Turkey Explored Trip Notes

    • 18
    • ERRT
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $1,500
      CAD $1,520
      AUD $1,580
      EUR €1,100
      GBP £945
      NZD $1,870
      ZAR R14,345
      CHF FR1,355
      *
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    • Explorer
    • Basix
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Turkey Explored.
Print Version
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2014
Turkey Explored
Trip code: ERRT
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Historically rich with its medieval Ottoman period and chronicle of Gallipoli, and fashionably chic with the cosmopolitan buzz of Istanbul and the celebrity getaway of Antalya, Turkey is an unmissable country overflowing with character, where Noah’s Ark (allegedly) landed, Santa Claus originated and Hemingway was inspired. It's a place where the yin and yang of old and new complement each other - contemporary galleries stand next to cathedrals, stylish cafes sit alongside bazaars and trendsetting bars float over ancient turquoise waters. Travel from Istanbul through the very best of Turkey - Gallipoli, Fethiye, Pamukkale, Antalya, and Cappadocia - and discover the people, history, cuisine and landscapes that make this destination such a treasure.
For 2015 this trip will no longer visit Ayvalik, the Southern sailing trip is reduced to one night & Cappadocia has also been reduced to 3 nights. These changes have been made based on feedback from our clients.
We have added a night in Mardin, an extra night in Selcuk.
Meals have also changed to 17 breakfasts, 1 lunch , 3 Dinners
Warning - this is a new trip for us!
While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.
Table of Contents
StyleGroup sizeEmergency funds
ThemesYour fellow travellersVisas
MapSingle travellersIssues on your trip
ItineraryAccommodationWhat to take
Also available to purchaseMealsHealth
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsCarbon offset
TippingFinish point Feedback
Important notesEmergency contact
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Explorer
Map
Turkey Explored
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Istanbul
Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul.
Your trip starts today in Istanbul - a trove of treasures waiting to be discovered. If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer you will find taxis available on arrival at Istanbul Airport. Make sure you agree the price before you set off into town. Your hotel is located within walking distance of all the main sights, so if arriving early there is time to soak up the atmosphere and explore on foot. There are no formal activities planned for today, so you may arrive at any time. If arriving early we recommend a visit to the exotic Spice Market and the famous Grand Bazaar. This evening we meet our tour guide and fellow travel companions at a welcome meeting at 6pm (details will be posted on the hotel noticeboard).
Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so it will come as no surprise that this vast metropolis is home to a beguiling mix of different cultures and traditions, blending the influences of both east and west. Originally founded by Greek settlers over 2000 years ago, Istanbul originally went by the name of Byzantium, then Constantinople when the Romans made it the capital of their eastern empire. Today, intriguing Istanbul is a bustling mega-city with a population of over 12 million people and a rich history and food scene waiting to be explored.
After breakfast next morning our tour leader shows us the treasures of the Old Town including the iconic Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome. In your free time in the afternoon, you may wish to also visit the Aya Sofya or the Topkapi Palace (optional). Istanbul offers a plethora of great eating spots and lively night venues; our tour leader knows all the best places, so can recommend some great options.
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Aya Sofya - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Bosphorus boat cruise - TRY10
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY15
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY15
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (incl. harem) - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY100
  • Troy Visit - TRY100
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Gallipoli
Head for the shores of Gallipoli, a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders. It is a spot of pilgrimage and reverence and the calm lapping waters belie the murderous campaign that took place here.
Gallipoli was the site of the Anzac landings in 1915 and one of the Allies' great disasters in the First World War. Gallipoli was the plan created by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new 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. We spend time visiting the battlefields, monuments and cemeteries; it’s pretty overwhelming. Then we take a ferry across the Dardanelles from Europe to Asia and drive on to Canakkale, a journey of five to six hours.
Included Activities
  • Gallipoli Visit
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Canakkale - Ayvalik
For those who wish, there is the possibility of organising an optional excursion to Troy, where we can explore the ancient walls, climb around the ruins and gaze across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the Dardanelles and across to the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula. We then take a local bus for a few hours to Ayvalik, a gorgeous seaside town with colourful and old Ottoman-Greek houses, cobblestone streets and lively cafes.
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.
We can enjoy an orientation walk through the old part of town and perhaps taste some olive oil for which the place is famous. A drink at a harbour side bar is a great way to enjoy the sunset.
You’ll come to this seaside village for the sleepy, charming, peaceful vibe. You’ll stay for the Ayvalik tost, the town's contribution to the pantheon of fast food - it's basically a toasted sandwich with sausage, salami, pickles and tomatoes lathered in condiments. Er...yum?
Included Activities
  • Guided Walk
  • Ayvalik - Cunda Island Visit
Optional Activities
  • Troy Visit - TRY100
Accommodation
Pension (1 nt)
Day 5 Selçuk
After breakfast we take a local bus to Selçuk about four hours away, 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.
Ephesus one of the greatest Greco-Roman sites in the world. Founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC and brought to full flower under Roman rule, it was always an important religious centre. We can walk the marble streets once trodden by Antony and Cleopatra and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and the wonderfully restored Library of Celsus. Close by is the last home of the Virgin Mary who, as legend has it, came here accompanied by St John and lived out her days in this beautiful spot.
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Hamam - TRY50
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) - TRY15
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Pamukkale
Journey inland by bus (approx 3.5 hrs) through mountainous landscapes to one of Turkey's most photographed sites - the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale.
Visible for miles, the gleaming calcium terraces of Pamukkale are a spectacular sight. Created from limestone deposits formed when water from the hot springs loses carbon dioxide, these layers of white calcium carbonate have earned Pamukkale the nickname 'Cotton Castle' and the pools, now off-limits, have been famed for their medicinal qualities since Roman times.
If there is time we may also visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its abundance of temples and religious structures.
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park - TRY25
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Fethiye
Head for the coast four about four hours and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz, whose azure lagoon and scythe-shaped beach is described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'.
There's plenty of time to enjoy a swim at the three-kilometre-long beach, which has the appearance of a natural lagoon with warm lapping water, before transferring to our hotel in Fethiye.
Enjoy the laidback atmosphere of Fethiye and stroll the impressive harbour filled with traditional gulet, fishing boats and cruise boats that day-trip the pretty harbour islands.
If there is time, visit nearby Kayakoy. Once a ghost village, its ancient stone houses were abandoned after their Greek inhabitants left Turkey during the great population exchange of the 1920's.
Optional Activities
  • Kayakoy - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY5
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 8-9 Southern coast cruising
This morning we'll drive to Uçagiz and board a boat for the next two days and nights; a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast viewing some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world.
We'll cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island from where remains of mysterious civilisations can be viewed just below the surface of the water. We also walk up to nearby Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands. There are also numerous Lycian rock tombs to be explored. We spend our time on the beautiful azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea where we can swim and explore the natural and historical sites along the way. At night we indulge in unforgettable feasts before being lulled to sleep by sultry Mediterranean breezes.
Included Activities
  • Boat trip to Kekova 1night all inc
Day 10 Antalya
We disembark our boat in Uçagiz this morning, after breakfast. Today we will make our way for a few hours to Antalya. En route we will drive to Olympos and see the flames of Chimera before driving on to the ruins of the ancient Lycian city of Phaselis (entry is optional). Founded in the 7th Century BC, Phaselis flourished as a commercial trading centre where anything could be bought and sold, including citizenships for 100 drachmas! The Phaselians were more concerned about preserving the affluence of their commerce than with staking any political independence, so they pragmatically accepted any conquerors that came their way. The city thrived until the 12th Century when it was superceded in importance by the nearby ports of Antalya and Alanya. The beauty of Phaselis is in its picture postcard setting. It is built around three small bays, each with its own beach, surrounded by fragrant woods and mountains. We continue to Antalya and will arrive in the late afternoon. Antalya will be our base for the night.
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.
Included Activities
  • Antalya Museum
Accommodation
Pension (1 nt)
Days 11-14 Cappadocia
Today we make the long journey by local bus from Antalya to Cappadocia - we hope you like buses! It takes about ten hours but it will allow you to re-energize before an exciting time in Cappadocia, an extraordinary region of lunar-like landscapes that has bewitched travellers for centuries. We stay here for the next three nights.
Cappadocia fascinates all travellers. Shaped by wind and water, its otherworldly rock formations have to be seen to be believed. Rock hewn churches, cave homes and incredible underground cities wait to be explored. 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.
Your tour leader will show you the beauties of the area such as the panoramic view point to the Pigeon Valley or a walk in Love Valley. Each Leader has their own unique paths to discover. We also have the chance to discover the local handicrafts of carpet making and pottery. Tonight there is also an option of attending an original Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance.
For early birds, there is the option the following morning to experience the best views of the sunrise in Cappadocia – from a hot air balloon! Those who have done it say it is an experience not to be missed. We then visit Derinkuyu – an incredible underground city that descends eight floors below the surface. Cappadocia has around 36 underground cities and Derinkuyu is certainly one of the most impressive. Tonight is one of the highlights of our adventure - we experience traditional Turkish hospitality as dinner guests of a family in their local village house.
After a leisurely breakfast, there is the option to visit Pasabaglari (Priest Valley) and see the fantastic fairy chimneys of the area or walk through Kizilçukur (Red Valley) - the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia. The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the area, before tomorrow's onward journey.
Included Activities
  • Red Valley Walk in Capadoccia
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Underground City - TRY20
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum - TRY20
  • Goreme - Anatolian folklore night - TRY50
  • Whirling dervish performance - TRY50
  • Goreme - Balloon flight (deluxe) - EUR230
  • Goreme - Balloon flight (standard) - EUR165
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nts)
Days 15-16 Kahta - Urfa
Today is another long but scenic drive across the stunning Eastern Taurus Mountains to Kahta, the base for excursions to Nemrut Dagi. We'll visit Mt Nemrut National Park and see the massive Commagene stone heads on the following day.
High on a man-made mountain, the colossal stone heads of Nemrut Dagi look out across the world and at dawn are a sight never to be forgotten. They adorn the tomb of King Antiochus, a war lord and king with amazing visions of grandeur and what some may call megalomania.
Although his was a small kingdom wedged between the superpower forces of the Parthians and Romans, he decided to build a monument to his own greatness atop Mount Nemrut. Still evident today, this monument is now the most spectacular sight in south-eastern Turkey as the giant stone heads of Antiochus and an assortment of Hellenistic and Babylonian deities stare out at the dramatic landscape which used to be home to the Commagene Kingdom.
In the afternoon we drive to Sanliurfa (Urfa), the city of the prophets, so called as it is believed to be the birthplace of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), and therefore a sacred place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Abraham was born in a cave here, and pilgrims flock to Dergah to visit both the cave and the Throne of Nimrod fortress. Legend states that after angering the evil ruler King Nimrod, Ibrahim was thrown from the battlements of the castle into a burning pit. At the last moment God intervened transforming the fire into water and the wood into fish, enabling Ibrahim to land safely. The lake still exists today and is home to thousands of carp which must be the most well-fed fish in the country! Keep an eye out for a white one, as legend states you will go to heaven if you see it. You might also like to explore the Urfa Museum, or the wondrous medieval bazaar where villagers make their way to daily to sell their local produce.
Urfa is also known as Sanliurfa or 'Glorious Urfa', so named after the inhabitants successfully defended their city against French invasion after World War I. Home to a diverse community of people, it is common to hear a mixture of Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish and Armenian spoken here. In your free time wander the meandering alleyways to discover some of Urfa's fine old houses. An interesting blend of Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic influences intertwine here to make your visit a magical one.
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 17-18 Istanbul
This morning we transfer to the airport to fly back to Istanbul (you arrive back in Istanbul around 2pm), and enjoy free time to see the sights on arrival. Don't miss the superb Aya Sofya, the home of beautiful mosaics and an incredible reminder of the city that was once Constantinople. Visit the Archaeology Museum, which contains an incredible array of ancient exhibits - of particular interest are the artefacts from infamous Troy. Head down to the Bosphorus and take a ferry cruise on one of the worlds most celebrated waterways or grab a fresh fish roll for lunch. 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 at the end of your journey.
On the last day our tour ends after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Additional accommodation can be booked should you wish to further explore this fascinating city. Alternatively you may wish to book a departure transfer to take you to Istanbul airport for your onward flight - enquire at time of booking.
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • ERRT Single supplement (ERRT)
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    Included activities
    Local tour leader, all transportation, accommodation, some meals and sightseeing as indicated, including Istanbul, Gallipoli, Ephesus, Pamukkale, walking in Cappadocia, Mt Nemrut and the boat trip to Kekova.
    Money Exchange
    The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY, although prior to 2005 the currency code was TL).
    ATMs are common throughout the main cities and these are a safe and convenient way to withdraw money. Credit cards are also widely accepted. Cash in any of the major currencies (EUR, GBP and USD) is easily changed. Travellers cheques in major currencies (EUR, GBP and USD) can be changed at selected local banks but it can be time consuming and subject to high fees.
    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 at home. 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 much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Turkey to be a budget destination.
    Tipping
    If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest 2-3 euro per person per day for local guides.
    Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however 2-3 euro per person per day is generally appropriate.
    Gulet boat trips: If you are travelling through southern Turkey on a gulet boat trip we suggest 2-3 euro per person per day for the boat staff.
    Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 3 euro 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.
    In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
    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, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping 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.
    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
    Important notes
    CHANGES TO ITINERARY:
    ~ During the months of March and November we will spend two nights in a local pension (in Kas) instead of spending those nights on the boat if there is inclement weather at this time.
    ~ At other times our normal itinerary will run.
    Our boat has shared bathroom facilities and multishare sleeping arrangements. There is limited fresh water for rinsing off salt water.
    RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL (BAYRAM) 2014:
    In 2014 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 27th June through till the 27th 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.
    ISTANBUL AIRPORTS:
    If booking an airport arrival transfer please inform us at the time of booking which of Istanbul's two airports you will be arriving at. Sabiha Gokcen is on the Asian shore while Ataturk Airport is on the European side and much closer to our hotels.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    This tour is shared by our sister company Gecko's Adventures. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. On our Family Adventures, single relatives or friends are welcome to travel along with a family. These single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip and in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Please note that 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 Comfort and Original style trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (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
    Hotel (13 nts), Pension (2 nts)
    Meals
    16 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
    EUR 525.00
    Transport
    Bus, Dolmus, Gulet, Private Bus, Plane
    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.
    Joining point
    Erbil Hotel
    Hoca Pasa Mh. Ibni Kemal Cd. No:18
    Sirkeci
    Istanbul
    Istanbul
    TURKEY
    Phone: +90 2125133586
    Fax: +90 2125133591
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the Joining Instructions section above for who to contact.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, again following the Joining Instructions in these trip notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Erbil Hotel
    Hoca Pasa Mh. Ibni Kemal Cd. No:18
    Sirkeci
    Istanbul
    Istanbul
    TURKEY
    Phone: +90 2125133586
    Fax: +90 2125133591
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Intrepid's Istanbul Operations team can be reached on the following numbers +90 532 641 2822
    For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    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 other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    Please note that the procedures for obtaining a visa for Turkey will change on 10 April 2014, and from that date onwards visas will no longer be able to be obtained on arrival.
    For those arriving in Turkey on or before 9 April, 2014:
    For Turkey, an entry visa is required for citizens of the following countries (not limited to this list):
    - USA (US$20 on arrival),
    - Canada (US$60 on arrival; CAD$75 for advance application)
    - U.K. (US$20; GBP45 for advance application)
    - Australia (US$60 on arrival)
    - Austria, Belgium, Canada, Holland, Ireland, Portugal & Spain (varies from US$10-100)
    The visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.
    For those arriving in Turkey on or after 10 April, 2014:
    Visas for the above nationalities can no longer be obtained on arrival and travellers must apply for an e-visa before they go. Please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for all the information required about how to obtain an e-visa.
    From 01 January 2015, foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa or residence permit.
    A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of most other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to 3 months. All other nationalities please check with your nearest Turkish embassy.
    TURKEY (ALL TRIPS):
    Please note that many nationalities require a visit to enter 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
    Other nationalities should check via your local consulate or embassy.
    To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least a few weeks before you go.
    The visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.
    From 01 January 2015, foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa or residence permit.
    A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of most other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to 3 months. All other nationalities please check with your nearest Turkish embassy.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    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 you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    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.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
    It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
    Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
    CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
    Temperatures are highly variable depending on the time of year and the region you are travelling in. Winters range from freezing in the central and eastern areas, cold in Istanbul and relatively mild on the west coast. Summer (June to August) can be extremely hot all over the country. Spring and autumn tend towards warm days and cooler nights. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential. You will always need a towel.
    WATER BOTTLE:
    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. 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 ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
    BEDDING:
    Many hotels and pensions in Turkey do not supply a top sheet and there is only a rough, thick throw on the beds. You may wish to bring your own if you think you will be more comfortable, particularly in the hot summer months.
    Health
    All Intrepid 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.
    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.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
    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.
    Carbon offset
    Carbon Offset C02-e 577.00 kgs per pax.
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. 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.
    Once you’ve left your feedback with us you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.