Turkey

Culinary Journey of Turkey

It is said that the three major cuisines in the world are the Chinese, French and Turkish Cuisines.  This tour will introduce you to the rich Turkish Cuisine, while enjoying some great local wine. 

TURKISH CUISINE

The influence of Ottoman Turks, who once controlled a vast empire that spanned three oceans and stretched over three continents, is clearly seen (and tasted) in today’s Turkish Cuisine. This special tour is designed to provide an experience of the famous Turkish Kitchen, one of the greatest in the world.  

Turkey has long been a hub for the trading of spices with its strategic position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Turkish Cuisine evolved with a legacy of ancient cultures, going back thousands of years, and on a land that once extended from Vienna on the West, the Arabian Peninsula on the East, Northern Africa along the Mediterranean Sea in the South, and all the land that surrounds the Black Sea to the North. 

On this tour, you will feast as the Ottoman Sultans did, learn more about magnificent dishes that go back hundreds of years, and try a few of the approximately 150 varieties of eggplant dishes! Every region of Turkey has a different local cuisine; the most famous is Southeastern part of Turkey where one city, Gaziantep, has a repertoire that is larger than the entire French Cuisine!  Istanbul has a cuisine that is as diverse as its heritage and as rich as its history. The eastern areas of Turkey utilise heavier spices and sweetness to bring a more Middle Eastern flavour; whilst on the Mediterranean & Aegean coast there are more fresh herbs and less spice.

WINES OF TURKEY

Equally important is the history of wine in present-day Turkey. Anatolia witnessed wine production starting six thousand years ago!  There are remnants from this early wine industry on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara that date back to 4,000 B.C.   The ancient word for wine by this pre-Hittite civilization was Wiyana which became Vino in Latin and Wein in German!  Wine had an indispensable role in the social lives of the oldest civilizations of Anatolia, the Hattis followed by the Hittites. It was the primary libation offered to the gods during rituals attended by royalty and high governors. Provisions under law protecting viticulture in Hittite law, and the custom of celebrating each vintage with a holiday, suggest that wine was important to both ancient economies and ancient cultural rituals. Later, Phrygians from Anatolia introduced wine to the Greeks, and by the 6th Century BC, Anatolian wines were being exported to as far abroad as France and Italy. 

There are 1,250 different grape varietals grown in Turkey, which is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of vineyard acreage and sixth in terms of grape production.  Only about 32 of these grape varietals (22 of them indigenous) are used for winemaking, the rest used to produce raisins.  One of these early Anatolian grapes Misket, became known as “muscat” in Europe. Another varietal from Smyrna (present-day Izmir), was used in the production of the famous wine of “Pramnios”, which is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad.  The most famous grapes for white are Sultaniye, Emir, Narince, and for red are Okuzgozu, Bogazkere, Kalecik Karasi.

There are five main wine producing regions in Turkey today: Marmara and Thrace, the Aegean, Central Anatolia, and the South East Regions.  In this tour, you will visit all, except for the South East!  That has to be a future trip. 

Urla Wine Region Video

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Tour the vineyards of Cappadocia & sample their award-winning wines, enjoy the spectacular Cappadocia landscape from a hot-air balloon at sunrise. Enjoy fantastic dinners in unique venues, including one night when you will be dinner guests of a Turkish family at their 150-year-old restored stone village house. Learn how to prepare famous Turkish dishes. Visit ancient Klazomenia, where you can see one of the world’s first olive-oil production presses.

Tour the various wineries on the Aegean Coast of Turkey, including tastings in Izmir and Urla. Spend time on the quaint island of Bozcaada, visiting well-known wineries, walking on cobblestone streets, mingling with locals, and enjoying cookies from the famous “Cookie Lady” of Bozcaada. Tour the wineries of Thrace where wine production goes back thousands of years. Wine and dine on a cruise on the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia on a private boat, & enjoy Istanbul’s sights.

This 16-day tour is a unique program that brings together historical settings, beautiful vistas, amazing food and wine and boutique hotels!  A perfect itinerary for those who enjoy eating well whilst drinking fine local wine, beer and raki. You’ll be re-living ancient history, experiencing different cultures, and indulging in exclusive culinary & wine experiences.

Small Group Tour of no more than 8 people

Istanbul – Cappadocia – Izmir – Ephesus – Sirince – Sevilen Wineries – Klazomenai – Urla – Pergamun – Ayvalik – Mt Ida – Assos – Adatepe – Ezine – Bozcaada – Troy – Gallipoli – Thrace Wineries – Istanbul

17 days/ 16 nights

  • 3 nights accommodation in Cappadocia – Argos Hotel
  • 1 night accommodation in Sirince – Nisanyan Houses
  • 2 nights accommodation in Urla Wine Region – Urla Bagevi Vineyard Hotel
  • 1 night accommodation in Ayvalik – Cunda Despot Evi
  • 1 nights accommodation near Assos – Ida Blue Hotel
  • 2 nights accommodation in Bozcaada – at a charming B&B in restored stone house, Latife Hanim Konagi or similiar
  • 2 nights accommodation at a winery hotel – Barbare Vineyard House 
  • 4 nights accommodation in Istanbul – Pera Palace Hotel
  • Breakfast daily at hotels
  • All meals & tastings included as per itinerary at hotels & specially selected restaurants and wineries
  • Transportation and transfers as listed in air-conditioned chauffeur-drive vehicles
  • Other transportation including ferry boats
  • All activities, culinary experiences and wine tastings as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Sightseeing and touring with a local English speaking guide on a private basis
  • 24 hour assistance during trip

Contact Journeys Rediscovered for pricing to suit your preferred departure as a private itinerary or to REGISTER your spot on our 2021, 2022 or 2023 Small Group Journeys.

Boutique accommodation twin share. Single Supplements available.

Learn More

Get Journeys Rediscovered’s newsletters delivered directly to your inbox.