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Turkey: World Nomad Games

Group Tour

11 Days From A$4,338

Overview

Set against a backdrop of mythical landscapes we’ll journey into the Anatolian heartlands of Turkey, on an adventure that coincides with the 4th World Nomad Games. A unique cultural event held every two years, the Games provide a fitting climax to what promises to be an unforgettable odyssey into the golden lands of King Midas.

Beginning amongst the magical creations of Cappadocia, we’ll travel through the UNESCO landscapes of Göreme and the Soganli Valley, before ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

10 x Breakfasts
9 x Lunches
7 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, trains and a public boat across the Sea of Marmara.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 16

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in comfortable hotels throughout. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

VERY HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Turkey: World Nomad Games
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN CAPPADOCIA

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN CAPPADOCIA

The tour starts this evening amongst the magical landscapes of Cappadocia. Erosion over millennia of the soft volcanic tufa has created not only a stunning natural scenic backdrop but also a region that has inspired human endeavour in the shape of underground cities as well as rock-cut churches and fortresses. This will be our base for the next 3 nights.

Sofa Hotel or similar
Dinner

DAY 2: IN & AROUND CAPPADOCIA

DAY 2: IN & AROUND CAPPADOCIA

We will spend the whole day exploring some of the highlights of the region, beginning at the Göreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we will walk through the valley and explore the painted churches of this former Byzantine monastery. This afternoon we’ll visit Kaymakli underground city, originally carved out by the Hittites around 3000BC, and then Uchisar Fortress, built by the Romans, from where we’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of the area. We’ll also take a walk to visit the fairy chimneys known as 'Love Valley' before returning to Avanos for the evening.

Sofa Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: CAPPADOCIA - SOGANLI VALLEY - CAPPADOCIA

DAY 3: CAPPADOCIA - SOGANLI VALLEY - CAPPADOCIA

A second day to enjoy this stunning area, we’ll head to the lesser known Soganli Valley today to enjoy a 2-hour walk and see several of the painted churches. We’ll also visit the unspoiled villages of Cemil, Taskinpasa and Sahin Efendi before returning to Avanos town, set on the banks of the Kizilirmak - the Red River. The red clay of the river provides the raw material for pottery, which has been produced in this area for centuries. There’ll be time to visit some of the family-run potteries for which the town is famous this afternoon.

Sofa Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA - KONYA - ANKARA

DAY 4: CAPPADOCIA - KONYA - ANKARA

Leaving Cappadocia this morning, we’ll drive across the plain of Konya stopping to visit Sultanhani, one of the largest caravanserais on the Silk Road, dating back to the 13th century. Continuing on to Konya, we will visit the Mevlana Museum, containing the tomb of the great dervish and poet Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi. We’ll also visit the Seljuk period Karatay Madrassa before taking a late afternoon bullet train to Ankara, Turkey’s modern-day capital.

Divan Çukurhan Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: IN & AROUND ANKARA

DAY 5: IN & AROUND ANKARA

Today we’ll visit two of the country’s most essential sights. The first is the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, one of the world’s most critically acclaimed museums (and deservedly so) displaying artefacts found within the borders of Turkey between 100,000 BC and 200 AD. The second is the Mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey’s revered “father” who almost single-handedly is responsible for Turkey’s continued existence today following its defeat in World War I. This enormous monument is dedicated to Ataturk and the architecture of the mausoleum is based upon the caravanserai staging posts of the Silk Road. We will also have a chance to see Ankara Castle, with its great views over the city.

Divan Çukurhan Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6: ANKARA - GORDION - IZNIK

DAY 6: ANKARA - GORDION - IZNIK

After a good breakfast we depart for the Art-deco Ankara Station and board the high speed train for Polatli, just 40 minutes from Ankara. A private bus will take us across the steppeland to the fabled site of Gordion, capital of the Phrygian Empire. Made famous by King Midas and his love of gold, and the 'Gordion Knot' that Alexander the Great came so much out of his way to cut, this compact site and museum's most spectacular exhibit is the 'Tomb of Midas' a huge tumulus tomb that was opened to the public with the help of the Turkish mining board, who burrowed into the Juniper-beam constructed burial chamber. The aromatic smell of the Juniper wood is still perceptible even after almost 3000 years underground. We continue to Bilecik on the high speed train and then journey to the attractive lakeside town of Iznik by bus. Iznik is the modern name for the ancient town of Nicaea, where Roman Emperor Constantine the Great called all the bishops of the early church together in AD325 to agree the basic tenets of the Christian Church that are still in force today, the Nicene creed being read in every mass. There are well preserved remains of the city walls a theatre and the Church of St Sophia. First conquered by the Selçuk Turks in 1081, the town changed hands many times during the crusades, until finally falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1331, after which Izmit became famous for the beautiful blue tiles produced here, most famously decorating the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Eleia Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: IZNIK - WORLD NOMAD GAMES

DAY 7: IZNIK - WORLD NOMAD GAMES

Begun in 2014 and held every two years, the Nomad Games provide an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the rich traditions and cultures of the Central Asian nomads. A colourful gathering of Tajiks, Tatars, Uzbeks and Uyghurs, this spectacular festival brings together an array of food, entertainment and sporting prowess that epitomises the tribal peoples of Central Asia, Persia and the Siberian steppes. We will enjoy a full day at the games today.
Please note that the exact line-up for the World Nomad Games has yet to be published and the descriptions given are based on the 2018 Games held in Kyrgzstan

Eleia Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: IZNIK - WORLD NOMAD GAMES

DAY 8: IZNIK - WORLD NOMAD GAMES

Another full day of entertainment and culture presents a chance to enjoy traditional wrestling, eagle hunting and the unique sport of kok-buru (headless goat polo!). Begun by the nomadic Turkic people who spread west from China and Mongolia, kok-buru is one of the most chaotic and celebrated of all the sports on offer and involves two teams of riders wrestling for possession of the headless carcass of a goat, which they attempt to deliver across the opposition’s goal line.
Please note that the exact line-up for the World Nomad Games has yet to be published and the descriptions given are based on the 2018 Games held in Kyrgzstan

Eleia Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: IZNIK - ISTANBUL

DAY 9: IZNIK - ISTANBUL

Bidding a fond farewell to Iznik we head west toward Bursa, first stopping at the Ottoman 'model village' of Cumalikizik, aft the foot of Mt Uludag. Set up by a Ottoman 'Vakif', a charitable trust, to improve the lives of the villagers, this is an early version of a new town and is part of the UNESCO site of Bursa. We continue to Bursa and visit the Selçuk masterpiece of the Great Mosque full of quiet places for quiet reflection, so different to the grand open spaces of the Ottoman period mosques we will visit in Istanbul. We continue to the shores of the sea of Marmara at Mudanya and board a fast ferry to Istanbul, the most appropriate way to arrive at this great maritime city, where great sea routes and land routes intercept, creating what was the world's biggest city for a thousand years and centre of the world's three largest empires (Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman) for over 1500 years.

Sultan Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10: IN & AROUND ISTANBUL

DAY 10: IN & AROUND ISTANBUL

We’ll spend the morning exploring Sultanhamet, Istanbul’s historic centre. Here we’ll see the iconic Aya Sophia, which was built at the command of Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. We’ll also visit the Blue Mosque, with its magnificent series of domes and semi-domes, and with its six slender minarets sprouting from the corners of the mosque. From here we discover the ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the centre of Byzantine civil life. In the afternoon you’ll be free to experience the extensive Grand Bazaar, one of the largest in the Middle East and a shopper's mecca since just after the mid-15th century as well as the underground Roman Cisterns. Tonight we’ll meet up for our final group dinner.

Sultan Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: TOUR ENDS IN ISTANBUL

DAY 11: TOUR ENDS IN ISTANBUL

The tour officially ends after breakfast but those on the suggested group flight will have the whole morning and early afternoon free for further exploration.

Breakfast

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Events

World Nomad Games

Held every two years (although postponed in 2020 due to coronavirus) the World Nomad Games provide an opportunity to celebrate and showcase the rich traditions and cultures of the Central Asian nomads. A colourful gathering of Tajiks, Tatars, Uzbeks and Uyghurs, this spectacular festival brings together an array of food, entertainment and sporting prowess that epitomises the tribal peoples of Central Asia, Persia and the Siberian steppes. 2021 will be the first year that the Games have been held in Turkey rather than in Kyrgyzstan.

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
TK 2014 Istanbul (IST) 16:00 Kayseri (ASR) 17:35
TK 1988 London Heathrow (LHR) 06:45 Istanbul (IST) 12:40
TK 1983 Istanbul (IST) 18:35 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:45

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Turkey which can be obtained online

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Explore Istanbul

With its incredible historical and cultural legacy, you could easily spend a week exploring this fascinating city that sits astride both Europe and Asia. Allow 1-7 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

September is generally considered to be a great time to visit Central & Western Turkey after the heat of the summer has dissipated. Daytime highs should be in the low to mid 20Cs and rain, while always possible, is unlikely to be problematic.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, however please note that in order to fully benefit from all aspects of the trip you should be sufficiently active to be able to walk around the vast open areas of Cappadocia and feel comfortable getting on/off trains and boats.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking. 

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 3850 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION

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