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Thursday, January 20th 2022

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYZ." - Chris Myden

Toronto to Istanbul, Turkey - from $700 roundtrip after taxes!

I've been waiting a long time for this! Turkey has always been near the top of my list of places on this planet that I want to check out (and it's a long list). Fares are rarely cheap though, and usually hover around a minimum of $1100-$1200 roundtrip after taxes.

But then KLM decided to have a contest, and thanks to a little assistance from YYZ Deals followers, well, here we are. If you've ever wanted to visit Turkey at an insane price, this is your chance.

At the time of this writing they haven't officially announced the winner, but I can see that they've already loaded the cheap fares to Istanbul into the system on KLM.com. In fact, I just bought my tickets. The bottom price looks to be $700 roundtrip after taxes.

To find them, you can just go to http://www.klm.com and search for flights from Toronto to Istanbul.

The cheap fare period is from mid October 2012 to May 5th of 2013 ! So it's a pretty wide date range that you can choose from. KLM has stated that the cheap fares will be in the system for 48 hours.

Personally, I would aim for October 2012 or late April 2013. Both would be great times to visit Turkey, with good weather and less tourists. Here's a link to historical weather for Istanbul.

Update: People have also reported booking with a multiple-night stopover in Amsterdam for pretty much the same price. 2 trips in one! For those that don't know how to do this, it's really easy. I've created a short tutorial, which you can find in the forums.

screenshot from KLM.com

I've already created a Google Map to outline the places in Turkey I want to check out:


Istanbul, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Pamukkale, Turkey

If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this deal! If anyone has any recommendations on places to check out in Turkey, please leave a comment.

See you in Turkey!

(NOTE: If you're interested in visiting Amsterdam, give it a try, you'll find it's a lot cheaper than usual as well, although not as good a deal as Istanbul.)

HEADS UP: Looks like Air Canada is matching the prices to Amsterdam and Istanbul...


HEADS UP 2: Now it looks like every airline is matching the insanity to Istanbul !

Air France (should be possible to get a free stopover in Paris)
Austrian Airlines

Example search on Kayak: https://www.kayak.com/flights/#/YYZ-IST/2012-10-17-flexible/2012-10-31-flexible

If anyone needs help on planning their trip to Turkey, there is a great resource from the guy who literally wrote the book on Turkey (for Lonely Planet and others) - http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/

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16 Responses to "Toronto to Istanbul, Turkey - from $700 roundtrip after taxes!"

    Has Dina  been here?
       Dina on June 12th, 2012

    I did a month long trip to Turkey last December and visited all those places. I can't recommend going to Turkey more. Cappodoccia was my favorite. I'd also recommend Sel?uk, Troy and some of the other Greek towns too. Check out www.turkeytravelplanner.com it was invaluable to me. Turkey has a great coach bus system, as in personal screens in the seat in front of you and complimentary beverages and snacks served BUT these distances are long, roughly 10-12 hours (if there are no issues) so flying domestically is worth checking out. Pegasus airlines sometimes has great deals online, roughly the same price as the buses! Feel free to ask any questions!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 12th, 2012

    Thanks Dina!

    I couldn't believe just how many budget airports Turkey has. Considering the size of the country, and how cheap it is to fly from point to point, it does make it look more attractive than taking the bus.

    Has Anonymous been here?
       Anonymous on June 12th, 2012

    Bus, train or plane are all good in Turkey! I was impressed with how easy, comfortable and cheap it was to get around.

    There are lots of routes but I'd recommend heading to Cappodoccia first (assuming it's the furthest east you are going) and make your way back to Istanbul. That way you can stop at many places on the road back to Istanbul. Also because Cappodoccia is COLD! It was colder there than Toronto when I was there. So getting there earlier means more sunlight and less risk of things not being open or activities not getting cancelled. And DO the sunrise balloon ride! It is money well spent!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 12th, 2012

    Great advice!

    Has Fml been here?
       Fml on June 12th, 2012

    I just paid $2230 for two people for a trip to Turkey in August. I'm definitely not relying on "book early for a good deal" crap

    Has v-ron been here?
       v-ron on June 13th, 2012

    Would one week give me enough time to see all the major destinations or do I need more? Also, is it safe to travel alone in Turkey?

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 13th, 2012

    I think Turkey probably deserves a good 2 weeks to see all the major highlights, at least from what I've researched so far. With one week you might want to just stick to Istanbul and maybe Cappadocia or Ephesus.

    I've heard from hundreds of people who tell me everyone in Turkey is wonderful. I think you'd want to take the usual precautions like in any country. I don't think there's anything too out of the ordinary to be aware of in Turkey in terms of safety.

    Has Laura been here?
       Laura on June 14th, 2012


    Has anyone figured out how to get a stop over in Paris on the way over (Air France) as well as a stop over in Amsterdam on the way back?

    That would be one amazing trip for $700.

    Has S.M. been here?
       S.M. on June 14th, 2012

    I scored a ticket to Istanbul with a 4 day stopover in Rome for $605.00 in the wee hours of this morning. Departure date Oct. 16, return Nov. 3. The regular price with the discount fare to Istanbul is just under $675, but if you subscribe to the Alitalia Newsletter on the home page you'll get a coupon code to be entered on the payment page that will give you a 10% discount.

    Thanks, Chris, for giving us the head's up on this insane bargain and suggestion to look for free layovers!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 14th, 2012

    No problem! Have fun over there everyone!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 14th, 2012

    Looks like the cheap fares are going back up to double the price on KLM. Other airlines likely to follow suit.

    Best chance for anyone looking last minute might be to try on Kayak and see if the price can be verified on any airline. Sometimes certain places will be able to offer cheap tickets a little longer after the fare is put back up by the airline.

    Has Ree.Dha been here?
       Ree.Dha on June 15th, 2012

    looks like there is nothing left at those prices, regret not purchasing when i had the chance. Theres always next time!

    Has molajen been here?
       molajen on June 19th, 2012

    My experience is dated, unfortunately, but some things don't change. For awesome ancient ruins, go to Ephesus. They have so many ruins (and more hidden under the surface) that they don't know what to do with it all. Troy is a bit of a disappointment by comparison. Those lovely limestone pools were closed when we went - tourists and mould had started to blacken the pools and the authorities closed them. I travelled on my own in my mid-40s and everyone treated me very nicely. Buses have attendants who seat women with women. Some restaurants are for men only. Look for restaurants that are family friendly if you're a woman travelling alone. I can also recommend the town of Amasra. It was a bit of a journey to get there, but wonderful vistas, friendly people and a quiet atmosphere. A woman at the tourism bureau told me it was where Turkish people went for their holidays.

    Has carina been here?
       carina on June 20th, 2012

    i just got back from 5 weeks in turkey...it was INSANE!
    if you're looking for tips on hotels, restaurants and other fun things shoot me an email!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 20th, 2012

    Awesome, thanks Carina! Maybe if you have a chance you could list a few of your favorite things here for people ? I know there are a lot that would appreciate it, myself included.

    Has gdvan been here?
       gdvan on June 23rd, 2012

    I just booked the turkey experience at 30% off at intrepid travel, including 2 flights within turkey ($1348).. they are having a sale today (sat) for flights thru the end of the year..

    to use amex, book with a travel agent, not directly

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