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Best of Turkey (Winter Season)

14 Days from $1,550 per person

Style: Premium | Pace: Active

Take a leisurely jaunt through Turkey to visit the extraordinary excavations at Ephesus, the underground city of Sarhatli on the ancient Silk Road and Istanbul's bustling city markets.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

Travel to Turkey often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Take a leisurely jaunt through Turkey to visit the extraordinary excavations at Ephesus, the underground city of Sarhatli on the ancient Silk Road and Istanbul's bustling city markets.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

Travel to Turkey often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Stand at the ancient crossroads between Europe and Asia, embarking on a journey of discovery through ancient lands and the marauding empires who fought to rule it. Arriving in vibrant Istanbul, you will be transferred to your hotel before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a memorable Welcome Reception to kick off your epic adventure.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Radisson Blu Sisli
  2. Spend your day delving into a city where modern and ancient coexist effortlessly. Visit Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome and the exquisite Blue Mosque, said to rival even the Great Mosque in Mecca. This evening, consider an optional dinner with Turkish folk and belly dancing.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  3. Pay tribute to the brave souls who lost their lives at Gallipoli—the national pride of two nations, the Turkish and Australians, was awakened at the site of the bloody World Ware I battlefields and is commemorated to this day. See Anzac Cove and Dardanelles, and visit the cemeteries of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, the final resting place of many Allied soldiers. We continue to Çanakkale where we dine at our hotel tonight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Kolin
  4. Explore the legends of Troy and see the symbolic replica of the famous Wooden Horse that the Greeks used to break their siege of this ancient city. Visit the ancient Asclepion Medical Center in the city of Pergamon before retiring in seaside Izmir this evening where we'll dine at our hotel.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Mövenpick
  5. Stroll through the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, past the amazingly intact façade of the Library of Celcus and down to what was once its thriving port. See the House of Virgin Mary at Mt. Koressos then spend the rest of the day at leisure. This evening you may consider joining an optional dinner at a local restaurant in Izmir and indulge in some of the local raki.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  6. Leave the coastal city of Izmir behind as you journey inland to Pamukkale. Relax and enjoy the blissful thermal pools at your hotel before dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Richmond Thermal
  7. Tread in the footsteps of the ancients who sought relief and relaxation at the Roman health spa at Hierapolis, then admire the bubbling pools and delicate white cascades of water of Pamukkale's Cotton Castle Springs. Later, we travel through scenic countryside and join the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains, where we'll connect with locals and gain insights into their traditions at our Be My Guest lunch. Our stop for the next two nights is the Mediterranean retreat of Antalya. Enjoy some time on your own ambling through the winding lanes of its old city and admiring beautifully preserved Ottoman architecture. This evening, join your companions for a rousing Regional Meal at a local restaurant.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Regional Meal
    hotel:Rixos Downtown
  8. Enjoy a morning on your terms to soak up the enchanting seaside atmosphere of the Turkish Riviera, embarking on an optional yacht cruise or relaxing at the hotel pool. This afternoon, we travel to the Roman city of Perge to visit the impressive Antalya Archaeological Museum to see treasures spanning the centuries. Your evening is free to find an inviting meyhane for some local chit chat and delicious flavors of kebab and baklava.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
  9. Witness the world's best-preserved theater of antiquity during your first stop in Aspendos this morning, before continuing to Konya, where we will gain insights into the mystical Whirling Dervish sect whose remains lie in the Mevlana Museum and Mausoleum. We continue to the Karatay Tile Museum, spellbound by its exquisitely Seljuk-tiled dome, before returning to our hotel where we'll dine tonight.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Dedeman
  10. See a well-preserved 13th-century caravanserai, at which weary travelers used to rest. We journey to Cappadocia with its honey-colored rocky spires providing an enchanting backdrop for our visit to the underground city of Sarhatli on the ancient Silk Road. This evening, indulge in the flavors of traditional pottery kebabs during a Regional Meal at a local restaurant, before retiring to your hotel with beautiful views of the surrounding fairy chimneys.  Tonight we stay in a hotel located alongside the ancient Ortahisar rock castle.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal
    hotel:Dilek Kaya
  11. The other-worldly landscapes of Cappadocia take center stage today as we explore its volcanic landscape dotted with caves and troglodyte dwellings. We visit the Göreme Open-Air Museum to admire the extraordinary rock-hewn churches and learn about the art of pottery-making in Avanos before dining in our hotel this evening.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
  12. Arriving in the youthful capital of Turkey today, we visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the final resting place of the country's beloved Atatürk, the first president of the modern Turkish nation. This evening we dine at our hotel in Ankara.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  13. Returning to Istanbul, we enjoy the rest of the day on our own. Delve into the depths of the Basilica Cistern, savor the intoxicating smells of the Spice Market or ascend Galata Tower for exquisite views of east and west. Consider an optional cruise navigating the waters of the Bosphorus before meeting your Travel Director and fellow companions for a memorable Farewell Dinner.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel:Radisson Blu Sisli
  14. Our epic journey into antiquity has come to an end as we bid Istanbul a fond farewell. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
  • Solo Traveler Discount
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
30 Mar 19 13 Apr 19 checkmark $1,550pp Call 1-877-622-9109
3 Nov 19 16 Nov 19 checkmark $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
15 Dec 19 28 Dec 19 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
22 Dec 19 4 Jan 20 checkmark $2,095pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Jan 20 18 Jan 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
Solo Traveler Discount
26 Jan 20 8 Feb 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
Solo Traveler Discount
9 Feb 20 22 Feb 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
Solo Traveler Discount
1 Mar 20 14 Mar 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
8 Mar 20 21 Mar 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
15 Mar 20 28 Mar 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
22 Mar 20 4 Apr 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
29 Mar 20 11 Apr 20 $1,950pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • Solo Traveler Discount: This departure includes a 20-100% discount on standard single supplement subject to availability.

Please note: These departures are subject to change in price, discount and hotel. Prices and discounts will be confirmed in May 2019.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $550 per person

Triple Room Discount: $20 per person

Shared Rooming: Room Share is available on this trip.

Airport transfers: Complimentary transfers will be provided for guests who have provided their flight details and are staying in an Istanbul hotel.

Itinerary: Some departures may operate in reverse. Included sightseeing will not be affected. If Sarhatli is unavailable, an alternative underground city may be visited instead.

Important Visa Information: Visas may be required for this trip. Please speak with your Travel Agent when making your reservation to assess your specific requirements.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

24 meals: 13 buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy a Be My Guest lunch with the Yazir community in the Taurus Mountains near Antalya

Stays with Stories

  • Located alongside the ancient Ortahisar rock castle, the rooms at Dilek Kaya Hotel are hewn out of the surrounding rock

Dive into Culture

  • Haggle for souvenirs at Istanbul's Grand Bazaar one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and over 5,000 shops

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Istanbul
  • Visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, the ruins of the ancient city at Troy, the Asclepion Medical Center at Pergamon, the Virgin Mary's House at Ephesus, the ruins of the Roman health spa at Hierapolis, the Cotton Castle Springs in Pamukkale, the Archaeological Museum in Antalya, the Roman cities at Perge and Aspendos, the home of the Whirling Dervishes at Konya, a caravanserai on the Ancient Silk Road, the underground City of Saratli, Göreme Open Air Museum, the Museum of Anatolian Civilization at Ankara
  • View the Wooden Horse at Troy
  • See Anzac Cove and the poignant War Cemeteries at Gallipoli
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Turkey must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. A visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Turkey.

  • The currency in Turkey is the Lira (₺). While it’s a good idea to bring some money with you when you travel, you can use your debit card or credit card to pay in most places and will usually find a better exchange rate in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Turkey. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. Mediterranean food is simple, delicious, and centered on a variety of fresh seafood, produce, cheeses and baked goods. Turkish specialties to try include Meze (a selection of starters), kebabs, in particular the Shish kebabs (pieces of meat such as lamb threaded on a skewer and grilled) and Doner kebab (lamb and beef roasted on a vertical spit which is then thinly sliced).  For dessert, try baklava, various milk puddings and of course Turkish delight. The national drink is Raki (an aniseed liqueur), which is commonly served throughout the meal either neat or with water. Turkish coffee is strong and served black.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping at restaurants is less common than in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate to leave 5-10 percent gratuity for good service.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions. 

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Important Visa Information

    Visas are required for this trip. Please speak to your Travel Specialist at time of booking to assess your specific requirements.