World Journeys Countries

With one foot in Asia and the other in Europe, Turkey holds a unique place in history. From Achilles to Alexander the Great, empires have founded and fallen here leaving a complex and fascinating trail through time. Visit atmospheric marketplaces in Istanbul, truly unique landscapes in Cappadocia and Pamukkale, wander streets rutted by ancient chariot wheels at Ephesus and reflect on our own history at Gallipoli.

Istanbul
Located on both sides of the Bosphorus this incredible city spans across both Europe and Asia. There is a huge to amount to explore and we highly recommend spending at least three nights to see the main highlights including the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque and the famous Grand Bazaar.

Gallipoli
Located in northwest Turkey, and known for the battlefields and the Anzac Commemorative Site.  Visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair – a must for any kiwi visiting Turkey.

Ephesus
Ephesus is among the best-preserved classical cities in the world, and the perfect place to get a feel for life in Roman times. One of the greatest historical sites in the world featuring the Celsius Library, Marble Street and the amphitheater that could seat 24,000 people.

Cappadocia
Explore the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys and  fascinating rock formations. Take your experience to the next level by staying at one of the famous ‘cave’ hotels. Cappadocia is also one of the best places in the world to enjoy a hot air balloon ride.

Pamukkale
One of the most incredible landscapes in the world famous for natural limestone formations, mineral rich waters and historical spa city. Founded in 190BC,  the ruins are now well preserved.

Spring (April to May) and Autumn (September to October) are optimum times for sightseeing in Istanbul and along the coast. Summers can be very hot and are more suited for lying on the beach than any form of serious sightseeing.

Turkey is great for lovers of history. For 1000 years from the 4th century on, Constantinople (Istanbul) was the most important city in the world. The beautiful St Sophia is a great place to start your tour of Istanbul.  Wander next through the nearby Grand Bazaar with its 1000’s of shops selling all manner of goods including spices. The Ottoman treasures in the Topkapi Palace and the fabulous view from there across the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, which divides both the Asian and European continents and Istanbul alike, are a must see.

Four hours drive from Istanbul is Gallipoli. I always find myself moved as the hundreds of simple graves, each with a silver fern engraved, stretch into the distance before you; below is ANZAC Cove. Here, the fruitlessness of war is obvious and overwhelming. For the Turks, Gallipoli was a great victory although their troops were devastated as well, but the Turkish people make New Zealanders genuinely welcome as they consider the Kiwis that fought at Gallipoli were incredibly brave. Our countries have a common bond – at least something good came from this terrible campaign.

It’s great to enjoy a few days on a gulet, one of the traditional sailing yachts that ply the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Sail during the day, swim from the boat and call into small ports along the way enjoying time to explore and eat in the local cafes. Brilliant! The Greeks and the Romans have left some marvellous ruins in their wake including Ephesus where you may walk ancient streets rutted by chariot wheels and admire the beautiful Library of Celsius.

A total contrast is beautiful Cappadocia in Central Turkey with its amazing geological formations. Stay in one of the traditional “cave” hotels, hewn from the rock and originally home to an earlier culture.

Turkey a tremendous destination. I can’t wait to get back there again!

Chris Lyons, Director

Currency Turkish Lira

Language Turkish with English widely spoken

Why we love it With the extraordinary landscapes and underground cities of Cappadocia, the unique and fascinating Cotton Castles of Pamukkale, glorious beaches, history encapsulated at Ephesus and the poignant memories of Gallipoli combined with the life and energy of Istanbul, what is not to love about Turkey?!

Weather Following the Mediterranean climate, Turkey is best visited in Spring (March – April) and Autumn (Sept – Nov). Winters can be very bitter and mid summer stifling.

Social customs & quirks When meeting shake hands firmly. Friends and relations would greet each other with either one or two kisses on the cheek. Elders are always respected by kissing their right hand then placing the forehead onto the hand. When entering a room, if you are not automatically met by someone, greet the most elderly or most senior first. At social occasions greet the person closest to you then work your way around the room or table anti-clockwise. If invited into someone’s home, a small gift of pastries or baklava is always well received.

Festivals & events There are over 100 festivals in Turkey so there is always a good chance you will come across one during your travels. Along with various food, music and cultural festivals, the most important religious festivals on the calendar are:
Seker Bayrami, or Festival of Sugar, a 3-day national festival marking the end of the Moslem holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan). Also Kurban Bayrami, the most important religious holiday, commemorating the near sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham. God spared the child, allowing a lamb to be sacrificed instead. Throughout the country, those who can afford it sacrifice an animal in memory of this event and reserve a portion of the meat for the needy.

Travel to Turkey from Australia may require a visa – to check current requirements go to https://visalink.com.au/visa-quick-check

Health* Currently no compulsory health requirements to enter Turkey.

Notes *Please be aware that Health information is subject to change at any time and you should always double check these requirements at the time of booking and before travel.

4 results found

Sort by

Cruising the Turkish Coast
Price from$9,195 SELECT

Europe 8 Days / 7 Nights
Gulet Cruise

Charter a gulet for an incredible week (or two) exploring the Turkish Coast. Choose some highlights in advance or let your captain choose the...

Silversea - Athens to Athens

Silversea - Athens to Athens

Price from$10,530 SELECT

Europe,Middle East 12 Days / 11 Nights
Luxury cruising with Silversea

Book by 30 Sept 2021 to save 10% on voyages from Jan 2022 onward.

Underscored by thousands of years of history, the eastern Mediterranean is a cradle of culture and tradition. Bathe in civilisations past as you visit...

The Cradle of Civilization

Europe 10 Days / 9 Nights

An eclectic journey through time and place will take you from ancient Byzantium and the lives of the Ottoman sultans to the troglodyte lifestyles...

Treasures of Turkey
Price from$4,790 SELECT

Europe 9 Days / 8 Nights
Small group tour

Journey from Istanbul to Cappadocia, exploring the sights and tastes of Turkey. From bustling cities with intricate palaces and grand bazaars, to the rich...