Hot air balloon flying over rock landscape at Cappadocia, Turkey

Highlights of Turkey

15 days
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4.5 / 5 from 33 reviews >
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Guided Group
Culture & Discovery Holidays
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The diverse culture and history of the Turkey and its people provide an absorbing trip with almost too many highlights to mention.

Turkey is one of the most important countries in the development of the western world; over the centuries it has provided a geographical and cultural bridge between Asia and Europe, with ruins and monuments attesting to the rise and fall of many great empires. Starting in Istanbul we travel through the country, visiting ancient cities and UNESCO heritage sites such as Ephesus and Hierapolis, exploring the natural wonders at Pammukale and Cappadocia and taking some time out to relax on the coast. Add to that the memorials of Gallipoli for a journey that showcases the best of this country.


  • Ancient history and monuments of the Ottoman Empire
  • Visit the Roman city of Ephesus
  • Optional balloon ride over Cappadocia
  • Limestone cascades and thermal springs at Pamukkale

Key information

  • 14 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned vehicle

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Fly to Istanbul.

    Fly to Istabul and transfer to city centre starting hotel. There is no formal sightseeing planned. Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world, with a history spanning thousands of years. It has been through several incarnations, firstly as Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Istanbul. The city today is bustling and its streets are crowded with locals busily going about their daily lives. If you arrive early enough, you can wander and absorb the vibrancy of this exciting city that links Europe and Asia.

    This evening there will be a Welcome Meeting (please check noticeboard for exact time) held in the hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and fellow travel companions.

    Tonight after our group meeting we take a short walk to admire the old city. The Hagia Sofia, first a church, then a mosque and now a museum, and the Iconic Blue Mosque, both have long been symbols of the City and stand proudly side by side. We take a seat in the park and watch the light of the day fade over these two masterpieces.

    Perhaps we can enjoy our first dinner together in one of the lively cobblestone streets of the Sultanahmet area.

    Accommodation: Black Tulip Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Transfer to Canakkale via Gallipoli peninsula.

    This morning following breakfast we will depart for the Gallipoli Peninsula, where we can discover the battlefields of the ANZAC's. We will then cross the famous Dardenelles arriving in the city of Canakkale in the early afternoon. We can enjoy an orientation walk of the city and some free time to stroll the waterfront in the afternoon.

    Approx driving time Istanbul to Canakkale 5.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Anzac Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Visit the ancient city of Troy; head to Aegan coastal town Ayvalik.

    This morning after breakfast we visit the City of Troy, immortalised in Homer’s Iliad. Troy (Truva) was a city that existed over 4.000 years ago and was known as a major ancient civilization. For many years people believed that it was the city mentioned only in the tales and had never truly existed, as the area had become known as Ilium, or New Ilium. Archaeological digs subsequently proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement.

    We continue this afternoon to the seaside town of Ayvalik; the town centre is surrounded by the archipelago of Ayvalik Islands, which face the nearby Greek island of Lesbos. It was alternatively called Kydonies by the town's former Greek population. Today a haven for holiday makers and the olive oil capital of Turkey, Ayvalik and nearby Cunda Island, are fine representations of the Greek/Turkish heritage of the Aegean coast. Renowned local produce includes olive oil, seafood and Ayvalik Tost - like a club sandwich but better!

    Approx driving time Canakkale to Ayvalik 3.5 hours

    Accommodation: Elisa Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Bergama; visit the ancient city of Pergamon; afternoon transfer to Selcuk.

    This morning we depart to Bergama, where we can explore the ruins of the ancient city. Pergamum was an ancient Greek city that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC. It was cited in the book of Revelation as one of the seven churches of Asia.

    This afternoon our journey continues to the town of Selçuk: a sprawling farming town at the base of the ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill. Our early evening orientation walk will take in sites such as the Basilica of St John, (entry not included) Isa Bey Mosque (a fine example of early Seljuk Turk architecture), and the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis. This evening we may have the opportunity to enjoy local meze in the town square and meet the locals.

    Approx driving time Ayvalik to Selcuk 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Akay Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    From Selcuk visit the historic site of Ephesus; head to Pamukkale this afternoon.

    Today we head out to the ancient site of Ephesus, one of the best preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean and a great example of Roman architecture. Always an important religious centre, Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th Century BC and flourished under Roman rule. The Greeks replaced the cult of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with Artemis and built a fabulous temple in her honour. With the arrival of the Romans, it became the Temple of Diana and was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. We visit the vast amphitheatre, walk the marble street once trodden by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and wonderfully restored Library of Celsus.

    This afternoon our journey continues to our overnight base in Pamukkale.

    Approx driving times Selcuk to Pamukkale 3 hours.

    Accommodation: Uyum Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Explore the limestone cascades of Pamukkale and the Roman ruins of Hierapolis; afternoon transfer to Fethiye.

    Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle', is a truly unique sight. This spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming a myriad of pools and terraces. As the water overflows from the pools, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with hot spring waters that supposedly have healing properties. Close to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, which was founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC and by the 2nd Century AD had become an important Roman bath centre. The extensive ruins of Hierapolis are well worth exploring and include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. We spend the morning discovering the travertines and ancient city before continuing to Fethiye on the Mediterranean Coast.

    Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, the ruins of which can be seen in the city; the Hellenistic theatre is by the main quay. This evening we take a walk along the boat harbour and the lively market square.

    Approx driving time Pamukkale to Fethiye 4.5hours.

    Accommodation: Eroglu Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Depart Fethiye for coastal town Kas.

    This morning we depart from Fethiye and take the coastal highway to the seaside town of Kas. Situated on the Teke Peninsula, Kas was known as Antiphéllos in ancient Lycia and was a member of the Lycian League. Today you can see evidence of Lycian tombs scattered around the town. This afternoon is free to explore this charming coastal town with cobbled streets and lively cafes.

    Approx. driving time Fethiye to Kas 2.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Linda Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day to rest or choose from the many activities available.

    Today is a free day to relax or take advantage of the many activities available on the Turquoise Coast in and around Kas.Options include a boat trip to Kekova and view a sunken city, sea kayaking or trekking on the Lycian way. For more cultural options, take a day tour to Xanthos the first capital of the Lycian Federation, or visit the ancient theatre in Kas.

    Accommodation: Linda Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Transfer to the lively city of Antalya.

    This morning we depart for Antalya, Turkey's biggest international beach resort. Arriving in the early afternoon, we will visit the ancient Kaleiçi. With its narrow cobbled streets and historic Ottoman era houses, it is the old centre of the city. Restored to retain much of its historical character, the area now houses a plethora of bars, restaurants and shops. History buffs may also want to visit the Antalya Museum this afternoon; ranked third in the country, it is among the leading museums of the world on account of the sculptures from the Roman period and other unique finds.

    Approx driving time from Ka? to Antalya 4 hours.

    Accommodation: Mellon Premium Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Visit the Greco-Roman site of Aspendos, famous for its theatre; afternoon transfer to Konya, home of the whirling dervishes.

    This morning we travel to Konya via the ancient Greco-Roman city of Aspendos, known for housing the best-preserved theatre of antiquity. With a diameter of 315 ft, the theatre provided seating for 7,000 spectators. After exploring the ancient site, we continue on to Konya, known as 'Iconium' in Roman times. It was the capital of the Seljuk Turks from the 12th to 13th centuries and home of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who founded a mystic Sufi order popularly known as the 'Whirling Dervishes'.

    Approx. driving time Antalya to Konya 5.5 hours.

    Accommodation: Selcuk Mevlana Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    To the Cappadocia region; visit the Ilhara Valley and the underground city of Derinkuyu.

    This morning we visit Mevlana's Mausoleum and the museum housing manuscripts of his works, as well as various artefacts relating to the mystic sect that he founded.

    We continue on to the fascinating Cappadocia region. Shaped by wind and water, the rock formations, rock hewn churches, cave dwellings and underground cities have to be seen to be believed! This afternoon we will visit the village of Belisirma in the Valley of Ihlara on the slopes of Mount Hasan, one of the volcanoes responsible for the formation of Cappadocia. From here we embark on a wonderful walk along the Melendiz River and experience traditional village life, as we pass through the beautiful Ihlara Valley. There are dozens of Byzantine cave chapels to explore along the way and most of them are decorated with exquisite biblical frescoes. We continue on to the underground city of Derinkuyu, with some dwellings containing rooms spread out over seven levels beneath ground level. Early this evening we arrive in Goreme, our base for the next two nights.

    Approx. driving time Konya to Cappadocia 5 hours

    Accommodation: Taskonak Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Visit Cappadocia's Open Air Museum and fairy chimneys.

    Cappadocia’s main attraction, the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum, is a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings. This morning we explore the rock cut churches of the Museum. Later in the afternoon we drive to the unique Pasabaglari Valley, where multiple fairy chimneys, hewn from the earth and shaped by centuries of erosion, lend a moon-like landscape and atmosphere to the valley. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit's shelter are built into one of the fairy chimneys, which appears to have three heads!

    Accommodation: Taskonak Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Transfer to the charming UNESCO listed city of Safranbolu.

    This morning we have an early departure for the charming UNESCO listed city of Safranbolu. Arriving late in the afternoon we will take a walk around this world heritage site. The town has a strong Ottoman heritage with beautiful preserved timber houses and cobblestoned streets.

    Approx. driving time Cappadocia to Safranbolu 6.5 hours

    Accommodation: Akce Konaklari or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Explore Safranbolu; transfer to Istanbul.

    Some Turkish delight tasting is on our list today as the town is famous for the Safron-flavoured candy. We will also visit the Kaymakamlar Muze Ev - a typical Safranbolu home which is now a small ethnographic museum. After lunch we will make our way back to Istanbul arriving in time to enjoy a last night group meal together.

    Approx. driving time Safranbolu to Istanbul 5.5 hours

    Accommodation: Black Tulip Hotel or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Fly to London.

    Transfer to airport; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info



Holders of UK, Austrian, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish and US passports require visas. From 10 April 2014 it will no longer be possible to purchase a Turkish visa on arrival. This can now be obtained online at for approximately US$20.
The visa is valid for a stay of up to three months (dependent on passport holder's nationality). For a longer stay a visa from a Turkish Embassy is required.
Visa regulations can change without notice; please check the current regulations in good time to obtain the appropriate visa if required.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Eating and Drinking

All hotels are included on a bed and breakfast basis. All other main meals are not included, and we suggest you allow about £300 to cover them, add more if you include alcoholic or expensive fruit juice drinks with each meal. Your group leader will normally assist in organising group meals at most stops so that you may benefit from better choice and prices.
Lunches are normally taken in local restaurants, known as lokantas, or organised as a picnic, and evening meals in lokantas in each town or village; such eating places are widespread throughout Turkey, and the variety, price range and choice is usually quite extensive, but obviously less so in some of the smaller towns in Central Anatolia.


Temperatures in July and August can reach 40 degrees during the day; on the Anatolian plateau this is normally a dry heat, while in Istanbul and the coastal areas tend to be higher in humidity.  During increased temperatures, activities are scheduled to be more comfortable in the earlier or later part of the day.
Night-time temperatures are some degrees cooler.  April and October it may get a little chilly at night. Rain is rare although the occasional storm can be experienced. There is the occasional cloudy day, but protracted spells of bad weather are unlikely at this time of year.
December will be a lot cooler. In Istanbul, the temperature will only be slightly higher than in the UK but on the south coast, temperatures often reach 15-16ºC. There could even be snow in Cappadocia!


Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely):
This trip is the most wide-ranging, varied and exploratory of all our Turkish programmes, combining the coastal region, history and landscapes of the interior in a kaleidoscope of contrasts for the true traveller, with lots of sightseeing every day. A fair amount of travelling is involved and there are some long days, but these are generally broken up with sightseeing en route or on arrival.
Although the tour is not physically demanding, it does involve a fair amount of road travel, the total distance covered during the trip is about 3,250km and of course there are plenty of sites en route. Some of the main roads are good and fast, but others are not and there are some bumpy stretches that take us to some of the archaeological sites away from the main road.
Some of the archaeological sites involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides, but if you don't feel up to it on a hot day you can either not take part or wander around at your own pace.
In July and August it will be hot to very hot during the day on the Anatolian plateau but this is normally a dry heat and easier to cope with than humidity. Istanbul and coastal areas can be more humid.



Hotel standards in Turkey can vary however for this trip we have selected a good selection of hotels all with something different to offer, many of which have a pool and some with free WIFI.
In Istanbul we use a hotel conveniently situated near the old quarter with great views from the terrace whilst our hotel in Antalya is very close to one of the best beaches in the area.
In some of the smaller locations the hotels have been chosen to make the best of the area. For example our hotel in Pamukkale has thermal pools within the hotel grounds and in Selcuk we stay in a hotel surrounded by olive and mandarin groves.
Single accommodation is available on this trip for a supplement, starting from £390 depending on season and availability.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2015
    Susan Darnton

    Highlights of Turkey

    An excellent introduction to this large and fascinating country. The itinerary allowed us to get a real flavour of the history, archaeology and topography. The sites and ordering of the stop-overs were excellently chosen.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Having been steeped in ancient history from an early age I was amazed to find myself in Troy and to realise that it was a very small small acropolis but with great influence both geographically and historically.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have been on many Exodus trips and generally have admired the leaders. This time though, Tolga excelled all my previous experience. Knowledgeable and caring about his country and caring of his guests ---and a gastronome who led us to all the best eateries [all Exodus clients seem ready for the next meal].

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do take the trip. One tip is that in terms of cash, it is better to put money into your back account at home and to use the many ATM's available everywhere. There are far more ATM's [and they are open all hours of course] than there are exchange outlets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus are so reliable-- trustworthy in all circumstances. On this trip we had to be diverted because of unrest in Ankara and it happened calmly, seamlessly and very satisfactorily.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Malcolm Otter

    Terrific Turkey with the amazing Fatih Develi and Unal

    We set our expectations quite high for this trip but these were exceeded in every way from start to finish after meeting our superb tour guide - Fatih Develi - in Istanbul. His organization and communication skills were outstanding as he guided us smoothly throughout the fantastic highlights of this great country, imparting his considerable knowledge of all aspects of Turkey from religions to history ancient and modern, wildlife, industries, politics etc. etc. Fatih was the highlight of our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were very many inspirational moments including our visit to 'tremendos' Aspendos with it's 'stupendos' theatre, the spiritual experience of a performance by Whirling Dervishes of the Sema ceremony and exploring the superb city of Hierapolis which was completely unexpected above the travertines of Pumakkale. But for us, the most inspirational moment was undoubtedly in the peaceful setting of Celaleddin Rumi mausoleum in the Mevlana Museum in Konya.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely superb! He worked so hard to assist each one of us whenever he could and with great wit and humour in order to make our trip as enjoyable as possible. What a gem you have there. It was a great pleasure to meet him and share the journey with him and our fantastic driver - Unal - who was such a gracious traveling companion too. Unal was always there to pick us up on time and handle all our luggage and often went out of his way to assist us. His negotiation of rush hour traffic, especially in Ankara and Istanbul with patience and no little skill was exemplary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We would probably advise potential travellers on this trip to extend their stay in Istanbul by a day before or after the tour, though we did get to see some of the many places of interest in this great city.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I could go on and on about all the incredible experiences we had on this trip - I could not recommend it highly enough. Best to go and do it for yourself - you won't be dissappointed.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Mary Otter

    Highlights of Turkey

    As the title suggests, this is tour which takes in some of the highlights of Turkey. A mix of ancient and more recent history, culture and amazing landscapes, together with friendly people and good food, its a recipe for a great holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I had high expectations of Turkey and this trip far exceeded them. There were many inspirational moments from the amazing rock formations of Cappadocia and Pamukkale, to the quiet contemplation of Mevlana Rumi Mausoleum in Konya, the poignancy of Gallipoli, and the remains of the ancient city of Ephesus.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Fatih was wonderful. Professional, flexible, and cheerful, he was always able to offer choices to the varied group of travellers. His knowledge and love of Turkey shone through. He was ably assisted by Unal the driver, who was also flexible about the itinerary and timings.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try not to be too disappointed if you can't take the balloon flight over Cappadocia, we were not able to as it was too windy on the first day and fully booked on the second. There are some long bus journeys, but the bus was comfortable, the driver excellent and the roads good, with regular stops on the way. There is not a huge amount of time in Istanbul so I would recommend adding at least a day at the beginning or end of the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone interested in Turkey, I'm sure there is lots more to see but it gives a flavour of the country
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Julia Larsson

    Highlights of Turkey

    A very busy tour with some long drives. Some of the hotel bathrooms were extremely small and inconvenient and I feel that single travellers were put into inferior rooms to couples, which is annoying when you pay a supplement to have a single room. However, overall this is a wonderful trip visiting some of the top sites in western Turkey. There is not enough time in Istanbul though.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many. Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul; Ephesus; Kas (a really lovely town); Phaselis ancient city; Mevlana Calaleddin Rumi (Whirling Dervish Museum); rock church frescoes in Cappadocia.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fatih Develi was excellent. He is knowledgeable, flexible with the itinerary, moving visits if we were running short of time, gave us many options and always made sure we were happy with his suggestions. He was always helpful and patient with all our questions. He also has a sense of fun. He made this a great and memorable holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some very long drives. If you have Unal as your driver you will have a very comfortable bus and he is an excellent driver. Traffic can be heavy getting into and out of cities. Roads are generally very good but there are a few drives over hairpin bends.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Felicity M

    The best of Turkey

    A diverse trip, packed with lots of places to see over 2 weeks, yet it didn't feel too rushed and we had more free time than I have had on other similar holidays.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many to mention but Capadoccia, Ephesus and the underground city at Derinkuyu were all highlights. Istanbul is fascinating, with plenty to see and do and the hotel in Cunda was especially nice, with dinner on a private jetty.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fatih Develi was knowledgeable, calm and professional and went out of his way to arrange different things for us to see on the way, including a wine tasting, which everyone really enjoyed. He is passionate about his country and knows so much about its history and culture, there wasn't a question he couldn't answer - and we put him to the test!! We couldn't have asked for a better guide and our driver Mustafa was great too, always with a ready smile and there were some long drives.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend extra time in Istanbul at the end of the holiday if you can, as there is so much to see there - a boat trip is definitely worth doing. Pack a good mix of clothes - in early September, it was hotter than expected, so take some things to layer up. A spare battery for your camera is also a good idea, one I wish I had had when my camera died while at Ephesus!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Consider a change of hotel in Istanbul - all the hotels were good, but the Istanbul choice was probably everyone's least favourite. It would also be nice to go to more authentic Turkish restaurants in the evening, but depending on where you are, this is not always possible.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Dawn Le-Gros

    Highlights of Turkey

    It was an interesting, varied trip but could be improved.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The balloon flight. I couldn't believe it when they actually landed on the trailer! No bumpy landing this time. I didn't know whether to take photos of the 100 balloons around us or the landscape! Very impressive.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    In my opinion she gave us too much information. We could have looked round the sites while there were not many visitors, but she kept talking so we missed that slot. If we had wanted to know more we would look it up on the internet.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you see the sites behind the theatre at Aspendos. All tour groups don't go there and it was only that I had requested to see it we were allowed. You leave all the crowds behind and get a great view looking down on the theatre in peace.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Yes, I was really upset about not stopping to view a canyon. We went right by it. We had only visited a carpet shop in the morning and had nothing planned for the rest of the day. We could easily have fitted in a stop here. When I asked to stop I was told it cost too much to park the bus. That is rubbish as we would all have paid extra to have a look round here. Then the guide came up with "It is too dangerous". That is also rubbish when you see all the people walking up there. The last excuse was that it can't be done all year. It could have been done when we were there. It really spoiled the trip. Also we were rushed through the canyon we did stop at.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Janice Tyler


    Hi All, We had a great tour, small party because of the time we travelled (Christmas) but we experienced a lot, our driver was an expert in the conditions, It was a leisurely time, Saw an amazing amount of Turkey in a short time frame.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cappadocia was amazing but then just being in Instanbul was a culture in its self.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was great, spoke perfect English and once he got to know us was a great joy with bits of laughter and learning of their culture and ways. He was a great historian and knowledge that was surprising.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take thermals just in case of a weather snap. Read up on restaurants and eating places before you go so you know what is around your hotel otherwise you feel a bit lost. Book a cruise of the Bhosperous at the harbour so you can see what boat they are giving you otherwise some are rust buckets.
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Rita Normand

    Highlights of Turkey

    This was an incredible trip and our guide Zafar made it so. He was extremely knowledgeable about Turkish history and was able to impart it in a very interesting way. His sense of humour and the stories he was able to tell about life and events in history made it come alive.he willingly arranged group suppers for us every night of the trip and we were able to have amazing culinary experiences we would not have had otherwise. The scenery and the variety of experiences meant we were never bored.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Several. The hot air ballon ride, the underground cities, the amphitheatres.......

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely good. In addition to faithfully following the itinerary,he went out of his way to take us places that were not on the the itinerary but were well worth seeing. He would patiently translate for us in restaurants and elsewhere, not an easy job in a larger group. He was always a gentleman and was very helpful if someone needed to find a pharmacy, buy stamps and other little incidentals. His knowledge was incredible. Exodus is lucky to have him as a guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you plan to take this trip, try to get Zafar as a guide. I have already told this to several friends who are considering a visit to Turkey as a result of talking to me about my trip.
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Peter Lovatt

    Ancient Sites, Friendly People

    This was a tour of an amazing country. Turkey is an amalgam of people that have arrived over the centuries, leaving behind a wonderful heritage; there are so many ancient sites that the local population have lived alongside and only recently begun to appreciate. And yet it is amazingly self-sufficient in the modern climate of globalization.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Termessos was my highlight site. It is in a natural state, and our group was virtually alone there, allowing us time to wander, explore, contemplate. This contrasted with Ephesus, which has been partially restored, but was busy with cruise ship crowds. Istanbul's Blue Mosque was fantastic, but so too were sites not on the itinerary. Such as the caravanseri at Saltanhani, and the restored wooden Esrefoglu Mosque at Beysehir. The Museum Of Anatolian Civilisations, and Antikabir were other highlights. We were amazed to find Kemal Ataturk is so highly revered even today. And of course, being Kiwis, and having relations who fought and died at Gallipoli, this was an amazingly special place. The balloon ride is a not-to-be-missed highlight. Our flight had to be rearranged for the 2nd morning in Goreme after the first flight didn't go ahead due to low cloud.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zafer was an excellent guide. His knowledge, enthusiasm and pride for his country was evident throughout the journey. Long days in the coach would be broken up with history lessons on upcoming attractions, explanations of modern Turkey, and then at the appropriate moment he would throw in some humour to lighten things up. He was always available to answer questions and help make our trip memorable. On the 'free' day at Fethiye Zafer took us to the Lycian rock tombs, the Kayakoy village, then a swim at Oludeniz followed by buying us all ice-creams. It was a wonderful gesture. Zafer took us to group dinners most nights at local restaurants; these are cheap and authentic. By comparison, dinner at the Antalya resort hotel was very average and expensive. A memorable lunch spot was an out-of-the-way riverside restaurant near Aspendos.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Our tour was in September, and it was very hot in the south, as stated in the trip notes. And Turkey is a big country, there are many miles spent on the coach, and some unexciting roadside lunch places. Try to enjoy it all. I enjoyed a wonderful hamam in Fethiye. Do it! And don't miss out on the balloon flight! There is more to Istanbul than what this tour has time for; allow extra time before or after the tour. We also traveled back to Gallipoli for a few more days of leisurely exploration and relaxation.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We have traveled a fair bit, often self-guided. Our only other Exodus tour was in Morocco 5 years ago and the guide for that trip used local guides at most of the local attractions, an added expense. We much preferred that Zafer had the credentials to do the local guiding. We had a great crew of fellow travelers that really helped make this a most memorable trip.
  • Reviewed December 2014
    Dallas Taylor

    Highlights of Turkey

    Turkey is an amazing country. There is so much to see and the two week tour is only going to give you a taste of what this country has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Definitely the hot air balloon ride. Be prepared for an early morning start (4:45am) but it is well worth it. So quiet and smooth and amazing to drift over the valley and at one point to sail just a few feet above a local hotel's swimming pool!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Zafer is an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide. He took us to many additional ancient sites that were not on the itinerary. He made sure our group dinners were in local restaurants which allowed us to eat very well, mix with the local people and the meals were always at a lower cost than in the hotels. He often treated us to some Turkish sweets. I was glad to have him as our tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some long bus rides. Always have bottled water with you. September/October the weather is iffy so layer clothing. Some of the ancient sites are on the top of a hill - so there are long uneven pathways to hike up. CATS! Hundreds of them. All strays and very hungry especially in the smaller towns. So be prepared to eat lunch and/or dinner and have at least two little faces looking up at you hoping for a handout.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Istanbul! Please, please stay on for some additional days here. It is an amazing city and definitely worth at least three extra days either before or after the tour. However, October 5 - 8 is Feast of the Sacrifice a national holiday. The Grand Bazaar was closed as well as all pharmacies and some shops.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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