Turkey Holidays

Iconic cities and magical coastal scenery

A mesmerising country where adventures start in winding streets and souks and end on golden shores.

Turkey (also known as Turkiye) holidays are sultry afternoons wandering through souks with senses heightened. They’re hearing the calls to prayer as you wander in ancient footsteps through atmospheric old towns. They’re waking before the world to see balloons drift across surrealist backdrops. But they’re also sun-seeking, sun-soaking and messing about in the shallows with everything taken care for you and your crew.

We can take you to two-continent, two-sea city of Istanbul where you can barely move for iconic and historic sights and every meal is a culinary masterpiece that showcases its spot at a cultural crossroads. Then there’s Cappadocia, a magical world of fairy towers sculpted by the elements and shaped by human hands, and Izmir, a modern Mediterranean city and gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus. The coast, from Aegean Sea-adjacent Bodrum all the way round to Antalya and beyond via the hidden coves and maritime towns of Dalaman, is a playground for family holidays, just-us retreats or wellness-focused weeks.

Our Personal Travel Experts can help create your perfect Turkey trip, from two- or three-stop journeys or a simple all-in beach holiday to the country’s glorious seashore.

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Turkey Regions

Our recommendations for the best places to visit in Turkey

Bodrum Holidays

Beach lovers, culture seekers and history buffs assemble on the Bodrum peninsula, the poster chil...

Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the best places in the world for a hot-air balloon flight. With its soaring boulders, pigeon houses, deep canyons and fairy chimneys, there’s nowhere else like it. During this magical experience, you’ll get a bird’s-eye view of Cappadocia as you float above its lunar-like landscape. Your adventure begins with a light breakfast while you watch the crew inflate the balloon. Then you’ll climb into the basket for a gentle take-off before reaching full height – at times, the excellent flying conditions mean you’ll even drift between the fairy chimneys. Fly through impressive valleys, each with distinctive rock formations and colours, and then float up over rippled ravines. Back on the ground, a Champagne celebration and your flight certificate await. This is an unforgettable experience for couples and honeymooners – it’s also a fantastic way for groups of family and friends to make memories together.

• Duration: half day
• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Departs year round
• Group experience

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Cappadocia Highlights in a Day

The best way to get to know a destination is to immerse yourself in it, and this full-day sightseeing tour with an expert guide will give you a deeper understanding of this otherworldly region. Your experience begins with a visit to the fascinating underground city of Kaymaklı – one of the deepest underground cities in Cappadocia, where a maze of tunnels and rooms are carved eight levels deep. Next, walk around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Göreme Open Air Museum, home to some of the most remarkable rock-cut churches from the 10th-12th centuries. The frescoes here are particularly beautiful. Your guide will take you on to Pigeon Valley, which gets its name from the pigeon houses that have been carved into the landscape. Pigeons have always been important to the Cappadocian people, providing food and fertiliser for the poor soil. In Devrent Valley, you’ll have fun trying to work out the animal-shaped rocks (the most famous one is shaped like a camel!). Visit Monks Valley (Paşabağları), where the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys with twin and triple rock caps are unique even for Cappadocia. The final stop is Avanos, known for its pottery. The Red River has supplied many generations of craftspeople with the red clay used to create their art, and pottery has been produced here as far back as around 2000 BC.

• Duration: full day
• Time: 10am to 6pm
• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Cappadocia Your Way – Exploration by Classic Car

Explore Cappadocia in style, travelling in a classic car with your own private driver/guide. You’ll have the freedom to discover the region at your leisure. If you have a list of must-see attractions, you can simply let your driver-guide know where you’d like to go or if you're not sure where best to go, then your driver-guide will be happy to make recommendations based on your interests. This is the ultimate way to get around for families, couples, and honeymooners looking for independent exploration and a more private sightseeing experience of Cappadocia.

• Duration: 2 hours
• Departing daily from Cappadocia
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Historical Istanbul

Feel Istanbul’s past come to vivid life as you discover the sights, sounds and smells of Sultanahmet with an expert guide. Your day in the city’s oldest district starts at Sultanahmet Meydanı, a vast square on the site of the Roman hippodrome in which horse and chariot races were once held. From here, you’ll head to the iconic Blue Mosque, with its six slender minarets, graceful cascade of domes and beautiful blue-tiled interior. The next stop is the breathtaking Hagia Sophia, built as a church in the sixth century, before being converted to a mosque and then a museum, and recently reinstated as a mosque. There will be time to see some of the most interesting sections of the labyrinthine Topkapı Palace, where generations of Ottoman sultans once lived in eye-watering splendour. The final destination is the richly decorated and atmospheric Grand Bazaar, home to more than 4,000 small shops selling everything from handmade rugs and ceramics to hammam soaps and local sweetmeats.

• Duration: full day
• Time: 9am to 6pm
• Departs Wednesday to Monday
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
There’s no tour on Tuesdays as Topkapı Palace is closed on that day.

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Dinner at the Orient Express Restaurant, Istanbul

Step back in time to the 1890s with dinner in the evocative setting of one of Istanbul’s most historic railway stations. Sirkeci Gar, designed by a Prussian architect and opened in 1888, was originally the terminus for the luxurious Orient Express from Paris - not so much a train journey as a five-star hotel on rails. Over a relaxed four-course meal of Turkish favourites in the Orient Express Restaurant, you’ll have time to take in the Orientalist-style architecture, admire the old black-and-white photos on the wall and soak up the unique atmosphere. Before or afterwards, take the time to stroll through the station picturing the scene a hundred years ago, with eminent passengers just arrived from Europe with their mountains of luggage and, perhaps, Agatha Christie’s fictional creation Hercule Poirot among them ready to solve his latest case.

• Duration: evening
• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
Transfers are included. Drinks are extra. Vegetarian option available on request.

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Traditional Turkish Hammam, Istanbul (Mixed Gender Communal Area)

Hammams are a key element of Turkish culture and a visit to one of the city’s finest is an indulgent way to spend a few hours in Istanbul. The boutique Çukurcuma Hamamı, which dates from the 1830s, reopened in 2018 after a decade of careful and sensitive restoration and offers mixed sessions in magnificent surroundings, something that couples will certainly appreciate. You’ll have plenty of time to relax in the marble-lined hot, warm and cold zones, enjoy a traditional body scrub and a bubble-wash ritual on a heated marble platform, and be offered the option of adding other treatments at extra cost. To complete the relaxing experience, you’ll finish with herb tea and dried fruits in the chic and airy lounge area.

• Duration: half day
• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know Hammam towel, soap, shampoo, hair conditioner, scrub mitt and slippers will be provided. If you forget to bring your bikini or shorts, single-use ones are available.

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Traditional Turkish Hammam, Istanbul (Single Gender Communal Area)

Spending a few hours in one of Istanbul’s hammams is an indulgent way to discover a slice of Turkish culture. The Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı was built in the 16th century for one of the wives of Suleiman the Magnificant, on the site of the ancient Roman baths, between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. After a checkered existence throughout the 20th century, when it was used as everything from an overflow prison to a carpet bazaar, it has since been immaculately restored to its former glory as a luxurious bathhouse with separate, mirror-image sections for men and women. You’ll have time to relax in the marble-lined hot, warm and cold zones, experience a traditional body scrub and a bubble-wash ritual and be offered the option of adding other treatments such as a massage at extra cost.

• Duration: half day
• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
You’ll be provided with a personal care kit consisting of a bath mitt (kese), shampoo, hair conditioner and body lotion, natural olive oil soap, disposable anti-slip slippers and underwear.

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Istanbul Scenic Dinner Cruise

Seeing Istanbul lit up in the evening is a magical experience and one you’ll have the opportunity to appreciate on a private dinner cruise on the Bosphorus. Setting off from Bebek, a trendy district on the European side of the Strait, you’ll motor past various waterfront districts, admiring historic villas, marble palaces and mosques - some illuminated to spectacular effect - and the humbler clusters of cottages belonging to the city’s fishermen. Along the way, you’ll be served a meal of Turkish specialities, accompanied by select drinks and onboard entertainment. The trip ends back at Bebek, whose buzzing bars will appeal to night owls.

• Duration: evening
• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience

Good to know
A vegetarian option is available. Please let your Personal Travel Expert know of your dietry requirements.

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Get to know Turkey and those all-important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

Capital
TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT +3 hours (BST +2 hours)

CURRENCY

Turkish Lira

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

4 to 4½ hours depending on destination.

LANGUAGE

Turkish

Where is Turkey?
Turkey spans the Europe-Asia continental line at their south-eastern and south-western corners respectively; the majority of the country sits in Asia. It has Mediterranean, Sea of Marmara and Black Sea coastlines.

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Istanbul
Istanbul is one of the world’s great cities. Located either side of the Bosphorus Strait on the Europe/ Asia border, it’s a fascinating mix of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman influences. Wander the narrow, cobbled streets to the minaret-studded Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and its magnificent mosaics, the 6th-Century Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace’s elaborately tiled rooms arranged around a beautiful Turkish bath. Ottoman bathhouses and excellent museums sit alongside the city’s kahvehans (coffee houses), meyhanes (Turkish taverns), hip rooftop bars and swish seafood restaurants.

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Cappadocia
Cappadocia is surreal. This lunar-like pocket of central Turkey is contoured into an otherworldly terrain of stark Anatolian plains and soaring boulders. It feels more like the moon than Europe. Sunrise and sunset here is spectacular, and at dawn the sky is dotted with hot-air balloons, filled with guests eagerly taking in the views of the deep canyons, valleys and fairy chimneys from above. Visit the rock-cut churches at the Göreme Openair Museum, discover underground tunnels and see old cave dwellings – some of which have been transformed into boutique hotels.

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Bodrum & the Aegean
Labelled ‘Land of the Eternal Blue’ by Homer, the beautiful Bodrum Peninsula has had famous fans since the days of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. Warm turquoise waters are a heavenly swimming arena, with a seabed brimming with marine life and shipwrecks. Snooze on Blue Flag beaches, windsurf, sail, canoe and travel inland among bougainvillea to see the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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The Turquoise Coast
Turkiye/Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera, stretches for hundreds of miles from the Dalaman area all the way around to Antalya and its nearby beach resorts, some that have grown from small fishing villages or ancient port towns and others that have been purpose built. This is where you’ll find the all-singing, all-dancing, all-inclusive resorts that back gold-hued beaches including Belek and Lara Beach; beautiful bays and coastal settlements tucked away such as Gocek between pine-cloaked hills; and lively beach towns like Marmaris where people party until dawn.

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Izmir
Turkiye/Turkey’s third city is a Mediterranean settlement with a 21st Century feel. It acts as a gateway to Ephesus, an archaeological wonderland containing the ruins of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but is well worth an exploration in itself. Our featured resorts are little way along the coast, so you have the best of both worlds: nearby city vibes and golden shores on your doorstep.

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Food
World renowned for its grilled meat kebabs, delectable and healthy salads and Moorish dips, Turkish cuisine is ideal for sharing as dishes are commonly served as a mezze. In the cities, there are countless restaurants serving a metaphorical smorgasbord of cuisines from around the world alongside plenty of local, traditional dishes. At the extensive beach resorts, you can go all out on worldwide fare at numerous on-site restaurants, many of which are included in the price of your holiday.

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Wellness
Turkish baths are a common facility within serene hotel spas and private spas dotted around the resorts and cities. Taking the time to experience this relaxing spa treatment is a must, particularly at the beginning of your holiday to prepare your skin for plenty of sun exposure. Often carried out as a couple’s treatment, as well as individually, a full Turkish bath treatment consists of exfoliation, aromatherapy and massage.

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Turkey Weather

May - Sep

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