Photo by: Jacque Steedle
Location: Cappadocia Turkey

Turkey Treasures: Where East Meets West

Call us if you would like to plan your own small group tour to Turkey

  • Transportation in Turkey provided by coach, and plane to maximize time at locations for photographic opportunities.
  • The focus is on capturing the quaint villages, artisans, feeling at home with the locals, and of course the overwhelming architecture of Istanbul.
  • Photographing amidst the ancient temples and palaces.
  • Ten days with acclaimed tour guide and professional photography leader.
  • Ephesus, the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean.
  • The moonlike terrain of Cappadocia with its endless natural artwork is a photographer’s delight.
  • Optional Extension available to the Black Sea and off the beaten path Ottoman Towns of Tarakli, Goynuk, and Safranbolu.

Eastern Europe








per person, double occupancy*

This tour is not currently scheduled. Contact us if you want details when tour dates are announced, or if you are interested in running a private trip for your group.

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 5-7 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $945.

Tour Overview

The tour includes opportunities to photograph some of Turkey’s most visually exciting places. Turkey, and especially Istanbul, has been the classic East-meets-West, location for centuries. It is where the treasures of the Silk and Spice routes met their markets. It is the site of Hagia Sophia (temple of wisdom), the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace of famous harems, and the fabulous Spice and Grand Bazaars. If you have never been to Turkey, you will be amazed at the warmth of the Turkish people....

The tour includes opportunities to photograph some of Turkey’s most visually exciting places. Turkey, and especially Istanbul, has been the classic East-meets-West, location for centuries. It is where the treasures of the Silk and Spice routes met their markets. It is the site of Hagia Sophia (temple of wisdom), the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace of famous harems, and the fabulous Spice and Grand Bazaars. If you have never been to Turkey, you will be amazed at the warmth of the Turkish people. In the countryside you will be welcomed in to their homes, served tea or baklava at any moment. Come; travel with your guides, to the alluring city of Istanbul, with amazing architecture, the Roman ruins of Ephesus, and the less travelled valleys of the lunar-like Cappadocia. You will have time in small villages, visiting the artisans, their friends, and neighbors. Ephesus, the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean is the place to get a feel for what life was like in Roman times. Photograph at dusk and dawn with soft light on the iconic ruins. Visit artisan villages in the surrounding countryside, photographing them at work and their families. Then there is Cappadocia, an area almost in the center of the country that is full of weird landscape, almost lunar in quality. It promises to be a highlight for photography of both landscape and people. If you can imagine the hoodoos in Southwest Utah and then place troglodyte churches and houses inside them, you have an idea of the culture in central Turkey. Whole cliff-sides are honeycombed with cave dwellings, some dating from pre-Hittite times. The reflective volcanic tufa seems to change color with the time of day, and is especially glorious at sunset. The Black Sea Extension provides additional photographic opportunities of Ottoman towns off the beaten path and away from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. Safranbolu is one of the most attractive little towns at the entrance to the Black Sea region. UNESCO placed it on the World Cultural Heritage list in appreciation for the very successful efforts undertaken towards preserving its heritage. Its houses are perfect examples of civil Ottoman architecture, reflecting the Turkish social life of the 18th and 19th centuries. We stroll through the cobbled streets and enjoy its traditional fountains, the historical mansions (Konaklar), mosques and baths and then pause for a moment to watch the craftsmen at work in the Arasta. We visit the 18th century Kaymakamlar Konağı (Mansion of officials) and drive up to the Citadel. A short drive brings us to the Yörük (“nomad”) Village, where many prosperous Muslim businessmen and farmers once had their konaks. We stop at the colorful market of Bartın, and then to Amasra, a picturesque port that crowns the coast with a perfect castle sitting on top of a tiny rock peninsula, the place was a Genoese colony until 1461. We take a private boat to explore the hidden beauty of the nature before we return to Safranbolu. We invite you, the inquisitive traveler, to join your photography leader on this special tour of Turkey. We will have a cordial welcome in this country with its brilliant colors, compelling architecture, irresistible allure, and warm hospitality.

What to Expect This tour is designed to be a photo tour, and, as such, we must be flexible in our scheduling. Much of what we do, and when we do it, will depend upon weather, light, and the permission of specific on-site locations. In the event that changes may occur, we will need to be flexible, which will also allow us to take advantage of new photographic opportunities. Turkey has made great strides in tourist accommodations and services in recent years, but please remember that it is still a developing country, so we may experience occasional inconveniences. All of the accommodations will be clean and comfortable, with private baths. The hotels have been chosen for your comfort as well as their proximity to prime photographic locations.   Health and Fitness Tour participants should be in good health and good physical condition to get the most out of the trip. Although we will not be running marathons, we will be taking long walks in order to reach the prime photographic locations. When outside of Istanbul the terrain may be uneven, trails dusty, therefore having proper and comfortable footwear is important.

Photo Leader TBD

Tour Itinerary

October 7: Home - Istanbul

Board your overnight flight to Istanbul, arriving the next day, October 8.

October 8: Istanbul

Arrive this morning to Istanbul Airport, where there will be a group transfer (time to be announced) to your hotel. There will be an orientation tour on foot this afternoon and visit the underground Basilica Cistern, with its many reflections. Enjoy a welcome dinner, overlooking this amazing city. Overnight three nights Istanbul. (D)

October 9-10: Istanbul

Istanbul provides us with wonderful warm people to photograph, exceptional cuisine to enjoy, and most importantly the most outstanding city photography in Turkey. We will have two full days to explore this vibrant city on foot and utilizing public transportation. The first day we begin early with warm light on the Byzantine architecture (sixth century) of the Hagia Sophia. Continue on with more highlights of Istanbul, such as, the sights and sounds of the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar (be sure not to miss the back streets between the two), and the silhouette of the city from the Galata Bridge – breathtaking while the sun is setting. The photo subjects are endless. The guides will entice you with as much as possible, considering the interests of the entire group. The second morning the tour will begin in the streets of the local neighborhoods, examples may include one of the oldest, Kadirga, with streets lined by old wooden houses, or Kumkapi by the Marmara Sea, known for its colorful seafood restaurants and vendors. Photograph the winding streets, shop owners, and children playing in the streets. This afternoon will be free for those who would like to take an optional tour of the Topkapi Palace and Harem, the impressive architecture of the Blue Mosque, or return to previous architectural highlights on your own. (B, L; B) Please note the Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque although impressive, and very important in Turkish history can be overwhelmed with crowds making photography quite difficult ~ therefore late afternoon on your own or perhaps arriving a day early may provide the best opportunity to view.

October 11-12: Izmir - Ephesus

Depart after an early breakfast this morning Izmir. Upon arrival the group will visit a nomadic village, Nazarkoy (the Village of the Eye). For several generations many of the inhabitants have been specializing in the manufacture of beads bearing the protective sign of the evil eye. In the six workshops scattered throughout the village, seated around a communal furnace, the bead-makers melt down raw and recycled glass, adding necessary colors, which produces between 700 to 800 beads every day. You will also have time to visit the mountain village of Sirince, before traveling on to Ephesus, the best-preserved classical Roman city in the eastern Mediterranean. The ancient city located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey, was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major attraction. It is also a sacred site for Christians due to its association with several biblical figures, including St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, and the Virgin Mary. Visit such places as St. John’s Basilica & Ayasuluk Hill, and the House of Mary, a simple stone house where it is believed she lived until her Assumption in to Heaven. There will be additional time to photograph Ephesus early tomorrow morning. After Ephesus the second day will be filled with local villages, such as Tire and Birgi. Tire is just twenty miles northeast of Ephesus and is a very colorful village. There are felt and saddle maker shops, where we will wander the streets and photograph the artisans. Overnight Izmir or Selcuk (B, L; B, L)  

October 13-15: Cappadocia

Fly this morning to Kayseri near the picturesque Cappadocia. Explore this afternoon and enjoy an additional two full days to visit the highlights of this region. A hot air balloon ride is optional for those that wish to take an hour ride, capturing this unique landscape in your photography. Cappadocia is a land where nature and man have competed with each other to create the unusual and the most beautiful landscape. A hike takes us to tenth and eleventh century churches, monasteries, and houses carved into the rocks. The moonlike terrain of Cappadocia with its endless natural artwork is a photographer’s delight, often seeming eerie, yet beautiful. Over thousands of years, the rain has eroded the land to give rise to strange rock formations known as “fairy chimneys.” Grottos magnificently decorate the walls with colorful frescoes. The highlights include Pasabag, Dervent, and Goreme Open Air Museum, which you will visit, however the less traveled surrounding valleys can provide the best photography. A stop in the village of Mustafapasa will provide you with local flare and a chance to see neighborhood homes and communities. Overnight Cappadocia three evenings. (B, L, D; B, L; B, L, Farewell D)

October 16: Istanbul

This morning the group will take a return flight to Istanbul, where your luggage will be transferred to the hotel, while you enjoy walking tour on the other side of the Galata Bridge. Those attending the extension will enjoy this program on October 19th, after you return to Istanbul from the Black Sea. Today will be filled with the Asiatic side of Istanbul, markets, narrow streets, local vendors and families as they enjoy their day. Traveling by foot and local public transport the group will experience the impressive ferry system connecting the many sides of Istanbul. Late this afternoon will be spent at Ortakoy, photographing the magnificent Baroque Mecidiye mosque at dusk, as boats glide in and out of your view. The mosque is set on the Bosphorus Strait, just beneath the Bosporus Bridge. If renovations are complete at the Galata Mevlevihanesi, you will have a treat to a whirling dervish performance. Those on the extension will leave those to dinner on your own this evening. Overnight Istanbul (B, L)

October 17: Istanbul - Home

A group transfer (time to be announced) will be provided to the airport for flights home. (B)