Discover Turkish treasures on a trip that packs in Ottoman Istanbul, the ancient ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, historic Gallipoli and the Aegean, fine Mediterranean beaches, whirling dervishes, stunning Cappadocia and UNESCO listed Safranbolu. This is ultimate Turkey, in two amazing weeks!
Saturday. Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the afternoon offers free time for you to relax or explore. At 8 o clock this evening our tip filled welcome meeting takes place. A great opportunity to meet your tour guide and travelling companions before our exciting 14 day adventure gets under way.
Istanbul is the only city in the world to span two continents resting on the shores of the Bosphorus - the strait of water that divides the continents of Europe and Asia. Its illustrious past leaves a rich legacy of churches, mosques, palaces and museums, complemented by the behemoth Grand Bazaar and colourful street life.
Today we embark on a classic guided tour of the city's highlights. Our first stop is Sultanahmet, the compact old city filled with parks, gardens and stunning sights. The Blue Mosque is famed for it’s blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets. The Hagia Sofia, constructed in the 6th century, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when it became a mosque. Just around the corner is the stunning Topkapi Palace where we spend time exploring the grounds and various museums contained within the Palace walls. Evening at leisure.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast
Istanbul – Gallipoli. Early this morning we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead.
Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Bair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years. Roughly 3 feet deep, the system of trenches provided much need safe cover for troops as they desperately fought the enemy.
Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation, waterside.
Overnight: Canakkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Troy & Coastal Kusadasi
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. At Troy (the inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy) we visit the Trojan Horse and ruins. We enjoy a guided tour of the ancient city that dates back to 3000BC! En route to Kusadasi, we explore the ruins of Pergamum with it's impressive temples, library and medical facilities which made it a famous cultural and political centre of it's time.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Sirince. Today, we enjoy a guided tour of the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans, was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000 and became the Roman Capital of Asia Minor. It revelled in it's prosperity from commerce and visiting pilgrims who came to see the great Temple of Artemis - one of the Seven Ancient Wonders. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts carefully restored elements including a Great Theatre, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis and the Library of Celsus. Stop by the ancient public toilets and public brothel!
Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and afterward we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made before visiting the quaint Greek village of Sirince peached mountainside within a valley of vineyards and orchards.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi – Pamukkale – Marmaris. Meandering through the sweeping plains and endless cotton farms we arrive at the ruins of Roman Hieropolis and the hot springs of Pamakkule. Admire this surreal landscape created by frequent earthquakes in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin. Marvel at the crystalline marble, quartzites and stalagtites, which shimmer in the sunlight. There will be time to paddle our feet as you walk the terraces or opt for a dip in the thermal baths. Later we stop at a leather manufacturing house.
Overnight: Marmaris | Breakfast, Dinner
Marmaris - Koycegiz - Fethiye. Arriving at the lakeside town of Koycegiz, we embark upon a boat cruise to Turtle Beach and smother ourselves in mud at the local mud bath. We continue our journey to Fethiye, a charming port town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, fringed by the Taurus Mountains where we'll spend the next two nights.
Overnight: Fethiye | Breakfast, Dinner
Fethiye - Kayakoy Greek village - Oludeniz - Fethiye. After breakfast today we explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy. This afternoon we drive to Oludeniz, a popular resort town which is home to the beautiful Blue Lagoon. Here you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a swim before travelling back to neighbouring Fethiye.
Overnight: Fethiye | Breakfast
Fethiye - Antalya. Today we visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, take a walk through nature, or just relax and watch the world go by from the fig tree-shaded wooden platforms that overlook the river. Weaving our way through the Touros Mountains we arrive to Antalya visiting the Duden Waterfalls en route.
Overnight: Antalya | Breakfast, Dinner
Antalya – Cappadocia. Early morning departure for Konya, en route we visit the ancient theatre of Aspendos. Arriving at Konya, we tour the monastery of the Mevlana whirling dervishes and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. A further stop is made along the Silk Road at the Seljuk - a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai.
Overnight: Cappadocia | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we tour the stunning Cappadocia region - an extraordinary national treasure The utter improbability of the seemingly surreal landscapes have to be seen to be believed, where whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock of Cappadocia.
The crumbling legacy of persecuted Christians trying to escape the Muslim onslaught in 1st - 10th centuries AD by effectively heading underground is one of Turkey’s finest attractions.
A guided tour of the region includes the World Heritage Listed Goreme Valley to see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches and chapels, Kaymaki Underground City and Uchisar Castle. Stopping on the outskirts of Goreme Village we have the opportunity to see Pigeon Valley where century’s old pigeon houses are carved into the surrounding cliffs, the pigeon droppings that litter the area have been used as fertilizer on crops for generations. Here you will also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, specialising in historic jewellery designs unique to Turkey and using local materials and craftsmen. For those not interested in shopping spend a little time relaxing and grab a drink from the local cafe. An optional Turkish dinner and folklore evening is available tonight.
Overnight: Cappadocia | Breakfast
Cappadocia – Safranbolu. Opt for an early morning hot air balloon flight over lunar landscape. Today we head to the World Heritage Listed town of Safranbolu. The town boasts many graceful Ottoman homes, once the residences of royalty and artisan work shops crafting traditional Turkish wares. Tonight we stay in an Ottoman mansion home.
Overnight: Safranbolu | Breakfast, Dinner
Friday. We say goodbye to our new friends, our tour concludes after breakfast and onward departure transfer to the airport.
Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus (Karakoy), Istanbul
Opened in February 2016, the Novotel Istanbul Bosphorus is the latest in the Novotel range. Guest rooms have a contemporary design and the hotel also benefits from an indoor pool, onsite spa and fitness centre. The Novist restaurant serves up a delicious array of Turkish and international dishes. Set in the trendy Karakoy district of the city it's a great place to base yourself when visiting the city.
Kolin Hotel, Canakkale
Looking out across the Dardanelles, the modern and bright Kolin Hotel offers well appointed rooms with hard wood flooring and tasteful decor. The hotel also boasts a luxury spa, wellness centre and a number of mouth watering restaurants all set within perfectly manicured lawns. Sipping a sundowner on the roof bar, overlooking the beautiful strait, is the perfect way to end the day. The hotel is located on the water’s edge a short drive from the town centre with beautiful views out to sea.
Ramada Kusadasi, Kusadasi
Perched on the coast next to the Aegean Sea, the palatial Ramada Kusadasi has no less than six outdoor pools with water slides, a stunning indoor pool and luxury spa centre. Guest rooms are spacious and well equipped all with private balconies. Guests can choose from Turkish or Italian inspired restaurants as well as a number of bars. There is also a large golf club with excellent facilities and beautiful grounds.
Bluebay Platinum Hotel, Marmaris
Sitting right on the beach, the Bluebay Platinum Hotel offers no fewer than 4 outdoor pools. This 5 star resort includes a full service spa, expansive restaurant and Wi-Fi in public areas. Guest rooms are spacious and bright and all come with private balconies and plasma TVs. The restaurant serves both Turkish and international cuisine in a vast buffet within the modern dining hall. The staff at the hotel come highly recommended and the Blue Bay has an enviable location close to the centre of the vibrant resort town of Marmaris.
Hotel Ata Park, Fethiye
Set with a beautiful green backdrop, the Hotel Ata Park is a comfortable hotel with well equipped rooms and a gorgeous outdoor pool. The rooms boast hard wooden flooring, some quirky furnishings and balconies with fantastic views across the bay. Tempt your palate with delicious local seafood at the in house Bahriyeli Fish House or quaff some beautiful local wines at the Wine House. Both come highly recommended. The hotel is located right on the bay overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Best Western Khan Hotel, Antalya
Modern and elegant, the Best Western Khan has good sized rooms with en suites and a range of modern amenities, and free transportation to Konyaaltı, one of the most beautiful beaches in Antalya. A breakfast buffet iserved in the hotel's restaurant on a daily basis and various Turkish delicacies can be found here as well. The hotel also has a pool and fitness centre. The hotel is located in the city centre, within easy walking distance of the Old Town and Marina.
Kapadokya Lodge, Cappadocia
Kapadokya Lodge is a contemporary hotel featuring carefully designed rooms. The architectural style draws upon the shapes, colours and textures of the landscape to make your trip to Cappadocia seem even more special.The hotel has an onsite restaurant is buffet style with a great array of Turkish and International cuisine. Free wi-fi is available and the outdoor pool is great for a refreshing dip. It is also possible to see the hot air balloons in the morning from the hotel.
Cinci Han, Safranbolu
One of the biggest historic caravansarays in Turkey, the Cinci Han is a unique style hotel. Guest rooms are classically designed with attractive silk bedding and rustic stone interiors. Meals are served in the a la carte restaurant and wi-fi is available throughout. Sip delicious Turkish tea in the open courtyard - the perfect way to end the day! Well located on the outskirts of Safranbolu.
Ramada Old City, Istanbul
A member of the reputable Ramada chain, the Istanbul Old Town property is modern and comfortable with excellent amenities. Guestrooms are bright and spacious with contemporary amenities. Two restaurants are on offer and our personal favourite is the wonderful roof top restaurant, serving delicious local cuisine coupled with a magnificent view of the City and Sea. The perfect way to end the day. Located very close to the Historical part of the city with major Monuments are all walking distance.
Emrah was a very knowledgeable guide who managed to cater his approach for the different people on the tour. He was very supportive and always available.”
Hello - Turkey is one of the best countries I have visited and would encourage everyone to put it on their wish list. The country, people, food/wine, culture and history are all wonderful. Istanbul is an amazing city; so alive and vibrant - needs to be seen to be believed. My husband and I stayed on another 5 days to enjoy it further. The group consisted of 12 people plus the guide and driver; we covered 5,200 kls in total. Our tour guide was Recep Aydin who was an absolutely marvellous guide who provided us with great insight into every site and attraction we visited. His knowledge was outstanding which he delivered with genuine passion for what he does. I am so happy I was on his tour to have experienced his presence and personality. Turkey is not a country to be wary of, as described by the Australian Government, who advise - to exercise extreme caution. I didn't find it a dangerous place at all. There was a military presence and additional security in public places but it was not intrusive, and I did not fear for my safety. The country is suffering badly with tourism down 80% due to cancellations, which is a real shame to see. Since coming home we have spread the word to family, friends and colleagues to go to Turkey and especially do this very same tour. Cheers Jean”
From the outset of this tour Recep provided an excellent insight to the wonders of Turkey. His expert knowledge coupled with a very fine sense of humour helped with this small tour on which there were 4 members who did not want to join in with the group. Recep is an excellent guide and helped us when things did not go quite to plan such as an ATM not returning my EFTPOS card. He organised some excellent additional evening activities which again helped in my understanding of Turkey and its culture. I would recommend this tour to everybody and if they are lucky enough to have Recep as their guide they will be in for a wonderful time. ”
Turkey is a land of contrasts - in a relatively small country the range was remarkable. Out tour leader, Erkan is Turkish and like most Turks, he is very passionate about his country. He also has a deep knowledge of current topics and history (including religions of Turkey). Our tour was well organised. Our driver Ghengis worked very well with Erkan making sure it all went according to the plan - the two were a fantastic team. At no time did we have concerns for our safety knowing that On The Go were taking all steps to ensure we were not put in dangerous situations. Tourist numbers were low so it meant we could experience historical sites without the noise normally present at popular sites. Now is a very good time to be making the trip to Turkey.”
Our guide was fantastic and the trip was well organised and very enjoyable. We did have a couple of people on the trip that excluded themselves from fitting in which did cause some concern for the guide. ”
I've just done the 14 day Turkey Discovered tour with On The Go Tours and our tour guide asked us to give you feedback
Although very apprehensive about going after the incident at the Airport and the Coup I took a deep breath and went
This would have to have been one of the best experiences I've had, the tour guide Reggie was outstanding in both historical knowledge and communication skills, Ali was also a very competent driver briefly when I travel next year I will find what tours are available and book through your company
Thanks for an amazing holiday ”
Our 14 day tour of Turkey was fantastic. Our guide Yusuf was so knowledgeable, I couldn't fault our entire trip. We were a small group of 4 plus our guide and driver and so it felt like a private tour. Yusuf would always explain the areas we were visiting and then give us time to explore on our own. The tour was very organised with tickets ready for entry to different sites so there was no queuing. Most dinners and all our breakfast were included so all we had to worry about was what souvenirs to buy.
I have done some previous travelling but Turkey and its people are a highlight for me.
I have never seen so many amazing ruins nor have I eaten such wonderful baklava .
14 days gave us a really good feel for the country and every day was full of highlights.
Being an Australian Gallipoli was a must see and the hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia was another highlight.
I have travelled once before with On The Go and was impressed and this last trip reinforced my belief that the company and the tours are extremely well organised and the guides are simply the best. ”
We have just completed a 14-day Turkey Discovered OTG Tour. It was an amazing tour. Turkey has so much to see, something different and interesting around every corner. As my wife said to me its photographer’s paradise. We never had a dull moment.
We normally arrange all our travel arrangements ourselves. But in this case due to distances to cover, and the number of places we wanted to visit, plus the ongoing political situation in Turkey we decided to go with a tour. We were both a little skeptical if we would enjoy the tour but it was more than we could have hope for. The variation between ancient ruins, beautiful beaches, cafes, bazaars, 5 star hotels to a very quaint historical house that we stayed in made it so interesting and different. I have no hesitation in recommending this tour to my family and friends. Our tour leader also arranged the optional (additional to the tour) of a Balloon ride in Cappadocia at sunrise. If you have never had a balloon ride, Cappadocia is a must. it’s truly a bucket list; must do item!!!!!
In regards Turkey especially Istanbul we felt as safe as you would in any large city, even more so as we moved into the smaller regions. We found the Turkish people humble, caring, honest, genuine and always very friendly towards us. So what was happening politically never impacted negatively on our tour.
We were so lucky to have such an excellent tour leader as Recep Aydin(aka Reggie). His excellent communication skills, including fluent English made it so easy in arranging anything we needed. His understanding of the historical past (Recep has a number of Degrees in Turkish History) and his ability to convey the background to us on the Turkish culture and its tradition so we fully understood the significance of each location that we visited. Recep made the real difference to us on what we did and see; not just to see these truly incredible sites first hand but to understand the past and the impact to the people and times in history. Recep also took us to great places as part of the tour where we could have an excellent lunches and he would share his suggestions for local dishes ( the food was another highlight of visiting Turkey) especially in some of the small family run cafes we went to for lunch. Our driver “Ali” was also excellent, the tour covered 5200 Km plus, but it was effortless for us …the road system in Turkey is first class.
Our near new vehicle was spotlessly clean, having WiFi, air conditioning etc. The tour was very well arranged, i.e. between the time seeing sites and time back on the road, Obviously a lot of planning has gone in to make the balance just right, with a number of 2 day stops, and own time to explore all the sites we stopped at. Turkey is a fantastic destination, and through this tour and especially due to our tour leader Recep Aydin we experienced so much, I would highly recommend to all ….if you haven’t been to Turkey…and don’t want the hassles of arranging all the travel related arrangements ..then consider the On the Go-Turkey Discovered tour. It was amazing tour… and Turkey is a fantastic destination. Our special thanks to Recep…you made our Turkish experience so memorable.
Peter and Joanne O’Leary ”
This was our third trip with On-the-Go and our longest. Turkey is such a diverse country steeped in some amazing history and over our two weeks, we certainly covered a great deal of all there was to see! Istanbul, now one of my favourite cities was our starting point, then Gallipoli and its sombre yet beautiful features. On to Troy, dressing up as Romans was a lot of fun, then Kusadasi, fabulous Ephesus with its historic library building. On to Parmakkale hot springs to swim amongst the roman ruins (literally), Saklikent Gorge then Cappadocia (including ballooning over the valley, a must do!). We then headed on to Safronbolu with its Ottoman homes - another treasure that is not to be missed - walking around the town is a delight, meeting local people and merchants and trying local cuisine. We headed back to Istanbul to wander the Grand Bazaar, brimming with stories and memories of a truly wonderful country and people. Our guide Burhan, shy at first as I certainly would be, proved a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about the history and facts of Turkey. He handled the few problems that did occur with composure and assertiveness, ensuring that we all enjoyed our trip immensely. He is an asset to On the Go and I would highly recommend him as a tour guide.”
Had a wonderful time in Turkey. Although there was some initial concern about the safety of travelling , to Instanbul in particular, I had no such concerns on arriving. The Turkish people were very friendly , the food was amazing and the sights were unbelievable.
Our guide was exceptional , with a dry sense of humor and excellent knowledge of the sites we visited. In particular our hot air balloon over the Goreme Valley in Cappodocia was truly amazing.”
Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights
Emrah was a very knowledgeable guide who managed to cater his approach for the different people on the tour. He was very supportive and always available.”
On The Go's Signature group tours place local interaction and authenticity at the heart of your cultural travel experience. Upping the comfort stakes, this range is a clear cut above our OTG Adventure range.
Appealing to a wide age demographic from the 20s to 60+, we maximize your days with excitement and awe and then bring you home to a comfortable 4* hotel with western amenities, air-conditioning, WiFi and, where appropriate, a swimming pool. Hotels can sometimes be of 3 or 5 star standard too, ensuring you get the best value for your holiday.
Visiting all the main attractions you’ll be accompanied throughout by our highly qualified English-speaking local guides too. Group size is typically 18 with a maximum for 28, apart from festival tours, where group sizes can be larger due to the one-off nature of these events.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Turkey, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
Blue Mosque | Istanbul | Turkey
Anzac Cove Sign | Anzac Day | Turkey
Replica of the Trojan Horse | Troy | Turkey
Library of Celsus in Ephesus is a highlight of any visit to Turkey
Pamukkale | Turkey
Fethiye port | Turkey
Whirling Dervish | Turkey
Hot air ballooning | Cappadocia | Turkey
Safranbolu | Turkey