• 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 $2,795 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!

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Dates & Prices

2024

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
  • Blue Mosque
  • 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 6 other meals
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken with us
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey

We'll meet at 1 p.m. at our hotel in Istanbul's historic center. Shortly after, we'll take an orientation walk and visit the exquisite 400-year old Blue Mosque, named for it's brightly colored tiles. Then we'll 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.

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

Steven

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Istanbul, Cappadocia and the Turquoise coast were all highlights. Ankara and Konya were less interesting. Guide and people on the trip were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride and other sites in Cappadocia."

Carrie

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Turkey tour was even better than I anticipated. We saw and learned so much! Our guide Yaren, an Istanbul native, was able to provide a local perspective to our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was going to Fariye's house for lunch. I loved being able to see a local small-town home and the food was some of the best I ate during the trip."

Doug

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EVERY Detail was handled - our 1st tour experience and we had nothing to do but enjoy the experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having an Imam privately make the call to prayer - just for us."

Grace

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overal experience was fantastic. The tour included learning about Turkey in great detail. It included many historical sights as well as cultural experiences of the present time. The accomomdations were great, the food was amazing, and meeting people in our group allowed for comraderie and new friendships. Our tourguide, Yaren, is so knowleadgable and caring, and made sure we were alwyays taken care of and our questions were always answered in great detail.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to mention just one "wow" moment, but it was definitely the hot air baloon ride over Cappadocia at sunrise. This was my first hot air baloon ride, and the views are mesmerizing. "

Randy

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide made the trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cave chapels"

Chris

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. We saw so much of such a big country, but the logistics were flawless at every step. Yarin was a **FANTASTIC** guide -- it was so clear she was so passionate about Turkey and sharing everything about it. The sites we saw were bucket-list worthy every day. I saw so many artifacts and places in person that I had only seen in magazines and videos, it was just so magical.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best: All the archeology stuff. Most Meaningful: We had so many great "Rick Steves" moments -- at one point before Aprodesias, we stopped for lunch at a run-down looking place. I'd never have had the courage to stop there on my own. But it was a major hidden gem with amazing food and delightful staff. These are the little moments that take a tour from an 9 to an 11. Yarin knew all the spots :) Really wonderful."

Jeff

Tour: 11/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour that introduced travelers to the history and culture of Turkey. Our time in Istanbul was limited but we were able to gain insights to the breadth of this metropolis. Although we drove to many places throughout Eastern Turkey, the bus rides never seemed long. We stopped and saw things along the way which made the days pass quickly. Our guide filled the time in between with interesting commentary about the past and the present. It was all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The biggest surprise was the beautiful port city of Antalya. We stayed in the old Roman quarter which was charming and fun. We had a relaxing day visiting the wonderful archeological museum and got to experience a Turkish haman. For most of us, however, the balloon ride over Cappadocia, although not on the official tour, was undoubtedly an amazing experience. "

Karen

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous way to see the best of Türkiye. Through unique experiences every day, we learned about the history, people and culture. Our guide was knowledgable, friendly, and encouraged questions. All aspects of the tour were very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing the Cappadocia region from the birds eye view of a hot air balloon was definitely a highlight."

Wendy

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour definitely covered the highlights of Turkiye - the architecture, history, culture, local people, food and natural wonders. The guide was warm, approachable, organized, and very knowledgeable. The hotels were unique to the country. The tour group was well-travelled, interested in learning, friendly and considerate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. The mosques and palaces in Istanbul. The hotel breakfast buffets. The cave hotel."

Joan

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well planned and organized. Our guide was so knowledgeable and informed regarding history and Tukey itself

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloons over Cappadocia was my WOW moment. The moon was full when we arrived. It was so interesting to watch the balloons fill and rise. We saw the sunrise in between a sky full of balloons"

Sandra

Tour: 10/23/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned so much about Turkey on this tour! The historical, political, cultural, and religious perspectives presented by our guide were very enlightening and true to the Rick Steves philosophy that travel really does build better understanding and breaks down barriers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia was amazing! To see this unique landscape while floating silently above it at sunrise is an experience I will never forget."

Jane

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very knowledgeable guide, Mine and excellent itinerary

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many however Ephesus was outstanding. Mine organized our route to avoid the crowds for about 80% of it "

Peter

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We usually travel independently. This was our first tour and it exceeded expectations. We visited many interesting sites such as museums and ancient cities and also were exposed to local culture by visiting an Imam for a Q&A session and having lunch at a villager's house. The itinerary made efficient use of time by visiting sites in a logical order which optimized travel time. We could not have seen as much in the time available if we had been travelling independently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not an easy selection when there were so many, however I'd say Capadoccia. When we arrived the entire group was wowed by our hotel, and we were subsequently wowed by the out of this world landscapes, The Goreme open air museum, the underground city, and the local villages and the farmers market."

Brent

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall experience on the RS tour of Turkey was very good. Our guide, Mine, was excellent in terms of communication and her in depth current & historical knowledge of Turkey. My fellow tour members were a joy to spend time with and they were all delightful. The sights we saw were breathtaking. This is my 6th RS tour and this tour matched past tours in those attributes. The two exemptions were three of the activities were an extra cost and a couple of sites involved a selling component.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was exploring the ancient Roman city of Hieropolis & the calcium deposits. Prior to arriving at the main entrance, I was in awe of the huge calcium deposits draped over the sloping hill where Hieropolis resided. These deposits created the illusion of snow that you could go skiing down into the valley. .The Roman theatre was one of the best preserved I've seen. After walking all the way to the Necropolis and back, I enjoyed soaking my feet in the heated waters. . "

Susan

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the entire tour was excellent. The accommodations were comfortable and in some cases memorable. Our guide, Mine was very knowledgeable and her commentary was entertaining as well. The pace of the tour more than met my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadokia was amazing! I really enjoyed our accommodations there there as each room was so unique."

Brad

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very educational

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How friendly and helpful the Turkish people were"

Li

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is our first RS' tour and it was wonderful and Turkey is simply amazing! Our tourguild, driver, tour members and turkish people everyone we met are wonderful. My husband and I would like to go back sometime after we retired from work.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ancient cities, the cave houses, Turkish cuisines, and of course the balloon ride are my Wow moments."

Kay

Tour: 10/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour, which followed our Greece tour. It was a perfect combo with Greece given the common history of the two. What a positive eye-opener we had to a country that is a mix of modern Western and traditional Middle Eastern cultures. We saw wonderful sights, ate amazing food, and relished learning more about the culture. The Turks are warm and friendly people, and we always felt safe. Many speak some English. We highly recommend this adventure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard not to choose the balloon ride over Cappadocia in a glorious sunrise as our wow moment, especially since we had never done one. We’d do it again in a heartbeat. The balloon company was so safe and conscientious that we floated away with not a care in the world. Another wow would be the simple Turkish lunch with Fahriya in her home, and also being invited by shopkeeper Mustafa for the three of us to have apple tea on his upper terrace under grape vines.There were countless more wows!"

Allene

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned and executed, our guide Yaren was unbelievably knowledgeable and wonderful, was a great leader and manager, and our fellow travelers were interesting and lovely people to spend time with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved hearing the call to prayer in the different cities when the cities were quiet. We have no religious affiliations but loved this aspect of the country."

Rieko

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole operation was so smooth, well thought out, and carefully put together, I felt. I am thoroughly impressed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course, the Cappadocia balloon ride was a highlight, but all other sites and events were absolutely memorable. The lunch at Fehie (?) Abula's house, the conversation with the young Imam, beautiful mosques, ruins, impressive museums, cruise and boat ride, strolls in town, everything."

Ellen

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had not any any experience with organized tours beyond small groups hikes. It was a revelation; so well organized and so thoughtfully planned. I had been concerned about the time on the bus, but all of the stopping at local rest areas - with various shops, restaurants, and local color - really added so much to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The local hamam! It was a convivial atmosphere with girls, their mothers, and grandmothers from the neighborhood. The whole "treatment" was so energizing and cleansing."

Kimberly

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren is absolutely perfect. We had a “merry band” of travelers in our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride over Capadoccia- glorious! "

David

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour ran smoothly and covered a wide variety of experiences. Other tour members were pleasurable company, engaged in the experience and there were no complainers. The tour leader was extremely knowledgeable, experienced and personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The terraced houses at Efesus (Ephesus) were extraordinary and unlike any other ancient site that I am aware of, perhaps excepting Pompeii."

Michael

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour met and exceeded our expectations. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and managed the group experience very well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheer number and magnitude of ancient sites in Turkey."

Susan

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is one of the most interesting, varied and friendly places we have visited. The two week tour was packed with things to do, new experiences and incredible sights to see. Everyone welcomed us and it was so easy to talk to the Turkish people, who clearly take pride in their country. Our guide made every minute count and brought the Turkish culture to life for us. We not only had a great time, we were enriched by this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride over the unique landscape of Cappadocia was "weather permitting," and after 2 days of cancellation, we were thrilled that we had perfect weather for a once in a lifetime experience. Seeing over 100 balloons rise into the air together adds to the beauty of the moment. Not to mention that the day we did finally get to go was my birthday!"

James

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, Rick Steves Tours gave us an incredible travel experience. Since this was our 10th RS tour, we have come to expect no less. RS does not disappoint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that it is difficut to pick just one. My WOW moment was my overall inpression of Turkey. The people, food, friendliness, the landscape and history of the country. A surprise WOW moment was the Anatolian Civilizations Museum collection."

Kristan

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadoccia"

Robert

Tour: 10/14/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Touring Turkey was a fascinating experience made meaningful by agenda and coordination of the Rick Steves group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering additional evidence of Celtic roots in anatolia but then I am a world Celtic scholar who knew what to look for."

Kathy

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, educational, comfortable. We learned so much about Turkey from our guide, Mert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to limit it to just one. The balloon ride in Cappadocia was a fantastic and unique experience. "

Louise

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We greatly enjoyed our RS Türkiye tour! Our guide, Mert, was incredibly knowledgeable and had so much interesting information to share with us. The trip was very well organized and we were informed each day on how the day would go, and it mostly followed the plan that we were given in advance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We would have to say that there were 2 WOW moments/experiences: the hot air balloon ride over the "fairy chimney" terrain AND the tour of Ephesus, with its ruins!"

Patricia

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much about all things Turkish and it was amazing. My encounter with Turkish culture was nothing short of amazing. I was able to learn so much about their unique way of life, which was a truly incredible experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people and culture The food (I am a vegetarian) The variety of activities "

Terry

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour of any kind. I was very satisfied, and would recommend it to all my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This would have to be the balloon ride."

Ken

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome trip!! Türkiye is a fascinating country with so many historical sites and interesting people. We had done essentially the same tour by car in 1996 using Rick's Guidebook so it was very interesting to see how things have changed -- and not! Our experience was sooo much better this time because of the outstanding guide, Mert, who provided much more information than would could possibly research on our own. And I wanna do it yet again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sunrise over the mountain while high in the air underneath a balloon, surrounded by many other colorful balloons, while hovering over the surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Magical!"

Randa

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Such a variety of stops, activities, experiences and historical periods covered on this tour. It made me totally love Turkey!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to beat the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, but I also loved the demonstration at the Hereke Carpet Weavers Assn and learning more about carpets."

William

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. It was well planned logistically so that we had exposure to the fantastic cultural, historical, and geological attractions in Turkey but also had ample free time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tie between Ephesus and ballooning in Cappadocia."

Mary Jane

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was expertly led by Mert, who loves his country and made sure we experienced it as much as possible in 13 days. We finished with a much better understanding of its long history and its current position in this part of the world. It is a strenuous tour, and there were some “extra” hikes I didn’t choose to do. No worry, cuz he gave us other options. Our group was an interesting mix and really gelled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but I’ve got to go with these three: lunch with Aunty Fahrique in her abode with veggies from her garden, the swim in the Mediterranean Sea, and the Turkish bath experience.(not sure I’d do it again but it was a “wow” experience! . I also enjoyed the extra “foodie tour” led by Lolly the day before the tour officially started. "

Billee

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Turkey tour was positive all around. The sites, the scenery, the historical information, the food, the people and the wealth of knowledge we gained from Mert. We were surprised by the modern and progressiveness of Turkey while still maintaining their culture and heritage. Turkey was a delightful place to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Som many “wow” moments…Cappadocia and the balloon ride, of course. The Travertine cliffs. Ephesus. Swimming in the Mediterranean. The baklava I helped make in our cooking class! 😊"

Janet

Tour: 10/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert Taner is an outstanding tour guide. His passion, knowledge and love of Turkey's history is amazing. He keeps people engaged and informed. The sites, museums, and hotels were also well chosen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride at sunrise. Stunning."

Marsha

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide, Togay, was informative, funny and helpful. Most of the major sights in Istanbul were crowded, but he rearranged the timing of our visits to help us avoid long lines and too many people. In general our hotels were comfortable and breakfasts were good, but some of the group meals were pretty mediocre.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Like many people, I was thrilled by the balloon ride in Cappadocia. The early morning light, the scenery, watching so many colorful balloons drift along--unforgettable. I also enjoyed seeing Istanbul from the water during our Bosphorus cruise, and wish there had been time to go farther north."

Teresa

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We saw a lot of different places in Turkey including scenery rolling by in the many, many hours of travel between destinations. Our guide, Togay Kovuk, prepared us for the tour overall, and our activities each day. Before the tour, we were advised that there would be a lot of walking and climbing up and down uneven ground and there was. The places we visited were well worth the climbs. The group was congenial and diverse, making the tour very enjoyable. And educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. So many wonderful breakfasts with fresh fruits, veggies, olives and cheeses. Often the settings were inspiring as well, from views of the Bosporus and many mosques to looking out at the Aegean seas. Great way to start each day! Also the beauty and tranquility of Suleyman Mosque in Istanbul, the Underground City in Cappadocia, and the wonderful hotel suite in Mustafapasa with a jacuzzi bath. A bit of luxury after very busy days."

John

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Lots of new learnings. Great country and nice people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No beggars or people standing on street corners asking for a handout!"

Stephen

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very well organized, our guide Togay Kovuk was above and beyond helpful, entertaining and personable. I would minimize Konya if the drive would allow this. I would prefer more Hagia Sophia to see upper levels during the day

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Capadoccia, swimming in the Mediterranean, the Roman ruins of Efesus and Aphrodisias."

Carolyn

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was very well organized and covered all the high points of Turkey, excellent guide (well informed, helpful and a lot of fun), great bus driver and clean, well located hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the marble streets of Ephesus and wandering the dirt roads in Cappadacio. "

Esther

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Togay was excellent - knowledgeable, thoughtful, kind, and fun. This tour is rated as “most active” and the days were certainly packed with activities, but I don’t think I would have wanted to miss any of them. Turkey is a big country and there is no way around some long travel days, so we had less free time than I have experienced on previous RS tours. Still, we had a wonderful day of “vacation from our vacation” in Antalya. Yummy food, friendly people. Highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The obvious answer is the Cappadocia balloon ride. I’m so glad I pushed myself outside my comfort zone to do this. But there were other “wow” moments as well. For instance, some of the ancient sites really took my breath away - Aspendos, Hierapolis, Aphrodisias. I really enjoyed swimming off a boat at Antalya, and walking by myself to a fort in Kusadasi. And the extensive and delicious food offerings at the highway rest stops were amazing!"

Thomas

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A good survey of a second-world country. As my first structured "tour," I have nothing to compare it to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A one-on-one political discussion with a Turkish TV reporter I met in a coffee shop. The sort of chance encounter that reveals things that you won't read anywhere."

James

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were expertly guided by our guide, Togay. I saw sites I had always dreamed of seeing, like Cappadocia and the Turquoise Coast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely Cappadocia….both the other-world scenery and the hot air balloon ride. "

Mary

Tour: 10/02/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 6th RS tour and much more intense than previous ones (and we are older, of course!) The amount of free time was a lot less, and more time on the bus. But we experienced a fascinating country and learned a lot about the culture. Wish we'd had an extra day in Istanbul so that we could have toured the mosques, palace, and market at a more leisurely pace - we saw a lot but it was exhausting!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capadoccia was incredible. The balloon ride, touring the underground caves and the cave churches were all "wow! moments."

Mark

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, our tour guide Yaren was stellar. Her depth of knowledge and fun attitude made the trip amazing. The group also gelled nicely. As a solo traveler, I wasn't sure what to expect but everyone was very welcoming and geuninely nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick out one, but I think the Turkish Bath experience was hard to beat. Doing it with the group toward the end of the trip made it even more interesting. "

John

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We covered a lot of ground and information

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Roman ruins in Aphrodisias, Ephesus and the mosques in Istanbul"

Candida

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is a amazing diverse beautiful experience. The tour was expertly narrated by Yaren!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many - looking across the Golden Horn and seeing the beautiful sites of Istanbul; the first siting of the Fairy Chimneys, Ephesus!"

Michelle

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. This was the first time that we went on a group tour so there was some trepidation. But we never could have seen as much as we did with the time that we had if we had tried to do this on our own. And our fellow tour members were some of the greatest people we have met. And, above all,. Our guide Yaren was beyond wonderful - taking care of us all the time. Rick - you need to give her a raise if you have not already done so!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Certainly the hot air ballooning and fairy chimneys, but it was the "smaller" moments that impressed me the most. Meeting and talking with the two imans, the turkish bath, lunch with the Turkish woman, hearing the call to prayer several times every day. While there were some touristy moments, totally expected. I felt very immersed the culture of Turkey.for two short a period of time! "

John

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour exceeded all expectations. Unlike our past personally arranged vacations, we saw, experienced and learned more than we thought possible.The walks were daunting but doable. The hurry up bus schedule actually became fun. The food was plentiful and reflective of the country, and the hotels were fine - some a little curious, others great. We made friends with many of our companions, with our tour guide becoming a friend as well. It was a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride was wonderful, but there were countless little moments full of surprises."

Jim

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was like a graduate course in Western Civilization mixed in with a very pleasant vacation experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interview with Imam."

Scott

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour. It was awesome. We definitely will do other RS tours in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Our guide Yaren T was awesome. Our traveling companions on the tour were great. We really became a community over the two weeks, and the experience was much enhanced by that dynamic. In terms of sites and experiences, it is hard to pick one, but I'd say the full day for fun at Antalya stands out--our boat ride and the Turkish bath, and the beautiful old town restaurants. "

Diane

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour with a great guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going in the warm springs in Pamukkale and swimming from one Roman column to the other."

Michael

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great experience! Türkiye is a much more diverse country than I realized, and I'm so glad that I got to see a great selection of the country in order to meet such warm people and eat their amazing food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Upon the realization that everywhere you walk/stand is the birthplace of civilization and that the ground around you is littered with ancient artifacts too numerous to be housed in a museum, and so these artifacts are in the landscaping."

Pradeep

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable and educational tour conducted by an outstanding guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aphrodisias! "

Alice

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide Yaren was very knowledgeable and made it fun to travel as a group. She was very engaged and answered questions. Turkey trip helped me to understand about the history and I am more interested to learn more about the biblical history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a balloon flight in Cappadocia. "

Renee

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful adventure. The country, our fellow travelers, our wonderful guide Yaren, all combined to make this a WOW trip. So many experiences in one trip! In order to fit everything in, it was a fast-paced schedule which Yaren managed admirably. I have fond memories of our happy band of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first WOW was the size of Istanbul airport, and then the size of the city! We came a few days early and ventured out to absorb this part of the world which was so different for us. The call to prayer brought a frequent reminder that we “weren’t in Kansas anymore!” The Turkish people were always willing to engage and share jokes and smiles. A definite WOW was Yaren’s knowledge and passion for things modern and ancient which she generously shared with us. Loved the activities in Antalya!"

Ann

Tour: 09/30/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent, very knowledgeable guide and great overview of Turkey with interesting and fun stops

Favorite "WOW" moment

"formations at Cappadocia and seeing Whirling Dervishes again"

Joni

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have followed Rick's books for years for self-touring. When it came to Turkey we felt it was a good fit to actually take a Rick tour. We saw and learned so much; Mert was a volcano of information as our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia. The otherworldly landscape, getting up early for the awe-inspiring balloon ride, staying at the Cappadocia Estates cave hotel."

Michael

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was Mert and he is incredibly good. He has so much energy and good information to share. Mert looked out for all tour members. The tour has a good active pace which we enjoyed. It was a good mix of things we got to see and do. Liked the one off items like visiting a local farmers market and going on an informal afternoon walk near our hotel in Cappadocia with Mert.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Her: Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia and learning about a new culture. Him: Exploring in Cappadocia "

Barbara

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Top experience-best trip ever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having history come alive at each stop with our outstanding guide Mert"

Diane

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gregory

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide Mert was fantastic! We learned so much about the culture, history, politics and religion. This was our fourth Rick Steves tour and we both agree it was by far the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My “Wow” moment was near the end of the tour where we were touring Ephesus and we got to tour the Terrace houses that had been unearthed. The mosaics and frescos were incredible. Hard to believe they had been there for thousands of years and so many more left to unearth. -Erin There were about 3 or 4 things I really enjoyed but meeting with the Imams was so informative. -Greg "

Sharon

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt I spent two weeks walking on more layers of human history than I've ever experienced. A fascinating combination of exotic food and spice, other-worldly geography, daily calls to prayer, marvelous tour companions and an exceptional guide, Mert. Mert's ability to share his extensive knowledge of history and current affairs made the long bus rides enjoyable, and brought the ruins of past civilizations to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to top the balloon ride over Cappadocia, which was calming and invigorating at the same time. But I also enjoyed our conversation with the imams, and lunch at our home visit. "

Michelle

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized tours and very knowledgable guide Mert. We are impressed by both culture and nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon in Cappadocia, sunset hiking in Zelve valley, boat trip in Antalya."

Mavis

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an amazing, exhausting, exhilarating time. We adored our guide Mert and his boundless energy and knowledge. We enjoyed all our travel companions— such interesting people with a variety of fascinating travel experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many fabulous moments but, I loved one of the smallest moments. I loved being in Mert’s friend’s house for lunch in Ortahisar. Her food was exquisite yet so simple and the experience was so personal. "

Thomas

Tour: 09/25/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

good. good food and good locations and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"balloon ride and boat around Istanbul."

Julie

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and every detail was planned. The middle part of the tour was the most interesting, the last few days were a bit heavy on Roman ruins and could have used some other experiences. The side trips made the tour and kept it from being just another tour of mosques, old churches and ruins.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was having the opportunity to throw a bowl at the ceramic studio we visited...then when the plain door opened up to the most beautiful selection of ceramics I've ever seen in one location."

Roberta

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Experienced a new location and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air ballon ride in Cappadocia at sunrise. It was well organized then exciting and beautiful - both the balloons in the air and the fantastic scenery on the ground. Also had excellent pilot."

Fiona

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed the entire experience. I was nervous about having enough time at each location, we typically are the 5 hour end of a 3-5 hour recommended museum visit time. However, the stops were well timed, and with the exception of the Topkapi Palace (which I could have spent all day at!) we the right amount of time with a good balance of guided time and free time at each stop. I enjoyed touring with a group, the people were friendly and it enhanced the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sure lots of people will say the balloon ride, and my husband's pictures were amazing. But for me, the pre-historic artifacts, especially the cave paintings from 7400 BCE at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations were absolutely Wow! The entire museum is filled with incredible artifacts from history and pre-history. "

Camille

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great way to experience the beautiful country of Turkey, with its rich Middle Eastern traditions and historical importance. Our guide Elvan provided extensive historical and cultural knowledge to the fabulous sites we visited on tour. She was professional, helpful and approachable.The places we visited were diverse, interesting and well planned, with enough time to explore at your own pace. Hotels were clean and well located. Perfect way to get a taste of Asia!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Roman City of Ephesus was wonderful. The site transports you back in time to walk along the street with the ancients... Amazing!"

Elizabeth

Tour: 09/23/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Your was a wonderful survey across selected areas of Turkey which were all very different and interesting. Because of the geography involved a few days of 5-6 h in bus. Time passed quickly w frequent stops , interesting views and explanations led by our learned guide Elwan. Immersive, engaging fellow travelers who were diverse and lots of fun ! I returned home with a much wider sense of our world, and it’s people Turkish and Muslim community. I am grateful for this.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First views of Aya Sofia lit up at night "

Patricia

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 13 days in Turkiye tour was exceptional! I couldn't have traveled so far nor covered so much of this magnificent country had I been on my own. We reached far into the country and were introduced to all of the major historical eras. Each day revealed something new and memorable. I left Turkiye wanting to know more and hoping that I may come back to Turkiye someday.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments: all of Istanbul, especially the Blue Mosque, the Anatolin Civilization Museum, Cappadocia and the Hot Air Balloon ride. Ephesus was a perfect ending for our tour. And our guide, Mine, treated me to a special surprise birthday celebration while on our boat in Antalya. What a memorable way to spend my birthday. Thank you Mina and Rick Steves Tours!!!!!"

Chris

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour! We enjoyed it tremendously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia"

David

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very positive. The trip, the experiences, the pace was as described. Fellow travelers were companionable, friendly and looked after one another. Guide Mine was very enthusiastic, organized and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We both thought that the hot air balloons were fantastic. We actually found the experience more breathtaking than one we experienced over the Serengeti in Tanzania."

Wade

Tour: 09/18/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Rick Steve’s tour indeed allowed us to see the wonders of all of Turkey has to offer. Our guide was so incredibly knowledgeable about everything and anything we wanted to know about life in Turkey. The tour didn’t leave you feeling like you missed anything or needed more from your journey around this country. They always have a way of letting you experience moments with locals that no other company does. Thank you for making our 25h wedding celebration adventure so special and memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment from our journey hands down is the magic of Cappadocia and the hot air balloon ride in one of the most unique and awe inspiring places in the world. Cannot thank our balloon pilot enough for the ride of our lives and the cave hotel experience is something you will rarely get to experience. This area and experience was the most amazing part of the trip indeed. "

Diana

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved Turkey so much and LOVED our guide Yaren. She is my favorite guide out of our 4 RS Tours and we have really like our other guides. We appreciated how she was flexible with our itinerary to consider crowds and weather, etc. We also LOVED the Food Tour the day before our trip started with Lale. She was great too. It was nice to have a smaller number of 22 on our tour. I could have spent one less day in Cappadocia and one more day in Antalya. Super trip. Thank you so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Besides the obviously amazing Balloon Ride over Cappadocia we had a blast when 4 of our guys got a Turkish Shave in Urgup. We all crowded into the small barber shop, took photos and videos, laughed, oohed and aahed and even our bus driver got his hair cut. The barber's 16 year old son was there to help and the barber's dad (who started the business) had his photo on the wall. It included ear and nose waxing and even "flaming" off the leftover ear and nose hair. Delightful!!!"

Tonia

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoy the small group atmosphere and the balance between group learning and having free time to explore our own interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although it wasn't technically part of the tour, I have to say ballooning over Cappadocia - truly magical! There were many, MANY absolutely WOW moments of observation and learning from our wonderful guide Yaren."

Mark

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, we felt that the guide was the integral part of the tour. The sights are amazing, but the information making these come alive in their historic context would simply not have been achievable on our own. The hotels along the way were very nice to adequate with a bump or two. We thought the sampling of the cities and areas visited was overall well rounded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to distill it down to one thing. The balloon ride at Cappadocia was an amazing experience and sight to behold, and, of course, Ephesus another highlight, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention Istanbul, a wonderfully amazing and beautiful city. We would go back in a heartbeat."

Holly

Tour: 09/16/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Turkey is a richly historical and cultural country. Seeing it in 13 days was a whirlwind, but a bit structured for my taste. I think taking in a few of the highlights so the itinerary doesn’t feel so compacted would make for a more enjoyable, even-paced adventure. Maybe even a small group option, as the large (22) group can feel overwhelming at times. Overall grateful for the experience and the depth of the guide’s knowledge and enthusiasm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride (as everyone says), and also the ruins and museums. Seeing truly ancient art and archeological remains was inspiring. There was also a moment at thigh light in Istanbul when the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque were coordinating the call to prayer. With both mosques lit up and the melodic sound, it was beautiful."

Edward

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very educational tour and changed my previous perceptions I had about Turkey. Our tour guide, Mert Tanner was a great and enlightened us on Turkish culture, society, politics and history. Food was excellent and accommodations were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My “wow” moment was the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. Also it was great meeting and traveling with other Rick Steves’ travelers. "

Ruth

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic world history tour to go along with seeing so many fantastic sites. Mert’s knowledge, wit and enthusiasm was both informative and entertaining!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia was a fantastic experience - especially the hot air balloon ride, and Antalya was a pleasant surprise. "

John

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything in Cappadocia! I loved all the activities there, especially the balloon ride but also the walking and exploring."

David

Tour: 09/11/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, well executed, Fantastic guide!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hagia Sophia, Ephesus, Cappadocia balloon ride."

Susan

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the organization and variety of activities in the tour. We were made to feel comfortable and welcome immediately. As new RS tour attendees, we didn't have any difficulty. Loved also the ability to "opt out" of activities. Great guide and great fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the mosque of Suleyman and hearing about Sinan the great architect. But there were so many!! The Roman ruins. The balloon ride in Capadoccia. Even the farmer's market! All amazing. "

Thomas

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour and tour guide, Volkan. Volkan's knowledge and humor enhanced the quick paced tour. Türkiye is absolutely beautiful and the people are extremely kind. The variety of ancient and current cultural sites we visited provided an enriched aspect of Türkiye. The wonderful other tour members were of mixed backgrounds but all possess an opened mindedness that allowed all to soak up Türkiye in its best light.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To pinpoint one "wow" moment would be very difficult. The whole trip was WOW! The great mosques of Istanbul, Cappadocia balloon ride over an spectacular landscape, Meza dishes, Boat rides—the Bosphorus and Antalya coast, ancient Greek and Roman theaters (4 of them), Whirling Dervish ritual, visiting Mevlâna and Sham's tombs in Konya, eating like a local with our guide, the Library of Celsus, the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar, the Temple of Pluto. "

Kirk

Tour: 09/09/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is a perfect blend of history, archaeology, natural beauty, culture, and food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot-air balloon ride over Cappadochia at sunrise. I've taken a balloon ride previously, but not over such spectacular and historic scenery."

Darryl

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful tour but very intense and sometimes exhausting. We saw so many wonderful things, but at times it felt a bit overwhelming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride over Cappadocia"

Sheila

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The logistics of the tour were great. Mine was an impressively knowledgeable and a talented communicator. The tour was fast paced and covered a lot of ground.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia was fantastic, like no other experience. "

Beverly

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell in love with Turkey, again :) My son lives in Istanbul ..HOWEVER, the tour with Mine Karahan made the country come alive to me. She is a very talented guide, knowledgeable, organized , friendly , kind, & funny ! Yes, fast paced , but to see the beautiful historical sites it takes "come on let go" to make that happen. Food is DELICIOUS, miss eating already. Hotels were perfect, comfy beds, helpful staff, everything PERFECT!! I truly would recommend this trip to everyone who has energy :)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dining at a private home of sweet lady Fahriye in city of Ortahisar ( Cappadocia area ). She was a lovely, very hospitable, quaint local Turkish feel , it was a relaxed and fun afternoon :) Thank you Mine pronounced " Meenay" :) "

Rick

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Linda

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was exceptional!! It exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name."

Jeffrey

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, exceptional tour guide comfortable tour bus, talented driver

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Antalya--so cosmopolitan. Had a European compactness and vitality. Museums, food and a port city rounded out the appeal."

Jayne

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a grand trip. So much to see and I'm blessed to have been part of a great group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia was beyond words. It was all orchestrated so smoothly. "

Sharon

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mine was an awesome tour guide. We had some longer days on the bus, but she did a great job of making sure we had meals and rest breaks at reasonable intervals. Our group, although on the larger size of 29 were very friendly, and it was easy to get to know everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Biggest wow, was the balloon ride in Cappadocia. Other really meaningful events included having lunch in a Turkish home (I think her name was Fahria?sp). She was a delightful lady with much love for Mine, and enjoyed talking with us about her life. Meeting and talking with the Immam in Guzelyurt was a very unique experience. Was surprised to hear they are employed by the government. I can't say enough about taking the boat ride in the Mediterranean. I loved swimming the the sea. "

Susan

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide for the Food tour on Sunday was knowledgeable, funny, and made the experience very enjoyable. Tour guide was very impressive with her knowledge and made the trip amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't come up with only one - the entire trip was amazing."

Judy

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were so impressed by our guide, Mine. The breadth of her knowledge was astounding. We kept waiting for a question to stump her but none ever did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Swimming off the boat in the Mediterranean."

Annie

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour; Exceeded my expectations about the experience. Learned a lot about Turkey and the Turkish people and in a way changed my preconceived ideas about them and the country of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Physical experience- Cappadocia region and the balloon ride over the valley at dawn, seeing the sunrise… awesome. Anatolian Civilizations Museum. Emotional experience- Visiting the sites where the Apostle Paul walked and preached spreading the gospel. "

Jacqueline

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The most interesting country I have ever visited and I’ve visited quite a few. The food was delicious, the sites we visited were amazing, hotels were of excellent quality, and our guide was excellent. I highly recommend anyone to go there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Robert

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Knowledgeable friendly guide. Always a smile and warm greeting

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride over cappadocia"

Karen

Tour: 09/04/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first guided tour and we appreciated the attention to detail and organization. History became alive by the stories told at the various sights that we visited. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and offered insights in engaging ways. There was an air of adventure, respect and humor. There was a nice balance weaving in the environment in all its grandeur and exploration of history. There was balance between experiencing and talking about what we encountered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Exploring the caves and the lost city was amazing as well as contemplating this protected space for families to dwell and hide in from 2000 BC to the 11th century. Also I was surprised at the power of the presence of people of Ephesus in antiquity in the reconstruction of their living space through the frescoes and marble walls that were breath taking. "

Marietta

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! It's hard to know where to begin. We covered a lot of ground and saw many sights. We covered everything on the tour itinerary. Yaren, our guide, provided context for what we saw--including from an archaeologist's perspective. The tour also scheduled and allowed time for meeting and interacting with local people--which for me, was one of the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Spending time with Fahriye (apologies for misspelling) in her home and enjoying her hospitality. "

Timothy

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Highly recommend this tour! The tour itinerary is packed with everything from ancient history to multi-sensory sensations set in the unique variety of truly wonderous landscapes that comprise Turkiye. Yaren is a superlative and approachable guide with true depth of knowledge about Turkish history, sites, food and current affairs. Our fellow tour members were low maintenance, interesting, warm-hearted and fun which enriched the overall experience with joyous loads of laughter and sweet memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Marinating in the Mediterranean off the bow of a boat near the coast of Antalya was a simply sublime temporary respite from the wonderful bustle of the tour. We tour members agreed that we would be content to spend many more hours luxuriating in the sultry azure waters beneath the beaming sun while appreciating the luscious mountainous landscape that had stood witness to so much history. "

Kathy

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip to Turkey in 13 days was a trip of a lifetime. We learned so much and it was made more meaningful because of out knowledgeable and experienced tour guide Yaren.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a new Wow moment starting with Istanbul's Spice Market and Grand Bazaar, Cappadocia's hot-air balloon ride, museums, lunch prepared by a local woman, swimming among Roman ruins, cliffs of Pamukkale, Bosphorus strait cruise, and ending with walking the Roman ruins of Ephesus."

Beth

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Turkey tour gave us a wonderful overview of Turkey's history, culture, and major sites. The included sites were outstanding. Our tour guide, Yaren, was super. I loved her organization. We always knew changes to the schedules well in advance and could easily make plans for our own free time. Her "on the bus" lectures were outstanding. She truly prepared us so we could fully understand each new location. Yaren was fun to be with, and obviously enjoyed spending time with our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia was a highlight, but I was also amazed by Turkey's adoration of Ataturk, from his magnificent mausoleum to Ataturk boulevards/street in every city or town to the picture of Ataturk on the barbershop clock. Ataturk was truly present throughout the country. I found the focus on this man's accomplishments for a country, especially his establishment of a secular republic for Turkey as inspiring in this day and age."

Patricia

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I understand Turkey’s history and culture so much better because of this excellent tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ancients cities we toured, especially Ephesus, were wow moments for me."

Denise

Tour: 09/02/23

Although we had a rough start in Istanbul (and having your passport and other docs stolen) definitely colored our experience there, we loved our trip to Turkey! The rich history, politics and culture were both eye-opening and spectacular!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My fav "wow" moment was Pamakkule and Ephesus"

Simeon

Tour: 09/02/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour has exceeded my expectations. Having grown in Turkey and having left more than 50 years ago I always wanted to go and see Cappadocia and Ephesus and this tour provided me with that opportunity. All other sites and activities helped provide a more rounded picture. The tour was very well organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. In general I knew what to expect but the Anatolian Civilizations museum in Ankara and the ancient Aphrodisias site pleasantly surprised me because I did not expect them. And of course the baloon ride."

Brian

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert was an excellent tour guide. He made the Turkey tour very memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride was just amazing."

Gregory

Tour: 06/26/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This has been our fourth Rick Steve's Tour and it, by far, exceeded our expectations. We could not believe how amazing our Turkey tour was on ever single level. Our guide, Mert Taner, went above and beyond to ensure that every detail was met and even coordinated additional activities that we could do on our off days. When we did not have a planned dinner, Mert provided meal ideas and offered to personally attend the meals with us - he was so accomodating and truly went above and beyond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can we pinpoint one - there were so many: The balloon ride in Cappacodia, swimming in the crystal-clear waters off the Mediterrean was truly a memorable experience. The food, the people, the spice market in Istanbul, the trip to the thermal pools in Pammukule and visiting the Hagia Sofia. There were too many "wow" moments. This was, by far, one of the most memorable vacations for my wife and I during our lifetime. "

Richey

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding in every respect. This was the first time that my wife and I had participated in a Rick Steves tour and we could not have been more pleased by the experience. The tour guide was excellent and first-rate and helped us and all of the tour group members to learn so much about Turkish culture and history. The schedule was very well-organized with plenty of wonderful places and sites to visit and ample personal time included to allow us to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick out one "wow" moment from a tour that was full of them. Was it hustle and bustle of Istanbul or the balloon ride in Cappadocia or the fantastic Roman ruins we visited? It is hard to say but an enduring impression I have is of the warm and friendly Turkish people we met along the way. "

Char

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Wonderful tour with an exceptional tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Ephesus"

Susan

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Nice itinerary and saw everything I wanted to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride and Ephesus "

Jeffery

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic. My second tour and it did not disappoint

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Istanbul and seeing the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofie was amazing. Also the Balloon ride"

Christopher

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide extremely knowledgeable and a definite patriot for her country. Some stops were too long, and a few too short. I would highly recommend a Rick Steves trip to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ballon ride in Cappodocia. The only issue is the price. When you can find a ballon ride on your own for $200 and you are being charged $330, it deflates the experience a bit. The guide always seemed to the good of her countrymen ahead of the guide financially."

Maureen

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride"

Lisa

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible. Mine is an amazing guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the town of Aphrodisias."

Judith

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was outstanding in every way. Our guide was exceptional, and it was great fun to get to know the other members of our tour group. Our days were full of exciting things to see and do, and everything ran very smoothly and comfortably. Our guide was always engaging and enthusiastic and could answer any questions we had. It was very organized, and your guidebook and audio tapes were excellent. I never have learned as much on any trip I've taken before as I did on this one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult question to answer because there were MANY "wow" moments for me. One of my favorite "wow" moments was the Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia. "

Sucheta

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed group I was with. The logistics was great, the us was fantastic. The explanations by Mine while traveling were really interesting and educative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really loved the Airbnb in Mustafapasha and the ambience around there. "

Richard

Tour: 06/12/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first organized tour and I left extremely impressed. My tour guide (Mine) was excellent. Her knowledge, her ability to relate to others in the group and her organization skills were all top notch. My fellow tour members were great. There was also a good mix of sites, local culture and personal time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either seeing Hagia Sofia after seeing and reading about if for years or the swim in the Mediterranean."

Jacob

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole experience was amazing. I was certainly looking forward to going to Turkey, but the trip was even more fascinating and enjoyable than I thought it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon over Cappodocia."

Ellen

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been wanting to visit Turkey for many years and finally got the chance to make the trip in 2023. The tour exceeded my expectations with so much culture and history lead by our wonderful guide Yaren. She brought the ancient history to life in a fun and informative manner. A trip to Turkey with Rick Steves should be on everyone’s travel list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Turkish people and culture, Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar, the Bookseller Market outside the Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian Spice Market, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the night time view of Hagia Sophia, Turkish Delight, Cruise on the Bosphorus, Balloon Ride in Cappadocia, Market Day and all the dogs and cats of Turkey, visit with an Imam, the Caravanserai, the Rumi Museum, Aspendos, Antalya, the Whirling Dervish performance, Hierapolis and Pamukkale, Ephesus and Kusadasi. "

Deborah

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was great. Great tour, new friends and a great tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "

Sally

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour covered a lot of ground in a very enjoyable way. We had plenty of time on the main sites and the short stops during long bus days were welcome and interesting. I learned a lot about Turkey's history and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara, there was a letter on a clay tablet from the queen of Egypt to the queen of the Hittites, dated around 2000 BCE (if I remember correctly)."

Patrick

Tour: 05/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized enjoyable itinerary. The guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable, helpful and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Aphrodisias"

Erich

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience was a huge WOW! Our tour guide, Elvan Ozbay, was the best. The hot air ballon ride in Cappadocia "takes the cake" but countless other experiences were right up there! Seeing the ruins of Ephesus was amazing as was Istanbul in all of its historical grandeur. Our RS group members had the boat to ourselves on the Bosphorus Strait cruise. That was so chillaxing. Our foodie tour of Istanbul on the day before the RS tour was also very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air ballon ride in Cappadocia at sunrise was a "once in a lifetime" experience that we will never forget. It was very apparent that Rick had selected the best (and safest) company for that experience. "

Shawn

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Met my expectations. We were safe, had a good guide, hotels were adequate along with food, group got along just fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! was hot air balloon ride."

Frank

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional experience experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aphrodisia"

Karen

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Elvan Ozbay was amazing. She really made the tour, not only did she have all the history of Turkey at her fingertips, she also stopped the bus on a couple of occasions to buy us local items, such as bananas and nuts. We loved seeing different areas of Turkey, it really opened our eyes to the beauty of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our entire group decided to go ballooning in Cappadocia, it turned out to be quite the thrill!"

Jenny

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was wonderful and gave us a real appreciation for the history, the people and the beauty of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The early morning balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Deborah

Tour: 05/22/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was on this tour 13 years ago and enjoyed the opportunity to travel toTurkey again this year. We had a fabulous guide, Elvan, who provided extensive cultural history, religious, political (present the day of the presidential election), and an opportunity to view daily life while visiting exceptional sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with fairy chimneys and a beautiful sunrise to frame the unique landscape. Also, the opportunity to see a friendly and generous local resident in her home, that I met 13 years ago. She warmly shared her life with our group."

Steve

Tour: 05/22/23

Fast paced, got to see a lot, but not as much independent time as expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia hot air ballooning"

Rosemary

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

wonderful experience. Great balance with free time interspersed with cultural highlights

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadokya"

Mary Ann

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was terrific! We covered five regions of Turkey, to enable a good understanding of the people, history, and topography of the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting and learning from locals -- Imam Ramadan, carpet experts, ceramic company owner, an elderly woman in Cappadocia..."

Horner

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My family and I thoroughly enjoyed our Turkish Odyssey. The tour was cultural and historically focused. It gave us a better understanding of the country and people and succeeded beyond our expectations. Turkey is a beautiful country and the people are incredibly kind, helpful and friendly. LOVE IT!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Anit Bakir (Ataturk Musoleum) and watching local kids and HS students paying respect to their visionary leader. It was quite a site."

Keith

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent RS tour filled with diverse experiences and led by an incredibly knowledgeable guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was actually the Turkish Bath - who would have thought!"

Bruce

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide was very organized and kept the group focused. There was a lot planned every day which was a little overwhelming at times, but overall I thought it was well thought out. The accommodations were good other than the Upper Greek house in Mustafapasa where the roof leaked during rain storm right on to our bed. Was able to change rooms but thought that place could use some repair. Mine, our guide was very knowledgeable and answered out questions patiently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. The balloon ride over Cappadocia was fun, but I think I enjoyed the Turkish bath more as it was very much out of my usual comfort zone. "

Karl

Tour: 05/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour covered a wide range of cultural sites, landmarks, and geography in this fascinating country. Some days, especially in the beginning of the tour, were strenuous. We had opportunities to meet and experience local people and activities that we could not have arranged on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia was a unique, world-class activity. On a more personal level, I was moved by the reverence shown by the pilgrims to Rumi's shrine in Konya."

Jennifer

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic! Mert is an incredible guide. We had a great group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I still can’t wrap my brain around how incredibly OLD some of the relics and sites are. It is absolutely incredible!"

Laura

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first time in Türkiye. This tour exceeded expectations. I really enjoyed the multi-city experience. Each city is so different. The curated tours and experiences were perfect. The hotels were always comfortable, ranging from functional to luxurious. Our guide Mert was friendly, very knowledgeable and attentive. This is a physically active tour, which I enjoyed very much. I would highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning over Cappadocia was amazing. Ephesus was impressive. The Dervishes demonstration was very moving."

Lynn

Tour: 05/15/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first time Rick Steves tour participant, and a first time traveler to Turkey- I arrived with a great deal of anticipation- and I was not disappointed! This tour exceeded all my expectations, and left me certain that I will travel with Rick Steves again. I cannot praise this tour enough! I traveled with my daughter, because I wanted to expose her to a very foreign country- outside both our comfort zones and sense of familiarity. We have returned home with a love for Turkey, and Rick Steves!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, and exploring that region. The interior of the Blue Mosque. Ephesus library and excavation sites. Our morning with the Imam in Guzelyurt- amazing!! Swimming in the natural spring pool with the Roman Columns- amazing! Our visit with the lovely Turkish woman in her home- and she gave my recently engaged daughter some wonderful advice about marriage- Topkapi Palace. All these things made both my daughter and I say "Wow"!!! I can't chose just one!! "

Gordon

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren is so incredibly bright and knowledgable. She made the trip so much better with her personality and wit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus for Judy, Balloon ride for Don."

Bruce

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had no idea exactly what to expect in Turkey, just knew I wanted to learn the history and culture of the area and country. This far, far exceeded expectations. There were simply so many highlights in the country that we need to return to even begin to put a dent in the ones we missed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question, but it would be difficult to exceed the balloon ride over Capadoccia. "

Wendell

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish this was a great tour. Our guide Yaren provided such a rich and informative experience of you country. The hotels were well situated for access to the heart of each city we stayed in, the access to museums, mosques, and archeological sites so well timed and easy with the 15 day Museum pass. Transit around Istanbul was super easy with the Metrollink cards that Yaren used. Our bus driver was so nice and so safe, a very talented navigator of some very small streets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one Wow moment, this tour was full of great moments. The Balloon ride over Cappadocia was breathtaking and so fun. The architecture and scale of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia was stunning, The visual impact of the pine tree pollen clouds in the Tarus Mountains and the Pamukkale travertine flows were truely wild. It made our trip extra amazing to be country during the national election on May 14th. Swimming in the Mediterranean sea was quite refreshing. And the food each day!!"

Linda

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steves group tour. I'd say it was the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to beat the hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia's fairly chimney rock formations, but swimming in the Mediterranean Sea on our private boat cruise off the coastline of Antalya was a close 2nd!"

Scott

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding guide and wonderful new travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" moments occurred every day! Entering the stadium of Aphrodisias was a big one though. More broadly, seeing how diverse in both land and people Türkiye is was a surprise."

Brian

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An overall great experience! We have done 6 RS Tours, and I think this might be #1. Everyone must consider a Turkey tour. Many of my misconceptions of Turkey in general were eliminated with this tour. Turkey is an amazingly beautiful, and incredibly historic country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ballon ride in Cappadocia. I believe of the many world-wide ballon tours one could do, I think this has to be the best! Incredible terrain, rock formations and ancient history along the way."

Barbara

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was a pleasant surprise in its beauty and culture. The history was quite overwhelming and will take a while to process! Our travel companions were excellent. This was definitely a favorite of our trips!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The historical significance of the sites was amazing, but the balloon ride had to be the highlight!"

Roger

Tour: 05/08/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The difference between a good tour and a great tour is whether the Guide is able to reach the RSE aspiration of turning a group of strangers into a "merry band of travelers." This group had an excellent guide, Yaren Turkoglu, who managed by showing her inner self and engaging with each tour member to orient members from self to the community of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia, not counting the balloon trip which I did not do. Ephesus, and the interpretation."

David B

Tour: 05/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent experience on our first Rick Steves tour. Our guide Mine was excellent and our driver Erson was an amazing driver. It was a whirlwind tour or Tukiye in 13 days as we really had an in depth and knowledgeable guide helping us navigate this beautiful country. We usually make our own travel plans, but this was a great decision to take this tour, we saw so much more than if we planned it ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was seeing Antalya Bay, the mountains that reached to the shore took my breath away."

Robert

Tour: 05/06/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It w3as a great tour covering many interesting sites.

Joanne

Tour: 05/06/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Turkey tour was profound and so very different from anywhere else we’ve traveled in Europe. The culture, the the history, the geography, the oh-so-friendly people, the election(!), and the incredible knowledge of our tour guide Mine to pull it all together—absolutely unforgettable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The air balloon ride over Cappadocia was a wow moment like no other! To see that other worldly region from that perspective was just incredible. The weather was perfect and the sunrise was stunning. It’s a tie for a second place wow moment between the talk with the Imam and his mosque, and Mine’s friend Farhye (sp?)—those local touches are what make Rick Steves tours so special. "

Debra

Tour: 05/06/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Turkey is a large, unique country and I was very happy to have the experience of seeing some of its dramatic sights with the Rick Steves Tour. Our guide, Mine, has superb experience and an amazing personality for guiding this tour (how does she keep that smile and upbeat attitude every day!?). The tour itinerary followed the pre-tour description, leaving me satisfied that I had the experience I was looking forward to having.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will comment on 2 -- the Balloon ride over Cappadocia was the best experience of the itinerary, and the "unplanned" WOW moment was when my husband and I were shown an amazing viewpoint overlooking the town of Mustafapasa by an older gentleman as we were strolling the streets. Without English, he insisted we follow him up a trail that led to a highpoint over the town. It was a stupendous view. His little English was very accurate " Best Camera"!"

Ronald

Tour: 05/06/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The 13 day Turkiye tour was our first Rick Steeves tour. We appreciated the overall planning, the historical context of site visits, and the overall expertise and relationship skills of the tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was magic in an early morning balloon ride, but also magic in the relationships we developed during the tour. "

Sarah

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it exceeded expectations on all levels. We enjoyed the variety of sites and activities and had wonderful Mert as our tour guide. He was very enthusiastic and always prepared to help and/or answer questions. I feel like we were able to see the highlights and some of the lesser known sites in a very efficient and enjoyable way because of Mert's experience and knowledge. Our wonderful bus driver Sinan maneuvered expertly through narrow streets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. What I appreciated as special opportunities not normally available on tours was the opportunity to interact and hear from the Imam in Konya and the delightful woman from the town near Cappadocia."

Jeff

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Saw so much, did so much, and learned so much in a very intriguing country with an amazing history and culture with a guide who was superb

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many including just listening to Mert talk about Turkey, soaking in Cleopatras Pool, the Turkish Bath experiece, and the balloon flight in Cappadocia. "

Michelle

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing tour. It was active, educational, and, interesting. I enjoyed learning about ancient civilizations, Turkish traditions, and culture. I highly recommend this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot-air balloon experience over Cappadocia at dawn was exhilarating! It was simply breathtaking. I also enjoyed our Turkish Bath experience."

Janie

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide Mert Taner and the country made my Rick Steve’s tour experience supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! LOVED Mert’s expertise with timing of tours, knowledge and engaging discussions of Turkish history and Turkish challenges, and generally fabulous people sense throughout. Thanks for a glimpse (Awesome Mert!) of your incredible country—here’s to our little bit of knowledge about (how much we don’t know and therefore) how much more there is to discover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single moment--just continued delight, especially when visiting/learning about geological wonders or geologically-influenced terrains that shaped life for eons in that area now called Turkiye."

Rose

Tour: 05/01/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized tour. Mert, our guide is extremely knowledgeable & funny. Love this tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Susan

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned so much! Our guide was knowledgeable, responsive and kind. The hotels and the breakfasts were great. The balance of meals together and on own worked very well for me. The diversity of visits, encounters and experiences kept everything interesting. A lovely rapport developed between fellow travellers. For me, a very positive and enjoyable tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every single day was filled with interesting and enjoyable activities and food. I loved meeting and being welcomed into the home of an elderly Türk kadın. İ had learned quite a lot of Turkish and it was the highlight of every day when I could try and navigate through situations in Turkish. The Turkish people I met were so welcoming and helpful - always grateful that I had learned some Turkish. I was so surprised at how safe I felt."

Michael

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

valcon is a fantastic tour director. this is my 10th rs tour & he ranks among the top. he know turkey-the culture, history & his way about the country. i had a diet concern & he was most considerate director ever. he has a great personality-funny & understands american. he was great warning us about uneven surfaces. i injured myself at the end & he offered help. first time, but i like that he was the guide for all our events. he was just as good & if not better than the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"i went to istanbul early so my wow moment occurred when i went to see the basilica cistern. on the tour it was seeing the fairy chimney mountains & volcans walking tour of them. second was ephesus, library of celcius with the roman terrace houses. third would be the cave houses."

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While I had done some reading, I didn't know much about Turkiye before the tour. We covered a lot of ground physically and culturally. I would not have wanted to miss any part of it. The tour was well organized and our trip leader was insightful and a master in adjusting to unforeseen events (ie. Istanbul marathon). We were able to see all of the sights and even avoid some of the crowds. Our travels on the bus enabled us to see many fascinating, historically rich sites in the countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several wow moments but seeing some of the artifacts at Topkapi Palace, such a Prophet Mohammed's footprints and collections of artifacts and clothing from the sultans palace."

Andrew

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip did a great job connecting us to the local Turkish culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interactions with the people of Turkey."

Diann

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia Meeting with an imam"

Anne

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I told you about my dreadful roommate elsewhere. After that it was outstanding. Turkey has so much to see, learn about, and experience. And the people are so warm. Just lovely. Our guide Vulcan is a delight. So knowledgeable and funny. The geography varies - from snow covered mountains, to volcanic otherworldly landscapes, to beaches. Istanbul has such allure - straddling two continents on the Bosporus. The layers of history and all the civilizations who have passed thru were mind blowing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a jewelry lover, the fist sized emeralds at Topkapi were stunning. The balloon ride over Cappadocia and the hammam were once in a lifetime experiences. I never thought I would enjoy being manhandled like I was in the “bath.”"

Shelley

Tour: 04/29/23

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The guide was outstanding and the country a fabulous destination. I learned that I am probably not a good match for a guided tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"arriving in Istanbul to the evening light on the beautiful city"

Robert

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Yaren is an outstanding guide and an exceptional person

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountains of southwest Turkey and the stunning archeological sites."

Meta

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a really great time. Our guide, Yaren, was excellent and so knowledgeable, friendly, and thoughtful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had some bad weather in Cappadocia, but excellent weather in Hierapolis. It was amazing to see the terraces and explore the site. I also really enjoyed taking a dip in the Mediterranean during our boat tour in Antalya."

Susan

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was able to see a lot of a fascinating and extremely varied country. It was a privilege to have the insight of our exceptional guide, Yaren, who is so passionate about her country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. However, two stand out. The first was the interior of the Blue Mosque. The second was the natural beauty of Antalya. I wasn’t expecting the deep blue water and the snow capped mountains."

Elizabeth Kelene

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We’d never traveled with a guided tour before, and found the experience to be so much deeper and more rich than traveling on our own. Our guide, Yaren, with advanced degrees in both Art History and Archaeology, was a local with a wealth of knowledge, but her passion for education shone through in every experience on our trip. We enjoyed the active pace of our tour and would love to explore other countries in a similar manner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That’s a tough one. Our hotel room built into the rock in Cappadocia was pretty amazing, the terraced houses at Ephesus brought two thousand year old scenes of daily activities to life, and our jump into the chilly springtime water of the Mediterranean is certainly a highlight. I guess the big wow is in the connections made with innkeepers, our bus driver, the imam we visited with, and the lovely woman who invited us to sit in her front room for an hour of Q and A - wonderful, friendly people."

Benjamin

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren was a perfect tour guide. Good balance of activities. Good lodging locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention. But if I’ve to pick one: the boat trip in Antalya, swimming in the Mediterranean with the mountains in the backdrop."

Hilary

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Long bus rides but Yaren imparted so much information on the bus, the time flew by. She is such a knowledgeable archaeologist. The hotels were good, especially in Mustaphapasa. Loved having some down time in Atalya. The optional trip to the Hamam was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting in woman's house in Cappadocia. "

Dorothy

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour ever. After many years of using Rick Steves Books traveling with my partner. I think I started with the BEST Tour - our group and Yaren- BEST. Not only is her country amazing around every curve of the road but she is amazing also and truly brought to life what we were seeing. I was dreading the 6 hours on the bus but and this was a big but for me Yaren shared so much history of Turkey and her personal history that it made the bus ride also an incredible experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, I can’t pick one there was no place that I would not love to return to. Istanbul and Turkey were beyond my wildest dreams."

Ronald

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour director and amazing tour group members

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Openness of our tour director to share her personal story (s)"

Jonathan

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a good time. We enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus and the underground city were really cool. "

Brian

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour and while we’ve visited many European countries on our own having a guide and many special events set up really made this a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to choose just one. One continuing theme throughout this tour was the ability to see and experience Türkiye’s history going back to 5-7000BC. In museums, and at archeological sites, it was just WOW! , I’m standing here or seeing things that were made before and during the times of the Egyptian Pharaohs. "

William

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren, our guide, was fantastic. She was extremely knowledgeable, fun, and ensured that everything ran smoothly. We were also lucky to have a group of adventurous, well seasoned travelers with a great attitude. Both made our tour of Turkey enjoyable and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Given that our hot air balloon ride was canceled 4 times due to weather, we would have to say sightseeing in Istanbul (including the boat ride on the Bosporus Strait), the boat ride and swim in the Mediterranean in Antalya, and the historic archaeological sites towards the end of the tour. Unfortunately, we had very rainy weather in Cappadocia!"

Tim

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

ZzThis is our first tour with Rick steves ,although we have been using his books to plan our trips for years. We appreciated how well organized and efficient the tour was. We could never have seen as much in as short a time. Yaren was an excellent tour guide and would move things around depending on expected weather and crowds to make the experience as nice as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the formations of Capadoccia and Ephesus, especially the terraced houses ,was amazing!"

Virginia

Tour: 04/24/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and only our second group tour ever (the first being a small group of church members in Israel). We don’t think of ourselves as tour people, but we also know the Rick Steves style would be the one for us if we wanted a tour. We were so right! The itinerary, the guides, the activities and accommodations were outstanding! We loved all of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hierapolis was definitely a wow moment for its natural beauty, ancient ruins and swimming in the thermal pool with ancient columns. Of course it was made even better by our guide, Yaren getting us there before the crowds. Jumping in the cold Mediterranean on our boat tour in Antalya was also a wow moment, and not just for the cold! "

Elizabeth

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been back one week and can't stop smiling!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking barefoot through warm pools of terraced travertine in Pamukkale. "

Timothy

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was fabulous- Taylon. Top experiences were the hot air balloon ride, Turkish bath and both Cappadocia and Ephesus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon "

Miguel

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Usual Rick Steves tour, organized, classy, informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Capadocia Ballon ride "

Orilyn

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey was one of our ultimate favourite RS tours, as we enjoyed it for the warm and friendly people, the amazing food, the incredible landscapes, the culture and the history! That’s why we took it for the second time and brought 4 other people with us!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many amazing experiences, but for me, the optional body cruise on the Mediterranean Sea was so spectacular! It helped that the day was warm and sunny !!"

Donald

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 12th RS tour and 2nd time on this tour (2010). The tour quality and content continues in the RS excellence.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pamukkele"

Marlene

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was such a stress free relaxing fun well organized tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus"

Nadia

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour exceeded my expectations overall! There was something in every city and site that I enjoyed. I had no to mininum knowledge on culture, history so I learned a lot. Guide and tour group were so friendly and easy going. As a solo traveler, I felt safe and welcomed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my, there were so many. Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, cruising the Bosphorus, undergroud city, Aspendos Theatre, Antalya Musesum, Turkish bath, Pamukkale thermal pools, all of Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, etc."

Nancy

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! I have such good memories of the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history, the food, the group. LOVED the Turkish bath. "

Carmen

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Taylan was a very competent guide with a great sense of humour. He really looked after his travellers! I loved to experience both east and west worldviews within the country of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Which one? The Turkish bath,the phenomenal mosaics at Ephesus, experiencing the generosity and sharing on the bus, and definitely seeing artifacts that go back to 14000 BC. Getting another museum pass."

Mona

Tour: 04/17/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour after being independent travelers and we were so pleased with the itinerary, activity level and fellow travelers on our Rick Steves Best of Turkey! We learned and experienced so many different things. There was a nice mix of tour activities with enough time on our own. Our tour guide was top notch! We will plan another Rick Steves tour in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly can't name one. The sights and sounds of the call to prayer and the beautiful mosques were unforgettable. Exploring the Greek and Roman ruins, culminating in a trip to Ephesus was another. "

Jennifer

Tour: 04/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was exceptional.He made the trip and his knowledge dedication and sense of fun made it a truely memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia was definately a highlight hard to beat."

Brent

Tour: 04/10/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been following the Rick Steves' guides for years on our own and finally took the guided tour in a country totally unfamiliar to us. The depth of experience provided by the guides was phenomenal covering geology, geography, politics, economics, sociology and never to forget history. WOW!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being serenaded by a Japanese trio harmonizing in the Ephesus Theater."

Corinne

Tour: 04/10/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Amazing ancient history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cave paintings in the Ankara Museum "

Kathy

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great choice of locations and experiences. Our guide Mina was fantastic. I loved the opportunity to meet and speak with local people, including the iman and the older woman in Cappadocia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Turkish Bath. I had some idea of what this would be like, but the experience far exceeded my expectations."

Marta

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This our fifth Rick Steves tour. And as usual no disappointments Very organized, Excellent tour guide. Very good breakfast and good dinners and lunches together. Beautiful country and kind people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia and Ephesus the most memorable moments."

Caroline

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour! Only problem was the rain which of course only God can control. But it would be good to be flexible in scheduling something that could be done indoors such as more shopping in the bazaar or waiting it out in a cafe or going to a museum. Not sure what could have been done differently but it was miserable walking in the pouring down rain & took a couple of days for things to dry out. Umbrellas did not help much with the rain we experienced. Other than that it was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going on the hot air balloon ride! We tried in Cappadocia but were unable to because of wind. Our wonderful guide Mene arranged for us to go on another one in Pulukele it was wonderful, amazing & so cool! Loved it!"

Gail

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing tour, filled with so much history, culture, art and experiences with people. Our tour guide was fantastic, always available and super knowledgeable. We experienced so much that is was a bit overwhelming and is taking time to integrate since our return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many and I really didn't know what I was in for, so there were so many amazing moments. Csppadochia was definitely a highlight, along with the sites in Ephesus. I loved wandering through amazing communities where people lived thousands of years ago."

Louis

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

While Turkey was very eye-opening regarding a new culture, religion, and history, I was somewhat disappointed in the food, truck stops, the number of meals on our own, and a couple of hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The area of Cappadocia and Hot Air Ballooning in Pamukkale."

Anne

Tour: 03/27/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw and learned so much on this terrific tour. Our wonderful guide Mine was amazingly knowledgeable about Turkish art, history, culture, current events. I appreciated her comprehensive background in Christianity and her ability to provide context about Christian influences in early Turkish history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking the cobblestoned streets of Ephesus was my “wow” moment. "

Terry

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I generally don't care for long bus rides, but there really was no other way to cover this much ground. And the bus was very pleasant. Was a bit anxious about long times between stops, but it turned out not to be a problem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh, by far it was the balloon ride. "

Jennifer

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert and Elvan were wonderful. Mert has so much knowledge and was so incredible. Turkey is one of my favorite countries: safe, clean, beautiful, so much history, great food. The tour itself took all the stress out. I loved how Mert gave us our room numbers on the bus, so there was no waiting when we arrived at the hotel. The communication could not have been better, always telling us when and where we needed to be. There is a lot of bus time which leads to little of your own time at the diffe

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been to Cappadocia before and I had done the balloon ride, but it was still a wow moment for me. It is so stunning, beautiful, serene, and truly such an incredible experience."

Joan

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't believe how little I knew about this fascinating, historic, beautiful land. Mert was an amazing guide and I liked visiting all the different parts of the country. As always, great fellow travelers and a variety of local experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Ephesus with 2 hours+ of Mert guiding and explaining the ruins. Then the chance to wander and think of the Biblical and historical importance. Those who stop in for just an hour from a cruise ship miss so much. I also liked the hot air balloon in Capadocia. "

Kate

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Every detail was well thought out. Even when the bus was delayed due to a truck accident during a snowstorm in the Taurus Mountains, our guide found a fun and educational shopping visit selling dried fruits, nuts, and knifes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon trip in Cappadocia was amazing. The first day we were scheduled was cancelled due to inclement weather. The second day more than made up for awakening early to be transported at 5:30 to the takeoff site."

David

Tour: 03/20/23

I really enjoyed the tour. It was so nice not to worry about all of the planning, logistics, museum tickets, tips, etc. However, what I liked the most was the informative and helpful guides. The people on the tour are a nice, self-selected group that I enjoyed traveling with. Some of the hotels could have been nicer. I recommend having a premium tier tour for people that are no longer budget travelers, but still believe in the Rick Steves way of travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My “wow” moment was more of an “ah-ha” moment. Listening to Mert stitch all of the history together about Turkey and the places we visited helped me remember my history and bible lessons from long ago. Also, learning about current history and politics helped me better understand what is going on in Turkey today. BTW: Sitting in the mosque speaking with the imam was a special opportunity."

Elizabeth

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour! Our guide, Mert, was outstanding. I also enjoyed getting Elvan's perspective, as she was also on this tour for training purposes. Turkey is a beautiful country with tons of history, and I really enjoyed learning about modern Turkey as well. Mert covered the old and the new seamlessly. The bus days helped balance out the days with lots of walking. I feel like I covered a lot of ground and learned a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone and their mother is going to say "the hot air balloon ride at Cappadocia" and they are all correct. It's technically optional, but spend the money. Cappadocia was stunning, seeing it at sunrise amidst the most hot air balloons I will ever see was a treat. As an addendum, I loved climbing up the Martyrium at Hieropolis. It was a clear day and the view was absolutely stunning. The stadium at Aphrodisias also had me go "wow" out loud."

Richard

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is outstanding and a highlight of my vacation experience. This trip combines a variety of cultural experiences, outstanding cuisine, amazing natural geographic wonder, history, ancient ruins, unusual experiences we could not book on our own. Also, some wonderful land unique museums and historical sites. This is an active tour, more so than prior Steves tours, less free time and much bus time though; something to keep in mind. I do believe my world outlook has based upon to

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This question is not easy to answer, although the early morning balloon experience viewing the incredible geological feature of Cappadocia, the library facade of Ephesus (might be the most gorgeous ancient structure ever), the sophisticated yet elegant unity and detail of the Suleyman Mosque and the majestic size and splendor of Aphrodisias are standouts. One could easily add others such as the first glance of Cappadocia's amazing cave cities and geographic features, Hierapolis. "

Robin

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The overall experience was good, I liked seeing Istanbul, Antalya, Kusadasi, and Cappdocia region but I thought the quality of the hotels and food wasn't up to my standards. I also thought that there was just way too much time spent travelling. I know the itinerary had this upfront but I just didn't recognize how much of the trip would be consumed with travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Ewa

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first Rick Steves tour and was a bit hesitant about the number of people on the tour (28). It would have been nice to have a smaller number but it seemed to work. The sites, food, people of Turkey couldn’t have been better! Our guides Mert and Elvan were top notch!. Professional yet fun, flexible and extremely knowledgeable about their country and its history! I enjoyed both of them. Overall I had a memorable experience in an incredible country with so much to offer tourists! 👍

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenic and historic Cappadocia region was incredible and being able to glide above it looking down at the lunar like landscape in a hot air balloon was magical!"

Colleen

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was great. I thought our guide Mert was amazing in his knowledge and open sharing of life in Turkey

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Barbara

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mert made the trip special with his knowledge and adaptations to the standard itinerary for a perfect experience. He is outstanding and is the best guide we have ever had on any tour including other Rick Steves or Abercrombie & Kent. Although the tour had long bus rides, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and time for Mert to give "lectures." Turkey was more modern than we expected with fast internet, very good roads, electronic tickets. The tour exceeded my high expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide Mert is definitely a "wow." As for places, Cappadocia was the highlight: hiking among the "fairy-chimney" rock formations with trees in blossom and the balloon ride. The snow-capped mountains with the calcified cliffs in Pamukkale were beautiful. "

Kevin

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience in Turkey blew us away. This was our 9th Rick Steves tour and we had high expectations, but our experience far surpassed them. We are definitely going back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It’s hard to knock off our morning balloon ride over the Cappadocian terrain - bit that first morning call to prayer while the sun rises across the Bosphorus was a really cool moment for me. "

Michael

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I have traveled extensively prior to taking my first RS tour. Given I didn't quite know what to expect, I thought the trip was informative and overall enjoyable. About half of the included lodgings and food selection weren't up to our usual travel standards. With that said, I'm glad I tried it, but I won't be traveling again in this type of tour until I'm ready to give up more control of where I stay and to a lesser degree, the quality of our meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride in Cappodocia was awesome and viewing the many well-preserved ancient ruins."

Nancy

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bosporus boat tour, weapons museum in Palace in Istanbul, Cappodocia mountains, hot air balloon flight in Cappodocia, Ephesus. "

Troy

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a very nice trip overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting historical sites like EPHESUS."

William

Tour: 03/20/23

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met and exceeded my expectations on all counts. This was my third Rick Steves tour and all have been great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had 2 - Baloon ride in Capadoccia and 45minute Q&A with an Imam"

Erik

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kerry

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Mert made it! best guide ever

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Whiring Dirvish"

Joanne

Tour: 10/03/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charlotte

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Deborah

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful way to discover Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloons in Cappadocia!"

Alexandre

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour met and sometimes exceeded my expectations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon flight over Kappadokia"

Elizabeth

Tour: 10/01/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The sites were terrific and our guide was very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus "

Kathleen

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dean

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alice

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Hua

Tour: 09/26/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was wonderful !

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melinda

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michele

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Keri

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single wow moment. Many great experiences."

Tracie

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride"

Scott

Tour: 09/24/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Dee

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th RS tour and it was amazing...great group of people and phenomenal places to visit. Loved the food and a Turkish breakfast was a great way to start the day. The tour is indeed packed with visual treats and we were busy on a daily basis...loved seeing and learning about Turkiye!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there were several...the balloons over Cappadocia will be a forever memory of pure magic and joy! Although I am afraid of heights this never bothered me and loved seeing a hundred balloons aloft! So happy were arrived in the dark to watch the balloons being filled."

Richard

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, maybe Ballon ride in Capadokya"

Joni

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was superior and tour mates were great to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride."

Bruce

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheldon

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride in Cappadocia"

Rod

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turkish Bath & Massage!"

Carol-ann

Tour: 09/19/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Mary

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sharon

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Tour: 09/17/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia for sure"

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

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.