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Turkey Textile & Handicrafts Tour

Turkish arts and handicrafts, particularly its textiles have been important to Turkey since Ottoman times. Turkey’s woven textiles, especially carpets and kilims were world-famous and highy sought after. Discover the history and rich traditions around Turkey’s arts and handicrafts in this 13 day tour where techniques, colours and symbolism will come alive for you as you visit workshops of a range of craftspeople across Turkey.


Day 1 – Istanbul

Your Turkey textiles and handicrafts tour begins! Arrive at Istanbul Ataturk Airport where you will be met on arrival, and transferred to your hotel.  Free time for the rest of the day until 7pm when you will meet with your guide for a welcome drink.  We will then have dinner together at a local restaurant.
Overnight Istanbul (D)

Day 2 – Istanbul 

This morning we will visit Istanbul’s Charming Old City, including Topkapi Palace, the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans, the Haghia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Carpet & Islamic Arts Museums, where you will see beautiful examples of kilims and other textiles from the Ottoman period.
Overnight Istanbul (B)

Day 3 – Istanbul 

This morning we will participate in a Turkish Ebru (marbling ) workshop—a tradition considered so precious that it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Free afternoon.
Overnight Istanbul (B, D)

Day 4 – Istanbul to Cappadocia

Early morning flight to Cappadocia where we will visit Goreme Open Air Museum, home to numerous small churches cut into the rocks and decorated with frescoes.  We will also look at some of the best fairy chimneys in the area and visit Uchisar castle, before having lunch.  We will then visit a carpet weaving village where we will learn about the art of carpet weaving including dyeing techniques and designs.  In particular, we will learn about the richly coloured Yahyali carpets which originate from here.
Overnight Cappadocia (B, D)

Day 5 – Cappadocia

Today we will trek through part of the beautiful Ihlara Valley and explore the many levels of an underground city, built by early Christians fleeing persecution.  This afternoon we will visit the workshop of a ceramic artist.  Option to attend a Turkish folk dance show this evening.
Overnight Cappadocia (B, D)

Day 6 – Cappadocia to Konya 

This morning we set off early for Konya. Stop to visit Sultanhani Caravansary, used by traders on the old Silk Road traders along the way.  This afternoon we will visit the Mevlana Museum, and the Karatay Museum which has some beautiful examples of tiles. We also visit the workshop of a renown kilim maker.
Overnight in Konya

Day 7 – Konya to Pamukkale 

Konya is the home of perhaps the most famous of all felt garments made in Turkey – the tall, conical hats worn by the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes.  These are made in Konya by Master Craftsman, Mehmet Girgiç who has been listed by UNESCO as a ‘living treasure’ because of his mastery of this art.  This morning we will participate in a felt-making workshop at his studio.  After lunch we will drive to Pamukkale.
Overnight in Pamukkale (B, D)

Day 8 – Pamukkale to Kusadasi

This morning we make an early start to visit the ruins of the ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis, and Pamukkale’s famous travertines.  After lunch we visit the nearby town of Buldan, famous for its handmade cotton production.  Buldan cloth was favoured by Ottoman Sultans for their clothes, and Buldan cloth products can be found in the homes of heads of state and celebrities all over the world.   Many of Buldan’s homes function as  weaving workshops where every family member has a job to do.  Often men will do the weaving, while women spin the thread, embroider edges and make lace.  Buldan is one of the few towns in Turkey where wooden hand looms are still used.  We then drive 3 hours on to Kusadasi, a charming part town on the Aegean coast.
Overnight Kusadasi (B)

Day 9 – Ephesus

This morning we visit Ephesus, one of the World’s best preserved classical ruin sites, and guaranteed to amaze you.   We then visit the House of Virgin Mary where it is believed she spent her last days.  Next up is lunch at Sirince, a charming, former Greek village.  Taste some famous fruit wine and wander around the cobblestone streets where local women sell products such as olive oil soap and a range of hand-made crafts.  We will also have a demonstration of the traditional needle lace work (Oya) techniques used by the women in this area.
Overnight Kusadasi (B)

Day 10 – Kusadasi to Bursa

This morning we set off for Bursa, the first major capital of the Ottoman Empire, and famous for its silk industry.
Overnight in Bursa (B)

Day 11 – Bursa 

This morning we will visit Bursa’s Museum of Ottoman Folk Costumes and Jewellery and visit the Green Mosque & Green Tomb.  After lunch, visit Kozahan, Bursa’s silk bazaar, and former centre of the silk trade during the 16th Century.  The industry provided significant income in the form of customs and taxes charged to Iranian and Italian merchants.  Protection of this trade was considered to be very important.  Late afternoon we will the charming, heritage-listed village of Cumalikizik. Here, you will see lots of charming Ottoman style houses, and feel as if you have stepped back in time.
Overnight in Bursa (B)

Day 12 – Bursa to Istanbul 

After breakfast we depart for Iznik. Here, we visit an Atelier and will learn about Turkey’s famous Iznik ceramics which date as far back as 7000BC.  Iznik tiles feature extensively in mosques around Turkey, and Iznik designs continue to influence textile designs today.  This afternoon we drive to Yalova, from where we will catch a car ferry back to Yenikapi in Istanbul.
Overnight Istanbul (B)

Day 13 – Istanbul

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.


This is a special interest tour for private groups. Included meals are an indication only. Please contact us to discuss your group’s needs and interests and we will provide you with a quote.


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