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Turkey Active

Trip type: 
Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
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Awaiting reviews
Europe, Turkey | 13 days
Trip code: 
What's included: 

Transport - Overnight bus, local bus, dolmus (minibus), ferry, kayak, bicycle, on foot.

Accommodation - Hotels/guesthouses (7nts), basic village pension (4nts), overnight bus (1nt).

Meals - 4 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch.

Trip Highlights: 
Hike along the ancient Lycian Way
Kayak over a sunken city
Bathe in ancient thermal springs
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Turkey
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Itinerary for Turkey Active

(Departures in 2014-15)
  • Day 1-2 - Istanbul
  • Day 3-4 - Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Day 5 - Selcuk
  • Day 6 - Fethiye
  • Day 7 - Faralya
  • Day 8-10 - Kas
  • Day 11-12 - Pamukkale
  • Day 13 - Istanbul
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »


Take a flight to Istanbul. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel

Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1:00pm on Day 2.

Check-in time at our joining point hotel is after 2:00pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, however if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival.

You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

After the meeting your leader will take you for a stroll around the streets of Istanbul. During the orientation walk you will discover the hidden charms of Istanbul, the city that bridges Europe and Asia, including the areas around Sultanahmet and Eminonu. This could include the narrow streets around the Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar - an amazing covered complex and maze of more than 4000 shops and Suleymaniye Camii - a mosque built by the great architect Sinan and sitting high above the Golden Horn (one of the world's greatest natural harbours flowing into the Bosphorus). You will see the myriad traders selling their wares and ferries departing for many destinations from the port of Eminonu. Each leader has their own hidden secrets to show you that they have found in their time in eclectic Istanbul.

As there is a great deal to do in Istanbul we recommend allowing a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.

It is well worth taking the tour of the Royal Harem at Topkapi Palace to see the opulence and extravagance the Ottoman court. Visit the Archaeology Museum which contains an incredible array of ancient exhibits of particular interest the artefacts from infamous Troy. Shop till you drop in the Grand Bazaar a shopper's paradise. Maybe head down to the Bosphorus, grab a fresh fish roll for lunch and take a ferry cruise on one of the worlds most celebrated waterways. You could travel over to the stylish Taksim Square area and stroll along the main street with the local hipsters. Visit the atmospheric underground Cistern, a vast underwater storage tank built in 532 AD. If all of this makes you a little tired then an hour or two spent in a hamam (Turkish bath) will leave you rejuvenated for the start of your journey.

Included Activities

  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour

Optional Activities

  • Istanbul - Aya Sofia - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY10
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY15
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY50
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY10
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY10
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY100


Hotel (2 nts)


Gallipoli Peninsula

The morning of day 2 is free to explore on your own perhaps a visit to Aya Sofya, the best preserved example of Byzantine Architecture in the world, the Islamic Arts Museum, or some extra taste testing in the nearby Spice Bazaar.

You depart your hotel at midday for the Gallipoli Peninsula. The bus ride (approx 5.5hrs) will take you through Thrace with fields of sunflowers and excellent views of the sea of Marmara. You will arrive on the Peninsula late afternoon and transfer to your hotel in Eceabat, the nearest town to Anzac Cove.

On the eastern shore of the Gelibolu peninsula is the town of Eceabat. A traditional fishing village with loads of character, Eceabat is the closest town to the battefields of Gallipoli. You can catch the public ferry across the Dardanelles to the town of Canakkale for a greater variety of dining and night-life options if you choose.

On day 3 you take a guided tour of the Gallipoli Battlefields, but you do it with a difference. You walk, this is an opportunity to stroll through time a moving experience for people from all nations, the battles fought on this land were a turning point in the creation of the Turkish Republic. In the afternoon you go snorkelling - you may even see a ship wreck.

Gallipoli was the site of the Anzac landings in the 1914-18 war and one of the Allies great disasters in World War One. Gallipoli was the plan created by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new war front that the Central Powers could not cope with. The stark memorial at Lone Pine is inscribed with the names of the many fallen Anzacs. The nearby museum with its memorabilia is well worth a visit.

Included Activities

  • Gallipoli and snorkel tour


Hotel (2 nts)



Today you travel by bus (approx 7.5hrs) to Selcuk and venture further back in history to the once capital of Asia Minor, Ephesus, some of the best preserved Roman Ruins on the planet.

Selcuk is steeped in culture and retains many Turkish traditions. The town itself is usually undisturbed, which gives the opportunity to experience the 'real' Turkey. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Selcuk is also home to one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single pylon remains.

The afternoon is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip as you tour the stunning ruins of Ephesus.

Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's premier tourist site. Once the capital city of Roman Asia Minor, the city has a fascinating history spanning over 1,500 years, which comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. You will be awed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but it's perhaps the magnificent library that takes most people's breath away.

Then in true active fashion you walk back to town.

Consider a visit to the excellent Ephesus museum located in the heart of Selcuk for a deeper understanding of the ruins. St John is said to have written his gospel in this town and the historic Basilica of St John was erected upon his grave site in the 6th century. There is also a hilltop citadel, first constructed by the Byzantines in the 6th century.

Selcuk is a great place to try a hamam. The Turkish bath is just the tonic after all that walking.

Included Activities

  • Selcuk - Ephesus Archaeological site

Optional Activities

  • Ephesus guide (cost shared between the group) - TRY90
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY5
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY8
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY15
  • Banya - TRY50


Hotel (1 nt)




Travel to Turkey's Mediterranean seaside town Fethiye by public bus (approx. 5.5hrs). Enjoy the laid back atmosphere of this friendly town and stroll the impressive harbour filled with traditional Gulet, fishing boats and cruise boats that day-trip the pretty harbour islands.

With Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, a beautiful coastline and a renowned market, Fethiye is a laidback, friendly town full of wonderful Turkish cuisine and culture.

Included Activities

  • Snorkelling in Anzac Cove


Hotel (1 nt)




Today you take to the ancient pathways of the Lycian Way. This day-long hike will have you gasping, not because it is difficult but because around every corner and through every gap is a vista more stunning than the last. The hike takes us past wild olive and carob gardens, incredible relics of ancient civilisations and through remote villages where you are greeted by renowned Turkish hospitality. You spend the night in Faralya.

The village of Faralya lies on one of the last undeveloped stretches of the Turkish Mediterranean.

Included Activities

  • Lycian Way hike

Optional Activities

  • Fethiye Museum - TRY5
  • Saklikent Gorge - TRY20


Guesthouse (1 nt)



Once you have checked in take a leader led walking tour of the town.

Followed by a hike to Kabak which means zucchini in Turkish. This three hour walk this morning gives some of the best coastal views along the entire length of the 509km Lycian Way. In the afternoon you head back to Fethiye to collect your bags and take a local bus to Kas (approx 3 hours).

With its cobbled streets and whitewashed walls, Kas has a distinctively Mediterranean feel. The best places in town to swim are from the waterfront restaurants that have their own private water access. For the price of an occasional drink, you get your own deck chair, umbrella and unbeatable views. When the sun goes down there is the chance to explore the handicraft markets where you can find beautiful handmade wares with a distinctly Turkish flavour.

On day 8 the adventure takes to the water as you move down the coast to Ucagiz and take sea kayaks to check out the Byzantine Sunken City. You explore the many islands and coves, taking in the ambiance of a village that has thankfully been placed off limits to developers, before returning to Kas.

On day 9 pedal power is required as you collect your bike, load it on the jeep and head to the hills. The 36km cycle takes you through valleys and farming communities. The cycle is a moderate ride with a small section (8km) uphill, along the way you'll get to see village life and enjoy lunch along the way.

Returning to Kas in the afternoon why not relax and enjoy this funky seaside town.

May we suggest an evening hamam and oil massage? You deserve it.

Included Activities

  • Lycian Way hike
  • Sea kayak excursion over sunken city of Kekova
  • Mountain bike riding

Optional Activities

  • Kas - Handicraft market - Free


Hotel (3 nts)



You travel inland through mountainous landscapes to one of Turkey's most photographed sites - the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale; the best time to see them, of course is sunset.

Day 12 is free to explore this natural phenomenon which is made from limestone deposits formed when water from the hot springs looses carbon dioxide. The layers of the white calcium carbonate have given Pamukkale its name 'cotton castles'. The pools, now off limits, have been famed for their medicinal qualities since Roman times.

Though you are not able to bathe in the world-famous Travertines, take a walk through them (no shoes please!) and bathe in healing thermal springs at the nearby Roman site of Hierapolis. Home to an oracle at one time, a well-preserved Roman theatre still remains here. Wander the colonnaded streets and discover the necropolis with its many unique tombs, looking every bit like a scene from judgment day.

Located at the top of the gleaming white travertine of Pamukkale is the ancient Roman site of Hierapolis. Home to an oracle at one time, a well-preserved Roman theatre still remains here. Wander the colonnaded streets and discover the necropolis with its many unique tombs, looking every bit like a scene from judgment day.

Catch a comfortable overnight bus to Istanbul. Bus services in Turkey are excellent by world standards. The coach is air conditioned, modern and comfortable, has a food & beverage trolley service, and stops every 2-3hrs at rest stops for toilet breaks and food. Most coaches have TV's in the back of each seat and free WiFi.

Please be aware that while the seats recline they are not fully reclining.

It's possible to book a flight for this journey if you would prefer. A number of flight services run between Denizli and Istanbul. A flight would be at your own expense and can be purchased on arrival to Istanbul (ask your group leader to assist) or online. To avoid missing any of the group activities, we recommend you book this flight for the following morning of your trip. This will require an extra night's stay in Pamukkale and also transfers both to and from the various airports. Your group leader will help you organise these things, again at your own expense. (The cost of these extra services will be determinant on the number of passengers sharing the transfer service but budget approx 60TRY per person). Please let your group leader know if you are taking this option at the group meeting so as to give time to make the necessary arrangements.

There are currently engineering works on a equivalent overnight train journey for this leg. As soon as the train line re-opens you will start taking the train. 

Included Activities

  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park

Optional Activities

  • Flight from Denizli to Istanbul (prices from approx) - TRY200
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY25
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY3


Hotel (1 nt), Overnight bus (1 nt)




Arrive back into Istanbul at approx 9 am (subject to delays).

For your comfort and convenience, day rooms are provided on this day until 12 noon, for luggage storage and an opportunity to have a shower and freshen up. Once settled consider joining the rest of the group in a farewell breakfast. Otherwise there are no activities planned and you're free to depart any time after our arrival.

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.