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  • 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

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Best of Turkey in 13 Days Tour

from $2,395 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

2022

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 prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • 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 Sultanahmet district. 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

Ken

Annan, ON

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first Rick Steves' tour and it definitely won't be our last! To say that the tour exceeded our expectations would be a gross understatement. The Turkey tour was chock full of amazing experiences that were packed into a tight 13 day agenda. Out tour guide Mert was incredible. The other tour group members were all interesting characters who were fun to travel with. The tour changed how I think Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments. The hot air balloon ride in Capadoccia was amazing but for me the visit with the Imam, the conversation that we had with him, and the final blessing was something that will stay with me forever."

Suzanne

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert Tanner was very knowledgeable guide. He delivers the information in story fashion which I prefer. The locations and activities were interesting and informative. Very happy with the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time with the Imam and the balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Jennifer

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a vague idea of what Turkey was like, but I'm happy to say it was so much better than I could expect. I had a wonderful time and was continually amazed at how wonderful it all was. It was jam-packed but so rewarding. I sincerely hope someone at RS is exploring a trip soon that explores more of the country. I would return in a heartbeat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't just one but many wow moments. I did very little research ahead of time so each day was a wonderful. I never dreamed I would be able to see so many Unesco World sites in one trip. The idea that we were continually connecting present day with the past was mind blowing."

Michelle

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first organized tour I've taken and it was the experience of a lifetime. I'm typically a solo traveler, and felt that an RS tour would be similar in style to my own, and I was not disappointed. Mert is a phenomenal tour guide and ambassador for his homeland, my fellow travelers were great, and I feel like I got to experience Turkey on a deeper level than if I had traveled on my own. Loved the food, the personal stories, and the cultural immersion, while still experiencing alone time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot-air balloon ride in Cappadoccia was pretty spectacular and the lunch visit with Fariye and her mom!"

Daniel

Bend, OR

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip, loved Turkey, can't wait to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess the Cappadocia family visit or balloon ride would both be right up there."

Diane

Annan, ON

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time on a Rick Steves' tour and I was overwhelmed at how well our Best of Turkey in 13 Days trip was planned. Our guide Mert flawlessly lead us from one fabulous attraction to the next. We didn't have to wait anywhere to get into the most famous attractions in Turkey! Our knowledge of Turkey was quite limited but I had always wanted to visit Istanbul to see the Hagia Sophia. Little did I know the depth and span of the history I would encounter on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the Ballon ride was amazing but for me the moment that sticks with me is the meeting with the Imam where he answered our questions and blessed us with a recital of the 1st verse of the Quran. I was brought up a christian and the experience was quite profound for me. I certainly feel that I have to educate myself more on the topic of Islam and feel more optimistic that there is a peaceful way forward with the Muslim world. We just have to get our politicians in order!"

Chakyung

Spring, TX

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It completely exceeded my expectation – 1. Trip was well planned 2. Turkey was full of histories. Everyday was new discovery & the time allotted for each visit was adequate. It seemed there were a lot of careful thoughts and considerable planning put in this trip that it was seamless from one activity to next. Each visit/activity was interesting, & diversified. My biggest accomplishment was getting over fear/reservation, but learn/understand a lot more of Turkey & its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ataturk's Mausoleum Aspendos Roman Theatre Aphrodisias stadium"

Han

Spring, TX

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good places + good guide

Lisa

Mannford, OK

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience. I fell in love with Turkey, and I can't wait to visit again. Mert was a great guide who provided so much information about Turkey and it's history. I learned so much. I highly recommend this tour and Mert. Tesekkur ederim!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved every minute. I had so many Wow moments. The Turkish bath was a wow moment. Be prepared to get to know your tour mates much better if you sign up for this. ??"

Sherry

Napa, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stellar! We sincerely thank everyone involved with developing, planning, hosting and supporting such a remarkable visit to Turkey. The breadth and depth of experiences offered in such a personalized way was extremely impressive. We travel frequently, yet rarely take organized tours. This trip may change our minds, as it met and exceeded every expectation we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On a trip with so many superlatives, each new day brought awe-inspiring moments. From wondering at the ingenuity of human architecture at Hagia Sophia to diving in to the natural and cultural landscapes across the country, we'll treasure the range of amazing people, places and things that brought our experiences to life."

Yin Ming

Oakland, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over all I am quite happy with the outcome. I don't think there is another way to travel in Turkey without joining a tour. The places we've visited was made possible with a well planned itinerary and experienced tour guide. I usually travel with a friend or family on our own. It took a lot of planning but Turkey would have been very difficult. We probably ended up only staying in one or two places. Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many "wow"! Our visit to the mother and daughter's home for lunch was vey special."

Ying

Seaside, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An Overwhelmingly unforgeable trip, the experience of traveling in Turkey was greatly influenced by our great tour guide and our wonderful tour members, I can't help smiling whenever I think of my Turkey trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at Cappadocian Turkish lady's home was a unique moment for me. The lady is in her 60s, her mom is 90s, they are like my mom and grandma. The food she prepared for us is simple, delicious and heartwarming, sitting on the carpet she made, watching her talking to Mert, taking care of us and answering our questions, the connection is so natural and humane, made me feel like we are one family"

Jeffrey

Rochester, NY

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a superbly organized tour, and Turkey is a fantastic place to visit - I can't say enough or recommend it highly enough. The ancient sites were of course amazing, ranging from prehistoric to Hittite to Greek, Roman, and early Christian to Byzantine, Selcuk, Ottoman, and into the modern era. Great food, wonderful landscapes, and warm and welcoming people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many I don't know where to start, from the Cappadocia landscape to the stadium at Aphrodisias to the (optional) Mediterranean boat ride and being pampered at a Turkish bath."

Juanita

Corte Madera, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My reality of the trip was much better than my expectation. Turkey is beautiful and safe. It is rich in history. There is so much to see and feel. The Turkish people were friendly and helpful. Turkey is a combination of eastern and western culture working in harmony. This makes Turkey so exotic for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was experiencing a Turkish bath. I recommend this to everyone. I also enjoyed the hot air balloon ride. What an experience. I also enjoyed floating on the Mediterranean Sea."

Sophia

Lethbridge, AB

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour and it exceeded my expectations in every way, overturning all of my preconceptions about group travel. I had no idea I could have so much fun with a group of strangers in a strange land! I can't say enough about our guide Mert, whose knowledge, commitment, passion, and sheer personality elevated the entire travel experience and really opened my eyes to the challenges and opportunities in the marvelous geographical and cultural crossroad that is Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to pick just one! 1) Coming across the Anatolian plain and watching the landscape change, then stopping to see the sun set on the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Unforgettable! 2) Swimming in the Antique Pool in Heiropolis, with the bottom lined with broken columns 3) The terraced houses and mosaics at Ephesus, making the city feel so immediate and real as a home to actual families"

Dan

Corte Madera, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. Mert, our tour guide, and the travel group were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) Swimming and floating in the Mediterranean Sea in Antalya . 2) Watching women hand create a carpet and buying a carpet. 3) Visiting and having an intimate conversation with an imam. 4) Mert and Alan/Edith introducing each other at the buddy cocktail party in Cappadocia. I'm still laughing."

Noel

Lowell, MI

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was the most educational of the three RS tours we've taken so far. Prior to taking it, we had no idea that Turkey had so many Roman ruins! The variety of our activities was amazing also! And Mert Tanner's knowledge of history and Christianity was fabulous!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we walked to the harbor in Antalya and could see the Mediterranean and palm trees and the Taurus mountains! Loved Antalya! At the Hagia Sophia I was nearly speechless--I had wanted to visit for so long and there I was standing in this most holy place. To think that Constantine had once passed through those imperial doors! A room with a view of the Bosphorus! Loved watching the HUGE freighters come through and then disappear on their way to the rest of the world."

Dianne

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although there was considerable bus time, due to Turkey's size and our destinations, Mert was so knowledgeable and interesting, that I didn't mind the rides but truly relished them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus was fantastic! It was like stepping back in time."

David

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well run and well organized. The guide was terrific. He was very open to questions about Turkey, including educating us on current and controversial topics. The bus driver was terrific, an expert at navigating traffic jams and windy country roads. Taylan kept the group on schedule. The group itself was a terrific bunch of people. Having 6 Canadians was extremely helpful in giving a "non US" interpretation on various issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The underground city in Cappadocia was very interesting, in particular the extent of the city and how many layers below ground it was. From an educational standpoint, just learning more about Turkish/Anatolian history and its people was a "wow" moment every day."

Phyllis

Bayside, NY

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel as if I really got a good "taste" of Turkey in the short amount of time I was there. Each day was a new adventure with surprises at every turn. A wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia. It was magical."

Illona

Portage La Prairie, MB

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was very well organized and extremely interesting. We were shown many sites and allowed decent free time for ourselves. The hotels were all good ranging from modern to very quaint. I would definitely recommend this tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one as we felt there were several. Seeing Ephesus and learning about ancient life from our very informed guide was great."

Kathleen

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip! We have never been on a Rick Steves tour before and don't usually book "tours" at all; however, we felt that given the language barriers in Turkey and lack of train options, this was a good choice for us. We felt that the tour was well put together and included not just the highlights, but even the smaller events, such as the carpet talk, the home visit in Cappadoccia, and the Whirling Dervishes, were both educational and enjoyable. I would keep all the same activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hot Air balloon ride in Cappadoccia provided our "wow" moment. The entire experience of going up in a balloon in the early dawn hours and the unmatched views of this unique landscape were definitely the highlights for us."

David

Burnley, VIC

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best of Turkey tour was a thoughtfully planned and brilliantly executed experience of some very different regions of a nation with ancient roots, breathing and alive as it finds its place in the 21st century. The people were welcoming and hospitable to a fault. The ancient sites are incomparable, accessible and made even more special by the schedules, allowing us to avoid the invading hordes of tourists. Other tourists!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our Guide, Yaren. With her archeological background, her political insights and enthusiasm, Yaren brought the light to ancient sites, the lives of the people in each region which elevated the WOW from a snapshot to a feature length understanding that will stay with me forever. Yaren is the reason I will return for a Rick Steves tour."

William

Yakima, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is a fascinating beautiful country with an amazing history and culture. We felt comfortable and safe at all times. The Turkish people are uniformly friendly and appreciative of tourists. The archeology sites are second to none. I hope to return in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I experienced several wow moments. The size, scale, and modernity of Istanbul. The grandeur and beauty of Hagia Sophia. And the stunning surreal topography and dwellings of Cappadocia."

Marc

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my second RST. We did France in 11 days in 2017. The country is an amazing place. The landscape, history, archeoology, food and the people were all amazing Our guide Yaren was incredible. She was informative, friendly, cared for us like a family. I am not necessarily a great tour person. I sometimes prefer to be on my own. There was enough time for that. And Yaren helped set an example of how to be both with the group and on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air ballooning over Cappadoccia followed by spending time in a village and lunch with Feyah(sorry about the spelling), the pools of Pammukale, and the time I spent on my own at a synagogue."

Evelent

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent! Learned a lot with our expert guide, Yaren along with wonderful traveling "buddies."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I found the Turkish people to be extremely generous, welcoming and warm."

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second RS tour (the first was Best Of Greece) exceeded my expectations. Our guide, Yaren, is professional, engaging from ancient civilizations to current politics. Really exceptional. The accommodations and meals were a treat and our group of fellow travelers quickly became a nice group of friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Istanbul has to be experienced to be believed. The mosques, the Bosphorus the modern and ancient buildings, the people, the traffic and taxi drivers!, was certainly a wow. Ephesus was also a big wow."

Terry

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren is an exceptional guide, with all the enthusiasm and knowledge necessary to lead tours of her country and give all tour members a delightful experience. I was very pleasantly surprised by my first visit to Turkey, from the modern infrastructure, including the very modern airport in Istanbul, the friendliness of the people, the fascinating sights, and the wonderful food. This tour is excellent for an overall view of the variety that exists in the country.

Melodee

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was very enjoyable. Yaren is a patient, informative and positive guide. Her passion for her country was truly an asset to each day of the trip. We thoroughly enjoyed her leadership. This was out fifth RS trip. We found this trip to be different from the others, however. We learned a lot about the country and left with our adventure cup full.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia generally was the "wow" location. Hot air ballooning was definitely a highlight of the trip. The visit to the mosque with the session with the Iman was certainly enlightening and a highlight as well."

Denise

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's hard to convey the breadth and depth of this tour. We learned about and visited sites from many historical periods: Ancient Greek and Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and modern Republic. We stayed in vibrant cities and sleepy villages, visited farmers markets, mosques, national parks, ancient ruins, modern monuments, a home in a small village, and learned about Turkey's complex political landscape. We were greeted warmly everywhere, even as our president threatened to destroy Turkey's economy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being at the ancient city of Ephesus in the early morning, before the other tour groups arrived. The ruins were shrouded in fog and if you squinted you could almost make out the ghosts of Antony and Cleopatra on the far side of arched door ways."

Lisa

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves tour offers a perfect itinerary of Turkey, covering some 1500 miles, visiting both large cities and small towns, from Istanbul to the fairy chimneys of Capadoccia to seaside Antalya on the Mediterranean to the ancient wonders of Aphrodisias, Hieropolis, and Ephesus. Our tour guide, Yaren Turkoglu, was exceptional, not only providing information about the sights visited but also educating us on the culture, history, and politics of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment is when I had to abandon the tour due to acute vertigo. Yaren recommended the hospital in Ankara where I received excellent care. The tour moved on to Cappadocia, but Yaren worked with Lale, the author of Rick Steves Istanbul, and arranged for Lale's brother to take us to sights in Ankara and, after my follow-up appointment, drive us three hours to Cappadocia to rejoin the tour. This was WAY above and beyond what we expected in our situation!"

Karen

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Explore the cross-roads of civilizations! The tour was a brilliant combination of visits to ancient and historical sites and museums and contemporary culture in lived practice and everyday activities. Could not have been fuller or more rewarding. I had trepidation about joining a group tour because of previous experiences...all it takes is one bad apple...but group members were lovely, experienced, and flexible. Yaren made the trip exceptional with her deep professional knowledge and exhuberant

Favorite "WOW" moment

"personality. Not only did she guide us through the wonders of her country, but she went above and beyond with telling us personal stories, singing lullabies and wedding songs, sharing personal experiences and insights on every topic raised to her. Not only did I encounter a superb professional, I feel I made a friend. My Turkey trip was one of the very best in my life and I recommend it most highly. I also liked the Dervishes visit (as an anthropologist, I understand their approach)."

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My partner Will and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Turkey, which exposed us to a wonderful culture, warm people, tasty food, and introduced us to a very nice group of fellow travelers. The trip was well paced and allowed us to have sufficient time on our own to explore. We have shared our high praise of this tour to our friends and relatives since returning home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia was the highlight of our trip. Viewing the wondrous fairy chimneys from above along with over 100 other balloons was a once in a lifetime, magical experience."

Charlene

Borrego Springs, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled our own all over Western Europe in the past 20 years. We were a little intimidated by Turkey because it's so different. Well, come to find out, it's not all that different. Thanks to our excellent guide, Taylan, we were very comfortable in this beautiful country. We found the people to be friendly and welcoming. The bus made it easy for us to travel from site to site. Taylan's archaeological background helped us to understand the historical significance of th

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia Estates. The property was stunning and comfortable. We enjoyed our 3-day stay."

Sue

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 8th RS tour and one of the best. The variety of experiences in Turkey was incredible - not just historical buildings and ruins, but beautiful scenery in Cappadocia and Antalya. Food was amazing and we were surprised how good the wine was. Probably the BEST tour group we've been with and Taylan was fantastic, with a great sense of humour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning over Capadoccia - we were so lucky to be able to go as the wind was touch and go. While terrified of heights I was not at all scared. An amazing peaceful, scenic activity - just you and another 149 of your favourite balloons! Pamukkale - Hierapolis was my favourite of the three sites of Roman ruins,and the travertine terraces were beautiful."

Gary

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience to see so much of Turkey on a 13-day tour. I felt totally safe in Turkey. Many people thought it was dangerous for me to travel in Turkey. They were so wrong. I felt safer in Turkey than walking around downtown Seattle at night. It was neat seeing all the historic sites in Turkey, but what I really appreciated was how modern Turkey was and how wonderful all the Turks were.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was rising above Cappadocia in a hot air balloon."

Lori

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour and much more action packed and unique than I ever imagined! The tour really grounded me in reality of what Turkey as a country is really like, with all aspects from big city life (Istanbul) to country living in Cappadocia to political and social issues and daily life of modern day Turks.The view of Islam was also very useful and educational as to how moderate and caring the religion is practiced and is peaceful and non threatening. The mosque tours were beautiful too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Ephesus was such a wow moment for me as it really tied in the Greek, Roman and religious connections from so long ago and was the crossroads of cultural research and modern day understanding of both Greece and Turkey and the rich history they shared. The entire trip was full of wow photo moments like Rumi's tomb and the Cappadoccia country side as well as the Sea towns. The tour was full of wow's each day to be honest!! The guide Made it great too with his gift of the language etc!!"

Terri

La Selva Beach, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved all of it! Our tour guide was fantastic. He was interesting, humorous, intelligent, and efficient. His knowledge of archaeology made the experience all the more valuable. He was a very good storyteller, and his information about the culture and history was very important to my husband and me. The fellow travelers were fun, interesting and really respected the Rick Steves "bus travel" etiquette. We all got along wonderfully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It may have been the hot air balloon ride, or the underground city we explored! But, in general, everywhere we went was a "wow" for me...starting with Istanbul and ending in Kusadachi! Did I mention the Turkish Bath??"

Walter

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've now done eight Rick Steves tours. While they've all been terrific, I am feeling this might be my personal favorite!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count. That said, Cappadocia might be my favorite stop inall our travels. The early morning balloon ride was lights out!"

Maxine Joyce

Elmira, ON

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This evaluation is for Maxine AND Walter We were pleased with the size of the group (28 people) Felt the tour was a true representation of the country and its people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus- no contest! Wow, Wow, Wow!!!!"

Alfred

Borrego Springs, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great overview of Turkey in a relatively small amount of time. Time enough to see the many historic sites and time enough to rub elbows with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our hotel and stay in Cappadocia. The wonderful evening at the Greek Taverna, the home visit and lunch, the amazing hotel we stayed in."

David

Mountlake Terrace, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very well run and informative. I enjoyed it very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cave churches of Goreme."

Judy

Yucaipa, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt this tour was excellent and exceeded my expectations. Our guide was very helpful when needed. Mine was knowledgeable and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My bucket list items were to take a balloon ride over Cappadocia and go to a hammam. Both of were extra but were fantastic. We also hooked up with a boat ride in Anatalya and had a swim in the Aegean Sea. So much fun. The other thing that really made the trip for me was to have lunch at Farahye's(?) house in Mustafapasa. She was very hospitable and the food although simple fare was some of the best food I ate. The rug co-op was so informative and interesting."

Vadim

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

'Very Good' as marked above. Unfortunately, not 'Outstanding' because of a lot of waisted time for bus breaks and only partial part-time guidance within museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A call for prayer from Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul. I have never heard anything similar before."

John

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great driver, great sites. Should have included the museums in Antalya and near Ephesus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride and museums in Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya."

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, I went into this trip without a lot of planning or expectations and had a great time. It's amazing to realize the history in Turkey, from the Hittites to the Greeks to the Romans to the Ottoman Empire. I was impressed the with archeology, the people and the varied geography of the country. From big cities to small towns, to the Mediterranean to the Aegean it was an eye-opening experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tied between waking up in Istanbul and looking out the Golden Horn, the balloons over Cappadocia or the visit to Ephesus. All three were wows of different kinds, the first call to prayer in the morning in Istanbul reminded me that we were in a very different place. But watching 150 balloons take to the air was almost surreal, as was being part of it and finally Ephesus was breath taking to visit and imagine what life was like there."

Olga

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The tour was an average group tour, similar to Friendly Planet and other outlets I used. Accommodations was the best feature of the tour, in most places - above average, because hotels were small, boutique and in the heart of town or in a picturesque place. The biggest disappointment - the average commentary/narration from the guide - not up to Rick Steve's brand standard, IMO. Itinerary has too much very long bus rides, in silence, with no narration. Adding days & stops may help.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus, Pamukkale cliffs (on my own)"

Steven

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was not part of the group agenda. One afternoon in Mustafapasa we had the opportunity to visit a pottery place or take a local hike. I chose the hike, with six other members of our group, led by a local kid as a guide. He spoke no english but used his phone to translate. One place he brought us to was an old church inside a rock formation. We didn't have to fight crowds to to see it. For me it was the best non-attraction of the tour."

Chong - Kim

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Best of Turkey in 13 Days" Tour exceeded my expectations. Incredible rich history and culture, friendly people, food and beautiful landscapes and more. I'm planing to go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. However, my top on the lists are visiting Roman City of Ephesus, spectacular Temple of Artemis. And how can you miss the Beauty of Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia. Absolutely imaging!!!"

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt the tour was very well done. I learned a great deal. I wish there had been more free time and more time in Istantul overall. It was the most interesting, yet the time there was quite short. I did not find the Whirling Dervishes very interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Blue Mosque. It was so majestic and beautiful, especially at sunset. I will have to return to Istanbul some day to see the interior of the Blue Mosque."

Sally

Longview, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, an informative tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia"

Cymvelene

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air Balloon was amazing experience of a lifetime."

Robin

New York, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible tour. Mert was the best tour guide ever- so knowledgeable, warm and friendly. Our group was terrific. I loved all the amazing places we went, learned so much about a new culture, food, ancient ruins and religions. An outstanding experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia balloon ride, our meeting with the Imam, lunch at a traditional home, Mert taking us to amazing restaurants, hearing the call to prayer daily, Ephesus, so many wow's on this one!"

Vijay

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have done 4 RS tours so far. Up until we did the Best of Turkey Tour we felt that the Best of Spain was the best tour on the planet. But now after our Turkey Tour I seriously doubt anything will outdo our NEW favorite. For those worried about "is it safe". YES IT IS SAFE! This trip was so much fun, we did soooo much, people are great, you CAN'T DO IT ALL, you will return. BEST bargain on the planet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia and the arranged Balloon ride. But just interacting with the friendly Turkish people is such a joy."

Lina

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous tour and Mert, our guide did an amazing job! It was a very active tour with many optional activities to partake in, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Mert is an outstanding seasoned guide with incredible knowledge and passion for his country. A couple of cultural highlights was meeting the Imam and also having lunch at Ms Fahriye's home. This was our 5th RS Tour and I found Turkey to be a highly cultural experience! I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few "wow" moments; the fairy chimneys and optional balloon ride in Cappadocia was spectacular, the grandeur of the Ottoman Topkap? Palace, the artifacts at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara was impressive, the optional traditional Turkish bath was a wonderful experience and the optional swim in the natural thermal spring at Cleopatra's Antique Pool in Pamukkale was a special treat."

Mike

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary! Good people, culture, and sites made for an excellent tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"During our first evening in Istanbul, my wife and I were out for a stroll in the park between The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The call to prayer began and a surreal sensation washed over me. I had to pause and let the sights, sounds, and emotions I was experiencing sink in. It's difficult to explain, but rest assured I'll never forget that moment. By the way, Hagia Sophia, Stadium of Aphrodisias, and Theater of Aspendos were pretty mind blowing!"

Letitia

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The group was very tight. That's the best way to describe it. Everyone got along and there were no grumps! Turkey is a wonderful and varied country to explore! I learned so much about Islam and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting on the top patio in Capadoccia Estates with a few people after dinner was finished and enjoying the huge, dark sky and warm wood fire pit. We talked about the day and got to know each other. I also loved the 2nd hike in Goreme. There was no one there except us...it was perfect. Loved the fact that we got up early to see many sights before the crowds and the heat."

Hazar

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey has surpassed my highest expectations !! I loved all the cities we have been in, the foods, the smells and the people .. loved it all !!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eating fried fish by the Mediterranean sea was one of my favorite moments !!!"

Srikanth

Westfield, NJ

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had an extraordinary tour guide- Lale - which made our tour an excellent one. We started with Murat as our guide in Istanbul. He had to leave the tour unexpectedly and we were incredibly fortunate to have Lale take over. I had read a little bit / was reading a little bit about the sites we were to visit. But having Lale to tell us about what we were seeing or going to see next was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had been to Istanbul previously on our own off a cruise ship and so Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (both under renovation/ repairs) during this visit to Turkey were not the highlights. Our stay in Mustafa Pasha / Cappadocia as a whole was the favorite : hot air ballooning, the cave dwellings and chapels."

Alexander

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, good traveling companions, outstanding choice of sites to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belly dancing at Cappadocia Estates."

Catherine

Eastport, NL

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I have ever been on a bus tour so I have nothing to compare it to but it was such a great experience, I fail to see how it could improve. My husband and I have been touring Europe since 2003 always using Rick Steves' guide books. This tour was everything we hoped it would be. Our fellow travellers were all interesting people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Claire

Westfield, NJ

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was wonderful to be back in Turkey again. We visited Istanbul several years ago and It remains one of my favorite cities. Lale was the perfect tour guide, her love for her country was evident and she communicated it to us. We learned about politics, religion, and culture. Only complaint was all the bus time. I'm not sure how to avoid it, but some of the bus days were very long. Turkey is a Muslim country, but it remains secular and is quite safe. Walked everywhere with no fear.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many favorites: Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia was breathtaking. Lunch in the home of a lovely Turkish woman whose name I've forgotten, unfortunately. Swimming in the Mediterranean Walking thru the streets of Istanbul and watching the sunset over the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Listening to the Call to Prayer So many..."

Laurie

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour, but it is not a tour for under-achievers. I could have used one more "down" day. We went so hard each day starting with 7 am breakfast, bus at 8:15, and off and running through dinner. With the jet lag, time change, and adjusting to a tight schedule and getting are stomachs on board with new foods and questionable water (to brush teeth with tap water, soak dental appliances in tap water, and etc); we had some adjustments to make, and still had to learn to get organized daily.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia was my favorite. that is the one place I'd return and spend a week there. Loved the balloon ride."

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved Turkey. The history was fascinating, the food was delicious, the company was compatible, the guides were first rate, the accommodations were excellent, the seaside resorts were charming and Istanbul was not to be missed especially the spice market. We loved being exposed to the village life as well as all the museums. Hot air balloon ride topped it all off. Would highly recommend it to my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museum in Ankara was amazing. Jewelry from the bronze age, goddess images and even a bundt pan. Who knew? Seeing Rumi's tomb was one of the reasons I wanted to go to TUrkey. Have been studying Rumi for over 30 years. the male belly dancer was over the top!!"

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would recommend this tour to anyone who is open to a strenuous experience-it was daily high level exercise. And I really enjoyed the overall exposure to the history and cultural diversity of the museums and guide lectures. I never really understood the arc of development of the many peoples of this region. Asia Minor was wonderfully introduced to me. The depth of understanding I received from the many ruins and statutes and historical exhibits was dizzying to say the least.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I sat on the 2000+ year old seats of the forum at Aphrodisias-I was truly impressed--as I was with the excellent condition of the city of Ephesus-truly a jewel of history. Along with the wonderful condition of the Roman theater of Aspendos--these were magnificent examples of the architectural and engineering genius of the Roman and Greek civilizations. I really acknowledge Rick Steves for finding these wonders of the ancient world and bringing us to them."

Freeman

Eastport, NL

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Please note that this is my first tour ever. I have been travelling for 3 weeks every year since 2004 using the Rick Steves books. I was reluctant to give up my independence, but all things considered it was an excellent experience. Every day was full, and I really felt like I was getting my money's worth. I could non have done so much on my own in the same time. I enjoyed seeing the less touristy side of Turkey, and the contact with the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia, not just because of the ride itself, but the stunning scenery."

Margaret

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was my first guided tour. The only other tour I have ever taken was a Rick Steves My Way, Best of Europe in 2013. That trip sparked our interest and confidence to travel independently in Europe. The Turkey tour was packed with amazing destinations that I did not feel comfortable or knowledgeable enough to explore on my own. It was well planned, interesting and thought provoking. I came home with my head bursting with information about the land, the culture, and the people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many wow moments; learning about the history of Turkey, the Muslim religion practiced in Turkey, the ancient cities, the historical artifacts, the culture, the customs, the varied landscapes, and the people. These are the things I have been talking about since I returned. However the tour of the ancient underground city of Kaymakli, was incredible. The ingenuity and perseverance required to plan and build it and the patience to stay in it during times of trouble were awe inspiring."

John

Maynard, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great people, great fun, outstanding guide and bus driver. My expectations were exceeded and I now have a much different view of Turkey and its people (more positive!) than I left with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning over Cappadoccia has to be #1, but touring Ephesus is a close second."

Raenell

Concord, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was awesome. I think it was the best tour I have been on. This Is My 4th Rick Steves tour. Yaren was a wonderful tour manager. The history of Turkey was great. I loved Cappadocia. I loved the Mediterranean. On our free day most of us went on a boat ride on the Mediterranean and swam off the boat that was awesome and most of the ladies and some men had a turkish bath. Yaren planned it all for us. The people on the tour were wondering. And the historical ruins were also great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia was what I was looking forward to the most and it was more than I was expecting. The balloon ride over Cappadocia was awesome. The walking tours around the area and the underground city was awesome. The small hotel we stayed at was great. The fresh food there was very good."

Jon Michael

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was filled with new sights and sounds, engaging experiences, and increased knowledge of the history and current day politics of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking amongst the crowds of shoppers and seeing the great diversity of merchandise in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and Spice Market and indeed markets in other places including a vegetable market in a smaller centre. The underground city of Kaymakli and the contrast of this with the Kapadokya Balloon flight. Realizing that in ancient times historic Roman figures like Caesar and Greek counterparts walked the streets of the Roman and Greek archaeological site visited like Ephesus."

Les

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fulfilling as to cultural and historical views of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything"

Ken

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The country of Turkey is amazing! The tour experience was greatly enhanced by our tour guide Yaren who provided us with a wealth of information

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments in Turkey, but for me the best was ballooning over Cappadocia."

Melody

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey, and this tour, was an amazing experience. I've been on a few other Rick Steves tours and this was, by far, the most memorable. The people in our group were fun, every new day brought some new exciting experiences. I feel like this was a life changing event. We are trying to figure out how to return to Turkey for a few months at a time. Post tour in Istanbul the locals asked us where we had gone - when we listed the cities they said "you have seen more of Turkey than we have!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day! I can't really say that there was any one moment. We were pretty busy with amazing scenery/museums and historical sites. The balloon ride in cappodicia was extremely cool. We also really enjoyed our day off laying on the beach in Antalya. We have to go back to Antalya because we didn't see anything there but the beach and that was an awesome day. We were pretty worn out by then. All the mosques we saw were fantastic and we loved all the farmer's markets. Carpet buying was fun too."

Joe

Silverton, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful - better than expected! We were part of a great group of people and Yaren was such a fine person and excellent leader. She worked really hard yet was patient and always showed a happy attitude - a sweet young lady. The bus was comfortable and the driver was a master handling every situation - he also showed a great attitude. The accommodations were excellent. The food was just so-so but that's my problem for choosing to be a vegetarian in a carnivorous world!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments. The boat rides and swimming - touring the ruins and museums -all were good. My biggest wow was the balloon float! It was amazing and I wouldn't have done it on my own."

Janet

Roseburg, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour so I usually have high expectations and they were met. Great group, great guide, we got lucky with weather. I loved going to an "exotic" destination.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment is anytime we are in the country and get to just mingle with the locals. I love going to the small town market days, for instance. Also, the fun of going to different hotels and seeing such varied scenery. Loved the time on the boat in the Mediterranean and swimming!"

Richard

Vienna, VA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was nigh perfect in all the essentials: an expert, scholarly, brilliantly informative, improvisational and humorous guide who held our attention; a comfortable night's sleep at every location -- perfect, supportive beds and pillows at every location; a packed agenda with options for alternative sightseeing or leisure time; a delightful mix of the transcendent and the remarkable ordinary. Our guide and hotels in Mustafapasa and Antalya made the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Multiple wow moments! Mustafapasa and Capadoccia and hot air balloons lived up to the hype, but for me the Caravansaray at Sultanhani was an unexpected delight. Also, eating a Kunefe pastry with goat-milk vanilla ice cream at MADO was a trip into gastronomic paradise, and I do not like sweets that much. The Martyrion of St Philip perched high above Hieropolis offered dramatic views and a sense of timelessness. Ephesus was underwhelming, hot, and crowded."

Nancy

Amherst, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time I have travelled with a group, and was somewhat apprehensive about it. The tour enabled us to navigate through Turkey in an efficient manner, and also had free time without the group. I would highly recommend the tour to other people. Our guide was very helpful and knowledgeable. We learned a lot and have wonderful memories of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon in Cappadocia. Having contact with people in Turkey that were not tour guides - dancing after a dinner that included our group and other people, and spending time on our own in various places."

Stephen

Pittsford, NY

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is ancient and modern, vast and friendly. Much better, different than expected. Turks are friendly, fun and of course many speak fluent English. Hotels were very comfortable and conveniently located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are TWO "wows": First, the wonderful "education" at the carpet workshop; we were shown dozens of carpets in different colors, materials styles and sizes. Each example was more impressive than the previous one. The enthusiasm, articulation and knowledge of the manager was infectious and impressive! Second, the impromptu singing and dancing at the Old Greek House Restaurant in Mustafapasa weredelightful, unexpected and authentic. Plus the setting, food and cordiality were impressive."

Cheryl

Carmichaels, PA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is wonderful. After a few hours of culture shock (mostly caused by one very determined carpet seller/guide) I just loved Turkey. The tour was great- a lot of bus time, but we covered a lot of ground. Yaren, our tour guide was the best yet (out of 7 tours - but they have all been good, no, very good). She was very kind, organized, educated, informed, and had a gift for teaching the history and the present of Turkey. And she was passionate about it, especially her hometown Istanbul.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was impressed with the infastructure of Turkey, how friendly the people are, and so enjoyed the wow moment of a Turkish Bath, which is (well, was) way out of my comfort zone, but just took about 20 seconds to get over it. Swimming in the Med in Antalya was fantastic and swimming in the mineral pool with roman ruins. And Cappidocia. What a place! My favorite area of the entire trip. You should do a tour with just Istanbul and Cappidocia - I didn't want to leave there. The balloon ride was"

Steven

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great introduction to and experience of Muslim culture and Asia minor sites. We were grateful for the availability of alcohol even though the price was double that of the US. :) Their white and red wines are really enjoyable. As one guide said, "20% of Turks drink alcohol, and there are many more who lie". :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride over Cappadocia. Visiting Ephesus. I could drink wine every day and lose 3 pounds over the two weeks of the tour. My trainer when I returned was impressed. However, she didn't know I could have lost 5 pounds if I'd laid off the wine (and turkish delight) because of the rigor of the tour."

Laurel

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Touring through Turkey was incredible! The first full day in Istanbul was packed with activities and was a lot of walking. There were quite a few once in a lifetime experiences. Hot air ballooning over the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, talking to an imam about Islamic culture, walking through the ancient ruins, and trying out the acoustics in an ancient theater.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The conversation with the Imam about the Muslim religion. Getting a chance to have that conversation was illuminating. Also having lunch in a woman's home was incredible. Those experiences with real people in their culture is a once in a lifetime experience."

Harold

Novato, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our Best of Turkey trip was a good overall experience. This was our 6th Rick Steves Tour, and as usual, our traveling companions made a great group. This may have been the best overall group of fellow travelers we have experienced! Turkey is different from the rest of Europe. We had many new experiences which expanded our ways of looking at things as Americans. On this tour we had many more market experiences than on most of our previous European tours, which proved to be different.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite " wow" moments were two. First, the optional boat ride and swim in Antalya. Second visiting Ephesus. The water and views from the boat made for a great time on the water. Ephesus was a mindblowing visit to a well preserved ruin that gave me a great incite to how the Romans lived and prospered in those ancient times."

Brenda

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it was fast paced and exhausting in a great way. Not a lot of down time on your own but much appreciated when we could get away.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hagia Sophia was my WOW moment. The interior is incredible - I'm a professional interior designer and this was an awesome space."

Joy

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour guide was excellent as well as a wonderful group of people. Would have liked to visit a few more smaller towns instead of so many large cities. Lunch at home of Turkish woman was a highlight

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time in amazing cave hotel in mustafapasa and Turkish lunch at home of local woman"

Nan

Plainfield, IL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved being on the tour. Turkey was nothing like I've ever seen before and appreciated the diversity of the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia was magnificent. The geology of the area is so remarkable and to see it from the air was amazing. Also, our lunch in the home of the remarkable woman (I'm sorry I don't recall her name) was such a rare and wonderful opportunity."

Kathy

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour and a great guide. Our guide rearranged the schedule a few times to get us to sites at better times and take advantage of cooler mornings and less crowds. The morning at Ephesus and the time at Hierapolis were very good with just an overview and lots of time on our own. We could have spent less time at the farmers' market and definitely less time at the Ataturk monument. I would have liked more time at Hagia Sofia and the Spice Bazaar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love meeting people and small town experiences when traveling. Meeting the imam in Guzelyurt and have time to sit and ask questions was really special. We all had the opportunity to learn about our differences and similarities. Also, the lunch at the woman's home was an amazing experience and seeing how she lived and how life had changed in her 20 years in the village.Of course, the balloon ride was incredible and I loved it."

Paul

Whitewater, WI

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We approached this tour with very high expectations, ALL of which were exceeded by the history, culture, splendor, friendliness and strength of this incredible country. The wonders began even before the tour and continued to build to the very end. Experiencing the Hagia Sophia was a wonder in itself, but then we seemed to encounter ever more interesting and spectacular sights, sounds and smells. The people of Turkey were very friendly to us everywhere we went. We recommend this tour highly!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal "wow" was watching the reenactment of the Whirling Dervish worship ceremony. As a religion major in college, I always found it fascinating to learn how people express their beliefs - although this was a staged production, it was beautiful and inspirational. Margaret's "wow" was her first view of the Hagia Sophia and the time spent in the Taurus Mountains."

Nancy

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed all of diverse Turkey and learned a great deal. Turks are a friendly, helpful, kind people. And Istanbul is a great city, full of old and new. There are long days on the bus but with Turkey the size of TX it takes awhile to cover it. It was our third time in Istanbul and I'd go back in a minute Having to be gluten free was sometimes a challenge in the country side. I've never eaten so many salads. But the food I could eat was tasty and fresh. It was The Best of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the hot air balloon over Cappadocia."

Darren

Auburn, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized and our tour guide was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The complexity of Istanbul."

Joseph

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour took me out of my comfort zone. Most of the Turkish people do not speak English and the Turkish language is difficult to learn. Turkish culture is very different from my own. Nevertheless I quickly felt comfortable in Turkey because the people are so friendly and they try to help even though communication was sometimes difficult. The food was different and I tried most everything; liked some of the new food but not all. I learned much about ancient and modern Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon flight over Cappadocia and the meeting with the Imam. Amazing how the pilot could maneuver the balloon! I was surprised at the relationship between church and state and how the Turks make it work while still maintaining their secular republic."

Mario

Katy, TX

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was our tenth tour with Rick Steves Europe and we are so pleased with this great whole travel experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the hot air balloon ride."

Laurie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, taking us from a large modern city (Istanbul) to the capital (Ankara) into small villages in Cappadocia, on to the early capital (Konya), to ancient sites (Antalya to Kusadasi, Greek, Roman, ancient Christian), what a fantastic variety and history of this ancient country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, several, but for me it was ballooning over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and meeting with an imam in a tiny medieval Christian church transformed into a mosque in a small village. That meeting, especially, was, for me, thought-provoking and enlightening about an ancient religion that is so misunderstood."

Kimberly

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was everything I wanted it to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiring the boat in Antalya and going out into the Mediterranean. Being on the water and swimming in the Mediterranean was the peak moment. Also peak was the lunch in the mountains and eating grilled trout at picnic tables amidst the trees. I expected the tour of Hagia Sophia and Ephesus to be epic but I didn't know about the boat and the mountain lunch so I was totally and unexpectedly delighted."

Alan

Halifax, NS

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, much enjoyed. This was my first Rick Steves tour, although we've been independently been travelling with Rick's guidebooks for about a decade. It was my first guided tour in 20 years, and I was concerned that it may not quite be my preferred travel style. However, the excellence of the guide and the benefit of his cultural interpretation easily compensated for the loss of independence. And the tour included lots of self-directed time, so we had opportunity to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning in Cappadocia."

Caitlin

Winter Springs, FL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taylan's knowledge of Turkey and personality was just amazing and fun. He helped make the tour so much fun and knew where all the great restaurants were. This was my first tour and it was just the best. I usually don't like tours, however Taylan and of course Turkey were just so amazing that I am really excited to do another Rick Steve's tour. I cannot say enough good things about this tour and Taylan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus was just amazing and Taylan going over the history was just awesome."

Wendy

Winter Springs, FL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Doing the turkey in 13 days was my first tour and it was wonderful. I liked the small group of 25 people. My tour guide Tylan was an expert filled with so much knowledge. Everything went smoothly which was nice. I will definitely use ricksteves tours again

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a new "wow" moment every day. Turkey is such a fabulous place. I plan on going back with my family to show them what a great place it it. I went to Turkey with a group of ladies."

Rodney

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip itself was and will always be WOW! What an experience!"

Steven

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every minute of this tour. Every day was an experience that built on the one from the previous day. Turkey ???? is a beautiful and safe country to visit. Our guide, Mert, was the very best. His love of art and history helped us fall in love with his country and wanting to return another time in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a minister, it had to be our time in Ephesus. I was amazed by the sheer size of the site, especially the theater where the Apostle Paul spoke. I also enjoyed the hot air balloon ride during our stay in Cappadocia. I also love that Lale was able to join our tour with her two sons for our time in Ephesus."

Marta

North Platte, NE

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I usually travel with my husband or solo in Europe with Rick Steve's guidebook in hand. I definitely made the right decision to join the Rick Steve's Best of Turkey in 13 days tour! Mert was a perfect guide! His lectures about the history, culture, geography and people of Turkey really made this trip educational and one of my all time favorites! As a teacher, I found myself taking notes on summer vacation and loving it! Thank you Mert!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? This whole trip was filled with wow moments. I loved hearing the call to prayer, the spice market in Istanbul, hot air ballooning and the underground city in Cappadocia, sliding down a Greco-Roman pillar in a mineral spring at Hierapolis Pamukkale,, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, and visiting Ephesus. The biggest surprise of the trip for me was seeing the well-preserved, ancient Aspendos theatre! If I had to pick a highlight, Aspendos might be it."

Linda

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Mert was very helpful with my food allergies. We had 28 on the tour and my husband and I have made arrangements with several to visit back and forth. It was the best group we have been with, ever. The group dinners, included with the tour, were not very good, except for Old Greek House. I had the feeling that they were cutting corners to make more money. However and thanks to Mert, the salads were all great except the last night. All the other meals were spectacular, thanks to Mert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hotel Azade in Istanbul. Everything in Cappadocia & Anatolia. The Whirl pool and the hotel; Cappadocia Estates. Antalya; the Mediterranean Cruise & Turkish Baths. Then Pamukkale, Aphrodisias Kusadasi (including hotel & Pool) & Ephesus."

Jon

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. It was very well organized, interesting, educational and varied. Our tour guide, Mert, was the BEST! He was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. He did not shy away from discussing tough issues. The whole trip was truly a life altering experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to a single "wow " moment for the entire two-weeks of the tour. The people we met, both local residents and those on the tour, all contributed so much to the overall experience. Wow moments included watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon, swimming in the Mediterranean and exploring Ephesus."

Michael

Holden, MA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very busy tour always made me miss where we were leaving and wondering how it could get better - but it did! From the expected (Istanbul) to the unexpected (Antalya/Kusadasi) as we got more and more comfortable. Mert mixed history with practical tips at each stop. Though a lot of time on the bus I can't imagine cutting anything. The variety of geographic features was amazing - not what I imagined. The people we met along the way expanded our view and our fellow travelers were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunrise in one of 150 balloons floating over Cappadocia was a total wow moment!"

Marva

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fast paced. Something different and exciting awaited us each day. Mert made sure we were immersed in the Turkish culture with related activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Ephesus. It was amazing to see the treasures that have been unearth there."

Kent

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our Turkey tour. Mert was an outstanding guide who is very knowledgeable and great with all the members of our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the underground caves in Cappadocia. They were very extensive and used a great deal of "technology" to hide and defend themselves against the Romans."

Paul

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very interesting. Exceeded my expectations. What a rich and interesting country to visit. Our guide was exemplary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride. The whirling dervishes. The harem. The military band. The ruins. Learning about Turkish history and politics. The food. The apple tea. The bazaar. Swimming in the sea. I would rate the balloon ride as #1"

Karla

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a whirlwind tour! Mert was great-- so knowledgeable and calm! This was the 1st of 4 tours that the leader asked to get to know my buddy & introduce her at a "happy hour" several days in. I got to know so many wonderful people & several beyond the surface and I credit Mert for this. From that perspective, this was my best tour yet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. The balloon ride over Cappadocia & the fairy castles hike 2. Pamukkule 3. Ephesus and its home excavation 4. Underground city of Kaymakli 5. Turkish rug weavers workshop!!!"

Phyllis

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment we arrived in Istanbul, I knew we had made a good choice for our family trip. Four of us ranging in age from 25 to 58 arrived not knowing much about the country we had chosen to visit. One of the things that I loved about this trip was the contrast we got to see of Turkey. From big cities like Istanbul, to smaller countryside towns like Cappadocia...we felt like we got to see many of the different "faces" of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul and the balloon ride in Cappadocia. Both were wow moments...but for completely different reasons! The Cistern just blew my mind...amazing preservation and scope. The balloon ride exceeded my expectations and was so well organized and executed. The weather was perfect and the sunrise breathtaking!"

Diane

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew basically nothing about Turkey before this trip. Mert did a great job of explaining the history, culture, giving food & shopping tips

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Roman theater in Aspendos - it was spectacular."

Carlos

Roeland Park, KS

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional tour. Excellent mix of hotels. Impressive amount of inclusions. Outstanding variation of visits. Turkey is beautiful, vibrant, exotic, historic, and much more. Everything went perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing. Also our group was incredible. Thanks to Rick Steves, to Mine, and to the Turkish people who interacted with us, most of whom treated me like family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride over Cappadocia"

Will

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really appreciated the amount of distance we covered and the number of sites we saw. The logistics were really well handled. There was a good blend of modern and historic, Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Hitite and other early civilizations, as well as Ottoman and Republic. There was also a good blend of "onsite" and "in museum" time. I could have used a little more museum time and a little less shopping time (carpet cooperative, Spice Market, and Grand Bazaar). Good traveling companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was looking over the the ruins at Aphrodesias and hearing the call to prayer coming up the slope from a mosque in the valley. It really conveyed the span of history in Turkey. A second wow moment was seeing the adoration of the people, particularly the technical school graduates, for the memory of Ataturk at his mausoleum."

Payton

Mill Valley, CA

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was a fascinating, exotic, daily dose of wonderful foreign culture immersion! This was one of my favorite RS tours. Istanbul had to be the highlight for me; the Hagia Sopia was breathtaking, as was the Topkapi Palace. Make this 14 days, Istanbul +time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not getting killed during the freakish 2 tractor trailer rollovers, and diesel spill accident we witnessed on the highway leaving Istanbul!! Witnessing our bus driver pull to the side of the road as we were on tour, so he could get out and rescue a land tortoise that was trapped in the middle of the busy road. He carried it off to safety and released it to the grasslands nearby. This loving kindness pervaded every interaction I had with the Turkish people for my entire trip. Turkish baths!"

Lark

Ashland, OR

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great, we covered so much ground and had so many different kinds of experiences. I know lots of folks didn't like the long bus rides but I was fine with those rides. We saw so much country. the bus is also a way for me to chill out and have time to myself. Having to interview and then present our Buddy to the group was stressful and unnecessary. Also, being told we had to buy a (cheap) gift for our buddy was added stress and I did not at all like having to do this.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the balloon ride, and the ruins at Ephesus, totally amazing. and for me, our bus driver stopped on a freeway so he could rescue a very large turtle in the middle of the road, all tucked inside her shell. That was a wow."

Barry

Ashland, OR

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful trip. I would happily visit Turkey again. Learning about the history and culture was amazing. So much to see and learn. I felt more like a tourist than on previous RS tours. Felt like we hit more "tourist" spots as opposed to the more intimate experiences typical of RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our bus driver Farouk, saving a turtle on a highway as cars sped past. We all clapped when he returned to the bus. Also, the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, the ruins at Aphrodesias and the amazing food and spice markets."

Ruth

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Turkey was a great place to visit - much more modern then I had thought. So many different things to see, experience and taste. Good group of travelers to experience the many museums and ruins/sites with. A couple of long bus rides to get to the next area, but it was a nice way to see some of the country side I would not have seen otherwise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite wow moments was participating in the balloon ride in Cappadocia. It was an early morning but the views of the sun rise and the landscape were priceless. Seeing all the other balloons in the area, gliding along was fabulous."

Stephanie

Rosemount, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' Tour and I will definitely do another one. My whole experience was fantastic. Our guide, Yaren, was phenomenal in every way. She was always available to answer questions, help with problems, etc. The hotels were good. The food was great every where we went. It is definitely going to be a hard trip to top!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't a single "wow" as so many things were breathtaking, but in different ways. Almost the whole trip was a "Wow." The only less than wow in my mind was the Whirling Dervish performance."

Keith

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very educational, helped by the expertise of our guide. It was also helped by all the preliminary information available on the web site. I listened to all the audio materials, and enjoyed them very much. I felt as if I knew Yaren before even arriving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I got to sing in the amphitheater at Ephesus. In one of the podcasts, an acoustical engineer described the wonderful acoustics there. . . he was right!"

Jean

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with our tour. Yaren was an excellent guide and a great person in general. I felt privileged to have someone of her caliber and knowledge guiding our group. The hotels were nicer than I expected. The Cave Estates Hotel in Cappadoccia was particularly unique. Our tour group was very congenial and people got to know each other pretty quickly. My only regret was that I had a bad cold virus before coming on the trip and that it continued throughout our time together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadoccia and Ephesus."

David

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am also speaking for my wife. The great enjoyment we experienced on this tour, has a great deal to do with who was guiding it. Yes, we saw a side of Turkey, we did not expect, the ruins, the food, the friendliness of the people other aspects of the country. But, Yaren, helped us to understand Turkey. She went beyond what we expected from a guide. For example, half the group would miss the balloon ride, but she worked very hard to schedule a later time. Also, others on tour were fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the city of Istanbul under the tutelage of Yaren, history, architecture, street scene, and the delightful food. Second was Ephesus, cleverly seen early before any other tour group came through. We had it to our self, most of the morning."

Donna

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and well paced. Yaren and Mustaf were wonderful guides and were attentive to every detail. We enjoyed the many sites, group activities and historical perspectives of local guides/citizens of Turkey. We learned a great deal about the cultural, political and religious perspectives of the Turkish citizens

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the "fairy chimneys", the underground city and Ephesus were incredible"

Stephanie

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Prior to our trip, state-side colleagues expressed their concern about our personal safety while in the country. Instead, we felt safe and secure whether traveling on our own before and after the tour and during our free-time. This was not just another postcard perfect tour even though I have amazing images of natural and man-made monuments. Yaren introduced us to the sights, the history, the people, the culture. She created lifelong memories for us. Te?ekkür ederim

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experienced daily WOW moments.... When a young boy leaning out of his 2nd story window near Chora Church yelled "Welcome to Turkey"; When an elderly man near Korkuteli stopped to share candy when we said Merhaba; Seeing the crowds of young graduates taking photos at Ataturk's monument;"

Paula

Burien, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was our most active and fast paced tour. Our tour guide lives in Istanbul and she didn't want us to miss anything. We started after breakfast every day and often kept moving until dinner. Then we might even go out after dinner...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our WOW moment was surely the balloon ride in Cappadocia, and the visit to Ephesus. The amazing thought is that this museum site had been hidden for so long. The restoration is a work of art and we would love to go back in a few years to see the progress."

Patricia

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was an unexpected delicious delight! Had a great tour. Great tour members and fun group to explore with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning over Capadocia without a doubt! Thrill of a lifetime and so glad we said YES!"

Wendy

Bothell, WA

Tour: 04/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a strenuous tour, with the amount of air time it takes to get to Turkey from the west coast, a lot of bus time necessary to travel the country, and a big time change to overcome. It was worth every minute of it. The historical sites were fantastic, the countryside was vast and beautiful, cities are modern and busy, and the people were very nice. The archeological museums were stellar. It was good to get out of a comfort zone and change preconceived notions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the shipping traffic from our Istanbul Hotel window, the modern day silk road."

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. 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.