Treasures of Turkey: A Luxury Small-Group Tour

Steeped in history and pulsating with a vibrant energy, Turkey beckons you with the promise of astonishing architecture, exotic culture and one of the world’s most fragrant cuisines. Experience the journey of a lifetime where the air is rich with local spices, the sites replete with ancient wonders of the bygone days of Empire, and colourful bazaars dazzle with a wonderful array of Ottoman jewellery, beautifully handcrafted ceramics and the heady aroma of Turkish coffee. Includes 11 nights of luxury accommodation, daily breakfasts and gourmet experiences, internal flights and private transportation, a cruise along the Bodrum Peninsula in a private traditional gulet, a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the spectacular Cappadocian landscape, insider experiences with private local guides, all entrance fees and more.

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Happily poised between Asia and Europe, Turkey is an entrancing mix of cultures, historical and modern-day attractions, and culinary influences that range from regal to contemporary. Revel in a unique journey of surprise and discovery, as history unfolds through the archaeological splendour of Istanbul, Bodrum, Ephesus and Cappadocia; while authentic local produce is served up with a healthy dose of famous Turkish hospitality.

See the 'Itinerary' tab for more details.

What You’ll Love

Nothing says welcome like an immersive dining experience with deeply rooted ties to Turkey’s ancient history. On day one, enjoy an enchanting evening at Matbah, Istanbul’s most exquisite dining experience. The menu, based on the sumptuous dishes once served at the court of the Ottoman sultans, is literally fit for a king. Taste sensations include Artichokes in Olive Oil, Beef Kebab in Fragrant Herbs, and Stuffed Quince with Molasses.

Relive the heyday of the Byzantine Empire in Istanbul. In Sultanahmet, the stunning construction of Hagia Sophia is said to have changed the history of architecture. The Hippodrome, a rectangular arena alongside the park, bears remnants of obelisks and statues from the time of the chariot races. Roam through the bustling stalls at the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest markets in the world, for a great local find.

Once a fishing village, Bodrum features superb beaches and an innovative dining scene inspired by both Mediterranean and Asian flavours. Discover the secrets to Turkish meze in a sumptuous cooking class. This local farm-to-table cooking house will share some of the recipes for well-known Turkish bites. After the class, enjoy the dishes with the local drop, raki.

At sunrise, soar high above the stunning landscape of the Cappadocia region in a hot-air balloon. It’s the ultimate vantage point from which to drink in the views of the breathtaking panorama below: tall volcanic spires, high plateaus, deep valleys gloriously bathed in the morning light. Float between fairy chimneys and caves before landing to toast this unforgettable experience.

Luxury Stays – Your tour includes stays in two of the most unique hotels in the world

Once a monastery, the award-winning Argos in Cappadocia offers a luxury stay like no other. This world-class boutique hotel high above the village of Uchisar has been carefully built from its surrounding stunning terrain: ancient ruins, caves and underground tunnels. Sleep under beautifully arched stone ceilings, and relax in inviting nooks and crannies at seven different mansions. The hotel has a winery attached, providing an endless flow of top-shelf local and foreign beverages to the superb menu at the award-winning Seki restaurant.

The magical setting of the five-star Shangri-La Bosphorus in Istanbul yields deep blue waterfront views of the Bosphorus Strait. Admire the beautiful domes, Bohemian glass chandeliers and sweeping staircases, and be sure to book in for a relaxing massage at the hotel’s famed CHI Spa.

Tour Extension: Troy and Gallipoli

Continue your journey back in time to discover Greek mythology, ancient ruins and famous battlegrounds. Visit Gallipoli, the scene of one of the most epic battles in ANZAC history, and pay your respects to the fallen soldiers in this unsuccessful attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia in World War I.

Your Package Includes:

· 11 nights of luxury accommodation including four nights at Shangri-La Bosphorus, two nights at Swisshotel Bodrum, two nights at Nea Efessos and three nights at Argos

· Daily breakfasts and gourmet experiences as noted in the itinerary, including an exquisite dinner showcasing exclusive dishes once served to Ottoman sultans, a tasting trail through Istanbul’s vibrant streets, a farm-to-table traditional Turkish dining experience, dinner at the award-winning Seki restaurant in Cappadocia, dinner with a local Turkish family, and more

· Domestic flights from Istanbul to Bodrum, Izmir to Kayseri, and Cappadocia to Istanbul

· Private cruise along the beautiful Bodrum peninsula in a traditional gulet including a sumptuous lunch prepared on board

· Sunrise hot-air balloon flight over the spectacular Cappadocian landscape

· All airport transfers and air-conditioned transport throughout

· The services of a local, English-speaking guide and entrance fees to all sightseeing listed

Extension Inclusions:

· Two nights of luxury accommodation at the Buyuk Tuva Hotel and Shangri-La Bosphorus

· Daily breakfasts and lunches

· A drive through the Dracian Peninsula, and a ferry crossing of the Dardanelles

· A tour of Troy and a visit to the Gallipoli battlefield

Valid for select departure dates below:

26 March 2018

9 April 2018

23 April 2018

7 May 2018

21 May 2018

4 June 2018

18 June 2018 - TOUR SOLD OUT

2 July 2018 - TOUR SOLD OUT

10 September 2018 - TOUR SOLD OUT

17 September 2018 TOUR SOLD OUT

24 September 2018

22 October 2018

All departure dates are subject to availability and early bookings are highly recommended.

Instant Booking: To secure your dates at purchase, click 'Instant Booking' and select your preferred package. Once your preferred package is selected you'll click through to 'Choose Your Dates of Travel' and will be able to enter in your preferred tour commencement date.

Tipping and gratuities are not included in the package and are at your own discretion (as a guide, approx. US$10-15 per person, per day is the industry standard).

Arrival and departure transfers are only available on the first and last day of the tour. Any arrivals and departures outside of these days will need to make their own arrangements to/from the airport.

Travellers are advised to check with their local health professional at least 45 days prior to departure, as some vaccinations require30 days or more to be effective. Proof of vaccination is not usually required unless you are coming from an infected area.

The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 18 years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise an additional single traveller surcharge will apply. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.

Single Traveller Surcharge: If travelling alone, you must purchase the Single Traveller package option. See the package options for further details.

Maximum tour capacity is 16 people, minimum tour capacity is two people.

Tour includes accommodation at the following hotels:

  • Shangri-La Bosphorus
  • Swisshotel Bodrum
  • Nea Efessos
  • Argos
  • Buyuk Tuva Hotel (extension only)

Accommodation is subject to availability and may be substituted for a hotel of a similar standard.

Maximum Room Capacity: The maximum room capacity is two people.

Please note, connecting rooms are not available.

Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated) and menu options are subject to change.

International flights are not included and need to be purchased separately. You will need to make your own way to the start of the tour and onwards from the end of the tour (Istanbul Ataturk Airport).

Luggage limit on all internal flights is 20kgs.

Travel insurance is compulsory. We suggest purchasing travel insurance as soon as possible after purchasing this package.

Refund Policy The ’7 day change of mind guarantee’ does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Luxury Escapes Refund Policy applies.

Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on existing reservations.

Any unused portion of the package is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.

Additional expenses are not included.

Please note: disability access is limited during the tour please consider this when making your booking.

Before making a reservation, please ensure that the name on the reservation is the same as it appears on your passport. An error may result in a name change penalty or boarding being denied by the airline. Luxury Escapes accepts no responsibility for accuracy of name on the travel documents.

Package cannot be split.

Offer only available for consecutive nightly stays.

Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your intended stay overseas.

A visa may be required to the countries you are visiting and transiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are holding a current visa.

The value and comparative savings has been determined based on published rack rates and the value of inclusions. Please be advised that rack rates may not be reflective of actual rates being charged, dependent on the timing and manner of your booking and therefore are only indicative of the level of saving.

All activities and services (including late checkout) are subject to availability.

Please note that full terms and conditions apply - refer https://luxuryescapes.com/au/terms-and-conditions

DAY 1 – Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul where you’ll be met by a local representative and transferred for check-in to the magical Shangri-La Bosphorus, where you’ll stay for the next two nights. Glittering water views of the Bosphorus Strait from the hotel, set in the financial and entertainment district of Besiktas, is a prelude to the enchanting evening to come at Matbah, Istanbul’s most exquisite dining experience. The menu, based on the sumptuous dishes once served at the court of the Ottoman sultans, is literally fit for a king.

Accommodation: Shangri-La Bosphorus
Meals: Dinner

DAY 2 – Istanbul

History is on the agenda today as you journey in the footsteps of the city's great emperors with a local guide. Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople) has such a wealth of historic sights, shopping precincts and great eateries that you might never want to leave. Among its most magnificent is the Hagia Sophia (“holy wisdom”), whose jaw-dropping construction and structural splendour is said to have changed the history of architecture.

Enter the Hippodrome, a rectangular arena alongside the Sultanahmet Park and scene of many a chariot race enjoyed by the Byzantine Emperors. Inspect the decorative statues and obelisks that remain to this day in the now-treelined land.

After lunch, head for the Basilica Cistern, whose subterranean structure was designed to store up to 80,000 cubic metres of water delivered via aqueducts from a reservoir near the Black Sea to service the Great Palace.

Pick up a trinket or two at the colourful Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, boasting more than 3000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books.

Finish off the day with a delicious tasting trail through the city’s thriving streets.

Accommodation: : Shangri-La Bosphorus
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 – Istanbul

The day is yours to spend at leisure or pick your own attractions. A local guide is on hand with suggestions on what to see or do. Opt for more shopping, sample local delicacies, or continue to relive the heydays of the Ottoman Empire with a visit to the colourful Topkapi Palace, gleaming with opulent pavilions, sprawling harems and the jewels of an Imperial Treasury.

Accommodation: Shangri-La Bosphorus
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4 – Istanbul - Bodrum

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Bodrum, where you’ll be transferred to the Swissotel Bodrum on arrival for two nights’ stay. Once a fishing village, Bodrum today is teeming with superb beaches and vibrant nightlife precincts of bars and eateries. Set off for Bodrum Castle for breathtaking views of the city from the battlements and visit its underwater archaeological museum. In the evening discover the secrets to Turkish meze in an sumptuous cooking class. This local farm-to-table cooking house will share some of the recipes to well-known Turkish bites. After the class, enjoy the dishes with drops of the local raki.

Accommodation: Swissotel Bodrum
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 – Bodrum

Bring out the seafarer in you as you prep for a day of sailing the beautiful peninsula in a traditional gulet. Marvel at the sun-soaked coastline, brushed in verdant hillsides and replete with outlying coves, resort towns and coastal villages, as you relax on deck. Snorkel and swim at pristine stops throughout, and hop off at Kara Ada for a quick drink or snack. The popular destination for yachts is also famous for its healing mineral springs.

Accommodation: Swissotel Bodrum
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6 – Bodrum - Selcuk

After breakfast, drive to Selcuk three hours away and check into Nea Efessos for two nights’ accommodation. Visit the town centre, St John Basilica, Isa Bey Mosque and Ephesus Museum. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Sirince village before returning to the hotel.

Accommodation: Nea Efessos
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 – Ephesus

History and film buffs will love this day among the ruins of Ephesus, arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. More than a century of excavation has unearthed the city’s rich classical history, including the imposing Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Tour around the amphitheatre, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsius. One of the most famous couples of the historic world, Mark Antony and Cleopatra, once strolled the marble streets here. Then head to a local restaurant to enjoy the local specialty of gozleme before an afternoon at leisure.

Accommodation: Nea Efessos
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 8 – Cappadocia

Drive to Izmir and fly to Kayseri, where you’ll be transferred to the magnificent Argos hotel for three nights’ stay. In the afternoon savour unique local drops, accompanied by cheeses, from the biggest underground wine cellar in Turkey in a wine-tasting session. Continue your gastronomic journey with dinner at the hotel’s award-winning Seki restaurant, offering authentic local flavours in dishes such as Kirci Pasta, Homemade Kayseri Manti and Celtik Kebab.

Accommodation: Argos
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 – Cappadocia

Rise and shine early for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the other-worldly Cappadocian landscape. Soar high over valleys, orchard and vineyards that act like virtual kaleidoscopes bathed in the changing glow of the sunrise. After breakfast at the hotel, head to Derinkuyu Underground City, which dips seven levels beneath the ground. Next stop is a UNESCO heritage site: the Goreme Open-Air Museum to view the incredible houses, churches and monasteries carved out of the soft cliff face. The Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art, cave chapels and colourful biblical frescoes from the 10th to 12th centuries. Then take a short walk through “Love Valley”, famous for its phallic rock formations. A special dinner treat awaits when your guide takes you in the evening to dine with a local family in their own home. It’s the ultimate blend of authentic flavours, homespun hospitality and spectacular landscape to bookend the day.

Accommodation: Argos
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 – Cappadocia

Another day at leisure lets you make your own discoveries. Check with the local guide for suggestions. Take a walk down a valley – there are plenty to whet the adventurous appetite – try a ceramic masterclass with local master Chez Galip, or join a carpet tutorial to see how those famed Turkish carpets are created.

Accommodation: Argos
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11 – Cappadocia - Istanbul

Fly back to Istanbul and be transferred to the Shangri-La Bosphorus for an overnight stay. The afternoon is yours to further explore some more of the hidden charms of the city. In the evening, your tour leader will take you to the best local tavern in town, set against the cool blue backdrop of the twinkling Bosphorus Strait, to enjoy your final dinner as a group.

Accommodation: Shangri-La Bosphorus
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 – Farewell

Your tour ends today, as you transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your onward flight.

Meals: Breakfast

EXTENDED TOUR: Troy and Gallipolli

DAY 12 – Troy

Drive through the Dracian Peninsula, cross the Darnadelles by ferry and continue to Troy. This is the site that has inspired countless movies, poems and works of Greek literature [Homer’s Iliad] to tell the story of the famous Trojan War in Greek mythology, sparked off when the Achaeans waged a bitter war against Troy to reclaim the beautiful Helen taken by Paris of Troy from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta.

Accommodation: Buyuk Tuva Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 13 – Gallipoli

Travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula, scene of one of the most sombre battles in ANZAC history. Tour former sites of World War 1 battlefields, where Turkish folk hero and Ataturk and his troops defeated the western Allied army. Poignant memorials have been erected around the sites for visitors to reflect and pay respects to the fallen soldiers. In the evening travel back to Istanbul.

Accommodation: Shangri La Bosphorus
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14 – Tour Ends

Your tour ends with a transfer to the Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Meals: Breakfast

Flights to Istanbul depart daily from all major Australian cities with a minimum of one stop, usually in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha.

Book your flight through us. First, confirm your tour booking dates. Our Tours Concierge will then be in touch within 24 business hours to assist with additional arrangements, with no booking fee to you.

A visa may be required to the destination you are visiting. It is each travellers responsibility to ensure they are holding a current visa. Please take the time to visit our preferred vendor website Visa’s Direct to assist you with any visa application requirements and processes. If you require any supporting documentation when applying for your visa please let us know and we would be more than happy to assist.

I can't say enough about our guide. He made us feel at ease, was full of knowledge which he conveyed in interesting ways and most importantly had a great sense of humour. We'll be recommending him and the tour to our friends. Thanks.
- J. Eleems - Sept 2017
Tour leader was outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable and very interested in meeting the various needs/expectations of all tour members. The cooking lesson, plus the meal in the house of a local family were highlights. Would definitely recommend this tour. We were fortunate that it was a small group, that made it feel more personalised. Thank you!
- L. Sheppard - Oct 2017
A wonderful experience from start to finish. The hotels kept getting better as the tour went on - the Argos a real stand out. The food was always great - and in abundance and our leader was the most knowledgeable and accommodating person I've ever met. So many highlights but ill never forget the sunrise balloon in Cappadoccia - magical! Thank you Luxury Escapes for creating memories that will stay with me forever.
- G. Bailey - Oct 2017
What a trip. Because of Iskenda (our guide) I learnt and saw much more than I ever dreamt of. His command of history, sense of humour and just easy going attitude was a huge plus. Loved everything. Thanks heaps.
- C. Smeek - Sept 2017

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