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Turkey Tours & Tailormade Holidays

Group Tours    Eastern Turkey    Other Regions    Tailormade Options    Göbekli Tepe    Route Map

Where East meets West, Turkey has been at the frontier of disparate and competing civilisations for centuries and today it boasts some of the most fascinating history and culture in the world. Combine this with supremely hospitable people, breath-taking scenery and world-class cuisine, and its easy to understand Turkey's appeal.


Read our Turkey Blog

Joy Lawley (Eastern Turkey Snapshot)
"This trip was an amazing and very exhilarating experience. We had high hopes of Gobekli Tepe, which were totally fulfilled- it is utterly amazing, but we had not anticipated some of the other gems to be so exceptional as well."

Group Tours

These following tours are all scheduled group tours. If the dates do not suit you or you want to do them on a private basis please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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Tour Country Dates Days Price
Archaeology of Eastern Turkey
Discover the incredible history of Eastern Turkey

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Turkey
07 Apr 2018
14 Sep 2018
11 £ 2,795
Archaeology of Western Turkey
Uncover historical secrets in the west

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Turkey
19 Apr 2018
26 Sep 2018
11 £ 2,795
Classical Turkey
Journey through Turkey's iconic sites

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Turkey
03 Nov 2017
10 £ 1,695
Eastern Turkey Snapshot
A glimpse of Turkey's hidden charms

Off the beaten track :   
Activity :  
Turkey
27 Apr 2018
21 Sep 2018
10 £ 2,145


Eastern Turkey

Gaining legendary pseudonyms such as 'Babylon' and 'The Garden of Eden', Eastern Turkey has long captured the imagination. Little visited, the region's range from fascinating natural landscapes, enigmatic historical sites, to smiling faces and exotic markets, which combine to make an alluring combination of old and new.

Gaziantep

The culinary capital of Eastern Turkey, Gaziantep's famous baklava (pistachio pastries) are shipped all over the country and beyond, and its renowned restaurants serve up mouth-watering dishes. Besides cuisine, Gaziantep boasts a fine Seljuk-era citadel, numerous impressive mosques and restored old buildings, so that much of the city appears almost as it was in past times. Gaziantep's chief draw however is its mosaic museum, believed to be the best in the world. The mosaics were recovered from the ancient Roman town of Zeugma, which is now underwater. The town's bustling city markets are also well worth a visit.

Nemrut Dagi

Sunrise and sunset at Nemrut Daği (a.k.a. Mount Nemrut) is one of Eastern Turkey's most exhilarating experiences. At the peak of this mountain (at over 2000m) sit the striking statues of the pre-Roman king, Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, surrounded by the various gods he believed to be his ancestors. The fearsome heads of the statue-figures are now separated from each other in the surrounding stone rubble, and the site still retains this sense of a lost world. Sublime views from the summit, across the distant Euphrates, add to the enigma of the place.

Halfeti & Rumkale

The quaint village of Halfeti sits on the side of an azure lake and is the staging post to catch a boat through a stunning valley to the beautiful cliffside fortress of Rumkale, which is only accessible by boat. Rumkale's setting is superb and the nearby village with its minaret rising up from the water is spectacular.

Mardin & Urfa

Mardin is a remarkable town full of beautiful mosques and churches set in a stunning, rocky landscape. With baked-brown alleyways, ancient, honey-coloured buildings, and a maze of a market, Mardin is charmingly authentic.

Urfa (known as 'Sanliurfa' or 'the Prophet's City') is the most spiritual city in East Turkey. It is a major centre for pilgrimage and its traditions are very much alive and well. Discover its 'park of mosques', imposing castle, its 'holy trout', its wonderful markets, historic buildings and picturesque squares.

Göbekli Tepe & Harran

Göbekli Tepe is the oldest man-made place of worship in the world, dating back an incredible 11,500 years. The site stunned archaeologists when it was first discovered, and its sheer expanse and craftsmanship is overwhelming, with exquisite stone carvings of people, lions, foxes, snakes and birds - some of the oldest known art in the world.

Once home to the Prophet Abraham, the ancient site of Harran is mentioned in the book of Genesis. Home of the first Islamic university in Anatolia, Harran also boasts the remains of an 8th century mosque, a citadel and some 300 year old beehive mud homes which enjoy a constant temperature throughout the year.

Hasankeyf

Dramatic Hasankeyf is like a mini-Cappadocia with beautiful honey-coloured buildings clinging to a cliff-side overlooking the river Tigris. Climb up the hill to see this wonderful site with its castles, palaces, mosques and a crumbling bridge. A government dam project means that the future of Hasankeyf hangs precariously in the balance.

Diyarbakir

This Kurdish dominated town (known as 'Amed' to Kurds) was once the flashpoint for anti-Turkish rebellion and indeed is seen by Kurdish people as the capital of their would-be nation. Today the city is experiencing a renaissance and is full of character and soul. The city walls are superseded only by the Great Wall of China and inside the walls you will find impressive mosques, churches, and an interesting architectural spectrum.

Van

Close to the sublime Lake Van, Van is a university town with a relaxed character. The beautiful, sprawling Van Castle is the perfect place to watch the sun set. Take advantage of Van's laid-back character and have a drink while watching live Turkish and Kurdish music.

Hoşap Castle & Akdamar Island

About an hour from Van is the magnificent Hoşap Castle. Perched on a rocky hilltop slightly above the town, the castle offers breath-taking views of the surrounding areas. Its entrance is dramatically framed by the hillside, appearing to lead into another world, and there are intricate lion carvings set into the stone.

The short boat ride across Lake Van to Akdamar Island has views of the snowy peaks, azure water and the crown jewel – Akdamar Kilisesi (an Armenian church). This exquisite church boasts an exterior of relief carvings showing biblical scenes, and inside are some stunning, though faded, frescoes.

Ishak Paşa Palace & Mount Ararat

En route to Ishak Paşa Palace are the picturesque waterfalls at Muradiye, set in lovely, pastoral surroundings, and the drive to Ishak Paşa Palace is equally beautiful. Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest peak at over 5000m, and known in legend as the birthplace of Noah's Ark, looks down over the road making a spectacular backdrop for Ishak Paşa Palace. The palace itself is one of the world's most beautiful buildings with Armenian and Georgian influenced stone carvings and inspiring views.

Kars & Ani

Famous as the setting for the novel Snow by Nobel-prize winning author Orhan Pamuk, Kars is a fascinating mix of Russian, Azeri, Turkmen, Kurdish and Turkish influences – and its cheese and honey are famous throughout Turkey. Nearby Ani, however, is the gem of this region. Once the Armenian stately capital and a rival to Constantinople, Ani today is an impressive set of ruins spread over a large site with jaw-dropping views in every direction. Here you will find the spectacular remains of several churches, a convent, a castle, a cathedral, a Zoroastrian temple and a palace.


Turkey's Other Regions

Istanbul

Sitting on the Bosporus, Istanbul is one of the world's truly great cities, overflowing with culture and historical sites. World class attractions such as the exquisite Hagha Sofia and the Blue Mosque, excellent bars and restaurants, wonderful architecture, vibrant markets and a history of epic proportions makes Istanbul a city par excellence.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia, Turkey's most famous cultural draw, is a natural phenomenon. The unique landscape of peaked domes, nick-named the 'fairy chimneys', is the product of year upon year of volcanic activity and erosion. Cappadocia has a rich, exciting history and its labyrinthine, ancient underground cities are riddled with tales of intrigue. There are also excellent trekking options in this captivating region.


Tailormade Options

For a private and personal experience we can arrange a bespoke tailormade trip to cater specifically to your needs. Please review our group tours for tailormade ideas and complete our online tailormade enquiry form to let us know what you are looking to do and we will be happy to accommodate you.

Hiking, Walking & Other Activities

Climb some of the most spectacular peaks of Eastern Turkey - Nemrut Crater Lake, Mount Suphan and Mount Ararat. These spectacular treks will give you a feel, not only for the stunning scenery of Eastern Turkey but also an insight into how people live in this part of the world and a chance to experience their warmth and hospitality. For something a little less strenuous but equally beautiful we can arrange hikes in the Kaçkar mountains in Northeast Turkey or for a cultural walking tour why not follow Abraham’s Path or St Paul’s Trail and discover the links to a past where history and mythology intertwine. Çesme offers wind-surfing, and diving can be arranged along much of the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Rafting and horse-riding can also be arranged. For golfers, Turkey offers an increasing selection of quality courses.

Luxury

Ottoman opulence is legendary and today’s Turkey boasts unrivalled options for opulent travel, including regal palaces, luxurious cave hotels, glamorous beaches, and romantic getaways. Experience life as an Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul’s 19th century Palace of Ciragan, cruise the Bosphorus on a private chartered yacht, sip champagne whilst ballooning over the incredible fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and dine on goose and wine in Kars, “the city of snow”.

Birding

Turkey’s vast and varied land hosts a huge range of birdlife as well as encompassing two major migration routes. Discover rare White-backed Woodpeckers, Semi-collared Flycatchers, Krueper’s Nuthatch, Caspian Snowcock, Demoiselle Cranes and hundreds more fascinating species. From the Mediterranean to the Black Sea, from the wetlands of Ankara to the spectacular landscapes of Lake Van, Turkey boasts some of the best birding opportunities in Europe and Asia today.

Culinary

A culinary tour of Turkey
 will tickle and tantalise your taste-buds. Combining Balkan, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Central Asian influences, Turkey delivers sensationally spiced and seasoned meats, freshly baked breads, yoghurt sauces and vine-ripened fruit and vegetables. Take a cooking class with an expert chef, sample flavourful street food or experience fine dining in Turkey’s culinary capital, Gaziantep. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass 
of one of Turkey’s renowned red wines at a signature 
tasting session.

Beach

Why not head to Çesme, near Izmir, a beautiful beach with excellent windsurfing, and an array of excellent restaurants and bars to keep you entertained through the long evenings? Beautiful boutique hotels are dotted around Çesme, whose stone crafted walls provide quintessential Mediterranean charm.

City Breaks

Fly to Istanbul, once known as Constantinople,
a proud city that for millennia has straddled the East-West divide. Marvel at the elegant Blue Mosque and the exquisite Hagia Sofia and cruise along the Bosphorus. A range of group and private walking tours are available. For something a little different try Antalya for excellent boutique hotels, delicious food, numerous historical and archaeological sites and a plethora of hiking options. Urfa (formerly Edessa) is an ancient city with stone streets, lively squares, an excellent museum and a teeming bazaar. It also makes a great base for visiting Göbekli Tepe, the world’s first temple, and ancient Harran, as well as a boat trip to nearby Rumkale. Or why not discover the ancient history and traditions of Turkey’s oldest and still thriving city? Bodrum, a once sleepy fisherman’s town turned hotspot for artists, musicians and intellectuals offers fascinating historical sites, buzzing nightlife and glittering bays

Gulets

Cruise aboard a Turkish Gulet, a fine mahogany ship with billowing white sails and decadent rooms, as you work your way around the historic Turkish coast, experiencing the Mediterranean as never before. Explore forgotten Greek islands and ancient ruins on the Lycian coast whilst enjoying views of mysterious coves, sandy beaches and quaint villages in the comfort of unwavering hospitality and pleasant sunshine.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a truly spectacular natural wonder. Its unique historical and cultural heritage featuring "fairy chimneys", rock-cut churches, natural castles and underground cities make for a fascinating journey into the history of this unique place. A hot air balloon ride as the sun rises over the stunning terrain of Cappadocia is a magical experience you will never forget.

Goose Mountain

Explore Turkey’s Kaz Daglari or ‘Goose Mountain’, the famous mountain of numerous ancient mythologies located in northwest Turkey. Now
a national park, this isolated area is home to wild, therapeutic plants and flowers that not only attract brightly coloured butterflies, but hikers and trekkers eager to experience the serenity of the mountain slopes. Small boutique hotels nearby provide an excellent position to access the landscape.

Lycian Coast

Along the Turquoise Coast is Lycia, a sleepy
town that enchanted the most powerful ancient empires. Explore the many ruins in Lycia, whether on the ground, carved into cliffs or lost in the crystalline waters. Discover the UNESCO Heritage Site of Xanthos, containing ancient Greek inscribed obelisks, or walk or cycle the Lycian Way, admiring the exquisite prehistoric tombs carved into the cliff face. Head down to the seemingly endless sandy beach and enjoy the aromatic wines produced in this unique region
 of Turkey.


Click to enlarge route map







Watch our Eastern Turkey Video:







Jim Cleary (Eastern Turkey Explorer)
"We covered many miles and saw some fantastic sites and sights. The special access that our tour leader provided really enhanced the experience for me - I'll certainly never forget tracking down an inscription in Van with his help - and to see Gobekli Tepe and Nemrut Dag on the same day was marvelous. At the end of the trip, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum was a wonderful surprise - the best mosaics I've ever seen, in a truly world-class setting."























Jane Kimberley (The Magic of Cappadocia)
"I had a lovely time in Turkey. Both of the tours that were part of the package were fabulous, both tour guides were very knowledgeable and made the trips very interesting providing plenty of information, and the places where we went for lunches as part of the trip were superb. David McGuinness is a credit to Travel the Unknown, he goes that 'extra mile' to keep customer happy. I'd like to say a huge 'thank you' for all the help you gave me organising and planning my trip. I certainly will recommend anyone to use you for planning their 'unknown' destination holiday. The emails, telephone calls were all spot on, well done :-) :-)"























Andrea Selfrdige (Tailormade Turkey)
"I would not hesitate in using Travel the Unknown for any future journeys to off the beaten track destinations."





Private & Tailormade Tour Options

The following tours can be run as private tours. They can also be customised, extended, shortened etc. or combined with a group tour to give you the perfect tour. Contact us and let us know how we can help you. Alternatively if you are interested in any of the trips below as a group tour, let us know and we will endeavour to make that happen. Prices shown are per person, based on 2 people travelling.

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Tour / When to travel Country Dates Days Price
Archaeology of Eastern Turkey
Discover the incredible history of Eastern Turkey

Turkey
Contact us
11 £ 3,495
Archaeology of Western Turkey
Uncover historical secrets in the west

Turkey
Contact us
11 £ 3,695
Classical Constantinople
Discover the exotic charms of this eternal city

Turkey
Contact us
4 Ask Us
Eastern Turkey Explorer
Discover Turkey's most hidden secrets

Turkey
Contact us
14 Ask Us
Eastern Turkey Snapshot
A glimpse of Turkey's hidden charms

Turkey
Contact us
10 Ask Us
The Magic of Cappadocia
Unique history and fairytale landscapes

Turkey
Contact us
4 Ask Us
Turkish Volcano Trek
Stunning eastern peaks including Mount Ararat

Turkey
Contact us
10 Ask Us

Extensions & Ideas

These trips are intended either as extensions to group tours or to use as inspiration for ideas for tailormade tours. They can also be used for ideas of things to do on a private tour. Please contact us if you have any questions

Tour / When to travel Country Dates Days Price