If you want to capture the spirit and history of Turkey in just under a fortnight, take this trip. From the magnificence of Aya Sophia and Ephesus, to an afternoon tea in a cave house in Cappadocia, this tour covered the history and cultures of Anatolia from the Hittites to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. There were many highlights. Some were expected (Ephesus being one example), others were not: the House of the Virgin Mary was one, the Calcium Terraces at Pamukkale was another, and the farm-to-table lunch where a local family, who farm organically, served up a delicious meal was yet another.
The accommodation was more than comfortable and even a touch exotic, like the cave hotel in Cappadocia. Most meals were provided, some were set meals, others were buffet meals, but in all cases the food was good and fresh. Although Insight does not include Cappadocia’s famous hot-air balloon rides as part of its itinerary, those interested can book a ride from the hotel. The organisation of the tour, from its beginning in Istanbul to its end in Istanbul, was meticulous, thanks to the tour director, Daghan Erdogdu. He brought his love of his country and its history to the tour.
Like any tour, there will be some who will wish that they had stayed longer at one place and less time at another. This tour struck the right balance. To use a now probably long forgotten Australian expression, ‘I wouldn’t have missed this tour for quids’. As for travelling with Insight again, that I will. And as for using Global Journeys and Jemma again for future tours, that’s a certainty.