Trip Overview

Explore the architectural splendor of Istanbul and the natural beauty of the Turkish countryside with AdventureWomen! From Istanbul to Ephesus and the villages in between, experience the life and culture of modern and ancient Turkey.

At the crossroads of East and West, and straddling two continents, it’s no surprise that Istanbul is a cultural and ethnic melting pot steeped in historical legends that reach back thousands of years. The soaring tips of minarets define the city skyline while below, bustling marketplaces, ancient monuments, and non-stop water traffic are part of Istanbul’s daily scene.

Cappadocia

Once an active volcanic region, Cappadocia claims a landscape of surreal beauty—where strange and fanciful rock formations, known as the fairy chimneys, rise from the surrounding countryside. Entire underground villages carved out of tuff, soft volcanic stone, is tucked into this region and we explore the underground passageways, chambers, and monasteries that have sheltered thousands of people through the centuries

Isparta

A province located in the southwestern part of Turkey that is home to extremely fertile land that produces such items as apples, grapes, and roses.

Take part in the annual rose petal harvest Isparta, aptly named “The Land of the Roses”, flourishes with roses and accounts for 65% of the country’s annual rose production.

Lay eyes on the bright white travertine thermal pools at Pamukkale, with healing baths of brilliantly blue and mineral-rich waters.

All great adventures must one day come to an end. This morning, enjoy your last breakfast in Turkey and say “hoşça kalin” to your new friends before departing for the airport.

Main Attractions

  • Visit the famous historical sites in Istanbul
  • Enjoy a private cruise along the Bosphorus Straight and dine seaside
  • Take part in the annual rose petal harvest in the Isparta province
  • Explore the ancient city of Ephesus

What You'll See and Do

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Boat Cruising
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Walking
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey (IST) by 1:00 PM today.

Arrive in Istanbul where you’ll be met by your guide and transferred to the hotel. There will be one group transfer provided (time TBD based on flights).

Transfers for other arrival times can be purchased for an additional fee.

Check into your hotel and relax before dinner tonight.

Enjoy a lively welcome dinner at a local restaurant as you get to know your fellow travelers this evening. Share stories and learn about why everyone is excited to explore the Turkish sites (and sights!).

Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Arcadia Blue

Day 2

Istanbul
Today, you’ll walk throughout the city of Istanbul, stopping for lunch along the way as you take in some of the ancient sites:

Topkapı Palace, the home and administrative headquarter of Ottoman Sultans for 400 years, where you’ll see the Harem, the Treasure and the other sections of the Palace.

Basilica Cistern which was the largest underground cistern of Byzantine Istanbul erected in the 530’s.

Spice Bazaar that dates back to the 1600’s when it was the last stop for the camel caravans that traveled the Silk Road from China, India and Persia. Spices were also brought by ships set off from Alexandria in Egypt and docked just in front of the
Bazaar.

In early evening, you’ll take a private boat trip along the Bosphorus, the natural strait that forms part of the boundary between Asian and European continents. Along the shores of the Bosphorus are old Ottoman villas, old palaces, fortresses and parks that contribute the beauty of the strait. Enjoy dinner on your own tonight after the cruise

Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Hotel Arcadia Blue

Day 3

Istanbul to Cappadocia

After breakfast, head to the airport where you will board your 90-minute flight to Cappadocia, a historical region in Turkey.

Upon arriving in Cappadocia, drive for about 90 minutes to Pashabag, an old monastic settlement with a unique landscape filled with fairy chimneys.

Continue on to Devrent where you will explore the lunar surroundings on foot and take in the interesting rock formations of the area. Enjoy lunch with the group in a local restaurant today.

Set off on an afternoon hike through Red Valley, another captivating landscape dotted with hidden rock-carved churches. After the hike, make your way to the hotel and check-in. Enjoy dinner as a group this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Barida Hotels

Day 4

Cappadocia

After breakfast this morning, you will visit the Goreme Open Air Museum, a collection of churches and monasteries set amidst the rocky landscape for which this area is famous. Take in the beautiful frescoes and art displayed in the churches that are a part of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Enjoy a delicious lunch in a local home in the village of Ayvali.

The art of Turkish ceramic pottery has evolved over time by the many civilizations that have inhabited the country. The technique used when crafting the ceramics allows the pieces to retain their strength and color for centuries. You will see some beautiful examples of Turkish pottery this afternoon before you head back to the hotel for dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Alfina Hotel

Day 5

Cappadocia to Isparta

Today will be a long travel day, as you travel just over  300 miles to Isparta with several stops along the way.

First visit the Sultanhani Caravanserai, which was one of the major medieval inns that sheltered caravans and travelers along the famous Silk Road trade route. Built in 1229, this massive structure is decorated in ornamental marble and stonework.

After driving for about 90 minutes, you will stop in Konya, where you will visit the  Mausoleum of the mystic Rumi, who is famous for founding the Order of the Whirling Dervishes. Then enjoy lunch as a group in a local restaurant.

After lunch, you will travel for just under 3 hours to the town of Egirdir.

Arrive in Egirdir, a town that is home to a beautiful fresh water lake. You’ll explore the old monuments of the town by the lake and walk around the Yesilada (Green Island) which once had a monastery of women. After your walking tour, you’ll drive just over 20 miles to Isparta.

Arrive at your Isparta hotel and check in before dining at the hotel as a group.

Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Barida Hotels

Day 6

Rose Harvest

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before starting your 25-mile drive to Güneykent Village in the mountains, one of the many rose growing places in Isparta province. Try your hand at harvesting roses in the field alongside a village woman who will demonstrate the proper method to pick and handle the flowers. Afterward, visit a traditional distiller where you’ll see the distillation process first-hand and have the chance to buy rose products like rose oil, rose water, and a variety of cosmetics that contain roses.

After the harvest, enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant in the village.

Following lunch, you’ll pass through Isparta on your way to Golcuk, a volcanic lake in the middle of the caldera. Set out on a 2.5-mile hike around the flat ground surrounding the lake and take in the scenic views.

Join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel tonight

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Barida Hotel

Day 7

Isparta to Pamukkale 

Today you will explore the ancient city of Cibyra along with Associate Professor Sukru Ozudogru who will give an informative talk about the many excavations that are underway in the area. You can try your hand at excavation under the watchful eye of local archeologists.

After lunch in a local restaurant, drive for about 90 minutes to Pamukkale. This town is famous for the thermal waters which flow over the breathtaking travertine terraces that line the hillside.

Check into your hotel before enjoying dinner with the group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Colossae Thermal

Day 8

Pamukkale to Selcuk 


Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodisias was an ancient Greek city that today is home to an archeological site and a marble quarry.The proximity to such abundant and high-quality marble ensured that Aphrodisias was well-known for both marble production and artistic sculpture. Take some time to explore the ruins and stretch your legs.

Lunch today is at a rustic local restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Turkish folk instrument while you eat. After lunch, you can rest during the 2.5 hour drive to Selcuk where you will check into the hotel that will be your home for the next two nights.

After enjoying dinner at the hotel tonight, you will be joined by the woman who owns the hotel. She will talk about the experiences of her grandparents who migrated to Turkey from Greece during one of the great periods of relocation between the two countries.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kalehan Hotel

Day 9

Selcuk

After breakfast, you’ll tour glorious Ephesus, one of the best preserved ancient cities in the world. Marble paved avenues, wonderfully preserved homes, temples, theaters, baths, markets, brothels, libraries, and gymnasiums bring us back to the splendor of the ancient world.

After lunch in a local restaurant, you’ll visit an ancient cottage on the slopes of the mountains that is believed to be Mary’s last home. Then visit Artemision, the Temple of Artemis, which dates back to the 4th century BC. While only two columns remain of the original structure, you can get a good sense of the magnitude of the original temple.

Walk along the stone-paved streets of Sirince Village, which was abandoned by the Greeks during the population exchange of 1923. The settlement is now occupied by Turks who continue the Greek tradition of wine production.

Return to the hotel after your day of exploration, and enjoy dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kalehan Hotel

Day 10

Selcuk to Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head to the airport for your morning flight back to Istanbul for a final day of exploration in this majestic city.

Visit Hagia Sophia, one of the most extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture and a monument to the golden age of the Byzantine Empire, dating from 537 CE. Then venture on to the Grand Bazaar which was built in 1460 and is home to thousands of shops and workshops.

Share stories about your week of exploration in Turkey with your traveling companions during a celebratory farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Arcadia Blue

Day 11

Depart Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll transfer to the airport with the group for your flight home.

Depart Istanbul, Turkey (IST) any time after 1:00 PM today.

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants.

Breakfast

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Turkey



Arrival and Departure Information

May 9, 2024 Departure:

Arrival: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey (IST) by 1:00PM on May 9, 2024.

Depart: Depart Istanbul, Turkey (IST) any time after 1:00PM on May 19, 2024.

May 23, 2024 Departure:

Arrival: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey (IST) by 1:00PM on May 23, 2024.

Depart: Depart Istanbul, Turkey (IST) any time after 1:00PM on June 2, 2024.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $200-$225 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip. 

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

US Passport holders will need a visa to visit Turkey. We will provide detailed information before your departure on how to obtain your visa.

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Moderate. Our Moderate adventures exercise your mind more than your body and are designed for women who prefer a leisurely, less rigorous experience. For example, you could walk up to 2 miles per day through cities and villages, stand in museums for a few hours, relax on a boat, or view wildlife from a vehicle. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more on the FitForTrips website.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic, as they may have recommendations for vaccines and medications based on the destination as well as your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Turkey.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)
  • Supplemental Release for COVID

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

May 9, 2024 Departure: Final Payment Due Date: February 9, 2024

May 23, 2024 Departure: Final Payment Due Date: February 23, 2024

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities except for head guide

Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Gratuities for head guide

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Hotel Arcadia Blue

The Hotel Arcadia Blue is a centrally located hotel that is within walking distance to many of the city's famous sites, including the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.

Amenities: safe, air conditioning, hair dryer, WiFi

Alfina Hotel

The Alfina is located in the heart of Cappadocia and dates back 300 years. Known as the first "cave hotel," the Alfina underwent a major renovation before it started accepting guests. Take some time to explore the property where you will find stone and rock carvings, hand-crafted furniture, and ironworks produced by local blacksmiths.

Amenities: hair dryer, electricity, WiFi

Barida Hotels

Located in Isparta's city center, the Barida Hotels are comfortably elegant. The property features a spa with both a sauna and a Turkish bath as well as an indoor pool.

Amenities: safe, hairdryer, Wifi

Colossae Thermal

Just adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Pamukkale Hierapolis, the Colassae Thermal features a spa and pool.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, hair dryer, electricity, air conditioning, WiFi

Kalehan Hotel

The Kalehan Hotel is a family-owned property that was built in the style of a traditional Ottoman Inn.

Amenities: hair dryer, air conditioning, WiFi 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686