Trip Overview

Explore the architectural splendor of Istanbul and the natural beauty of the countryside of Turkey with AdventureWomen! 

This 12-day adventure will take you from Istanbul to Ephesus and the Mediterranean Coastline, where you’ll experience the life and culture of modern and ancient Turkey. You’ll meet other incredible individuals on your journey. They will help make your experience a fun and personally fulfilling adventure and will cheer you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone and embrace new challenges!

Welcome to Turkey!

Straddling two continents at the crossroads of East and West, it’s no surprise that Istanbul is a cultural and ethnic melting pot steeped in historical legends that reach back thousands of years. The soaring tips of minarets define the city skyline while below, bustling marketplaces, ancient monuments, and non-stop water traffic are part of Istanbul’s daily scene.

Start your adventure with a walking tour of the famous sites of Istanbul.

From Ephesus to Antalya Old Town

Continue your journey by discovering Mary’s House, a place of historical significance. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its well-preserved ruins. Visit the picturesque Sirince Village, known for its charm and local crafts. Take a moment to visit the Artemision, an ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis.

After diving deeper into history with a visit to the Ephesus Museum, drive to Pamukkale, famous for its stunning travertine terraces and ancient ruins. Marvel at the fascinating natural travertine pools and explore the historical sites in the area.

Embark on a journey to discover the ancient city of Cibyra, exploring its archaeological wonders.

Next, head to the charming coastal town of Kalkan, known for its scenic beauty and relaxing atmosphere. Spend the day in the Kekova area, known for its breathtaking landscapes. Enjoy a private boat tour, immersing yourself in the beauty of the region. Explore the medieval fortress of Simena, adding a touch of history to your coastal adventure.

Continue your adventure with a visit to the historic Antalya Old Town, known for its charming streets and ancient architecture. Enjoy a seaside lunch, savoring the local cuisine with a view.

Cappadocia

Once an active volcanic region, Cappadocia claims a landscape of surreal beauty—where strange and fanciful rock formations, known as the fairy chimneys, rise from the surrounding countryside. Entire underground villages carved out of tuff, soft volcanic stone, are tucked into this region. Once there, explore the underground passageways, chambers, and monasteries that have sheltered thousands of people through the centuries.

This itinerary offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, showcasing some of the best that Turkey has to offer. From ancient ruins to coastal wonders, each day promises a unique and memorable experience.

 

Main Attractions

  • Visit the famous historical sites in Istanbul
  • Explore the ancient cities of Ephesus, Cibyra and Cappadocia
  • Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape of the Kekova area on a private boat tour
  • Enjoy a private cruise along the Bosphorus Straight

What You'll See and Do

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Boat Cruise
  • Boat Cruising
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Local Delicacies
  • Sightseeing
  • UNESCO Site
  • Walking
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

The AdventureWomen itineraries are subject to change depending on the chosen departure date. To view a specific departure itinerary, simply click on the "Browse Detailed Itinerary" button above and select your date.

Day 1

Arrive in Istanbul

Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey (IST) by 1:00PM today.

You’ll be met by your guide at the airport and transferred to your hotel. There will be one group transfer provided (time TBD based on flights). Private transfers at other times can be purchased for an additional fee.

Check into your hotel and relax before dinner tonight.

Enjoy a lively welcome dinner at a local restaurant as you get to know your fellow travelers this evening. Share stories and learn about why everyone is excited to explore the Turkish sites (and sights!).

Dinner

Overnight: Armada Istanbul

Day 2

Istanbul

Today, after breakfast, you’ll visit Hagia Sophia, one of the most extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture. Dating from 537 CE, it is a monument to the golden age of the Byzantine Empire.

Continue to the ancient Hippodrome, where you can still see the arched brick wall and standing monuments that defined this center of Byzantine social life in ancient Constantinople.

The Blue Mosque is officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is an excellent example of Ottoman architecture, featuring a striking combination of domes, semidomes, and slender minarets.

Next is Basilica Cistern, the largest underground cistern of Byzantine Istanbul, which was erected in the 530’s.

Finally, visit the Grand Bazaar, which was built in 1460 and is home to thousands of shops and workshops.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Armada Istanbul

Day 3

Selçuk and Ephesus

Following breakfast, head out to Topkapi Palace, located in the historic district of Istanbul, on the Sarayburnu promontory, and overlooking the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the Sea of Marmara. A historic palace, it served as the primary residence of Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years. The palace complex is an architectural masterpiece, showcasing a mix of Ottoman, Persian, and Islamic architectural styles. Topkapi Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting millions of visitors who come to explore its rich history, architecture, and cultural significance.

Head to the airport where you will board your 75-minute flight to Izmir, the largest city on the Aegean Sea.

Upon arrival, you will be transported to your hotel in Selçuk. Check-in and unwind before dinner.

Enjoy dinner as a group this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kalehan Hotel

Day 4

Selçuk and Ephesus

Explore an ancient cottage on the slopes of the mountains that is believed to be Mary’s last home. The House of the Virgin Mary is a Catholic shrine located in the vicinity of Ephesus.

Next, head to the city of Ephesus, one of the largest and most important cities in the ancient Mediterranean world. Discover its marble-paved avenues, wonderfully preserved homes, temples, theaters, baths, markets, libraries, and gymnasiums, bringing you back to the splendor of the ancient world.

Walk along the stone-paved streets of Sirince Village, which was abandoned by the Greeks during the population exchange of 1923. The settlement is now occupied by Turks who continue the Greek tradition of wine production.

Following lunch and some additional sightseeing, drive back to Selçuk.

Visit Artemision, the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Dating back to the 4th century BC, the remaining columns give you a sense of the magnitude of the original structure.

Return to the hotel after your day of exploration and enjoy dinner with your group.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Kalehan Hotel

Day 5

Ephesus to Pamukkale

Located in Selçuk, the Ephesus Museum is home to an impressive collection of archaeological artifacts unearthed from Ephesus. Diverging from the conventional chronological arrangement, this museum organizes its galleries thematically, featuring exhibits on sculptures, Terrace Houses, coins, and more.

Drive for approximately 2.5 hours to Pamukkale, famous for its natural travertine pools and channels and fascinating ruins.

Check into your hotel before enjoying dinner with the group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Colossae Thermal

Day 6

Kalkan

Today, you will explore the ancient city of Cibyra along with Associate Professor Sukru Ozudogru, who will give an informative talk about the many excavations that are underway in the area. You can try your hand at excavation under the watchful eye of local archaeologists.

Drive for approximately 2 hours to Kalkan, a small town in the Antalya Province of Turkey and beautifully located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Check-in at your hotel. Tonight, dinner is on your own, and you have the flexibility to choose from a diverse selection of local restaurants.

Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Payava Hotel

Day 7

Kekova to Antalya

Following breakfast, leave Kalkan and journey to Ucagýz, where you will explore the enchanting Kekova area by private boat. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscape of small islets, coves, and submerged ruins.

Enjoy a delightful lunch on board.

The tour includes a visit to the medieval fortress of Simena, boasting 5th-Century BC rock tombs and the world’s smallest ancient theater. Explore the legendary Lycian sarcophagi just outside the fortress lining along the ridge. You will also have plenty of opportunities to swim!

Following your tour of the Simena Fortress, engage with a local female ice cream maker in Kekova. She will share insights into her ice cream-making process and gladly respond to any questions you might have.

Proceed with a 95-mile drive to Antalya.

Check-in at your hotel in Antalya. Enjoy dinner with your group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Day 8

Antalya

After breakfast, head out to Antalya Old Town, also known as Kaleiçi, the historic heart of Antalya. It is characterized by narrow winding streets, Ottoman-era architecture, and historical buildings that date back centuries. The area has a unique atmosphere, blending old-world charm with vibrant local life.

Enjoy lunch at a seafront restaurant. Return to the hotel and take advantage of some free time to indulge in swimming and stroll along the seaside in the afternoon.

Have dinner as a group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Day 9

Cappadocia

After breakfast, head to the airport where you will board your 90-minute flight to Cappadocia, a historical region in Turkey.

Upon arriving in Cappadocia, drive for about 90 minutes to Uchisar, a huge outcropping of tufa rock used as a shelter and fortress in old times. View the rock fortress and accompanying conical rocks from below and have lunch in Goreme town.

Explore the Goreme Open Air Museum, a collection of churches and monasteries set amidst the rocky landscape for which this area is famous. Take in the beautiful frescoes and art displayed in the churches that are part of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Drive for about 90 minutes to Pashabag, an old monastic settlement with a unique landscape filled with fairy chimneys. Continue to Devrent, where you will explore the lunar surroundings on foot and take in the interesting rock formations of the area.

Check-in at your hotel in Cappadocia. Enjoy dinner with your group tonight.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: MDC Hotel

Day 10

Cappadocia

There are several ancient underground cities in Cappadocia, and you will have the chance to explore some of the amazing stone architecture that is hidden beneath the ground. Meander through tunnels and see how the ancient people lived within this unique structure.

Head to Avanos, a small town in the Cappadocia region. Avanos has a long history of pottery making, dating back thousands of years. The town’s red clay, sourced from the Kızılırmak River, is ideal for pottery production. Discover numerous pottery shops and witness skilled artisans crafting traditional ceramics. Avanos also has vibrant local markets where you can explore and purchase handmade crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.

Enjoy a delicious lunch at Kizilvadi restaurant, located in the garden of a natural rock-cone house.

Set off on an afternoon hike through Red Valley, another captivating landscape dotted with hidden rock-carved churches. After the hike, make your way to the hotel and check in. Enjoy dinner as a group this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: MDC Hotel

Day 11

Cappadocia to Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll head to the airport for your morning flight back to Istanbul for a final day of exploration in this majestic city.

Visit the Spice Bazaar, dating to the 1600s when it was the last stop for camel caravans traveling the Silk Road from China, India, and Persia. Spices were also brought by ships from Alexandria in Egypt and unloaded from the docks nearby.

In the early evening, you’ll take a private boat trip along the Bosphorus, the natural strait that forms part of the boundary between the Asian and European continents. Along the shores of the Bosphorus are Ottoman villas, old palaces, fortresses, and parks that contribute to the beauty of the strait.

Share stories with your traveling companions about your mutual exploration of Turkey during a celebratory farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Armada Istanbul

 

Day 12

Depart Istanbul

After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home. The group transfer will be provided when most guests depart (exact time to be determined). Private transfers at other times are available for purchase.

Depart Istanbul, Turkey (IST). Safe travels!

Breakfast

 

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Turkey



Arrival and Departure Information

October 17, 2025 Departure:

Arrival: Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey (IST) by 1:00PM on October 17, 2025.

Depart: Depart Istanbul, Turkey (IST) any time on October 28, 2025

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $200-$225 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip. 

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

US Passport holders will need a visa to visit Turkey. We will provide detailed information before your departure on how to obtain your visa.

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Moderate. Our Moderate adventures exercise your mind more than your body and are designed for women who prefer a leisurely, less rigorous experience. For example, you could walk up to 2 miles per day through cities and villages, stand in museums for a few hours, relax on a boat, or view wildlife from a vehicle. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission) to make the most of your adventure. With this itinerary in mind, we have a partnership with Trailblazer Wellness, a woman-owned, women-run company that will design an individualized fitness plan just for you! Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 10% discount with the code AVW. Learn more on the Trailblazer Wellness website.

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Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic, as they may have recommendations for vaccines and medications based on the destination as well as your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Turkey.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800. You can transfer your deposit to another trip with no additional fee if you notify us within 120 days of the original trip departure date. We can hold your deposit for up to six months as a credit. Failure to book a new trip within this timeframe will result in the forfeiture of your deposit.

Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)
  • Supplement Health and Safety Form

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

October 17, 2025: Final Payment Due Date: July 19, 2025

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • One group transfer on arrival and departure
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • All gratuities except for the head guide

Not Included

  • International airfare
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Gratuities for the head guide

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Armada Istanbul

The Armada is a centrally-located hotel that is within walking distance to many of the city's famous sites and has great views of the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia from its rooftop terrace.

Amenities: shower, safe, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Kalehan Hotel

The Kalehan Hotel is a family-owned property that was built in the style of a traditional Ottoman Inn.

Amenities: hair dryer, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Colossae Thermal

Just adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Pamukkale Hierapolis, the Colassae Thermal features a spa and pool.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, hair dryer, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Payava Hotel

Payava Hotel is located in the ancient and charming Greek fishing village, Kalkan. Payava Hotel is a contemporary and refined boutique hotel offering a delightful open buffet breakfast featuring natural, fresh offerings and freshly roasted coffees. Positioned strategically, Payava provides an excellent base for discovering all the attractions the area has to offer. Whether you visit in spring or winter, the heated outdoor pool ensures you can uncover the beauty of Kalkan throughout the year.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, safe, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

Crowne Plaza

Nestled beside the renowned Konyaalti Beach, this property provides a 5-star accommodation experience. Renovated in 2020, the hotel features both indoor and outdoor pools, and a comprehensive spa.

Amenities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, flat-screen TV, minibar, safe, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

MDC Hotel

Located in a historical building in Ürgüp’s Old Town, this cave hotel features panoramic valley views and offers spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs and spa baths. Rooms also have heated marble floors, arched ceilings and stone fireplaces.

Amenities: flat-screen TV, tea/coffee maker, air conditioning, Wi-Fi

 

 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686