Family Trip


Turkey is a country known for its close-knit family structure, so it's an excellent destination for the whole family, offering parents, teens and younger children plenty to enjoy together! So that we may help you in designing the perfect trip for your family, we'll first need to know how much time you have for travel and which areas of Turkey you’d like to explore. This information, along with your children's ages and interests, will allow us to provide you with some excellent suggestions and prepare an independent, flexible travel program designed wholly for you and your family.

 

Here are just a few child-friendly attractions to consider:

 

Istanbul: it’s like walking into a history book, with its medieval castles, palaces, and colorful bazaars... not to mention endless opprotunities for ferryboating.


Bodrum: A real Crusader –era castle offsets charming and fun gulet (traditional Turkish yacht) cruises, snorkeling and swimming.


The Turquoise Coast: Its gorgeous beaches are perfect for swimming from June through October. Vast outdoor possibilities abound, and include sailing on a gulet along the Aegean or Mediterranean coastlines. There's also kayaking, windsurfing, hiking and parasailing. All of this can be enjoyed either from a privately-chartered gulet yacht or from a multitude of beachside resorts.


Cappadocia: a fairyland region of tufa rock peaks, excavated underground cities used by persecuted ancient Christians to explore, and even luxury caves that you can overnight in. And don't forget a glorious sunrise hot air-balloon ride over it all.
There are many more possibilities to consider. Please call or email to get started designing your own perfect family vacation!


The Family Trip (especially for families with children & teens): Istanbul • Izmir • Ephesus • Sirince Village • Kusadasi • Dalyan • Ekincik • Gulet sail in/around Fethiye Bay (8 Nights / 9 Days)

Introduction: We have created this summer trip for families who wish to experience all the excitement and splendor of Turkey within a limited time frame. Your family's trip can be further customized in any way you like, including adding time and destinations. We believe this 8 night adventure will give you an excellent overview of Istanbul, Ephesus and the Turquoise Coast, as well as allowing for busy days at the beginning with more relaxation toward the end. Please call us to discuss how we can further customize this trip for your family.

 

Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Arrive at Ataturk Airport and enjoy an included transfer to your centrally-located hotel. Late in the afternoon, we will meet for a walking tour along Istiklal Street, the heart of modern Istanbul. This world-famous, two-mile-long avenue, bustles with people enjoying its restaurants, bars, theatres, art galleries and boutiques. (“Istiklal” means independence in Turkish.) Stretching from Taksim Square to Galata Tower, the street offers some of the best well-preserved examples of late-nineteenth century Art Nouveau architecture. As we stroll along, you will marvel at landmarks such as: the French Consulate, the Greek Orthodox Church (Hagia Triada), the Armenian Catholic Church (Surp Hovhan Vosgeperan), the Greek Consulate, The Flower Passage, The Produce & Fish Market as well as Galatasaray High School. We will also stop to taste some local “street food” and your guide will point out some restaurants that you may wish to have enjoy tonight’s dinner at.

Day 2: Istanbul – Full day tour
Our morning begins with a tour of Topkapi Palace, former residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Topkapi is very child-friendly, with vast gardens and different displays to explore. Next, we visit Sirkeci Railway Station, the final destination of the Orient Express. We then continue to the Spice Market, one of Istanbul’s many mesmerizing sights. The Spice Market is a wonderful place to buy edible gifts such as nuts, coffee and Turkish delight. After some free time for lunch, we enjoy an hour-long Bosphorus Cruise along the shores of the European and Asian sides of Istanbul. Disembarking at Uskudar, one of the largest towns on the Asian side of the Strait, we will visit the produce & fish market and view the Mihrimah Sultan’s Mosque as well as Maiden’s Tower, the symbol of the city. Finally, we return to our hotel with a steamboat ride of twenty minutes, crossing the Bosphorus once more from Asia to Europe. (B)

Day 3: Istanbul – Full day tour
This morning, we visit more iconic sites in Istanbul, including the Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern. In the afternoon, we visit the Grand Bazaar then drive over the Galata Bridge to the colorful and bohemian Cihangir neighborhood. The very narrow, maze-like streets of Cihangir are lined with cafes, vintage clothing and second-hand shops. Here we also find a toy store called Prof Zihni Sinir, a shop named after a very popular cartoon character created by the artist Irfan Sayar. In this wonderful toy workshop, Sayar and his assistants build fantastic machines and toys and offer tinkering workshops for local children. We then continue our walk from Galatasaray to Pera. Notable buildings along the way include: the British Consulate,St. Antoine's Catholic Church, the Consulates of the Netherlands, Russia and Sweden, Galata Whirling Dervish Hall, the Tunel area, The Galata Tower and Neve Shalom Synagogue. We end our walk at The Pera Palace Hoteland have a short drive back to the hotel. You may also wish to stay back and dine on your own at any of the local restaurants such as: Kivahan or Guney (Turkish/Ottoman cuisine), Fureyya (small fish restaurant) or the Pera Palace Hotel’s own Agatha Restaurant. (B)

Day 4: Istanbul / Izmir / Ephesus / Sirince / Kusadasi
We depart Istanbul in the morning and fly to Izmir. Upon arrival, we will drive for about an hour to the Ephesus(Selcuk) area. Our visits today include the village of Sirince where we will have a chance to socialize with the locals and taste the simple, yet delicious cuisine of the Aegean at a lunch hosted in a private home. This pretty village is a perfect blend of Turkish-Greek culture and is located in the hills where you can enjoy the authentic atmosphere and impressive views of the vineyards, and the peach and olive orchards. After lunch, we will visit thearchaeological site of Ephesus, which is perhaps the world's best-preserved ancient city. Ephesus attracts visitors from across the globe with its immense open-air theater, the Sacred Way, and Temple of Hadrian, a Corinthian-style building with the head of Medusa as the "keystone". We also see the newly opened ''Terrace Houses'' and the Library of Celsius. We then head towards our hotel in Kusadasi. You and your children can enjoy the swimming pool and nice view from your hotel if you choose. (B, L)

Day 5: Seferihisar / Train Museum in Camlik / Sultankoy / Dalyan / Caunus / Iztuzu Beach / Ekincik
This morning, we depart for our gulet docked on the Mediterranean coast. On the way, we will make some stops including the Camlik village with its small train station museum where you can find more than 30 old locomotives from the 1930s and 40s. We will also view Ataturk’s favorite private train, the founder of modern Turkey, as he very much enjoyed travel by train. Children usually delight in this place as they are allowed to enter and climb onto the trains. Next, we visit Sultankoy in Camlik village for an excellent grilled lunch and the opportunity to learn about local handicrafts, such as rug weaving. We may also be able to see demonstrations performed by local craftsmen. We then continue our drive to Dalyan town and chug up the Dalyan River on a local boat through a maze of bamboo and cattails while viewing the king's rock tombs. We can also visit the nearby Dalyan Estuary, home to many species of birds, including kingfishers, herons, and egrets. The Iztuzu Beach forms a natural lagoon and is protected for the loggerhead sea turtles that lay their eggs here in mid-summer months. After the river trip, you will embark on your gulet yacht and enjoy dinner and overnight in a nearby beautiful cove. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Tersane / Agalimani / Cleopatra’s Cove
This morning, after breakfast, we sail to the gorgeous Gocek Bay and enjoy the morning swimming and relaxing at Tersane and Agalimani coves. Later, we will visit the cove at Cleopatra’s Sunken Baths, which, according to tradition, is the spot where the fabled Egyptian queen and Mark Antony carried on their romance. Later, winds permitting, we raise the sails and wind our way to a private cove for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Gocek Coves
This morning we have time for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and relaxing in this lovely cove. Following lunch, we’ll set on foot to explore ancient Lydea, a rarely-visited and unexcavated site, which is reachable only by sea or by hike. Lydea was once the home of the Lycian civilization’s oracle. You’ll see monumental tombs, a sacred spring, Byzantine cisterns, and ruins of shrines dedicated to Apollo. Black stone pieces of a broken cult statue are still plentiful here, hidden as they have been for untold centuries among the bushes. The views during this hike on pine- and laurel-shaded trails are magnificent and include vistas of Fethiye Bay and sparkling Gocek Lagoonas well as a dozen islets. This afternoon, sail to Gemiler Island where we’ll anchor for the night. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Gemiler Island and Kayakoy
Following breakfast, explore Gemiler Island and its Byzantine monastic remains. Along the way, we’ll be rewarded with fine views of 6,400-foot Mount Babadag, ancient Mount Mendos, broad vistas over the Bay of Belcegiz, and several ancient churches, tombs, and a lovely arched and ventilated street. Later we’ll have a chance to cool off in the cobalt-blue lagoon between the island and the mainland. This afternoon, we’ll set out for a hike over the hills to the Greek ghost town of Kayakoy. A thriving town of 3,500 until 1923, when Ataturk instituted the exchange of Greek and Turkish populations, Kayakoy became deserted overnight, destroyed furthermore over the years by earthquakes. Only a few Turkish families inhabit houses in the foothills; it’s an eerie and marvelous place. We’ll continue along a trail graced by pine tree- studded seascapes and herb-scented breezes. You’ll hike a trail toward the Soguk Su cove where you meet up with your boat for another tranquil night in a cove near Fethiye. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Fethiye and Return to Istanbul
This morning we’ll sail briefly to the harbor of Fethiye where you’ll bid farewell to your crew. Then, we’ll transfer to Dalaman Airport for your return flight to Istanbul, where you will connect with your international flight. (B)

 

Note : We have created this summer trip for families who wish to experience all the excitement and splendor of Turkey within a limited time frame. Your family’s trip can be further customized in any way you like, including adding extra time and destinations.

 

PRICES WHEN THIS ITINERARY IS CUSTOMISED FOR YOUR FAMILY AS A PRIVATE TRIP:

Prices are per person, in USD and based on double occupancy at hotels:

 

2 TRAVELERS 4 TRAVELERS 6 TRAVELERS 10 TRAVELERS
From $6,190.00 From $4,090.00 From $3,195.00 From $2,490.00

 

Subject to availability and dates selected

Child discount: Please check with us for discounts available for triple accommodation and for very young children who can share a room or cabin with you. Please call for details.
Single Supplement: $700

 

Price of the trip package includes:


• Accommodations:


3 nights Istanbul: Hotel Grand Hyatt (or similar)


1 night Kusadasi: Hotel La Vista (or similar)


4 nights aboard a traditional hand-made wooden gulet yacht (in and around Fethiye Bay)


• Domestic flights in coach class within the program (Istanbul to Izmir or and Dalaman to Istanbul).
• Meals as indicated by (B, L, D) - B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
17 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners (including bottled water).
• Service of a private, licensed, professional English-speaking guide throughout your trip.
• All transfers and travel by private, modern, air-conditioned, chauffeur - driven vehicles appropriate to the size of your group.
• All entrance fees to the sites and museums mentioned in the program.
• Parking, ferry, and toll road fees. (Not applicable if driving a rental car.)
• Gratuities at restaurants where a meal is included in the program.
• Porter fees at airports when our guide travels with you.


Price of the trip package excludes:


• Airfare for international flights.
• Beverages other than water during included meals.
• Optional gratuities to the tour guide(s), driver(s) and the gulet crew. Also the gulet crew when applicable.
• Tipping for porters at hotels.
• Travel insurance.
• Visas, laundry, and personal items.