Witness the magical land where East meets West. Nestled at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey has enticed travelers for centuries upon centuries. From its stunning sun-soaked beaches adorned with charming seaside towns and lively cities full of vibrant locals and incredible cuisine to the dozens of ancient UNESCO World Heritage sites and bustling markets loaded with handmade rugs and ceramics, Turkey is full of diverse landscapes, ornate culture and fascinating history that you must experience for yourself.
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- Destinations: Turkey
- including closed packages
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Istanbul is a major city in Turkey and the only city in the world that is built on two continents: Europe and Asia. Standing out as Turkey's most developed and largest city, Istanbul is home to countless museums, churches, palaces, bazaars and grand mosques, and shows signs of civilization dating back over 400,000 years. One of the most glorious landmarks in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia that was built between 537 and 543 AD by the emperor Justinian I. This massive structure that stands as one of the great symbols of Istanbul is popularly known for its ginormous dome and Byzantine architecture. The Hagia Sophia was originally built as an Orthodox basilica, later became a mosque and today stands as a museum. Istanbul is also home to the Blue Mosque, whose design was influenced by the Hagia Sophia. Travelers can find one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar. Opened in 1461, you'll find goods such as leather coats, gold jewelry and other material items throughout its abundance of stores (over 1200!).
Distinctively known for its fairy tale-like landscape, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cappadocia is situated on a high, dry plateau in central Turkey. The "fairy chimneys" that are scattered throughout the semi-arid region are towering, cone-shaped rock structures that were formed from volcanic eruptions that covered the region with ash which hardened over 2 million years. Throughout the following years, humans began carving caves into these structures, forming complex chambers and tunnels. In the beginning of 4th century A.D., an urbanized, underground city was then created. Originally, the underground living quarters stood as refuge for the early Christians from the Roman Empire; however, they evolved to include churches, houses, schools, stables, kitchens and more, and most stand as museums today (although some are still serving as homes!). Visitors can walk through this magical land, but you can also gain an even better view from flying above! Cappadocia is one of the most popular hot air ballooning sites in the entire world.
- Sultanahmet Mosque
The Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque due to its vibrant blue-hued tiles and paint covering its interior, is located in Istanbul and was built between 1609 and 1616. The mosque is situated between the Hagia Sophia and the Byzantine Hippodrome near the Ottoman royal residence, Topkapı Palace. This massive wonder is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period, and today stands as an actively-functioning mosque as well as an incredible sight for visitors around the world. Aside from the intricate tile work and paint inside, its rooms and halls are home to over 200 stained glass windows, thick, ornate carpets covering the floors, and walls full of Qur'an verses by Seyyid Kasim Gubari. Additionally, the mosque contains the tomb of Sultan Ahmed I, its magnificent founder.
The ancient city of Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once settled by Jews from Babylon and Mesopotamia. Famous for its hot springs that were created without the use of cement and have been used for centuries as a relaxing spa location, the name "Hierapolis" means sacred city. The ancient people of the area believed that the god Apollo had founded this city; therefore, the city was dedicated to him. Although the hot springs are still a very popular tourist attraction today, it is said that they once had healing properties, and people would travel to Hierapolis to bathe in these mineral-rich waters in order to cure and heal their various ailments. Hierapolis is part of Pamukkale, which means "cotton castle", another city that is known for their hot springs and stunning ice-like terraces that have been created by carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.
- Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, located in the magnificent city of Ephesus. Founded over 4,000 years ago, Ephesus was the capital city of the Roman Province of Asia Minor. This incredible Greek temple was built in the 6th century BCE, and was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. The Temple of Artemis is significant, especially due to its massive size. This temple was three to four times the size of other Greek temples, including the Parthenon in Athens. Once home to both Greeks and Romans, this grand temple was destroyed and rebuilt countless times over history. It was first destroyed by a deliberate fire in the 4th century BCE and then rebuilt. The temple was then ruined once again during the Gothic invasion of 267 CE. After being rebuilt a second time, the Temple of Artemis was torn down one last time by a Christian mob. In present day, the temple is showcased by a single column standing as a reminder of where the great structure once stood as the greatest temple in the Mediterranean.
Best known as the focus of the Trojan War as described in the epic poem by Homer, Iliad, the ancient city of Troy is a sprawling archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although it is a real-life site, Troy also refers to an ancient legend. According to the legend, Troy was a city in ancient times that was besieged for years and later conquered by the Greek army, which led to the Trojan War. Based off of Iliad, this war was focused on the son of Troy's King, Paris, abducting the queen of Sparta, Helen. The poem focuses on the series of events that appeared to have taken place over the course of the war toward the end of the Bronze Age, showcasing the gods' opinions on both sides of the conflict. Today, the present-day location of Troy is known as Hisarlık, situated in the northwest region of Anatolia, Turkey. Though the idea of Troy goes back over 2,700 years, the idea became relevant again when Heinrich Schliemann excavated what was thought to be King Priam's treasures at Hisarlık.
Already booked on one of our packages to Turkey? See everything you need to know before you go.
|Entry requirements||Please see our Entry Requirements page.|
Immunizations are not currently required for travel to Turkey. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities about possible vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis. We also suggest bringing insect repellent.
Istanbul is temperate, warm, and humid in the summer. Eastern Turkey has short summers and bitterly cold winters. Central Anatolia is dry and hot in the summer, rainy and snowy in the winter. If you plan to visit beaches, June through September is the best time to travel. Southeastern Turkey is very dry and extremely hot in the summer.
|What to wear||
The Turkish clothing style is casual. We suggest loose fitting clothes made of cotton or linen, a wide brimmed hat to cover your face and back of your neck, sunglasses, light shawl or scarf, and a light sweater for cool and windy nights are also valuable accessories for your trip. The evening attire at restaurants, casinos, lounges and nightclubs is “country club casual” – relaxed yet elegant. If you plan to visit the beach, be sure to bring a swimsuit, a cover-up, water shoes or sandals, and a good sunscreen. Some excursions may visit religious sites where guests are required to dress modestly. Shorts and sleeveless tops are not permitted; and arms and legs should be covered. Covered shoulders and skirts below the knee for women, shorts below the knee for men are highly suggested. If you have two pairs of comfortable (broken in, not brand new) walking shoes, by all means, take both pairs. Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world and to be sure you are comfortable during your trip and prepared for all types of weather possibilities, we suggest that you carry a small folding umbrella and take with you a lightweight jacket or sweater. Packing to dress in layers is another way to prepare for a variety of weather conditions. Finally, remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe for the tour, and casual clothes are in order for most every occasion as you travel.
|Money & Credit Cards||
The official currency in Turkey is the Lira. The hotels used on this program as well as some local stores and some restaurants will be able to accept Visa and MasterCard. A few, mostly high-end venues may accept American Express. However, for street shopping you will need the local currency. Your hotels will be able to exchange cash to the local currency. We highly recommend that you bring crisp, new bills in small denominations. Old, torn, crumpled bills are not accepted. ATMs are also available at the airport and in some of the cities visited. If you wish to use your credit and/or debit cards during your stay in Turkey, we highly recommend that you notify your bank prior to your departure. And be sure to remember your numeric code.
Traveler’s checks are no longer widely accepted. If you intend to use traveler’s checks while on the tour, please verify that they are still accepted in the places visited.
Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card while traveling.
Turkey is a shopper’s paradise! From unique, handmade items to fine leather, there is something to please everyone. Popular items include handwoven rugs and kilims, copper, and brass. Please be aware that some items labeled “antique” are fake. If you purchase an antique, be sure to obtain an official permit to export it. It is always a good idea to comparison-shop, and exercise the “buyer-beware” rule, just as you do at home. Be sure to inspect the merchandise before you leave the store. Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange purchased items.
|Electricity & Power Adapters||
230 volts. Plugs C & F. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
Learn more about electrical standards around the world.
|Cell Phones & Internet|
Cameras and video recorders are generally allowed almost everywhere in Turkey, and in fact, you will want to take plenty of pictures of the magnificent panoramas you’ll encounter as you travel. Photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will also be readily available, especially in major cities.
|Did you know?||