Day 1 : Istanbul
Fly into Istanbul airport where a Travel The Unknown representative will meet you and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Overnight in Istanbul.
Overnight in Hotel Levni, Istanbul
Meal plan: n/a
Turkey's Eastern backwaters are a veritable treasure trove of beautifully-preserved antiquity and creation-myths that backdate the story of Humanity in ways almost unimaginable. Perhaps nowhere else on Earth can the story of Man be so accurately re-enacted as in Anatolia's hinterlands, on frontiers that follow the curve of the ancient Fertile Crescent.
On this journey through heartlands of Anatolia, everywhere is a land that makes truth of myths. This is the land of Gordian knots that had Alexander himself in a fix. This is the land of troglodyte caves after the hermits have gone, of fiery pools where Abraham was cast; of ten millennia-old temples, like Göbekli Tepe and Karahan Tepe, to deities long-deceased. If you want the sublime without the ridiculous, this might be the tour.
Here on the central plateau, Man crafted history from an imagination only Gods could possess. Vainglorious ancient kings built monuments to themselves on lonely mountains like Nemrut. Near-eastern empires, like the Hittites, disappeared from the historical record, but they left their capital, Hattusa, to leave us wondering why.
Perhaps nowhere else but throughout Central and Eastern Turkey can the journey of humanity be followed by a journey off the tourist highway and into the unknown.
For some tour extension ideas from Konya, check our to our Konya Extensions page.
Istanbul - Istanbul - Haghia Sophia - Mount Nemrut - Urfa - Göbekli Tepe - Harran - Karahan Tepe - Gaziantep - Ankara - Hattusa - Cappadocia - Konya - Çatalhöyük
Discover Turkey's splendid and varied terrain on foot
Explore European Turkey in the Thrace region, a fascinating and little seen region
Unique history and fairytale landscapes
Day trip options from Konya
Extend your trip from Istanbul
Explore two sites of enormous historical significance in this short extension
Discover the best Turkey has to offer
Tickle your taste-buds with a tour of Turkey's cuisine
Relax and unwind on Turkey's Mediterranean beaches
From Bodrum to Istanbul, explore Turkey's historic cities
Set sail aboard a Turkish Gulet and explore Turkey's coast
Uncover historical secrets in the west
Natural wonders, ancient sites & Kurdish culture
Tread on antique footsteps through Central and Eastern Anatolia
Ancient trading routes, historic battles and striking scenery
Journey through Turkey's iconic sites
Stunning eastern peaks including Mount Ararat
Turkey's southern frontiers: the cradle of civilisation
Discover the exotic charms of this eternal city
Jane Kimberley , The Magic of Cappadocia, Turkey
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 Selfridge , Tailormade Turkey
I would not hesitate in using Travel the Unknown for any future journeys to off the beaten track destinations.
Peggy Roberts , Tailormade Turkey
Arda, our local guide was absolutely the best. Always a smile, always running (literally) to fulfill every request, treating every member as his personal responsibility, and going way way above and beyond to assist and accommodate. He is a so remarkably knowledgeable, and seemingly found no question beyond his ability to answer & explain. And his English is impeccable. KEEP HIM!!! Very special individual. Andrew is an incredible guide, with such a wealth of information and passion for his subjects. He never tired and made the trip fascinating and exciting due to the perspectives and explanations he shared continuously based upon years of research. Felt very fortunate to be in his presence for 2 weeks in such places that we were able to visit. Same for Hugh. And Hugh`s constant humour was delightful. These two balance each other well, and make a great team
Tessa Skola , Tailormade Eastern Turkey
As a worldwide traveller, explorer & author travelling through COVID times, my trip with Travel The Unknown was a perfect choice for my adventure in Turkey. As a solo booking , I didn’t need the usual tourist bling. I knew what I wanted to see and the company chose the best guide I could have wished for. No fuss. Dealing with my preferences. This company know exactly what they are doing with complete knowledge of their guests, countries and Travel passage. I highly recommend Travel the Unknown.
Cynthia Bishop , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey
I went on this trip rather than all the other interesting possibilities in the world because I wanted to go to Gobekli Tepe. Being there was all I could have hoped for. It was a stunning experience and I was moved to tears. Thank you so much for the opportunity. Regarding the food, the olives were the best I`ve ever tasted. And the yoghurt is fabulous. Also the cheese and pistachios and apricots. Oh yes, and the watermelon : ) Thanks to David too for being so patient with my endless questions
Jim Cleary , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey
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.
Anthony Twohig , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey
Travel the Unknown provide good friendly advice and information before travel. They are very approachable and helpful. The accommodation is of a high standard as are the meals. Local guides are knowledgeable and anxious to ensure that travellers have a good and rounded experience.
Michael Wilson , Archaeology of Western Turkey, Turkey
We greatly enjoyed visiting the ancient sites of Western Turkey with an experienced guide and seeing the remains of so many different periods and cultures. The scenery was spectacular and we felt that the tour gave us a wonderful introduction to the country.
Jane Neild , Eastern Turkey Explorer, Turkey
This was a very exciting itinerary including fantastic historic and prehistoric site visits, as well as visits to wonderful towns, restaurants and markets. The attentiveness of the guide ensured that everything went smoothly, even in very out-of-the way places. It was possible to fall in love with the drama of the landscape, the character of the architecture, the colour, sights and sounds of the towns, the friendliness and honesty of the people - and I did!
Caroline & Peter , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey
Charming people organising the trip and acting as guides. An inspirational visit taking us to out of the way places we would never have had the chance to visit. The personal touch Travel the Unknown brings sets them apart.
Marion McCallum , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey
A great way to travel to some of the more remote and interesting places in the world. It was a very interesting area and we saw a lot that we would never have managed on our own. I would recommend the holiday to others.
Joy Lawley , Eastern Turkey Snapshot, Turkey
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. We were a small group, which made the trip very personal. Altogether it was a marvellous week, helped by having a caring guide and an excellent driver.