Istanbul (Dreamstime)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 20 August

Talking Turkey: 7 extraordinary adventures in the land where east meets west

Turkey is exotic, exciting and currently very affordable. From the aqua-blue waters of the east to the ancient towns of the west, the time to visit is now...

1: Experience the best of Turkey

Whirling dervishes in Istanbul (Dreamstime)

Whirling dervishes in Istanbul (Dreamstime)

Experience the best that Turkey has to offer on this comprehensive tour of the country with G Adventures. It’s a trip that will introduce you to history, beaches, man-made wonders and natural phenomena.

Beginning in Istanbul, you'll explore ancient palaces and mosques before journeying to the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia. From the amazing white cliff waterfalls of Pamukkale to the bustling bazaars and intriguing ruins of the west, you’ll visit Turkey’s hidden gems and encounter its vibrant and welcoming culture.

Trip: Absolute Turkey

Who: G Adventures

When: Departures Mar-Oct

How long: 15 days

How much: From £985 (exc. flights)

2: Cycle through Cappadocia

Cycling in Goreme (KE Adventure Travel)

Cycling in Goreme (KE Adventure Travel)

Cycle between the 'fairy chimneys' of Goreme and explore the wild landscapes of Cappadocia on this off-road mountain biking holiday with KE Adventure Travel.

This breathtaking region of Turkey is perfect for exploring on two wheels. You’ll cycle an excellent single-track bike route through the Ihlara Canyon, explore the underground city of Derinkuyu, and visit the colourful traditional market at Ürgüp. All the time, you’ll be surrounded by one of the most surreal landscapes on the planet. Unforgettable.

Trip: Turkish Delight

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures May-Jun & Sep-Oct

How long: 9 days

How much: From £845 (exc. flights)

3: Eat your way around Turkey

Oriental bazaar in Sanliurfa (Dreamstime)

Oriental bazaar in Sanliurfa (Dreamstime)

Get a real taste of Turkish food and hospitality on this culinary journey through Turkey with Intrepid.

The food in Turkey is steeped in history, and it varies dramatically from region to region. In Istanbul, a local foodie will guide you through the city’s dazzling dishes and colourful food markets. 

In Bodrum you’ll visit a local wine producer, and 'forage and feast' in the local countryside. In Cappadocia, you’ll spend time with a local Goreme family and learn the secrets behind central Anatolian cuisine, getting up-close-and-personal with Turkey's age-old culinary traditions in a hands-on cooking class. New tastes and new skills are guaranteed. 

Trip: Turkey Real Food Adventure

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures Apr-Jun & Sep

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,090 (exc. flights)

4: Climb Turkey’s eastern volcanoes

Mount Ararat (Dreamstime)

Mount Ararat (Dreamstime)

Climb some of the most spectacular peaks in Turkey on this unique trekking trip through the far east of the country with Travel The Unknown.

The trek will take you to the top of Mt Süphan and Mt Ararat, and the crater rim of Lake Nemrut. As well as experiencing some of the most breathtaking scenery in Turkey, you’ll also gain an insight into the lives of people who live in this part of the world – and experience their incredible warmth and hospitality. Cruising across Lake Van to visit the spectacular Armenian church on Akdamar Island and watching the sun set behind the Ishak Pasha Palace are other highlights.

Trip: Turkish Volcano Trek

Who: Travel The Unknown

When: Departures Jun-Sep

How long: 10 days

How much: From £1,595 (exc. flights)

5: Venture to the Black Sea and beyond

Uzungöl, near Trabzon (Dreamstime)

Uzungöl, near Trabzon (Dreamstime)

Encounter a side of Turkey that very few travellers get to experience on this adventure along the Black Sea coast – and through the wilds beyond – with Intrepid.

You will find breath-taking valleys and mountains, tea-covered hills, and crumbling ruins originally built by conquering Greeks, Hellenes and Byzantines. It’s a treasure trove of architectural and cultural wonders that has somehow slipped under the radar, and one where hospitality is all-important. Be prepared to drink a lot of tea and eat a lot of food, including the traditional gravyer cheese.

Trip: Turkey Expedition – Black Sea & Beyond

Who: Intrepid

When: Departures Apr & Sep

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,115 (exc. flights)

6: Walk with the fairies in Cappadocia

Walking in Cappadocia (Dreamstime)

Walking in Cappadocia (Dreamstime)

Pull on your walking boots and get ready for one of the most surreal trekking experiences on the planet on this extraordinary walking holiday in Cappadocia with Exodus.

Formed by the eruptions of three volcanoes – Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Melendiz – the rock formations of Cappadocia create one of the most distinctive landscapes in the world. You’ll explore its most remote corners, meet the people who farm amongst the 'fairy chimneys', and sample their produce in the colourful local markets. At night, a real treat awaits, as you'll sleep in a luxurious cave room carved into the ancient formations.

Trip: Walking In Cappadocia

Who: Exodus

When: Departures Aug-Oct

How long: 8 days

How much: From £629 (exc. flights)

7: Walking and cruising the Lycian Shore

Cruising the Lycian Shore (Peter Sommer Travels)

Cruising the Lycian Shore (Peter Sommer Travels)

Walk through history on the Lycian coast, and sail along its ancient shores on this fascinating archaeological adventure with Peter Sommer Travels.

The Lycian Way is regarded as one of the best walks in the world, following over 540 kilometres of ancient roadways, mule tracks and shepherds’ paths along a remote and untouched coastline. On this cruise you’ll follow some of its very best stretches, chosen for their beauty and interest, averaging about 9 kilometres of walking per day. Your offshore base is a beautiful traditional Turkish gulet, offering elegant transport, delicious dining, and comfortable accommodation throughout the voyage.

Trip: Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore

Who: Peter Sommer Travels

When: Sep

How long: 15 days

How much: From £4,165 (exc. flights)