Whirling Turkey Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GETA
Trip valid from : 01/01/2014
Trip valid until : 30/06/2015
Trip length : 11
Trip starts in : Istanbul
Trip ends in : Istanbul
Maximum group size : maximum 18


  • Istanbul's Aya Sofya - built by Roman Emperor Justinian
  • Take a bite out of Istanbul
  • The mystic Sufi order known as the 'Whirling Dervishes'
  • Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar - a labyrinth of 4500 stalls
  • The surreal rock formations and valleys of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cappadocia
  • Underground city of Derinkuyu
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed pools and terraces of Pamukkale
  • The First World War history of Gallipoli

Kick off your trip in Istanbul with some Grand Bazaar and Old Town times. Head to Gallipoli then on to Ayvalik for some delicious treats. Next up is ancient Selcuk and Greco-Roman Ephesus, then Pamukkale for healing natural pools, Konya for Whirling Dervishes, and Cappadocia for slightly phallic, lunar-like landscapes. Awkies.Mother Nature was in a good mood the day she created Love Valley in Cappadocia. Sometimes referred to as ‘Turkey’s Undies’, it consists of a bunch of phallic rock structures sprouting up all over the countryside. You could say there’s a stiff breeze in the air. 




We've found accommodation right near the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market (so you won't have to lug your treasures very far). Convenient, no?Day 1Arrive in Istanbul and perhaps visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice MarketMeet the tour guide and fellow travel companions at an evening welcome meetingHead out on an optional group dinner, a good introduction to some fabulous Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafeDay 2Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the iconic Blue Mosque and the HippodromeExplore under your own steam in the afternoonPerhaps barter for a bargain, enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus or indulge in a traditional hamam (Turkish bath)


Gallipoli - Eceabat

No jokes about Gallipoli. If you choose to take the optional trip to Troy, however, you're free to remember Brad Pitt's terrible accent in the movie and laugh yourself silly.Take a bus to the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New ZealandersCross the Dardanelles by ferry to accommodation in Çanakkale



We suggest you devote this day to finding the best burek of the trip. Or the best kebab. Or the best baklava. Maybe just devote this day entirely to food. Your local guide can help.Drive to AyvalikOptional excursion to Troy, where you can explore the ancient ruinsTake an orientation tour of Ayvalik and view its Greco-Ottoman houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes


Ephesus - Selcuk

Ephesus is the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. Antony and Cleopatra lived here for a while, as did the Virgin Mary. These days it would be known as something of a hotspot.Take a local bus to SelçukExplore nearby Ephesus - perhaps the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world (optional)Walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the restored Library of Celsus



This place is so pretty Walt Disney would be jealous he didn't invent it. Apparently the thermal waters can cure asthma, but bring your inhaler just in case.Set off on a morning orientation tour around Selçuk, a town full of historyTravel to Pamukkale with its natural pools, shelves and ridgesPerhaps explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures



Konya is home to the famous Whirling Dervishes. Please note that most of the whirling takes place behind closed doors. You won't see people spinning randomly on the street.Catch a bus to Konya, a town that dates back to Roman timesSeize the chance to visit Mevlana's Mausoleum and the museum housing manuscripts of his works (optional)



Explore Cappadocia, the lunar-like landscape in the interior of the country. Moon boots optional.Day 8Visit the underground city of Derinkuyu – a marvel that descends 60m below the surface (optional)Day 9Drive to the top of the trail at the beginning of the Akvadi (White Valley)Walk amongst fruit gardens and vineyardsTake in Uçhisar and visit the village and high viewpoint known as The Fortress (optional)Take a stroll in Pigeon Valley before heading back to GöremeEnjoy free time to experience Göreme’s nightlifePerhaps attend a traditional Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance (optional)


Cappadocia - Istanbul

Jess said her favourite part of Istanbul was the Basilica Cistern. After the initial shock of discovering it's not a giant toilet, she described it as "...amazing, creepy, Medusa head, fishy, haunting, lovely". Jess has a way with words.Day 10Spend a free day exploring the Cappadocia regionPerhaps stop by the Göreme Open Air Museum - always worth a visit (optional)Farewell Cappadocia and make the long journey by overnight bus back to IstanbulDay 11The trip ends on arrival in Istanbul (between 7am and 8am), but there are plenty more kebabs to be eaten if you're thinking of sticking around a bit longer


While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.



Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.


Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

 This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures


Local leader, accommodation and transport, entrance fees for Ephesus and Derinkuyu only.


International flights, arrival & departure transfers, departure taxes, visas, travel insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary), drinks, optional additional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature. Entrance fees except for Ephesus and Derinkuyu.


9 breakfasts


Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.


The local payment is the final part of your overall tour cost. It MUST be paid in cash, in the currency indicated, to your tour leader at the start of your trip. Having a local payment helps us to pass cost savings on to you. Please note that the Local Payment is non-refundable.


Special Anzac Day departureThe 23 Apr 2014 departure ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 2 will be spent sleeping under the stars in Anzac Cove instead of a hotel in Istanbul.

Entrance Fees

Entrance fees are not included in the tour cost, except for Ephesus and Derinkuyu.

Affordable Adventures


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