Turkey

Turkish Odyssey

*SAFETY UPDATE* We've taken the unfortunate decision to suspend all of our current operations in Turkey as we feel it would be irresponsible of us to continue to run our boutique tours in such a climate of unrest. This has not been an easy decision for us to make and our thoughts are with our friends and suppliers in Turkey. We are hoping to resume operations there soon, so watch this space. In the meantime, check out some of our other soul-satisfying destinations, or contact us if you have any questions about travelling to Turkey.

 

AUTHENTIC TOURS OF TURKEY

Our classic small group tours of Turkey will take you on an epic journey encompassing all that this extraordinary country has to offer. Our small group tours begin in Istanbul, a city that straddles two continents and is truly where east-meets-west enjoy the wealth of cultural influences that have shaped this region as we journey to the ancient city of Ephesus, cruise the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and feast like Ottoman Sultans at a table laden with culinary delights. You will have a truly unique experience that offers the very best of Turkey.

Gypsian Boutique Tours have been creating unforgettable travel experiences in Turkey. Our tour guides are all extremely familiar with the turkish region and have visited this incredible destination on countless occasions. Our passion for travel and tourism and desire to share truly unique experiences really comes across when delivering our small group tours. We will combine all of our experience and passion to help bring you a sensational group tour of Turkey.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Istanbul

Our group tour commences this evening in the vibrant city of Istanbul with its' backdrop of minarets and domes. After our welcome meeting there is the opportunity to sample Turkey's famous Ottoman fare. A great start to a fantastic tour of Turkey.

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Day 2: Istanbul

This city is a treasure trove filled with attractions to discover. Today a city tour taking in the Blue Mosque with its six minarets, cascading domes and blue-tiled interior. After lunch the imposing Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Empire for centuries with impressive views over the Bosphorus.

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Day 3: Istanbul

With so much to see in Istanbul we are going to spend another full day exploring this fascinating city. We'll start with a visit to Aya Sofia, Byzantium's magnificent dedication to the new religion of the empire. Though originally built as a Basilica, it was later converted to a mosque and is now a museum, the perfect mixture of Ottoman and Byzantine culture under a single cupola. After lunch we'll visit Dolmabahce Palace, home to the last five Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and an homage to European architecture. Tonight there's the option to dine at one of Istanbul's finest restaurants.

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Day 4: Istanbul - Bursa

An early start this morning as we catch our high speed ferry across the sea of Marmara to the original capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa. Nicknamed the "Green City", Bursa lives up to its' name with parks and gardens at every turn. After our morning walking tour, why not shop for silk scarves in the beautiful old silk market before enjoying a traditional Turkish bath at the healing thermal springs. This evening we'll feast on a delicious local specialty - Iskender Kebap, before having the privilege of watching a Whirling Dervish ceremony at a local Dervish lodge.

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Day 5: Bursa - Canakkale

As memorable to Turks as it is to Australians Gallipoli saw the birth of two nations emerge from the ashes of World War 1. An emotional afternoon as we tour the battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula.

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Day 6: Canakkale - Selcuk

Making our way down the coast today our first stop is the ancient city of Troy. Originally made famous in Homer's "Iliad" and immortalized on film by Brad Pitt, the site of Troy dates back over 5000 years. Later we catch our first glimpse of the Aegean before stopping in the resort town of Ayvalik for lunch. This afternoon we will visit the ruins of Pergamon with one of the steepest theatres in the region. Overnight Selcuk.

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Day 7: Selcuk - Sirince - Ephesus - Selcuk

Offering some of the finest ruins in the Mediterranean Ephesus needs no introduction. Before visiting this wonderful city there's the opportunity for some local wine tasting and a delicious lunch in the once Greek village of Sirince. Getting up and close to the local cultures and people is when you will see the true benefit of our small group tours of Turkey.

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Day 8: Selcuk - Pamukkale - Fethiye

A visit today to the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale. This natural phenomena formed by the calcium-rich cascading waters of the thermal springs is a truly spectacular sight! There is also the opportunity to visit the ancient necropolis of Heiropolis. After lunch we will drive to the costal town of Fethiye where we will enjoy a fresh feast at the local fish markets

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Day 9: Fethiye

After breakfast we will board our Gulet, a traditional Turkish sailboat and enjoy the day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful waters of the Turkish Mediterranean before heading back to Fethiye for dinner.

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Day 10: Fethiye - Antalya

This morning we make our way along the stunning Mediterranean coastline to Antalya, often described as the Turkish Riviera, but first we will stop at the eerily abandoned village of Kayakoy, once home to part of Turkey’s sizeable Greek population but now little more than a ‘ghost village’. Tonight we will dine on fresh seafood whilst watching the sunset over the Mediterranean.

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Day 11: Antalya

If you really feel the need to stretch you legs today you’ll relish the opportunity to visit Termessos, an ancient Greek city with, in our opinion, the most spectacular ancient theatre in the region. This afternoon sit back and soak up our last views over the Mediterranean before we head inland tomorrow to the plains of Central Anatolia.

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Day 12: Antalya - Cappadocia

A full day on the bus today as we make our way from the coast through the Taurus mountains and across the plains of Central Anatolia. With scenery this stunning you certainly won’t be bored! This afternoon we will visit Sultanhani Caravanserai one of the stops on the old Silk Road, before arriving into the delightful town of Ortahisar, right in the heart of Cappadocia. Ortahisar is a traditional village with only a small number of very special boutique hotels. Whilst some villages in the region have, unfortunately, surrendered completely to tourism, Ortahisar is an authentic gem right in the heart of this spectacular region.

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Day 13: Cappadocia

The option this morning is to start your day with the best view in town – in a hot air balloon drifting over the surreal lunar landscape of Cappadocia! After breakfast we will head to one of Cappadocia’s underground cities which was originally constructed by the Hittites but subsequently used by Christians who were being persecuted by the Romans. From here we’ll visit Soganli, a little-visted open air museum with an impressive collection of churches carved out of the soft volcanic rock. This evening perhaps enjoy the chance to sample a local specialty – testi kebab – slow cooked meat or vegetables baked in a clay pot.

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Day 14: Cappadocia

Our second full day in Cappadocia, today we will find out more about Turkey’s most
famous pieces of art: their carpets! This is an excellent opportunity to learn a little bit more about what’s under your feet from an expert who has been collecting pieces for more than 25 years. If you’re keen, an optional visit to Goreme’s Open Air Museum with its’ astounding churches covered in beautiful frescoes. This afternoon we have a unique opportunity to sample some of the most delicious, home-cooked fare you’ll taste all trip whilst overlooking the marshmallow rock formations and fairy chimneys. After lunch there’s the opportunity to explore these surrounding valleys either on foot or on horseback.

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Day 15: Cappadocia - Safronbolu

Today we bid goodbye to Ortahisar and it’s fairy chimneys and head towards the Black Sea region and the 19th century town of Safranbolu. This evening there’s the chance to sample delicious lokum (Turkish Delight) as we wonder the cobbled streets of this charming town before we head back to the converted Ottoman Man-sion that is our home for the next two nights.

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Day 16: Safronbolu

Located in a valley, the UNESCO Heritage Listed town of Safranbolu is truly a hidden gem. The old town itself is full of 19th century Ottoman mansions, several of which have been maintained to give us a glimpse of life during that time. It is also one of the best places on the trip to do your souvenir shopping as the narrow streets are lined with vendors selling everything from wooden puzzles to handmade shoes!

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Day 17: Safronbolu - Istanbul

An early breakfast this morning before our drive back to arguably the most beautiful city in the world, Istanbul. Tonight we enjoy a banquet fit for an Ottoman Sultan.

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Day 18: Istanbul

Today we say farewell to new friends as our tour concludes after breakfast

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