Turkey's land is one of intrigue and tradition. Many empires have come and gone, leaving behind evocative fragments and endearing impressions that modern Turkey has made whole. Few countries are as welcoming or quaintly historic. From Cappadocia to Southeastern Turkey to Istanbul, this handcrafted itinerary immerses you in the culture and traditions of an ancient land, revealing the influence of empires and the untouched hospitality of generations.
Cappadocia – Landing in a Surreal Landscape
Cappadocia doesn't look real. As you're transferred to your cave hotel there's a feeling of incredulity as the panoramas pass the window. Eroded rock chimneys fill valleys, cliffs stand above carved caves, and the vistas are eminently unadulterated. The cave hotel draws comparisons with a Dr Seuss adventure, mysterious yet compelling. This is a chance to experience the centuries old tradition of living in the landscape, and it's elevated by some modern luxury touches. A whole valley of wonder extends from the cave and there are few better welcomes to Turkey than watching the sunset bring kaleidoscopic changes to the lunar landscape. A traditional dinner is included and provides an introduction to the exotic range of flavors you'll be enjoying over the next 12 days.
Cappadocia – Exploring Traditional Villages and Open-air Museums
Cappadocia – Hot Air Ballooning and Kaymakli Underground City
Kahta – Beautiful Journeys to World Famous Ice cream
Sanliurfa – Dazzling Sunrise on Mt. Nemrut
Sanliurfa – Religious History and Quaint Towns in Southeastern Turkey
Yuvacali – Becoming Part of the Family at a Village Homestay
Yuvacali – Cultural Immersion in Rural Turkey
Istanbul – Cute Mardin and Flying to Istanbul
Istanbul – Ottoman and Byzantine Treasures in Istanbul
Istanbul – Evocative Bazaars and Palaces
Istanbul – Departure
- Experience the millenniums old traditions of an untouched part of the world as you venture into a realm of unrivaled welcomes and smiles
- Spend two days at a beautiful homestay in remote Southeastern Turkey, immersing yourself in local life and discovering lifestyles that span a dozen generations
- Feel history come to life as you explore Istanbul, a city that never stands still but always honors the past
- Explore the cute towns of Southeastern Turkey and revel in their hypnotic splendor
- Enjoy a vacation of sublime and inimitable highlights, like ice cream tasting, mountain sunrises, and spice bazaars
- Explore the soporific and surreal landscapes of Cappadocia; hot air balloon above the valleys, descend into underground cities, and admire dazzling rock carved churches
Turkey's landscape has been shaped by a thousand influences, the fragments of empires harmoniously blending together and forging one of the world's most welcoming countries. From Greek gods to Ottoman empires and from Lydia to Roman Byzantine, the land has always been graced by those valuing hospitality, elegance, and opulence. This unique vacation explores the traditions of a country, effortlessly bringing ancient history up to date and providing a compelling immersion in an untouched land. Spanning 3,000 years and as many smiles, the vacation offers a utopian mix of village life, quaint towns, famous sights, and unique experiences. It journeys deep into the heart of the country and enables you to discover one of the world's oldest cultures.
Start in Cappadocia, where lunar-like valleys provide an exquisite panorama and the historical portraits radiate poignancy. Rock cut churches reveal Christian expressionism while underground cities uncover a time of persecution. Exploring the villages almost feels like a time warp; get invited into a home for a Cappadocian lunch, wander the cute streets of whitewashed stone, and admire the centuries old pottery and weaving traditions. While in Cappadocia you also enjoy a hot air balloon ride above the magnificent landscapes.
On day four you start a journey into Southeastern Turkey. This part of the Mediterranean is well off the tourist trail and makes for unique encounters and experiences, all enhanced with a blanket of boutique luxury. Discover the world-famous ice cream of Maras, marvel at the immense statues of Commagene, and tour eccentric ancient towns that seem unchanged for centuries. With their castles and markets, places like Sanliurfa and Mardin provide a wonderful juxtaposition of traditions surviving into the 21st century. The highlight of these five days is an opportunity to stay with a family in a quiet Kurdish village. It's an immersive experience and epitomizes the almost unrivaled hospitality in this part of the world.
On day nine you fly to Istanbul for the final three nights. Explore the Roman and Ottoman wonders that fill the city, take slow journeys through famous bazaars, and admire how traditions can survive in a modern city. Many of Istanbul's attractions are not merely museum pieces, they're living breathing exemplars of exotic culture; the Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, a 15th century hamam, fish restaurants along the Bosphorus. Throughout the whole tour, the pace is relaxed and the days combine exploration with relaxation.
$4,051 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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