Middle East Discovery Trip Notes

Middle East Discovery

Last Modified: 17 May 2016
Middle East Discovery
Trip code: XESTC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Be captivated by the spirit of ancient civilisations and surreal natural beauty on this tour from Egypt’s energetic capital to dazzling Antalya on Turkey’s south-west coast. Stare up in wonder at the pyramids, befriend locals in Aswan, explore the magnificent Karnak Temple, discover the rose-coloured rock temples of Petra, drive through the desert landscape of Wadi Rum and feel the ghosts of the past on the Gallipoli Peninsula. This is a journey abounding in unforgettable history, incredible landscapes, stunning scenery, extraordinary landmarks and cultures that continue to endure through the ages. Before booking on this trip we recommend that you read the ‘Safety’ section in the trip notes regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point description
ThemesMeals introductionAlternate finish point instructions
Is this trip right for you?MealsEmergency contact
Why we love itMoney mattersVisas
MapGroup leaderWhat to take
ItinerarySafetyClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerJoining pointHealth
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel
Important notesFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish point descriptionFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinishing point instructions
AccommodationAlternate finish point
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- • Travelling on a felucca is awesome, but it's not for everyone. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and shared bathroom facility on board.
- • The walk ways around the ruins can be uneven, dusty and rocky, bring comfortable walking shoes. In places like Petra which is a massive sight you can expect to be walking in the elements for most of the day. 
- • Some hotel in Egypt may not have lifts. Please be aware you may need to climb stairs with your luggage to reach your hotel room for the night.     
- *There is a lot of walking around the sights, most with out shade, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, please bring comfortable shoes and a hat to make the most of your time at the sights.        
- * The weather can be quite extreme, from very hot in summer to  cool in winter, please check the weather conditions for when you travel.
- * The ferry to Aqaba can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Besides this the ferry is frequently delayed or even cancelled at the last minute, patience is required for this journey. Please see Day 12 of the itinerary for more details.
Why we love it
- • Explore vibrant Cairo with its bustling markets and colourful streets
- • Be amazed by the beautiful scenery as you cruise down the Nile on a felucca * See the grand burial sites of the pharaohs in the valley of the Kings
- * Experience the feeling of weighlessness as you float in the super salty Dead Sea
- * Spend the day checking out the rock cut tombs and the remains of the ancient city of Petra
- * Get lost in the maze of Istanbul's bustling backstreets and get to know this incredible city with a local leader.
- * Take a relaxing cruise on the Aegean. Swim, chill out, and chat with the locals as they kick back and just relax taking in the scenery.
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Cairo
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 4 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early in Cairo, perhaps travel along the river by felucca (a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails) or head out to explore the markets. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle, the Christian Coptic sector is well worth a visit.
Included Activities
  • Khan al-Khalili bazaar visit
    Optional Activities
    • The Citadel - EGP60
    • Coptic Museum - EGP60
    • Islamic Art Museum - EGP50
    • Sufi dance performance at Khan al-Khalili - EGP50
    • Downtown Cairo - GREE - USD45
    • Half Day Pyramids Adventure - GERF - USD67
    • Islamic Cairo in Depth - GRED - USD64
    • Alexandria City Discovery - GREA - USD133
    • Saqqara and Memphis - GREC - USD73
    • Treasures and Tut - GREQ - USD65
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 2 Cairo
      This morning a private van will transport you to Giza, the home of some of the world’s most iconic sights. Approach the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx by camel, with panoramic views across the dunes. Instantly familiar yet retaining a mystique and power, getting up close to these incredible pharaonic tombs is amazing. Explore these structures that have stood tall for 4,500 years, and for an additional charge you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu, (although occasionally it may be closed to visitors). The inside thoroughfares of the Pyramids are very small and very warm, so for those suffering from claustrophobia it is not recommended. Please note that you'll be required to walk around the Pyramids complex. It can be very hot in the summer months, so be prepared for little shade and pack appropriate clothing, sun protection, and carry lots of water. Afterwards, make your way to the Egyptian Museum, home to one of the world's great collections of antiquities. Wander the treasure-filled halls of the museum, and make sure to check out the Mummies Hall (optional) for a close encounter with some of the country’s most important queens and pharaohs. Later in the evening, meet your leader and travel to Giza station, where you will board a sleeper train to Aswan (approximately 13 hours). Bedding and air-conditioning are provided.

      Notes: Western-style toilets are located in each carriage, but we recommend bringing additional toilet paper. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you're a vegetarian as only a single type of meal is served for dinner, which always includes meat. In rare circumstances you may be paired in your cabin with a group member of the opposite sex, depending on the group configuration. On other occasions, you might be sharing with another traveller of the same sex who may not be part of our group, again determined by the group configuration.
      Included Activities
      • Pyramids and Sphinx
      • Camel ride at the Pyramids
      • Egyptian Museum
        Optional Activities
        • The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP200
        • The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP40
        • Pyramid of Saqqara - EGP80
        • Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids - EGP100
        • Mummies Hall at Egyptian Museum - EGP100
        • Solar Boat Museum - EGP60
          Accommodation
          Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
          Day 3 Aswan
          The Nile, Elephantine Island and white-sailed feluccas: welcome to Aswan, Egypt's southernmost city. Its easy-going charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Today is a free day so take the opportunity to see such Aswan sites as the unfinished obelisk or the High Dam. The Nubian Bazaar is a must, while the excellent Nubian Museum is top of many visitors’ lists. Highly recommended is the beautiful Temple of Isis (the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom) that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island. It's a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. The evening sound and light show at Philae Temple is a beautiful experience – well worth the 100 Egyptian pounds. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. This evening you’ll experience modern Nubian culture first-hand with a visit to a nearby village. You’ll join a local Nubian family for dinner and get an unforgettable insight into the daily life of the local people. This is a rare and memorable experience, giving you the chance to become fully immersed in the local culture.
          Included Activities
          • Nubian Village Visit and Dinner
            Optional Activities
            • Sound & Light Show at Philae Temple - EGP100
            • Unfinished Obelisk - EGP40
            • Philae Temple - EGP60
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 dinner
              Day 4 Aswan
              Today perhaps head out of Aswan and visit stunning Abu Simbel this morning. With the four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, carved directly out of the mountain on the west bank of the Nile, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. Please note this optional activity has a very early start (but it’s totally worth it). You can get there by a 40-minute flight, or by the cheaper option of renting a minivan with a group and leaving very early (flights do not operate daily). The journey by land is 3 hours each way, with a very early departure from Aswan at approximately 4am to join a group of buses in a security convoy to and from the temple. Otherwise, you could take a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively, take a camel ride to the Monastery of St Simeon, an abandoned 7th-century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. Your tour leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions. Alternatively, you may prefer to simply relax and take in the beauty of the Nile, or do some shopping in the friendly bazaar.

              Notes: Flights can be booked online through EgyptAir: http://www.egyptair.com/English Return flights vary throughout the season, depending on the day of the week you fly and how far in advance you book, but expect to pay between US$250-300. Due to the southerly location, it's recommended to book the early flight and visit Abu Simbel at sunrise to avoid the heat.
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 5 Nile Felucca
              Board a felucca and spend a day out on the river, watching rural Egyptian daily life play out on the banks, then spend a night under the stars. Your Nubian sailing crew provides all the meals, which are hearty and delicious. Being a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails, your felucca offers some shade and protection from the elements. However, there is no cabin or enclosed section. Nonetheless, watching the sun setting across the Nile in the evening is a sight you won't forget. This is the absolute highlight of the trip for many.

              Notes: Conditions will be basic during your felucca trip. If you are prepared for this, you’re sure to have a memorable adventure. You'll sleep outside on the deck of the felucca on a mattress. While blankets are provided, a sleeping sheet is recommended. During the colder months (October to March) temperatures can get as low as 5°C at night, so a sleeping bag is highly recommended. Slight alterations may have to be made to the Nile itinerary throughout the year, depending on winds and currents. As the felucca is a sailing craft without any outboard engine, if there's no wind we won't travel very far.
              Accommodation
              Felucca (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
              Day 6 Luxor
              After farewelling your felucca crew, take a private van to the open air museum of Luxor (approximately 3.5 hours). From the spectacular temple complex of Karnak to the Valley of the Kings, Luxor is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs. On the way, there's the option to visit either the unique mirror-image design of the Temple of Kom Ombo, or the beautifully preserved Temple of Edfu, also dedicated to Horus, the falcon-headed god. Today you’ll visit the Intrepid Foundation's local project ACE (Animal Care in Egypt). It’s a great chance to see the holistic approach the project takes towards animal welfare, and to raising awareness among the locals. You’ll also explore the magnificent Karnak Temple, which is perhaps the most impressive of all the ancient Pharoahs' monumental works. One of the world's most celebrated temple complexes, Karnak is a house of the gods built over a period of some 200 years. Your guided tour of this vast temple of impressive pylons, obelisks and chapels will reveal its finest sections, such as the Avenue of Sphinxes and the Great Temple of Amun. The rest of the day will be free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local teahouse.
              Included Activities
              • Karnak Temple
              • Intrepid Foundation Project visit - ACE (Animal Care in Egypt)
                Optional Activities
                • Edfu Temple - EGP60
                • Luxor Temple - EGP60
                • Luxor Museum - EGP100
                • Mummification Museum - EGP60
                • Sound and Light Show at Karnak - EGP100
                • Bicycle Hire - EGP50
                • Kom Ombo Temple - EGP50
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 7 Luxor
                  Today you’ll hop in a private minivan and discover some the many wonders of ancient Thebes. Your first stop is the Colossi of Memnon, two 17 metre-high statues on Luxor's west bank. Carved from granite blocks, they represent the Pharaoh Amenhotep III and were once part of an impressive colonnade. Hop onto donkeys (in the winter months of October to May only) for a ride of a different kind, through local villages and fields of sugar cane (approximately 30 minutes). Continue on to the spectacular royal burial site of the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 richly decorated tombs of pharaohs. With your leader, explore this sprawling and spectacular place, where the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (16th to 11th century BC) were secretly interred for all eternity, and where discoveries are still being made. Your group leader will explain the history and legends of these remarkable people, their funerary rites, and the significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. Join a local family for lunch to try some tasty traditional home cooking. The rest of your afternoon is free to explore. The Luxor Museum is a great place to visit in your free time. Alternatively, hire a bicycle and venture into the countryside. For a more upscale experience, check out the Winter Palace, a lovely five-star historical building with wonderful views over the Nile – a great place for a refreshing cocktail. Catch an overnight sleeper train from Luxor to Cairo (approximately 10 hours).
                  Included Activities
                  • Colossi of Memnon
                  • Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
                  • Donkey ride (seasonal - not in summer)
                  • Home-cooked traditional meal with local family
                    Optional Activities
                    • Tomb of Tutankhamun - EGP100
                    • Hatshepsut Temple - EGP52
                    • Valley of the Queens - EGP50
                      Accommodation
                      Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
                      Meals
                      1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
                      Day 8 Cairo

                      Arrive in Cairo. For your comfort and convenience, day rooms are provided on this day until 12noon, for luggage storage and an opportunity to have a shower and freshen up. Once settled, consider joining the rest of the group for a farewell breakfast. Otherwise the day is yours to explore beautiful Cairo on your own.

                      As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
                      Optional Activities
                      • The Citadel - EGP60
                      • Downtown Cairo - GREE - USD45
                      • Half Day Pyramids Adventure - GERF - USD67
                      • Alexandria City Discovery - GREA - USD133
                      • Saqqara and Memphis - GREC - USD73
                      • Treasures and Tut - GREQ - USD65
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 9 Dahab
                        Today we take a short flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh ( approximately 1hr ). On arrival we will be transferred to our Dahab Beach Hotel where we will spend the next 2 nights.
                        With a name meaning 'gold' in Arabic, Dahab has transformed from a Bedouin fishing village into a popular tourist town, luring travellers with its excellent diving. Its location between the Sinai Desert and Red Sea makes it ideal for all kinds of adventure activities, while Bedouin influences mean it hasn't lost its authenticity.
                        Dyarna Hotel is perfectly located just a 5 minute stroll from Dahab town. The hotel has it's own private beach, perfect for snorkelling or diving the coral reef the red sea is renown for, or relax in the swimming pool and pool bar and enjoy the Sinai sun. Beach chairs and sun beds are free for your use. Wireless internet is available and there is a restaurant, coffee shop on site. All rooms are airconditioned with a mini bar, satellite TV and a private balcony or terrace.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 10 Dahab
                        Today take a trip to the Blue Hole, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Red Sea. It's located about eight kilometres north of Dahab. The 'hole' is around 80 metres wide and vaunts a stunning underwater world of colourful sea plants and fish. Later, simply relax in Dahab and soak up the lovely coastal ambience.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 11 Red Sea Beach Camp
                        Travel by van to our Red Sea beach camp, close to the town of Nuweiba (approx 2 hrs).
                        This is a harsh and barren land of sprawling windswept plains and rugged mountains, but it's also home to some fantastic beaches. The tiny settlement of our beach camp is reminiscent of its Sinai neighbours, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheik, before mass tourism arrived. Thankfully the camp is still a hidden gem for Intrepid groups. Set on one of the only stretches of fine golden sand along this coast, this is a place that you'll be raving about to your friends for years to come.
                        Stay in simple but comfortable beach huts with the water right at our front door. The huts in our camps are made from local palm trees and have two single beds, electricity, linen and mosquito nets. The toilets and showers are in a communal block
                        The Red Sea coast is justifiably famous for its beautiful scenery, both above and below the water. Why not start the day with a fantastic snorkelling trip to discover this spectacular world.


                        Later relax on the golden sands watching the mountains of Saudi Arabia light up at sunset, and finish the day chatting with our Bedouin friends over a delicious freshly squeezed fruit juice. Enjoy!
                        Accommodation
                        Beach hut (1 nt)
                        Day 12 Aqaba
                        Take a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Jordan (approx 2 hours). Your Egyptian leader will help you board the ferry and say good-bye. Please note that you'll be travelling on this ferry unaccompanied by a group leader. You'll be met at the Aqaba ferry terminal by our local representative who will receive and process visas for the group and arrange a transfer to the hotel where you'll meet your Jordanian leader.

                        Notes: The ferry crossing can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. This ferry crossing is frequently delayed and patience is required.

                        The fast ferry can sometimes be cancelled without notice. We may be required to take the slow ferry instead (which can take up to 5 hours and may result in arriving later than expected to Aqaba).
                        In rough weather, there's a chance the ferry might be cancelled altogether, in which case we'll stay an extra night in Egypt or Jordan. The ferry itself is modern and has western-style toilets on board but these are not maintained once the ferry begins.

                        The only alternative to taking the ferry is flying over the Red Sea and not including Dahab in the itinerary at all. We've made the decision to continue to run this itinerary but we strongly recommend you consider if this trip is right for you. Other Egypt, Jordan and Turkey itineraries can easily be purchased together and linked with flights. Check out 'Egypt Express' (XESB - Basix standard), 'Explore Jordan' (EESJ - Original standard), and 'Best of Turkey' (ERSI). Alternatively there are our comfort itineraries: 'Egypt Experience' (XEKI), 'Jordan Discovery' (ELKD), and 'Turkey Encompassed' (ERKT).


                        Stay in the coastal resort town of Aqaba, the country's only seaport.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 13 Wadi Rum
                        Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive (approx 1 hr) to the extraordinary desert scenery in Wadi Rum.
                        A 4-hour jeep safari takes us through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet, a true highlight of this trip.
                        Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations. Traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the Wadi Rum area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum, however, are those carved by nature - the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks.
                        Sleep in a simple desert camp where you'll have the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. A dinner cooked in a local earthen oven is included. Western-style toilet facilities are available. Conditions are basic at our desert camp, but the company of our Bedouin hosts is warm and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.
                        Included Activities
                        • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
                        • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
                          Accommodation
                          Desert camp (1 nt)
                          Meals
                          1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                          Day 14 Petra
                          Travel by van from Wadi Rum to Petra (approx 2 hrs).
                          Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
                          Visit Petra with a local guide, starting with the exciting walk through the narrow Siq to the Treasury. After admiring the iconic view, continue through the site along the Roman road, past impressive rock-cut tombs, temples and the amphitheatre.
                          Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Intrepid doesn't recommend that passengers take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
                          Explore the rest of the site at your own pace. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning Monastery (approx 1 hr). Please note a lot of walking is required to see all the sites and viewpoints of Petra. A basic level of fitness will enhance your enjoyment of your visit.
                          The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here.

                          It's difficult to determine exactly when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, inhabited the area, lending their traditional habits such as burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves to the next wave of inhabitants - the Nabataeans.

                          Evidence of the earliest Nabataean settlement is also sketchy. Some of the characteristics of the site appear partly Egyptian and partly Greek in style. Strangely, few inscriptions have been found at Petra making dating the civilization a real challenge for historians. We do know the Nabataean settlement doesn't go back farther than the 6th century BC.

                          In 106 AD, Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the native dynasty came to an end but continued to flourish for a century after. Eventually the building of tombs ended and trade moved away from Petra, which fell into steady decline over the centuries. Over time many of the tombs' treasures were stolen by treasure hunters and their glory and whereabouts are unknown.

                          According to Arab tradition, Petra is the location where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth.
                          Included Activities
                          • Guided tour of Petra
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 15 Petra
                            Today is your free day. You may choose to go back to see more of Petra and walk the Siq (road) to Al Khanzneh (The treasury). Or you can go up the stairs to El Dier (The Monastery). Other options include a hike to the Royal tombs or visiting the Byzantine mosaic. Speak to your leader about arranging any of these.
                            Accommodation
                            Hotel (1 nt)
                            Meals
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 16 Madaba
                            Travel the King's Highway to the historic crusader castle of Kerak. Take time here to explore the evocative ruins and to discover the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies led by the Arab hero, Saladin (Salah ad-Din).
                            Travel by van to Madaba, via the Dead Sea and Mt Nebo.
                            A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level) the water is seven times saltier than a normal ocean at 30% salinity. The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Asal in Djibouti. When swimming this means you are extremely buoyant and seem to float on top of the water rather than in it.

                            The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and many visitors like to cover themselves from head to toe for a beauty mud bath. Stop at a private beach with pools and a gentle slope to the water. Towels are available for hire. Don't forget to pack your swimwear for today.
                            Make a stop at Mt Nebo where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the promised land and is supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th-century church.
                            The historical town of Madaba is famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the famous 6th-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Other mosaic masterpieces found within the Church of the Virgin and the Apostles and in the Archaeological Museum depict a rampant profusion of flowers and plants, birds and fish, animals and exotic beasts, as well as scenes from mythology and everyday pursuits such as hunting, fishing and farming. If these interest you, you'll be delighted to know that literally hundreds of other mosaics from the 5th to 7th centuries are scattered throughout Madaba's churches and homes.
                            Madaba is practically a satellite suburb of Amman, but it has a village feel and friendly locals.
                            Take the opportunity to relax by the pool of our comfortable hotel. There's a poolside restaurant that's yours to enjoy. As it's sometimes difficult for the hotel to identify who are hotel guests and who are restaurant guests, all orders for food and drink are required to be paid for at the time of ordering. As the restaurant is in practice a separate business to the hotel this also applies to room service orders. This is a slightly different system to much of the rest of the Middle East. Any food or drink you wish to bring into the hotel may only be consumed in your hotel room.
                            We arrive back in Madaba at around 5pm on day 9. There are no activities planned for the final day (Day 9) and you are able to depart our accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

                            If you're staying on after the trip consider these options:
                            Explore the beautifully preserved ruins of Jerash, one of the largest and best-preserved Roman cities left on the planet. These ruins were re-discovered in 1806 and continue to be one of Jordan's most amazing sites. The ancient walled town that survives today is a remarkable evocation of life 2,000 years ago.

                            Excavation and restoration of Jerash has been ongoing since the 1920s. Recent excavations show that the area was inhabited during the Bronze Age as far back as 3200 BC. Conquered by the Romans and then the Persians, Jerash was destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century. Monuments of note in Jerash include the Corinthium column, Hadrian's Arch, a circus/hippodrome, two temples (to Zeus and Artemis), the oval Forum surrounded by a colonnade, a long colonnaded street, two theatres, baths, small temples and an almost complete circuit of city walls.
                            Be sure to visit St George Church to view the magnificent mosaics.
                            If you're in Madaba on a Sunday, there's an opportunity to take part in Sunday Mass. Starting at 8am in the Greek Orthodox Church of St George, it's a wonderful chance for you to experience the Christian side of Jordan.
                            Included Activities
                            • Dead Sea
                            • Kerak Castle
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 17 Istanbul
                              Today you will take a short flight from Amman to Istanbul.

                              Once in Istanbul you have a free day to explore this bustling mega-city with a population of over 12 million people and a rich history and food scene waiting to be discovered.
                              Your Turkey adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 18 with your new trip leader
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 18 Istanbul
                              As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting in the hotel lobby at 6pm to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet any new fellow travellers. Please ask your leader for the exact day, time and location of this meeting.
                              Before the meeting if you have time, consider exploring some of the Sultanahmet area, including the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar (closed Sunday). Please ensure you are dressed appropriately to visit the Mosque should you wish to enter.
                              It is well worth taking the tour of the Royal Harem at Topkapi Palace to see the opulence and extravagance the Ottoman court. Visit the Archaeology Museum which contains an incredible array of ancient exhibits of particular interest the artefacts from infamous Troy. Shop till you drop in the Grand Bazaar a shopper's paradise. Maybe head down to the Bosphorus, grab a fresh fish roll for lunch and take a ferry cruise on one of the worlds most celebrated waterways. You could travel over to the stylish Taksim Square area and stroll along the main street with the local hipsters. Visit the atmospheric underground Cistern, a vast underwater storage tank built in 532 AD. If all of this makes you a little tired then an hour or two spent in a hamam (Turkish bath) will leave you rejuvenated for the start of your journey.
                              Accommodation
                              Hotel (1 nt)
                              Meals
                              1 breakfast
                              Day 19 Istanbul
                              Set out on a walking tour of the city with your expert leader. This will span some of Istanbul's notable cultural and historic sites but also some lesser-known gems as you venture into the backstreets. The rest of your afternoon is yours to spend as you please. You might visit the historic Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays), Aya Sofya for its incredible mosaics, or the iconic Blue Mosque. A boat cruise around the blue waters of the Bosphorus is recommended.
                              Included Activities
                              • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
                                Optional Activities
                                • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
                                • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
                                • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
                                • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
                                • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY30
                                • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
                                • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
                                • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Day 20 Gallipoli Peninsula
                                  Very early in the morning of day 3 we depart Istanbul by public bus for Eceabat, our base to visit Gallipoli. (approx. 5 hours).
                                  On the eastern shore of the Gelibolu peninsula is the town of Eceabat. A traditional fishing village with loads of character, Eceabat is the closest town to the battefields of Gallipoli. You can catch the public ferry across the Dardanelles to the town of Canakkale for a greater variety of dining and nightlife options if you choose.
                                  This afternoon we journey out with our guide to the Gallipoli Peninsula. The stunning natural beauty of Gallipoli makes it hard to believe that this is the site of one of the most tragic and fiercely fought battles of WWI. This is an opportunity to stroll through time; a moving experience for people from all nations. The battles fought on this land were a turning point in the creation of the Turkish Republic.
                                  Gallipoli was the site of the Anzac landings in the 1914-18 war and one of the Allies great disasters in World War One. Gallipoli was the plan created by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new war front that the Central Powers could not cope with. The stark memorial at Lone Pine is inscribed with the names of the many fallen Anzacs. The nearby museum with its memorabilia is well worth a visit.
                                  This evening you might like to visit the town of Cannakale across the straits from our base in Eceabat. Canakkale is a charming fishing town where you can enjoy exploring the ruins of medieval castles, WWI bunkers or ponder the mythical beauty of the Dardanelles as tankers and boats pass through on their global journeys.
                                  Accommodation
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  Meals
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Day 21 Ayvalik
                                  This morning you have the option to visit the World Heritage listed site of Troy. The Iliad and the Odyssey have made Troy one of the most recognisable mythological sites in the world. Destroyed and rebuilt in its chequered history, today the ruins of several eras of settlements can be seen. A replica wooden horse at the entrance stands as a testament to the fabled horse, and is a great photo opportunity.
                                  In the afternoon we board a bus south for the journey to Ayvalik (approx. 4hrs).

                                  Located on the Aegean coast and taking its name from the Turkish word for quince (ayva), the charming village of Ayvalik is set around a harbour and looks out to small Aegean islands - a wonderful place to escape from it all. The cobbled backstreets with their old houses and cafes are perfect for exploring.

                                  Ayvalik has a hidden secret, its cuisine, this evening you can tempt your tastebuds with some of the regions specialities like Ayvalik Tost (like a club sandwich but better) mezes made with local olive oil and stuffed mussels.

                                  Optional Activities
                                  • Troy Visit - TRY85
                                    Accommodation
                                    Pension (1 nt)
                                    Meals
                                    1 breakfast
                                    Day 22 Ayvalik
                                    We spend the afternoon of day 5 on a boat cruise on the Aegean. Swim, chill out, and chat with the locals as they kick back and just relax taking in the scenery. (Please note this can be cancelled due to bad weather conditions.) Lunch Included today

                                    We have an alternative winter itinerary in the months from October to April. During the inter the town of Ayvalik is closed as far as tourist infrastructure is concerned, so on these departures we don’t visit Ayvalik. We travel from Eceabat On day 4 to the town of Bergama where we overnight. Early on the morning of Day 5 we take a guided tour of the ancient site of Pergamon. In the afternoon with continue on to Selcuk, where spend the nights of day 5 and 6. On Day 7 we overnight in Pamukkale and day 8 and 9 are spent in Antalyla.
                                    Winter itinerary applies to all trips departing in April and October.
                                    Included Activities
                                    • Boat trip
                                      Accommodation
                                      Pension (1 nt)
                                      Meals
                                      1 breakfast
                                      Day 23 Selcuk
                                      We make an early departure and travel by public bus to Selcuk via Izmir (approx. 4hrs).
                                      Selcuk is our base for discovering Ephesus, former capital of the Eastern Roman empire and the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey.
                                      Selcuk is steeped in culture and retains many Turkish traditions. The town itself is usually undisturbed, which gives the opportunity to experience the 'real' Turkey. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. Selcuk is also home to one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single pylon remains.
                                      The afternoon is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip as we tour the stunning ruins of Ephesus.
                                      Ephesus is one of the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's premier tourist site. Once the capital city of Roman Asia Minor, the city has a fascinating history spanning over 1,500 years, which comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. You will be awed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but it's perhaps the magnificent library that takes most people's breath away.
                                      Consider a visit to the excellent Ephesus museum located in the heart of Selcuk for a deeper understanding of the ruins. St John is said to have written his gospel in this town and the historic Basilica of St John was erected upon his grave site in the 6th century. There is also a hilltop citadel, first constructed by the Byzantines in the 6th century.
                                      Included Activities
                                      • Ephesus Archaeological Site
                                        Optional Activities
                                        • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
                                        • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
                                        • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
                                          Accommodation
                                          Pension (1 nt)
                                          Meals
                                          1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                                          Day 24 Pamukkale
                                          A train ride (3.5 hrs) inland through mountainous landscapes brings us to one of Turkey's most photographed sites - the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, which are made from limestone deposits formed when water from the hot springs lose carbon dioxide. The layers of the white calcium carbonate have given Pamukkale its name 'cotton castles'. The pools, now off limits, have been famed for their medicinal qualities since Roman times.
                                          Though we are not able to bathe in the world-famous Travertines, take a walk through them (no shoes please!) and bathe in healing thermal springs at the nearby Roman site of Hierapolis. Home to an oracle at one time, a well-preserved Roman theatre still remains here. Wander the colonnaded streets and discover the necropolis with its many unique tombs, looking every bit like a scene from judgement day.
                                          Included Activities
                                          • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                                            Optional Activities
                                            • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
                                            • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
                                              Accommodation
                                              Hotel (1 nt)
                                              Meals
                                              1 breakfast
                                              Day 25 Antalya
                                              Today we travel by bus to the largest Turkish city on the western Mediterranean coast; Antalya. The journey will take around 4hrs.
                                              A fantastic mix of city sophistication and old-world charm makes Antalya a great place to explore. The relatively unspoilt and restored Kaleici, the old city area, is now a historical zone and protected from modern development. With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina and old castle, Antalya is a popular destination.
                                              Take an orientation walk with your leader to get your bearings and check out some of the popular attractions. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore on your own.
                                              Included Activities
                                              • Guided Walk
                                                Accommodation
                                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                                Meals
                                                1 breakfast
                                                Day 26 Antalya
                                                Visit the Antalya Museum, one of the largest and best museums in Turkey, with 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery and over 5000 works of art and artifacts relating predominately to the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions of Anatolia.
                                                The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. You can venture further afield to the ancient cities of Aspendos or Side, or perhaps relax at the Duden Waterfalls or take in some beach time; plenty of choices in Antalya.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                                Meals
                                                1 breakfast
                                                Day 27 Antalya
                                                There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                                                Meals
                                                1 breakfast
                                                Itinerary disclaimer
                                                Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
                                                Physical rating

                                                Included activities
                                                Khan al-Khalili bazaar visit
                                                Pyramids and Sphinx
                                                Camel ride at the Pyramids
                                                Egyptian Museum
                                                Nubian Village Visit and Dinner
                                                Karnak Temple
                                                Intrepid Foundation Project visit - ACE (Animal Care in Egypt)
                                                Colossi of Memnon
                                                Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
                                                Donkey ride (seasonal - not in summer)
                                                Home-cooked traditional meal with local family
                                                Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
                                                4WD jeep safari and desert camp
                                                Guided tour of Petra
                                                Dead Sea
                                                Kerak Castle
                                                Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
                                                Boat trip
                                                Ephesus Archaeological Site
                                                Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                                                Guided Walk
                                                Important notes
                                                1. A single supplement is available on this trip. See trip notes for single supplement exception nights.
                                                2. Please provide Intrepid or your booking agent with a scanned copy of the personal details page from your passport at time of booking.
                                                3. On Day 9 there is an included internal flight from Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh. On day 17 there is an included flight from Amman to Istanbul. The maximum check-in baggage allowance for both flights is 23kgs per person plus 7kgs hand luggage. These flights are unescorted.

                                                Group size
                                                Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                                Your fellow travellers
                                                SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                                                Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                                                Accommodation
                                                Beach hut (1nt), Desert camp (1nt), Felucca (1nt), Hotel (13nt), Overnight sleeper train (2nt), Pension (3nt)
                                                ACCOMMODATION TYPES:
                                                Our accommodation styles range from Basic to Comfortable. Read below for what you can expect from each category. The style of each night of accommodation is listed on the day to day itinerary, alongside any exceptions you need to be made aware of.

                                                BASIC
                                                This is roughing it in the roughest sense. Our Basic accommodation includes campsites and wilderness lodges with very limited facilities, and homestays with squat/drop toilets and no showers. Sometimes you might spend a night on a train, bus or boat (all seated, no sleepers). Luxurious, it isn’t, but sleeping under the stars or in a hammock in the jungle is all part of the experience.

                                                SIMPLE
                                                Simple by name, simple by nature: think local guesthouses and homestays, the occasional shared dorm-style room, overnight sleeper trains or boats, and campsites with facilities. Some of our Simple accommodation has outside facilities, and you may be starting the day with a brisk shower if hot water isn’t available (some say cold, we say invigorating).

                                                TOURIST
                                                No frills, no fuss and no chocolate on your pillow at bedtime, but a clean and comfy place to lay your head. Tourist accommodation covers basic hotels, local guesthouses and lodges, permanent campsites and the occasional multi-share room. Our Tourist rooms usually have no heating or air conditioning, and sometimes you’ll be sharing a bathroom.

                                                STANDARD
                                                A cheerful room to call your own at the end of a long day of seeing the sights and sites. Our Standard rooms are convenient and cosy, and will usually include an en suite bathroom. Rooms are sometimes on the small side and amenities may be limited.

                                                COMFORTABLE
                                                Pretty much exactly what it says on the box. Expect pleasant accommodation, your own bathroom, and heating/air conditioning where appropriate. Most of our Comfortable accommodation has lifts, porters to help with your bags and are – yep – a comfortable spot to end your busy days.

                                                HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING:

                                                As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning.
                                                Meals introduction
                                                Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the Essential Trip Information itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

                                                For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
                                                Meals
                                                25 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
                                                Money matters
                                                When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

                                                Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
                                                Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


                                                MEALS NOT INCLUDED

                                                Depending on the style of trip you have chosen (Basix, Original or Comfort), included meals will vary.

                                                Breakfast. If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

                                                Lunch. Lunch at a touristy restaurant should cost around USD10 to USD20. However, local street food can be substantially cheaper.

                                                Dinner. At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD15 to USD25 for a main.

                                                These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to eat just local food you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

                                                TIPPING

                                                Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life in Egypt and is more than just a reward for services rendered. In a country where wages are extremely low it is an essential means of supplementing income. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners and Egyptians have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.

                                                Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


                                                TIPPING GUIDE

                                                To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

                                                - Basic restaurants – Round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loos change is generally fine.
                                                - Up-market restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                                                - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
                                                - Felucca boat trips: If you are travelling on an itinerary that includes an overnight Felucca trip up the Nile, we suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for the boat staff.
                                                - Your tour leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.


                                                EMERGENCY FUNDS

                                                We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.


                                                CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE

                                                With the exception of Iran, ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East and Turkey. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

                                                Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.

                                                Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.


                                                SHOPPING AND COMMISSIONS

                                                There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. Popular purchases include: gold and silver jewellery, perfume and Pyrex perfume bottles, essential oils, papyrus art, alabaster statues and silver including cartouches (hieroglyphics).

                                                While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it's customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service.

                                                You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.

                                                Please note that in Egypt, silver is a common souvenir in the form of jewellery and other items. The silver in Egypt is generally stamped with '800' meaning that it's 80% silver and 20% other metal. This is a reduced quality to the silver you may be more familiar with which is '925'.
                                                Group leader
                                                All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                                                Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

                                                On this trip you'll have the services of 3 different leaders:
                                                1) From Cairo to the Red Sea Beach camp (Nuweiba), you'll have an Egyptian leader.
                                                - You'll travel unescorted from Nuweiba to Aqaba on the ferry.
                                                2) From Aqaba to Madaba, you'll have a Jordanian leader.
                                                - You'll travel unescorted from Amman to Istanbul by plane.
                                                3) In Turkey you'll have a Turkish leader.
                                                Safety
                                                Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                                                We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                                                Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                                                For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
                                                www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


                                                FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                                                Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                                                BALCONIES:
                                                Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

                                                TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
                                                Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                                                SEAT BELTS:
                                                Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                                                PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                                                While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                                                WATER SAFETY:
                                                Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

                                                TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
                                                We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

                                                SAFETY IN EGYPT:

                                                Following recent incidents in Egypt, we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before your departure and that you ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas in your itinerary. We have links to all major travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting your trip on our safety page (link above).

                                                The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team, and we’re able to quickly change arrangements if for any reason we become concerned. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately.

                                                We have also taken the following measures to minimise the potential risk for our travellers in Egypt:

                                                -24 to 48hrs prior to each departure our local Intrepid office are in contact with tourist police to get approval for each itinerary. The tourist police notify our local operator immediately should any advice or information change.
                                                -We use private rather than public transport on all our itineraries.
                                                -We travel in (armed) convoys on main routes, and multiple check points are in place between most cities.

                                                EGYPT HOT-AIR BALLOON EXCURSIONS:
                                                Audits were carried out on balloon operators within Egypt to confirm the safety of their operations. But unfortunately, we were not able to ascertain the safety standards of these balloon operators- therefore, we are not able to recommend or assist in the booking of any balloon excursions.

                                                SAFETY IN TURKEY:
                                                Following recent incidents in Turkey, we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before your departure and that you ensure your travel insurance covers you for all areas in your itinerary. We have links to all major travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting your trip on our safety page (link above).

                                                The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team, and we’re able to quickly change arrangements if for any reason we become concerned. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately.

                                                We have also taken the following measures to minimise the potential risk for our travellers in Turkey:

                                                -Our local office is constantly monitoring local Ministry of Tourism updates and has regional advisors to keep them abreast on regional events.
                                                -We are monitoring local transport conditions and will make changes to included transport if required.
                                                -We may implement itinerary changes for the safety and comfort of our travellers.

                                                Whilst travelling in Istanbul before, after or during your tour we would recommend avoiding crowded areas like Taksim Square, Galatasaray and Kadikoy Meydan after 6.00pm especially on a weekend. If using public transport in the city please refer to http://www.iett.gov.tr/en for the latest updates and announcements.
                                                Joining point
                                                King Hotel
                                                20 Abdel Rehim Sabry Street
                                                Dokki
                                                Cairo
                                                EGYPT
                                                Phone: 202 333 59455
                                                Joining point description
                                                The King Hotel has 90 rooms with en suite bathrooms, television and air-conditioning. Other hotel features include laundry service, roof top bar and restaurant.
                                                Joining point instructions
                                                By far the easiest option from the airport is to take a taxi. Airport taxis shouldn't cost more than EGP100 (be prepared to bargain). The drive can take between 40 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions.

                                                Alternatively, Intrepid offer a pre-arranged private transfer service. Enquire with your agent on booking. If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer you'll be met in the immigration area by a transfer officer from our local representative in Cairo. Look for the Intrepid logo and your name.

                                                If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once.

                                                Please call Ramadan Shedid on the following number:
                                                (+20) 12 2100 5565

                                                Give your exact location in the airport (find a landmark) and you'll be attended to promptly.

                                                In the very unlikely event that this process fails, you can find taxis at the front of the airport to take you to your hotel. Please inform your group leader at the initial group meeting if this occurs.

                                                If your flight is going to be early, delayed or cancelled please call ahead on the above numbers to explain the situation and advise alternative flight details.

                                                If this is your first trip to Egypt a transfer is recommended.

                                                Check-in time at our hotel is 2pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, however if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival.
                                                Finish point
                                                Mia Boutique Hotel
                                                Pasa Cami Sok. No:25 Kaleici Antalya 07100
                                                Turkey 1860 500 2121
                                                Antalya
                                                Antalya
                                                TURKEY
                                                Phone: +90 242 247 1212
                                                Finish point description
                                                The Mia Boutique Hotel is a small, comfortable hotel in Antalya conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Marble Beach. The hotel facilities include an on-site restaurant, terrace and bar. All rooms have air-conditioning, LCD TV, wifi and mini bar.
                                                Finishing point instructions
                                                Antalya Airport is located 15kms from the Mia Boutique Hotel. Taxis can be easily hailed to the airport and cost approx 50TRY.

                                                Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise of your flight details when booking.

                                                If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on +90 212 512 7144.
                                                Alternate finish point
                                                For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                                                06 May 2017 (XESTC170506), 03 Jun 2017 (XESTC170603), 05 Aug 2017 (XESTC170805), 02 Sep 2017 (XESTC170902)
                                                Argos Hotel
                                                Tuzcular Mah. Balıkpazarı Sok. No:6
                                                Kaleiçi
                                                Antalya
                                                Antalya
                                                07100
                                                TURKEY
                                                Phone: +90 242 247 20 12
                                                Fax: +90 242 241 75 57
                                                Alternate finish point description
                                                The Argos is a small, boutique hotel in Antalya conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Marble Beach. The hotel facilities include an on-site restaurant, garden, pool and pool bar. All rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV and free wifi.
                                                Alternate finish point instructions
                                                Antalya Airport is located 15kms from the Argos Hotel. Taxis can be easily hailed to the airport and cost approx 50TRY.

                                                Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise of your flight details when booking.

                                                If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on +90 212 512 7144.
                                                Emergency contact
                                                In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Cairo office can be reached on Tel: +2 01096811067.

                                                For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                                                In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Intrepid's Istanbul Operations team can be reached on +90 532 641 2822

                                                For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                                Intrepid's Cairo Office: +201096811067

                                                PEAK Istanbul: 90 532 641 2822
                                                Visas
                                                PASSPORT

                                                As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                                                VISAS

                                                Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                                                We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


                                                EGYPT:

                                                Australia: Yes - on arrival
                                                Belgium: Yes - on arrival
                                                Canada: Yes - on arrival
                                                Germany: Yes - on arrival
                                                Ireland: Yes - required in advance
                                                Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
                                                New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
                                                South Africa: Yes - required in advance
                                                Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
                                                United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
                                                USA: Yes - on arrival

                                                Visas are easily attainable on arrival at Cairo airport or Nuweiba ferry port for most nationalities. The visa costs USD25 and can only be paid in USD cash. On arrival to Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You will be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself. A single entry visa is valid for three months from date of issue and entitles the bearer to one month in Egypt. Multiple entry visas are not available at the airport or any border crossings.

                                                Please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure as this information may change.


                                                JORDAN:

                                                Australia: Yes - on arrival
                                                Belgium: Yes - on arrival
                                                Canada: Yes - on arrival
                                                Germany: Yes - on arrival
                                                Ireland: Yes - on arrival
                                                Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
                                                New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
                                                South Africa: Yes - on arrival
                                                Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
                                                United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
                                                USA: Yes - on arrival

                                                Visas are required by all visitors entering Jordan. Single entry visas valid for 14 days and can be obtained by most nationalities on arrival at the airport in Amman or at the Jordanian border for approximately JOD40. It can be significantly more expensive to acquire your visa from the embassy in your home country. If you require a stay longer than 14 days, visas obtained from the embassy in your home country will be valid for two months.

                                                Please note that although there are ATMs in Amman airport, there are currently no ATMs in the immigration halls – only currency exchanges – so you must ensure you have enough foreign currency on hand if you do not have your visa in advance.


                                                TURKEY:

                                                Australia: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                Belgium: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                Canada: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                Germany: No - not required
                                                Ireland: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                Netherlands: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                New Zealand: No - not required
                                                South Africa: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                Switzerland: No - not required
                                                United Kingdom: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
                                                USA: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

                                                Most nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey. Visas must be obtained through the e-Visa system. To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least two weeks before you arrive in Turkey. This multiple entry e-Visa costs USD60 as is valid for 90 days. Please note, visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.
                                                Some countries do not require a visa at all. This includes passport holders from New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to three months. We recommend all nationalities check with their local consulate o embassy as this information can change.

                                                Entry Requirements – Passport Validity:
                                                Foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa.
                                                What to take
                                                What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

                                                Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                                                Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

                                                GENERAL PACKING LIST:
                                                • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document.
                                                • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets.
                                                • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
                                                • Daypack
                                                • Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both.
                                                • Power adaptors
                                                • Insect repellent
                                                • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
                                                • Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
                                                • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                                                • Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
                                                • Wind and waterproof rain jacket
                                                • Toiletries/travel wipes
                                                • Travel Towel
                                                • Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings.
                                                • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
                                                • Swimwear (itinerary dependant)
                                                • Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities will be widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies in each destination.


                                                LUGGAGE LIMIT:
                                                On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg.

                                                CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
                                                Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential.

                                                VALUABLES:
                                                Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

                                                BATTERIES/POWER:
                                                Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.
                                                Climate and seasonal information
                                                INTERNAL FLIGHTS: Cairo to Sharm El Sheikh / Amman to Istanbul
                                                Please note these flights are included on your trip. The baggage allowance is 23kgs for checked bags and 7kgs for carry on bags
                                                Health
                                                All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                                                You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                                                DRINKING WATER:
                                                As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
                                                A couple of rules
                                                Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                                                Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                                                Responsible Travel
                                                Every place Intrepid visits is special – and we want it to stay that way. Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to local communities. On all our tours we strive to work in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Contributing to local environmental and cultural conservation, we are not only helping the community but giving our travellers a more authentic experience, whether it's enjoying a homestay in a tribal village or sleeping in small, family-run accommodation.

                                                The Intrepid Foundation
                                                Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Egypt include:

                                                * Animal Care in Egypt is a true friend to Egypt's mistreated animals. They provide free professional veterinary care, food and medication for some 4,000 injured, sick and mistreated animals each month. In addition to rehabilitating the mistreated, ACE also provides local people with education in appropriate animal care.
                                                * Educate-Me provides a range of educational services including early childhood education, after school programs, education scholarships and adult education programs.

                                                Donations of second-hand tack/dog collars and flea treatment are always welcomed.

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