A Taste of Turkey


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Featuring Vibrant Istanbul, where Europe meets Asia, the coastal port of Kusadasi, Europe's most complete classical metropolis ruins at Ephesus & Canakkale
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Scheduled Dates
Price Includes
  • 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 throughout
Highlights Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy, Canakkale & the Dardanelles.
Departs New York Kennedy (JFK), Washington Dulles (IAD), Chicago O'Hare (ORD) (flight schedule)
Themes History & Culture
What to Expect This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.
As Seen in
Budget TravelChicago TribuneFrommer’s
Hartford CourantTravel World News

Prepare for your trip Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.

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.

Dates, Prices & Options

Departure Dates & Prices

Options & Fees

Flights & Departure Cities

Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.


Day 1: Depart USA/Overnight Flight

  • Depart the USA on your overnight flight for Istanbul

Day 2: Izmir & Kusadasi via Istanbul

Accommodations: 2 nights Fantasia Hotel, Kusadasi. Hilton Double Tree Izmir, Izmir on October 12 , 2016 departure. Included meals: Dinner.

  • Meet your tour manager and continue to Kusadasi

KusadasiFull Day Itinerary: 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.

Day 3: Ephesus

Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Explore Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Balance of the day at leisure

Library of CelsusFull Day Itinerary: 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.

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

Day 4: Kusadasi, Pergamon, Troy & Canakkale

Accommodations: 1 night Hotel Akol, Canakkale. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.

  • Discover Pergamon, the capital of a once powerful kingdom
  • Continue to Asklepion, a famed ancient medical center
  • Visit the ancient city of Troy

Artist's rendition of ancient PergamonFull Day Itinerary: 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.

Asklepion ruinsContinue 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.

Day 5: Canakkale, Dardanelles & Istanbul

Accommodations: 3 nights Kent Hotel Istanbul. Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Enjoy a ferry ride across the Dardanelles
  • Visit the battle site of Gallipoli
  • Balance of the day at leisure in Istanbul

Full Day Itinerary: 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.

ANZAC Cove, GallipoliVisit 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.

Day 6: Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Full day at leisure in Istanbul

BosphorosOptional Excursion: Bosphorus Cruise & Egyptian Bazaar, $55 (purchased locally). 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 (purchased locally). In the evening, you may also choose an optional Istanbul by night with dinner and show, experiencing local cuisine and folklore.

Day 7: Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
  • Marvel at the Hagia Sophia, famous for its massive dome and Byzantine architecture
  • Balance of the day at leisure or join an optional excursion

Blue Mosque, IstanbulFull Day Itinerary: 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.

Topkapi PalaceOptional Excursion: Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, $50 (purchased locally). 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.

Day 8: Istanbul/USA

Included meals: Breakfast.

  • Transfer to the airport and board your return flight to the USA.




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Our first tour with Friendly Planet was wonderful. Every day was better than we were expecting. Our tour guide, Isa Levent Gurcavdi is very knowledgeable. She must be teaching history in a university. Overall the tour is really well managed. In the future we'd like to take another tour with Friendly Planet.

Norma & John Higgins, Stamford, CT

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