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Treasures of Turkey

Turkey - Trip code TA Discovery
Days 8
Deposit From £58
Price from £580
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Spend a week exploring some of Turkey's best Greco-Roman sites, including Ephesus and Aphrodisias, as well as relaxing at a thermal spa hotel in Salihli and amongst the olive groves on the banks of Lake Bafa.

  • Pamukkale - Admire the hillside of white travertines terraces and explore historic Hierapolis
  • Sardes - Discover this extraordinary ancient site that is rarely featured on other tours
  • Turquoise Coast - Take a tranquil boat ride through the reeds to Caunos and swim at Iztuzu Beach
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Dinner: 2

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader


  • Transport



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    6 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights premium hotel

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    Trip pace:


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    Group Size:

    12 - 18


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Dalyan

Our trip begins in Dalyan. Once a fishing village on the edge of the Dalyan River it's now grown into a small town that is known for its meandering reed bed waterways that lead to the beautiful golden sand Iztuzu Beach, and for the Lycian rock tombs that can be viewed in the cliffs above the town. The ancient city of Caunos is also only a short walk or boat ride away.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Dalyan at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Dalaman Airport (DLM), which is about 30 minutes' drive from Dalyan. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - River boat to Caunos and Iztuzu Beach

This morning we'll get our first chance to try a traditional Turkish breakfast which usually consists of fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and occasionally fruit. Along with a variety of yogurts, cheese and bread. We then take a small boat through the reed beds to the ancient ruins of Caunos, an important city circa 400 BC. Here, we can hike up to the higher points of the citadel from where there are fine panoramic views to the distant Aegean. We continue by boat to Iztuzu Beach, which is perhaps the best beach in all Turkey, for an afternoon of relaxation and the chance to visit the Turtle Conservation Centre (DEKAMER) before returning to Dalyan in the late afternoon. The conservation centre works to protect the turtle nesting areas on Iztuzu Beach, cares for and rehabilitates injured turtles and also attempts to educate the local fisherman on the importance of using propeller guards.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Drive to Lake Bafa via historic Stratonikeia and Milas

Today we make our way north to our lakeside accommodation on the shores of beautiful Lake Bafa. En route we'll stop at Stratonikeia where there's time to enjoy a picnic lunch and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stratonikeia has been continually inhabited from the Bronze Age and was an important city in ancient Caria. At the site today you can see the gymnasium, bouleuterion, theatre and Augustus-Imperial Temple amongst other ruins.

We continue to Milas where we discover the old town area on foot as well as visiting the Jewish Cemetery and the Gumuskesen Monument, which is a large Roman tomb dating from the 2nd century AD. Later this afternoon we continue to the neighboring town of Euromos where we visit the Temple of Zeus. It's one of the best preserved classical designed temples in the country and dates back to the 6th century BC.

Following our visit we drive on to Lake Bafa, where we'll stay in lakeside chalet style accommodation set amongst olive groves. You may like to enjoy a peaceful lakeside walk or swim before we have dinner here this evening. Lake Bafa was once connected to the Aegean Sea and a number of important harbor towns were set along this gulf. Now it's separated from the ocean and is part of a nature reserve which is home to over 220 bird species including fish eagles, pelicans and pigmy cormorants. You can also find 20 different types of orchid and in the lake itself there are many fish including eels, sea bass and sea bream. The surrounding Latmos Mountains are the habitat of wild cats, boar and badgers.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4 - Visit to ancient Didyma and Priene en route to Selcuk

We drive firstly to Didyma and visit the Temple of Apollo, which was an oracle held as important as the one at Delphi, in Greece. Today the massive scale of the fallen columns and the wealth of the intricate carvings bear testimony to the power of the ancient cult of Apollo. Slightly further down the coast we'll make a beach stop where there's the opportunity to swim, enjoy a picnic or relax in one of the beachside restaurants.

This afternoon we'll visit Priene, which is one of the smallest but most picturesque sites in the area. It's perched on a hillside overlooking the Menderes Valley and was once a thriving Ionian city. It's one of only a few that wasn't built over by the Romans, so archaeologists have been left with a vivid picture of the scale and layout of a typical city from the 4th century BC.

Following our visit we continue to Selcuk, which is home to a prominent Byzantine fortress, impressive mosque and remains of the huge Temple of Artemis, once considered to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but sadly now totally destroyed. Every year from mid-March to mid-August white storks return to Selcuk to mate and their nests can be seen on the top of posts and pillars all around the town. On arrival this afternoon you may like to visit the Ephesus Archaeological Museum or the Basilica of Saint John.

After a busy day exploring you might like to try a popular local yoghurt drink called, ayran, it has an unusual salty and soured milk flavour.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Visit to Ephesus and Birgi; overnight at a thermal spa hotel

We depart early from our hotel this morning to try and beat the crowds for our visit to the great Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, once visited by Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, and also by the evangelist Saint Paul, which was the inspiration for the tenth book of the New Testament, Epistle to the Ephesians. This famous old Asia Minor seaport reached its peak in the 2nd century AD and declined after the 7th century. It was one of the main cultural and economic centres and boasted an excellent gymnasia and a stadium with seating for 70,000 spectators. Other highlights include the Baths of Constantine, the brothel, the Temple of Hadrian with its beautiful facade, the theatre (a giant with 24,000 seats) and the odeon (a 2000 seat music and poetry centre), the Arcadian Way (where Cleopatra entered from the harbour) and the Marble Avenue featuring the 2-storey Library of Celsus, which is one of the most photographed Greco-Roman buildings in the world.

After free time back in Selcuk for lunch we drive to UNESCO listed historical town of Birgi. It was once an Ottoman regional capital and here we'll see the traditional stone houses and the impressive mosque. Later this afternoon we drive onto Salihli where we stay at a thermal spa hotel for the night. Here you may choose to take advantage of the hotel facilities which include an outdoor pool, thermal pool, Turkish bath, sauna and massage room. Situated on the edge of a hill you can take in the lovely views from the hotel terrace and restaurant.


Grade: Premium Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 6 - Drive via Sardes and Buldan to Pamukkale and Hierapolis

This morning we make the quick 10 minute journey to Sardes, a fascinating ancient site rarely featured on other tour operator's itineraries to the area. Here amongst the fascinating ruins you'll be able to see the restored gymnasium, synagogue and the old main road. Sardes was once the ancient capital of the kingdom of Lydia. The synagogue here is one of the most impressive ever excavated with over 80 Greek and seven Hebrew inscriptions found along with sections of a beautiful mosaic floor. The reconstructed gymnasium gives you a real feel for what these colossus ancient buildings would have looked like in their prime.

We drive on to the weaving and textile town of Buldan where there's free time for lunch and to explore. Buldan is famed for a type of thin cheesecloth fabric which is edged with lace and commonly used as bed spreads; they also produce a lot of hanger chiefs and curtains, as well as the 'kaplama', the brightly coloured traditional head dresses of the region.

This afternoon we reach one of Turkey's most amazing natural wonders, the 'frozen waterfall' of Pamukkale. Situated on a high escarpment, Pamukkale has been an attraction since Roman times. Stalactites of a bright white petrified waterfalls cascade from basin to basin. We visit the incredible travertine pools, where you can opt to swim and enjoy the views overlooking the Menderes Valley. Above the terraced pools you'll find the ancient spa town of Hierapolis where the ruins date back to 2nd century BC and the time of Eumenes II. Earthquakes have rocked the area throughout history and the site was finally abandoned in 1334 following a particularly strong quake. Here you can visit the theatre, Temple of Apollo, Frontinus Gate and see a number of sarcophagi as well as having the chance to go into the Archaeology Museum housed in the former Roman baths.

After our visit we'll drive to the nearby city of Denizli to check-in to our hotel. In the city there are a range of restaurants for you to choose from this evening.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Visit the Greco-Roman site of Aphrodisias en route to Kayakoy

Today we depart for the very impressive Greco-Roman site of Aphrodisias, where the goddess of love once bestowed her sensual favours on her willing devotees. This site is in many ways as spectacular as Ephesus, but far quieter by comparison, and there's also an excellent museum on site that you may like to visit. The tetrapylon is a wonderfully ornate example of a huge gateway which would have once welcomed you into the main street leading to the Temple of Aphrodite. The well-preserved odeon and theatre are also well worth seeing, as is the Sebasteion, which is carved with reliefs depicted Aphrodite and her worshippers. The piece de resistance has to be the stadium which measures 270 metre long by 60 metres wide and would have held 30,000 spectators. On the seats you'll find carvings into the rock, which have been graffitied during the athletic events that took place here.

Following our visit we'll drive to Kayakoy; a peaceful farming community close to Fethiye and around 45 minutes' drive from Dalaman Airport. The hotel tonight is set a quiet rural area. On arrival we will take a walk around the deserted Greek village of Kayakoy. Dominating the mountainside that overlooks the village, Kayakoy has fallen into ruin since the exodus of the Greeks in 1923. Today its ghostly buildings cast a strange profile against the sky.

This evening we'll sample hearty Turkish food such as pide - it's like a type of pizza, slow cooked lamb or a barbecued meat selection in the hotel restaurant. Perhaps you'd also like to relax beside the outdoor swimming pool, have a drink in the terrace bar or to take a stroll in the garden.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Swimming pool available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 8 - Trip ends in Kayakoy

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kayakoy.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kayakoy at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman Airport (DLM).

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information



Evenings and early mornings can be cool in the early and late season (before mid May and after early October). During the winter, temperatures usually hover between 0 and 10 degrees, but are usually wet, particularly around the coast. Summers are hot and dry with refreshing sea breezes and clear waters, great for boat trips. It is often cooler on higher ground and in the mountains and can be cold at night, even in the summer. The best time for walking in Turkey is Mid May, June and September, with pleasant temperatures and clear blue skies.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Islam, Christian



Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Pammukale - swim in sacred pool £10.00
Selcuk - Turkish Bath £8.00
Iztuzu Beach - Turtle Conservation Centre (DEKAMER) entrance £5.00


The long Turkish summer can be hot, though much of the Mediterranean coastline is freshened by a sea breeze. A warmer sweater or light fleece and long trousers are advisable for the evenings in early and late season.

March and April and late September to November tend to be cooler so bring layers and some warmer clothes. A light rainjacket may also be useful.

Make sure you bring your swimming costume and a towel with you.

When visiting mosques, women should cover their head, shoulders and knees, so it's handy to pack a scarf. Men should also ensure there knees are covered.


Trainers or comfortable walking shoes are required for exploring the ancient sites and sandals for relaxing.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
don't overload yourself.


We recommend you bring a water bottle, torch (for power cuts and emergencies), sun cream, sun hat, sunglasses and insect repellent. Most importantly don't forget your camera.


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £15 of local currency for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Turkish Lira.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Major foreign currencies such as US Dollars, £Sterling and Euros can easily be changed. We advise against travelling with Travellers Cheques as commission rates are high. Other currencies can be exchanged in larger cities. We advise you to change money in Turkey as rates tend to be better.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATMs are widely available throughout Turkey. To avoid large queues at the airport exchanges, you may wish to xchange some lira before arriving.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Turkey Visas: From 2 March 2020, British nationals travelling for tourism or business purposes will no longer need a visa to enter Turkey for visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period.
\cbpat3 If you're travelling before 2 March you will still need a visa, except for some cruise ship passengers arriving at sea ports for visits of up to 72 hours. It is recommended that you get an e-Visa online through the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website: An e-Visa costs $35 (plus $1.05 service fee) and you can pay by credit or debit card. If you use this option, you should apply at least 48 hours before travel and can do so up to 3 months in advance. In case of technical problems at the Turkish port of entry, carry a printed copy of your e-Visa or keep an electronic copy on a smartphone or other device to show at immigration.

Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim




Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, infectious hepatitis and polio. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

In 2020, Ramadan runs from 24 April - 23 May. Read more about travelling during Ramadan. 

The following 2020 departures of Treasures of Turkey will coincide with Ramadan:
09 May 2020

Why book this trip

In just one week you'll get to discover some of Turkey's best known historical sights along with lesser visited but equally impressive ancient monuments. You'll also stay on the shores of Lake Bafa and in a thermal spa hotel and have time to relax and swim on the beautiful Turquoise Coast.

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Sat 5 Sep 2020 - Sat 12 Sep 2020 Guaranteed departure
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Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee


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