholic drinks with appetizers. The main course will be lamb with rice, the traditional wedding meal of Turkey. This show costs 30 EUR per person.

Daily Whirling Dervishes show in Cappadocia

Sema (Whirling dervishes ceremony), is the inspiration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, as well as part of the Turkish culture, belief, and history in Konya. It symbolizes the different meanings of a mystic cycle to perfection.

Contemporary science definitely confirms that the fundamental condition of our existence is to revolve. There is no object, no being which does not revolve. Everything whirls and man, a whirling dervish, carries on his life, his very existence by means of the revolution in the atoms, structural elements in his body, by the circulation of his blood, by his coming from the earth and return to it, by his revolving with the earth itself.

The Sema ceremony represents a mystical journey of man's spiritual ascent through love, finding the truth and arriving to the perfect. Then, he returns from this spiritual journeys as a man who reached maturity and a greater perfection, so as to love and to be of service to the whole creation, to all creatures, without discriminating in regard to belief, class, or race.

The dervish with his hat (his ego's tombstone), and his white skirt (his ego's shroud) is spiritually born to the truth. When he removes his black cloak, he journeys and advances to the spiritual maturity through the stages of the Sema. At the beginning and each stage of the Sema, holding his arms crosswise, he represents number one and testifies to God's unity.

While whirling, his arms are open; his right hand directed to the sky ready to receive God's beneficence and his left hand turned toward the earth for giving what he received to poor. He turns from right to left, pivoting around the heart, this is his way of conveying God's spiritual gift to the people upon whom God looks with a Divine watchfulness. Revolving around the heart, from right to left, he embraces all of humankind, all the creation, with affection and love. This show costs 30 EUR per person.

Ephesus skydiving

Tandem skydiving is an incredibly easy, safe, and enjoyable way to experience the excitement of skydiving without having to learn it. Jump above the ancient city of Ephesus and enjoy 35 to 40 seconds of free fall from a 3000-meter or 10,000-feet altitude, accompanied by a professional skydiving instructor. This experience is available all year around and beach landings are available upon request. This activity has a cost of 180 EUR per person. Video can be taken for 50 EUR extra.

Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is known around the world as one of the best places to fly with hot air balloons. The spectacular surrealistic landscapes combined with excellent flying conditions allow the balloons to gently drift over and between fairy chimneys, pigeon houses hewn into the unique rock formations, orchards, and vineyards, through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations, colors, and features, and then float up over rippled ravines for breathtaking views over the region.

Three different types of balloon flights, according to flight duration and services, are offered in Cappadocia. The short balloon tour offers a minimum one hour flight time in the air. You will be collected from your hotel early in the morning, usually before sunrise, and be driven to the take-off site.

While you are having a light breakfast, you will watch the inflation of the balloon and get a passenger briefing explaining basic rules and safety measures for the balloon flight. Then, it is time to climb into the basket. The take off is gentle and you will be taking hundreds of pictures over the valleys of Cappadocia.

After the flight lands, there is a small celebration with champagne and you will receive your flight certificate. You will be driven back to your hotel around 08:30, just in time for breakfast, going on a daily tour, or a nap. The short balloon flight is 149 EUR in the summer and 129 EUR in the winter, including transfers from and to your hotel, a light breakfast, champagne celebration, insurance, and flight certificates.

By joining the deluxe balloon tours, you will have minimum two hours of flight. For people who are interested in photography and aviation, the deluxe tour is the perfect choice. The main difference between the deluxe flights is the longer flight time but you will also fly in smaller baskets, usually carrying between six and 10 people.

The Deluxe balloon flight is 249 EUR per person in the summer and 229 EUR per person in the winter. This includes transfers from and to your hotel, a light breakfast, champagne celebration, and flight certificates.

What better way to celebrate that special occasion, be it an anniversary, birthday, wedding , or any other important event, than by taking a balloon flight just for two in a small balloon. The VIP balloons are different from the other passenger balloons flying in Cappadocia. It only has room for the pilot and two passengers in the basket, so your flight is a very personal experience, which can be tailored for you and your partner.

The VIP flight offers private transfer from your hotel to the launch site, special drinks and refreshments on the launch site whilst the balloon is being inflated, a gentle balloon flight for two people lasting around three hours, champagne and refreshments after landing, and a transfer from the landing site back to your hotel in your personal transport. You will also receive souvenirs of the flight and personalized flight certificates.

Paragliding in Pamukkale

Paragliding allows you to soar from ridges, rise on warm currents of air, and cover great distances. Tandem jumps put you in the hot seat and leaves the technicalities of flying in the hands of an expert pilot, so you get to enjoy the thrills and the most amazing scenery in the country. This activity has a cost of 75 EUR per person.

Charisma Hotel offers a Turkish bath, sauna, massage, Jacuzzi, healing center, and beauty salon. Ramada Golden Horn Hotel also offers a spa center. The use of these facilities and treatments is not included in the price of this holiday. Treatments can be booked at an additional cost.

Turkish bath in Kusadasi

The Turkish bath is a place where physical and spiritual cleaning takes place and is hundreds of years old. In 1741 Istanbul built its first public bath house in Sultan Mehmet. Natural lighting and izonic colored tiles create a relaxing atmosphere.

When entering the Turkish bath, you will leave all the hastiness of daily life outside, exchange your clothes for a waist cloth, and adorn the traditional clogs. Inside, temperatures go up to 50 degrees Celsius under the central dome of the building.

The heat and humidity open the pores of your body and extracts the fat and oils from the body. This is a preparation for a scrub and a massage. After a gentle soap massage, you will leave the bath and pass to resting room. Here, tea will be offered to you. You will leave the Turkish bath renewed, beautiful, and refreshed. The cost of a Turkish bath is 25 EUR per person.

  • 5 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 open buffet breakfasts
  • All airport transfer services mentioned in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees mentioned in the itinerary
  • Domestic flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul
  • Domestic flight from Istanbul to Izmir
  • Domestic flight from Izmir to Kayseri or Nevsehir
  • Guided Cappadocia tour with Underground City and Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Guided Ephesus tour
  • Guided Istanbul Bosphorus cruise
  • Guided Istanbul City tour
  • Guided Pamukkale tour
  • Guided Sirince village tour and wine tasting
  • Professional English-speaking tour guides
  • Transportation in a fully air-conditioned, non-smoking coach
  • Additional activities
  • Additional meals
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • All types of insurance
  • Cold drinks
  • International airfare
  • Laundry
  • Other expenses not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Spa treatments
  • Turkey entry visa

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW). Transfer from and to Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) is included. TravelShopTurkey will pick you up from the airport. Transfer from and to Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) is available upon request.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Istanbul, Turkey

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