Fly over the fairy chimneys aboard a hot air balloon, cook up an Aegean-style feast and sail the Med in your own private boat
Float above the valleys of Cappadocia in a hot air balloon at sunrise
About your trip
Turkey’s rich cultural heritage, extraordinary culinary delights and pink-hued terrain collide in spectacular fashion in this seven-night, eight-day trip.
You and your fellow Flashpackers will lose the tourists, and embrace the real Turkey, a country where you can swim in secret turquoise coves, take to the skies in a hot air balloon and pick your way through ruins dating back to the fourth century.
Turkey’s famous food and hospitality will form the backbone of your trip, from the talented chefs who show you how to make gözleme and the artisans who teach you local crafts, to the guides who lead you through classical ruins and take you on a heady tour of Istanbul’s spice market. This is an unmissable odyssey through Turkey, which will sweep you away from the crowds and straight to the heart of this incredible country.
As well as encouraging our community to donate directly to the British Red Cross Appeal in Turkey and Syria, Flash Pack has committed to donating £100 from every booking of this adventure before 1 May, 2023, to support the earthquake relief effort.
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-5 star hotels
- 2 domestic flights
- We offset your carbon emissions
- Private minibus
- Arrival airport transfer
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure OR proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their adventure starting. Flashpackers must also provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room.
Day 01 A welcome feast
Your Turkish escapade begins at a luxury hotel on the Aegean coast. Here, you’ll enjoy a welcome drink with your Flash Pack group and guide before heading out into the city streets for an immersive food tour of Izmir. As night falls, weave your way through the city’s culinary backstreets to visit authentic local spots you’re unlikely to find on your own. You’ll sample some stand-out local specialities, from stuffed mussels to lokma honey balls, finishing with cocktails at a local bar. What better way to start your trip?
Day 02 Private boating on the Med
Fuelled by a delicious Turkish breakfast, you’ll head off to the port for the ultimate Aegean experience. Today, you’ll spend an idyllic day soaking up the coastal scenery on your very own private boat, exclusive to Flash Pack. During your hours gently cruising across the glittering Mediterranean Sea, you’ll drop anchor off in sheltered bays to swim and snorkel in the crystal blue water. The crew will keep you fed and watered, as well as preparing a delicious lunch on board: think freshly cooked fish or chicken, mezze plates and salads to share. Late afternoon, you’ll head back towards dry land for a relaxed evening at leisure.
Day 03 Turkey’s finest classical site
After breakfast, you’ll take a short drive to Ephesus – the best-preserved classical site in the eastern Mediterranean and one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Take in the vast amphitheatre, stroll the marble streets once walked by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the baths and beautifully restored Library of Celsus. Next, you’ll visit a women’s carpet weaving cooperative in the village of Çamlık, and enjoy a proper home-cooked lunch in the garden of a local home. This evening you’re in for more foodie delights at an exclusive cookery class just for Flash Pack. Together, you’ll discover traditional Aegean recipes, learn the art of clay pot cooking and end the evening devouring your creations with your group.
Day 04 Explore an underground city
You’ll be up early for a short flight to one of Turkey’s most fascinating regions: Cappadocia. Your first stop is a subterranean city hollowed out of the tufa rock. Here, you’ll discover a labyrinth of tunnels, schoolrooms, churches, water wells and even a winery – everything a community needs to thrive 40 metres below ground. Later, you’ll check in at your Cappadocia hotel before heading out to a nearby valley for wine tasting with a local sommelier. As the sun sets, bathing the landscape in that famous dusky pink glow, you’ll sip some of the best local wines of the region while savouring the incredible views over the fairy chimneys and honeycombed hills of this otherworldly landscape.
Day 05 Sunrise hot air ballooning
Before sunrise, you’ll climb into your hot air balloon and float silently up into the sky. Sipping champagne as the sun slowly illuminates the unique geological landscape of Goreme National Park beneath you is an unforgettable experience. Back on the ground, you’ll get up close to the surreal towering boulders on a hike through the Cappadocia valleys. Then, you’ll have the rare opportunity to enjoy a pottery workshop with world-famous artist Galip Korukcu. New skill learned, you’ll head for lunch with a local family in their traditional Cappadocia cave house. Adrenaline junkies might choose to switch up the pace on an optional ATV tour, before heading to a local restaurant for a pottery kebab – an Anatolian specialty of meat and vegetables stewed for several hours in a clay pot.
Day 06 Sunset on a private yacht
Today you’ll fly to Istanbul and check into your final hotel. This ancient city, where East meets West, straddles both Europe and Asia. Although no longer the country’s capital, it remains the economic, cultural and intellectual heart of Turkey with a staggering wealth of attractions: from the huge Byzantine church of Aya Sofya and the imposing city walls to the striking domes and minarets of Ottoman mosques and palaces. This evening you’ll view these incredible sights on board a sunset cruise. Sailing out into the Bosphorus, as the sun sinks slowly below the horizon, you’ll witness the twinkling lights of the great suspension bridge reflected in the glistening strait that separates the two continents.
Day 07 Instanbul insider's tour
For your last full day, it’s time to really get to know this vibrant city. Starting off in the Karaköy district, you’ll walk across Galata Bridge to watch the local fisherman hunting for the catch of the day before heading into the hustle and bustle of the famous Istanbul Spice Market. Here you’ll pass towering mounds of red pepper flakes and sacks of sumac in search of sugar-dusted Turkish delight and aged and tangy cheeses. Cravings satisfied, the peaceful Suleyman Mosque is the next, followed by the buzzing Grand Bazaar and the peaceful Basilica cistern – the perfect place for a moment of reflection. Back at the hotel, you’ll have time to indulge in an optional hammam before ending your final night with a grand farewell dinner.
Day 08 Goodbye, Turkey
It’s time for your last breakfast with your Flash Pack group but it doesn’t need to be your last day in Turkey. We recommend you spend at least a day – or more – exploring Istanbul. And then there’s the rest of this beautiful and welcoming country to see. Ask us for some tips, and we’ll happily point you in the right direction. Until next time, safe travels.
Our Favourite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Doors of Cappadocia
One of Turkey’s best cave hotels, carved into the mountain, with a rooftop pool and beautiful views of Goreme National Park.
Turkey’s first boutique hotel run by the impressive Ms Mujde, lauded for her cookery skills and peerless hospitality.
Marmara Pera Hotel Istanbul
The views from the roof terrace of this hip hotel are incredible – perfect for sipping cocktails by the side of the pool.
- Which airport do I need to fly in and out of? Plus airport code
Fly into Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB). Fly out of either Istanbul Airport (IST) on the Europe side or Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW) on the Asia side.
- What time should my flight arrive? (to arrive in time for the welcome meeting)
We recommend arriving by 3pm.
Your welcome meeting with your Flash Pack guide and group will begin around 5-6pm, although we suggest getting to Izmir earlier to enjoy some free time to explore.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 45 minutes away from the hotel, and your Pack Leader can help you book your transfers the night before if needed.
- Do you include airport transfers?
We offer one arrival transfer which is private to Flash Pack. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived so you can make your own way to the first hotel if you wish. We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- Do I need a visa?
British citizens are exempted from a visa for up to 90 days. However, some nationalities may require a pre-issued visa instead. To check if you need a pre-arranged visa or not, please check the list on this link.
If you are from the USA, you will need a visa to enter Turkey. You can obtain your visa through this website.
For all travellers, please ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you enter Turkey and that there is a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps, as advised by the Turkish government.
- How much luggage can I bring?
The luggage allowance for the internal flights is 15kg. You can pay locally for extra luggage at a cost of TRY 80 (approximately US$5) for each additional 5kg.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
Approximately 400 Turkish Lira, the equivalent of US$45 per day. Pack Leader tips and driver tips are included in the cost.
The luggage allowance for the internal flights is 15kg. You can pay locally for extra luggage at a cost of TRY80 (approximately US$5) for each additional 5kg.
- What fitness levels do I need for this trip?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness here. This adventure is fast-paced, however, the activities aren’t too strenuous so it is a fantastic trip for those with a normal level of fitness who want to see a lot in their time here.
- Will this itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities, and hotels are subject to change. These changes are rare but can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting which we will always try and communicate to you.
What Flashpackers say
"I've never done the group travel thing with strangers but I can honestly say it was perfect. We had a great group dynamic, absolutely no problems there. Our guide was just the best ever. "
"The trip far exceeded my expectations. I like the targeted audience of 30s to 40s - although individuals come from all walks of life there is similar maturity and energy that makes the dynamic easy."
"I had an amazing time. The trip was really well organised, so many varied and enjoyable activities. I met a group of interesting and like-minded people as well."
"Well organised, brilliant tour guide, excellent accommodation and a well-paced itinerary."
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone. Meet your Pack Leaders.
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