Today's top three

Why Geckos have got your back

  • 1

    The price is right
    On a Geckos tour, all the essential stuff is included in one great price, except for some meals (no matter, you'll enjoy figuring out the local word for 'tripe'). And the price you're quoted when you book and pay your deposit will not change, guaranteed. No ifs, buts or 'oops, we had an unexpected supplier cost thingy at our end sorry-thankyou-too-bad.' Nope. What you see is what you pay.

  • 2

    Locals do it better
    Geckos tour guides are local lads and ladies. They not only speak the language, but know the customs and where that random bar with its own volleyball court is. Handy much?

  • 3

    Epic itineraries
    Sometimes stuff is so popular that becomes unreal. So they're not going to drive past a pyramid on a Gecko tour just to prove they're cool. What they will do is head off the beaten track and forge a new one, so get set for an adventure.

  • 4

    The 'no-pike' promise
    You're there, you're pumped, you're ready to go. Don't worry, they will be too. Every Gecko adventure is guaranteed and will run as scheduled. Only Baby Jeebers himself can cancel a trip.

  • 5

    Traveling solo?
    So you're more of a Lone Ranger? It's cool, Geckos gets it. And they won't charge you extra for it either. Just let them know and they'll make sure your roomie's got the same bits as you. Or for a few extra shekels even, on most Gecko tours you can opt for your own room and snore to your hearts content.

Where we go

Get amongst it Geckos adventures

If your idea of an awesome trip is a rickety bus ride on a wild stretch of coast, sitting next to an old lady with a cage full of guinea pigs, only to have one of them turn up roasted on your dinner plate that night – then look no further!

Geckos tours rock that fine line between highlights highway and the road less travelled. They blend the best bits of the best guidebooks with shiny local gems you'd be hard pressed to find without the help of their super savvy local guides.

Your guide, your ride, a comfy bed and all your entrance fees are also included in one cushy price. They'll even throw in a few set meals as well while also giving you plenty of opportunities to tuck into a local fare of your choosing along the way.

In case you're wondering, most peeps on Geckos tours are aged 18-35. But the oldest so far was a 79-year-old dude named Lars. By all reports he was kind of awesome, so go figure. Geckos tour groups aren't massive either with an average of 12 people and a max of 20 (22 on some Geckos Africa trips). And you're always free to do your own thing if you need a bit of breathing space.

When it comes to cruising on a Geckos tour, you'll find yourself on buses, bikes, boats, trains, canoes, rafts and the odd camel. On Geckos tours in Africa though you'll be kickin' it with the baby elephants in a special safari vehicle, custom built for maximum bumfort. Think about it.

And when it's time for snoozing you'll mostly crash in cosy, family-run places. The more remote the Geckos adventures, the more basic the digs (Bedouin tent anyone?) and when it gets really wild (yes you, Africa) you'll get to camp most nights. All the gear and food is provided so don't freak out if you've never camped before. You know what they say, 'the greatest hotel has 5 billion stars'.

One last thing kitty cats…
On Geckos Africa trips, a 'kitty payment' is required in cash (generally paid on Day 1) and covers most on-ground expenses.

Top Tours with Geckos

  • <strong>WAS</strong> $995* <strong>NOW</strong> $747* <strong>SAVE</strong> $248*

    Whirling Turkey, 11 Days - SAVE $248*

    from $747*

    • 11 day tour departing Istanbul.
    • 9 nights accommodation in hotels.
    • 1 night accommodation onboard an overnight coach.
    • 9 breakfasts.
    • Transport by Ferry, Local bus.
    • Services of a Geckos expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
    • WAS $995* NOW $747* SAVE $248*.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Ephesus - Selcuk - Pamukkale - Konya - Cappadocia

    Mother Nature was in a good mood the day she created Love Valley in Cappadocia. Sometimes referred to as 'Turkey's Undies', it consists of a bunch of phallic rock structures sprouting up all over the countryside. You could say there's a stiff breeze in the air.

    Day 1 Istanbul
    Arrive in Istanbul and perhaps visit the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market.

    Day 2 Istanbul
    Take a guided tour of the treasures of the Old Town including the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome

    Day 3 Gallipoli - Eceabat
    No jokes about Gallipoli. If you choose to take the optional trip to Troy, however, you're free to remember Brad Pitt's terrible accent in the movie and laugh yourself silly.

    Day 4 Ayvalik
    We suggest you devote this day to finding the best burek of the trip. Or the best kebab. Or the best baklava. Maybe just devote this day entirely to food. Your local guide can help.

    Day 5 Ephesus - Selcuk
    Ephesus is the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world. Antony and Cleopatra lived here for a while, as did the Virgin Mary.

    Day 6 Pamukkale
    This place is so pretty Walt Disney would be jealous he didn't invent it. Apparently the thermal waters can cure asthma, but bring your inhaler just in case.

    Day 7 Konya
    Konya is home to the famous Whirling Dervishes. Please note that most of the whirling takes place behind closed doors. You won't see people spinning randomly on the street.

    Day 8-9 Cappadocia
    Explore Cappadocia, the lunar-like landscape in the interior of the country. Moon boots optional.

    Day 10-11 Cappadocia - Istanbul
    Jess said her favourite part of Istanbul was the Basilica Cistern. After the initial shock of discovering it's not a giant toilet, she described it as "...amazing, creepy, Medusa head, fishy, haunting, lovely". Jess has a way with words.

    Ask about our great airfares
  • <strong>WAS</strong> $1260* <strong>NOW</strong> $945* <strong>SAVE</strong> $315*

    Roman Around, 8 Days - SAVE $315*

    from $945*

    • 8 day tour departing Venice.
    • 3 nights accommodation in hotels.
    • 2 nights accommodation in hostels.
    • 2 nights accommodation in a guesthouse.
    • Transport by train.
    • Services of a tour leader.
    • WAS $1260* NOW $945* SAVE $315*.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Venice - Cinque Terre - Florence - Rome

    In ancient Rome, phalluses were thought of as good luck. They were worn as jewellery or hung up as wind chimes. We'll stick to the four-leafed clover, thanks (walking around with phallic jewellery not recommended).

    Day 1-2: VENICE
    Canals, romance, alleyways, bridges, tiramisu, prosecco, gondolas, vaporettos. Need we say more? Perhaps visit the Grand Canal, the old-world shops of the Rialto Bridge, the Palace of the Doge (ruler of Venice), the Piazza San Marco and its golden Basilica, and the Bridge of Sighs. Wander the narrow, cobblestone streets and spacious piazzas and cross the hundreds of tiny bridges. Take in the shops, markets, galleries, churches and buildings around every corner. Be sure to take a gondola trip through the romantic canals

    Day 3-4: CINQUE TERRE
    Wandering through the villages of the Cinque Terre is like wandering through a life-size packet of crayons (if the crayons were shaped like houses and if the packet was perched on the Mediterreanean coast. And if Italian people were living in it). You're going to love it. You can also jump on a train between any of the villages or to get back to base whenever you want. After working up an appetite, perhaps indulge in the foods of the Liguria region.

    Day 5-6: FLORENCE
    While visiting Florence in 1817, French author Henre Stendhal became emotionally overwhelmed by the city's beauty, and experienced dizziness, palpitations and panic attacks. Hopefully you won't have such an extreme reaction, but at least you're not alone if you do. Discover the sights of this 'outdoor museum' on foot - the Pitti Palace, the Ponte Vecchio, the Arno River front, the many statues and monuments of the Piazza della Signoria, the Palazzo Vecchio, the 13th-century Duomo, Baptistry and Belltower and the Santa Croce Church. Visit the Uffizi, one of the world's oldest art galleries and a work of art itself See Michelangelo's famous statue of David in the Galleria dell'Accademia. Explore as many of the surrounding galleries and museums as you have time for, or simply relax in a cafe and watch it all go by.

    Day 7-8: ROME
    Piazza Navona was built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, which was constructed in the first century AD. What do you do here? Get a coffee and wander around, of course. Then go and see some of Michelangelo's art at the Sistine Chapel.

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  • Enjoy the best of Turkey

    Ottoman Is Not Just A Footstool, 15 Days - SAVE 20%*

    from $1,340*

    • 15 day tour departing Istanbul.
    • 14 nights accommodation.
    • 14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners.
    • Transport by Ferry, Local Bus, Private Bus.
    HIGHLIGHTS: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Selcuk - Fethiye - Cappadocia - Eceabat - Pamukkale

    Start in Istanbul before heading off to explore Gallipoli, Eceabat and Ayvalik (think cobblestones and cafes). Next up you've got Selcuk, Pamukkale and Fethiye for amazeballs Greco-Roman ruins, healing pools and beach. Sail the Turquoise Coast (literally TURQUOISE). Head to Antalya and Cappadocia for penis-shaped rocks (among other things) then head back to Istanbul via more villages, valleys and awesomeness.

    Check out the Blue Mosque and Hippodrome (sadly, there's no actual hippos here). Your hotel is right in the thick of the action so you won't have to walk far for your first kebab of the trip.

    Drive to Gallipoli and wander around the famous battlefields - it's hard not to feel moved. Take a ferry across the Dardanelles to Canakkale. Optional trip out to Troy, Brad Pitt's long gone but it's still worth a visit.

    Meet the locals on a bus to Selcuk. Walk in Cleopatra's footsteps at the Greco-Roman site of Ephesus. Then find out why the hot spring city of Pamukkale is known as 'cotton castle'.

    The sunken city of Kekova Island sits just under the surface of the water. Did you know the colour turquoise was named after Turkey? This is why.

    It's hard to get a bad photo of Antalya (unless your finger is over the lens) thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina and the Taurus mountains in the distance. Head to Zencefil cafe for a karniyarik -roasted eggplant split down the middle and stuffed with chopped beef, onions, tomatoes and spices.

    Penis-shaped rocks, fairy chimneys and underground cities. Cappadocia's got it all.

    Go eight floors underground at Derinkuyu - one of Cappadocia's 36 underground cities. Take the bus to Istanbul and celebrate your arrival back in Europe with a fresh fish roll on the Galata bridge.

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