Gourmet Adventure in Turkey
Begin in astonishing Istanbul, eating meze in a traditional meyhane, being awed by the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque and exploring the well trod passageways of the Grand Bazaar. Soak in seaside flavours in the slow food town of Akyaka, visit the impressive ruins of Ephesus near Selcuk and marvel at the astonishing underground cities of Cappadocia. Spend time with a Goreme family and learn the secrets behind central Anatolian cuisine in a cooking class.
Welcome to Turkey and your chance to meet your guide and group members at 6pm. A kebab crawl kicks off your food adventure today. Learn to tell your shish from your iskender as you sample this signature Turkish dish in its many varieties. The perfect way to end the day is with a baklava tasting.
Head to the celebrated Egyptian spice bazaar, meet a spice merchant, sit down for a Turkish coffee and a typical Turkish sweet. Continue your walking tour around Sultanahmet and Eminonu, taking in some of the most celebrated sites of the city, such as Suleymaniye Mosque and the Hippodrome. See the locals making their street food including barbecued corn, roast kestane and Turkish delight. The walking tour ends at the Grand Bazaar and take some time to explore the narrow alleyways at your own pace. As night falls head to a small kitchen to experience a simple meal of Syrian cuisine cooked by an NGO helping refugees.
Today you fly to Dalaman before transferring to the beautiful and tiny coastal town of Akyaka. Here is the home of the citta-slow-movement following the tenets of the slow food movement celebrating eco-gastronomy using locally grown produce and preserving regional culinary traditions. A perfect place to unwind, with nearby beaches, lush forests and overlooked by Sakartepe Mountain. Enjoy excellent seafood and vegetables in one of the riverside restaurants.
Walk through the village Wednesday market and meet the villagers who come into town each week to sell their wares. Sample local olive oil, spices and regionally grown fruit and vegetables. Head out to a nearby farm to learn what life on the land is like in the countryside.
DAY 5 Take a public bus to Selcuk (3.5 hours) and on arrival take time to wander around the town and its several historic buildings. Selcuk is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. This evening visit the Sirince, a local village steeped in Greek Ottoman tradition. Post war settlers revived the wine industry and enjoy a tasting and an opportunity to buy a bottle or two. A gentle walk up sloping cobbled streets and alleyways to a garden café where you will see how manti are made, try your hand at making them and of course eating them.
DAY 6 A visit to Ephesus, one of Turkey's most important ancient sites, exploring this beautifully preserved classical city with a local guide. Experience it's 1500 year history and see how sophisticated the city was with running water, public toilets and a medical institute. Continuing to Izmir you will have dinner before boarding a train for the overnight journey to Konya.
DAY 7 Early morning arrival in Konya followed by a transfer to Goreme (3 hours) where fairy chimneys of Capadoccia come into view. Stop mid morning for a snack and a chance to try Etliekmek, flat bread baked with ground meat, tomato, peppers and onion. Stop at Derinkuyu, a subterranean city that goes up to 60 metres underground. It used to have wine and oil presses,cellars, stables and chapels. For lunch maybe try a local pide, Turkey's answer to pizza. You will finally arrive in Orzahisar for the next two nights where you will be welcomed by your host, Nazim, and his family.
DAY 8 If you are an early bird you may wish to take a balloon flight over Capadoccia. Hike through Soganli Valley taking in the arid surroundings and stop for lunch savouring fresh flavours surrounded by towering vistas. Continue through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, enjoy a glass of local wine.
DAY 9 After breakfast we head to market to learn more about the ingredients of the Central Anatolian region then be welcomed into the home of a celebrated local chef. Nuray has won many awards for her regional cooking and under her tutelage learn to prepare some classic dishes before sitting down and enjoying the fruits of your labour. The rest of the day is free to visit the Open Air Museum or indulge in a Turkish hammam.
DAY 10 After breakfast you fly to Istanbul where your tour ends. However why not extend your stay in Istanbul to use your new found knowledge and enjoy a little more of the cuisine on offer.
Departures - various dates in 2019. Price from £1,060 per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room, single rooms are available on the payment of a supplement. Offers are subject to availability and can be withdrawn without notice.
9 breakfast, 3 lunch, 4 dinners
Local transoport as detailed in the itinerary
5 nights in a hotel, 3 nights in a pension and 1 overnight rail journey
Activities in Istanbul - Kebab Crawl, Spice Market, Street Food Tour. Akyaka - Lokanta Dinner. Selcuk - Manti Cooking Demonstration. Ephesus - guided suite visit. Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City. Goreme - Sunset wine tasting, Tatli demonstration and tasting, Cooking class and lunch
Flights from the UK
Items of a personal nature i.e. drinks
Porterage & gratuities