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Turkey Vacations, Tours, Travel Packages & Experiences


  • Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul is a must inclusion on all Turkey vacations.
  • Ottoman Mosque - Istanbul
  • Portrait of a young woman holding a Turkish flag
  • Folklore dancing is popular in Turkey
  • Kocatepe Mosque - Ankara
  • Turkish tea

Our Turkey Vacations

Turkey is a peninsula that links Asia to Europe through the Sea of Marmara and the Straits of Istanbul and Çanakkale. A population of 73,639,596 are spread amongst seven geographical regions: East Anatolia, Central Anatolia, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Southeast Anatolia. The country borders the Black Sea between Bulgaria and Georgia, and the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Syria. The geography of Turkey is characterized by a central plateau that is surrounded by mountain chains to the north, west and south and a rugged mountainous region in the east. The Northern Anatolian Mountains are an uninterrupted chain that runs almost parallel to the Black Sea. This region is home to Turkey’s tallest peak, Mount Ararat which stands at 5,165 m (16,949 ft). Mount Ararat is famous as many people believe that it was the resting place for Noah’s Ark.

Turkey Trip Highlights

Turkey boasts one of the world’s oldest civilizations and is decidedly the crossroads between not only Europe and Asia but also between yesterday and today. It is a country with a vast wealth of history, culture and natural phenomenon. Be prepared for an onslaught of powerful attractions at every turn while on Turkey vacations.

Istanbul

One should start in Istanbul, a fashionable yet immensely historical city with a distinct individual ambience and an abundance of architectural wonders, art galleries, museums, boulevards for strolling or shopping and a wide choice of restaurants, cafes and bars. 

For more information Istanbul Tours click here

Topkapi Palace

This large complex was once was the main residence of the Ottoman sultans. The palace has been extended over the centuries.  You need at least half a day to do it justice to this attraction. It was at the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1923 that Topkapi became a museum. This rectangular-shaped complex consists of 4 main courtyards and several smaller buildings. The complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, however, only the most important are open to the public which includes pavilions, kitchens, barracks, audience chambers and sleeping quarters built around a central enclosure. The museum also includes Ottoman clothing, weapons, armour, miniatures, religious relics and manuscripts. From the palace gardens, there are fantastic panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus.

Blue Mosque

The enormous and imposing Blue Mosque is so-called because of the blue tiles surrounding the walls of the interior. Built in the first part of the 17th Century, it is an active mosque but open to visitors except during daily prayers for half an hour each time. It contains the tomb of the Sultan Ahmet who authorized the construction of the Blue Mosque. The exterior is very photogenic with its domes and six minarets.

Hagia Sophia

Situated next door to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th Century AD as a Christian church and was later turned into a mosque. Today it is a museum. The name Hagia Sophia means Holy Wisdom in Greek. It is also considered a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture with a large central dome. It is said to have "changed the history of architecture" and was the world's largest cathedral for 1000 years until the Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. It took a force of 10,000 workers to build in almost six years.

Chora Church

The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora was a medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church but now is the Chora Museum. In the 16th Century, during the Ottoman era, the church was converted into a mosque eventually becoming a museum in 1948. The interior is covered with some of the oldest and greatest surviving Byzantine mosaics and frescoes which were uncovered and restored once the building became a museum. Most of the interior mosaics depict the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary. On the dome is a stunning depiction of Jesus and his ancestors. A side chapel is decorated with frescoes that deal with the themes of death and resurrection, depicting scenes taken from the Old Testament.

Suleiman Mosque

The Suleiman Mosque in Istanbul is a huge edifice which sits on top of a hill overlooking the city and the Bosphorus. It is not the largest of Istanbul’s mosques but it is, architecturally, the most beautiful you will see on a Turkey vacation. The mosque and its surrounding buildings were designed by the most famous and talented of all of Turkey’s architects and were built in the mid-16th Century. There is an attractive garden with a large fountain which has great views over the city. There are also 4 minarets, all with beautiful balconies. The interior is quite stunning but simple with fine tiles, wonderful stained-glass windows, a spectacular colourful carpet and medallions featuring fine calligraphy. Check out the streets surrounding the mosque with their timbered houses and historic Ottoman buildings.

The Grand Bazaar

One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world is the Grand Bazaar. It is spread out over 61 covered streets with more than 4,000 shops and has been regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world. It employs 26,000 people and is one of the major landmarks in the city. It is open daily except Sundays and holidays.if you look through its doorways, you will discover hidden stores and if you wander down narrow lanes, you can watch artisans at work.

Bosphorus Cruise

The one thing you must do in Istanbul on a Turkey vacation is to take a cruise on the Bosphorus, a stretch of water which separates Europe from Asia. you will sail along both sides and depending on the cruise you take, you can go as far as the Black Sea, 32 kilometres/20 miles away from Istanbul. This cruise takes 90 minutes each way. It is recommended to consider stopping off at one of the small towns along the way, perhaps have lunch in one of the many fish restaurants and then continue later on a boat back to Istanbul.

Ankara

Ataturk Mausoleum

Also known as Anıtkabir, this is an imposing mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, completed in 1953. He died in 1938. Inside is a large collection of Ataturk memorabilia and artefacts. Turks have a large respect for Ataturk and millions visit the mausoleum each year. Anıtkabir means "memorial tomb. It is also the site of the final resting place of İsmet İnonu, the second President of Turkey. In addition to the mausoleum, there are an extensive museum and exhibition rooms displaying Ataturk's state carriages and cars.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a very unusual area which can be described as a wonder of nature with its fantastic landscapes and underground features. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches, Goreme Open-Air Museum, the country’s largest open-air museum and the subterranean refuges are the most famous sights. There are cave houses, fairytale chimneys, underground cities and long deep gorges once used by Christians fleeing Roman soldiers. You can stay in a cave hotel hewn out of rock, or try an early morning hot-air balloon trip to observe this unique landscape from above.

Ephesus

Ephesus is an exceptional archaeological site, once an ancient Greek city built in the 10th Century BC. It was famous for the nearby Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It came under the control of the Roman Empire in 129 BC. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are mentioned in the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John may have been written here. After many destructions and also an earthquake, it is one of the largest Roman archaeological sites you will find on Turkey vacations. The ruins still give you an idea of the city's original splendour. They consist of the theatre which seated 25,000 people, the largest in the ancient world, the Library of Celsus, the agora (marketplace), the Temple of Hadrian, the Odeon, Terrace Houses where the wealthy dwelt during the Roman period and several bath complexes.

Konya

The principal reason for a visit to Konya on a Turkey vacation is to visit the Mevlana Museum, the former lodge of the Whirling Dervishes who were members of a Muslim religious order and who had taken vows of poverty and austerity. Dervishes first appeared in the 12th Century and were known for their wild rituals such as dancing, whirling, or howling. It is one of the largest pilgrimage centres in Turkey and a holy place for Muslims. Inside is Mevlana's Tomb flanked by that of his son Sultan Veled and other eminent dervishes. They are covered in velvet shrouds with gold embroidery. There is a small mosque which contains exhibits which include musical instruments, the original copy of Mevlana's prayer rug and a 9th Century Christian manuscript. There is also a casket containing the strands of Mohammed's beard.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale has hot springs with a very high mineral content which form calcium and limestone pools and cascades. Dripping slowly down the vast mountainside, mineral-rich waters foam and collect in terraces, spilling over cascades of stalactites into milky pools below. Pamukkale means "cotton castle" in Turkish. What you see is a set of unusual calcium cliff bathing pools overlooking the town. These petrified waterfalls are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Nearby is the ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis.

The Beach Resorts of Turkey

A short stay at one of the excellent beach resorts along the Mediterranean or Aegean coastlines makes a wonderful way to end a visit to Turkey. The best-known is Antalya, known as “The Pearl of the Mediterranean” with its endless beaches and golf courses. Belek is Turkey's premier golf resort and has a setting which is spectacular. It has long, golden sandy beaches and a backdrop of mountains. Bodrum is known for its natural beauty, magnificent coves and modern nightlife. Marmaris offers a rich cultural heritage, magnificent surroundings, several modern marinas, many coves along the coast and a natural harbour. Fethiye is one of the best sites for paragliding and water sports as well as having magnificent bays and long sandy beaches. Kusadasi is an ancient port city which offers a mixture of sea, sun and unspoilt beaches. These and other resorts will enhance your Turkey vacation.

Turkey Travel Information

When is the best time to visit Turkey?

Turkey has 7 distinct weather and climatic regions. Istanbul can be cold in winter and very hot in the summer as temperatures can be extreme with a certain amount of humidity. The Mediterranean once again can be very hot and humid in the summer, but is not so cold in the winter. Central Turkey (Ankara, Cappadocia) has the same climate as Istanbul but with less humidity. Overall, spring is the best time to visit Turkey (April to mid-June) when temperatures are moderate. April can be rainy. While this is high season in Istanbul and Cappadocia, it’s considered off-season for the Aegean and Mediterranean coast. Fall (mid-September to October) is also the time for mild weather with some rain in October. Again it is high season in Istanbul and Cappadocia. Temperatures in the Aegean and Mediterranean are mild, creating a shoulder season. In the summer, the Aegean and Mediterranean are in high season whereas high temperatures in Istanbul and Cappadocia ease demand.

What types of tours are available in Turkey?

A stopover package in Istanbul is a must if booking a Turkey tour, as this city is brimming with things to see and do. For anyone wishing to see the highlights of Turkey, Goway offers escorted tours from 10 days to 2 weeks which all include Istanbul. 

For more information on things to do in Turkey click here. 

Travel to Turkey

There are direct non-stop flights from Toronto, New York and Los Angeles to Istanbul.

Transportation within Turkey

Train travel is not a particular developed method of transportation. However, services between Izmir, Istanbul and Ankara are to undergo a major overhaul  with high-speed trains expected by 2023. The most popular mode of transportation is a bus or coach for long-haul trips of more than four hours across the country.  Smaller road trips are served by Dolmus (small mini-buses).In Istanbul, one of the best and safest ways to travel around is to use the streetcar. 

Accommodation in Turkey

Consider staying in a Cave Hotel in Cappadocia  on Turkey tours. Not only are you staying in a cave, but you are surrounded by odd-shaped rock formations that look like something you would see on the moon. Cave hotels are just as comfortable as a standard hotel and maybe even cosier.

 "Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles

For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!

Delightful Istanbul – Two Worlds in One (Part 1)

Delightful Istanbul – Two Worlds in One (Part 2)

Exploring Turkey’s Aegean Coast

10 Reasons why Turkish Airlines is a delight!

 Ten Iconic Sites to See on a Europe Vacation

100 Years Since World War One: Battlefields of Europe

DRINK RECIPE: Turkish Salep

Extend your Stay

Consider an additional stopover to your Turkey vacations at one of Goway's other European destinations. You can choose from a Paris vacation, a London vacation or an Amsterdam vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from Turkey.

 

 

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Turkey

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    Spend 4 days exploring and uncovering Istanbul. This vibrant and modern city incorporates an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture with a past that spans 2,000 years.
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  • Treasures of Turkey

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