Turkey – 15 Days of Cultural Highlights in Ancient Cities, Mediterranean Beaches, and Hot Air Balloon Ride

15 Days

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May 18, 2024 - June 1, 2024 Guaranteed $5,890 USD
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Come join us as we immerse ourselves in the rich culture of Turkey and other Turkish delights! We’ll explore ancient cities, relax on Mediterranean beaches, and even fly in a hot air balloon.


Get ready to be immersed in the rich ancient culture of Turkey! We begin with an international flight into Istanbul, then we’ll travel by private minibus through Thrace to tour the ancient cities of Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus,  Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Perge. Along with these historic cities, we’ll also stop in quaint villages, some along the Aegean sea to get relaxing beach time, enjoy the famous local fruit wine, and visit the world’s largest rose oil production center.  We’ll also explore the bustling and cosmopolitan city of Izmir. We’ll take an internal flight to Cappadocia in the Central Anatolia region, which is the most popular hot air balloon flight region in the world, so of course we’ll do a sunrise balloon ride. We’ll also tour the underground cities, caves, and unique landscapes here, and enjoy a fun Turkish night with a unique show. We return to Istanbul via another internal flight, to spend the last 4 days in this ancient city to explore all its wonders.


  • Panoramic tour of Çanakkale with view of the Dardanelle Straight
  • Trojan horse that was used in the movie Troy
  • Walking tour of the ancient city of Troy
  • Pergamon, center of culture and art in the ancient world and where parchment paper was first discovered
  • Pleasant stroll through Foça, a cute Aegean town with a harbor and beach, surrounded by beautiful and historic stone houses
  • Panoramic tour of the lively city of Izmir
  • Tour of the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the world, including a visit to the house where Mary, mother of Jesus, lived
  • Wine tasting in Sirince, village known for houses with beautiful architecture, lively narrow streets, and famous fruit wines
  • Pamukkale - Cotton Castle
  • Tour of Ancient City of Hierapolis, with bath structures, large travertine pools, necropolis, gymnasium, the largest agora of the period, and the ancient theater with a magnificent view
  • Tomb of St. Phillipp, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.
  • Tour of Isparta. the world's largest rose oil production center
  • Tour of unique landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia region, includes traces of Anatolian culture, churches and chapels belonging to the first Christians, and pottery and stone workshops
  • Cappadocia hot air balloon flight at sunrise with 150+ other balloons floating over the surreal terrain
  • Turkish night show program
  • Istanbul - tours of Kadikoy, the liveliest township on the Asian side of Istanbul, then Taksim, the most popular neighborhood of Istanbul on the European side, with a stroll on Istiklal Street—possibly the most famous street in Turkey
  • Tour of Old Istanbul to include Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque
  • Night cruise on the Bosphorus Strait, with dinner and city lights


We begin our journey via international flight to Turkey, arriving in Istanbul the next morning.

We’ll arrive in Istanbul the next day and be transferred to our hotel. The afternoon is for us to rest and recover, or enjoy Istanbul. That evening we’ll meet for a pleasant dinner at a nice restaurant.
After dinner, we’ll rest at the hotel for the next day’s journey.

Day 3 :

After breakfast, we start our journey early in the morning. On our trip today, we will travel through Thrace, located in the European side of Turkey. This geographical region was historically heavily populated by Thracian people and is still known by their name today.  We will reach the center of Çanakkale with the view of the Dardanelle Straight—the second Bosphorus that connects Europe to Asia) After a short panoramic tour, a surprise will be waiting for us: the Trojan horse that was used in the movie Troy.

After lunch, we will travel to the city of Troy. This was one of the most famous ancient cities in the world. Many civilizations fought to have Troy, and it was destroyed and rebuilt many times. It is possible to see the ruins from different times while walking around this ancient city, where people had lived uninterruptedly for 3000 years. After completing our tour, we arrive at our hotel to have dinner and accommodation in our hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will have breakfast and start our journey early in the morning. On our tour today, we are going to Pergamon— an important center of culture and art in the ancient world. This is where parchment paper was first discovered. After visiting the ancient city of Pergamon, we will take a lunch break.


As we continue our journey after the meal, we extend our route a little and visit Foça, a cute Aegean town. Thousands of years ago, small trading cities were founded on the shores of the fertile seas surrounding Anatolia. Phokaia, with its former name, is a good example of these trading cities. Life flows very calmly in this small and peaceful town. We will take a pleasant stroll in its cute harbor and beach, surrounded by beautiful and historic stone houses.

Foça Harbor

After this, we will take a little break and then take a short journey to Izmir—one  of the largest cities in Turkey. After a panoramic tour of this lively city, we will have dinner and accommodation in our hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we start our journey early in the morning. We believe that today’s program will create a lasting impression on you. Our first stop is the ancient city of Ephesus, which was the most important trade center of the region and one of the seven wonders of the world. After this tour, we visit the house where it is believed that Mary—the mother of Jesus—lived. Catholic pilgrims visiting this house believe that Apostle John brought Mary to this stone house where she lived until she was taken to heaven.


We leave Ephesus for a village called Sirince—which literally means cute. This village is known for its houses with beautiful architecture, lively narrow streets, and most of all, its famous fruit wines. Here we make our tour even more enjoyable by drinking some wine.

After completing our tour, we will make a trip to our hotel where we will have dinner and rest.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will have breakfast and start our journey early in the morning.  A blend of travertines and ancient cities will be waiting for you in Pamukkale (Cotton Castle). The Ancient City of Hierapolis, which means “Holy City” in ancient times, will impress you with its bath structures, necropolis, gymnasium, the largest agora of the period, and the ancient theater where you will witness a magnificent view. Also, you will be able to see the tomb of St. Phillipp here, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. The large travertine pools on the edge of this ancient city will provide an enchanting atmosphere—a heaven for Instagrammers and vloggers.

Pamukkale (Cotton Castle)

After our trips, we will travel to Isparta. This is the world’s largest rose production center, and it meets half of the world’s rose oil needs.  After this tour, we arrive at our hotel to have dinner and rest.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we start our journey early in the morning. We will be heading toward Antalya for 3 days of relaxing, all-inclusive vacation.  On our way, we will have a short stop at the ancient city of Perge—home to the best-preserved ancient stadium in Turkey. The city’s ruins also include a theater, the Temple of Artemis, and two churches. After Perge, we will travel to our hotel in Antalya. It’s time to pamper ourselves and enjoy the sea, pool, alcoholic drinks, and the warm Mediterranean climate.

Antalya Beaches

Sea, pool, alcoholic drinks, open buffet all meals, all-inclusive concept at our hotel accommodation for 3 nights!

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we start our journey early in the morning.
We travel from our hotel to the airport to start a new adventure with the Antalya-Kayseri flight taking us to the mesmerizing Cappadocia in Central Anatolia region. Cappadocia has a special rock and soil structure formed as a result of volcanic and geological events that lasted millions of years. The landscape here can be easily carved and excavated. The ancient people used this feature to build underground churches and even cities. Today we will begin to explore this region together. Traces of Anatolian culture, churches and chapels belonging to the first Christians, and pottery and stone workshops will be some of the highlights of this tour.

Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys

At the end of the tour, we will transfer to our hotel and have dinner and rest in our hotel.

(Includes domestic flight)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

An adventure that starts before sunrise awaits us in Cappadocia, which is also the most popular hot air balloon flight region in the world. We will transfer from the hotel to the balloon departure point at a very early hour, before sunrise.  Once the balloons are ready, we will rise high in the sky and witness the sunrise in the company of more than a hundred fifty balloons floating over the surreal terrain. There are very few travel experiences that compare with this experience. Upon the landing of the balloon, we will return to our hotel and have our breakfast.

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons

After breakfast, we will continue our tour of Cappadocia. The unique land formations and underground cities will try to convince you that you are in some other world. We will dive inside the impressive underground cities and see with our own eyes how people lived their lives below the ground to protect themselves. The beauty of the fairy chimneys, formed by rain, sun and wind erosion, will fascinate you. It is a wonderful experience to see this atmosphere where nature and humans have together created an amazing art.

At the end of the tour, we will transfer to our hotel to have dinner.

We’re going to have some fun tonight. We will have a fun Turkish night by participating in a show program. After the program, we will return to our hotel and retreat to rest.

Whirling Dervishes

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport. We take our flight to Istanbul and continue our tour in Turkey’s largest city. Istanbul is a city that became the capital of 3 great empires. Located at the junction of the continents of Asia and Europe, this city, which is among the most populated cities in the world, has been a natural bridge throughout history.

Today, we will tour Kadikoy, the liveliest township of Asian side of Istanbul and we will cross to the European side to visit Taksim, the most popular neighborhood of Istanbul. We will stroll through the lively Istiklal Street—possibly the most famous street in Turkey. This mile long shopping and entertainment paradise bustles with tourists and locals who are there to enjoy the shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and live music. You will be able to see the iconic Taksim Tram and Galata Tower while walking on this street.

Istiklal Street

After our tours, we will settle in our hotel, have dinner and rest.

(Includes domestic flight)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we start our tour with Old Istanbul. It was built as a sheltered city surrounded by historical walls.  A large capital was established within the largest and most difficult to capture castle with medieval technology. When it was the capital of the Roman empire, the most important scientists of the empire pushed the limits of all their knowledge and built the largest church in the world here. Hagia Sophia managed to be the most important structure of the Christian world for hundreds of years. After the Ottoman Empire took the city in 1453, this church was reorganized as a Mosque. The greatest architects of the Ottoman state ensured that the building remained standing with the repairs and additions they made for centuries.

After touring Hagia Sophia, we will visit Topkapi Palace, the first palace of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. Many sacred artifacts located in the lands within the borders of the great empire are under protection here in the capital. In the holy relics section, many items belonging to the Prophet Muhammad’s close circle are exhibited. You will also be impressed to see possessions of older prophets, which are considered holly by other religions as well. Some of the holy relics we will see here include: the sword of Prophet David, the pot of Prophet Abraham, the staff of Prophet Moses, and the robe of Prophet Joseph. The Blue Mosque, bazaars, many historical buildings, and the square (which was used as a hippodrome in ancient times), will welcome us here. After our excursions, we will return to our hotel.


Tonight, we will take you on a pleasant cruise on the Bosphorus. We will take a boat trip on the Bosphorus to watch the lights of the city and have a nice dinner.

Today we transfer to the Cape Town airport for our flight to Johannesburg and then back to the U.S.

Breakfast, Lunch

Today we have free time after breakfast. We can shop around the city, take walks, and explore the city on our own, 


Breakfast, Dinner

Today our trip in Turkey ends. It’s time to return home with wonderful memories. Our program ends after our transfer to the airport according to our international flight time.


What's Included

  • All internal (domestic) flights
  • Private minibus - Mercedes Sprinter with licensed tour driver
  • Professional Tour Guide, licensed and English-speaking
  • 13 nights accommodations in 4*-5* hotels
  • 3 days at all-inclusive beach hotel (includes buffet meals and alcoholic drinks)
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast/L=Lunch/D=Dinner)
  • Entrance fees as per activities on itinerary
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Transfers and ground transportation mentioned in the itinerary
  • Night Dinner Cruise
What is the currency in Turkey?

The Turkish lira (TRY) is an official national currency and used in Turkey

What are the electrical outlets used in Turkey?

Turkey uses plug types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round prongs, plug type F has two round prongs and a grounding pin. 

What will the weather be like when we are there?

Temperatures are warm-to-hot throughout Turkey in May, and average rainfall low. Istanbul and Cappadocia average temperatures are 68-69F while Antalya and Pamukkale are warmer at 77F.

Is tipping expected in restaurants in Turkey?

Tipping at restaurants has become much more common and expected throughout Turkey. Leaving a tip of 10 – 15% of your total bill is considered appropriate.

Is a Visa required for US citizens to travel to Turkey?

U.S. citizens (U.S. passport holders) visiting Turkey do typically need an e-visa to enter Turkey.


All 4-5 Star Hotels, Details Coming Soon

Canakkale – Trojan Horse

Cappadocia Hot Air Balloons

Hagia Sophia

Heirapolis-Statue of Hades/Pluto w/Cerberus


Istanbul-Blue Mosque

Magical Arabian Night – Istanbul

From $5,890 USD
/ Shared Room (Double Occupancy)
From $7,440 USD
/ Private Room (Single Occupancy)
  • Small Groups of 8 - 15 people
  • Flexible Payments
  • Pre-trip Educational/Preparation Meetings
  • TravelAvidly Trip Leader
  • Immersive Experiences

Trip Information

Activity Level: Moderate (see all ratings)

Curator: Dianna Germany

Trip Leader/CSR: Dianna Germany