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Turkey Tours

Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey is a fascinating melting pot of cultures, cuisines, art, architecture, and history from across the world. Its timeless cities like Istanbul are home to rich history and iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, while the countryside is covered in historic ruins like the ancient city of Ephesus, the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. From the chimney rocks of Cappadocia to tropical-esque bays of crystal-clear water along the Turquoise Coast, her natural beauty is sure to take your breath away.

Our small-group Turkey tours take in the must-see sights and roads less traveled across this unforgettable land. Kayak above the ruins of a sunken city at Kekova, dine with locals in the Taurus Mountains, and set sail along the Turquoise Coast in a traditional gulet. Choose your own adventure on our Turkey tours, whether it's a walking tour of the coastal Lycian Way long-distance trail, a cycling trip between historical sites, soaking up art and culture on a tour of the country's top highlights, or eating as much baklava, Turkish delight, and street food as possible on a foodie tour.

Go it alone on a solo trip, bring the whole family, or follow in the footsteps of our expert local tour leaders on guided tours. Discover Turkey your way with our small-group and solo tour offerings and prepare to see why Turkey has captivated the imagination of empires, conquerors, and explorers since ancient history.

Discover our Turkey tours

Immerse yourself in the sights, scents, flavors, and activities of Turkey on our many local, small-group trips around the country. Go back in time from long-lost Greek villages to World War II memorials at Gallipoli, marvel at the whimsical turrets of Cappadocia's sand-stone rock-dwellings, or, after long days hiking or cycling, relax in cloud-like pools of mineral water at Pamukkale. Whatever you choose to do, our small group Turkey tours create memories to last a lifetime.

Our most popular Turkey tours

Turkey Walking and Trekking Trip code LW
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Turkey Highlights: Top Things to See and Do


Unsure where to start planning your Turkey trip? We've compiled a list of some of the country's top highlights.
 
The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia in Turkey
Cappadocia
Located in central Turkey, Cappadocia is a fairy-tale land of cone-shaped rock dwellings and lunar-esque landscapes that must be seen to be believed. Take to the skies and soar over it all on a sunrise hot air balloon ride then descend into a myriad of subterranean caverns and tunnels that once formed Kaymakli Underground City. Built by Christians escaping Arab oppression, this otherworldly city among the rocks is now used for hotels, storage areas, and cellars. 

Turquoise Coast
Swim, sail, snorkel, and scuba dive your way along the sun-drenched Turquoise Coast on Turkey's southwestern Mediterranean coast. Renowned for its glistening aquamarine waters and golden sandy beaches, this picturesque coastal region is a treasure trove of outdoor adventure and history. Hike through butterfly-filled valleys, explore charming beach towns like Kas, sail along the coast on the famous Blue Voyage Route, visit the stately Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, or look for endangered loggerhead turtles. At every turn, you're greeted by some of the most stunning coastal scenery anywhere in the world, with lush mountains descending to pristine bays ringed by white, sandy beaches.

Lycian Way
Following an ancient Lycian trade route along the coast, the 320-mile Lycian Way is one of the most famous long-distance coastal walking paths in the world. Undertake the full route for a 29-day voyage along towering cliffs, secluded beaches, and lost-to-time historic sites, or go on shorter day hikes to scenic viewpoints like Butterfly Valley. Explore the deserted streets of ghostly Kayakoy, peer over limestone cliff tops for far-reaching views across the ocean, hike through lush pine forests and open farmland, swim in the calm waters of Patara Beach, and kick back in a waterfront café in the beautiful port of Kas.   

Istanbul
Straddling Asia and Europe on the Bosphorus Strait, the grand, multi-faceted city of Istanbul has been where worlds collide since it was first founded in the 7th century BCE. Glittering mosques with sky-piercing minarets and domes like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque dominate the skyline as architectural marvels blending Ottoman and Byzantine influences. Peruse the wares in the stalls of the kaleidoscopic Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world, feel like royalty walking past the artifacts and grand decor of Topkapi Palace, and take a boat ride on the Strait to take it all in. Istanbul's culinary scene is also a delight, with sizzling street food, traditional Turkish tea, and decadent Turkish delights.

Ephesus
Walking the ancient stone streets of the Roman ruins at Ephesus feels like going back in time. This remarkably well-preserved archaeological site houses many incredible attractions including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Artemis, and the Great Theater.

Pamukkale
Striking white terraces of mineral stone, filled to the brim with thermal water, cascade down the hill at this beautiful town in western Turkey. Best of all, you can bathe in the warm waters while gazing across the countryside beyond.

Troy
Famous for the legendary Trojan War, the ancient city of Troy is a must-see on any trip to Turkey. Explore the ruins, walk through the reconstructed ancient city walls, and see a replica of the famous Trojan Horse itself.
 

Solo travel in Turkey


Our small group trips to Turkey are popular with couples, friends and solo travelers alike. Everyone who travels with us is looking for a fun and authentic adventure so whether you’re traveling alone, with friends or with family, you’ll most likely make friends along the way. Your local tour leader will ensure you see all of the must-see sights and well as the lesser-known hidden gems of Turkey during the trip and they’ll also look after all of the every-day logistics.
 

Best time to go to Turkey


Turkey is a year-round destination. But, as a large country, the seasons can vary significantly from north to south and between coastal and inland areas. 

Discovery Tours
Typically, the best time to visit Turkey for cultural and discovery tours is in late spring/early summer and September. These months boast beautifully warm yet comfortable temperatures that are perfect for swimming in the glistening turquoise seas. You’ll also benefit from fewer tourists in the cities and at popular ancient sites. Even Winter on the Turquoise Coast can be comfortable for swimming, and this coastline is temperate year-round with drops of snow on the tops of the mountains.

Multi-Activity and Family Tours
For blazing hot summer days, travel to Turkey’s sun-drenched Turquoise Coast in June, July or August. Temperatures can soar into the late 86°F’s, but sea breezes will make it feel cooler. Feel the sun on your back as you kayak around craggy inlets on our Turkey activity vacation and take a refreshing dip in the warm, crystal-clear waters of a deserted bay.

Cycling and Walking Tours
April, May, September and October are great times to visit Turkey if you’re joining one of our Cycling or Walking tours. The temperatures are a bit cooler, so Spring and Autumn are perfect for exploring by bike or on foot. Follow quiet, dusty trails along the Lycian Way for stunning vistas of glistening turquoise blue waters and golden beaches. Or join our Cycle Turkey trip to pedal through deserted rural farmland and uncover ancient ruins without the crowds. Explore central Turkey on our Walking in Cappadocia trip, where you'll hike through spectacular landscapes and visit the impressive underground Christian city of Kaymakli. 

 

 

Turkey Tours FAQs

 

Find out more about this vibrant country and our Turkey tours and trips below.


With temperatures and seasons varying from north to south and between coastal and inland areas, Turkey can be a year-round destination depending on where you want to go.

In general, spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) are widely considered the best times to visit Turkey . Falling during the shoulder season on either side of the summer high season, spring and fall offer the perfect balance of mild temperature and fewer crowds. Shoulder season rates may be less than in high season, however, you do run the risk of encountering some rain in spring and fall.

The summer months are also extremely hot and most seaside towns will be crowded. If you don't mind the cold, visiting Turkey in the winter comes with great deals and rates as well as the chance to see snow in the mountains. If you stick to the coastal regions, wintertime weather is still pretty temperate.

 

The weather in Turkey varies depending on the time of year and where you are. As a Mediterranean country, in general, Turkey has hot summers and mild winters. Along the southern Mediterranean Coast, you can expect hot summers and moderate winters, but winters in northern and western Turkey come with colder temperatures and even the chance of snow at higher elevations.

Your exact packing list depends on where you're going in Turkey, the time of year, and what kind of activities you plan to do. But here's a general list of Turkey packing basics:.

• Weather-appropriate clothing (light and comfortable for summer, warmer shirts and pants for winter)
• Layers for colder weather (light jackets, fleeces, hats, gloves, etc.)
• Raingear
• Comfortable walking and hiking shoes
• Sun protection (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses)
• Swimwear (for both the coast and hot springs)
• Passport

 

For more specifics about what to pack, visit the packing section of each Turkey tour webpage.

Some travelers may be wary of visiting Turkey due to its proximity to the Middle East. For the most part, Turkey is a safe country. Travelers are currently being advised to avoid traveling near the Syrian border. But other than that, travelers can feel at ease exploring the country. Turkey is also legendary for its hospitality, so expect to be welcomed everywhere you go.

Turkey is also a safe country for solo female travelers. You can avoid conflict or draw attention to yourself by dressing modestly, following cultural norms, and being aware of your surroundings.

Currently, Turkey doesn't have any COVID-19 restrictions or requirements. Although being up-to-date on your vaccinations is recommended, you don't need to provide proof of vaccination or show a negative PCR test.

You don't need to get any special vaccinations in order to enter Turkey.

Yes, American citizens will need to get a visa for their trip. Turkey offers an easy online e-visa option as well as traditional tourists and visas upon arrival.

Most visitors arrive in Turkey via one of the two international airports serving Istanbul. From there, it's easy to branch out and explore the country thanks to Turkey's well-connected public transportation. You'll find taxis and buses around major cities, and inter-city bus travel is a popular way to get around here. In some cities like Bursa and Trabzon, you can take a dolmus (small cars or minivans that run along set routes) to get around as well.

Ferries run along both the Mediterranean and Black Sea coastlines, and domestic train travel and plane travel are widespread. It's also easy to find car rentals in major cities for exploring.

Not sure if you want to take on Turkey's mass transit on your own? Our small-group and solo travel tours include transportation, arranging transfers, rides, and connections for you.

Tipping isn't mandatory in Turkey, but it is customary and expected. In restaurants, you can tip 10-15%. You should also tip the staff at the hammams (bathhouses). It's not necessary to tip taxi drivers but it's always appreciated.

The exact level of difficulty depends on the tour, but most activities, walks, and cycling routes range in difficulty from easy to moderate. Some multi-day walking tours like the Lycian Way require a good level of stamina and other trips like Active Turkey offer a wide variety of physical activities like kayaking and hiking. Cycling tours like Cycle Turkey do have some elevation gains and varied terrain, but nothing too extreme. You also have the option to choose an e-bike for a power assist on cycling trips.

For the most part, though, individuals in good health and good shape should have no issues on a Turkey tour.

Overall, accommodations, activities, and select private transportation are included across the board. Guided Turkey tours with Explore come with an expert local tour guide as well. Included meals vary by itinerary as well.

With its warm hospitality, overall safety, and mix of cultural experiences and outdoor adventure, Turkey is a great destination for solo, self-guided trips or to go as part of a family vacation. With so many things to see and do, small-group Turkey tours provide you with a structured itinerary and an expert guide but in a small group package for a more personalized, intimate experience. Tours, accommodations, and transportation are also all taken care of, plus free time for shopping or solo time in particular areas makes a Turkey tour an easy choice.

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Unforgettable experiences

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Chosen for their great knowledge of your destination and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.

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Average groups of 11; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.

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