Treasures Of Turkey

Treasures Of Turkey

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This December, come discover the delights of Turkey. From Istanbul’s palaces, architectural marvels and exotic bazaars to the labyrinth of caves and surreal landscapes in Cappadocia, experience the best of both cities with an adventurous crew of women.    

Together, immerse yourself in a cultural mosaic - whether it’s exploring cosmopolitan streets that exist alongside colourful ancient bazaars, sipping wine and enjoying a private yacht cruise, visiting famous monuments or walking through a surreal network of houses built underground, you’ll make memories that last you a lifetime.

Quick Overview

Trip Dates: 09 Dec - 15 Dec
Availability: Yes, 10 spots left
Places Covered: Turkey
Category: Women Only

Why travel with us?

Exceptional Service

We offer top class service with a trained and professional trip leader always accompanying the group to handle any request or emergency.

Safety First

Our journeys are always built with your safety in mind. We use private cabs for transport & city center hotels for stay. We also collaborate with tourism boards for local support.

Small Groups

Our groups are deliberately small. We believe such groups make for better shared experiences. Start off as strangers but come back as friends for life.

Turkey's Oldest Shopping Mall | Grand Bazaar

With over 3000 shops selling hand-painted ceramics, Byzantine-style jewelry, antiques, spices, lanterns and more in a labyrinth of arcades and passageways, this ancient bazaar is a shopper's paradise.

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Touchdown Istanbul! 

You'll be greeted at the airport by our local representative and transferred to your hotel in Karakoy, a very happening area and a favourite among locals to hang out. Check-in and unwind. 

In the evening: time to kick-start your Turkish experience with one of the best activities - a private yacht cruise! Step aboard your cruise ship, and sail down the Bosphorus, one of the busiest waterways in the world flanked by Asia on one side and Europe on the other.

Sit back and relax, as you feel the sunshine and the wind in your hair. You’ll cruise past picturesque locaties and buildings of Istanbul, both modern and steeped in history.

As you sip on your welcome drink while listening to Katibim (a traditional Turkish musical performance), look across the blue expanse. You will notice the city skyline coming to life, the towers and facades illuminated by lights, sparkling and twinkling in different colours as the night sets in.

Later: your first experience of trying traditional Turkish dinner at a local restaurant. Tonight’s festive atmosphere is the perfect time to bond with your crew!
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll catch the local tram to the Old City. Also known as Sultanahmet, the earliest settlement here dates back to almost 8000 years, making it one of the oldest still-inhabited places in the world. 

We’ll first visit the famed Blue Mosque; with its light-filled prayer hall, impressive dome, six minarets, and thousands of blue floral tiles that line its interior, you’ll feel like spending as much time as you can admiring this monument.

Next: stop by at the famous Hagia Sophia, a highlight and one of the greatest buildings in the world. Initially built by the Byzantines as a church, this 6th Century monument was later made into a mosque and is now a museum, that houses the best of Byzantine and Islamic architectural designs. In fact, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. Standing beneath the immense gold-ribboned dome that seems to float overhead, with exquisite mosaics decorating the walls, you'll definitely agree.

We’ll then visit the Basilica Cistern. With over 300 columns, it’s  the largest of the ancient underground cisterns in Istanbul. Don’t forget to check out the massive Medusa carvings - one of them is oriented sideways and other is inverted, supposedly to negate the power of the Medusa’s gaze. 

Then: lunch at a local restaurant. 

Later: visit the Topkapi Palace. This enormous palace complex was once the ruling seat of the Ottoman Sultans, and is the subject of many interesting stories. You’ll see why as you explore the palace with a local guide who will narrate bits of backstory to the rooms, bringing history to life.

Inside, you’ll find and learn about extravagant relics of centuries of excess everywhere you turn – the palace gardens that were once illuminated at night by slow-burning candles carried on the backs of tortoises (yes, really), for instance, or the imperial harem which once held over 300 concubines, and The Treasury Room which features a vast collection of medieval bling: baskets of emeralds, gold thrones studded with diamonds, jewel-encrusted swords.
Today, get ready for the shopping experience of a lifetime! After breakfast, we’ll catch the local tram and first visit the Grand Bazaar.    
 
With over 3000 shops and a labyrinth of arcades and passageways, the Grand Bazaar is a paradise for shoppers and is the oldest shopping mall in the world!

From hand-painted ceramics to glass-blown lamps, Byzantine-style jewelry, fur, pottery and antiques, leather goods, mother of pearl inlaid boxes, spices, lanterns – it’s an Aladdin’s cave of glittering delights. The noise, the food, the friendly locals who try to sell you carpets and offer you tea, and best of all, the shopping bargains – this is the ultimate oriental shopping experience.

Lunch: at a local restaurant near the Grand Bazaar. 

We’ll then visit the Spice Bazaar, another popular shopping complex built by the Ottoman Empire. Today, the bazaar has over 85 shops that sell a range of spices, sweets, jewellery, fruits and souvenirs. Don’t forget to try some mouthwatering Turkish Delight sweets while you are here! 

Later: we’ll head back to our hotel and have dinner at a local restaurant.
We’ll start the day with a unique experience: getting pampered Istanbul style at a traditional Turkish hammam (Note: this is an optional experience and will be at an additional cost). 

Revel in a soothing sauna, as you soak up the warmth of the steam, followed by a full body scrub and then a comforting massage. Let your muscles relax and your mind rejuvenate. Afterwards, relax and sip on a cup of refreshing tea. You’ll leave feeling renewed and happy.

We’ll then set off the beaten path and explore the neighbourhoods of Fener and Balat, charming quarters that have been inhabited by Greek and Jewish Communities for centuries. In Fener, you’ll get to see one of the oldest Greek orthodox schools in Istanbul , a range of wooden mansions, churches and synagogues from a bygone era. The Jewish quarter of Balat has existed since ancient times, built during the Byzantine era.

Then: lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, visit the famous Chora museum that houses a range of beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescoes. 

While you explore these places, you’ll get to meet and interact with the local women, including a leading glass artist and also the founder of a Women’s Club who have contributed to the development of these neighbourhoods.  

We’ll stop by a café for some Turkish tea and then visit the gallery of the glass artist.

In the evening: you’ll have free time to walk, explore and have dinner at a local restaurant.
After an early breakfast, you’ll be driven to the airport for the domestic flight to Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On arrival, a Byond representative will be waiting to greet you and chauffeur you to your hotel.

We’ll kickstart today with a half-day tour. With an extensive network of ancient beehive homes, other-worldly landscapes and tunnels eight stories below, Cappadocia certainly does resemble a fantasy world! 
Then: it’s time to learn the Turkish way of cooking! Conducted at the home of a warm and friendly villager, the 3 hour workshop is truly a unique experience.

Later: we’ll be transferred back to our hotel. This boutique accommodation provides an excellent view of the otherworldly buildings and landscapes of Cappadocia. And as you stay in luxurious cave rooms, you can’t help but feel like a 21st century cavewoman!
Rise and shine! This morning, take to the skies in a hot air balloon over Cappadocia (Note: This is an optional tour).

Clamber into the basket just as the sun peeks over the sunrise. Slowly, gently, 
soar 1,000 feet in the sky. And you won’t be able to tear your gaze away from the view below; the sun rising further slowly illuminates the magical and bizarre landscape below - fields of giant stone mushrooms, rose colored valleys and grey craggy cones that stretch for miles. You’ll notice chiseled canyons, caves and pigeon houses carved out of soft tufa rock, spires and pillars known as fairy chimneys and even a distant volcano on the horizon.
 
After breakfast, we’ll set out for a full day expert-guided tour of Cappadocia. The places that we’ll visit may include: the city of Kaymakli, which goes eight stories underground!

Walk down staircases carved from the soft rock and wander through the extensive network of tunnels and hundreds of beehive homes where people grilled kebabs, served tea and worshipped – plus there are detailed interconnected kitchens, stables, cemeteries, chapels, storage rooms and wineries; it’s quite an architectural feat.

It’s an utterly enthralling experience with unforgettable views; trust us, you’ll be talking about this other-worldly experience long after you’re back on solid ground.
 
We’ll also visit Goreme Open Air Museum - famous for its beautiful frescoes of Jesus and monks, the Pasabag Valley (Monk’s Valley) that has intriguing mushroom-shaped rock buildings, the Zelve Open Air Museum, an ancient cave town honeycombed with dwellings and religious buildings and the Avanos Pottery Village, where you’ll discover a world of exquisite pots.

In the evening: you’ll have some time to relax and nap before we take you to a  Whirling Dervishes show – a ceremony that blends music, spectacle and devotion. Watch as the dancers glide gracefully in circles, their white robes rising and falling, as they twirl, and twirl in a trance; a performance that captivates you.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch your flight back home.


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