Turkey Encompassed Trip Notes

Turkey Encompassed

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 30 Sep 2016
Turkey Encompassed
Trip code: ERKT
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Experience the stunning sights and tantalising tastes of Turkey on this two-week adventure that takes in all the highlights and then some. Become acquainted with illustrious Istanbul, behold landscapes like no other around Cappadocia, and sail the all-too-pretty islands off Kekova. Marvel at the ancient ruins of Ephesus, settle in for a spectacular soaking in Pamukkale’s thermal hot springs, and reflect on the tragedies and gallantries that took place along Gallipoli’s windswept peninsula. Brimming with history, bustling with progress and bursting with flavour, Turkey intrigues and delights at every turn of this perfectly paced small group adventure.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
ThemesMeals introductionVisas
Is this trip right for you?MealsWhat to take
Why we love itMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
MapGroup leaderHealth
ItinerarySafetyTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerJoining pointA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesFinish pointFeedback
Group sizeFinish point description
AccommodationFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip covers a lot in two weeks, so there are some long travel days (especially Day 6 and Day 13). All travel is in comfortable air-conditioned private and public buses; stops are frequent and the scenery is superb. We believe this is the best way to really see a country like Turkey and experience the diverse landscapes.
- Much of the travel is on public buses, which not only minimises the carbon footprint, but also provides opportunities to interact with the locals. You will be pleasantly surprised that most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!
- You will need sturdy walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen and a day pack to explore some of the historical sites. All site tours are guided but you can wander at your own pace if your prefer.
- Anzac Cove can get quite cool in the months of April and October. Bring a wind-proof jacket if you can.
- The weather can be warmer in July and August, but this is the best time to enjoy the clear waters of the Mediterranean, and our activities will be timed to miss the heat of the day.
Why we love it
- Feast your eyes on Turkey's most spectacular and surreal sights, from the 'Cotton Castle' of Pamukkale to the psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia
- Enjoy a local lunch while sailing the Kekova islands. Spot underwater cities from above, then spend the afternoon snorkelling
- Your exploration of Derinkuyu is a walking tour with a twist. This astounding ancient city extends some 60 metres underground
- Forget about Greece or Italy – bliss out on the beaches of Fethiye. Here are some of the bluest waters you will find
- Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli, a moving and educational experience regardless of your age or background

Day 1 Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey. This adventures kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. If arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST) you will be met and transferred to your hotel. If arriving at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) airport please make your own way to the hotel (unless you have booked a transfer). You have the whole day free to explore the capital until a Welcome Meeting at 6pm – make sure you have all your important documents and details for your leader. Double check with the hotel reception or the noticeboard for meeting confirmations. Until then, maybe get out and explore the frenetic streets of Turkey's crown-jewel metropolis. After the meeting, maybe gather together your new friends and seek out some Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, 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 contact the hotel reception. For Monday departures we recommend you visit the magnificent opulence of Topkapi Palace on Day 1 as it is closed on Tuesday.
Optional Activities
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise, Istanbul (Public) - TRY25
  • Galata Tower - TRY18
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace - TRY65
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Special Information
    An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
    Day 2 Beypazari
    Kick off your adventure with a leisurely walk this morning to discover some of the hidden charms of Istanbul. You'll visit the 17th-century Blue Mosque and learn more about its one-of-a-kind architecture, with its six minarets and 20,000 dazzling handmade Iznik tiles. A visit to the ancient Hippodrome, with its intriguing monuments the Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II, is also included. At around 11am you'll take a private minivan to the beautiful rural town of Beypazari. Around 100 kilometres from Ankara, Beypazari is a small city with a village feel that reflects the beauty of the Turkish Culture with its historical houses out of Seljuks and Ottoman times. You'll spend the night here in Beypazari.

    Notes: Total driving time today is approximately 5.5 hours.
    Included Activities
    • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
    • Istanbul - City Tour
      Boutique Hotel (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Göreme
      Spend your morning visiting the Living Museum of Beypazari. The initiative of Sema Demir, a language teacher and academic on folk culture, this unique Museum has re-enactments that offer an interactive experience through the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Turkey. A pioneer in the country, the museum shows traditional life in the setting of authentic Turkish houses, built in the style of a century ago. Mid-morning, you'll depart for Cappadocia on a minibus (approximately 4 hours). You'll pass through Tuz Gölü, one of the richest salt lakes in the world and the source of over half of Turkey's total salt production. Stop to visit the 13th-century Agzikarahan Caravanserai, one of many centuries-old stone shelters built along the ancient trade routes to protect nomadic merchants. The town of Goreme lies in a fantastic region of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles. In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. End the day at your hotel in Goreme.

      Notes: Remember to pack sturdy walking shoes or boots and a comfortable day pack today.
      Optional Activities
      • Whirling Dervishes - Sema Performance - EUR25
        Hotel (1 nt)
        1 breakfast
        Day 4 Göreme
        If you're ready for an early start this morning, there is the option of a hot-air balloon ride over the strange and stunning landscapes of Cappadocia. Those preferring a more leisurely start to the day can relax into breakfast and then depart for the underground city of Derinkuyu, just a short trip away. Explore these ancient subterranean labyrinths and dwellings, some of them extending as deep as seven levels underground, with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. In the afternoon, discover the handicrafts of the area and visit a carpet workshop for an insight into one of Turkey's most revered traditions. In the evening you have the option of pampering yourself in a traditional Turkish bath.

        Notes: The balloon trip can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
        Included Activities
        • Goreme - Carpet shop visit & demonstration
        • Capadoccia - Valley Walk
        • Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City tour
        • Goreme - Open Air Museum
          Optional Activities
          • Wine & Sunset Tour Cappadocia, Turkey - USD48
          • Hot Air Balloon, Cappadoccia (Exclusive Flight/ Standard) - EUR165
            Hotel (1 nt)
            1 breakfast
            Day 5 Konya
            Today you'll explore the Göreme Open Air Museum, a monastic complex and Christian sancturary of carved houses, churches and monasteries. One of the earliest centres for religious education, there are at least 10 churches and chapels in the museum area, dating between AD900 and 1200, with each one named after a prominent attribute by the local villagers. Explore the many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. Enter the cave chapels and witness the exquisite colour of the biblical frescoes found within. Then, say goodbye to Cappadocia and travel by public bus across the Toros Mountain range to Konya, your stop for the night (approximately 4 hours). On arrival you'll take an orientation walk of the town, plus a guided tour of the Mevlana Museum for a fascinating insight into the history of Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes.

            Notes: As Konya is quite a religious area, it is best to dress to dress conservatively here to show your respect.
            Included Activities
            • Konya - Mevlana Museum
              Hotel (1 nt)
              1 breakfast
              Day 6 Antalya
              This morning after breakfast you'll drive to one of Turkey's true coastal gems, Antalya (approximately 5 hours), the jewel in the Turkish Mediterranean. It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina, and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. Your leader will introduce you to the delights of the old city with an orientation walk. Visit such sites as the clock tower, Hadrian’s gate and the old Roman Harbour. Kaleici – the old city area that’s now a historical zone and protected from modern development – is home to relics of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman occupation. Swim, relax and enjoy stellar views overlooking the crystal blue Mediterranean. Tonight, be sure to try Antalya’s signature dish, Piyaz, a zesty bean, vegetable and egg salad.
              Included Activities
              • Antalya - Orientation Walk
              • Antalya - Kaleici visit
                Hotel (1 nt)
                1 breakfast
                Day 7 Kas
                Enjoy a guided tour of the Antalya Museum today. Its excellent collection is spread across 13 exhibition halls and an open-air gallery. The beautifully preserved statues in the Hall of Gods, Heracles now among them, are not to be missed. After lunch, continue to the lovely seaside village of Kas, which is pronounced 'karsh' (approximately 4 hours). Its whitewashed houses adorned with bougainvilleas, as well as an ancient Greek theatre, makes this place great for walking around and exploring. The best places in town to swim are from the waterfront restaurants that have their own private water access. For the price of an occasional drink, you get your own deck chair, umbrella and unbeatable views. When the sun goes down there is the chance to explore the handicraft markets, where you can find beautiful handmade wares with a distinctly Turkish flavour. Make sure you sample the delicious local cuisine in the fishing village.
                Included Activities
                • Antalya - Antalya Museum
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 8 Kas
                  Drive to Kekova this morning and board a local boat for a relaxing cruise through a series of peaceful and picturesque islands, all with distinctive rock formations. Keep your eyes peeled for a strange sight: ancient houses submerged in the clear water. You will enjoy a homemade Turkish meal onboard, cooked by our host family. Arrive at the settlement of Ucagiz and the quaint village of Simena, a township of stone houses drenched in colourful flowers. Also sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets, where there is the chance to take a refreshing dip just off the boat. Return to Kas for the evening.
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                  Day 9 Fethiye
                  Head to Kayakoy in the morning (approximately 2.5 hours). Walk around and take in its strange atmosphere, which owes to an interesting history. Kayakoy was once a ghost village, its ancient stone houses abandoned after their Greek inhabitants left Turkey during the great population exchange of the 1920s. Now protected by the Turkish government, it provides the opportunity to enjoy a quiet, traditional Turkish lifestyle. Open 24 hours, the ghost village has an entrance fee which helps towards the upkeep of the paths and rubbish clearance. One church in the lower area of the village, Kataponagia, is of particular interest due to an interesting room out the back – it was used to collect the bones of the dead. Wander the ruins, enjoy the solitude, or play backgammon and sip tea with the locals. Then continue to Fethiye, where you'll have plenty of time to soak up the picture-perfect views by the harbour and perhaps enjoy dinner by the waterfront.
                  Included Activities
                  • Kayakoy Ghost Village
                    Boutique Hotel (1 nt)
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 10 Pamukkale
                    Head to Pamukkale after breakfast (approximately 4.5 hours) and visit one of Turkey's most photographed sights. Pamukkale, which literally translates to “cotton castle”, is home to spectacular natural hot springs of high calcium bicarbonate content, which cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving bright white deposit terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes), and these pools are said to fix up any circulation and digestion problems. Take some time to visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be Celopatras’s old pool – the transparent water-filled pool, sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo, is stunning. You can also check out the other ruins of the city – Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, vast necropolis and strange tombs, and the amphitheatre shouldn’t be missed. After exploring these extensive ruins, you'll return to Pamukkale for the night.
                    Included Activities
                    • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                      Optional Activities
                      • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
                      • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 11 Selcuk
                        Make an early start for your drive to Selçuk (approximately 4 hours), your base for visiting Ephesus. Selcuk itself is culturally rich and retains many Turkish traditions, and its relatively undisturbed nature means this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings – you’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built over the supposed burial site of the saint. Also just a short distance out of Selcuk is one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single column (of 127 originally) remains. The Temple of Artemis was unfortunately destroyed in AD 401, after being successively damaged by floods, a Greek arsonist seeking notoriety, and the Goths. You’ll arrive in Selcuk with enough time to check in to the guesthouse and then take a leader-led orientation walk of the town.
                        Included Activities
                        • Leader-led orientation walk
                          Optional Activities
                          • Isa Bey Camii - Free
                          • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
                          • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
                            Boutique Hotel (1 nt)
                            1 breakfast
                            Day 12 Selçuk
                            This morning, visit the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus; one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world and Turkey's premier tourist site. Once the capital city of Roman Asia Minor, the city has a fascinating history, which really comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. Considering their age, the ruins are in incredible shape, and it’s not difficult to image them in their full glory 2,000 years ago. 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. Also not to be missed are the tomb of the Seven Sleepers, Marble Street, and the Church of the Virgin Mary. Later you will stop for lunch at a family-run restaurant, where you’ll feast on gozleme – the famous and very popular Turkish pancake – made fresh before your eyes.
                            Included Activities
                            • Selcuk- Local Lunch taste of Gozleme
                            • Ephesus- guided Archaeological site visit
                              Optional Activities
                              • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
                              • Sirince - Wine Tasting - Free
                              • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
                                Boutique Hotel (1 nt)
                                1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                                Day 13 Canakkale
                                Travel by public bus up to the waterside town of Çanakkale (approximately 5 hours). Arrive in the afternoon and take an orientation of this exciting university city perched on the Dardanelles. The rest of the day is yours to spend as you please. You might like to see the Trojan horse used in the film Troy in 2004, which was later gifted to the city. The city has a great range of dining and nightlife option, or perhaps you'd like to simply take a stroll along the waterfront and sample some dondurma – Turkish ice-cream.
                                Hotel (1 nt)
                                1 breakfast
                                Day 14 Gallipoli – Istanbul
                                Cross the Dardanelles and return to 'Europe' today to visit the Gallipoli Peninsula, a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealanders. Turkey's most westerly point may feel serene despite its dark history as a major backdrop of the Great War. You'll visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill to pay homage at the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair memorials. From the Ataturk Memorial you can look down on the blue waters of the Dardenelles and see them in a more sombre light. You'll find the remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers around this area. After touring the former battlefields, head back to Istanbul where your journey began, arriving late afternoon or early evening. The night is yours to spend as you please.
                                Included Activities
                                • Gallipoli - guided visit
                                  Hotel (1 nt)
                                  1 breakfast
                                  Day 15 Istanbul
                                  Your trip comes to an end after breakfast in Istanbul.
                                  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.

                                  Please note that the optional activity of the Hot Air Balloon is weather dependent. In the case of bad weather we will be unable to fly. Your trip leader will co-ordinate this with our local supplier and the Civil Aviation Authority in Cappadocia.

                                  Please note that there is a luggage limit for this trip of one piece per person (a carry-on bag is in addition to this), no more than 20kgs.

                                  PERMANENT CHANGE TO ITINERARY From March this trip will no longer visit Ankara as advertised in the brochure. The visit to Ankara has been replaced with a stay in Beypazari After your walking tour in Istanbul on Day 2, you will travel to Beypazari for the night. You will spend the morning of Day 3 at the Living Museum in Beypazari before travelling on to Goreme as per the previous itinerary.
                                  Physical rating

                                  Included activities
                                  Istanbul - Blue Mosque
                                  Istanbul - City Tour
                                  Goreme - Carpet shop visit & demonstration
                                  Capadoccia - Valley Walk
                                  Goreme - Derinkuyu Underground City tour
                                  Goreme - Open Air Museum
                                  Konya - Mevlana Museum
                                  Antalya - Orientation Walk
                                  Antalya - Kaleici visit
                                  Antalya - Antalya Museum
                                  Kayakoy Ghost Village
                                  Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                                  Leader-led orientation walk
                                  Selcuk- Local Lunch taste of Gozleme
                                  Ephesus- guided Archaeological site visit
                                  Gallipoli - guided visit
                                  Important notes
                                  An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

                                  A single supplement is available on this trip.

                                  PLEASE NOTE: This Itinerary has been permanently changed, and will no longer visit Ankara.
                                  Please trip notes for more details

                                  Group size
                                  Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                                  Hotel (14 nights)
                                  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.

                                  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 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).

                                  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.

                                  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.

                                  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. 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.
                                  14 breakfasts, 2 lunches
                                  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.


                                  Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

                                  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.

                                  - 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.
                                  - Gulet boat trips: If you are travelling on a southern Turkey itinerary with an overnight gulet boat excursion, 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.

                                  TRAVELLERS TO TURKEY PLEASE NOTE:

                                  Turkey is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to in more expensive destinations. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay a lot more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Turkey to be a budget destination.
                                  Group leader
                                  All Intrepid 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. Intrepid endeavours 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. At Intrepid 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.
                                  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:

                                  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.

                                  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 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
                                  Golden Horn Hotel - Sirkeci
                                  26 Ebusuud Cad
                                  Phone: +90 2125197474
                                  Joining point description
                                  Located in the heart of Sirkeci the Golden Horn Hotel - Sirkeci is in close proximity to a great selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Hotel facilities include a rooftop restaurant and bar and complimentary WiFi. All rooms have an ensuite, air-conditioning, safety deposit box, television and tea and coffee facilities

                                  **Please note that there is a hotel of a similar name 'Golden Horn Hotel' located just around the corner. Please check the address carefully if you are making your own way to the hotel.**
                                  Joining point instructions
                                  Ataturk International airport is situated 25 km west of Istanbul's city centre. The airport has several banks and ATMs open 24hrs for either withdrawals or cash advance. The quickest and easiest way to the hotel is by taxi - there are ranks outside the arrivals terminal. Insist they use the meter. The fare during the day should be approx 50TRY but up to double that for a night time journey. Airport buses leave every 30 minutes between 6.00 and 23.00 but only go as far as Aksaray (10TRY). From here you could catch the tram into Sultanahmet or you could hail a taxi.

                                  Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise which of Istanbul's two airports you will be flying to at the time of booking. Sabiha Gokcen is on the Asian shore, while Ataturk airport is on the European side (and closer to our hotel).

                                  If you have pre-booked a transfer, our local operator will await you holding a sign with your name as you come out the sliding doors from immigration. There are often large crowds here so please look carefully for your transfer representative. If you cannot immediately find your transfer driver please proceed to the information counter and wait at this location. If you still cannot find your driver kindly ask the information counter to call the emergency contact number listed below.
                                  Office: +90 212 512 7144
                                  Mob: +90 532 641 2822
                                  Finish point
                                  Golden Horn Hotel - Sirkeci
                                  26 Ebusuud Cad
                                  Phone: +90 2125197474
                                  Finish point description
                                  Located in the heart of Sirkeci the Golden Horn Hotel - Sirkeci is in close proximity to a great selection of restaurants, cafes and shops. Hotel facilities include a rooftop restaurant and bar and complimentary WiFi. All rooms have an ensuite, air-conditioning, safety deposit box, television and tea and coffee facilities

                                  **Please note that there is a hotel of a similar name 'Golden Horn Hotel' located just around the corner. Please check the address carefully if you are making your own way to the hotel.**
                                  Finishing point instructions
                                  Taxis can easily be 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 which of Istanbul's two airports you will be flying from at the time of booking. Sabiha Gokcen is on the Asian shore, while Ataturk airport is on the European side (and closer to our hotel).

                                  If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on one of the following numbers:
                                  Office: +90 212 512 7144
                                  Mob: +90 532 641 6514
                                  Mob: +90 532 641 9056
                                  Emergency contact
                                  BOOKING ENQUIRIES/ISSUES
                                  For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

                                  CRISES AND EMERGENCIES
                                  In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country):

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

                                  Peak Istanbul: +90 539 243 0185

                                  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 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.


                                  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.

                                  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.

                                  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
                                  Ramadan & the Eid Ul-Fitr Festival (Bayram) 2016:
                                  In 2016 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 7th June through till the 6th July, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be impacted.

                                  ARRIVAL TRANSFERS:
                                  An airport arrival transfer is included on this trip. Complimentary transfers are only applicable if you arrive on day 1 of your Intrepid trip or if going to pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. Please advise flight arrival details (flight number and time) at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our starting point hotel. Transfer is only provided from Ataturk Airport.

                                  LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS:
                                  Please note that luggage on this trip must be restricted to 1 piece at 20kg per person. Any additional bags can be stored at the start point hotel.
                                  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, we reserve 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.
                                  Travel insurance
                                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                                  When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
                                  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 Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's 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 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 at Intrepid, 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
                                  Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


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

                                  Support to Life ( (Hayata Destek)

                                  With the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey reaching 2.5 million, Support to Life (Hayata Destek in Turkish) is providing critical support services for refugees living near the Syrian border and throughout Turkey. Since 2012, Support to Life has been working to meet the basic needs of refugees through community centres that provide social support services and skills development training. A financial assistance program also provides refugees with debit cards that allow individuals and families to determine their own needs and purchase household goods from the local community. Donations to The Intrepid Foundation for Support to Life will assist with the development of a new community centre in Istanbul.

                                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.