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TURQUOISE TRAILS:
A JOURNEY THROUGH TURKEY

April 12 – 27, 2025

Connect, Explore, Discover
Join Sisterhood Travels on an Enchanting Expedition to Turkey!

Welcome to Sisterhood Travels’ exclusive journey to the enchanting land of Turkey, a mesmerizing destination where East meets West, history converses with the present, and every step is a discovery in a tapestry of cultures. Turkey is not just a country; it’s a bridge between two continents, Europe and Asia, and a melting pot of myriad traditions, customs, and values, making it an ideal destination for the women who travel with The Sisterhood.

Picture this: strolling through bustling bazaars where the air is perfumed with the scent of spices and the vibrant colors of Turkish textiles catch your eye at every turn. Imagine wandering among ancient ruins, where the whispers of Greek and Roman civilizations still linger in the air, and then seamlessly transitioning to the contemporary vibrancy of Istanbul, a city that gracefully balances its rich historical heritage with a lively modern culture.

izmir turkey night skyline

Turkey’s story is as complex as it is captivating, shaped by its pivotal role in the Silk Road trade and its rich nomadic history. This legacy has left behind a country adorned with architectural marvels, a cuisine as diverse as its people, and landscapes that range from sun-kissed Mediterranean beaches to rugged mountain ranges.

Our Sisterhood Travels tour is designed to explore these wonders and connect with them in a meaningful and empowering way. As a group of adventurous women, we’ll delve into the heart of Turkish culture, learning about its intricate past and dynamic present, engaging with local women, and creating bonds that go beyond the usual tourist experience.

Ready to embark on this journey of discovery and sisterhood? Join us as we uncover the layers of Turkey, a country where every moment is a story waiting to be told and every experience a memory to be cherished. Let’s embrace this adventure together, with open hearts and curious minds, as we add our own chapter to Turkey’s rich tapestry. Welcome aboard, Sisters!

OUR ITINERARY

April 12, 2025

Welcome to Istanbul! Once you pass through immigration and customs, you’ll meet your driver in the Arrivals Hall and be transported to our hotel. Today is yours to rest, rejuvenate, and relax. Perhaps you’ll join your Sisters for an informal get-together in the hotel this evening. No meals are included today.

Hotel: Galata’s Hotel, Istanbul

Istanbul girl drinking turkish coffee

April 13, 2025

Today is yours to explore with your Sisters independently. Don’t forget our Welcome Meeting before dinner. (Breakfast)

Hotel: Galata’s Hotel, Istanbul

April 14, 2025

Today, we’ll sample some of Istanbul’s most iconic sites, which connect Greek-Roman heritage with Ottoman- Islamic Art. First, we’ll visit the 17th-century Blue Mosque with its impressive domes and minarets, followed by Hippodrome, the former sporting and social center of the Roman Empire. Next, it’s on to Hagia Sophia (UNESCO), a church-turned-mosque and a true embodiment of Byzantine Architecture, followed by Topkapi Palace and Harem, the former home to the Ottoman Sultans. While we explore the city’s legendary history and architecture, please know that Istanbul is also known for its legendary traffic, which is also an iconic experience — one that requires great patience! This evening, we’ll gather together at a local restaurant where the chef will delight us with their Ottoman-inspired cuisine. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Hotel: Galata’s Hotel, Istanbul

Istanbul pano
Blue Mosque interior

April 15, 2025

Explore Turkey’s culinary heritage as we taste our way around Istanbul’s Golden Horn district during a walking tour that includes visiting the city’s famous Spice Market and multiple tastings of Turkish specialties sampled from local street vendors. This afternoon, take in the high-rises and minarets of Istanbul’s majestic skyline as we sail between two continents during a cruise of the Bosphorus Strait, which divides Europe from Asia.

Later, we’ll head to a historic Hammam and enjoy an authentic Turkish scrub and foam bath. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Hotel: Galata’s Hotel, Istanbul

Bosphorus Strait

ALL ABOUT OUR INCLUDED HAMMAM TURKISH BATH EXPERIENCE

When we arrive, don your pestemal – a traditional wrap that covers your body. Start in the “hot” room, where you’ll relax and loosen your muscles. This is followed by a foam bath and scrubbing, resulting in a deep-cleaning experience that will leave your skin at its most pure. Relax in the aftermath of your glowing skin and enjoy this world-renowned practice. Turkish baths are separated into female and male sections. Changing rooms with lockers are available on-site.

Duration: Approximately 3 hours.

Turkish scrub

April 16, 2025

Early this morning, we’ll leave the bustle of Istanbul behind and enjoy a scenic ride along the sparkling Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles Strait as we make our full-day transfer to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Learn about the many conflicts these waters witnessed over the centuries, including the devastating Battle of Gallipoli during WWI. We’ll stop at Anzac Cove to pay our respects and learn about the site’s significance for Turks as well as Australians and New Zealanders before heading to a local organic winery for a tasting from the vineyards located between the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean. Finally, we’ll cross the Dardanelles Strait to Çanakkale, a small coastal city, and our home for the night. The evening is yours to unwind from your day of traveling. (Breakfast)

Hotel: Cura Hotel, Canakkale

Dardanelles Strait

April 17, 2025

Today is another long but rewarding day of travel that begins with a transfer to the countryside of Pergamon, where we’ll learn about the traditional Turkish craft of carpet weaving, from silkworm cultivation to spinning, dyeing, and patterning techniques. This afternoon, we’ll visit the Ancient City of Pergamon (UNESCO), where we’ll take a short cable car ride up to The Acropolis to enjoy commanding views of the valley below and a tour of the Greek ruins. We’ll end our day in Izmir (known as Smyrna in antiquity), Turkey’s 3rd most populous city and our home for the next two nights. Enjoy free time this evening with your Sisters to explore the seafront promenade with its shops and restaurants, just a short walk from our centrally located hotel. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Hotel: Park Inn Radisson, Izmir

April 18, 2025

This morning, our in-depth tour of Ancient Ephesus (UNESCO) will take us to the Terrace Houses for a walking tour of these impressive residential villas. See the imposing Library of Celsus, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, and walk the paths that Paul the Apostle once walked. We will conclude the morning with a visit to the Archeological Museum, where most of the artifacts from the excavations are exhibited. This afternoon, we’ll travel to charming Sirince, a hilltop village once inhabited by the Greek community and abandoned during the population exchange between Turkey and Greece in 1923. Today’s village is a rare and protected example of Ottoman Christian architecture, known for its locally produced olive oil, wine, and peaches. Here, we can relax at a local café, taste traditional Turkish coffee, and meet with locals who offer Turkish coffee ground readings for those who want to get their fortunes told! Afterward, we’ll head back to Izmir for an evening at leisure with your Sisters. (Breakfast)

Hotel: Park Inn Radisson, Izmir

Library of Celsus
Ancient Ephesus
Ancient Ephesus terrace house

April 19, 2025

We start our day by learning about the folklore of the nazar boncuk (evil eye) at a workshop where these traditional talismans are crafted using a process passed down through generations. Next, we’ll continue our journey inland to Pamukkale (UNESCO) to visit the famous Cotton Castle, named for its natural cascading thermal pools, white limestone, and the ruins of the Greco-Roman period. While here, it’s your choice! Visit the Cleopatra Antique Pools and bathe in thermal spring water surrounded by columns and paving stones from the ancient city -OR- take a guided tour of the archeological site via golf cart and visit the local museum. Whichever you choose, everyone will also have free time to visit the site’s “Cotton Candy” pools. We’ll check into our hotel this evening and enjoy a relaxed buffet dinner together. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Hotel: Doga Thermal, Pamukkale

nazar boncuk
cotton castle Pamukkale pano
Cleopatra Antique Pools

April 20, 2025

Today, we’ll return to the coast after a full-morning transfer to the quaint riverbank town of Dalyan. In the early afternoon, we’ll tour the ruins of Ancient Kaunos before checking into our hotel for the next two nights — a small, family-run bed & breakfast with simple accommodations and a scenic deck overlooking the river. The evening is yours to share with your Sisters as you stroll the streets of Dalyan browsing the local shops or finding a new favorite café and soak in the local life. (Breakfast)

Hotel: Arp Hotel, Dalyan

Dalyan
Ancient Kaunos

April 21, 2025

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning before we set off for a relaxing boat trip along the river that connects Dalyan to the Mediterranean Sea. Enjoy the unique environment as we pass through the marshland that is home to birds, fish, and turtles. Take in views of the Aegean coastline and make some stops along the way for swimming (weather permitting). After lunch in a local restaurant, prepare for a wonderful experience at a loggerhead turtle rescue and conservation center. We’ll return to Dalyan for an evening at leisure with each other. (Breakfast and Lunch)

Hotel: Arp Hotel, Dalyan

Aegean coastline

April 22, 2025

Prepare for a full day of travel, beginning early and following the path of the ancient Silk Road trading route that once led from China all the way to Istanbul. The first leg of the journey takes us to the region of Isparta where the landscape and climate have proven ideal for the cultivation of aromatic plants. We’ll stop to visit an eco-center that uses sustainable practices to cultivate their organic crops. After a light lunch of Turkish pancakes, we’ll continue on to Konya, arriving in the early evening. We’ll stop for dinner at a local restaurant before checking into our hotel for the night. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Hotel: Bayir Diamond Hotel & Convention Center, Konya

April 23, 2025

We’ll begin our morning in Konya with a visit to the Mevlâna Museum, the world center of the Whirling Dervishes. Next, we’ll visit Sultanhani Caravanserai, one of the largest surviving caravanserais along the Silk Road. After viewing the soaring vaults of this fortified road stop, we’ll travel on, arriving in Cappadocia in the early afternoon for a tour of one of the region’s famous underground cities. These subterranean towns, some built almost 3000 years ago, provided refuge for their inhabitants during times of war and invasions. As we head toward our hotel, take in the ethereal scenery and mesmerizing rock formations created by thousands of years of volcanic activity and erosion. This evening, we’ll check into our home for the next three nights, a cave hotel with rooms carved out of the soft stone of the natural landscape. (Breakfast)

Hotel: Exedra Hotel Cappadocia

Mevlâna Museum
Cappadocia
Cappadocia

April 24, 2025

Get an early start with an optional balloon ride**** that takes you soaring above the “fairy chimneys” and rock dwellings dotting the hills and valleys below you. After reconvening with your Sisters, immerse yourself in Cappadocia’s lunar landscape. We’ll visit Göreme’s Open-Air Museum (UNESCO), a vast site comprising 11 early Christian rock-cut churches and monasteries often adorned with colorful frescoes. For lunch, we’ll join a local family at their home for a taste of home-cooked burek (a savory pastry filled with cheese or potatoes), accompanied by tea. This evening, we’ll come together for a Whirling Dervishes ceremony. Please note that this is a religious ceremony (not a performance), and photography will not be permitted (although the Dervishes may linger for photos afterward). (Breakfast and Lunch)

Hotel: Exedra Hotel Cappadocia

Cappadocia
Whirling Dervishes

April 25, 2025

We’ll start the day with a countryside walk in Love Valley, famous for its conspicuous rock formations. Follow the winding path among the fairy chimneys and contemplate the otherworldly view. Then, we’ll visit a pottery workshop and learn how locals use the area’s natural resources by extracting clay from the surrounding soil and developing pottery into an art form. This afternoon, we’ll have fun together as we participate in a hands-on cooking class, learning how to make traditional Cappadocia dishes, like slow-roasted testi kebab, before enjoying the results for dinner. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Hotel: Exedra Hotel Cappadocia

Love Valley woman sitting and looking

April 26, 2025

We head to the airport in Kayseri this morning for our short flight back to Istanbul. After a drive back to the city, we’ll stop at the colorful Grand Bazaar. This intricate complex of covered streets and shops has been in operation for over 600 years and is one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets. Later this afternoon, we’ll check into our hotel before regrouping for our Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant. (Breakfast and Dinner)

Hotel: Galata’s Hotel, Istanbul

April 27, 2025

Sadly, our exploration of Turkey comes to a close today. We’ll transfer back to the Istanbul airport for our flights home. (Breakfast)

OPTIONAL EXCURSION

HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE IN CAPPADOCIA AT SUNRISE – $290 per person

Cappadocia girlfriends

On a sunrise hot air balloon ride above magical Cappadocia, get an aerial view of extraordinary rock formations and timeworn hills. Float above the rocky valleys as the morning sun paints the landscape rose pink in the peaceful still air of dawn. You will depart the hotel at approximately 5:00 am and return in time for breakfast before rejoining our group for your included activities.

PLEASE NOTE: Agility is required for climbing into and out of the balloon’s basket. The burner that powers the hot air balloon is positioned above the travelers’ heads and is noisy and hot. The balloon ride is subject to wind and weather conditions and may be canceled at the last minute, in which case you will be refunded.

Every effort is made to secure our spots, but when demand exceeds availability, balloon operators retain the right to cancel reservations even if previously confirmed. If this should occur, you will receive a full refund. You cannot book this optional excursion after December 12, 2024.

Transportation is included. Duration: Approximately 4 hours.

Exedra Hotel Cappadocia

a world of enchantment and wonder

The Exedra Hotel Cappadocia is a unique and exceptional hotel located in the heart of Turkey’s stunning lunar-like landscape. It offers an experience that combines luxury with history, comfort with adventure, and hospitality with the magic of nature.

The hotel is a masterpiece of architectural innovation and historical preservation, carved into the ancient fairy-tale chimneys and caves of the region. It provides an unforgettable stay that intimately connects you with the rich tapestry of Cappadocian history. Each room and suite is thoughtfully designed to blend the natural cave formations with modern amenities, creating an authentically rustic and comfortably luxurious ambiance.

In essence, the Exedra Hotel Cappadocia is a sanctuary where luxury meets history, where each moment is steeped in the wonder of discovery, and where every guest is invited to be part of a story that has been unfolding for thousands of years. It’s not just a stay; it’s a journey into the heart of Cappadocia.

IS THIS TRIP FOR YOU?

Please Read If You Are Interested In Trip

Our exclusive tour includes several early-morning departures and full-day transfers. In particular, on the day we travel from Istanbul to Canakkale, we will depart the hotel in Istanbul at 7:30 a.m. to beat the city’s legendary traffic and travel a distance of over 210 miles. We’ll experience additional long driving days when we journey 205 miles from Çanakkale to Izmir and 346 miles from Dalyan to Konya.

When it comes to sightseeing, some of the most unique experiences may require accessing locations that restrict motor coaches. This is especially true in historical areas like Istanbul’s Golden Horn district, the town of Dalyan, and the archaeological sites of Pergamon, Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Kaunos. In particular, sightseeing in Istanbul involves walking a minimum of 2 miles per day. The streets are cobblestoned with narrow sidewalks, and sometimes uphill. At the archaeological sites of Pergamon, Ephesus, Kaunos, and in Cappadocia, our itinerary includes many activities that require walking on uneven, unpaved terrain, often with loose stones. Visiting sites such as the Underground City and the Göreme Open-Air Museum requires climbing and descending steep staircases and/or ramps with limited to no handrail help. Some of these visits may not be suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia. Agility is required to board the boats for our included tours.

In order to fully enjoy your visit to this amazing destination, some of our hotels are situated in smaller towns or on country roads that are not easily accessible by large coaches. In such cases, we will be dropped off as close as possible to the hotel, and there may be a short walk required to reach the hotel from the drop-off area.

The natural pools of Pamukkale’s “Cotton Castle” can be seen from a viewpoint. However, due to the weakening of the natural water spring, only about 15% of the pools have water in them. To access the pools, you need to walk barefoot on wet and slippery limestone. Wearing any kind of shoes is not allowed as it can damage the fragile limestone. We recommend bringing a towel with you if you plan to visit the pools. Please note that bathing in the pools is not permitted.

If you decide to visit the Cleopatra Antique Pools, please be aware that the entrance fee covers the use of changing rooms equipped with lockers and showers. You are responsible for bringing your own towel and swimsuit. Additionally, you should be able to climb in and out of the pool using a pool ladder.

Swimming stops will be made during the trip, subject to weather conditions. In April, the water temperature in this part of the Aegean Sea typically averages around 63F (17.2C). It is important to bring sufficient sun protection. Please note that when swimming from the boat, you will need to use a pool ladder to enter and exit the water.

Trip Inclusions

pricing

EARLY BOOKING BONUS

$300 discount per person when booked with deposit by 11:59 pm EDT on December 31, 2023. This discount has no cash value and does not decrease the deposit due at time of booking.

Use Promo Code: EARLYTURKEY

PRICING

Double Occupancy
$ 6999
00
per person
  • TURQUOISE TRAILS: A JOURNEY THROUGH TURKEY

PRICING

Single Occupancy
$ 8599
00
per person
  • TURQUOISE TRAILS: A JOURNEY THROUGH TURKEY

important information

PLEASE READ THIS INFORMATION CAREFULLY

  • There will be a maximum of 24 Sisters on this tour, including your Sisterhood Travels Group Leader
  • Airfare is not included in your pricing.
  • You will fly roundtrip to Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
  • You can arrive at any time on April 12, 2025, and depart at any time on April 27, 2025.
  • Check-in time at your arrival hotel is at 3:00 pm.
  • All flight arrangements must be submitted to Sisterhood Travels on or before December 12, 2024. If you need help making flight arrangements, or to submit your independent flight arrangements, please click here for Airfare Information.
  • Arrival transfers are provided only on April 12th from the Istanbul airport to our hotel. Departure transfers are only provided on April 27th from our hotel to the Istanbul airport. If you arrive or depart outside these days and/or you’re needing transfers or hotels elsewhere, you are responsible for making your own arrangements at your own expense.
  • A visa is required for travel to Turkey and needs to be obtained in advance in E-Visa form at https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/. Rates are approximate and can be changed at any time based on governing authority. Please consult with your embassy/consulate for proper documentation.
  • When reserving single accommodations, be advised that single rooms in Turkey are often smaller in size.
  • Modest attire is required for visiting religious sites. Mosques require all visitors to remove their shoes. We recommend wearing or bringing a pair of socks to use during the Mosque visits. Women must cover their heads with a scarf and wear long skirts or trousers.
  • Please don’t schedule any optional excursions on your own for this trip, as we cannot promise that you will arrive in time at any location to make your independent excursion. Sisterhood Travels won’t be liable for any expense you incur because of this.
  • Gratuities for your Tour Director and coach driver are not included in your pricing. We will provide you with tipping guidelines for your trip.
  • Optional Travel Insurance is not included in your pricing. We will send you a quote via email.
  • We cannot accommodate wheelchairs or assistive mobility devices on this trip.
  • There are no refunds for unused portions of this tour.
  • Dates and times of itineraries and hotels listed are subject to change without notice due to operational or logistical reasons.
  • Any optional expenses or expenses related to anything not specifically listed in this itinerary are not included.

Need a Roommate?

Cancellation & Refunds

Activity Level 4

Activity Level:

Busy

This is a consistently robust itinerary that is likely to be filled with a combination of long, active days, several early hotel departures and some long journeys by coach. There may be limited time for rest and rejuvenation as you explore these amazing destinations. There may be multiple flights and travel by non-traditional means such as safari vehicles, rickshaws/pedicabs, etc. Guests should have reasonable health and mobility and be capable of walking 1-2 miles over time over potentially difficult terrain which may include hills. Guests should be comfortable with standing for longer periods of time with no difficulty.