Cascoly Turkey and Uzbekistan Small Group Tours

Our small group tours explore a mix traditional and classical sites and seldom visited areas. With a maximum of 12 participants, we eat at small local restaurants and go where larger groups cannot. We stay in 3–4-star hotels, often with 2-night stays. When possible, we select boutique hotels where we may be only clients. Our trips include most meals, hotels (based on double occupancy), domestic air where indicated, most tips, guide services and entry fees and transportation in an air conditioned, private minibus. 

Extensive descriptions and images of destinations in Turkey

Our newest destination: Jewels of the Silk Road: A Grand Tour of Uzbekistan

Contact us for pricing or questions

Plan custom trips, Istanbul day trips & cruise excursions

A sense of adventure is required

as some of these areas are not visited very often, and we may adjust the itinerary due to local conditions, weather or unique opportunities. Expect to walk 1-4 miles each day (We’ll offer alternatives for those who decide not to walk)

Our friend, Lutfi , is licensed as a guide by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and is a professor at the University of Canakkale. He has been our guide for previous trips and will be with us throughout this trip. I’m licensed as a State of Washington Seller of Travel and will escort this trip. I’ve visited Turkey many times and have led similar tours with Lutfi over the last 25 years. 

Exploring Turkey – our experiences in Turkey over the last 25 years.

A brief summary of our trips follows with detailed day by day in PDF, linked below

Contact us for prices or with questions. (Personal information is never sold or otherwise given to others)

Here we just outline the day-to-day explorations, with links in each section for detailed day-to day itineraries. To keep it from becoming overwhelming the itinerary has links to much more historical detail and sections from our journals from previous trips. Besides the listed itinerary whenever possible we have optional, guided evening walks, a great opportunity for night photography without getting lost.

We offer 4 tours to Turkey, Uzbekistan & Bulgaria for 2024:

Segment A: 13 day Hittite & Seljuk tour.
Starts August 21, 2024

Detailed day-by-day itinerary for Segment A (PDF)

The itinerary begins with arrival in Istanbul, followed by a visit to Nicaea/Iznik to explore the site of the first Ecumenical Council before heading to Bursa. In Bursa, a full day is dedicated to visiting the Grand Mosque, Ottoman sultans’ tombs, silk market, and the local market.

The journey continues with a drive to Gordion to visit King Midas’s tomb and then onward to Ankara (385 km), where a full day is spent exploring the Anatolian Civilization Museum, Castle, old and new parliament buildings, and the Mausoleum of Atatürk.

Next, the itinerary includes a visit to Bogazkale/Hattusas, the capital of the Hittites, before heading to Amasya (375 km) for a full day in the “prince city.”

The journey proceeds to Tokat to visit Ballıca Cave and the old town before continuing to Sivas (220 km) for a full day exploring Seljuk sites, Dr. Fish, and the Kongal dog farm.

Afterward, there’s a visit to Kaniş and Karum, old Hittite trade centers in Kayseri, before driving to Cappadocia (275 km) for two full days of exploration.

Finally, the itinerary concludes with an evening flight back to Cappadocia and then a flight home.

Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
Fairy chimney balanced rock formations and troglodyte cave houses, Pasabaglari, Cappadocia, Turkey
AHittite bull figure, 1400 BCE, Museum of Anatolian Civilization, Ankara, Turkey

21-Aug 1 Arrival in Istanbul
22-Aug 2 Nicaea/ Izik to visit the first Ecumenical Council site and head to Bursa
22-Aug Full day in Bursa to visit Grand Mosque, Ottoman sultans’ tombs, silk market and local market (20 km) Overnight in Bursa
24-Aug 4 Drive to Gordion to visit King Midas’ tomb. And drive to Ankara (385 km)
25-Aug 5 Full day in Ankara- Anatolian Civilization museum, Castle, old and new parliament building and Mausoleum of Ataturk (40 km) Overnight in Ankara
26-Aug 6 Visit Bogazkale / Hattusas, the capital of Hittites and to Amasya (375 km)
27-Aug 7 Full day in Amasya (prince city ) ( 10 km) Overnight in Amasya
28-Aug 8 Tokat to visit Ballıca Cave and old town and head to Sivas (220 km)
29-Aug 9 Full day in Sivas to see the Seljuk sites, Dr. Fish and Kongal dog farm (200 km) Overnight in Sivas
30-Aug 10 Visit Kaniş and Karum (old Hittiate trade centers) in Kayseri then drive to Cappadocia (275 km)
31-Aug 11 Full day in Cappadoccia (70 km) Overnight in Cappadoccia
1-Sep 12 Full day in Cappadoccia (50km) then evening flight to Cappadoccia (70 minutes by flight) Overnight in Istanbul
2-Sep 13 fly home

Segment B: Classical Tour along the Aegean Coast, 15 days Starts August 30, 2024

Detailed day-by-day itinerary for Segment B (PDF)

You can combine A + B for a 24-day trip since the Cappadocia days overlap. Or combine the Classical Turkey tour with Uzbekistan (B + C) for a different 24-day trip. Contact us for prices and day-by-day for these combined tours.

Skewers of meat kababs are ready to cook , Pergamum, Turkey
Early morning light on Sultan Ahmet Camii ( Blue Mosque ) in Istanbul, Turkey
Tourists explore and photograph the Library of Celsus  Ephesus, Turkey
Tourists explore and photograph the Library of Celsus Ephesus, Turkey

Segment C: 11 day Uzbekistan Silk Road City Tour Starts Sep 12

Cascoly Travel 2024 Uzbekistan Small Group Tour

Jewels of the Silk Road: A Grand Tour of Uzbekistan

12-Sep arrive in IST
13-Sep fly to Khiva
14-Sep full day Khiva
15-Sep drive or train to Bukhara, short tour
16-Sep full day Bukhara
17-Sep drive or train to Samarkand, short tour, Registan Square in evening
18-Sep full day Samarkand
19-Sep drive or train to Tashkent, short tour
20-Sep full day Tashkent
21-Sep fly to IST
22-Sep transfer to airport

Segment D: 8 day Bulgaria tour. Starts September 21, 2024

You can combine C + D for a 17 day tour. Contact us for prices and day-by-day for this combined tour.

. Detailed day-by-day itinerary for Segment D (PDF)

We travel in southern Bulgaria visiting ancient sites, Orthodox monasteries and cultural attractions including a 19th century open air living history museum. (We visited northern Bulgaria via an AmaWaterways cruise). Lutfi will not be able to accompany us, due to teaching responsibilities. I will escort the group and we’ll have local guides at each stop.

1 Arrival in İstanbul and transfer to hotel . Short orientation meeting and join group who finished Uzbekistan Tour.

Overnight in Istanbul.

2 Drive to Plovdiv. Visit old town.

Overnight in Plovdiv. (425 km)

3 We visit the Thracian Tomb in Kazanluk. After a brief stop at the Shipchenski monastery of St Nicholas, we cross Shipka pass.  Our next stop is the Etar Ethnographic village, a UNESCO world heritage site. Its street of 19th century Balkan buildings demo traditional crafts, plus historical water mills. Drive to Veliko Turnovo. 

Overnight in Veliko Turnovo.(210 km)

Russin orthodox church, Shipchenski monastery of St Nicholas, Shipka, Bulgaria
Water wheel powers 19th century light industry in Ethnographic village, Etura, Gabravo, Bulgaria

4 After breakfast at the hotel, walking tours of Tsarevets Citadel and Arbanassi village. Free time in Turnovo.

Overnight in Veliko Turnovo. (20 km)

Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God on citadel of Fortress Tsarevets, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
VELIKO TARNOVO, BULGARIA – APR 15, 2019 – Modern frescos on the interior walls of the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

5 Depart for Sophia and visit the town of Koprivshtitsa and Troyan Monastery. Short sightseeing city tour of Sophia

Overnight in Sophia (220 km)

6 Walking tour including the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Serdica archaeological site and old bazaar. Head south to the beautiful Rila Monastery 

Overnight in Sophia (250 km)

Exterior fresco bible stories, Rila orthodox monastery, Rila, Bulgaria

7 We drive back across Turkish border to visit Edirne, the old capital of the Ottoman empire. Visit Selimiye mosque and Beyazit complex which was a medical school and hospital during Ottoman times. Drive back to İstanbul. 

Overnight in Istanbul (550 km)

8 Fly home

2 Day Pre/Post -Tour in İstanbul

Below is our comprehensive 2 day Istanbul tour. We can also customize a tour to visit other Istanbul sites, or just arrange hotel and airport transfers for you to explore on your own.

The Rest of Istanbul – What You Missed on Your Istanbul Tour

Exploring the ‘Other’ Mosques of Istanbul

Day 1 Hippodrome / Obelisk, Blue mosque, St. Sophia, Basilica cistern, Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) walk downhill thru local markets to Spice (Egyptian) market. Boat trip on Bosphorus

Day 2 Topkapi Palace, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Sahaflar antique booksellers market. Walking tour to Galata Bridge, Tunel funicular to Galata Tower and Taksim Square.    

Buy prints, mugs, puzzles & other products of Turkey

By Cascoly

I've been exploring and leading trips for over 40 years. climbing & trekkng in the Alps, Andes, North American mountain ranges and the Himalaya. I'm retired from mountaineering now but world travels in Europe, Africa & Asia continue to expand my portfolio. Besides private travel, I now focus on escorting trips to India & Turkey. Other interests include wide reading in history and vegetable gardening / cooking. You can download digital images here, or find images at We have many thousands of images we haven't displayed yet; so, if you have a special need or request please contact us