Experience the traditional and modern wonders of this fascinating nation on a special expedition
Partly in Europe and partly in Asia, Turkey has been a bridge
and a barrier between the two continents for centuries, a land
scattered with evidence of civilisations such as the Assyrians,
and conquerors, incuding Alexander the Great.
On this exclusive 12-day women-only tour, you'll visit bustling
spice bazaars, ornate mosques and cosmopolitan cities such as
Istanbul, where you'll begin your experience. You will be touring
with our expert travel partner Intrepid Travel, who will ensure you
discover both the ancient and the new through the lives of the
You will meet extraordinary people - from a boat captain to a
businesswomen to a Turkish family - as you learn about tourism, how
to make the perfect traditional coffee and the art of
fortune-telling, and see some of the most beautiful scenery the
region has to offer. A particular highlight will be a visit to a
Syrian refugee social enterprise, where you'll have lunch with
women rebuilding their lives.
Your expedition begins in Istanbul, the metropolis that the Greeks,
Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have previously called home. You'll
spend three days here, with plenty of leisure time to explore the
city for yourself. You'll also meet a local spice merchant, visit a
traditional Turkish delight seller and see the magnificent
Ottoman-built Süleymaniye Mosque that sits high above the natural
harbour of the Golden Horn. There's also a tour of the Grand
Bazaar, a belly dancing class and a women-only hammam.
See authentic Turkey
In addition to the Turkish capital, you'll also visit the
Cappadocia region, where you will tour Göreme's honeycomb of caves,
scooped out of the soft volcanic rock to create churches and
dwellings. In Kekova, you will take a boat to the ruins of a sunken
Lycian city. Your hotel in Antalya is located in the Old City, and
there'll be plenty of time to explore the streets and alleys that
stretch out from Hadrian's Gate. Built in honour of the Roman
emperor, it's the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that
surround the city and harbour.
Meet local women
In suburban Istanbul, you'll meet a mother and daughter in their
home, where you'll sample home-made börek before the women teach
you how to make a cup of Turkish coffee. They'll also demonstrate
the art of fortune-telling from coffee grounds, which has been
passed down between generations. In Ucagiz, a quaint fishing and
farming village, you'll meet Sabahat, who is as comfortable
steering a traditional gulet (boat) as she is embroidering one of
her famous village scarves, which you will learn how to make.
If you don't mind an early start, a hot air balloon ride over the
majestic Cappadocian landscape is recommended. Advise your local
leader in advance if you want to book it, as it needs to be
arranged with a certified operator. The cost will vary depending on
the type of flight chosen.