Türkiye·October 5 - 12 2023

Turkish Delight

Join us as we explore the many faces of Turkey through İstanbul, Cappadocia and Alaçatı.

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Overview

The crossing point of ancient civilizations; the pinnacle of decorative arts; the home of cave-dwellers and palace builders: Turkey has it all. We’ll explore Istanbul’s cosmopolitan mix of modern arts and ancient architecture, the cave villages of other-worldly Cappadocia, and the sun-kissed beaches of the Aegean. In the treasured family gardens and orchards of Anatolia, we’ll discover how to make luscious delicacies from traditional organic staple foods at the hands of master cooks. Like all Girls' Guide trips, we'll stay in exquisite hotels that express the characteristics of the area. We’ll see how the beauty of nature has inspired the decorative arts that are still part of daily life. We’ll learn from artisans who are taking these centuries-old crafts seamlessly into the present. It's the trip of a lifetime!

Highlights

Lift your heart heavenwards at the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque

Lift your heart heavenwards at the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque

Shop in the Grand Bazaar for exquisite handcrafts and antiques

Shop in the Grand Bazaar for exquisite handcrafts and antiques

Dine like a sultan

Dine like a sultan

Sleep in a Cave Hotel

Sleep in a Cave Hotel

Drift over the world-famous fairy-chimneys of Cappadocia in a hot-air balloon

Drift over the world-famous fairy-chimneys of Cappadocia in a hot-air balloon

Learn hands-on some traditional arts and crafts

Learn hands-on some traditional arts and crafts

Get pampered in a gorgeous design spa

Get pampered in a gorgeous design spa

Sail the sparkling waters of the Aegean

Sail the sparkling waters of the Aegean

Itinerary

Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip

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Istanbul

Day 1: Thursday, October 5th, 2023

Arrive in Istanbul from anywhere in the world. Check into the lovely Bank Hotel in the center of Istanbul’s groovy Karaköy district. Formerly at the heart of the Ottoman financial empire, this old bank was designed by Antoine Tedeschi in 1867, and renovated to create the luxurious space we’ll enjoy for 2 nights.

Meet for a welcome drink in the hotel’s stylish lobby and then head out to dinner and plan the next day’s expedition to the world’s first shopping mall - the Grand Bazaar

Overnight stay in Bank Hotel (İstanbul)

Included

Dinner

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Istanbul

Day 2: Friday, October 6th, 2023

This morning’s sumptuous Turkish breakfast will fill us with energy for a day exploring the heart of ancient Istanbul - Sultanahmet/Fatih districts. We’ll enter the Blue Mosque and marvel at the hand-painted tiles that give its name and replicate the feeling of the open sky, then move on to ancient and magnificent Hagia Sofia, possibly the oldest building you have ever been inside - and certainly among the most magnificent.  

We’ll enjoy a simple lunch of street food on the run in the Grand Bazaar while exploring the vast array of antiques, jewels, shoes, lanterns. Our guide will ensure we find the hidden treasures and the specially desired items we talked about last night - and make sure we don’t get lost among the maze of tiny streets and over 4,000 booths. Nearby we’ll enter the Egyptian Bazaar specializing in spices, sweets, soaps and medicinal teas. After a little rest at the hotel, we’ll board a private boat for an evening sail up the Bosphorus to our dinner in an Ottoman palace.

Overnight Stay at Bank Hotel (İstanbul)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Cappadocia

Day 3: Saturday, October 7th, 2023

Today we’ll focus on the modern side of Istanbul’s arts culture with a visit to the fabulous Istanbul Modern art gallery and the cutting-edge SALT Galata projects. There’s time for a quick photo-shoot at the glamorous Kamondo Stairs. Serious art collectors can take a side trip to a premier dealer gallery if they wish. Then we’ll head to the airport and our flight to Cappadocia.

After checking in at the magnificent Kayakapi Hotel there’s some free time to chill out before dinner in the hotel’s own restaurant and an early night.

Overnight at Kayakapı Hotel (Ürgüp)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Cappadocia

Day 4: Sunday, October 8th, 2023

We wake up before dawn today for our private flight with one of Cappadocia’s premier hot air balloon companies. Nothing beats the gentle sensation of drifting above the fairy-chimneys at sunrise!

Then we’ll spend a playful morning in the kitchen learning to make some classic Turkish dishes. After we eat our lesson for lunch there’s free time for the nap some people need after the early balloon flight or to explore the gorgeous historic village of Ürgüp. We’ll have an independent dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in the town. If any of us would like to learn about Turkish/Oriental carpets in a no-obligation environment, we’ll make a fascinating seminar happen this evening.

Overnight stay at Kayakapı Hotel (Ürgüp)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Not Included

Dinner

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Cappadocia

Day 5: Monday, October 9th, 2023

Today is a nature-focused day - we’ll take a trip to a serene valley garden for some gentle yoga under the balloon flight path, then enjoy a picnic breakfast before heading inside for a demonstration/lesson in the art of oya - the local beaded lacemaking technique. Village women invented the art to decorate the edges of their headscarves, now it’s also used to make charming jewelry with designs inspired by wildflowers. After lunch we’ll head back into nature for a jeep or horseback safari through to a hidden cave church and later a gastronomic twist on the famous mangal (Turkish barbecue) under the stars.

Overnight stay at Kayakapı Hotel (Ürgüp)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Alaçatı

Day 6: Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Today we can sleep in a little, then we’ll check out of the hotel after a final luscious breakfast. This morning we’ll try our hand at the classic Ottoman art of ebru - a form of marbling on paper and textiles, and integral part of the fine calligraphy practiced here since the 13th century.  

We’ll visit Ürgüp’s famous 7-level underground house - a living anthropological museum of the cave-dweller’s life. We’ll eat lunch in the charming Greek village of Mustafapaşa, an architectural treasure, before flying to Izmir and transferring to Alaçatı and our home for the next two days, the simply elegant Gaia hotel. We’ll eat in tonight; their kitchen is superb.

Overnight stay at Gaia Hotel (Alaçatı)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Alaçatı

Day 7: Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

We’re on the exquisite Aegean coast, so of course we must go sailing. Our private yacht will take us out on the warm crystal waters for a day of sailing, swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing, with a picnic at a secluded beach.  

Back in town, we’ll take a short stroll from the Gaia to savor a farewell dinner at Fava and toast our new friendships and beautiful experiences in Turkey.

Overnight stay at Gaia Hotel (Alaçatı)

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Day 8: Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Sadly, it’s time to check out of the Gaia, they will hold our luggage while we pop into a nearby top design spa to put the final polish on our vacation bloom. Then it’s off to the airport for our flight back to Istanbul and a last güle güle (go smiling!)


Included

Breakfast

Not Included

Hammam treatment

You'll Be Staying Here

Bank Hotel

Bank Hotel

The Bank Hotel is located in Karakoy, one of the most prominent neighbourhoods of Istanbul known for it's history.

Kayakapi Hotel

Kayakapi Hotel

Kayakapi Hotel the First Boutique Hotel in Cappadocia: Kayakapi Premium Caves - Cappadocia, the award-winning cave hotel located in a historical neighborhood supported by UNESCO and World Heritage Center. 

Gaia Hotel

Gaia Hotel

GAIA Alaçatı hosts beautiful memories and friendships,and is a home that can always be reached and returned for everyone 

Price

Private Room

Private Room

Everyone gets their own fabulous room!

FROM$8,655.00/pp

Seeing history from the ground and in the clouds.

Turkey

There are countless reasons to visit Turkey – breathtaking scenery,2500 years of fascinating history culture and tradition, intricate architecture, lovely people, and the best shopping in all of Europe, just to name a few! 

Turkey

What's Included

What's Included

Accomodation in standard double rooms

Hotels specified or of similar standard

Transportation in air- conditioned vehicle as per the above itinerary

National guide and trip manager throughout the trip

All breakfast and other meals marked as included

All entry fees and activities as specified on the itinerary ( note the hammam spa is an optional extra)

Meals on your own

Any other services not specified above

Expenses of a personal nature- telephone calls, spa treatments, etc.

Travel and Medical Insurance (required)

Hammam spa treatment

FAQs

You are going to want to fly into the Istanbul Airport (IST).

The trip officially starts on the evening of October 5th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Istanbul you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.

We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.

In general, the weather in Turkey in October is warm and pleasant with a chance of rain. Average temperatures range from around 64° F  in inland Cappadocia to 68° F in Istanbul and Ankara to 77° F in coastal southern Antalya. 

Inquire about this trip

Turkish Delight

Türkiye· October 5 - 12 2023· 7 nights

FROM$8655/pp