Guided Tours to Turkey
TURKANA ODYSSEY TRAVEL OFFERS A RANGE OF SERVICES
Welcome to the Turkana Odyssey Travel site. We specialize in planning cultural tours to Turkey for sophisticated travelers. Please go to the appropriate section below for information about:
*** CUSTOMIZED TOURS
*** OUR HOTELS
*** OUR YACHT
*** RESERVATION FORM
Each spring and fall Turkana Odyssey offers a guided tour called "An Insider's View of Turkey". It is so called because tour leader Peter Davies lived in Turkey for 3 years in the early 1960's and has traveled there regularly for over 50 years and, therefore, has a deep familiarity with the country, its history, and people.
THE 2017 SPRING TRIP: May 22-June 5: postponed till further notice
THE 2017 FALL TRIP: September 24-October 12: postponed till further notice
The total cost for the entire three week tour is $8900 per person double occupancy. It is possible for participants to choose which "acts" they wish to take, but a minimum of two acts must be taken. See below for the individual act costs.
THE ITINERARY FOR THE SCHEDULED 2017 SPRING & FALL TOURS:AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF TURKEY IN FOUR ACTS:
ACT I: ANCIENT IONIA & CARIA (THE AEGEAN COAST)
3 days: @ cost $1700 per person double occupancy
We of course visit Anatolia's greatest Hellenistic city, EPHESUS. Unlike many other tours, we also visit the important regional archaeological site of Priene (a wonderful example of an early Greek Ionian city). In nearby Caria, we visit Miletus, one of the richest cities in the Roman world, the temple of Didyma, the largest temple ever built in Anatolia, and the place of an oracle Replicas second only to that of Delphi, and the romantic site of Aphrodisias, one of the major centers of sculpture in the Roman Empire. In addition to these important Graeco-Roman sites we also visit ruins from the region's Byzantine past as well as a perfectly preserved Ottoman village.
Act I will not only put you in touch with the ancient Graeco-Roman history of Ionia and Caria, but also with the origins of Christianity and the survivals of the region’s Byzantine and Selcuk past. You will also experience the beauty of the Aegean coast, the rich culture of today's Turks, and their remarkable cuisine.
Included: airport transfer & transportation by deluxe Mercedes Benz midibus, four star hotel, site & museum entries, guide & resource person service, and all meals (exclusive of cost of alcoholic drinks) except one lunch and one dinner. Not included: international air fare, Turkish visa, tips for guide & driver or for personal services at hotels: laundry, phone, room service charges.
ACT II: THE LYCIAN COAST BY GULET (YACHT)7 days @ $3100 per person double occupancy
THE BLUE JOURNEY: LYCIA: The coastal area between Marmaris and Antalya known in ancient times as LYCIA, is one of the Mediterranean's lesser known corners, best seen by boarding a deluxe "gulet", a Turkish sailing yacht. The Turks call this sailing experience "Mavi Yolculuk" (the "Blue Journey")
During our seven day cruise we explore one of the most exquisite coastlines in the world. With its unspoiled beaches, extraordinary scenery, picturesque villages, and Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ruins the mysterious Lycian coast creates the perfect balance of pleasurable relaxation and intellectual stimulation.
Each day will be a mix of relaxation on deck, stops for swimming and kayaking, dinners on deck in quiet coves, and shore visits to archaeological sites, unspoiled villages and bustling towns. In addition to stopping at Turkish villages and towns -- and hidden coves -- we drop anchor periodically at the ruined cities and ports of ancient Lycia, a little known Greek civilization, whose golden age was in the centuries just before and after the time of Christ.
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The travel writer Freya Stark said of Lycia: "There are not so many places left where magic reigns without interruption and of all those I know, the coast of Lycia was the most magical."
Included: a spacious cabin with en suite bathroom on a deluxe yacht, delicious Turkish on-board meals, site & museum entries, transportation to sites, guide & resource person service.
Not included: gratuities to the yacht crew, drivers and guide, cost of alcoholic drinks, one on-shore lunch & dinner, laundry & phone charges, etc.
ACT III: ONCE CONSTANTINOPLE/NOW ISTANBUL
5 days @ $2400 pp dbl occupancy
For five centuries, this ancient city served as the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Before that for over a thousand years it was known as Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. And even before that it existed as a Byzantine settlement as far back as the thirteenth century B.C. Consequently it is a city rich in history with its mosques, churches, palaces, covered bazaars, city walls, castles, waterside mansions, and its energetic polyglot population.
Throughout its history this great imperial city has been a unique fusion of East and West and still today its spirit is unlike that of any other city. Now the largest city in Europe, it has undergone a renaissance and is again a vibrant metropolis on a par with Rome, Paris, and London as a center of culture and style, with a wealth of attractions and tourist facilities.
Since our Istanbul hotel will be situated only a stone's throw from Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and major museums, mornings will be free for you to explore the immediate neighborhood on your own while in the afternoons excursions will take you to distant attractions or places off the beaten path. Potential afternoon Istanbul itineraries (prepared by Peter Davies) include:
- Ottoman Masterpieces: The Imperial Mosques of Sinan
- Fragments of Byzantium: Its Palaces, Churches, and the Theodosian Walls
- Fragments of Jewish Life: Its Synagogues and Neighborhoods
- A day trip to Edirne, the second capital of the Ottoman Empire
- The Sacred and the Profane: Eyup and Pera (Turkey's Most Sacred Muslim Shrine, and the once louche ghetto of the European Christian traders.)
Included: hotel, minibus transportation to sites and airport transfers, guide service, site entries, breakfasts and one complimentary fish dinner at Kum Kapi. Not included: lunches and dinners (except for Kum Kapi dinner), gratuities to driver, personal services at hotels (phone, laundry, room service charges), entries to sites or museums you visit on your own.
ACT IV: KONYA, & CAPPADOCIA
4 days @ $1800 pp dbl. occupancy
In Central Anatolia we visit what was Ancient Cappadocia with its bizarre lunar landscape of tufa rock formations, which resulted from two massive volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. In our medieval period, the region became an important center for early Christianity. It remained a largely Greek region until the population exchanges of the 1920s. Surviving from this history are medieval rock churches and monasteries, with early frescoes, huge underground cities, and cave houses. The region is well known for great hiking, biking and hot air ballooning. Your "hotel" will be a restored cave house. From Cappadocia you travel overland to Konya, ancient Iconium, the center of the Whirling Dervishes and once the capital of the Selcuk Turks. This steppe city in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was so renowned for its Selcuk architecture that the saying was "See all the world, but see Konya."
We have calculated our costs on the assumption that we will have 10 travelers staying in 5 double rooms throughout, and based on today’s dollar/lira and dollar/euro exchange rates. The yacht may have varying cabin sizes, which will require adjustment between those staying in standard cabins and those in master cabins, but the overall average price cost for those who opt for all four acts: $8900 per person. The individual act costs are listed at the beginning of each act described in the itinerary. You must take a minimum of two acts. The overall cost does not include international air fare. There will also need to be an adjustment for anyone traveling as a single requiring a single room or cabin, and in the event of major currency swings of greater than 5%.
Also, those who do not fly Turkish Airlines to and from Turkey will incur a surcharge to cover the costs of the domestic flight between Istanbul and Izmir and Kayseri and Istanbul (approximately $400). A Turkish Airlines economy class ticket for a direct flight from New York City to Istanbul is roughly $800, round trip coach, depending on departure dates, how far in advance reserved, etc. It includes a free domestic leg (Istanbul to Izmir) in Turkey. Turkish Airlines also now flies from Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to Istanbul. Delta is the other carrier that flies nonstop from New York City to Istanbul (but the fare does not include a free domestic leg in Turkey).
While transAtlantic air fare is not included in the tour cost, Peter Davies is able to arrange tickets through a consolidator, thus gettting you discounted tickets on regularly scheduled flights (on either Turkish Air, Delta, or U.S. Air) in coach and comfort class. For more information see the section on air ticket reservations below. Turkish Air's comfort class, features much roomier recliner seats, and is priced considerably cheaper than usual first or business class tickets.
Note: remember that if you will be flying from the United States you will need to book your ticket to depart the day before the beginning of the tour. And your domestic legs will have to be coordinated with the arrangements of the group.
To reserve your place on the spring or fall tour, please send a deposit of $1000 for an individual, $2000 for a couple, to Turkana Odyssey as instructed in the reservation form below. (See the reservation form at the end of this webpage).
ABOUT OUR TOURS:
Obviously there are many cheaper tours to Turkey. However, the Turkana Odyssey Tour differs from the standard mass tour in that it is:
- Limited to 10 guests and avoids the inevitable regimentation of large groups
- Places you in four star or well-situated, special class boutique hotels in restored Ottoman mansions (see the Hotels section for photos)
- Hires a top of the line deluxe yacht (see the Yachts section for photos) with a highly trained crew, and excellent meals in the Turkish style.
- Supplies you with 10 bulletins before departure to educate you and prepare you for your trip
- Provides you with the dual advantage of highly educated, accredited local guides and of Peter Davies’ (Yale Ph.D) deep knowledge of and appreciation for the region's history and culture.
An alternative to going on an arranged group tour accompanied by Peter Davies is working out a customized itinerary for you, your family and/or friends, which can be scheduled at your convenience and is suited to your personal tastes. Having lived in Turkey between 1961 and 1964 and having visited at least once a year since I have what would have to be called an insider's knowledge of Turkey and am willing to work closely with you to create a customized tour.
My interests in Turkey include the archaeology and monuments of the many stages of Anatolia's history (Hittite, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Selcuk, and Ottoman); Turkish contemporary life; and Turkish cuisine. I am an expert on Turkish kilims and rugs (see the main Turkana Gallery tribal eye site), and am addicted to beautiful places and scenery. I see travel as a mix of pleasure, intellectual stimulation, and encounters with different cultures.
If you decided to use my services I would first discuss with you what you wish to do, where you wish to go, what your interests are, how long you wish to travel, what level of accommodations you prefer, what your budget is, etc. Once I had a sense of all of this I would present you with a rough-out of an itinerary with choices of accommodations and modes of travel. Then we would together further refine this and create a detailed itinerary. I would then make the travel arrangements and reservations.
I would look for the best rates and arrangements possible, passing on to you costs that in most cases are below the standard retail rates. In all cases my recommendations would be based on my first hand experience with what I am recommending. The savings I would realize for you would more than compensate for the cost of my fee. Any hotel or restaurant that I would recommend would have been first visited by me.
My fee for a standard consulting job of arranging a two week Turkish trip is based on an hourly rate of $100 for couples; $125 for groups under 5; $200 for groups larger. On the average, a trip requires 15 to 20 hours of planning and arranging. Much of my fee, I predict, would be "paid for" through the discounted rates I will be able to obtain for you.
POSSIBLE CUSTOMIZED ITINERARIES:
- The Four Act Insider's View of Turkey itinerary described above, or any individual sections of it, customized to your specifications (but not led by Peter Davies) postponed at present
- The Greek Islands by gulet (yacht)
- Northeastern Anatolia & the Eastern Turkish Black Sea Coast: Ancient Georgia & Armenia. Postponed at present
- Southeastern Turkey: ancient Upper Mesopotamia (not currently offered because of the political situation). Postponed at present
- The Aegean coast: Troy, Assos, Pergamum, Sardis, Ephesus, Priene, Didyma. postponed at present
- Five capitals: Istanbul/Constantinople; Bursa; Edirne; Troy; Pergamum. postponed at present
CUSTOMIZED YACHT CRUISES
Much of what I said above applies here. As opposed to joining a group formed by a charter arranger, you would in this case be bringing your own group made up of family and/or friends. I would determine what size yacht you need and then show you photos and information on a group of yachts I am familiar with. These would be owner-operated assuring you a good crew (as opposed to larger yacht rental companies which employ free-lance crews--always a gamble).
We would then work out what part of the coast you would visit and what the general itinerary would be, arrange for a qualified guide to accompany you, work out the various transfers and arrange such things as the daily menu, etc. The costs, of course would be determined by the level of yacht chosen, the itinerary, the season , length of charter, etc.
My fee for these services would be as above for customized tours.
scenes from the Lycian Coast
Turkana Odyssey avoids large touristic hotels catering to bus tours, and instead, favors small boutique (special class) hotels with local character. For the most part we patronize what is fast becoming the favored touristic accommodation in Turkey: restored Ottoman mansions in neighborhoods in close proximity to the historic sites.
One of our gulets in full sail
The yacht used for Turkana Odyssey trips will be comparable to the ones used in the past few years (as photographed above): a wooden gulet approximately 30 meters long, sail and diesel powered, filling the gap between standard Turkish gulets and luxury mega yachts offering generous space and comfort.
|dining on deck|
Attractively decorated wood paneled double cabins have portholes and comfortable beds as well as en suite WC's, basins and showers with hot and cold water. The decks are spacious and the saloon features music, games and a small library. The galley is equipped to turn out meals in the Turkish and international styles. Meals can be modified to accommodate most special dietary requirements. The crew (captain, steward, busboy, and cook) have separate quarters.
The cook will introduce you to the best Panerai replica watches in Turkish cuisine and on request will present hands-on cooking demos. The yachts we use are suited for people who wish to be on the sea rather than insulated from it, for travelers who prefer quality and comfort. Snorkeling gear, windsails, fishing gear, and a kayak can be arranged in advance. Serious fishermen should bring their own gear. The yacht will have 24 hour ship's radio service and a cellular phone.
We have had first hand experience with yachts we select and are rigorous in our standards.
Peter Davies, who will accompany you on all four "acts" of the ORGANIZED TOUR, or who will CUSTOMIZE TOURS and/or YACHT CHARTERS he does not accompany, taught at the American College in Izmir, Turkey, from l961 to 1964, when he developed his interest in Turkey. He has degrees in English Renaissance poetry & theatre (M.A., U. of Illinois), and Theatre History (Ph.D, Yale).
Peter illustrates the origin of theatre at the ancient Greek theatre of Priene
emerges from an underground city in Cappadocia
and listens to Gypsy music at Kum Kapi in Istanbul
Living in Turkey for a three year period in the 1960's stimulated his interest in all things Graeco-Roman-Hellenistic-Byzantine-Ottoman and Tribal--as well as in contemporary Turkish life. While living in Turkey he traveled extensively and has since returned each year to continue his explorations.
Mr. Davies is also an expert on Turkish kilims and peasant and nomadic life and has published widely on these subjects. For further information see the main Turkana Gallery kilim website under "publications".
His books, The Tribal Eye (Rizzoli Press), and Antique Kilims of Anatolia (WW Norton Professiona Books) were published in 1993 and 2000 respectively. He has lectured at museums and rug societies nationwide and in Turkey, and has organized numerous exhibitions, including a major exhibition of kilims at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, in 1997.
He has taught at the University of Illinois, The American College, Izmir, Turkey, the University of Montreal, Tulane University, and Simon's Rock (now a campus of Bard College). He now owns and manages Turkana Gallery of Old and Antique Kilims in Cartier replica watches New York's financial district and this year celebrates its thirty eighth year in business. He also manages Turkana Farms, a farm devoted to raising heritage breeds of livestock in a natural and humane way, in New York's Hudson Valley.
Periodically he has since 1976 created tours for small groups with a special interest in Turkey. In June, 1997, he began his "An Insider's View of Turkey" tours which he has led annually since. Additionally, he has annually customized a number of trips he does not accompany.
ABOUT OUR GUIDES:
Turkana Odyssey uses accredited guides trained in the Turkish government school, who hold advanced university degrees, and are fluent in English. Our guides are instructed not to introduce our clients into shopping situations unless they specifically request it. On trips he accompanies, Peter Davies provides historical overviews, and guides in situations in which he has specialized knowledge, in particular Graeco Roman theatre.
TURKANA ODYSSEY RESERVATION FORM 2017
PLEASE (CLICK HERE) TO PRINT AND FILL OUT THE FOLLOWING FORM, AND ENCLOSE IT WITH YOUR DEPOSIT CHECK.
MAIL TO PETER DAVIES/TURKANA, 125 CEDAR ST., PENTHOUSE, NY,NY 10006 U.S.A.
(Deposit amount for spring & fall tours: : $1000 A PERSON; $2000 a couple):
For customized tours or yacht charters there is a $500 deposit required
I plan to do the entire tour package of four "acts"_____
I plan to do "acts"______
Please make hotel reservations for me/us in the following category:
___Double occupancy ___Single occupancy
___ Shared double: I desire assistance in finding a roommate. I understand that if one cannot be found I will be charged the single rate.
On our gulet/yacht we offer a two person standard cabin . If you are traveling single you have the choice of sharing a cabin, or having the cabin to yourself but paying the surcharge.
Air ticket reservations:
I would like to book a coach class round trip from______to _____
I would like to book a business class round trip from _____to_____
If you choose to have Turkana Odyssey arrange your international air ticket, payment will be due once the ticket has been arranged.
If you have questions Peter Davies can be reached by phone at 212-732-0273212-732-0273 or 518-537-3815518-537-3815; or fax at 212-964-6903; or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like a personal interview with Peter Davies this can be arranged either in New York City or Germantown, New York.