For COVID-19 Travel and RS Tours information, see our FAQ.

  • Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
  • Spice Market, Istanbul, Turkey
    Egyptian Spice Market in Istanbul
  • Grand Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey
    Istanbul's Grand Bazaar
  • Hot-air balloons over Cappadocia, Turkey
    Ballooning in Cappadocia
  • Mevlâna Museum and Rumi's tomb, Konya, Turkey
    Mevlâna Rumi Museum in Konya
  • Hadrian's Gate, Antalya, Turkey
    Antalya
  • Thermal pools, Pamukkale, Turkey
    Pamukkale's Natural Hot Springs
  • Ephesus, Turkey
    Ruins of Ephesus

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Email tour@ricksteves.com

Best of Turkey in 13 Days Tour

from $2,595 per person + air

Single Supplement $675

See Dates & Prices

The Rick Steves Best of Turkey tour combines the convenience of European travel with the rich traditions of the Middle East. You'll marvel at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, and Grand Bazaar; Cappadocia's "fairy-chimney" landscape; the ancient Greek sites of Ephesus and Aphrodisias; and the azure water of the Mediterranean. You'll also experience legendary Turkish hospitality firsthand, from artisans to imams. If you're looking for different travel delights — and a broader world perspective — you'll find it here. Join us for the Best of Turkey in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2023

What's Included

You'll get at least 24 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Turkey tour:

  • Multi-day Museum Pass, allowing free admission to museums and cultural sites throughout the country
  • Hagia Sophia Mosque
  • Egyptian Spice Market
  • Bosphorus cruise
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent (Blue Mosque under renovation)
  • Topkapı Palace and Harem
  • Anatolian Civilizations Museum
  • Atatürk Mausoleum
  • Mustafapaşa walking tour
  • Göreme Open-Air Museum
  • Cappadocia home-prepared lunch
  • Cappadocia valley hike (weather permitting)
  • Kaymaklı underground city
  • Visit with imam
  • Carpet-weaving demonstration
  • Medieval caravanserai
  • Mevlâna Rumi Museum
  • Konya city tour
  • Aspendos ancient theater
  • Aphrodisias
  • Pamukkale orientation
  • Whirling Dervish performance
  • Ephesus

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Turkey come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Istanbul to Kuşadası
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey

We'll meet at 1 p.m. at our hotel in Istanbul's historic center. Shortly after, we'll take an orientation walk past the city's iconic Blue Mosque (interior under renovation) on our way to tour one of the world's great treasures: Hagia Sophia, for 1,000 years the grandest domed structure on Earth. We'll end our day getting acquainted with one another over dinner.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Istanbul.

Day 2: Exploring Istanbul

We'll explore Istanbul's more recent past and present today, beginning with the exotic and fragrant Egyptian Spice Market. Then we'll take to the water for a scenic cruise of the Bosphorus strait and its panorama of grand palaces, colorful neighborhoods, and bustling waterfront activity. Next, we're off to the New District's pedestrian-friendly İstiklal Street — with its Art Nouveau facades, restaurants, and trendy boutiques. After free time for lunch, we'll cap off the day exploring Istanbul's legendary Grand Bazaar and Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. No bus. Boat: 2 hours. Sleep in Istanbul.

Day 3: Topkapı Palace and Ankara

This morning we'll focus on the era when the city was known as Constantinople with a tour of the opulent Ottoman Topkapı Palace. We'll see the sultans' riches at the Treasury and tour the inner world of the Harem. Afterward, we'll board our big, comfortable bus for the drive to Ankara, Turkey's bustling modern capital city.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Ankara.

Day 4: Anatolia and Cappadocia

After breakfast, we'll tour the world-class Anatolian Civilizations Museum and marvel at its collection of treasures from Turkey's pre-Roman civilizations. We'll pay our respects at the monumental Anıt Kabir, Atatürk's Mausoleum, where we'll learn about the revered founding father of modern Turkey. After lunch, we'll travel to what feels like another planet — the scenic and historic Cappadocia region — where we'll have dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Mustafapaşa (group may be split between two B&Bs). 

Day 5: Ancient Churches of Göreme

Surrounded by Cappadocia's otherworldly "fairy-chimney" rock formations, we'll begin our day with a walking tour of our village of Mustafapaşa, followed by a drive to the nearby Göreme Open-Air Museum, where, in Byzantine times, cave-like churches and monasteries were carved in the cliffs. Some astonishing 1,000-year-old frescoes still remain. This afternoon we'll be treated to a home-prepared, Cappadocian-style lunch and learn about the centuries-old tradition and artistry of Turkish carpet weaving. We'll have dinner together back in Mustafapaşa tonight.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Mustafapaşa.

Day 6: Countryside Charms

Weather permitting, your guide will take interested hikers on a scenic walk through a Cappadocia valley. Nonhikers can spend the morning in Mustafapaşa, or ride with our bus driver to the colorful weekly market in the nearby village of Ürgüp. After lunch, we'll tour the ancient underground city of Kaymaklı — which once included churches, kitchens, metal shops, and stables — before returning to our village for a free evening.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Mustafapaşa.

Day 7: Mosque Visit and Mevlâna's Konya

This morning we'll travel to the village of Güzelyurt and meet with the local mosque's imam (counterpart to a minister or rabbi), with an opportunity to ask questions about the Muslim faith and the separation of mosque and state in Turkey. After lunch we'll hit the road and, like Silk Road travelers hundreds of years ago, stop to admire the intricate carvings of a medieval caravanserai (unlimited camel parking). Today's destination is conservative Konya, famous as the 13th-century home of Mevlâna Rumi. We'll tour the poetry-filled Mevlâna Museum — also the site of the mystical philosopher's tomb, a Muslim holy place — before setting you free for dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Konya. 

Day 8: Ancient Aspendos

We'll begin our day with a tour through Konya, including the busy maze of its sprawling bazaar — a time-tripping treasure trove of hardware, household items, clothing, jewelry, religious paraphernalia, and cell phone accessories. Then we'll head over the Taurus Mountains and stop to visit Aspendos, one of the best-preserved Roman theaters of the ancient world. In the late afternoon we'll arrive in the Mediterranean resort town of Antalya, where we'll take an orientation walk and set you free for dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Antalya.

Day 9: Seaside Antalya

Antalya is an ideal place to enjoy a "vacation from your vacation." The day is all yours to enjoy the impressive ancient Greek sculptures in the Antalya Museum, one of Turkey's finest archaeological museums; explore the narrow cobbled streets of Antalya's old town and Roman harbor; or experience a traditional Turkish bath (your guide will help arrange it).

Walking light to strenuous: your choice. No bus. Sleep in Antalya.

Day 10: Wonderland of Pamukkale

This morning we'll take off for the amazing weekly farmers market in the town of Korkuteli, where you can assemble your own delicious picnic lunch. We'll then drive to the hilltop overlooking Pamukkale, where we'll get oriented to its spectacularly calcified cliffs and the impressive ruins of Hierapolis, where ancient Greeks and Romans considered the thermal springs sacred. During your free time, you'll even have a chance to take a quick dip in a natural spring pool amid the remains of Roman columns. After dinner together, we'll attend a religious performance by the followers of Mevlâna Rumi, better known as Whirling Dervishes.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in the Pamukkale area.

Day 11: Ancient Aphrodisias and Kuşadası

We'll work our way west toward Turkey's Aegean Coast, where ancient Greek colonists settled 2,500 years ago. Freed from the "establishment" norms of Athens, these communities thrived as centers of learning and creativity — and wealth. This morning, we'll tour the ancient site of Aphrodisias, which, under Greek and Roman rule alike, prospered as a center for the arts. After lunch together we'll continue on to the lively harbor city of Kuşadası.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 6 hours. Sleep in Kuşadası.

Day 12: Roman City of Ephesus

Today we'll tour the ancient city of Ephesus. Famous for its spectacular Temple of Artemis — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World — it was one of the wealthiest cities in Ancient Greece. It also played a role in the formation of the early Christian Church, drawing the attention of the Apostle Paul and possibly even the Virgin Mary. We'll take an extensive walking tour along the still-paved streets and remarkable ruins of Ephesus, including the dramatically restored facade of its Library of Celsus. This afternoon you'll have free time to visit Mary's House (where the Virgin Mary may have lived), view more ancient artifacts at the excellent Ephesus Museum in nearby Selçuk, or relax back in Kuşadası. Tonight we'll meet for a final dinner together to share travel memories and toast new friends. Serefe!

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Kuşadası.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can hop a ferry to the Greek island of Samos (where you'll find easy plane/boat connections to other islands and Athens), or take the tour bus to nearby Izmir for quick flights to Athens or Istanbul and home. Güle güle!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Turkey in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Walk over steep, slippery, uneven terrain at several ancient sites.
  6. Travel on a bus without a toilet (rest stops every two hours).

Reviews

Roslyn

Tour: 10/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We really loved Turkey and it totally exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia valley was unbelievable."

Michael

Tour: 10/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A memorable trip where I learned so much, had once in a lifetime experiences, and (surprisingly) made so many new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Rhonda

Tour: 10/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our docent Mert did an amazing job! He is so smart and helpful. He made the trip fun! Very knowledgeable and shared his information in a meaningful way. I would have given an outstanding if the hotels were better. I think Rick Steves can do better in that regard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride was amazing! Also loved the Hagia Sophia!!"

Larry

Tour: 10/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great group of people and a first rate tour guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"mine would have to be my first hot air balloon ride over the surreal Cappadocia landscape."

Tryon

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is an amazing country that is very different from anywhere I have traveled. This tour took us through so many different areas, urban, rural, mountainous, fertile valleys, ancient sites, modern areas, and natural landscapes. An amazing experience with a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"early morning hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. The landscape is other worldly."

David

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw a lot of different aspects of Turkey, from very urban Istanbul and Ankara to very rural Cappadocia. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and informed, a wealth of information. He really added to my favorable impression of this trip, and I appreciated his candor in describing the current situation in Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although not strictly part of the tour, my wow moment was the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. Cappadocia in general was my favorite part of the trip."

Karen

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Togay was fantastic. We enjoyed every minute of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia"

Mary

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this tour. Our tour guide, Togay, provided needed explanations of history, culture and geography such that we came away with a more complete view of this beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Julie

Tour: 10/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been lucky to travel to Europe over the years and the Rick Steves books have helps us travel independently. We thought that visiting Turkey would be more difficult on our own so we decided to try our first tour. We chose right! The tour was wonderful! The itinerary was excellent and we were able to see so much of Turkey. We had the best guide in Togay who kept us organized and imparted so much knowledge. We had a fun group of fellow travelers. I’m so glad we chose the Turkey tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments for me: Seeing the many incredible ancient sites and ruins; boat ride on the Bosporus with views of Istanbul; Turkish bath; being inside Hagia Sophia; seeing the Dark Church in Cappadocia."

Susan

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my ninth Rick Steves tour. It lived up to most of the things I like: small groups, local hotels and restaurants, exceptional guides. The one thing that was different was the lack of free time and the amount of time spent on the bus. I understand that this was necessary because of the miles that separated the sites we visited. I just missed more free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming in the thermal pool among Roman ruins!"

Joanne

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine a better tour guide in Turkey than Mert. I enjoyed each stop, and learned much more than I'd have guessed. I enjoyed every one of my fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose one. Cappadocia's fairy castles were stunning. Our chat with Faria (not sure about the spelling), a Muslim woman in a small town, was also exceptional, and made more so by her rapport with Mert."

Mary

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert made it! best guide ever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Whiring Dirvish"

Erik

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While not a fan of (group) bus tours, the RS approach minimized the bubble effect and time aboard, with few days of more than 3 cumulative hours aboard, a feat given the itinerary. Mert did a great job describing the culture, history, and politics of Turkey and their context to visited locations; he successfully avoided the worst of tourist crowds, and fit in bonus attractions. Free time included a day midtour, most evenings, but at some stops only 30 to 90 minutes. Highly recommended

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having lived in Turkey 25 years ago, this tour was an opportunity to expose my wife to the wonders of Turkish geography, history, culture and kitchen that I've raved about, and the RS best-of itinerary did the job wonderfully. My personal highlights were not the marque attractions, though I appreciated them more thanks to Mert, but rather the free time in local settings where I could reconnect. Physically, the thrill of the optional balloon ride over Cappadocia won't soon be forgotten."

Kerry

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I always love the opportunity to experience the culture, meet the locals, get to know other tour members, learn from amazing guides. Turkey is a beautiful country that I knew very little about. Big cities are not ever my favorite part of a tour, so the chance to visit less crowded and unusual locales were my favorite parts. There were a couple of really disappointing hotels, but also some really great ones!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire Cappadocia region with all of its astonishing geographical sites was incredible, but I also loved seeing Ephesus and learning more about Biblical history. Seeing & learning about so many places mentioned in the Bible makes it come so much more alive to me."

Deborah

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful way to discover Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloons in Cappadocia!"

David

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was an interesting contrast with my previous travels, which were either by myself or with a friend or family member. There was thus a much greater social element than I had previously experienced in travel and therefore a much greater opportunity to experience the places we visited through other eyes. The tour provided a great introduction to the diversity of Turkish history and culture, and I especially appreciated visiting both large urban environments and smaller rural communities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the Aspendos Theatre was the most impressive site and therefore definitely a "wow." But equally of lasting memories would be just the time in Mustafapasa and visit to the farmer's market, which was a very personal experience."

Charlotte

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went to Turkey not knowing what to expect and came home with a respect and deeper understanding of its history and people. During the tour we traveled over 2000 miles, stopping to see many historic sites from the Topkapi Palace to the underground cave city in Cappadocia. At each location our very knowledgeable guide Yaren gave us a brief history lesson of the area guiding us to make sure we saw and understood the high lights and then we were given free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of our many experiences was the opportunity to go to a Turkish bath. As we separated into groups woman with women, men with men, we stripped down to our undies, and went into the sream bath. As Yaren suggested we all sang songs together to get over our initial awkwardness. And then the pampering began. I left there relaxed with skin as smooth and silky as a babies."

Susan

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This trip was an exceptional value for the money. We covered a tremendous array of experiences over 1,700 miles. Because of the distances, we did more one-night stays than with other Rick Steves tours I've taken. The exception was Mustafapasha where we were able to get familiar with a small town; that was a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'll long remember the interactive experiences: swimming in the Mediterranean and the ancient pool at Hieropolis and the amazing Turkish hamam. It was also mind-blowing to think about the lives of people 2-4000 years ago in all the ancient sites we visited."

Elizabeth

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The sites were terrific and our guide was very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus"

Alexandre

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour met and sometimes exceeded my expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon flight over Kappadokia"

Dean

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Levent, was great! Knowledgeable, attentive, interesting & flexible. Learned a LOT about modern day and historical Turkey. Tour group was compatible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise balloon rise was unforgettable…just like the pictures. Underground living quarters as well."

Hua

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was very educational and enjoyable. We cannot ask for better guide than Leven who was very knowledgeable, patient, and helpful. The itinerary was active, diverse, yet flexible leaving enough free time to explore on our own. We learned so much about this country, its rich history and tradition, its significance in human history and civilization. We gained different perspective on Islamic faith and deeply touch by the hospitality and kindness of Turkish people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "Wow" moments everyday during the trip. Balloon ride, underground city, Ephesus, moonlight by Aegean Sea, to name a few. Cave hotel in Mustafa Pasha, grapes in local farmer's market, visit to Lady Fahriye, talk with Iman, Q&A on the bus with Lale were special memories for me about the trip."

Alice

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The places we visited were fascinating. We were stunned at all the sites in Turkey with extraordinary Roman ruins. Excellent museums and beautiful mosques.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but it was the hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia as the sun was rising. Truly unforgettable."

Kathleen

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Given that I appreciate Rick Steves philosophy of travel and have always wanted to travel to Turkey, it felt like this itinerary was a good match for me. This was my first tour and I wasn't sure what to expect especially as a 'solo' traveler in a tour group, but was hoping for like-minded travelers and that, happily, is what I got! Levent, our guide, was knowledgeable and amiable and the history shared was what I hoped to learn more of on this tour. It was excellent and I highly recommend it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia! Everything about that region moved me from the geology to the history to the Cappadocia Estates where we stayed! The hot air balloon ride was everything that I had hoped for and the professionalism of all involved was greatly appreciated!"

Steve

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, fascinating tour! Turkey is a wonder, the people were great, our tour group was terrific and our tour guide did a very good job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride is the biggest wow, but I also loved Afrodisas--a place I'd never heard of and was blown away by. And Instanbul and Ephesus are remarkable."

Melinda

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Mine was so smart- she was able to clearly articulate the history of the areas we covered. She was also able to connect past to present, and answer questions. Our group was was also a great mix, smart an fun. We shared a lot of laughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, balloon ride, beautiful Mosques, Ephesus as well as other ancient ruins."

Gary

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was outstanding. The itinerary was well-chosen, but perhaps a bit too ambitious, lacking somewhat in adequate down time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single wow moment. Many great experiences."

Michele

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire Best of Turkey Tour! Mine, our guide was fabulous, and she is incredibly knowledgeable about the history and culture of Turkey. The advertising was accurate - this tour is extremely active. We were very busy while on the tour, which allowed us to see many sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was great, and the Hot Air Balloon option in Cappadocia was breathtaking. It was great to be part of the ascension of so many balloons! The visit to Pamukkale was also a top favorite, and Ephesus was the crowning touch."

Keri

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Eye opening, exceeded my expectations! It not only let me experience the rich culture, breath-taking scenery, but it also gave me a new perspective of an open, tolerant, and secular society of modern Turkey. I walked away with a different understanding of the true Muslim faith.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Up in a hot air balloon, surrounded by hundred of others in the air."

Tracie

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride"

George

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Through your guide, Mine, we were able to experience the rich history, culture, and natural beauty of Turkey. At the same time, we were fed well, housed in comfort, and kept completely safe. We were tired at the end of every day, but woke up the next morning eager for more. The bus driver was excellent as well, navigating many extremely tricky situations with great skill and poise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be the hot air balloon ride in Mustafapasa."

Scott

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A lot of interesting and different things to see . Turkey is a country that is under the radar. Our tour guide Mine made everything great. She is a 10 for tour guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ballon ride in cappadocia. As for locations included in the trip I will Aprodisas and Ephesus"

Patricia

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was wonderful !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"4 wow moments 1) Hot Air balloon ride in Cappadocia 2) Turkish Bath 3) Ephesus 4 ) our Guide Mine Karahan- most amazing guide !!"

Carol-Ann

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour in Turkey. Togay, our excellent guide, made the tour very special. He made a special effort to ensure we all had a great time and learned as much as possible about his country. We had a great group of fellow travelers who enriched our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia, along with watching the sunset that evening. Both experiences were magical!"

Richard

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Togay was excellent. Great sense of HUMOR an very aware of EVERYONES “needs” Kept us all informed an on task One of the best guides we have experienced

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, maybe Ballon ride in Capadokya"

Rod

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Variety exceeded our expectations. Excellent tour guide. Wonderful assortment of family-run hotels. Fabulous bus driver!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turkish Bath & Massage!"

Mary Dee

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Togay, did an absolutely fantastic job of educating us while we were on the bus and during the walking tours about Turkey’s religion, Ataturk, politics, culture, media and more. The tour was so active that the bus was a great time to catch a few naps! We saw everything on the itinerary and more. A couple of the hotels were not of the quality that one would expect on a RS tour, and I think more care could have been taken in selecting places to eat the group lunches and dinners.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday had wow moments! The Topkapi Palace – especially the Harem. The balloon ride in Cappadocia, plus later seeing the fairy chimneys. The Turkish carpet weaving demo, lunch, and sales pitch. Our vacation from the vacation in Antalya with the boat ride, swim in the Mediterranean and traditional Turkish bath. Last but not least, Aphrodisias & Ephesus were fantastic ancient sites. I especially enjoyed Aphrodisias because it was Ehpesus without the crowds!"

Sheldon

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour allowed us to see a significant part of Turkey and many of its current and historical attractions. It also provided a significant introduction to the culture and life of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Bruce

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with all Rick Steves' Tours, the itinerary is very well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Aphrodisias and without bumping into hordes of tourists such as at Ephesus (which is also magnificent)."

Donna

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! Our guide, Yaren, was so knowledgeable and articulate. I made new friends and fell in love with Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Mary

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Turkey was my first RS tour in 2008. I loved the country and found the history and culture fascinating. I wanted to come back and decided to repeat this tour again this year. I was amazed at how much more I learned. It reinforced my love of the country all over again. Yaren was an incredible guide. Her encyclopedic knowledge of the history of her country never ceased to amaze me. She brought everything to light in technicolor. The pace was great. Food wonderful. Hotels charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia was my favorite part of Turkey. The hot air balloon ride was simply amazing. But I also loved the hamam in Antalya. Singing “You are my Sunshine” all lined up on a heated slab of marble with my fellow lady travelers while partially naked was a true bonding experience. And of course, seeing the Library at Ephesus for the first time at the end of the long lane was wonderful"

James

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itinerary was very well organized & planned do that we saw & experienced so much in just 12 days . It all went off without a hitch

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia for sure"

Sharon

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well planned and our guide, Yaren, was even able to tweak times to optimize the times for visiting (considering crowds and heat) most sites. It was, as promised, an "active" tour but I never felt actually rushed. The pace was brisk but reasonable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but diving into the Mediterranean off a boat on our "vacation from your vacation" day in Antalya stands out."

Emily

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour, and overall was an incredible experience! I was a little wary at first about traveling with a group, but think it was the perfect choice for a place like Turkey. Everything was so well organized, our guide was incredibly knowledgable, and we got to experience many things that I think would have been difficult to organize had I been traveling solo or with a friend (seeing more remote places, meeting locals, etc.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved visiting the mosques and chatting with the Imam, hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, experiencing a Turkish bath, trying all the amazing local cuisine, and meeting the nicest locals along the way!"

Howard

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Vulcan got us off to a great start and it kept rolling from their. I particularly enjoyed the boat ride on the Bosphorus, meeting an Iman, the whirling derviches and 2 ampha-theatres. I would scrap the gift giving. Kapadoke was a wow moment on it's own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The condition of the theatre at Pamulkkale"

Bente

Tour: 09/12/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a very good experience. It was efficient in where we didn't have to wait for any late tour-members due to the buddy system. We were given plenty of time to enjoy sites on our own after the guide was done with initial orientation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were in Cappadocia, visiting the old ladys private home and strolling on our own in Antalya."

Martha

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing trip in so many ways! Turkey is a beautiful and fascinating country. The tour fit a lot in each day and covered a lot of territory. Mine was a fabulous guide! She was so knowledgable on such a breadth of subjects. Her energy, enthusiasm and love of her country were infectious.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Istanbul is a very cool city. The Cappadocia region is lovely and the hot air balloon ride was definitely a highlight. We were thrilled with the peace and beauty of floating in the air over the fairy chimney area as the sun rose with the beautiful balloons all around us. We enjoyed the boat ride and swim in the Aegean Sea on a gorgeous morning in Antalya. And the Turkish bath was definitely something worth experiencing."

Rick

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the History, Archeology, Culture, Food and Scenery. Had an enjoyable time during the tour. Best vacation I have ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments. Touring Ephesus was a huge wow moment."

Kimberly

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent overview of the country and its history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Richard

Tour: 09/10/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with the pace, amount of information, breath of cultural experiences and architectural sites. Our guide was excellent, tour designed for a positive bonding two weeks with our fellow passengers

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course, the balloon ride was the first thing I tell all my friends about"

Lisa

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was beautiful, kind and welcoming! The sites included were well thought and the decisions made as to when activities were done for best results achieved for the tour members. Absolutely loved this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia was AMAZING!"

Catherine

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly magical experience. From the first day in Istanbul to the last day in Kusadasi . 13 days of amazing sights, sounds, tastes. Amazing culture, food, people, experiences. From the modern to the ancient and everything in between. I cannot express how absolutely fabulous this adventure was. Memories to last a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can’t pick one moment. The Cappadocia region, Rumi , dervishes, visit with an Iman, ancient religious sites from caves to churches to mosques. Colorful markets, friendly people.The entire tour was a wow moment."

Catherine

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations. I have wanted to see the sights of Turkey for 35 years and chose the RS tour after carefully reviewing my options. I chose RS because of the broad range of experiences and "bus stops" on the tour. The joke is on me because the tour description does not cover many of the sights and experience we had along the way. We literally went from dawn to dusk and never wasted a minute!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I arrived at my hotel the first night in Istanbul, I stepped out on my small terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. It was a balmy night and suddenly "Call to Prayer" began. It was the first time I had ever heard the beautifully spiritual song. WOW"

Audrey

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first real tour and I was a little apprehensive but the group of people were wonderful, no-nonsense travelers. Mert, our guide was terrific. The hotels were fine, some quite good. The selection of sites and people we met were spot on. It definitely will not be my first and last RS tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm a solo traveler who has been to over 70 countries so my biggest "wow" was just how much I enjoyed the group and the tour experience. Apart from that, the insight Mert offered was invaluable so that I could begin to think about the Turkish perspective on politics; meeting the imam and Fetiyeh (sp?); experiencing Ali's Sufi dervish group; exploring Turkiye in general esp. the Ankara Museum on Anatolian Civilizations."

Susan

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great- more than I hoped for. Turkey is a fantastic place to visit! The food is great, most people are friendly and curious, English is (fairly) commonly spoken. I felt completely safe as a solo traveler, both when we were together as a group and when I ventured out during free time. The sites are absolutely world class. We covered a lot of ground and an amazing amount of history and had the opportunity to meet with friendly and engaging locals. Easy recommendation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would highly recommend the hot air balloon ride In Cappadocia. It was incredible —150 balloons in the air over stunning, otherworldly terrain. We chartered boats a few times— once as part of the tour to cruise the Bosphorus and once during our free time to swim in the Mediterranean. Both gorgeous. The most unique experience was probably the Turkish Bath our guide arranged toward the end of the tour. It was a thorough and hilarious bonding opportunity with my fellow female tour mates!"

Rosemary

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour days were well balanced with plenty of free time. Days were busy but not arduous. I thought things like the carpet making visit would be cheesy but it wasn't at all. In fact we ended up buying one despite having no intention to. Our guide gave us plenty of historical information to enrich what we would see each day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. Also our hotel room was amazing."

Gregory

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour and guide. We were given plenty of free time at sites after a detailed commentary by our guide Mert. Mert was a wealth of historical and political information which was very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia balloon flight was worth getting up at 4am for!"

Kyle

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't find enough superlatives to describe the Best of Turkey tour with our guide Mert, an Istanbul native. The comradery of our small tour group and Mert's comprehensive knowledge of comparative religions, ancient civilizations, architecture, and current events, provided the background for a rich tapestry of Turkish hospitality, delicious food, and one of a kind experiences. It was a delight from beginning to end, and such a fun, stress free way to travel!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many I can't choose: Boating on the Bosporus and Mediterranean, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, seeing the tomb of Rumi, watching whirling dervishes, speaking with a local Imam, meeting a self-sufficient Turkish Gramma in her home, enjoying a Turkish Bath and massage."

Diane

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour was great. I did things I would never had done if I had gone on my own. We had a great guide and a wonderful group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it's difficult to pick just one. My first WOW was taking the taxi from the airport and I couldn't believe that I was really in Turkiye. Once we got to the Sultanahmet area, I was amazed by all the different types of people and all the shops. It was Saturday night and the Streets were full with people. I kept thinking, "Wow, I'm really here!.""

Susan

Tour: 09/05/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first guided tour and we were very happy with the itinerary, our fellow travelers and guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment had to be hot air balloon over Cappadocia. An experience of a lifetime!"

Jane

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had high expectations going into the tour as it was a "Rick Steves" tour that we have heard about so much. This tour exceeded our expectations. We were very fortunate to have been part of a group of like minded fellow travelers, and most of all, due to our tour guide Yaren, who shared love of her country with us. We benefitted from her dedication, kindness & knowledge. Seamless tour, loved every adventure. We wish for our family & friends to experience the same journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia and the first tie in the air balloon. So quiet and peaceful. I didn't realize I had come to care so much about a group of people I had just met 2 weeks ago (during the gift exchange party)."

Caroline

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2 week Turkey tour covered every site I wanted to see within the country, as well as so many unique experiences which included encounters with local people. All of this would not have been possible traveling without the tour group. We were provided a thorough education of the sites attended as well as in depth discussions of Turkey's past, present, politics, and religions. Yaren our guide is supremely knowledgeable, personable, kind hearted. We all loved her hosting us in her beloved Turkiye

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like everyone says, it's hard to pin down. Hot air ballooning was Amazing, but so was having tea in the home of a local woman of Cappadocia. This was our second R.S. tour, and I can say the tour guides and having a group of fellow travelers to experience everything with was one of the biggest wow moments."

Robert

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We didn't know what to expect on this trip, but with our fantastic guide Yaren leading the way, it was a wonderful adventure and learning experience. We cannot imagine any better guide than Yaren, she was so interesting and thoughtful throughout the tour and helping us with many details along the way. Members of our tour group were great to get to know, and that made it an even better shared experience. The cultural experiences, antiquity and interesting people are a great mix in this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride was spectacular and memorable. Many museums, especially the one in Ankara were really fantastic, as was Aphrodisias. People we met in Turkey were so hospitable and made us feel welcome. At one rest stop, we went through the cafeteria line but ended up seating ourselves in the wrong area and the staff were so nice and helped us anyway. Several of us became "regulars" at Rainbow Fish restaurant around corner from our Istanbul hotel .. family run place with such fun staff."

Patricia

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was fantastic! Turkey is not what I imagined it to be. The group was great. Yaren, our guide, was perfection!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along streets in Ephesus where Cleaopatra walked."

Debbie

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS Tour and it was as fabulous as the first one. Yaren, our tour guide, was phenomenal, the itinerary was thorough and gave a fabulous overview and introduction to Turkey, our transportation was excellent, it was organized, communication was excellent, and we can't say enough great things about this experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia was as incredible as people said it would be. Swimming among Roman ruins in Pamukkale, walking through the Roman ruins of Ephesus, the spice bazaar in Istanbul, visiting all the beautiful mosques, all were "wow" moments. There are too many to name."

Debra

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was immersive, covering multiple topics including culture, history, food, important landmarks, local customs and crafts, politics, and modern living. This was exactly what I was hoping for when we booked the tour to Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wow moments to list! Of course, I much mention the balloon ride over Cappadocia and the carpet weaving demo, but also loved the Goreme Open Air Park, the three Roman ruins that we saw including the swim in the ancient pool in Thermopolis, the Caravanserai, two huge farmer's markets, and seeing all the "community" cats and dogs in Turkey. The entire trip was a "wow" moment in time."

Michele

Tour: 09/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic. Absolutely amazing. Our tour guide Yaren was so impressive - she was so knowledgeable and so much fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count, but I loved seeing Ephesus, and of course the hot air balloon ride."

Stephanie

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert was an incredible guide and his passion, wisdom, kindness, and professionalism helped make every part of the tour delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one"

Jerry

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well run with very nice hotels and a nice group of people. Our guide Mert was absolutely fabulous. I couldn't have wished for a more knowledgeable, friendly, caring guy to take care of taking us on this journey through his country. There was so much to see, eat and experience in Turkey that it was impossible to be disappointed. Even if I didn't want to participate in one of the planned excursions, there was still plenty to occupy myself with in whatever town we were in.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. But a few were the underground Kaymakli city tour, the Cappadocia sunrise balloon ride excursion which gave a wonderful overview of the countryside and the tour of the archeological site of Aphrodisias. And Istanbul could have been a full tour in and of itself. So much to see."

Gregory

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. We learned so much more than expected about Turkey, its people and the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balooning over Cappadocia followed by our boat trip and swimming in the Med."

Maria

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fantastic trip. Great experience where east meets west.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Istanbul, the Bosphorus Straight boat ride, Cappadocia underground cities, boat trip in Antalya and Ephesus."

Keith

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was wonderful. Taylan is a great guide and Turkey is magnificent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many for an answer to be meaningful. To answer this question I would have to invent a ranking that doesn't exist. Many tour members said that each day was more impressive than the last. Each experience left us thinking that it must be the highlight of the trip, but then the next day we would come along and change our minds."

Joseph

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A rich, profound, tasty, insightful and wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each new city had one but seeing the ruins up close and walking among them was so cool"

Annette

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I started out with “why Turkey” but ended with “why not Turkey.” It was an amazing trip to a beautiful country. I really appreciated the exposure to another culture, the connection to the birth of civilization, and a clearer understanding that we’re not so different even after thousands of years. I left this trip wanting more of those kinds of connections and realizing such trips must be part of my retirement plan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Just about every day had one or more so it’s hard to choose. The balloon ride over the Cappadocia valley, the whirling dervishes, the ancient ruins that we were able to touch, the kindness of the people we met, the cleanliness of Turkey, the absence of homelessness, the intense blue sky in my pictures, the food. I could go on."

Ana Maria

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide, tour mates, hotel accommodations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia"

Diana

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour I have been on! Each day had awe inspiring moments, and as soon as one thought that it couldn’t get any better it did!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my gosh, so many! Ballooning in Cappadocia, the Iman singing prayers from the Koran in the church mosque, swimming in the Mediterranean, getting to know everyone on the tour, exploring markets, wandering through ruins, and much, much more!"

Slavka

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A tour is only as good as the tour guide. The Turkey two week tour was made a memorable experience by Mert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to really recount - one of the things that sticks out is the people I met along the way at the various stops. Ballooning in Cappadocia was an experience in itself. Not to even mention the Turkish bath experience...loved it all."

Larry

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, but I expect a great experience on a RS tour. Turkey was outstanding; the people, the places, the history; all brought to life by Mert. We all know that Turkey was a nexus of civilization but Mert added so much context. The depth of his knowledge is truly impressive. More important, was his ability to portray his country as it is today, the people, their views and their place in the region and the world. I recommend this tour for anyone willing to keep eyes, ears and mind open.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many great moments and others will mention some of them. On a personal note it was the turkish bath. For the guys who read this, I know most of us are not used to such things and there is a bit of a barrier. Give it a try. It's a chance to shed more than just dead skin."

Janet

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Was wonderful but exhausting towards the end. I think that may partly be due to the increasingly hot weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Guide Mert showing up 2 days BEFORE the tour started to offer advice."

Esther

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are independent travelers, and we were a bit skeptical about joining a group. But after the first day, we were hooked. Mert, our outstanding guide, expanded our world by making this a very rich experience: he led us through back alleys, introduced us to intriguing locals, and shared in-depth historical, cultural, & personal information about whatever we were experiencing. As I look back, I am amazed at how much was packed into the 13 days. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour was FULL of "wow" moments: (1) the echoing calls to prayer across the Istanbul landscape from the top of Galeta Tower, (2) the lively abundance of the spice market and Grand Bazaar, (3) Hagia Sophia's overwhelming beauty, (4) the Cappadocian landscape from a hot air balloon at sunrise, (5) Konya fruit and vegetable market with its colorful bounty and friendly vendors, (6) the rich history of Aspendos, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Ephesus, (7) interacting with local imam, Muslim woman, etc."

Korin

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour that I have been on. Meet was an amazing tour guide and so knowledgeable. The places we went, the things we saw, the stories that we heard were thought provoking and brought history to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the Roman theater looking down on the travertine’s. So beautiful."

Chris

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was just way more than I'd expected and a lot of it had to do with my tour guide Mert Taner! I've never had tour leader with this much wealth of historical information. This tour makes me want to dive deep into early Christianity and the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish people were warm and welcoming, the food was delicious, the hotel accommodations charming as always. Being my third tour, Rick Steves Tours always hit it out of the ballpark!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but I'd say the hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Ephesus, sitting down with the Imam for a Q&A and the home visit of a local Turkish woman were tops!"

Mina

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Lots to see, experience and learn. First few days were quite strenuous. June - July might be too hot for some and possibly not the ideal time for this tour. Hotel choice were average, and can be improved on for a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Found Turkey to be quite more advanced than I expected. Very clean streets and friendly people."

Bindu

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent Tour of Turkey, Mert, our tour guide and our fellow travelers were outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, Anatolia and Cappadocia, including the Balloon ride, Rumi's museum"

Carolyn

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Meeting with the Iman was a previlge and so informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The magical moment our hot air balloon lifted off the ground amidst hundreds of other balloons ...floating above the valley as the sun came up in the west...."

Jaime

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was absolutely fabulous. It surpassed all my expectations. Signing up was the best choice I could have made. Turkiye is magical, full of history, friendly, and endlessly fascinating. Each day was full of adventure and the variety of activities ensured we were never bored. Our tour guide, Taylan, and bus driver, Mr. Arif, were very welcoming, knowledgeable, and professional and it was clear we were in good hands.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from! Having tea and simit with the guys in the Grand Bazaar. Walking, and swimming, amongst ancient Roman ruins was certainly awe worthy. Seeing our guide light up as he delved into the history of Turkiye. The food--so many fun dished to discover! Having a day to relax on the Mediterranean was delightful. Of course, being able to explore Cappadocia from both land and air was out of this world. Really, Turkiye itself was WOW!"

Mary

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our travel companions, our guide Taylan was terrific and our driver also. Everything went smoothly thanks to all the details resolved ahead of time, and Taylans ability to adjust plans as desired or needed..

Gregory

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The extent, the condition and volume of the ruins was eye popping"

Beverly

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So well organized and smooth. Taylan was an exceptional guide, hotels were clean and well located, itinerary was outstanding and fellow travel companions were compatible..

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Thomas

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaran was amazing. Her knowledge brought the country alive for us. Hotels were all very good. Enjoyed the cave hotel in Mustafapasa the most.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride. Istanbul was amazing, but a little overwhelming."

Bruce

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride at Cappadoccia"

Jerrold

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience learning about Turkey and being pleasantly surprised by the people, sites, geography, and food. We tell people that they need to visit Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia."

James

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

had a great time learning about the rich history of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride by far!"

Joni

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is a country of contrasts. We loved learning about Turkey; the history, the religion, the culture, the past and current challenges. This was one our most enlightening tours. We loved The Best of Eastern Europe in 2019. The Turkey tour in 2022 exceeded our expectations for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Ephesus was unreal. We stepped back in time and walked with Alexander the Great, Mark Antony and Cleopatra. The Hammam and Turkish bath was a wonderful WOW. Yaren was fantastic in preparing and planning the Hammam visit."

Carla

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour really covered the best of Turkey. We saw so many regions, small towns, big cities, resort towns, little villages. We got to know more about the people, history and religion. Our guide, Yaren, was amazing in her enthusiasm and her desire to show us Turkey. Her archeology degree paired beautifully with her tourism expertise to give us the best trip possible. One of my favorite RS tour of all time. I can't say enough about how magical it was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia was absolutely amazing. The territory we fly over is incredible. The whole drama of getting up early in the morning and racing out in the dark to our balloon was incredible. But we also had a lot of other fun moments, going out on the two cruises, doing the Turkish Bath with Yaren, seeing incredible ancient cities. Also loved the travertine and the many special meals."

Kirsten

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful blend of cultural experiences: modern Istanbul yet full of ancient treasures, dizzying; the variety of landscape, Cappadocia in particular; the three big archaeological sites, oh my, let's support the work there; the lovely, friendly Turkish people; the food; the great camaraderie within the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard not to choose the "WOW experience of ballooning over the rock formations in Cappadocia as a biggie but the archaeological sites were amazing also, particularly Aphrodisias and Ephesus. Amazing to see what has been saved from/at these sites and to try to come to terms with the sophistication and ingenuity of past millenia."

Jo Ellen

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the mix of activities, from cities to countryside and deep dives into the ancient world, and the culture was truly fascinating. The tour was everything I expected and hoped for, plus more. Still processing the many contrasts and insights. I learned so much and was surprised at some of the subtle preconceptions about Turkey I didn't even know I had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning in Capaddocia, with visiting the Hagia Sophia a close second. Really hard to choose, though, because so many of our experiences were total wows, like visiting the weaver in her home and talking with her, the Q&A with the imam, and slices of history and culture like the Topkapi Palace harem and the Gran Bazaar. All just stunning and I will never forget any of it."

Lynn

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was educational, beautiful, eye-opening. We will recommend it to everybody.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus and the balloons of Cappadocia."

Cynthia

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I loved this tour. Was everything perfect? No, but our tour guide, Yaren, worked very hard to make it an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a lot of really fun moments, but the hot air balloon ride, looking out at over a hundred other balloons, had to be one of my favorite moments."

Nancy

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had an excellent time. Some things that took away from giving an outstanding rating was the additional Covid requirements just ten days before the tour. We had been vaccinated and boosted and that was enough. To worry about a negative test the day before the trip gave us additional unneeded stress. Also from other trips we have been on there were additional fun and surprise experiences like wine tasting, musicians, and additional guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in Cappadocia was wonderful. The hotel was great, the food was excellent, the tour through the underground city was so fun, but the cherry on top was the hot air balloon flight"

Karl

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful country, wonderful guide, wonderful tour companions, varied and great hotels, just the right amount of time for the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to distill a single moment. So…I’d have to pick these: 1) the entire experience in and out of the town of Mustafapasha (the hotel, the town, hot air balloon ride, and the surrounding countryside) in Cappadocia; 2) Istanbul tour at the beginning."

Ellen

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well planned using an engaged, knowledgeable tour guide, interesting hotels, an efficient bus driver, and informative destinations. We chose Turkiye because we thought it was different from other European destinations offering history, scenery and new cultures. We were delighted with all that we learned about Turkiye. We found it to be a clean, friendly, diverse country that deserves many return visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"having taught medieval history for many years, I was thrilled to see Constantinople. When I walked into Hagia Sophia I was awestruck thinking about all of the history in that magnificent location. Seeing the Christian icons partially covered with cloth gave me a glimpse into the changing political environment in Turkiye.That would have occurred without the tour, but one wow moment that came about because of the tour was our visit to Mustafapasha and the excellent Old Greek hotel."

Catherine

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am so glad that I did both the Best of Istanbul and this Best of Turkey tours in sequence. After seeing Istanbul for more than a week, The Best of Turkey tour helped me to see the variety of landscapes and cultures of Western Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps it's been too long since I visited for me to aptly remember the Parthenon in Athens, the Coliseum in Rome and the streets of Pompeii, but the stadium and residences of Ephesus blew my mind. The glass walkways allow visitors to see the frescoes and mosaics - being painstakingly recreated through computer simulations and with thousands of graduate student hours - that depict the lives and fashions of the former residents. Truly a monumental effort and the climax of my Best of Turkey tour."

Lisa

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mine, was exceptionally warm, knowledgeable, and efficient. We all fell in love with her. Despite the long bus days (due to the distance between many of our destinations), we enjoyed seeing a wide range of places and experienced a very diverse number of activities. We would not have tried to tour Turkiye on our own, so definitely appreciated being shown the highlights by our wonderful local guide. And we felt extremely safe and warmly embraced by the locals the entire time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picking on "wow" moment is almost impossible. But I think I loved both the Turkish bath experience and the Turkish rug demonstration the best."

Jan

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EXCELLENT guide. Lovely companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capadocia Estates cave hotel in Mustafapasha. Very fun spot to stay, and lovely village to walk around."

Kim

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was my third Rick Steves Tour in 3 months you'd think I'd have run out of things to say! Not so!!! Türkiye was fabulous as a country, in what we explored together and the guides. Taylan, Mr Alif and Palen shared the country and themselves. Excellent places to stay, cities chosen for their interest, historical significance and beauty as well as their proximity to assure getting the most and best out of each day. Wonderful melding of cultures, foods and people! I highly recommend!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to choose several...hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, exploring all the ancient cities...including the Underground City, visiting the Church Mosque and talking with the Imam and his willingness to sing the call to prayer, the great camaraderie of our group especially with my broken arm, the old and new of Istanbul, the sincere interest of people sharing in the marketplaces and tea and sharing at Fahriye's house."

James

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent journey! An outstanding guide, a varied and fascinating itinerary, and well-thought out logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had too many wonderful times to say there was a single outstanding one. Every single day had amazing things."

John

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent guide, excellent transportation. Lodging varied from very nice to European tight. The sites we visited were top notch. A great experience. And highly recommend turkey as a place to visit

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia Ballooning. This is an experience of a lifetime, simply Marvelous Wow Oh Wow"

Richard

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good exploration of Turkey. We covered a large part of the country so this required a lot of time in a bus. The tour guide walked very quickly and there was a lot of walking and climbing stairs and rough terrain

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride over Cappadokia was and extra optional excursion and quite expensive but it was very memorable."

Karla

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw fascinating natural and historic sites with a delightful guide and traveling companions. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Buying a dress In Antalya from woman whose sister lives in Virginia, and.learning she has lived down the street from where I grew up. Amazing example of our small world."

Morteza

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Turkey is a historic place to visit. The historic buildings, mosque and museum in Istanbul is interesting. But I was mesmerized by the landscape in Mustafapasa. The food was not as authentic as I expected. Perhaps tour could chose some unique places to eat authentic meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was the hot air balloon ride over the landscape of Mustafapasa."

Fereshteh

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I loved the scenery, and the educational information which was provided by our tour guide. The group was cohesive and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mostafa Pasha and the landscaping."

Douglas

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide and driver. Accommodations ranged from acceptable to very nice. Group dinners were fun and food good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride Cappadoccia"

Tom

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was phenomenal vacation and everything about it exceeded my preconceived expectations. The SRM guide was fantastic, the experiences and ancient sights were incredible, hotels and food was excellent, and our fellow tour mates made for a unforgettable experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early morning hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is a must see "wow" moment gently riding over the fairy chimneys. The opportunity to have an open Q&A session with the Imam of the Guzelyurt Church Mosque was another "wow" moment as I had so many preconceived ideas about Islam that were incorrect. This was our first opportunity to vacation in a predominately Muslem country and all of the history and sights and people that we interacted with all add up to a great overall "wow" experience."

Jeffrey

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great exposure to new country and new culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride."

Blaine

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Turkey tour was excellent. This was a very active tour. There were many miles of bus travel, but with numerous stops along the way it never felt like it was too far to the next hotel. So much to see and the Turkish people were very nice. Turkey seems much safer than many places in the USA and I would not hesitate to travel here again. Our guide Taylan had impressive knowledge of Turkey, was enthusiastic and seemed happy to lead our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, the hotel was also great. Nice foot massage walking in the hot springs at Pamakkule, Turkish bath, Turkish haircut, and exploring the grand bazaar in Istanbul. Hearing the call to prayer throughout the streets was a unique experience."

Julie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, interesting and educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia hot air balloon ride or swimming in Mediterranean in Anatoli"

Charlotte

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and it fulfilled my expectations and then some. Turkey’s rich history and diversity was on display throughout the whole tour. So much so that it was difficult to get my brain to absorb all that we were learning. Our guide, Taylan, is very knowledgeable and patient. He was able to explain the context of all we were seeing in a way that was understandable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia and the conversation with the Imam. (Am I allowed two?)"

Robyn

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed when I learned that our guide for the Best of Turkey tour had a degree in archeology and art history. He was very knowledgeable, spoke excellent English, and was willing to answer any and all questions about history, culture and politics. He knew many people in every city or town, so we felt as though we were special guests with every new day of our adventure. I felt very safe traveling in this Muslim country with Taylan as our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day I was stunned as I learned of the historical significance of Turkey (Istanbul) as the ancient center of the Eastern and Western empires. Tourists should be looking beyond the ever popular Rome and Athens and to Turkey for truly historical experiences."

Lara

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my third trip to Turkey, though my last trip was 15 yrs ago. The itinerary of this tour was "just right". It covered the large city of Istanbul, complemented by a few days pre and post trip; went to the extraordinary landscape of Cappadocia; classic Ankara with Ataturk's monument/tomb and Konya; Roman ruins; beautiful seaside. Just the right amount of "tour" and free time, and optional activities. This was perfect for a first trip, or in my case, a third trip. Fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia hot air balloon ride has to be the "wow" moment. Perfect conditions, beautiful pictures. Secondary was the Yag Somanu (breakfast pide) in Konya. I really enjoyed Konya. Hotel location was great."

Callie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taylan, our tour guide, in turkey was incredible. The itenerary was action packed which is what I was looking for as a 30 something. I didn’t have to plan so I was able to live in the moment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia. The hotel there was incredible. The call to prayer that evening and the howling dogs was otherworldly. Then the hot air balloon the next day…"

Douglas

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our Best of Turkey tour was very good. Togay was a great guide and was very knowledgeable about the culture, sights and issues facing Turkey today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia region and the balloon ride was the highlight of my trip. The scenery around Cappadocia was spectacular and hiking the area was great. Having an opportunity to take a balloon ride in Cappadocia was a bucket list item of mine."

Edward

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time, experiencing a brand new country to us with a very genial group, a well-prepared guide and even a great bus driver. We covered a broad range of historical sites and cultural venues including the excitement of Istanbul, the astounding Cappadocia, and the ancient sites of the Mediterranean including a refreshing swim in that salty sea

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few, but I think the opportunity to see Aphrodisias with plenty of time to observe and reflect was the favorite, but the caves and art of the caves of Cappadocia are a close second."

Nancy

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour and I loved it. It was active and we covered a lot of ground. I really appreciated going to so many places and not having to plan the routes and drive myself. I was worried that the tour would feel too big and impersonal, especially since I have only ever taken one tour in the past. But the group was great and having a native as a guide is also a real plus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments. The rock formations in Cappadocia were incredible and I loved the balloon ride over the fairy chimneys. Ancient ruins are always a wow moment for me. I especially likedd Aphrodisias since there were very few people there and we had the place mostly to ourselves."

Linda

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We have never been on an organized tour before and it was better than we expected. The tour guide and bus driver were absolute gems. The biggest disappointment was the lodging in Cappadoccia. We were scheduled to stay at Cappadoccia Estates but for some reason were switched to a dank alternative with iffy wifi. The location in Mustafapasa, is also far away from the tourist sites. We weren't able to view the balloons in the morning without taking a taxi to Goreme.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What I can't stop thinking about is the kindness towards animals ingrained in Turkish culture. Our guide Togay explained that the government provides free spay/neutering and basic veterinary care to the many stray dogs and cats we saw. Everyone else pitches in with food. Walking to a tourist site we happened to see a man lovingly set out small mounds of food for cats. It was wonderful to see so many cats appear out of nowhere for their dinner and to hear their mews of thanks."

Michael

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Felt like I was on a low budget tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the hike in Cappadocia"

Philip

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide To Gay was fantastic and informative. The archeological sites and history provided by our guide brought history to life. The lodging and food were awesome. The walking the first day was strenuous but comfortable thereafter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the Bosphorus water tour seeing the fortifications on either side of the narrow passage preventing the resupply of food to Constantinople causing in part it’s fall to the Ottomans."

Liping

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

n/a

Favorite "WOW" moment

"n/a"

Jim

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The overall Turkey tour experience was good. The beginning of the tour, however, got off to an imperfect start due to the Ramadan Festival closing several sights and increasing the crowds everywhere. The other criticism is that wine was not provided on the tour with group meals in contrast to our previous experience on Rick Steves tours in Sicily and the Basque region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moments were seeing Ephesus and two add-on experiences in Analya: a boat excursion on the Mediterranean and the Turkish baths."

Bill

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgable guide who made adaptation to the itinerary and schedule to accommodates weather and holidays.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Open spaces at Pamakkule"

Candice

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never been to Turkey and wanted to see as much as I could. The itinerary was ambitious but not exhausting. My guide did a wonderful job organizing 25 older adults and kept us on schedule and constantly entertained —even on long bus rides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entering Hagia Sofia built 1500 years ago boggled my mind."

James

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip to Turkey changed our opinions/biases of the Turkish people and Muslim faith forever. we learned so much. Our guide Yaren was outstanding. She shared political opinions in a thoughtful way. She also shared personal information that gave us a glimpse into life in Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia's fairy-chimney rock formations, touring the Roman City of Ephesus."

Mark

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren is a very knowledgeable and personable guide who knows not only the sites, history, shops and all but also a the best ways to get us in and out. Our driver was a superman and kept us very safe and comfortable. We loved the tour members as well and hope we have made long term friends. This was our first RS experience with a tour having used his guidebooks many times for other tours. We could not have done Turkey anywhere near as well alone. We've already recommended this tour to others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Amazing museum displays, historic ruins, bus driver maneuvers and facts from our tour guide. Maybe seeing the amazing colors of the Aegean."

Tom

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We wanted to experience Turkey and we did. Tour had a nice variety of big cites, ancient ruins, seaside resorts and otherworldly landscapes. Good tour group and excellent guide. Tour was a really good experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon in Cappadocia (though wasn't included in the tour.) I especially liked the entire Cappadocia region."

Shannon

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best travel experiences we've had (even though I broke my ankle halfway through). Fantastic combination of exploring the sites and bonding with a group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, probably the exploring the ruins of Aphrodisias and Ephesus, along with the Anatolian Civilizations Museum. For my husband, the sunrise hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Steven

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour and the Best of Turkey did not disappoint. Our guide, Yaren, was a wealth of knowledge when visiting the ancient sites and all the social, political, cultural, religious aspects could be answered from an Istanbulite’s perspective. Our diverse fellow travelers were a joy to get to know. Our stay in quaint, centrally located inns and the even mix of bustling cities and small, rural communities, was truly enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early sunrise balloon ride over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia was definitely a “wow” moment."

Laura

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are so delighted to have been able to tour Turkey with an excellent guide. We could not have imagined a better experience. Yarin was a wealth of knowledge about ancient civilizations, current affairs in Turkey, and the history of the region. She kept us all going in the same direction with unfailing good humor. She was a delight and always so personable and good natured. We loved our trip and Yarin pulled it all together for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed meeting a local woman in her home in one of the rural areas of Turkey. It was the special touch that sets Rick Steve's tours apart from others."

Evan

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour with terrific guides. We realize how ignorant we were about Turkey and its history. We especially appreciated that the tour bus was not too crowded (ours was around 18 people), and we had TWO guides, both of whom were wonderful. We also liked the pace, which was busy, but not too busy. This was our first Rick Steves' Tour. We have done most of our traveling on our own, avoiding tours and cruises. But we will certainly take RS Tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, since there were so many. The Hot Air Balloon ride over Cappudocia was certainly a highlight, but so was a beautiful sunset greeting us on the terrace in Antalya, and the beautifully decorated mosques of Istanbul."

Vishakha

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

our Turkey tour was wonderful, adventurous, exciting... and also very tiring... but overall, i am glad i went and got to see places and experience things i would never have been able to do solo...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"several WOW moments. kapadokya was beautiful esp the early morning hot air balloon ride. antalya and swimming in the mediterranean was another highlight for me. as was the hamam experience. wow wow wow."

Suzann

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour leader, small group of enthusiastic travelers, welcoming people and wonderful sights in Turkey. It was totally great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia and Ephesus were both fantastic. Totally different, but can't choose just one!"

Jo

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is a fabulous country of key importance in the world and relatively unknown to many Americans. I may have rated this tour so highly because we are thrilled to be traveling again. This tour is a nice mixture of city, rural and seaside resort venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many moments. One was being covered with bubbles at the Turkish bath. Another was watching young children perform on National Children’s Day. And finally talking to some 12 year old girls who were on a school trip visiting the same museum we were touring."

Kenneth

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Very good guide and assistant/guide in training. Nice group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several highlights: Istanbul Topkapi palace, Cappadocia & ballon ride, Konya mosque visit/discussion with imam, Ephesus"

Diane

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour through Turkey exceeded my expectations. Incredible, diverse country, spectacular scenery and lovely people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Cappadocia and the balloon ride over the fairy chimneys at sunrise. Loved the unique cave hotel as well."

David

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Turkey was great. The tour did have lots of driving days but we like bus rides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking thru the ruins at Ephesus."

Mark

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Turkey was an enjoyable tour! Seeing a secular muslim country for the first time was truly a new experience for me. Learning about the culture, it's history, from pre Greek, though Roman to modern day Turkey taught me a lot. Our18 fellow tour members and two guides were a fantastic group. We made many new friends as we ventured all around Turkey. The hotels on this trip seemed to be a bit below the normal RS standards. I loved being introduced to many new foods.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our ballon ride over Cappadocia has to be my wow moment. Getting up as the sky is just getting light and watching the150 or so balloons light up across the landscape as their propane burners fill the balloons with hot air. Then it was into the basket and liftoff. We flew over the tufa covered landscape looking at fairy chimney formation and flying silently with the wind above and bellow our fellow balloon travelers. The views will never be forgotten!"

Ruth

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I lived the country of Turkey. My guide Mine did a great job introducing me to the people culture and food. I can’t wait to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Chilling in the thermal pool that Anthony and Cleopatra spent their honeymoon. I spent my 2 hours of free time in the pool meeting and chatting with European tourist. Great and relaxing."

Janet

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A varied experience with cultural, historical, religous, and geographic interest. Oh, gustatory too. All hotels were well appointed. All included meals were very good or exceptional. All excusions were interesting and an appropriate amount of time. Our guide was attentive and professional. I had high expectations because I did the RS 7 days in Istanbul. I was not disappointed. I so enjoyed revisiting Istanbul, but thedrive over the Taurus mountain range and seeing Antalyia were highlights

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pervasive smell of orange blossoms in Antalyia with the Mediterranean setting was delightful. The smell made me giddy."

Henry

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The question is why not outstanding. Depending on how you count I have been on 3 or 6 tours if you count the Nile Cruses I went on that had a guide. Among them this was in the middle. There were two things; In order to see as much of Turkey as we needed to it meant a lot of time on the bus. I know this can not be helped. The other is I would have preferred less time in markets and seeing the Chora Church and or the Islamic Art museum. The Blue Mosque being closed was also a disappointment

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can not think of a single Wow moment, but I have been wanting to visit the Hagya Sophia for decades."

John

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was packed with new cultural insights and historic experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus"

Sandy

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Apart from being a very physically demanding tour, it was wonderful! As a history buff it was the best and the really ancient sites were amazing. Our guide made history alive and exciting to learn. Also had a look into modern Turkey which was interesting as I was unaware of all the new construction going on. Tried new foods (some great and some not so good)! Met many really nice people who were happy to share their country with us. Learned so many things about history and local customs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was probably different from others. At the carpet weaving demonstration, I got to sit with one of the women weavers and was able to ask her all sorts of questions about her weaving and her life. Through translation with Taylan and another person she was very gracious and even posed for a photo with me. I also visited with the other two weavers as well. As a crafter this was my high point."

Diane

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the way we saw different areas of Turkey from bustling Istanbul to sleepy Mustafa Pasa. Also enjoyed learning the history of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are two: Ephesus, especially my first view of the Celsus Library. Ballooning over the fairy chimineys in Cappadocia."

Eileen

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went above and beyond my expectations! Everything ran absolutely smoothly at all stages, the timing was perfect, and our Tour Guide Yarin was stellar!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many varied experiences which exposed us to so many different aspects of the country's culture and wonderful people!"

Matthew

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour experience and the people that were on the tour with me. We had a great tour guide, when I would definitely recommend to anyone taking a tour with tour with in Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Perge!"

Raeford

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Turkey with our guide, Yaren Turkoglu, was the experience of a lifetime. After ten RS tours, we really thought that we had seen the best of the best. Yaren's enthusiasm, knowledge, preparation, and genuine dedication to the care of her travelers was the best we have ever experienced within this or any other travel company. Having a resource that could speak to us on a variety of different levels about history, archaeology, art, religion, and the development of the Republic was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Yaren's presentation on the historic findings at Ephesus was something that we will remember always."

Nora

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good, very easy to travel with all taken care

Lori

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting, well planned, very educational and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every Ancient City we visited but especially Aphrodisias."

Susan

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a way to re-enter the world of travel! The tour provided a perfect snapshot of this fascinating country, beginning with Istanbul to the fairy chimneys of Capadoccia, to Antalya on the Mediterranean, to the ancient wonders of Aphrodisias, Hieropolis, and Ephesus. Tour guide, Yaren, was exceptional, providing details about the sights but also educating us on the culture, history, and politics of Turkey. Wonderful fellow travelers who became friends helped make an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Istanbul is truly one of the world's great cities and my favorite part of the tour. The history and geography, the mosques, the Bosphorus, the modern and ancient buildings, the friendly people, the calls to prayer, combined to begin the tour with a wow! I also loved learning about and visiting Aphrodisias."

Jim

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This a great, very informative tour, led by an outstanding guide - Yaren Turkoglu

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The boat ride on the Bosphorus, the extent of the ruins in Heiropolis and being in Ephesus."

Manfred

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Yaren, was excellent. She has an effervescent personality and great sense of humor. She also made sure the tour ran smoothly and that all the details were right. Her English is very good, which is not easy for Turkis speakers. Her knowledge of archeology was outstanding, and corrected several misconceptions I had about ancient history. I would love to have Catalhoyuk on the tour, as it is one of the earliest (8000 BC) human settlements and not far from Konya.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You cannot beat the historical importance of Hagia Sophia. I've already seen it before, but still impressive."

John

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

it was a fascinating experience, I learned so much about this country and its long history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hot-Air Baloon ride, followed closely by Ephesus."

Darren

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well thought out tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia - hot air balloon ride and rode a camel."

Frances

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a little nervous before this tour because of the pandemic but the precautions Taylan enforced left me feeling quite comfortable that I could focus on learning the culture and history of Turkey. The tour with such a knowledgeable and attentive tour guide made this a very positive experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The geology of Pamukkale"

Linda

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aphrodisia. The archeological site was amazing and we had it to ourselves. Magical."

Laura

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, thoughtfully planned and executed. The days were full of interesting places and people. I can't believe how much we saw and experienced. Our guide, Taylan, was very knowledgeable and did a great job explaining the sights and places, giving us an in depth look at a very rich culture. Down to the places chosen for meals, everything was special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was WOW! The people, the food, the charming towns, the history were all amazing. Although we saw many very important, beautiful, and historical sites, my favorite cultural wow was the Turkish Bath, arranged at a local, neighborhood bath."

Lura

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a committed solo traveler, I held my tour expectations in check. Happily, the tour was fabulous and allowed me to concentrate on the experience and learning about a new culture rather than the logistics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I carefully thought about the "wow" moment and realized it was the Whirling Dervish performance. It was a mesmerizing, beautiful experience and I am so glad I got to witness it. After that, I'd say the balloon ride along with the entire Cappadocia experience, including the hotel, would be second."

Qing

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We love our tour guide Taylan, who is knowledgeable, caring and have a great sense of humor. It is a great culture trip, and Turkey is an amazing place. This is our 2nd Rick Steve tour, and we feel the quality of the accommodations have gone down. The hotel in Cappadochia and Kusadashi have met the standard, but the other accommodations are subpar. Hope there will be more improvements in the future trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The library at Ephesus."

Catherine

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was perfect in every respect. We were the first group back in Turkey after a 2-year COVID hiatus. So much had changed and our guide, Taylan, did not miss a beat in navigating our group through this beautiful and welcoming country. It was a very active tour and I feel we really did cover the very best that Turkey had to offer. Best of all, our small group of 17 people all got along wonderfully! We were all like-minded travellers eager to get back out and see the world again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments... hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, and the boat ride and turkish bath in Antalya rate among the best. However, to be completely honest, nothing can compare to the sheer joy of the Turkish people running out of their shops and restaurants, waving and greeting us as we arrived in Mustafapasa. They were so happy to see travellers again after two long years."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between March and June and September through October are good times to visit Turkey. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with the most comfortable weather throughout the country.

Turkey, Istanbul

Weather Chart

Hotels & Flights

Visa Required

If you are an American or Canadian citizen, you must obtain a visa prior to your arrival in Turkey. Before you fly, get your e-Visa at www.evisa.gov.tr. (If you have trouble accessing the site with Safari, please try Chrome or Firefox.) The website will take you through a series of steps (have your passport handy), ending with your credit card payment (currently US $50 for Americans and US $60 for Canadians; MasterCard or Visa only). Once you pay, you will be emailed a link to download and print your e-Visa. Always carry it inside your passport! Holders of passports from any country other than the US or Canada are also responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents prior to joining the tour.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Istanbul (IST) and out of Izmir (ADB) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Departures from Izmir require international connections. Some flights may require a connection and overnight stay in Istanbul, so look around for the best options.

Our tour bus will provide free transportation to Izmir on the last day of the tour, departing immediately after breakfast (around 8 a.m.) and arriving at the Izmir airport by 10 a.m. If you want to ride the bus, you'll need to book a flight that departs after 11 a.m.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Istanbul guidebook.

If you're traveling to the Greek islands after the tour and plan to fly home from Athens, please note that ferry schedules can vary and weather delays and strikes are not uncommon. We suggest waiting until you get to Kuşadası to purchase your ferry ticket to Samos. Your guide will explain how to obtain these ferry tickets.

For more post-tour transportation information, visit our Turkey guides' special website at www.srmtravel.com.