Turkey is a crossroads between the east and the west. Wend your way through the Grand Bazaar meeting our carefully curated selection of merchants with your very own personal shopper; let our cookery connoisseurs lift the lid on Turkish gastronomy; experience ruin roaming with our archaeology expert; pop a cork or two with some of the most knowledgeable winemakers; hover over Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with your specialist hot air balloon pilot – these opportunities and many more are yours for the taking.
Dream of Turkey and think silk routes, Alexander the Great, Persians, bygone Empires and then dream some more! Here you will find magnificent cities, fairy chimneys, underground caves, great wine and food, thrilling hiking, impressive ruins, and a coastline to whet all appetites.
Turkey’s history extends over 8,000 years and includes some of the world’s most important archaeological UNESCO sites. In a land influenced by the Hittites, Greeks, and Romans, grasp numerous opportunities to truly comprehend how this rich past has shaped the country into the one it is today.
While Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey (Ankara is), it is alive with beautiful neighbourhoods, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisines. We hope, however, that we can inspire you to explore the Central Anatolian fairy chimneys, Thrace’s wine districts, Pamukkale’s Travertine Pools, Ephesus’ Ruins, Trabzon’s Sumela Monastery, and the numerous peninsulas that stretch out along the coasts too.
Wix Squared has some exceptional guides to get you under the skin of the country including:
- A professional photographer to help you capture Turkey’s landscapes, seascapes, archaeology, life, and people
- A professor of history and classics in Istanbul and further afield
- A specialist archaeological guide
- A gastro guide to teach you about the local lesser-known Turkish restaurants and delicacies in the markets
- Your own super-experienced skipper, with crew to navigate you around the Turquoise Coast
- A head chef to teach you the complexities of Turkish food
- A Hammam expert to explain the significance of the ubiquitous Turkish Bath, the importance of this social hub and its wellness attributes
- A personal shopper to help you navigate the Grand Bazaar and weed out those rare finds
- An archaeological guide to help you delve into a world of ancient ruins
- A specialist wildlife guide who can explain the complex ecosystems around the country
- A trekking and mountaineering guide to hunt down the rarest of flowers and birds
Itinerary Starting Price
From £3,000 per person, for 5 days including accommodation, private guiding, entrance fees and private transfers (not including flights).
Tulips are nowadays associated with The Netherlands, but they were in fact first exported by the Ottoman Empire to Europe in the 16th Century.
The International Opera and Ballet Festival takes place in 2nd Century Amphitheatre, Aspendos, in Antalya during the summer evenings.
What to Eat
Karnıyarık is a popular and well-loved dish in Turkish cuisine, known for its rich flavours and satisfying combination of eggplant and spiced meat.
What to Read
‘Portrait of a Turkish Family’ by Irfan Orga. A wealthy Ottoman family disintegrates at the end of the Ottoman Empire.
What to buy
Nazar boncugu is a beautiful bead often worn on a pendant to deflect the Evil Eye. You will find this nationwide, and the power and colour of the eye is said to ward off misfortune.
GEMS OF ISTANBUL
Istanbul has 7 neighbourhoods to stay in. The Peninsula Hotel leads the 5* pack on the Bosphorus. If you wish to be closer to the sites, Four Seasons Sultanahmet has made its mark in former political prison Sultanahmet Jail, and Ecole St Pierre has a charming cafe vibe just under Galata Tower. Kadikoy, on the Asian side, offers up Sumahan by the Water, and Taksim offers tremendous shopping and entertainment but lacks its counterparts’ aesthetic appeal.
It is all about sinking into the history of these underground cities and caves. Christians fleeing Roman persecution carved many of them out. If you’re claustrophobic, request an above-ground cave suite. Elika Cave Suites are designed to emulate village life, Zeydem Suites are cosy and would be great for families and Argos Hotel provides wonderful views with outstanding attention to detail.
Many great hotels are scattered along the Aegean shoreline. The Stay Warehouse and Alavya are beautiful boutique and resort alternatives in Alacati, Amanurya, Six Senses, Bodrum Loft, The Mandarin Oriental and Makacizi are down the coast towards Bodrum. D-Maris Bay in Marmaris and Villa Mahal Hotel are attractive resort and boutique options further south. You could even cruise the coast on a gulet and drop anchor in a peaceful spot of your choosing.
Depending on where your interest lies there are many alternative accommodation types on The Black Sea, Eastern Anatolia, and South-Eastern Anatolia. Choose from city centric, the hinterlands or mountainous options.
The surreal landscape of Cappadocia is matched only by the incredible history of its inhabitants. Inhale these sights and sounds in an early morning hot air balloon ride, culminating in a Champagne breakfast. We can arrange for you to have front-of-house views overlooking Pigeon Valley while savouring a special set up BBQ picnic or wander by moonlight with our specialist guide, through Rose Valley as you are steered off the beaten track to Haçlı Kilise. Rejoice in our unique candlelit concert performance with glass in hand, as you absorb this ethereal experience, and just for a minute, you might be forgiven for believing this is an enchanted land.
Turkey’s culinary scene is impressive by any standard. The climate and culture of a region can often be inferred from its signature dishes. But you can rest assured that the food will be exceptionally fresh and delicious no matter where you go or what you eat. If you like food, there are many ways that we can make this the focus of your trip. We can arrange culinary walks led by experts to connect local markets with restaurants and food vendors that aren’t well known. Or get your hands dirty and spend hours in the kitchen learning how the locals turn fresh, simple dishes into edible works of art.
Turkey is rich in ancient ruins. Greek and Roman remnants are everywhere, and we have some of the most prolific archaeologists to recreate history for you starting with Ephesus. Sirince is an Aegean village, and with our guide, you will find the perfect synthesis of a traditional Turkish and Greek village. Our guide will take you to the best shops to taste breads and olive oils that characterise this charming little Ottoman s village. If you wish to visit Pamukkale and avoid the crowds, our guides will advise you when and how to get your optimum photo shot and will steer you in via the ‘secret entrance’.
If you wish to combine culture and coast, think about trying the abundance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and coupling them with a plethora of arty and historic sites whilst underpinning these experiences with exquisite regional foods and beverages. We can help you discover which places best complement your itinerary, whether it is for a romantic break or a family getaway.
Widely considered to be one of the greatest cities in the entire world, Istanbul is a city of contrasts. Whilst you will no doubt want to lose yourself in the Grand Bazaar, we can also help you access a little-known door that takes you onto its roof where you can follow in James Bond’s steps in Skyfall. But a visit to Istanbul really isn’t fully complete without spending some time cruising the Bosphorus and we can arrange a private launch to meet you for dinner or lunch as you lazily idle your way dipping into its many bays and coves.
Sailing the Turquoise Coast in a wooden gulet is one of the more scenic ways of exploring Turkey. We know which boats to suggest, the right crew to pick and the best places to idle your time away whether it is for smaller or larger parties. For the equestrian in you, we can arrange your spirited horse to navigate you safely through the mountains of Antalya or step into historical Cappadocia to explore the troglodytes. If you are looking for a cycling or hiking holiday our professional guides are on hand to take you on the less travelled tracks and routes we have designed. And, for the hydrophile, there are miles and miles of shoreline to maximise your kite surfing, snorkelling, diving and our instructors will be by your side, every step of the way.
Having had a fix of western Anatolia, hop aboard a direct 7-hour flight to Kathmandu where you will wonder at dramatic landscapes quite like no other. Nepal also offers some incredible safari experiences in Chitwan and Karnali National Parks.
After the hustle and bustle of city life, enjoy the ultimate extravagance in the luxury and tranquillity of the Maldivian archipelago. With a direct flight from Istanbul to Male, here you will find the dazzling white shores of a pristine castaway island.
After a few cultural days in Istanbul, take a 12-hour flight to Denpasar. Island hop between smouldering volcanoes, bargain in Ubud’s marketplaces, cruise east on a private liveaboard with a marine biologist or just chill out on a remote beach.
Turkey has some great events spaces in the form of a monastery and chapel, Roman and Greek ruins, underground cisterns, beach caves, rooftop gardens, former Ottoman palaces and yachts that lend themselves perfectly for any number of different events, be it for 15 or 1500. As a company Wix Squared has an extremely good knowledge of what Turkey has to offer.
There is always the possibility of booking exclusive use of some of the country’s best boutique hotels, vineyards, private villas, or cave venues to ensure that you and your guests can celebrate in style. Here we can coordinate whirling dervishes, Türk Halk Müziği (Turkish Folk Musicians), or international DJ’s to bring your party to life.
Find out more about Events by Wix Squared
Moderate temperatures make early April and May and September and October ideal times to visit Turkey. The coast is hot and dry from June through to August, making it perfect for sailing or relaxing at the beach. From November to March, temperatures drop across the country. Expect rain and snow as you travel further into the interior but delight in Istanbul, as a year-round destination.
- It’s mid-winter and a great time to take a long weekend in Istanbul or a skiing holiday. Fewer visitors and lower rates are fantastic reasons to visit, and the further you travel into the interior, the colder it gets.
- There are fewer tourists around at this time of year which means easier access to the main sites. If you are heading for the hinterlands, the snow-capped mountains, picturesque villages, and frost-covered landscapes can be breath-taking but remember that daylight hours are short.
- March marks the transition between winter and spring in Turkey. Despite generally pleasant weather, carry a jumper or jacket for the evenings and arm yourself with an umbrella for the occasional drop of rain.
- Flowers are blooming and temperatures are rising as Istanbul hosts its tulip festival showcased by park performances, exhibitions, and concerts. The International Istanbul Cinema Festival happens this month for art and film enthusiasts too. It is hot and dry and cultural activities make this an excellent month to visit the likes of the Fairy Chimneys, the Blue Lagoon, and Hagia Sophia.
- Where you travel in Turkey in May depends on your interests and choices due to lovely, dry weather. Istanbul and Ankara have many cultural and historic sites to visit and cafés and restaurants to relax at. Bright weather enhances Cappadocia and Pamukkale’s sceneries. The Lycian Way, Cappadocia, Taurus Mountains, and Kaçkar Mountains are great hiking destinations.
- Istanbul is celebrating its International Music Festival with sunny days and beautiful evenings. Summer is kicking in as temperatures and crowds rise. Most flock to coastal locations for Mediterranean and Aegean Sea breezes but if you can handle the heat, Istanbul and Ankara have less tourists or locals, making many cultural and historic landmarks quieter to visit.
- It is hot everywhere in the country. The first few days of the month sees tourists flock to Cappadocia for the Hot Air Balloon Festival where balloonists arrive from far and wide to fly over these magnificent landscapes.
- It is peak season with high temperatures and low humidity. Istanbul and central districts enjoy temperatures in the upper 20s, while Bodrum, Izmir and Antalya have the highest temperatures. Trabzon, on the Black Sea reaches temperatures in the mid-20s which makes this an ideal time to hike and cycle.
- It remains high season this month and it is also a great time to be active, enjoy some culture and history and chill out at the beach. Crowds and prices remain high in popular destinations although it is generally quieter as most holidaymakers return to work and school. With warm weather to be expected music buffs flock to the Aspendos Opera and Ballet festival.
- If you want to visit Turkey when the weather is still great and resort crowds are thinning, this is a wonderful time to go. Low rainfall and mild temperatures make it an excellent time to explore Turkey whether you are looking to hike, bike or trek; the autumnal weather provides good weather at reduced costs. This month is full of cultural events and festivals.
- The typical picture of Turkey is a warm, arid environment. This is quite distinct in summer and particularly in the south. A different side of Turkey opens up in November when the rocky mountains and dry landscapes morph into ski resorts and hiking is widespread. It is a great time to see this wonderful nation more intimately.
- Even though this is the rainy season, and the majority of the country is covered in cloud, there are still a few areas where you may experience some lovely days or even swim in calm coastal waters. The ski season is in full swing and for the average skier look at Erciyes for a good ski resort.