Choose Your Dates

Group One: March 24-29, 2020: Cappadocia option March 29-April 1, 2020
Group Two: April 14-19, 2020: Cappadocia option April 19-22, 2020

6d/5n Istanbul Adventure $1420 • 4d/3n Cappadocia option $630

Installment Billing: Sign up now and pay in 8 payments (August-March) of $177.50 for Istanbul,
or $256.25 for Istanbul PLUS Cappadocia option
OR secure your spot with a $200 deposit

Includes lodging, all activities, guides, ground transportation, admissions to museums and attractions, lessons, classes, and daily breakfast
Excludes airfare, travel insurance, restaurant meals, souvenirs and gratuities

Istanbul is just one of the women-only tours I have planned for 2020. Check them all out at this link!

women only travel group with monkey
women only travel group cooking
women only travel group with camel

It’s all part of the adventure™

Seeing all the sights is just the beginning. On my Women’s Adventure Tours, you’ll taste, cook, dance, hike, and hang out with locals as we dig deep into the culture. For example, past trips have included a ceremony with a shaman, sleeping on a riverboat in Borneo, and riding camels into the Sahara Desert to spend a night in a Bedouin camp. 

My travel style can be a little rough & rugged. Hot water can be questionable, towels aren’t fluffy, and we all pitch in on chores to keep costs down. There’s no one to carry your bag or make your bed. We take local transportation at times, and we get dirty. My guests wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would I!

If you want to travel the world without the insulation of a chain hotel or tour bus, these trips are for you!

women only travel group floating breakfast
women only travel group photobombing
women only travel group at macchu picchu

6d/5n Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is a city of spices, exotic music and dance, mouthwatering cuisine, spectacular mosques, and resplendent palaces. The city straddles the Bosphorus river, in Asia on one side, in Europe on the other; cultures have been blending there since the second century. Istanbul has been ruled by the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian, and Ottoman empires and under siege by Arabs, Barbarians, and Crusaders. The streets pulse with an energy that is both ancient and modern. Come experience it all with me!

Day 1: Arrivals

I’ll make sure you’re met at the airport by someone holding a sign with your name on it. You’ll have a chance to settle into your new home and meet your new besties for the week, and we’ll have our first Turkish meal together.

Day 2: Mosques, Markets, Dance Class

We’ll spend our morning in the Golden Horn area, visiting the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, which has a long history as both mosque and cathedral. We’ll get deeply into some Turkish rhythms with a fun dance class*, and we’ll have free time to explore the Grand Bazaar.

* Beginners will get a short, fun introduction to Turkish dance. Experienced dancers in the group can stay longer and go much deeper – I’m planning to offer Turkish Roman Havasi with Gigi Dilsah.

Day 3: Topkapi Palace, Food Tasting

Topkapi Palace is the oldest, largest, and most ornate palace in the world. We’ll visit both the main palace and the harem chambers that housed the royal women and eunuchs. Topkapi is also home to two mind-boggling collections: gifts of jewels and other bounties from world leaders to the Sultans, and sacred relics from all the word’s major religions. I can’t wait to show you all of this!

You’ll be hungry after the palace, so we’re going to have a walking tour with tastings of the most famous foods in Turkey. Pide, doner, baklava, Turkish delight, raki — if you’re not already in love with Turkish food, you will be soon!

We’ll either go home to relax, feeling stuffed and happy, or stay out into the night to enjoy more drinks and snacks — your call!

Day 4: Hamam & Cooking Class

Have you ever thought about visiting a Turkish bath? Well, start thinking about it because it is in your future! A traditional scrubbing is included in your tour, and you can add a massage or other services if you like. We’ll also have a cooking class on this day, and some free time in between to shop, explore, or rest.

Day 5: Bosphorus boat, show

Today we’ll get out onto the Bosphorus on a boat. We’ll float past palaces and mansions and check out the Asian side of the river. In the evening, we’ll head to Hodjapasha for a full show of bellydance and folklore.

Day 6: Departures

We’ll feed you a good breakfast, give you lots of hugs, and make sure you get to the airport safely.

If you’re staying for Cappadocia, this is a free day for you to enjoy however you like. Your extra night in Istanbul is included as part of your extension.

4d/3n Cappadocia Option • $630

Cappadocia is a fairy tale landscape of cave houses and rock formations that comes alive with hot air balloons every morning. It’s not close to Istanbul — we have to fly to get there. But leaving Turkey without seeing Cappadocia is one of my greatest regrets; I intend to fix that this time, and I’ll bring you along for the ride if you’re willing!

Optional Add-On Tour:
Day 7: Arriving in Cappadocia

After our extra night in Istanbul, we’ll get up very early for our flight to Cappadocia. We’ll tour the northern villages of the region and get settled into our cave hotel. Then we’ll try the local cuisine for dinner.

Day 8:

You can add a hot air balloon option with our organizer for $150/person if you wish, or just watch the colorful balloons drift over the landscape from the ground. We’ll tour the southern part of the region before we catch our flight back to Istanbul, where you’ll spend an extra night.

Day 9: Departures

Pack up all your things and I’ll get you to the airport so you can return to your family, rich with experiences and bounty from your time in the Mysterious East.

Check out my other Women’s Adventures at this link!

Your Host

Hi, I’m Lauren Haas, the founder of Indie Travel Guru.

In May of 2013 I sold everything I owned and started traveling the world with all my possessions in a backpack. It’s been an incredible journey, and now I’m beginning to share the world with small groups of women who want to see it the way I do.

I love to walk, hike, take local transportation, get involved in local life, and learn about cultures from the inside out, through arts, food, music, dance, and culture. Come join me for an unforgettable adventure!

Choose your payment option to reserve your space

Secure your spot with a $200 deposit

Send your deposit now to secure your space. Balance will be due 30 days before your trip begins.

Choose your dates
Choose Your Adventure

Pay in monthly installments

Start your installment payments in August 2019 and pay just $99.59 a month for 12 months.

Choose your adventure
Choose your dates

Question? E-mail

Testimonials from past trips

Safe, comfortable, and fun!

women only travel group with camel

Lauren made me feel comfortable and safe traveling to a part of the world I had never been to previously.  The personal experiences she shares regarding being a smart traveler and her cultural knowledge are valuable.

She is friendly, a good problem solver, respectful of personal space/time, and fun. I would definitely travel with her again. Read more “Safe, comfortable, and fun!”

Jen Draco

A well-rounded immersion in culture

Lauren was a fantastic host —wonderful, full of life, giving, trustworthy and a ton of fun! Even though the stay was only a week long, we got such a beautiful, well-rounded immersion in the culture…

What this is not: your standard trip. We saved money along the way and got a fantastic cultural voyage. I can wholeheartedly recommend this experience and I will most definitely be joining Lauren again in the near future. Read more “A well-rounded immersion in culture”

Gabriella Gaita

Refreshed and recharged for life

Never in a million years did I think I would have the experience I had in Peru. Thank you, Lauren! Read more “Refreshed and recharged for life”

Jessica Gunneson

I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience

Lauren, our host, was a charming ambassador for Morocco; I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience than she did for our group consisting of eight strangers (soon to become friends).

Thank you, Lauren, for planning such a wonderful trip and sharing so many fabulous experiences. Looking forward to your future retreats. Read more “I don’t see how anyone could provide a better experience”

Melody McGowan

Signing up for another trip!

Small group of great women, rented house, and creative tour leader who helped us see parts of Peru that tourists normally don’t get to see. Read more “Signing up for another trip!”

Lynda Latifa Wilkinson

A Fabulous Adventure

A fabulous vacation and adventure through the small neighborhoods all the way to the top of Machu Picchu Read more “A Fabulous Adventure”

Amber Price

Cancellation Policy:
$200 deposit is nonrefundable
30 days before the trip the full balance becomes due and nonrefundable
I strongly recommend buying travel insurance well ahead of your trip. It will refund you in the event you need to cancel at the last minute, and will also cover lost luggage, medical emergencies, stolen telephone, and so much more.

Other Important Information:
This trip is being offered subject to a minimum number of travelers registering. In the event the trip needs to be canceled by Indie Travel Guru, LLC, you will be notified as early as possible and your deposit and/or payments will be refunded in full.


Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.


  1. Jo Anne Zingo Reply

    Turkey: flight into Istanbul home from Cappadocia or Istanbul RT??

    • Round trip! I’ll get you back to Istanbul. The final day listed on the date span would be your departure date from Istanbul.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.