A Taste of Turkey

Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus & Canakkale

Book now online
8 days from $1699 $1399
per person, double occupancy, including taxes & fees*
Book by Sep. 30, 2014 to save up to $300!

Overview

Style Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures November 2014 – March 2015
Departs New York Kennedy (JFK), Washington Dulles (IAD), Chicago O'Hare (ORD) (flight schedule)
Highlights Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy, Canakkale & the Dardanelles.
Included in the Price
  • Round-trip non-stop flights from New York (JFK) via Turkish Airlines including fuel surcharges and air taxes and fees
  • Arrival and departures transfers with meeting, assistance and porterage
  • All intra-Turkey transportation
  • Accommodation in Superior First Class and Deluxe hotels
  • 9 Meals: 6 breakfasts plus 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
  • Professional, English-speaking tour manager
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.

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Testimonials

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Just returned from my first trip with Friendly Planet and was so impressed that I had to write this note. You have a lot of choices in travel and I have found my tour company at last. Everything about my trip was amazing—our guide, Ibrahim, was not only extremely knowledgeable, but also patient and very funny. Hotels, transportation, meals, added excursions were all superb. Everything went off without a hitch—I felt safe and cared for every minute and could spend ALL of my time enjoying the trip instead of worrying about the travel details. Turkey, its people, scenery, food, monuments and parks are just wonderful. I can't wait for my next trip. So little time, so much to see...

Ann Ott, Cedar City, Utah

Dates, Prices & Options

All prices, fees and deposits are per person. Prices below are subject to availability and confirmation. After we receive your booking, we will confirm all prices and availability within 1–2 business days. Prices are subject to change at any time and not guaranteed until we receive your final payment. More about our prices.

Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
Depart Return Price Book by
Sep 30
Wed Nov 12 2014 Wed Nov 19 2014 $1799 $1499 Closed
Wed Nov 26 2014 Wed Dec 3 2014 $1799 $1499 Available
Wed Dec 3 2014 Wed Dec 10 2014 $1799 $1499 Available
Wed Jan 21 2015 Wed Jan 28 2015 $1699 $1399 Waitlist
Wed Jan 28 2015 Wed Feb 4 2015 $1699 $1399 Available
Wed Feb 18 2015 Wed Feb 25 2015 $1699 $1399 Available
Wed Mar 18 2015 Wed Mar 25 2015 $1699 $1399 Available
Wed Mar 25 2015 Wed Apr 1 2015 $1799 $1499 Closed

Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to extend your stay later than the scheduled dates, subject to availability. Contact us about dates, prices and restrictions.

Separately Paid Fees
Turkey Visa1 (paid separately) +$20

1. All visitors to Turkey must obtain a visa. Visas are available locally upon arrival up to Mar 31.2014. As of April 1, 2014 all visitors are required to obtain their Turkey visa online: www.evisa.gov.tr. A printed receipt must be presented to immigration control upon arrival as proof of payment.

A Taste of Turkey
Rooming Selection
Double or triple Occupancy included
Single room supplement
Nov 12 unavailable
All other departures +$399
Departure Airports
New York Kennedy (JFK) included
Washington Dulles (IAD) +$100
Chicago O'Hare (ORD) +$300

Departure airport prices subject to availability and may cost more based on flight availability at the time of booking.

Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.

Booking Deposit
Standard Deposit $300

To make a reservation, we only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card. This non-refundable deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package. You can pay the balance due later by credit card, check or money order. Your final payment is due 75 days prior to departure, or within 72 hours of booking, whichever is later.

Itinerary

Taste of Turkey tour itinerary Turkey, the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is an exotic land steeped in history and touched by many civilizations. But you'll find much more than just history here, including jaw-dropping landscapes, sun-splashed Mediterranean beaches, quaint seaside towns, glistening cities, colorful bazaars, whirling dervishes, and more. This Turkey vacation package will show you the best that this mysterious land has to offer, all for an irresistibly low price.


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Turkey begins this afternoon as you depart on your overnight flight bound for Istanbul.

Day 2: Istanbul & Kusadasi. Arrive today in Izmir via Istanbul, and continue to Kusadasi on Turkey's Aegean coast. The area has been a crossroads of art and culture since it was founded 5000 years ago, and was the final destination of medieval caravan routes from the Orient. Today, Kusadasi is a popular resort town for Turks and Europeans and a port of call for many cruise ships. Accommodations: Fantasia Hotel. Dinner provided.

Library of Celsus Day 3: Ephesus. Today, visit the glorious city of Ephesus, founded more than 4000 years ago, the capital city of the Roman Province of Asia Minor. The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is represented by one column and fragments of a frieze. Walk through the ancient streets to view the magnificent structures such as the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, and the Great Theater. Ephesus is also the town where St. Paul and St. John lived during the first century. Continue to the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary spent her last years living near a grove of olive trees. A visit is considered a pilgrimage by the Vatican. Enjoy the evening at leisure. Breakfast & dinner provided.

Optional Excursion: Museum of Ephesus, St. John's Basilica and Sirince, $45. This afternoon, take advantage of an optional excursion to the Museum of Ephesus, St. John's Basilica and Sirince. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Kusadasi Day 4: Kusadasi, Pergamon, Troy & Canakkale. This morning, visit Pergamon, the capital of a powerful kingdom during the Hellenistic period in the first century. Visit the ruins of the Red Basilica, a temple built by Roman architects in the 2nd century AD utilizing red brick on a massive scale and incorporating a number of unique water features. It is believed that the temple was originally used for the worship of Egyptian gods and may have been used to simulate the flooding of Nile. It was later converted into a Christian church by the Byzantines and finally a mosque by the Turks.

Continue to the nearby Asklepion, a famed ancient medical center built in honor of Asklepios, the god of healing. It was also the site of the world's first known psychiatric hospital. In the ancient world, this was the place famous people wanted to attend for bathing treatments, the interpretation of dreams and drinking the water from the sacred fountain.

Finally, visit the ancient city of Troy, best known as the focus of the Trojan War as described in the epic poem by Homer. The ancient city today is an expansive archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dinner and overnight at your hotel. Accommodations: Hotel Akol. Breakfast & dinner provided.

ANZAC Cove, GallipoliDay 5: Canakkale, Dardanelles & Istanbul. Continue north by ferry across the Dardanelles, a narrow straight connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara. This strait, like the Bosphurus in Istanbul, separates Europe from Asia.

Visit Gallipoli, where one of the fiercest battles of World War I took place. The Gallipoli campaign was the first major battle undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). The struggle laid the grounds for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Continue on to Istanbul and check into your centrally located hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Accommodations: Kent Hotel Istanbul on all others. Breakfast provided.

Day 6: Istanbul. Enjoy a full day in Istanbul at leisure. Breakfast provided.

Bosphoros Optional Excursion: Bosphorus Cruise & Egyptian Bazaar, $55. You may choose an optional cruise on the Bosphorus and a visit to the Egyptian Bazaar. Cruise the straits that separate Europe and Asia, passing by the villas and palaces of the Ottoman Empire, as well as little fishing villages. The route zigzags across the straits for picture-perfect views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Suspension bridges. Disembark from your cruise and continue to the Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Market. You will be surrounded by the aromas of spices and oils as you explore the diverse shops of this famous bazaar. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Optional Excursion: Istanbul dinner show, $80. In the evening, you may also choose an optional Istanbul by night with dinner and show, experiencing local cuisine and folklore. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul Day 7: Istanbul. This morning, visit some of the unique and iconic sites in the city. Start your tour at the Sultanahmet Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque for the tiles and paint adorning its interior. Built between 1609 and 1616 on the site of several previous palaces, it is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period, and even today it is a truly epic sight. More than 200 stained glass windows admit natural light, the floors are covered with thick carpets, and the walls are decorated with incredibly intricate tile work and verses from the Qur'an, many by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, the greatest calligrapher of his time.

Later visit nearby Hagia Sophia, also known as Ayasofya, built by the emperor Justinian I between 537 and 543 AD. The Hagia Sophia is famous for its massive dome and Byzantine architecture, which inspired much of the Blue Mosque. Built as an Orthodox basilica, and later became a mosque and finally a museum in 1935. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore this fascinating city, or take one of our optional tours. Breakfast provided.

Topkapi Palace Optional Excursion: Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, $50. This afternoon, enjoy an optional excursion to Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. The Topkapi Palace was residence of the Ottoman Sultans for more than 400 years. The palace became a museum of the imperial era in 1924. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, with the most important being accessible to the public today. The palace houses a large collection of porcelain, robes and armor, as well as Ottoman miniatures and jewelry. Next visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. The bazaar was opened in 1461 and today there are over 1200 stores, many of which are grouped by the type of goods, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry, and other wares. This optional excursion must be purchased locally.

Day 8: Istanbul/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport as you bid farewell to Istanbul and Turkey, and board your return flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.

Videos

Video: Friendly Planet in Turkey

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