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

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

Best of Turkey in 13 Days Tour

from $2,395 per person + air

Single Supplement $675

See Dates & Prices

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

Dates & Prices

2022

2023

What's Included

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

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

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

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Turkey come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Istanbul to Kuşadası
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

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

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Turkey

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

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

Day 2: Exploring Istanbul

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

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

Day 3: Topkapı Palace and Ankara

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

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

Day 4: Anatolia and Cappadocia

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

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

Day 5: Ancient Churches of Göreme

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

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

Day 6: Countryside Charms

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

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

Day 7: Mosque Visit and Mevlâna's Konya

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

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

Day 8: Ancient Aspendos

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

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

Day 9: Seaside Antalya

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

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

Day 10: Wonderland of Pamukkale

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

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

Day 11: Ancient Aphrodisias and Kuşadası

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

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

Day 12: Roman City of Ephesus

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

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

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

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

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

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

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

Reviews

Gregory

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jerry

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maria

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fantastic trip. Great experience where east meets west.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Tour: 06/27/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick one"

Joseph

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A rich, profound, tasty, insightful and wonderful experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ana Maria

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful guide, tour mates, hotel accommodations

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cappadocia"

Keith

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Annette

Tour: 06/20/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Larry

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Slavka

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bindu

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chris

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carolyn

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Meeting with the Iman was a previlge and so informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Korin

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Esther

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mina

Tour: 06/13/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Gregory

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jaime

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Beverly

Tour: 06/06/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Nancy

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bruce

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride at Cappadoccia"

Cynthia

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joni

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carla

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kirsten

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jo Ellen

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Thomas

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lynn

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus and the balloons of Cappadocia."

James

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride by far!"

Jerrold

Tour: 05/30/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia."

Catherine

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ellen

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karl

Tour: 05/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kim

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jan

Tour: 05/23/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EXCELLENT guide. Lovely companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Fereshteh

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mostafa Pasha and the landscaping."

John

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Morteza

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karla

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Tour: 05/16/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lara

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Blaine

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun, interesting and educational experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride Cappadoccia"

Charlotte

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robyn

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great exposure to new country and new culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Balloon ride."

Callie

Tour: 05/09/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Felt like I was on a low budget tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the hike in Cappadocia"

Edward

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Philip

Tour: 05/07/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Candice

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Liping

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

n/a

Favorite "WOW" moment

"n/a"

Jim

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bill

Tour: 05/02/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Open spaces at Pamakkule"

James

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shannon

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tom

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Tour: 04/25/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vishakha

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking thru the ruins at Ephesus."

Evan

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kenneth

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jo

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suzann

Tour: 04/18/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was packed with new cultural insights and historic experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus"

Sandy

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Henry

Tour: 04/11/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Manfred

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Raeford

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lori

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Interesting, well planned, very educational and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every Ancient City we visited but especially Aphrodisias."

Nora

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good, very easy to travel with all taken care

Eileen

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Matthew

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Perge!"

Jim

Tour: 03/28/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Qing

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The library at Ephesus."

Lura

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laura

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frances

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The geology of Pamukkale"

Darren

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well thought out tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Catherine

Tour: 03/21/22

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ying

Seaside, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherry

Napa, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Han

Spring, TX

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good places + good guide

Lisa

Mannford, OK

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Yin Ming

Oakland, CA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ken

Annan, ON

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michelle

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Bend, OR

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Annan, ON

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chakyung

Spring, TX

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ataturk's Mausoleum Aspendos Roman Theatre Aphrodisias stadium"

Jennifer

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Suzanne

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 11/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dan

Corte Madera, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Juanita

Corte Madera, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dianne

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jeffrey

Rochester, NY

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sophia

Lethbridge, AB

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Noel

Lowell, MI

Tour: 10/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Illona

Portage La Prairie, MB

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Oakland, CA

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Phyllis

Bayside, NY

Tour: 10/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terry

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

David

Burnley, VIC

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marc

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Yakima, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Denise

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Evelent

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lisa

Auburn, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melodee

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Maxine Joyce

Elmira, ON

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Walter

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sue

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alfred

Borrego Springs, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charlene

Borrego Springs, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Mountlake Terrace, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cave churches of Goreme."

Lori

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

La Selva Beach, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Judy

Yucaipa, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vadim

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chong - Kim

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Olga

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus, Pamukkale cliffs (on my own)"

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 09/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vijay

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robin

New York, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cymvelene

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sally

Longview, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, an informative tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia"

Mike

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Hazar

Ridgefield, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Letitia

Delta, BC

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lina

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Claire

Westfield, NJ

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Srikanth

Westfield, NJ

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margaret

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurie

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Freeman

Eastport, NL

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Catherine

Eastport, NL

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride over Cappadocia."

Alexander

Nashville, TN

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belly dancing at Cappadocia Estates."

Ken

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Roseburg, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Amherst, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Maynard, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Silverton, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Vienna, VA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Raenell

Concord, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melody

Hillsboro, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Les

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fulfilling as to cultural and historical views of Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything"

Cheryl

Carmichaels, PA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jon Michael

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephen

Pittsford, NY

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Harold

Novato, CA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurel

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathy

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nan

Plainfield, IL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joy

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brenda

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darren

Auburn, WA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The complexity of Istanbul."

Wendy

Winter Springs, FL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kimberly

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was everything I wanted it to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Alan

Halifax, NS

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ballooning in Cappadocia."

Paul

Whitewater, WI

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Caitlin

Winter Springs, FL

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mario

Katy, TX

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Definitely the hot air balloon ride."

Joseph

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the hot air balloon over Cappadocia."

Phyllis

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Richmond Hill, ON

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jon

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marta

North Platte, NE

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karla

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kent

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rodney

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marva

Cleveland, OH

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Holden, MA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diane

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Lark

Ashland, OR

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barry

Ashland, OR

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carlos

Roeland Park, KS

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The balloon ride over Cappadocia"

Ruth

Saratoga Springs, NY

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Payton

Mill Valley, CA

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Will

Washington, DC

Tour: 05/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Emily

Boulder, CO

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip through Turkey was simply amazing. Yaren was an extremely excellent guide who shared very interesting historical facts about Turkey as well as fun facts about herself. While we were constantly moving throughout the tour in order to see everything and to keep on schedule, we had enough down time and relaxation time so we didn't feel like we were getting burned out. I highly recommend the best of Turkey tour to anyone who is thinking of traveling to the country.

Nora

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on several Rick Steves tours and the Best of Turkey was my favorite! The pace of the tour was excellent, the hotels nice, the food was delicious. I plan to go back for the Istanbul trip in a couple of years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "wows"!"

Paula

Burien, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best of Turkey surpassed my expectations. First of all, Yaren is the best tour guide I've ever had. She had an amazing wealth of knowledge with her degrees in archaeology and art history. There didn't seem to be a question she didn't know the answer to. She was enthusiastic, fun, caring, and went above and beyond to make sure that everyone's needs were met. Highlights for me were the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, wandering through some of the old parts of Istanbul, and the Bosphorous tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Best moment was sitting in a mosque with an Iman doing a question and answer with our guide Yaren translating. I really felt like we were able to have an open an honest dialogue and asked some questions I've always wondered about the Islamic religion. I left with a much better understanding of Islam and respect for the dedication and wisdom of the Iman."

Keith

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sheila

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of Turkey far exceeded my expectations. I had signed up to take this same tour in 2013 but had to cancel. I still wanted to go to Turkey ever since and finally got the chance. Many people would look at me funny when I said I was going to Turkey: "Is it safe?" they asked. Honestly, I felt much safer in Turkey than in Seattle! Only felt unsafe during taxi rides. Our itinerary was perfect - we got to see the highlights of Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Konya, Antalya, and Kusidoci.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Cappadocia. The hot air balloon ride had been on my "bucket list." We had weather problems for two days so unfortunately only half the tour group could go on the final day. My husband's name was drawn and he graciously let me go instead. (I have the better camera!) The whole time in Cappadocia was magical. The landscape with fairy chimneys, the underground cities, and hidden caves, the history was so fascinating."

Stephanie

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jean

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joan

Cold Spring, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great group of fellow travelers, all were friendly, interesting and prompt. the two 6 hour bus rides were a bit much, though I understand that it was unavoidable. One of the members of our group was a retired opera singer. We were very honored that he sang for us twice at two different Roman theaters. It was a very special treat for the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus and the Open Air Museum."

Thomas

Cold Spring, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great bunch of fellow travelers and guide. There was a lot of bus riding which I guess is unavoidable but the stops for breaks were, I thought, twice as long as they had to be. The museums and sites were good and well handled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Family homes at Ephesus"

David

Plymouth, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Tina

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yaren is a fabulous guide for a terrific tour! My high expectations were exceeded. We had at least three fascinating experiences every day, usually far more. The hotels were nice to beautiful, all well located and quiet. The food was delicious, no doubt from the impressive local markets. Yaren's archeology degrees and experience made each bus trip special as we got mini lectures before visiting sites. Her political perspective was educational and interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The ancient sites. Swimming from the cruise boat in Antalya. The balloon ride in Pamukkale. Cappadocia. Buying rugs. Lunch with Fahriya. Meeting with imam. Breaking fast during Ramadan."

Lawrence

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great venues and range of sights. Excellent tour site venues and timing of visits. Good group of fellow travelers. What really makes a tour magical is the guide. Yaren is conscientious, kind, considerate, knowledgable and passionate about sharing her country with RS tour members. She made the many long bus rides fun with her humor and pleasant demeanor. One of the Top 3 guides we've had after 10 RS tours. A real keeper this one!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus hill city excavation museum. Turkish bath experience. Swimming in the salty Med Sea off our RS chartered boat."

Donna

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Stephanie

Rosemount, MN

Tour: 05/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Paul

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hving Lunch with old lady in the small village in Cappadochia"

Benedicte

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of Turkey was just outstanding. Thanks to our guide Taylan, who shared his knowledge of archeology and history, every day was a new discovery of the Turkish culture, with visits to museums, mosques, churches and archeological sites as well as bazars and food markets. This was my first fully guided tour and I was concerned of having either too many visits per day or not enough time at each site, it turn out perfect, I never felt overwhelmed or rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was many wow moments, but my favorite was Cappadocia and our stay in the village of Mustafapasa, when we had an evening of music and dance by local musicians."

Gordon

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Turkey is more modern than I imagined. When I told friends I was going to visit Turkey they said, "Be careful". I actually felt safer there than many places in the United States. I will recommend this trip to all my friends. Our guide Taylan was wonderful. Through his knowledge of the history of Turkey I learned many new things each and every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of my favorite memories was taking the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia and descending down into the fairy chimneys. Hundreds of balloons taking to the air all at the same time to watch the sun rise. Beautiful!"

Catherine

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was extremely well planned with excellent pacing and movement from one region to the next. In each location, I wanted to stay longer but was very satisfied with the next stop. The group was delightful with ample opportunities to get acquainted but not staged or forced. Taylan was knowledgeable and spoke candidly about his country and the global perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How could you not rate the hot air ballooning in Cappadocia as the "wow" moment? It was absolutely fantastic. The ballooners were fun, competent and provided an enchanting view into the region and the formations."

Behrooz

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great adventure trip, it was well planned and packed with many activities to appeal to our special interests . Tayland peeked our interest with his interesting background information in the bus and prepared us for upcoming events. I have many found memories to look back and relieve from our best Türkiye travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments, each day we had a few, my own wow moments were Archeological museums, Balloon ride in Kapadokya, boat ride and swim in Antalya , hiking in"

John

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great 2-week (wish it had been more!) introduction to Turkey's rich and diverse culture, history, geography, food and people. The beauty of traveling to underappreciated lands like Turkey is that it can erase false impressions and leave the traveler much richer for the experience, as it certainly did in my case. It left me wanting to see more. One will never fully understand the history of Western civilization without understanding Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be hard to top the balloon road over stunning Cappadocia at sunrise but the visits to Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, a local hammam (Turkish bath), Ephesus and the underground city deserve honorable mentions, at least."

Hua

Bedford, TX

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was eye-opening experience. Life has surprises. This was one of the good ones. Thanks

Garreth

Mount Pearl, NL

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very pleasant group of travelers. Tour guide went out of his way to please everyone was very concerned over sick travelers again did everything he could to help out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Turkey the country was much more than expected."

Patricia

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Pasco, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both my wife, Saundra Hill, and I had been to Istanbul before, but this was our first trip into Anatolia, Cappadocia, and the coast. It was eye-opening. This was one of the best travel experiences we have had. And the next time we go to the eastern Mediterranean, it won't be Greece, but Turkey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many: 1. Hagia Sophia was stunning. A true marvel of architecture and engineering. Still standing after nearly 1500 years, and in an earthquake zone. 2. The museum of Anatolian civilization in Ankara. Truly a world-class museum and logically laid out. 3. The hot air balloon ride and swimming in the same pool as Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. Mariable dictu."

Patricia

Cedarburg, WI

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After traveling quite a bit in Europe, I was looking for a different experience & this was the trip to take. Turkey surprised me in so many ways- the ancient history we got to live on this tour in the archeological sites, the beauty of the different geographical areas, & learning about the people & their religion, politics, social customs. I found Turkey to be modern and prosperous. Great trip! Our guide, Mine, was enthusiastic, hard working, fun, knowledgeable, and patient with questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Way more than 1: Cappadocia area was my favorite- town of Mustafapa?a and Lale's hotel, exploring the caves/churches, underground city, hiking, and the balloon ride-but sad to miss sunset due to glitch in being picked up by balloon company. Loved Topkapi Palace, the swim in the Mediterranean, the Turkish Bath, and Ephesus...all the art & architecture of this ancient country."

Galen

Cedarburg, WI

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ephesus- amazing preserved ruins"

Richard

Browning, MT

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent introduction to Turkey. Our guide Mine was a delight. She was full of facts and insights into Turkish culture, history, and life. Our fellow travelers were great. On a less positive note I would have liked a somewhat smaller group, perhaps 15-18 people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just seeing the fabled city of Istanbul/Constantinople/Byzantium. What a place!"

Purnee

Browning, MT

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sites we saw and did such a variety of sites Turkey, it was mind boggling. Tour kept us hopping. We truly did see not only the highlights as promised, but also received a first class history and general education from our wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can I say everything - probably not! I loved Cappadocia of course, but also loved Pamukkale equally as well. Goreme Open Air museum was totally outstanding as well as the Underground City. There were so many Wow moments on this trip to pick one thing is impossible."

Anita

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations !! Didn't expect to see as much of antiquity as we did & loved what we saw. Our guide made the trip extra special - she was enthusiastic & outgoing & also shared her views on her country, which we were very interested to hear.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Topapi Palace & Harem, Underground city of Kaymakli, stop at ancient Silk Road travlers stop, Aphrodisias !, Ephesus !!, Pamukkale (despite crowds)."

Bill

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was awesome and Mine was more than outstanding, she was stupendous. She cared about everybody and, due to either food-related or Norovirus-type complications she also served as a doctor/nurse.....she went well beyond the call of duty taking some or our tour members to the hospital late at night. she was fabulous and it shows that she really enjoys her job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was "wow", but it really was special when Mert, her husband and fellow Rick Steves' tour guide, could join us for our farewell dinner in Kudasi! They are a great couple!"

Joan

Bonaire, GA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rock Steves tour and they have all been outstanding. Everything about the Turkey experience was superb, including the historical sites, the diverse landscapes, the delicious food, the friendliness and hospitality of the Turkish people, the camaraderie of fellow tour members, and the leadership and knowledge of our excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hot air balloon ride over the magical landscape of Cappadocia was a definite wow. Others included the centuries old frescoes in the cave-like churches of Göreme and also the entire Roman city of Ephesus."

Richard

Bonaire, GA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected this tour to be at the edge of my comfort level. It fulfilled that expectation very well. The tour guide was exceptional;well versed in history, geography,politics and culture. The insight into the local lifestyle and a glimpse into the mindset of the Turkish people went a long way towards a better understanding of a 'different' culture. The beautiful landscapes and architecture were spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the landscape and architecture was spectacular I found the Turkish Bath to be the Wow moment. Not to detract from the other aspects of the trip, the bath was,to me, a perfect immersion into the culture and tradition of the country. It was done well in a neighborhood hamam, not a cheesy tourist facility. It felt genuine and sincere."

Xiaotong

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience is outstanding and better than my expectations. Turkey seems a safer place to travel than I thought. In addition to the historical sightseeing. I also like the local stuff like the carpet manufacture and local market place and local food. I like the experience of both history and culture in the RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Haigia Sophia, Cappadocia, carpet manufacture, and all the coast areas."

Sandra

Pittston, ME

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day in Turkey is a wow! The lodging at Cappadocia Estates was a wow moment. So much so that we had to tour each othet's rooms on arrival! The Underground city & ballooning there were amazing too! And the Turkish bath was a surprising & wonderful experience! I'd say "try it" even if it seems out of your comfort zone (as it did many of us who are now afficionados!)"

Scott

El Dorado, AR

Tour: 05/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable. The highlights were cultural encounters (eg. lunch with nice woman, interview with Imam). Not so highlights were unavoidable encounters with tourist crowds at popular sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed it all!"

When To Go & Weather

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

Turkey, Istanbul

Weather Chart

Hotels & Flights

Visa Required

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

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

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

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

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

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

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