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.
Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Turkey.
Transportation and optional activities are not included.
*Exclusive for the Over30Experiences Community
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 recommendation: 30s and 40s
-Group size: 16 max, average 14
-Physical rating: Moderate. Some activities include physical activity like hiking.
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 O30X 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.
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.
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, pescatarian, etc.) can enjoy something traditional around the same table.
Your Welcome Meal in Istanbul will be on the Bosphorus Strait, the natural waterway that forms part of the continental boundary between Asia and Europe and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. This is exclusive to the Over30Experiences itinerary.
Must-try Turkish dishes:
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.
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 with at least $200,000 USD in medical coverage is required to participate on our trips. This must include coverage for repatriation.
Please note that travel insurance covers trip related issues such as trip interruption, lost luggage, theft, etc. Travel medical insurance covers things like repatriation, medicine, ambulance rides, and hospital visits/stays.
We strongly suggest that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all of the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance.
Here are a few options for travel insurance that meet our minimum medical coverage requirements: Wanderwell, SafetyWing, and World Nomads. Some plans do not cover certain “high-risk” activities. Please make sure to read your plans coverage and make a selection based on your planned trip.
Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.
We receive a fee if you purchase products through links on this page, at no extra cost to you.
We receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using our affiliate links. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
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.
All Over30Experiences 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.
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, Over30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.
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. Over30Experiences 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the 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 daytime 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.
It’s easy to notice the cultural differences between your home country and Turkey. Experiencing new cultures is 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.
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:
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.
Bonus: A Turkish Bath experience is included in your trip! Exclusive only to our Over30Experiences community.*
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.
While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Over30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.
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.
Hotel recommendations in Istanbul
Hotel recommendations in Bodrum
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