Turkey: A Cultural and Gastronomic Journey

14 - 27 Sep 2021
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Turkey’s beauty, culture and cuisine has been attracting visitors for thousands of years. Take a culinary and cultural journey from historic Istanbul – one of the world’s greatest melting pots - to the extraordinary and otherworldly landscapes of Cappadocia, down to Antalya and along Turkey’s beautiful Lycian Coast. Vivid blue waters and spectacular coastlines combine with ancient heritage and delicious local cuisine for an irresistible offering as you take a leisurely three-day cruise on a comfortable gulet.

Enjoy a wide range of food experiences, including local restaurants ranging from traditional BBQ to a seafood dinner with the freshest local fish; visits to local farmers, olive oil producers and wine tastings; and lessons about the culture and history behind the cuisine. Travel along the ancient crossroads between Asia and Europe and discover how Romans, Arabs, Venetians and others brought spices and foods from all over the world.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Lucy Malouf

Lucy Malouf

Lucy Malouf is an award-winning food and travel writer with a particular interest in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. She believes firmly that food is a delicious way of appreciating and understanding histories and cultures different from our own. Together with her first husband, Michelin-chef Greg Malouf, she is the co-author of 8 best-selling food-travel books, including Turquoise a chef’s travels in Turkey, as well as Saha, New Feast and Arabesque. After twenty-five years in Australia, Lucy is now settled in Kent, the garden of England. She contributes features and reviews to anthologies, newspapers, magazines and restaurant guides, as well as food, wine, travel and tourism books and web sites.

In 2019 Greg and Lucy's latest cookbook, SUQAR: Desserts & Sweets from the modern Middle East won the prestigious James Beard Foundation award for Baking & Desserts.

Need more information?

  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Istanbul (Tues 14 September) Arrive Istanbul and check into 10 Karakoy Hotel. Welcome dinner at the acclaimed Aheste restaurant.
  • Day 2: Istanbul (Wed 15 September) At the crossroads of the world: an introduction to one of the great global cuisines:
    Visit the historical Aya Sofya and head onto the Grand Bazaar for a wander through the Bazaar to discover the history of one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Optional lunch at a local restaurant before moving down to the Spice Bazaar to enjoy tastings of all things sweet. Learn how Baklava is made and enjoy Turkish sweets. Wine tasting on the hotel’s rooftop terrace. Have dinner at an authentic traditional local restaurant, Ismet Baba
  • Day 3: Istanbul (Thurs 16 September) Fusion food and the original masterchefs:
    Visit Topkapi Palace, including the palace kitchens and harem. Afterwards, tour the Blue Mosque. Board the ferry to Kadikoy, having lunch at renowned Ciya Sofresi. Meet the chef at Ciya and have a peek behind the scenes into the kitchens of Ciya Sofresi. Take a walking tour of Kadikoy, visiting various fish and food markets. Finish with Turkish coffee and ice cream in the Moda district.
  • Day 4: Istanbul / Cappadocia (Fri 17 September) Ancient vines, modern wines: Fly to Cappadocia: Arrive visit the industrial area of Neveshir to have Tava for lunch, enjoyed by the locals. Visit one of Cappadocia’s most famous wineries to learn about the region’s 4000-year-old wine industry. Help the local harvesters in the vineyard, and afterwards enjoy some wine tasting. End the day with a panoramic view of the sunset. Optional excursion to watch a Turkish show whilst enjoying lamb tandoori.
  • Day 5: Cappadocia (Sat 18 September) Kebab culture:
    Optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia. Walking tour of the Sognali Valley to see alfresco churches and visit the caves to see the potato storage and the seasonal vegetable harvest. Enjoy a light lunch of homemade bread, cheese and vegetables. Go on to explore the 60-metre-deep underground city of Derinkuyu. Learn how the people cooked, how they obtained food whilst living underground and their traditions. Have the chance the see the ancient wine and oil presses, cellars, refectories, stables and chapels. In the evening take a cooking class in a local restaurant that specialises in the Cappadocian speciality of Tetsi Kebab, having the finished result for dinner.
  • Day 6: Cappadocia/Konya/Antalya (Sun 19 September) The cradle of civilisation:
    Transfer down to Antalya, stopping over in Konya to enjoy Etli Ekmek for lunch, a popular local speciality of Konya. Witness the Sufi whirling, a form of physically active medication, subject to availability. Continue on to Antalya to check in the hotel. Time to explore or at leisure in the evening.
  • Day 7: Antalya (Mon 20 September) Bread: the daily miracle:
    Take part in a bread making class and have the results for lunch. Walking tour of the old city of Antalya, including visiting Hadrian’s Gate, Hidirlik Tower, Ottoman-era houses/gardens and Republic Square. Have dinner at Meyhane, enjoying local seafood and raki.
  • Day 8: Antalya / Gulet cruise (Tues 21 September) Bounty from the sea:
    Enjoy a Turkish breakfast at Cinaralti before heading on to Demre and see how local soft borek is made. Board the gulet to begin the cruise. After some time on the gulet, visit the Sunken City, ancient city of Kekova. Enjoy panoramic views from the summit of Simena Castle. Have homemade ice cream at a local café. Head onwards to the fishing village of Ucagiz. Dine at a seafood restaurant, supplied by the local fisherman. Meet with the fisherman and hear about their trade.
  • Day 9: Gulet Cruise (Wed 22 September) Food and family:
    Cruise along to the quaint village of Kas, having some stops on the way for a swim. Head into Kas to the house of one the local families to have a home cooking lesson. Learn how traditional recipes and cooking secrets are passed down by women to women. Enjoy a homecooked village meal including soup and gozleme for lunch. Free time to enjoy shopping in Kas or spend time on the local beaches
  • Day 10: Gulet Cruise (Thurs 23 September) Feasting and fasting:
    Wake up in Butterfly Valley for breakfast, having time for a swim or a wander through the valley. Continue on to Oludeniz and the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy lunch on board before a visiting the ruins of St Nicholas Island to discover the history of the local pirates. Have a swim in the afternoon before transferring to Fethiye for a meal at the local fish markets.
  • Day 11: Gulet Cruise / Selçuk (Fri 24 September) Food for all seasons:
    Check out of the boat in the morning to have a traditional village Turkmen breakfast in Ciflik, consisting of 20 or more dishes of locally grown produce. Meet the owner of the restaurant and hear about the history of the land as well as his restaurant and museum. Afterwards head on to Selçuk. Stopover in Cine to have the traditional lunch of cop-sis. On arrival in Selçuk, check into the hotel and have free time to explore or at leisure.
  • Day 12: Selçuk (Sat 25 September) Liquid gold:
    Early start to visit the ruins of Ephesus, focusing on when Ephesus was the centre of the world. Discover the ancient trade and cuisine culture of Ephesus through learning about the food preparation, storage and the local produce. Return to the hotel and at leisure. Mid-afternoon visit to Oleatrium and learn of the history, manufacture and use of olive olive. Onto to the Yedi Bilgeler Vineyards to learn about their wines and enjoy wine tasting. Dinner amongst the vines with wine pairing
  • Day 13: Selçuk (Sun 26 September) The world on a plate:
    Explore Izmir (formerly Symrna) and take part in a culinary walking tour of this coastal city influenced by the Levantine culture. Return to the hotel. Local dinner at Nisanyan Restaurant in Sirince.
  • Day 14: Selçuk (Mon 27 September): Depart Selçuk after breakfast.

Tour cost

The cost of the tour is USD $4,995 per person sharing

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