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  • The small group
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A MESSAGE FROM BRUCE EPSTEIN

When you're ready to travel, we’ll be here

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What People Are Saying About Us

I would definitely do another Odysseys tour – great company, great value.

Nancy Huntley
Springfield, IL

We continue to be amazed at the value and quality of these trips.

Peg & Ray Dutcher
Wellesley, MA

Love your company and feel like we get excellent value.

Eugene & Carol Simpson
Raleigh, NC

The small group (20) was perfect.

Jacqueline Meyer
Foster City, CA

Love small group tours.  Odysseys does it right!

Kathy Root
Grafton, OH

I loved the small group...I felt safe and well cared for.

Deborah Miles
Denver, CO

Odysseys is our #1 choice for group travel.

Karin Knutsen
Chagrin Falls, OH

It was a truly first-rate experience in every way.

Enid & Jerry Liess
Annandale, VA

Each of our four tours with you has been outstanding!

Howard Sosne
Raleigh, NC

Our first experience made us loyal customers.

Doug Bates
The Villages, FL

First-rate tour. Odysseys Unlimited came highly recommended.

Carol & Michael Ferraris
Massapequa Park, NY

The small group is wonderful and the quality of tour directors is exceptional.

Bill Jones
Vancouver, WA

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX

Odysseys does everything with style, but without pretension. Beautiful meals and hotels. Excellent guides.

Barbara Schoetzau
New York, NY

We like the model – small groups, excellent tour directors, solid hotels, good mix of group/independent activities.

Roger Soder
Seattle, WA

We love the small group experience.

Dave & Alice Wilson
Williamstown, MA

Odysseys tours are just right for us: great value, nice group size, complete trips, sufficient free time.

Laurin & Phyllis LeTart
Shepherdstown, WV

It was the best value in travel we’ve ever had. It was a wonderful experience.

Trish Merrill & Mac White
Austin, TX

This was my 7th trip with Odysseys and they keep getting better and better.

Merle Frank
Miami, FL

Love the small group format and the ease of traveling with arrangements made for us.

Ken & Carolyn Helm
Newburgh, IN

Tour exceeded my expectations having never taken a group tour. An excellent experience – can’t wait for my next one!

Ronni Goldberg
New York, NY

Absolutely the best bang for the buck – organization, quality, consistency.

Harvey Wine
Dallas, TX

Because of the group size and outstanding guides, you make travel easy for us!

Sharon Irwin & John Akamatsu
Kent, OH

Explore the Region

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Meet Our Tour Directors

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Exotic Istanbul, including Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar
  • Private Bosphorus cruise
  • WWI battlefield of Gallipoli
  • Ruins at ancient Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus
  • Rustic village of Sirince
  • “Blue Voyage” day cruise aboard privately chartered yacht
  • Secluded coves and hidden sites along Turquoise Coast
  • Lycian rock tombs
  • Church of St. Nicholas
  • Ancient sites of Phaselis and Perge
  • Antalya’s acclaimed Archaeological Museum
Day-by-Day Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Istanbul, Turkey

Day 2: Arrive Istanbul We arrive in Turkey’s cultural and spiritual heart today and transfer to our hotel located near Taksim Square, the heart of modern Istanbul. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned; on our own we can explore the area surrounding our hotel or simply relax. Dinner tonight is on our own.

Day 3: Istanbul We get our first real taste of this city straddling two continents today as we set out on a walking tour along lively pedestrian Istiklal Street, lined with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and late Ottoman-era buildings. We see the acclaimed mosaics and frescoes at Chora Church (now Kariye Museum) then take a panoramic drive along Istan­bul’s Old City walls. Then we visit intimate Rustem Pasha mosque, with its exquisite Iznik tiles, followed by the renowned Spice Market. After lunch on our own here, we take a private cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway that separates Europe from Asia. This evening we take a short walk to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner of traditional Turkish fare. B,D

Day 4: Istanbul Today we encounter Old Istanbul, beginning with the ancient Roman Hippodrome, the 3,500-year-old obelisk brought from Egypt in 390 CE. Next we visit the Blue Mosque, with its 20,000 blue Iznik tiles and signature six minarets. We then visit the renowned Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art, housing priceless artifacts from the 8th to 20th centuries. After lunch at a local restaurant we con­­tinue on to Hagia Sophia, the 6th-century church that was Christendom’s most important before becoming a mosque in the 15th century. B,L

Day 5: Istanbul This morning we tour splendid Topkapi, for 400 years the palace of Ottoman sultans that today ranks among the world’s richest museums. We continue on to the Basilica Cistern, the marble-columned underground chamber that provided water to Istanbul in antiquity. Our next stop is the Grand Bazaar, the covered market housing some 5,000 shops along 60 “streets.” The remainder of the day and evening is free for independent exploration. B

Day 6: Istanbul/Gallipoli/Troy/Assos Leaving Istanbul this morning, we travel to the northern Aegean Coast for a brief visit to Gallipoli, haunting site of 31 Allied cemeteries from World War I. Then we ferry across the Dardanelles to Troy, once believed to exist only in Homer’s epic poem until the present site was discovered in the 1870s. After touring here we con­tinue south to Behramkale, ancient Assos, where we spend the night. B,L,D

Day 7: Assos/Pergamum/Kusadasi Today we ex­plore one of Turkey’s most spectacular ancient sites: windswept Pergamum, a major power in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, with a wealth of Hellenistic ruins. Then we continue on to Kusadasi. B,L,D

Day 8: Kusadasi/Ephesus Few ancient sites com­pare to Ephesus, the world’s best-preserved class­ical city which we explore today. Dating to at least 1300 BCE, Ephesus was Asia Minor’s largest metro­polis and principal port. Our tour includes the Terrace Houses, the recently restored “houses of the rich,” with their outstanding mosaic floors and frescoed walls. Then we enjoy lunch in the rustic village of Sirince. B,L

Day 9: Kusadasi/Ephesus We return to Ephesus to visit the Basilica of St. John, the 6th-century ruins that stand over what is believed to be the burial site of John the Apostle. Then we learn about Ephesus through the ages, as we tour the Ephesus Muzeum, housing treasures from the archaeological site. After lunch together, we stop at a carpet factory to watch a demonstration of this age-old craft.  B,L,D

Day 10: Kusadasi/Fethiye En route to Fethiye today, we stop in Dalyan, where we board a small skiff for a trip through an intriguing maze of channels. Reaching the Lake of Koycegiz, we see our first Lycian rock-cut tombs on the cliffs above. Dating to 350 BCE, the tombs number more than one thousand along Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Then we continue our journey to the port town of Fethiye, known for its beautiful natural harbor. B,L,D .

Day 11: Fethiye/Cruising This morning we coach to the Greek “ghost town” of Kayakoy, abandoned after WWI and now preserved as a historical monument. Then we board a private yacht for our Turquoise Coast “Blue Voyage” cruise along the stunning coastline that Antony is said to have given to Cleopatra as a wedding gift. We visit secluded coves (including Aquarium Cove, with its waters of brilliant blue and green), have the opportunity to swim and snorkel, and enjoy lunch on board. B,L

Day 12: Fethiye/Antalya We set out this morning on a scenic drive along the coastal road to Antalya, stopping along the way in Demre (ancient Myra). Here we visit the 6th-century Church of St. Nicholas, known for its impressive frescoes, its significance to both Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, and as its namesake’s inspiration for Santa Claus. Then we travel on to the evocative seaside ruins of Phaselis, the ancient Greek and Roman port city now a national park. Following our visit here, we continue on to Turkey’s premier resort town of Antalya. B,L,D

Day 13: Antalya We discover Antalya’s charming old city (Kaleci) on a morning walking tour through its narrow streets, past historic buildings, mosques, and parks. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Antalya’s acclaimed Archaeological Museum, housing priceless artifacts unearthed from sites throughout the region. B,L

Day 14: Antalya/Perge This morning we tour the ruins at Perge, an ancient Greek city once among the world’s prettiest and most prosperous. We also visit the Duden Waterfalls, which tumble about 130 feet into the Mediterranean. Returning to our hotel, this afternoon is at leisure. Tonight, we celebrate our Turkish adventure over a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 15: Depart for U.S. This morning we board an early flight for our return to the United States. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to its fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe and First Class hotels
  • 29 meals: 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 dinners (2022 departures include 30 meals, with an additional dinner on Day 11)
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
2022 Tour Dates & Prices

2022 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Oct 18
Oct 21
Oct 4
Oct 7
Sep 2, 9
Sep 16
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$3,992$4,192$4,392
Chicago, Houston,
Los Angeles, Miami,
San Francisco
$4,292$4,492$4,692
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Charlotte, Dallas, Phil
$4,392$4,592$4,792
Cinc, Cleve, Denver,
Detroit, Minn, Orlando,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
Seattle, Tampa
$4,492$4,692$4,892

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $397, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $795. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2022 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,995 per person

A visa is required for this tour. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

2023 Tour Dates & Prices

2023 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Mar 24
Mar 28
Oct 31
Nov 7
Apr 7
Apr 14
Oct 3
Oct 10
Oct 17
Apr 28
May 2, 9
May 19
May 26
Jun 2
Sep 5, 12
Sep 19
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$3,992$4,192$4,392
Chicago, Houston,
Los Angeles, Miami,
San Francisco
$4,292$4,492$4,692
Atlanta, Baltimore,
Charlotte, Dallas, Phil
$4,392$4,592$4,792
Cinc, Cleve, Denver,
Detroit, Minn, Orlando,
Phoenix, Port (OR),
Seattle, Tampa
$4,492$4,692$4,892

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $397, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $995. Your $475 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2023 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $4,195 per person

A visa is required for this tour. Odysseys Unlimited will provide information about visa requirements upon reservation.

Accommodations
    Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, Istanbul / Days 2-5 / Deluxe

    Overlooking the River Bosphorus and surrounded by gardens, the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus is situated in the heart of the city’s European side within easy walking distance from the shops and restaurants of Taksim Square and Nisantasi.  The hotel offers seven dining options including a Chinese restaurant, Indian restaurant, and pool bar; fitness center; spa with Turkish bath, two saunas, two steam rooms, and massage treatments; outdoor and indoor pool; tennis court; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature a balcony, private bath with hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Assos Eden Gardens, Assos / Day 6 / First Class

    The Assos Eden Gardens Hotel owns an idyllic location, settled between the blue Aegean Sea and the pine-covered hillsides of Assos.  This family-run hotel offers a variety of dining and drinking options, rooftop terrace with panoramic sea views, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, direct access to a private beach, fitness center, Turkish bathhouse with steam bath and sauna (for a fee), laundry and dry-cleaning services (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private balconies with either sea or garden views, and feature private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Charisma Hotel, Kusadasi / Days 7-9 / Deluxe

    Located a 15-minute walk from Kusadasi’s shopping and entertainment areas, the hotel features a private beach and infinity pool with views of the Aegean Sea. The Charisma’s amenities include a Turkish bath, sauna, beauty center, and fitness facilities, along with water sports at the hotel’s beach.  Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available in public areas.  Each air-conditioned room has a balcony, private bath, a phone, TV with satellite channels, and minibar.

    Alesta Yacht Hotel, Fethiye / Days 10-11 / First Class

    The modernly designed Alesta Yacht Hotel sits where the Mediterranean and Aegean seas merge, and is only a 5-minute walk from Fethiye Center.  Featuring a bar, restaurant, and pool, the hotel also boasts a spa and wellness center, sauna, and Turkish bath. Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available in the hotel’s public areas.  All 52 air-conditioned rooms are individually decorated and have a TV with satellite channels, phone, private bath, and seating area with a desk.

    Akra Barut, Antalya / Days 12-14 / Deluxe

    Located just outside of Antalya’s city center, the Akra Barut is set on the Mediterranean, overlooking both the sea and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. The hotel is fully equipped with three restaurants and two cocktail lounges; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; market; fitness center; spa; outdoor pools; tennis courts; and private platform beach. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, coffee- and tea-making facilities, balcony, and phone.

    Hilton Garden Inn Konya, Konya / Extension / First Class

    The Hilton Garden Inn Konya sits in the heart of Konya, a city which has seen continuous human habitation since the 3rd millennium BCE.  The hotel sits close to the Mevlana Museum and adjacent to the Mevlana Cultural Centre.  The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar, 24-hour fitness center, 24-hour mini-mart, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service (for a fee).  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Yunak Evleri Hotel, Cappadocia / Extension / Superior First Class

    The Yunak Evleri Hotel perfectly embodies its destination, as it is built into the side of a mountain, with rock-hewn corridors and sleeping quarters that date from the 5th century.  In addition to these original living spaces, the hotel also boasts a 19th-century Greek mansion that now houses the main lobby and common areas.  Hotel amenities include a restaurant, two outdoor swimming pools, full spa with a range of treatments (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in public areas.  Climate-controlled guest rooms have natural rock walls and ceilings and feature private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Post-Tour Extension

Cappadocia & Konya

5 days/4 nights from $895 total price
Single Supplement: from $175

We visit ancient Konya then explore in depth the bizarre rock formations and underground cities of Cappadocia and the Goreme Valley.

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Private motorcoach transportation Antalya/Konya/Cappadocia
  • 4 nights’ accommodations: one night in Konya at Hilton Garden Inn (First Class); 3 nights in Cappadocia at Yunak Evleri Hotel (Superior First Class)
  • 11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Mevlana (Whirling Dervish) Museum in Konya, rock churches of Goreme Valley (including open-air museum), Kaymakli’s underground city, Zelve Valley, Avanos and Troglodyte villages of Cavusin and Uchisar
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Gratuities for dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Please see the Accommodations tab for hotel information.

Pricing: 2022: $895; Single Supplement: $175. 2023: $1,095; Single Supplement: $245

Tour Directors
Akin Aykurt

”Akin is a true gem! He is knowledgeable, patient, humorous, and very efficient. I learned so much, deepened my understanding of Turkey, and had fun.”
Ruth Clayton
Chula Vista, CA

Ali Dogan

“I can’t imagine a better tour director. Ali combined tremendous knowledge, good humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, and efficiency all together. Most of all he was a pleasure to be with.”
Mark & Pat Allen
Montague, MA

Ahmet Memis

“Ahmet is probably the most knowledgeable tour director we have ever had, including numerous adventure travel guides. He is funny, well organized, and thoughtful.”
Charles & Joanne Young
Brooklyn, NY

Mustafa Ozcan

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Ridvan Uyanik

“Ridvan is an exceptional individual. His mastery of English language and customs, as well as his in-depth knowledge of history and anthropology were the highpoints of this tour. He is a tremendous asset for your tours.”
Karen Holmen & Anthony Nardecchia
White Bear Lake, MN

Berkay Vardioglu

Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director

Hasan Yeniocak

“Hasan was one of the best guides we have ever had. He went above and beyond to make the trip memorable for everyone.”
Donald & Marcia Gabriel
Charlotte, NC

Destination Insight
Exploring…
Suggested Reading for Your Vacation

Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul, Memories and the City
Nobel Prize-winner Pamuk writes with dazzling grace of the city of his birth, a magical place of crumbling mansions and Ottoman riches.

Richard Stoneman
A Traveller’s History of Turkey
An accessible, well-written overview of Turkish history from the Paleolithic to the present.

Eyewitness Guides
Eyewitness Guide Turkey
Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book provides a thorough overview of history, traditions and sights.

Freytag & Berndt
Turkey Map
This shaded relief map includes a detailed map of Western Turkey (1:800,000) on the reverse.

Fodor’s Istanbul’s 25 Best
This slim guide with a pullout map covers with style what to see, where to go and what to do.

John Freely
The Western Shores of Turkey, Discovering the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts
An excellent overview of the ancient sites of the Turkish coast from Istanbul to Gallipoli, Antioch, Pergamum, Ephesus and Halicarnassus.

Ayla Esen Algar
Classical Turkish Cooking
Algar’s enchanting cookbook includes easy-to-follow Turkish recipes and delightful vignettes about their traditional origins. Everything we’ve made has been fantastic!

Robyn Eckhardt
Istanbul and Beyond, Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey
The most extensive Turkish cookbook to date. Beginning in Istanbul, journalist Robyn Eckhardt and her husband take a culinary adventure through Turkey’s lesser-known provinces, plus Syria, Iran, Iraq, Armenia and Georgia.

Roger Crowley
1453, The Holy War For Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West
In this well-paced history, Crowley recounts the dramatic events leading up to and surrounding the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

John Julius Norwich
A Short History of Byzantium
A richly detailed and evocative history of the span of the great empire from the 4th to the 15th century, brimming with intrigue, palace revolution and treachery.

Seton Lloyd
Ancient Turkey, A Traveller’s History
A lively tale of cultures and conquest, from the Hittites to St. Paul, that illuminates the living past of Turkey’s archaeological treasures. This classic by Professor Lloyd, first director of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara is now in a 25th anniversary edition.

Stephen Kinzer
Crescent and Star
This insightful, anecdotal report on contemporary life, culture and politics in Turkey comes from a former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief who is especially attuned to the powerful geographic position of Turkey and its multiple identities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Jason Goodwin
Lords of the Horizons
Goodwin artfully combines his modern travels with scholarship, history and reflection, capturing the outrageous personalities, events and vagaries of the ancient Ottoman Empire.

Lyn Rodley
Cave Monasteries of Byzantine Cappadocia
A professor of Byzantine Studies, Lyn Rodley puts the rock-cut monasteries, hermitages and complexes of Cappadocia into historical context in this scholarly account, first published in 1985.

Freya Stark
The Lycian Shore
The Lycian coast and hinterlands are thoroughly explored in this reprint of a classic account of a 1950s journey by the stalwart Freya Stark, one of our heroines. Heading south from Smyrna, Stark explores rock tombs of Xanthus, shores of the Dalyan River, Hellenic cities of Termessos and Perge and other sites along the Aegean.

Louis De Bernieres
Birds Without Wings
De Bernieres offers sweeping historical scope, memorable characters, drama and many new vocabulary words in this stupendous novel set in Anatolia during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Angie Brenner, Joy Stocke
Anatolian Days & Nights
When Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet on the balcony of a guesthouse in a small resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, they think they have only a mutual friend and a summer dream in common. Soon, they discover a shared love of travel, history, culture, cuisine and literature – and begin a ten-year odyssey through Turkey.

Mary Lee Settle
Turkish Reflections, A Biography of a Place
Settle’s captivating travelogue is a richly detailed portrait of contemporary Turkey, its people, monasteries, myths, archaeological treasures and living traditions. Exemplary.

Jason Goodwin
The Janissary Tree
With beautiful descriptions of Istanbul and its palaces, this engaging and bizarre historical mystery will keep you reading. The Ottoman Empire mysteries continue with The Snake Stone and The Bellini Card, set in 1840s Venice.

Rose MacAulay, Jan Morris (Introduction)
The Towers of Trebizond
Mixing high farce, archaeology, history and lively travel writing, Rose MacAulay’s impossibly witty short novel is back in a new edition. Originally published in 1956, the book follows the adventures of English missionaries traipsing across Turkey from Istanbul to Trebizond.

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