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, Ottomans, Romans
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 local women.

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.

Cosmopolitan Istanbul
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.

Additional activities
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.

To read more about this trip:
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Reasons to book

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Price includes

  • 10 nights' accommodation

  • Internal transfers

  • 11 breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners

  • Spend an afternoon with female Syrian refugees
  • Make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee at a family home in Istanbul
  • Spend a day at sea with a female skipper
  • Enjoy a traditional meal in a Cappadocian cave home, cooked by a local woman
  • Take part in Gold Day in Eskişehir
  • Relax in an Ottoman-style hammam

Please note international flights are not included and must be arranged separately.

Availability

From
Sun, Sun, Apr 12, 2020
To
Sun, Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Duration
12 days
Price per person
£876*
* From price based on two sharing and inclusive of 15% discount (new bookings only), made through Tripsmiths and confirmed between 21 Oct 2019 and 31 Aug 2020, for travel before 20 Oct 2020 (excludes travel between 15 Dec 2019 and 15 Jan 2020). Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Single supplement available. Prices, itineraries and inclusions subject to change without notice. For standard booking conditions, see intrepidtravel.com. To claim offer, quote discount code 67608
Call now to book 08444174767
Quote ref: RED TURKEY WOMEN
Got any questions about this trip? Send us an enquiry

Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Arrive in Istanbul
    Istanbul, Turkey

    Merhaba! Welcome to Turkey. This women's only expedition kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have previously all called home.

    Your welcome meeting commences at 6pm at your hotel, so make sure you have all your important documents ready to give to your leader. Until then, you're free to go out and explore some of Istanbul's iconic sites like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (commonly known as the Blue Mosque).

    After your welcome meeting, head out to enjoy an optional dinner together and get to know your group and local leader. Life in this part of Istanbul is very cosmopolitan with women of all demographics going out with friends for raki and mezze or coffee.

  2. Day
    2
    Explore Istanbul
    Istanbul, Turkey

    This morning head to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market, to meet a local spice merchant and learn about Turkey's best spice blends. You'll also get to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to a traditional Turkish Delight merchant.

    Next, you'll visit the magnificent Ottoman-built Suleymaniye Cami (Suleymanie Mosque), which sits high above the natural harbour of the Golden Horn. From here you'll explore the Grand Bazaar with some opportunities for shopping for local wares at this bustling hub.

    After a break and light lunch, you'll jump on the tram and head to suburban Istanbul to meet a local mother and daughter in their home. Here you'll sample some homemade borek before the women teach you how to make the best cup of Turkish coffee. They'll also demonstrate the traditionally female art of fortune-telling from coffee grounds, which is passed down between generations in Anatolian culture.

    The evil eye is a very common talisman in this part of the world used to protect us from the envy of others, but what happens if we did not have our evil eye? find out how we break these curses using the ancient process of Kursan. For generations, Turkish women have used this method to remove this bad luck from their homes and their families.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  3. Day
    3
    Lunch with Syrian women
    Istanbul, Turkey

    This morning it's time to prove your hips don't lie, with a female only class in the art of ciftetelli, Turkish belly dancing. Ciftetelli goes by many names but is a traditional part of Turkish weddings for both men and women.

    After class, you'll get a tram to an area of the city that has become home to many displaced Syrians. Zeytin Agci (The Olive Tree of Istanbul) is the community centre of Small Projects Istanbul. Here you'll meet with local Syrian women who run a small social enterprise called Drop Earrings Not Bombs, where they handmake earrings. Join the women for lunch, learn about their stories and make your own pair of earrings, before enjoying a free evening.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  4. Day
    4
    Kaş
    Kas, Turkey

    This morning you'll take a one-hour flight to Dalaman on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and then make a two and a half hour journey to Kaş. With its postcard-perfect harbour, bougainvilleas and whitewashed walls, it's one the most picturesque destinations on the Mediterranean coast.

    On arrival, take a walk around the town centre or maybe go swimming before a relaxing sunset yoga class. You may wish to join in on an optional dinner at Mamma's Kitchen - a mother and daughter run restaurant that is famous in Kaş for recipes like 'Mamma's pastry'. If you feel like a walk after dinner, the local handicraft market is open till late and there are some spectacular pieces to choose from.

    Meals - Breakfast
  5. Day
    5
    Kekova
    Kekova, Turkey

    This morning you'll transfer to Ucagiz, a short 45 minutes by van. Declared off-limits to developers, Ucagiz is a quaint fishing and farming coastal village amid islands and peninsulas. Here you'll meet Sabahat a local fisherman's wife, who is as comfortable steering a traditional gulet (boat) as she is cooking a Turkish feast or embroidering one of her famous village scarves - which you will learn how to make.

    After a homemade lunch, Sabahat will take you by boat to visit the ruins of an ancient sunken Lycian city on the northern side of the island. There's also plenty of opportunities to swim in the crystal turquoise waters, before heading to your simple homestay accommodation.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Day
    6
    Antalya
    Antalya, Turkey

    After an early breakfast, we'll board a local bus and head to Antalya, often considered a highlight of the Turkish Mediterranean. Your hotel 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 Hadrian, it's the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that surround the city and harbor.

    Weather permitting, you can head to the local women's only beach, Sauisu. Here you'll find a day spa, complete with a traditional Turkish hamam as well as beauticians, boutiques and cafes all exclusively for women.

    Alternatively, spend the afternoon exploring more of the winding streets and hidden cafes of the Old City.

    Meals - Breakfast
  7. Day
    7
    Cappadocia
    Cappadocia, Turkey

    Transfer to Antalya airport this morning for a mid-morning flight to Kayseri, located in the Cappadocia region. From here you'll take a one-hour drive to Goreme, the most recognisable part of Cappadocia. Goreme lies in a valley of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles. In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your local leader.

    This afternoon you'll meet a local New Zealand woman who has lived in Goreme for the last 30 years making Turkish carpets. You'll finish the day with a guided walk around the valley at sunset with spectacular photo opportunities.

    This evening's dinner is a special one - you'll be meeting and dining with a well-known local woman named Nuray Abla, who cooks Turkish cuisine in her cave home.Transfer to Antalya airport this morning for a mid-morning flight to Kayseri, located in the Cappadocia region. From here you'll take a one-hour drive to Goreme, the most recognisable part of Cappadocia. Goreme lies in a valley of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles. In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your local leader.

    This afternoon you'll meet a local New Zealand woman who has lived in Goreme for the last 30 years making Turkish carpets. You'll finish the day with a guided walk around the valley at sunset with spectacular photo opportunities.

    This evening's dinner is a special one - you'll be meeting and dining with a well-known local woman named Nuray Abla, who cooks Turkish cuisine in her cave home.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day
    8
    Cappadocia
    Cappadocia, Turkey

    If you don't mind an early start, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic Cappadocian landscape is a highly recommended experience. Please advise your local leader in advance if you want to book it, as it needs to be arranged with one of the certified operators Intrepid Travel recommends. The cost will vary depending on the type of flight chosen, but your local leader will be able to advise you of the options.

    Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, you'll head off to explore the region including, Pigeon valley and Pasabag (monks valley) and wander through the Soganli Valley on a soft hiking trip, taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas.

    In the afternoon, you'll visit one of Cappadoccia's most famous wine houses for a well-earned drink. Learn about the region's 4,000-year-old wine industry and take a stroll through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, with a glass of local wine in hand, of course.

    For dinner, you may want to try the local regional specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish.

    Meals - Breakfast
  9. Day
    9
    Eskisehir
    Eskisehir, Turkey

    Jump on a public bus to Konya this morning and watch the Turkish countryside pass you by on a four-hour drive to the train station. From here, you'll take a fast train for two and a half hours to the city of Eskisehir (pronounced s-k-shir).

    Built on the Posuk River, Eskisehir is often called the Venice of Turkey. The vibrant city has two universities, giving it a lively, modern atmosphere - a real contrast from the villages of Cappadocia and the resort towns of the Mediterranean.

    Not only is it a beautiful looking town, there are plenty of cultural experiences to be had, with nearby ruins dating back to ancient Phrygia, as well as many museums, exhibitions and concerts.

    For dinner tonight, you might want to head to Adalar, a popular waterfront district with many cafes popular with the locals. Your leader will be able to give you some great recommendations.

    Meals - Breakfast
  10. Day
    10
    Eskisehir
    Eskisehir, Turkey

    Explore the Odunpazarı district this morning. Traditional Anatolian architecture is well preserved in this neighborhood, with narrow cobbled roads and windy, dead-end streets, and it's now under protection as a historic district. Swing past the Glass museum to check out the first of Turkey's glass art museums many of the exhibits here are used to encourage and display the work of young and upcoming artists. The museum is housed in three historic buildings so the venue is an architectural delight.

    Today we have a special and unique lunch in Eskisehir as we join in a local 'girl's day out' or (altın günü) known as Gold Day. What's a gold day, exactly? It's a day for Turkish women to come together, socialise and save some money for when it's needed. Banking is a relatively new concept in Turkey, traditionally people borrowed and lent money within a family or social circle and gold was considered a much more valuable commodity then cash.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  11. Day
    11
    Istanbul
    Istanbul, Turkey

    This morning you'll board the train and make the two-and-a-half-hour journey back to Istanbul, taking a ferry to the hotel.

    You'll finish your adventure with a women's only hamam. Initially the concept of hamams was for men only, but eventually women who were unwell or recovering from childbirth were permitted, until finally all women were allowed.

    Traditionally, many women considered a visit to the hamam more than an opportunity to bathe - it was a release from the isolation of home and a place where older women could look for potential wives for their sons. Today this ritual is still a segregated retreat complete with baths, food, music and fun.

    Later this evening you may want to have a last farewell dinner to celebrate your wonderful experiences together.

    Meals - Breakfast
  12. Day
    12
    Return to UK
    Istanbul, Turkey

    Check out of your accomodation at midday today and make your return journey home.

    Meals - Breakfast

Brought to you by

Intrepid Travel
This tour is operated solely by Intrepid Travel
Travel the local way, in small groups but on big adventures

Intrepid Travel is a global adventure travel company that has been taking travellers off the beaten track to discover the world's most amazing places for 30 years. The company offers more than 1,500 trips in more than 120 countries and on every continent. Every trip is designed to truly experience local culture - to meet local people, try local food, take local transport and stay in local accommodation. A world leader in responsible travel, Intrepid's award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and included activities mean they offer travellers great value for money.

To view Intrepid Travel ’s supplier’s terms and conditions click here.

This tour is protected by the following:

Availability

From
Sun, Sun, Apr 12, 2020
To
Sun, Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Duration
12 days
Price per person
£876*
* From price based on two sharing and inclusive of 15% discount (new bookings only), made through Tripsmiths and confirmed between 21 Oct 2019 and 31 Aug 2020, for travel before 20 Oct 2020 (excludes travel between 15 Dec 2019 and 15 Jan 2020). Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Single supplement available. Prices, itineraries and inclusions subject to change without notice. For standard booking conditions, see intrepidtravel.com. To claim offer, quote discount code 67608
Call now to book 08444174767
Quote ref: RED TURKEY WOMEN