Turkey Family Holiday - Turkey

SUMMARY

Join this family adventure through Turkey and witness some of the most incredible archaeological and natural sights in the world. Spend 10 days exploring small towns, large cities and rugged terrain. Begin in the bustle of Istanbul, bike though towns carved into soft volcanic rock in Goreme and walk in a pool built for Cleopatra in Pamukkale on this journey through Turkey’s diverse landscape.

TOTAL DURATION : 10 Days

GROUP SIZE : MIN 2 MAX 16

TOUR ITINERARY AND DATES

START : Istanbul

END : Istanbul

COUNTRIES VISITED : Turkey

Validity : 01 JAN 2024 To 31 DEC 2024

Day :1

Location : Istanbul

Welcome to Turkey! This family adventure kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have all called home. Your trip officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Please make sure you have your next of kin and insurance information to hand over to your leader at the meeting. Following the formalities and introductions, get acquainted with the streets of Istanbul on an orientation tour of the city before joining your fellow travellers for an optional group dinner to toast to new adventures.

Day :2

Location : Goreme

Rise and shine for an early, one-hour flight to Goreme, the heart of Cappadocia. Located among the rock-formed cones, needles and columns that define the landscape, Goreme itself is a city built into the soft volcanic rock. Hillside has been carved and hollowed to make dwellings and churches, resulting in a city that can truly be called magical. You'll have time to settle into your hotel before meeting a local pottery master who will demonstrate how the local Turkish ceramics are made, you'll even have the opportunity to give it a go yourself. After getting your hands dirty, you'll have free time to enjoy and explore Goreme. When night falls, head to a cooking class in one of the city's distinctive homes with a local family. You'll have the opportunity to explore the house and garden while learning how to make local dishes with organic, local produce in a hands-on guided class. Then the best part, enjoying the delicious dishes for dinner! 

Day :3

Location : Goreme

Photographs of hot air balloons soaring over strange rock formations in golden light are what most people associate with the Cappadocia region. While this activity is not included in the trip price, it is highly recommended. Those who choose to fly this morning will have the unique experience of seeing Cappadocia from above and below, as an underground city tour is planned for later this morning. Explore the caverns and tunnels of Kaymakli Underground City, located about 20 minutes away. It was built during between the 9th and 10th centuries as a defensive mechanism. Spend a few hours wandering this eight-storey marvel. Later, head to the surface and explore the region's valleys with pedal power on an optional bike ride through pink-tinged Rose Valley and the mushroom shaped rocks of Love Valley. Check out the small village of Cavusin, where dwellings are built into the rock face, admire the views at the top where you'll find 5th-century Church of St John the Baptist, before returning to Goreme. Those who do not wish to ride can opt for a free afternoon to explore Goreme further on foot or spend the afternoon by the pool.

Day :4

Location : Overnight train

Enjoy a last morning in Goreme before hoping on a private bus to make the 3 hour drive to Konya. A city where religion and conservative traditions combine with the modern and cosmopolitan, providing the perfect opportunity to experience Turkish culture unspoiled by mainstream tourism. Upon arrival to Konya in the mid afternoon your leader will take you on a walk around the town to see a few of the sights and allow you the opportunity to grab something to eat before boarding the overnight train in the early evening.

Day :5

Location : Selcuk

Arrive by train into Izmir at around 7 am and transfer by private minivan for the 1 hour drive to Selcuk. Here you can grab some breakfast and enjoy free time to soak in the culture and natural wonder of this fascinating city. A short distance out of Selcuk is one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single column (of 127 originally) remains after it was ultimately destroyed in AD 401. In the afternoon you will visit the nearby ruins of Ephesus, former capital of the Byzantine Empire and the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey. According to Christian tradition, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem, and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100, and the basilica stands over his believed burial site. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historic buildings – you’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the 6th century.

Day :6

Location : Pamukkale

Board a train and travel inland through the mountains, towards one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to "cotton castle". See the impossibly blue, natural terrace baths, formed by calcium-rich springs and used as spas since 200 BC. Though you’re not allowed to bathe in the travertines, you can walk through them after removing your shoes and see for yourself if the pools alleged healing properties are for real. You'll have some time to visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis and enjoy a dip in the clear waters of a historical pool – sculpted as a gift from Marc Antony to Cleopatra, if you choose. Hierapolis is known for an abundance of temples and religious structures, vast necropolis and strange tombs. You will have most of the day free to relax, swim or further explore before a visit to the Pamukkale National Park in the afternoon.

Day :7

Location : Kas

Today it's off to the picturesque village of Kas, where whitewashed buildings covered in bougainvillea line cobbled streets. Check in, take a guided orientation walk and then explore at your leisure. The best places in town to swim are the waterfront restaurants that have private water access. The price of an occasional drink will get you a deck chair, umbrella and unbeatable views. In the evening watch the sunset over the ocean from the ancient amphitheatre, then perhaps explore the handicraft markets, where beautiful handmade wares with a distinctly Turkish flavour are on offer.

Day :8

Location : Kas

Drive to Kekova this morning and board a local boat for a relaxing cruise through a series of peaceful and picturesque islands, all with distinctive rock formations. Keep an eye out for an otherworldly sight – ancient ruins submerged in the crystal-clear water. Sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets, where there is the chance to take a refreshing dip off the boat. Enjoy a homemade Turkish meal onboard prepared by the crew and later alight at the quaint village of Ucagiz, a township of stone houses drenched in colourful flowers. Return to Kas for the evening, where you will have free time to explore further or relax.

Day :9

Location : Istanbul

After breakfast, make the 3.5-hour drive to the airport where you will board a flight to Istanbul, touching down about 1.5-hours later, in the afternoon. You'll have time to check into the hotel before partaking in a unique marbling workshop. Learn how to create artwork using traditional materials such as earth dyes, horse hair and rose branch brushes. Learn about the history and art of marbling, learning how to hold the brush, how to throw the paint and how to achieve the best results. Later, head out for an optional final dinner with your fellow family travellers to celebrate your whirlwind Turkish adventure. 

Day :10

Location : Istanbul

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check out. If you would like to stay longer in Istanbul there is plenty to do with your family. See the European and Asian sides of the city and stock up on goodies from both on an afternoon food tour with Urban Adventures. Learn more at urbanadventures.com/istanbul-tour-Picnic-On-Two-Continents.

Holiday Name : Turkey Family Holiday 
Reference : IT
  • The spectacular and surreal landscape of Cappadocia cannot be exaggerated, and young and old alike will be enchanted by the rock formations, coloured valleys and houses carved into cliffs
  • Get your hands dirty in a cooking class with a local family in Goreme
  • See the impossibly blue natural hot springs of Pamukkale, formed in terrace shaped by high calcium bicarbonate and used as a spa since the 200 BC
  • The kids will be facinated learning how to marble using traditional materials such as earth dyes, horse hair and rose branch brushes in Istanbul
  • Create family memories watching the sunset over the ocean from the ancient amphitheatre in Kas
  • Cruise between islands and islets and marvel at submerged ruins on a relaxing boat trip around Kekova
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, CYDD (Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği). Donations help them provide scholarships and educational programs for economically disadvantaged youth in Turkey.
  • Prices based on land only basis,
    Packages with flights, car hire or transfers are available. All prices and details are subject to change and availability.  Terms and conditions apply.
    Prices start from £1,449

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