Tour Title: Best of Turkey
Tour Company: G Adventures
Tour Leader: Isik
Cities Visited: Istanbul, Gallipoli, Çanakkale, Ayvalık, Selçuk, Pamukkale
Countries Visited: Türkiye
Dates: 30 April 2023 to 07 May 2023 (Duration 8 days)
Tour Type: Classic – Tour Itinerary (PDF)
Tour Type – Classic
G Adventures Classic Description: All of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price.
The Chief Experience Officer (aka Tour Leader) assists you with almost everything you could need. Isik was also our accredited tour guide at each major stop providing us with detailed historical and local knowledge of the sites we visited.
This was a full tour group with 15 members; Charlotte, Kyla, Dean, Susan, Gail, Tom, Martine, Pat, Dan, Wynee, Nicole, Eveline, Gemma, Asia and myself.
We had members from Australia, England, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and the Netherlands. The group got on extremely well with age range from mid-late 20s to retirees.
Note: There is a bit of walking on this tour so individuals with movement restrictions should probably not book this trip unless they are willing to miss some activites.
- Gallipoli battlefields entrance and guided visit
- Your G for Good Moment: Çöp(m)adam Visit, Ayvalık
- Troy entrance and guided visit
- Ephesus entrance and visit
- Ancient Hierapolis and Pamukkale entrance and guided walk
- Istanbul city walking tour
- Internal flight (Denizli to Istanbul)
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Exploring the archipelago of the Ayvalık Islands by boat
Cost: 3,000 Turkish Lira for the group (200 Lira for 15 of us)
- Wine sampling at Bilgeler Winery and Wineyards (Selçuk)
Cost: 300 Turkish Lira
- Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at Pamukkale
Cost: 400 Turkish Lira
- Swimming in the Cleopatra Antique Pool at the Hierapolis
Cost: 100 Turkish Lira (Locker is 20 Lira which is refunded on key return)
- Exploring the Basilica Cistern (Istanbul)
Cost: 300 Turkish Lira
- Alternative Istanbul Walking Tour and Bosphorus Cruise
Cost: $99 Australian pre-booked ($90 USD on the day)
There were options I didn’t take during the tour the most notable I probably should have done was the Selçuk Cooking Class which cost 25 Euros.
Istanbul: Hotel Golden Horn
A basic to nice hotel right in the heart of the historic district of Istanbul. Great views from the balcony, reasonable wifi speeds, good breakfast, helpful staff.
Çanakkale: Bogaz hotel
Reasonable hotel, nice included breakfast and reasonable wifi speeds.
Ayvalık: Berksoy Hotel
Fair hotel. Very slow close to unuseable wifi. Good included breakfast.
Selçuk: Cenka Hotel
Nive location. Helpful staff. Cheap to get laundary done (morning to afternoon service), fast wifi. Limited but fine included breakfast.
Pamukkale: Anya Resort Hotel
Most luxurious hotel of the tour. Nice pool (could not use due to bad weather), bedroom was very comfortable, fast wifi, friendly staff.
As an Australian I couldn’t go past a visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, so much pain and suffering but also mateship (on both sides) that you can’t but get emotional.
Exploring Troy was fascinating but that anicent ruins I enjoyed the best was the Ephesus Ruins which are very extensive.
Swimming in the Cleopatra Antique Pool at the Hierapolis was very enjoyable, I mean I was resting at times on Roman columns under the water!!
I also loved the wine sampling at Selçuk and would do something similar again. Learning about how Turkish carpets are made was also a highlight but that might not be offered on each tour.
You should go past a visit to the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, or the Grand Bazaar, really there are some many choices in Istanbul you will need more time.
The food was also a highlight, the small cobble streets, the complex and fascinating history of Türkiye combined with the amazing people on our tour group made me a very happy traveller.
This is a very short tour but it provides you with a reasonably priced way to see a lot with limited to no hazzle in this amazing country. I’d highly recommend this G Adventures tour, just add on extra days to explore Istanbul which I’ll be doing post tour.
Also don’t forget to try Turkish Delights 🙂