Turkey is so incredible that a single continent couldn’t contain it. Europe’s got Istanbul—full of thriving markets, stunning mosques, and traditional spas. Over in Asia? Turquoise beaches on the Riviera and out-of-this-world landscapes in Cappadocia. On a trip to Turkey, you’ll see it all—and then some.
Traveler photos from Turkey
Trip of a lifetime
“Deciding to go on the Grand Tour of Turkey was one of the best decisions I've ever made…So much is packed into this trip so you'll never be bored…From the cityscape of Instanbul, to the Star-Wars scenery of Cappadocia ,to the thermal pools of Pamukkale, every single location is just as awesome as the last.”
– Lindsay, traveled on Grand Tour of Turkey Jul. 2022
The most beautiful place I’ve ever been
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group and itinerary. Every place we visited was truly beautiful and awe-inspiring. From the mosques and kebab shops of Istanbul to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the many ruins of Pegamon and Ephesus, the entire country is filled with beautiful sites, kind people, and amazing food.”
– Sarah, traveled on Grand Tour of Turkey May 2022
What do we do? What don’t we do?
Know before you go
Though more common in touristy areas, English isn't widely spoken throughout Turkey. Even if you can get by without it, it's fun and helpful to try your hand at the local language, Turkish! Here are just a few key phrases to get you started:
- Hello: Merhaba (Mehr-hah-bah)
- Goodbye: Hoşçakal (Hosh-cha-kal)
- Please: Lutfen (Lewt–fehn)
- Thank you: Teşekkür ederim (Teh-sheik-kewr eh-deh-reem)
- Yes: Evet (Ev-et)
- No: Hayir (Hi-er)
Prepare yourself for the electric vibes of Istanbul, the magical landscapes of olive groves, ancient ruins, and mysterious rock formations, and the best cuisine you’ll ever taste. Read on to learn more about Turkish culture and see specific tips to help you make the most of your trip.
- Turkey is a very diverse country. Bring both conservative clothes for when you notice a change in culture and don’t want to stand out, and your more “summery” clothes for parts of Turkey where you feel more comfortable.
- Locals may be quick to ask you about sensitive topics, such as politics. This isn't considered rude, it simply shows interest.
- It can be considered rude to have your hands on your hips or in your pockets when talking to others.
- The idea of personal space may be much closer than you're used to.
- If entering a mosque, you will most likely be expected to remove your shoes, women will be expected to cover their hair, and knees and shoulders should be covered.
- Public displays of affection are frowned upon.
- Stray cats and dogs are very common throughout the country. While they're generally friendly and taken care of by locals, be cautious.
- Haggling is the norm in markets. Remember not to show too much interest and that buying multiple items from the same place can get you a better deal.
In Turkey, breakfast typically consists of sourdough bread with sheep’s cheese and olives, as well as jam or honey. A midday meal or dinner often starts with a meze, which is a plate of varied appetizers like cheese pastry rolls, pickled vegetables, and potato fritters. The national drink is tea, but don't miss out on the strong and rich Turkish coffee! You’ll sample a variety of local dishes on this trip, but read on for more tips when dining in Turkey, and delicacies you must try:
- Turkish Delight: Sorry, we had to. But this is something you can’t leave Turkey without trying. This sweet treat is a combination of chopped dates, pistachios, walnuts/hazelnuts, and more.
- Kebab: Typically the kebab is thinly sliced lamb served with warm tomato sauce, and traditional bread.
- Mezze: Mezze is a group of small plates usually served with drinks before a meal… Like happy hour apps, but better. Way better. Expect hummus, rice-stuffed vine leaves, meatballs, cheese, and more.
- Baklava: Another sweet treat, this is layers of flaky pastry with chopped nuts and sweet syrup to hold it all together
- Shish Kebab: A Turkish classic! Shish Kebab is usually chicken, beef or lamb grilled and served on a skewer with a side of rice, salad or fries.
- Tea (çay): Tea is a very important part of Turkish culture and hospitality. Most locals drink it black, but apple tea is a popular choice as well!
- Corn on the cob: You’ll find this smoked, steamy treat served along many of the streets you walk in Turkey. Just keep your floss handy
- Karniyarik: Also known as stuffed eggplant, this is great for a filling meal. The eggplant is warm and stuffed with ground meat, onion, black pepper, tomatoes, and parsely.
We plan it all. And then some.
Our group trips to Turkey come with everything included. That’s accommodations, flights (unless you wanna book your own), activities, and an expert Tour Director who knows the best kebab spot in all of Istanbul.
Round-trip flights & airport transfers (or book ’em yourself)