- Explore the bustling streets of Istanbul
- Witness the gorgeous architecture at every corner of the city
- Experience the cultural immersion at local villages
- Relax on an overnight boat trip
- Explore the beautiful coastal town of Kekova
- Discover historic cities and extraordinary scenery at Selçuk
There can be no better idea than setting out for an adventure tour across Turkey during your gap year. This budget trip will start from Istanbul and take you across the historical towns of Göreme, Pamukkale, and Selçuk. You'll also get to spend adequate time in the coastal areas of Kekova and spend a night on a boat deck! Explore the ruins of the ancient Roman Empire and immerse yourself in the Turkish culture. Savor the taste of the local cuisine, shop at the local markets and get closer to the natives while living in the homestay. It'll be a great way to discover more about the country and the people, and you'll surely end up making some wonderful memories.
Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! You'll have to take a flight to Istanbul Atatürk Airport. Depending on the time of arrival, you can decide how you wish to spend your day. You can choose to visit the Dolmabahçe Palace or go for the Bosporus Cruise. You can otherwise head straight to your accommodation and later, explore the marketplace and go for dinner at a local restaurant with your travel mates.
Note: If you wish to explore Istanbul properly, we'll recommend booking accommodation for an extra night pre-tour.
Day 2 - Istanbul to Göreme
In the morning, our coordinator will take you for an Orientation walk, after which you can head out and explore the city on your own. Some of the places worth visiting are Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, and others. You'll be taking the overnight bus to Cappadocia Region.
Day 3 - 4 Göreme
You'll be staying here for 2 days, so make the most of your time and explore as much as you can. Head out to explore the Göreme Open Air Museum, with cave churches and frescoes from the 10th to 12th centuries. You can also opt for the Cappadocia Trekking Tour. If you have always dreamt of experiencing Turkish bath, then it's time you fulfill your dreams!
Note: If you are willing to have an aerial view of the region, then you'll have to pre-book the Cappadocia Balloon Ride. Get in touch with your point of contact while booking the tour.
Day 5 - Göreme to Antalya
You have another day to explore, so if you've missed anything, it's time to go for it! Make sure to tick all that's there on your bucket list. Tonight, you'll be taking a train to Antalya.
Day 6 - Antalya to Olympos
Once you arrive at Antalya, you'll continue to the village of Olympos on the Mediterranean coast. There will be enough time for you to relax and explore the beach before taking a short drive in the evening to Olympos Mountain.We'll all be going for the Olympos Mountain Flames Walk to view the spectacle of the chimera, a natural phenomenon where flames mysteriously rise from the cracks of the local rocks.
Day 7 - Olympos to Kekova
You'll be heading towards the beautiful coastal town of Kekova, from where we'll take a boat and spend the night floating on the sea. Spend a night sleeping on the deck, under the starlit sky and experience the bliss.
Day 8 - Kekova to Dalyan
You'll head back to the mainland at Ucagiz and then head towards the charming city of Dalyan. You can opt for the Dalyan Boat Trip and cruise to Iztuzu Beach. You'll also have the options to go for a mud bath, which is quite popular here.
Day 9 - Dalyan
It's your free day in Dalyan. Explore the markets, or just relax at your hotel and binge on some local delicacies.
Day 10 - Dalyan to Pamukkale
You'll be awestruck to see the beautiful white cliffs of Pamukkale, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ancient site of Hierapolis. This place is evidence that the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the 2nd century BC.
Day 11 - Pamukkale to Selçuk
Today you'll be heading towards the coastal town of Selçuk. Go back in time while exploring the ruins of ancient Ephesus, and get to know more about the ancient Roman Empire. Visit the Saint John's Basilica, Mosque of Isa Bey and other places.
Day 12 - Selçuk
You have got the entire day to explore Selçuk. If you want to explore a Turkish Greek village, then plan a trip to Şirince Village. Otherwise, you can explore the ruins of ancient Ephesus and spend some time at the beach as well.
Day 13 - Selçuk to Çanakkale
Once you reach the harbor town of Çanakkale, you can head out and explore Troy and the Gallipoli Battlefields. This place holds immense historical importance and is totally worth exploring. You'll get to learn a lot about the ancient times, and witness the beauty of the Roman architecture.
Day 14 - Çanakkale to Istanbul
You'll be heading back to the big city after your adventurous tour. If you've missed exploring anything in Istanbul, then today is the day for you! Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs for the folks back at home, and go for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 15 - Fly back home from Istanbul
As your journey comes to an end, you can book your returning flight. In case you wish to continue your trip, you need to get in touch with your coordinator, who can assist you further.
Dates & Cost
- Dinner with Local Family in Çavuşin
- Orientation walk of Istanbul
- Overnight boat trip with dinner (Aegean Sea)
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Accommodation - Simple hotels (11 nights), overnight buses (2 nights), boat (1 night, multi-share)
- Meals - 12 breakfasts, 2 dinners
- International/Domestic airfare
- Visa fees
- Insurance (can be purchased from us at a nominal cost)
- Cost of vaccinations
- Local transport and personal expenses
- Cost of meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Accommodation - Simple hotels (11 nts), overnight buses (2 nts), boat (1 nt, multi-share, Nov-Apr spent in a hotel).
On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. DAY 8 BOAT OVERNIGHT: Overnight on board the boat will take place between May and October only and will depend on weather conditions even then. The rest of the year and when the weather does not permit sleeping onboard, you will stay in a local hotel. This is a multi-share night onboard a typical boat, matresses will be put on the floor and you will be provided with bedding. There is one passenger toilet and one shower inside and one outside, both are shared. No hot water. No towels will be provided.
Meals Included - 14 breakfasts, 1 dinner
Breakfast Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Turkish breakfasts are very different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare - when was the last time you had olives for breakfast? They pretty much universally consist of large slices of fresh "french style" white bread accompanied by slices of tomato, cucumber, white and yellow cheeses, olives, jam and honey. This is accompanied by tea (which a Turk would always choose!) or coffee (which is pretty much always instant coffee) You will of course want to sample the famous Turkish coffee, but it is usually taken after a big lunch or dinner, or in the late afternoon with a pastry. While we think these breakfasts are absolutely delicious, some travellers do find them a bit repetitive and enjoy buying market fruit the day before and eating this for breakfast. Lunches ...will usually be simple and on the run. They are a great chance to try Turkey's delicious and healthy array of "fast foods". This may include, "gozleme", a type of Turkish savory crepe, "chorba", delicious lentil soup, and of course doner kebabs in both beef and chicken varieties. You won't want to miss the chance to try "pide", Turkish pizza, and lahmucan- thin crust pizza you fold greenery into You may also find "kumpir", Turkish stuffed potatoes. Dinner Most Turks start their dinners with a couple of mezes- small taster dishes such as grilled octopus, aubergine salad, and many more. You could also choose a soup made of fresh local ingredients. Main courses tend to be based around fresh seafood if you are near the coast (expect to pay around 15 lira for a whole fish)or the ubiquitous kebab- skewers of charcoaled meat which comes on bread with salad. There are plenty of variations of the kebab-many regions have their own speciality so be sure to ask your leader. Desserts Yum- its all about the sugar. Baklava (about 2 TKL a piece for the good stuff) is something of a national obsession and it is believed the best comes from the East. There are endless varieties of pastries and milk based deserts available and you are sure to spend at least some time in a Turkish bakery taste testing. Snacks Don't miss munching on a simit , a Turkish pretzel or perhaps some grilled sweet corn to get you through between meals. Drinks Tea, served in small tulip glasses, is the number one beverage of choice in Turkey. It is freshly brewed and a tea bag is a rare thing. Turkish coffee is wonderful thing to try. The national beer is named Efes and is very good (usually 4-5 TKL a bottle) Wine is made in Turkey and is getting better every year. Expect to pay around 6-7 liras for a glass in a restaurant. Water is approximately 1 TRL for a 1.5 litre bottle, soft drinks and juices are around 2-3 TRL. Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with Go Discover Abroad you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.