Turkey history tour

“A two week, small group tour, doing an historical circuit of central and western turkey, starting in Istanbul. Staying in hotels, and using private transfers and travelling with expert tour leader. ”


Istanbul | Gallipoli Peninsula | City of Troy | Bergama | Ancient site of Ephesus | Hiarapolis | Pamukkale or Cotton Castle | Teke Peninsula | Kas | Antalya | Kaleiçi | Aspendos | Konya | Mevlana's Mausoleum | Mount Hasan | Ihlara Valley walk | Fethiye | Cappadocia | Goreme Open Air Museum | Pasabaglari Valley | Safranbolu

Description of Turkey history tour

This Turkish history tour is a two week, in depth circuit of central and western Turkey, a country that has been vital to the development of western civilisation. As we travel to some of the key sites, such as UNESCO World Heritage Ephesus and Hiarapolis, the ancient city of Troy or the ruins at Bergama, we can see the many influences over time, as this country became an all important bridge between Europe and Asia. Indeed, it is a country that has witnessed the impacts of many empires.

We certainly don’t overlook Turkey’s natural heritage on this trip, and one can rarely ignore its stunning coast anyway, with endless coves and bays in beauty spots such as the Teke or Gallopoli Peninsula or Fethiye. And of course, Cappadocia is a must see, Turkey’s central Anatolian wonderland that was carved by volcanic activity and water erosion. Along with the fairy chimneys of the PasabaglariValley, this stupendous landscape brings our historic odyssey to a heroic close.

Travel Team

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27 Apr 2019
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18 May 2019
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12 Oct 2019
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Turkey history tour

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend the trip in smaller, locally staffed hotels on a B&B basis and use local restaurants for the rest of our meals. The most popular dishes in Turkey are kebabs, stewed meat, grilled aubergine, stuffed seafood and sweets like baklava. Alongside supporting small businesses with our commerce daily, this trip also offers two optional eating opportunities which give an additional benefit to the community. In Cappadocia, clients can eat in the home of a Turkish family- giving a unique insight into regional life and putting money directly into the pocket of local people. Clients can also dine at a Womens Cooperative restaurant if they choose.

Funds are donated on line and matched by our Intrepid Foundation for a local NGO called Mavi Kalem. The organisation supports women and children with a variety of educational and social support programmes in Istanbul. For example, they are running Turkish classes for Syrian women and children at the moment in order to help refugees assimilate themselves. Last year during our Intrepid Foundation fundraising month we held a charity auction of locally produced art and souvenirs to raise funds for this project.

A Fair Deal:
We only hire local, licensed guides in order to create employment opportunities in the area. This not only has a positive effect on the economy, but our clients benefit from the vast local knowledge which our guides have. Often, we also offer jobs to local graduates who have obtained a Tour Guidance degree, which is a career boost for young people in the community. Staff training is a large and ongoing part of our company and mentoring and refresher courses in several topics are available to local guides. This includes responsible tourism issues, which should be conveyed to clients over the trip.

Local Craft and Culture:
We visit an extensive number of historical and cultural sites including Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, the ancient city of Troy, ruins of Pergamon, Ephesus, Antalya Museum, Mevlana’s Mausoleum, Cappadocia’s Open Air Museum and the Museum of Civilisations. By spending on entrance fees and souvenirs here we support the upkeep of these important cultural establishments and the jobs they create. There are many opportunities to go through the markets and see local crafts and delicacies being made and sold. Cappadocia is famed for its colourful and intricately painted pottery, whilst at the Spice Market in Istanbul clients can buy spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds and Turkish delight.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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