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The
 
TURKEY
 
trip

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For the love of

BAKLAVA

 

BALMY SEAS

 

FAIRY CHIMNEYS

 

TURKISH DELIGHT

THE GRAND BAZAAR

 

EAST MEETS WEST

 

ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

WOODEN YACHTS

SURREAL LANDSCAPES

turkey

Spend boat days on the dazzling Mediterranean Sea with new friends.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Our small group trip to Turkey caters to travelers in their 20s and 30s looking for lively culture in Istanbul, unbelievable landscapes in Cappadocia, and crystal-clear Mediterranean seas in Bodrum.

 

You’ll explore the transcontinental capital, zigzag from wide European boulevards to narrow Asian alleyways, and fall in love with the culinary delights of cultural fusion. Then head south to the extraordinary region of Cappadocia, where 60-million-year-old Dr. Suessian rock formations shoot to the sky, and hot air balloons drift slowly overhead.

Keep up with the Whirling Dervishes and meander among captivating hillside villages. To close it all out, we’ll relax with drinks aboard a private boat in Bodrum and soak up the sights of some of the Mediterranean’s most welcoming waters. This is Turkey done right.

9 days/8 nights

starting at $4,499 USD

Limited single room upgrades starting from $999 are available and can be added during booking, subject to availability.

 

Payment can be broken down into a $500 deposit + 3 additional installments.

Included

  • All accommodations in a shared room with one other person with the option to upgrade to a private room (limited availability)

  • 2 in-country flights (to Cappadocia and to Izmir) 

  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners (including welcome dinner and farewell)

  • Private sunset yacht cruise along Bosporus Strait

  • Locally guided Istanbul food tour

  • Guided tour through Old City Istanbul to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia 

  • Local Cappadocia carpet making experience

  • Whirling Dervish show (with meet and greet)

  • Sirince cooking class

  • Wine tasting experience in Sirince

  • Guided tour through the UNESCO Heritage Ephesus ruins 

  • Private Gulf of Gökova Gulet boat day in Bodrum

  • All in-country transfers

  • FTLO Trip Leader

*All activities are weather dependent; in the unlikely event that we are unable to run an activity, we will have a suitable alternative in place.

not included

  • Flights (to Istanbul & from Bodrum)

  • Mandatory trip insurance 

  • Meals not mentioned (budget around $300)

  • Incidental expenses

  • Cappadocia hot air balloon tour

Hot air balloons fill the sky in Cappadocia, Turkey..

day by day

*Itinerary is subject to change

Day by day
 
 
Day 1 - Istanbul
Merhaba!

Welcome to Turkey! After you get into town, it’s time to dive right into one of the world’s largest and most historic cities. Sprawling across two continents and split down the middle by the Bosporus Strait, this cultural mixing pot is home to ancient marvels and modern megastructures.

 

And while walking the sites is fun, there’s really no better way to get an idea for the history, culture, and sheer scale of it all than by heading out on the water, so we’ll get things started by cruising out from Karaköy Pier for transcontinental views.

 

That night, back on dry land, we’ll grab dinner with a view of the Strait, where you can give the national drink, Raki, a go. This twice-distilled grape and anise concoction should get you ready for a night of fun, so head out and explore with your group of new friends. 

The Blue Mosque is one of many impressive sites in Istanbul.

Arrive

 
 
Day 2 - Istanbul
Istanbul was Constantinople

Grab breakfast at the hotel—it’s an important meal in Turkish culture, and oh, is it delicious. Today, we’re heading back in time to check out the Old City, where you’ll explore the expansive Hagia Sophia.

 

This church-turned mosque which stood for 1,000 years as the world’s largest cathedral, is home to gold-plated ceilings, Byzantine mosaics, and 104 columns, all added at different stages of its existence. You’ll soak up more culture and history at the equally impressive Blue Mosque and wind up in Hippodrome Square, ancient Constantinople’s original sporting and social center.

 

After that it’s time to eat, and believe us, there’s no place like Istanbul for a food tour of the town. From the European center to the Asian side, this is your chance to try Kebabs, meze, and flaky börek. The night’s free; if you’re feeling up to it grab drinks in always happening Kadıköy.

You'll hike and relax in the rocky paradise of Cappadocia.

ADMIRE

 
 
Day 3 - Istanbul
continental divide

Enjoy more of that incredible Turkish breakfast at the hotel, and then your morning’s free to explore any of Istanbul’s sights you’ve been dying to see.

 

We highly recommend taking a tour through the Grand Bazaar and checking out the endless passageways and vaulted ceilings. With 4,000 shops of colorful spices, delicious teas, and gold jewelry, it’s one of the world’s largest and oldest shopping centers.

That afternoon, we’ll hop on a flight and head south to the geologically fascinating region of Cappadocia. This wild landscape with its towering stone pillars known as fairy chimneys has been sculpted by nature over the past 60 million years. Grab a delicious Turkish bite with the crew and settle in for some epic scenery in the morning.

Wander the energetic streets of Istanbul with the travel crew on FTLO's Turkey trip.

Adventure

  
Day 4 - Cappadocia
Whirling Ways

Get up early to catch a Cappadocian sunrise as colorful hot air balloons lift off over fairy chimneys (if you're interested in joining the flying fun, we know some excellent guides).

Your day's free; if you'd like some history to go with these rocky landscapes, check out Kaymakli, an 8th-century subterranean city of  labyrinthine passageways and chambers winding eight levels down into the stone. Just make sure you’re back in the afternoon; we're heading off to learn all about the colorful carpets you've seen across the country.

From there, it’s time for a spinning good time as we roll on to the ultimate Turkish experience: the whirling dervish show. These almost mystical spectacles, blending music, poetry, and rhythmic dance, trace their origins to the 13th century. The evening's free for you to find dinner with friends in Cappadocian paradise.

Turkish food is a colorful, flavorful delight.

DELIGHT

 
 
Day 5 - Cappadocia, Sirince
Mountain Magic

If you regret not hopping onboard one of those balloons and drifting over fantasyland, well, you’ve got one more chance, so give it a go if you’re up for it.

Then it’s time to head out and see a bit more of the country. We’ll hop in our transport and make our way to the airport toward Izmir and the absurdly charming hillside town of Sirince. With 19th-century Ottoman-Greek houses roofed in red-tiles, wooden shutters, and whitewashed walls, this place is full of character.

After winding your way through olive groves and into town, it’ll be time for a bit of hometown cuisine and a local cooking class (and wine, of course) to get you settled in the right way.

Cappadocia, Turkey is unlike anywhere else in the world.

explore

 Day 6 - Sirince
charm
& traditions

Your morning’s free, so take it slow at the hotel and bask in the epic mountainside views as you figure out how exactly you’ll let your boss know you’re moving here. 

Meet up with the rest of the crew for a delicious local lunch hanging out over the absolutely staggering valley and then it’s time for some wine time. We’re heading nearby (nothing’s far in Şirince) to try some of the best wines from the best vineyards around. 

After a tough day of drinks with a view, head back to the hotel pool to unwind and soak up one last bit of beautiful Şirince as the sun slips away. 

Turkey is full of historic ruins to discover with your travel crew.

discover

 
 
Day 7 - Sirince, Bodrum
beach vibes

Grab an early breakfast; we’ve got a big day ahead. We’re heading to see the Ephesus ruins, a sprawling archeological site dating from the 10th century BC that was once home to Greek, Byzantine, and Roman civilizations.

Next, we’re moving on to Bodrum, one of Turkey’s friendliest seaside enclaves. We figured you could use some R&R, so chill out with a drink along the picturesque bay, check out some great beachside bars, or chow down on some more of that Turkish Delight.

If you’ve still got some gas in the tank, explore the imposing Castle of St. Peter along the water or stop by the ruins of the Mausoleum of Mausolus, it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Have sunset cocktails on the balmy Mediterranean Sea.

Cruise

 
 
Day 8 - Bodrum
seas the day

Let’s round out this trip in style and hit the high seas. Today, we’re heading out onto the sublime Gulf of Gokova aboard a Gulet, a traditional, Bodrum-built, multi-masted, wooden yacht (say that five times fast).

You’ll have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and soak up the sun in Mediterranean paradise—if that sounds a bit too tough, we’re happy to tell you that this sea is so salty, you really float without much of an effort at all.

Grab a drink or two and lounge with your friends in the lap of luxury. It’s not a horrible way to round out an epic adventure. That evening we’ll all meet up for one last taste of Turkey.

This trip is a chance to take a deep dive into Turkish culture.

appreciate

 
 
Day 9 - Bodrum
Güle Güle
Turkey

We hope your trip’s been a real Turkish delight (and we can’t believe we waited this long to use that joke); unfortunately, it’s the end of the line.

 

After one final breakfast at the hotel, the time has come to say goodbye to the amazing friends you made and head off to your next adventure.

If you’ve got a later flight, check out some of the historic sites in Bodrum—there should be more than a few to keep you busy. If you’re after more fun in the Med, check out our trip to the Greek Islands and keep the good times going.

We hope you had the time of your life in Turkey!

Fast facts

"On the meeting point of two worlds, the ornament of Turkish homeland, the treasure of Turkish history, the city cherished by the Turkish nation, Istanbul, has its place in the hearts of all citizens."
 
-Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

The streets of Istanbul are waiting to be wandered.

FAST FACTS

Just for fun

In a cultural mixing pot like Turkey, it’s not too shocking that 30 ethnic languages are spoken.

The Grand Bazaar welcomes somewhere between a quarter and half a million people every day.

Istanbul has been inhabited for thousands of years. It’s gone by a number of names including Byzantium and Constantinople.

Trip notes

  • While we can’t guarantee private rooms, you should book your trip earlier if you prefer one, as they usually fill up.

  • Temperatures should range from the high 60s to high 70s, but we recommend at least one light jacket or sweater in case it gets chilly at night.

  • Although the trip ends in Bodrum, we recommend booking international roundtrip flights to Istanbul and a domestic flight from Bodrum to Istanbul... or take a boat over to the Greek Islands!

  • e-Visas are required for American tourists and can be obtained here

  • More information for all other nationalities and Covid restrictions can be found here.

GOod to know

  • Turkish is the national language of Turkey.

  • The Turkish lira is the official currency. There are approximately 15 lira to the dollar.

  • Istanbul may be the largest city in Turkey by far, but the capital is actually Ankara.

about turkey

Turkey is one of the most culturally and historically significant nations on earth. The country is made up of Eastern Thrace, the European side, and Anatolia, the Asian side. The two were brought together under the Romans some 2,300 years as part of the Byzantine Empire. The Ottomans took over in the 1400s with the fall of Constantinople and ruled all the way through World War I until the formation of the Republic of Turkey.

There's nothing like boat days on the Mediterranea.

Flights

Fly into Istanbul (IST)

You'll need to be in Istanbul by 2pm on Day 1. We do recommend flying in earlier to have some time to explore the city on your own!

Fly out of Bodrum (BJV)

We recommend taking a domestic flight back to Istanbul (IST) for your international return home. 

FLIGHTS

Want to check out flights for your trip?

Feel free to also set up flight alerts to Istanbul so you can grab the best deal!

*FTLO is not responsible for any fees or costs related to flights. We strongly suggest that all travelers wait until they receive the official FTLO Greenlight Email to book flights. This will be sent 3-4 months prior to the start date of your trip.

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Alumni reviews

REVIEWS

We know how much you'll love the Turkey trip...
but don't take our word for it! Check out some of our alumni reviews. 

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