Turkey Trip Details

Introduction

Welcome to Turkey!

Straddling the two continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey is complete with historic ruins, a gorgeous coastline, incredible scenery, and amazing cuisine. It’s no wonder why Turkey is a must-visit destination!

Experience the best of Turkey from the bustling city of Istanbul to the unique rock formations at Cappadocia to the beautiful beaches of Bodrum. Along the way, you will discover one-of-a-kind sights and experiences with the help of locals who know their homeland best.

Duration: 9 days & 8 nights

Start: Please be ready to begin your trip at Istanbul Airport (IST) at 3:00 PM.

Finish: The trip ends in Bodrum, Turkey. Plan to depart at any time. Hotel check-out time is 12:00 pm. Travelers are responsible for their own transportation back to the airport.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration--please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 9 days & 8 nights shared accommodations in boutique hotel rooms
  • 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, & 4 dinners
  • Walking tour of Istanbul
  • Admission fee to Topkapi Palace
  • Visit the Blue Mosque
  • Experience Hagia Sophia
  • Domestic flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia
  • Guided tour through Goreme Open Air Museum
  • Home-cooked traditional lunch with a local family in Cappadocia
  • Valley walk in Cappadocia
  • Demonstration of pottery making
  • Guided tour through an underground city in Cappadocia
  • Domestic flight from Cappadocia to Izmir
  • Orientation walk in Selcuk
  • Visit Isa Bey Mosque in Selcuk
  • Tour of Ephesus Ancient City
  • Visit Sultankoy Carpet Village
  • Visit House of Mother Mary
  • Private boat cruise with snorkeling in Bodrum
  • Private airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet some kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates

Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Turkey.
Transportation and optional activities are not included.

Highlights

  • Guided walking tour of Istanbul
  • Explore the fairy chimneys and castles of Cappadocia
  • Experience the ruins at Ephesus
  • Relax on the beaches of Bodrum
  • Cruise the Aegean Sea on a Turkish sailboat

Is this Trip for You?

Are you looking to experience multiple regions of one country in a single trip?

This trip mixes two of Turkey’s most iconic destinations: Istanbul and Cappadocia. Then we add Selcuk, a more traditional Turkish town that is also home to the ancient ruins of Ephesus. You’ll close out your trip on the beaches of Bodrum, one of Turkey’s up-and-coming coastal destinations. 

Do expect to be active. Not only do we do a lot on this trip but because of the amount of travel in a short period of time, expect your body to get exhausted. If you are new to traveling, this trip may not be for you. 

This trip involves two domestic flights to make sure you can experience the unique geological formations that are found in Cappadocia while also enjoying the spectacular beaches along the Aegean Sea. Though these flights are short, do expect to spend your vacation time in the airport and transfer to and from airports.

-Age requirement: 21+
-Group size: 16 max, average 14
-Physical rating: Moderate. Some activities include physical activity like hiking.

Travel Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Before your trip, you'll have the opportunity to join a custom WhatsApp and connect with others members of your group. Many travelers meet at the airport or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a country after their trip.

During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment where people feel safe to truly be themselves.

After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni and part of our larger online Travel Community, where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We are constantly hosting meetups that range from simple happy hours to hikes to outdoor movie nights.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it, and on occasion, it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and are subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Eat like a local with delicious Turkish dishes.

Although meat-based foods such as kebabs are common in Turkish cuisine, meals in Turkey largely center around rice, vegetables, and bread. A huge range of vegetable dishes known as zeytinyagli yemegi–foods cooked in olive oil. The majority are vegetable-based and include green beans, artichokes, and eggplants.

All the hotels provide open buffet breakfast with American breakfast options. There will be eggs, olives, lots of greens, various cheese types, jams, corn flakes. Unlimited tea & coffee will be available.

Included dinners will be traditional Turkish dishes. Dinners will include soup, cold appetizers, and a main dish. Turkish cuisine is so rich that everyone with a different diet habit (vegan, pescetarian, etc) can enjoy something traditional around the same table. 

Must-try Turkish dishes:

  • Meze platters: an assortment of small dishes eaten as appetizers or a light meal. Its contents vary by region, but the concept of grazing on a board filled with savory goodies remains the same. Dips and spreads, such as hummus, yogurt, and baba ganoush are commonplace.
  • Lahmacun: This popular dish can also be known as Turkish pizza. It is prepared by putting a filling with mince to a thin layer of dough, and then baking it. 
  • Borek: a pastry-type dish, borek, comes in all different types. The most common are mincemeat, cheese, potato, cheese, and spinach. You will see locals commonly eating these with tea.

Transportation

You will be traveling by private ground transportation throughout your trip though in Istanbul you will be using the public tramway to access the historic peninsula.

On Day 3, there is a domestic flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Then on Day 5, there is a domestic flight from Cappadocia to Izmir. Domestic flights are economy class.

Private ground transportation from the airport is included.
Public buses and taxis around Istanbul are not Included.
Optional activities do not include transportation.

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared hotel rooms for the duration of your trip.

Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. There are also laundromats at the locations we visit. Ask your Trip Leader for details.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.

Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Private room options are available upon request subject to hotel availability for an extra charge.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of $200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment, and loss of luggage, and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.

The World Nomads “Standard Plan” will cover all the included activities on U30X trips and is our recommended travel insurance vendor.

If you have travel insurance with your credit card we require proof of purchase of the trip in the form of a receipt or credit card statement on a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible

Give us at least 60 days' notice, and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.

If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 60 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. 

We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 60 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly!

Bring a reusable water bottle to refill from the tap.

Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping.

Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.

Bring "reef safe" sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because they kill coral.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

The power plugs and sockets in Turkey are Type F. The voltage is 220 V. We recommend packing a European travel adapter for your electronic devices.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and are organically inspired when possible.

Do not forget: water bottle, sunscreen, sandals, beach towel, waterproof rain jacket, sunglasses and a hat!

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders:

A visa is required to enter Turkey and can be obtained online through the E-visa system. Visa costs are approximately $60 USD.

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

Check out our Travel Alerts Page for up-to-date COVID requirements.

The tap water in Turkey is safe to drink and is pretreated to make it safe for consumption. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Turkey beautiful.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads which has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling regarding physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter Turkey from the United States, but the Center for Disease Control suggests vaccinating for chicken pox and Hepatitis A.

More specific health information for travelers to Turkey can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

We suggest bringing $400 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.

This is not the total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

Credit cards are widely accepted at all destinations though some local businesses may only accept cash. ATMs will be available throughout the duration of the trip at each location we visit.

The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL)

Remember to call your bank and credit card company to let them know you will be traveling overseas.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the XE Currency Exchange App.‍‍

Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance, and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

Leave flashy jewelry at home.

US Citizens please consider registering with the US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Make sure you have the address of your hotel in the event that you're separated from your Trip Leader.

Weather

Istanbul: In the months of May and June temperatures range from the upper 60s to mid 70s Fahrenheit (20-25 Celsius). You may experience some rainfall during these months. From September to October, the weather remains warm with average temperatures in the upper 70’s Fahrenheit (25-28 Celsius).

Cappadocia: In the months of May and June, you can expect warm days and chilly nights. Average temperature ranges in the 60s Fahrenheit (15-20 Celsius). From September to October, the weather in Cappadocia begins to cool down, and you should pack warm clothes, especially for the evening time. Temperatures range from upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (9-15 Celsius).

Selcuk/Bodrum: In the months of May and June, this region of Turkey experiences little rainfall and has warmer temperatures. Average temperatures range from the upper 70s to the 80’s Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius). From September to October, the day time temperatures also range from the upper 70s to the 80’s Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius), though the evenings can begin to get a little bit cooler.

cultural information

It’s easy to notice the cultural differences between your home country to that of Turkey. Experiencing new cultures is of course one of the main reasons why we travel. But do not worry too much about making mistakes or being culturally disrespectful in your everyday interactions, Turkey is used to foreigners, and the Turks appreciate the effort you make to respect their customs. You’ll find that the locals offer warm hospitality and are naturally friendly to visitors.

Dress attire

What is acceptable dress-wise depends very much on which part of the country you are visiting. Overall, Turkey is conservative concerning dress. Men should wear a shirt at all times, and long pants are preferred. Women should cover their upper arms, cleavage, midriff, and upper legs (no short skirts or shorts). Though if you are near the beach, you’ll find that there are a lot fewer restrictions for dressing conservatively.

Eating and drinking

For Turks, great respect revolves around the simple act of eating. A meal with family and friends is a highly enjoyable occasion. It is common to be invited to sit down for a cup of tea and if you are invited into someone's house, consider it an honor. If you really can’t spare the time, mime “thanks” by placing one hand on your chest and pointing with the other to your watch and then in the direction you’re headed.

It’s worth mentioning that you will be offered bread at just about every meal in Turkey. When scooping food with bread sections from a communal bowl, use your right hand-–the left is reserved for bodily hygiene.

Visiting a Mosque

Remember, Turkey is a predominantly Muslim country, and you will hear the call to prayer five times a day.

Common entry rules for entering a mosque are as follows:

  • Cover your shoulders and upper arms.
  • Women will need to cover their heads.
  • Long pants are recommended.
  • Take off your shoes before entering.

Try to avoid your visit coinciding with noon prayers–particularly those on a Friday, the most important prayer session of the week. 

Once inside the mosque, you’re free to wander around, take photographs and admire the interior–but keep your voice down (there are often people praying or reciting the Koran outside of the five daily prayer times).  Don’t take pictures of worshippers unless they give their permission. 

Experiencing a Turkish Bath

There are many vendors that now offer this a private or semi-private experience, but taking part in a Turkish Bath is a true cultural experience. Turks indulge in this tradition at least once a month, for both its relaxing results and as social interaction with friends.

You’ll begin with a session in a common hot room, and then a masseuse will rub you down with a loafer to exfoliate dead skin. Men and women are separated during this portion, typically with men being scrubbed by a male masseuse and women being scrubbed by a female masseuse. An additional oil massage is typically offered after the body scrub followed by a soak in a hot tub. 

Remember to speak quietly during your bath experience as this is a place to relax. 

Female travelers

Many female travelers encounter flirting from members of the opposite sex in Turkey, and unfortunately, some encounter unwanted attention and more serious harassment in rural areas and even resorts.

 The key to avoiding trouble is to be aware of your surroundings, dress, and behavior, and how it might be interpreted.

The backstreets of most Turkish towns are a lot safer at night than those of many Western cities. This is partly due to a heavy police presence; do not hesitate to ask them for help. Away from the main resorts, unaccompanied women are a rare sight at night; when heading out for an evening, try to go as part of a group, preferably mixed-sex. Otherwise, as an all-female group, you may get some unwelcome attention.

In general, avoiding eye contact with men while still looking as confident and purposeful as possible will help you along your travels. 

Traveling in Turkey when identifying as LGBTQIA+

Turkish society has always been deeply ambivalent about male homosexuality, since the days of a rampantly bisexual Ottoman culture, when transvestite dancers and entertainers were the norm. That said, these days, public attitudes are generally intolerant or closeted. The only place with a recognized gay scene is İstanbul, though the more liberal towns of Antalya and İzmir and the resorts of Bodrum, Marmaris, and Alanya are considered gay-friendly.

Key Phrases

  • Hello - - merhaba
  • Good evening - - İyi aksamlar
  • Thank you - - Teşekkür ederim
  • Good luck - - İyi şanslar
  • I’m sorry - - Üzgünüm
  • May I have water, please - - Su alabilir miyim lütfen?
  • How much is this? - - Bu ne kadar?

Optional Activities

Istanbul:

  • Turkish bath = $50 USD

Cappadocia:

  • Wine tasting at Sunset  = 450 TL (~$25 USD)
  • Sunset Quad Bike Safari Experience = 750 TL (~$40 USD)
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience = $275 USD
  • Prices are based on demand and are subject to change. The above prices were the recent quote.  Credit cards are accepted for payment with the suppliers.
  • Hot Air Balloon viewpoint 
  • Though you can see the balloons rising in the air from most places in Cappadocia, there are suppliers that offer tours to view the balloons from selected viewpoints. 

Selcuk:

  • Basilica of Saint John: 10 TL (~0.50 USD)
  • Selcuk Archeology Museum: 10 TL (~0.50 USD)

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something, it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Hotel recommendations in Istanbul

Hotel recommendations in Bodrum

Still need to book your flight?

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