Turkey Explored Trip Notes

Turkey Explored

Last Modified: 27 Aug 2015
Turkey Explored
Trip code: ERRT
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015
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 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.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ItinerarySingle travellersWhat to take
Also available to purchaseAccommodationHealth
We also recommendMealsTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerTransportResponsible Travel
Culture shock rating Group leaderA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining point Carbon offset
Included activitiesArrival complicationsFeedback
Money ExchangeFinish point
TippingEmergency contact
  • Our Basix style trips are designed for travellers who want exceptional value, plenty of free time and having the flexibility to choose where and how their time and money is spent. By working plenty of free time into the itineraries and keeping many of the activities optional, we aim to make travel possible for those on even the most slender of budgets. After all, why pay for an activity or excursion you wouldn’t otherwise be interested in? Or a level of comfort you don’t require? As a wise person probably once said, a bed's just a bed when there's exploring to be done.
Turkey Explored
Days 1-2 Istanbul - Eceabat
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
  • Spice Market
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Entry Fee) - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY25
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise - TRY25
  • Galata Tower - TRY18
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY15
  • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Gallipoli/Eceabat
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
Optional Activities
  • Troy Visit - TRY85
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 4-5 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 - Basilica of St John - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Archaeological site - TRY30
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY20
Hotel (2 nts)
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.
Take the time to 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 - TRY30
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Fethiye
Head for the coast for a few 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 - TRY6
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 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 1 Night AllIncl.
Overnight boat (1 nt)
Days 9-10 Antalya
We disembark our boat in Uçagiz this morning, after breakfast. Today we will make our way for a few hours to Antalya. . Antalya will be our base for the next 2 nights.
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.
Optional Activities
  • Antalya Museum - TRY25
Pension (2 nts)
Day 11 Konya
This morning we journey by local bus away from the coast and move inland to Konya on the plains of the Anatolian steppe. ( approx 5.5hrs ). While it is a long day of travel the diversity of the scenery will keep you entertained as we cross the Toros Mountain range.
Konya is the perfect opportunity to sample a traditional Turkish city where mainstream tourism is yet to arrive. The city is closely linked with the whirling dervish sect of Islam developed by Celaleddin Rumi (or Mevlana) in the 13th century. Rumi is considered one of Islam's greatest Sufi mystics.
Celaleddin developed a philosophy of spiritual union, captured in his poetic writings, the greatest of which - 'Mathnawi' - is still revered today. Mevlana (our master) as he came to be known, believed that music and dance represented a means to induce an ecstatic state of universal love and divine union, and devised the whirling sema ritual. You can visit the original Tekke of Mevlana which holds many dervish religious relics and is also the final resting place for the master himself. There's also an exhibit which explains the lifestyle of the Mevlevis.
Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader to Aladdin Hill in the center of Konya. On the side of the hill are the sheltered minimal remains of the palace of the Seljuk Sultans of Rum. Beneath the Alaettin Mosque are probably artifacts going back to the Stone Age. Enjoy a local tea in one of the many tea gardens and later this evening try some central Anatolian cuisine
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 12-13 Cappadocia
This morning we travel by local bus to Cappadocia
Take an orientation walk with your leader to check out this enchanting town.
The following day is free for you to explore.
In the heart of Cappadocia, 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.
Cappadocia's main attraction and the customary starting point for an overview of what the region has to offer, the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum is a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings, and one of the earliest centres for religious education. The practice of monasticism was developed by St Basil the Great in the 4th century as a reaction to his increased disillusionment with the materialism of the church. St Basil's definition of monastic life, based on the idea that men should live in small, self-sufficient units with an emphasis on poverty, obedience, labour and religious devotion, took root in Cappadocia, later becoming the basis for the Orthodox monastic system. There are at least 10 churches and chapels in the museum area, dating between AD900 and 1200, each one named after a prominent attribute by the local villagers who were exploring these caves long before there was an entrance fee. The best of the churches are the Chapel of St Basil, Apple Church, Sandal Church, Chapel of St Barbara, the nun's convent and the Buckle Church.
Included Activities
  • Valley Walk in Capadoccia
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum - TRY20
  • Whirling dervish performance - TRY50
  • TRUC - EUR65
  • Hot air balloon Goreme - EUR165
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 14 Darende
Today we travel to Darende, (5 hours) en route we take a walk to the waterfalls of Gunpinar, a picturesque and tranquil place. A pleasant riverside eatery is a good spot to sample some local fish. After lunch we enjoy a leisurely walk in the surrounds before we head into the town centre of Darende. Here we enjoy an orientation walk of the town and can see its 300 year old covered bazaar; there's also the possibility to sample the Turkish dried apricot (famous in the area) in one of the local shops. Tonight we can settle in for a relaxing night in Darende.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 15 Kahta Homestay
Head to Kahta where you get to experience local living firsthand in a homestay.
Have a wonderful Intrepid opportunity to enjoy fantastic local food and sleep on traditional Urfa mattresses beds made of soft wool. If it is hot you may choose to sleep outside on the roof under the stars, as many people in the area do in the summer months.
Our hosts prepare our feast themselves and it's sure to be spiced with the legendary local red pepper isot.
Important note: Both men and women are required to dress very conservatively during their stay here due to the traditional values of our hosts. Females are required to wear a long ankle-length skirt and men must wear long ankle-length trousers.
Alcohol will not be available for purchase or consumption.
Homestay (1 nt)
Day 16 Nemrut
Today we make journey to Mt Nemrut. Arriving in time for sunset, weather permitting
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.
It is very cold on top of the mountain in all months other than June, July and August, so make sure you pack some warm clothing.
Pension (1 nt)
Day 17 Adiyaman
This morning we have an early departure as we travel the 1.5 hours to the south-eastern city of Adiyaman for our 2 hour flight back to Istanbul. Arriving back in Istanbul we take the local Metro and Tram to our hotel in Sultanahmet. This afternoon your tour leader will introduce to the lively Taksim district, as we walk across the Golden Horn, the Galata Tower dominates the skyline, originally named the Tower of Christ, the 66.9-meter (220-foot)-high tower was the highpoint in the city walls of the Genoese colony called Galata. We board the the world’s oldest funicular operating since 1875 for the short journey to Taksim. Alighting on Istiklal Caddesi arguably the city’s most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street we take a stroll with modern turks; try an Islak (wet) Burger, and visit a hidden local coffee house. Maybe stay for last night dinner (not included) and the late night entertainment
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 18 Istanbul
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
If you would like to stay longer in Istanbul there are plenty more things to see and do. 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.
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.
If you arrive early there are plenty of things to do and see. We recommend you check out some of our Urban Adventures
  • ERRT Single supplement (ERRT)
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-O)
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-C)
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-C)
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-O)
  • ERRT Single supplement (ERRT)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Best of Turkey (ERSI)
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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
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.
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
Our boat has shared bathroom facilities and multishare sleeping arrangements. There is limited fresh water for rinsing off salt water.
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.
INTERNAL FLIGHT: Adiyaman to Istanbul
Please note this flight is included on your trip. The baggage allowance is 15kgs for checked bags plus hand luggage.
In 2015 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 18th June through till the 17th 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.
** Please note that due to on going unrest from late last year we have decided to continue to avoid the area around Urfa and Gaziantep close to the Syrian border. The trip will run on the itinerary as per below until 31 December 2015.
The alternative itinerary is:
Day 1-2: Istanbul
Day 3: Gallipoli / Eceabat
Day 4-5: Selcuk
Day 6: Pamukkale
Day 7: Fethiye
Day 8: Southern Coast Cruising
Day 9-10: Antalya
Day 11: Konya
Day 12-13:Cappadocia
Day 14: Darende
Day 15: Kahta Homestay
Day 16: Nemrut
Day 17: Adiyaman
Day 18: Istanbul
The key changes in itinerary are from Days 11- 17. We will no longer stay in Urfa or Mardin.
We still have 2 nights in Cappadocia/Goreme. We still have a homestay as well.
We now have 1 night in Konya ( to break up the long journey from Antalya ).
We also have 1 night in Darende which is a town once prominent on the ancient Silk Road. It’s a bit of a melting pot of cultural influences. Some of the key sights here are an impressive canyon, healing pool and ancient castle.
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.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
Hotel (12 nts), Pension (3 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Overnight boat (1 nt)
17 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 3 Dinners
EUR 525.00
Gulet, Private Bus
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
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
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$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
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.
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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
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.
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 662.00 kgs per pax.
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.