*Trip availabilities change throughout the day and may not be accurately reflected here. To see if space is available for the date you are interested in, please click through to the booking form.
May 6 - 14, 2023
2 Gal spots + a few Guy spot left
May 20 - 28, 2023
2 Gal spot + 1 Guy spot left
June 3 - 11, 2023
A few Gal spots + 2 Guy spots left
July 1 - 9, 2023
4th of July trip
Aug 26 - Sept 3, 2023
Sept 2 - 10, 2023
Labor Day trip - likely to sell out
Sept 16 - 24, 2023
1 Gal spots + 3 Guy spots left
Sept 30 - Oct 8, 2023
Oct 7 - 15, 2023
Columbus Day trip - likely to sell out
Oct 14 - 22, 2023
9 days/8 nights
starting at $3,699 USD
Payment can be broken down into a $500 deposit + 3 additional installments.
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.
Wind through spectacular underground cities carved into volcanic stone 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.
For the love of
THE GRAND BAZAAR
EAST MEETS WEST
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)
4 dinners (including welcome dinner and farewell)
Private sunset yacht cruise along Bosporus Strait with drinks
Cappadocia wine tasting experience
Guided tour of the Grand Bazaar
Selcuk Carpet making experience and lunch
Private Gulf of Gökova Gulet boat day in Bodrum
Guided tour through Old City Istanbul to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
Guided tour through Goreme Open Air Museum, Kaymakli Underground City, and Ephesus ruins
All in-country transfers
*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.
Flights (to Istanbul & from Bodrum)
Mandatory trip insurance
Meals not mentioned (budget around $300)
Cappadocia hot air balloon tour
day by day
*Itinerary is subject to change
Day 1 - Istanbul
You’ll land in Istanbul and 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.
We’ll have dinner all together at a fantastic spot with a view of the water 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 evening is free for you to do as you please.
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, we’ll hit the sea and head out for a sunset cruise along the Bosporus before a group dinner back in town.
Day 3 - Istanbul
Enjoy more of that incredible Turkish breakfast at the hotel, and then we’re off to explore the sights and sounds of this vibrant city.
We’ll take a tour through the Grand Bazaar and check out the endless passageways and magnificent 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.
Day 4 - Cappadocia
Get up early to witness the spectacular Cappadocia sunrise as colorful hot air balloons lift off over fairy chimneys. If you’re interested in joining the flying fun, we’ve got several excellent guides to point you to.
Later in the morning, we’ll ride through the Devrent Valley, where rock spires jut from the dry hillsides, on our way to Kaymakli, an incredible 8th-century subterranean city of narrow labyrinthine passageways and chambers winding eight levels down into the stone.
The afternoon is free before we all meet up for a local wine tasting and dinner to round out one spectacular day in Cappadocian paradise.
Day 5 - Cappadocia
Rockin’ Good Time
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.
However, if more sleep is in the cards, you can take the morning for yourself or meet up with friends for a hike through Pigeon Valley a few hours later. The easy trek will take you through fascinating rockscapes to the tiny town of Uchisar and its ancient castle built into mammoth tuff stone structures.
Grab lunch with friends, and then we’ll head to the Goreme Open Air Museum to see churches and monasteries that were tirelessly chiseled hundreds of years ago. The evening is free for you to recharge back in town.
Day 6 - Selcuk, Sirince
We’ll take breakfast to-go as we head to catch a flight to the coastal city of Izmir. From there, it’s a short drive to Selcuk to check out a carpet workshop full of intricately designed pieces crafted from hand-spun wool and vegetable dyes. We’ll share lunch with the shop workers in the garden, and then we’re off to Sirince.
The afternoon and evening are free for you to explore this charming hillside town. With fantastic local vineyards throughout the region, we highly recommend popping in for a glass of wine whenever you have the chance. After that, grab a bite with friends before you call it a night.
Day 7 - Sirince, Bodrum
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.
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.
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.
Day 9 - Bodrum
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. We’ll see you next time.
"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
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.
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.
While 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!
Our inaugural trip is discounted to account for the possibility of a few small hiccups.
e-Visas are required for American tourists and can be obtained via www.evisa.gov.tr.
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.
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.
Fly into Istanbul (IST)
You'll need to be in Istanbul by 2pm on Day 1, however with the recent amount of flight delays we recommend planning to arrive a day early just to be safe.
Fly out of Bodrum (BJV)
We recommend taking a domestic flight back to Istanbul (IST) for your international return home.
Want to check out flights for your trip?
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*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.