A maps showing Turkey and the Caucausus, with pinpoints on some locations

My next adventure: Turkey and the Caucasus

posted in: Plans, Turkey and the Caucasus 2022 | 3

Seems I just got back from South America, and I’m already just a few months away from my next adventure to Turkey and the Caucasus.

I settled on my plans sooner than normal, because I was concerned about rising airline prices. And now it’s just about 3 1/2 months until I leave.

So here’s the plan:


My travels begin with twelve nights in Turkey, starting in Istanbul. I got some recommendations online and read a lot of reviews about several tour companies in Turkey, and after contacting three different ones, I settled on Turkey Insiders. I worked with a woman named Zerrin Yalçın, and she was absolutely delightful, accommodating all my requests and making whatever adjustments I asked about.

The only thing I booked on my own was my accommodation in Istanbul. 


1Fly Volaris, Guadalajara to Mexico CityizZzleep Hotel Aeropuerto Terminal 1
2Fly Turkish Airlines, Mexico City to IstanbulOn the plane
3Arrive IstanbulDoruk Palas Hotel
4Tour of Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome, and Grand Bazaar
5Tour of the Spice Bazaar and cruise on the Bosporus
6On my own
7On my own
8Fly Turkish Airlines, Istanbul to Ismir, transfer to Kuşadasıİlayda Avantgarde
9Tour to Pamukkale and Hierapolis
10Tour to Ephesus
11Fly SunExpress, Ismir to Antalya, free day in AntalyaElegance East Hotel
12Tour to Perge and Aspendos
13Fly Pegasus, Antalya to Kayseri, tour of Cappadocia NorthHasse Cave Konak
14Hot-air balloon ride; tour of Cappadocia South 
15Fly Turkish Airlines, Kayseri to Istanbul

Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia

For “Part Two” of my trip to Turkey and the Caucasus, I worked with JayWay Travel to make all the arrangements. This is my third JayWay trip; I used them for the Balkans in 2014 and Central Europe in 2019. They have always been great to work with, and their recommendations for lodging and tours were spot on in the past.

JayWay offers a number of optional tours for days when I’m free (of which there aren’t many). They also suggest some activities I can do on my own. I have a little time still to decide on any of the optional tours, but I need to start doing my research so I can figure out what I want to see besides the things that are included. 


15Fly Turkish Airlines, Istanbul to BakuTwo Seasons Boutique Hotel
16Baku Highlights Driving & Walking Private City Tour
17Highlights of Baku’s Surroundings Private Day Trip
18Free day
19Car transfer, Baku to Sheki, with stops at Diri Baba Mausoleum & Shamakhi Juma Mosque
Sheki Private Walking Tour
Sheki Palace Hotel
20Car transfer, Sheki to SighnaghiHotel Brigitte
21Sighnaghi Private City Tour
Car transfer, Sighnaghi to Tbilisi, with a stop at David Gareja Monastery
22Tbilisi Private Walking Tour
23Kazbegi Private Day Trip
24Free day
25Car transfer, Tbilisi to Kutaisi, with stops in Gori, Chiatura, Mgvimevi Monastery & Katskhi PillarHotel Solomon
26Kutaisi Private City Tour
27Car transfer, Kutaisi to Batumi, with stops at the Batumi Botanical Gardens and Petra FortressHotel N16
28Batumi Private City Tour
29Car transfer, Batumi to AkhaltsikheHotel Julia
30Private day trip to Rabati Castle, Vardzia and Khertvisi Fortress
31Car transfer, Akhaltsikhe to Yerevan, with stops in Gyumri and Dashtadem FortressHotel 14 Floor
32Yerevan Old Town Private Walking Tour
33Garni Temple, Geghard Monastery and Master Levon’s Cave Private Day Trip
34Khor Virap and Noravank Monasteries Private Day Trip with Wine Tasting
35Fly Pegasus, Yerevan to Sabiha Gokcen Airport, Istanbul
Transfer to Istanbul International Airport
On the plane
36Fly Turkish Airlines, Istanbul to Mexico City
Fly Volaris, Mexico City to Guadalajara
At home!


There are a lot of places, especially in the Caucasus section of my trip, about which I know little or nothing. So I’m going to need to do a lot of research before my trip starts. I’ve been reading Lonely Planet’s Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and that’s been very helpful. 

I’m going to follow up this post with some specific destination posts. That should help me expand my understanding of the places I’m visiting. And it should give you, my readers and fans, a good idea about why I’m going to these places.

3 Responses

  1. M

    Istanbul was Constantinople, now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople, how did Constantinople get the works? That’s nobody’s business but the Turks 😄😄

    • Lane

      Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
      Why they changed it I can’t say
      People just liked it better that way

  2. Lane

    I’ve made a change to this itinerary since this post. I’m skipping Batumi (Days 27–28), and adding a day each to Tbilisi and Kutaisi. You can read about the details in The Plan for Georgia, Part One and Part Two

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