Turkey Explored Trip Notes

Turkey Explored

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: 01 Aug 2016
Turkey Explored
Trip code: ERRT
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Historically rich with its medieval Ottoman period and chronicle of Gallipoli, and fashionably chic with the cosmopolitan buzz of Istanbul and celebrity getaway of Antalya, Turkey is an unmissable country that overflows with character. It is 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, Cappadocia and Mount Nemrut - and discover the people, history, cuisine and landscapes that make this destination such a treasure.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Basix
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- This trip includes a night in a homestay with a local family – a great way to enjoy genuine Turkish hospitality. Be prepared to share some space with your fellow travellers, with women and men sleeping in separate rooms.
- The weather can be hot in July and August, but this is also the best time to enjoy the clear water of the Mediterranean – don’t forget your swim gear.
- This trip gives you lots of control over your travels, with some included site visits and lots of choices for your free time. If you want expert local advice and like to get off the beaten track, then this trip is for you.
- This trip is part of our Basix range: local experiences, local guide, local transport and clean comfortable hotels, all with minimum impact and maximum sustainability – the responsible way to travel.
- You’ll need your walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack to explore the historical sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.
- The included Southern Coast Cruising overnight excursion is on board a traditional boat called a 'gulet'. Sleeping arrangements will be multi-share: the group will sleep on the deck of the gulet where you can stargaze and fall asleep to the sounds of the gently lapping Mediterranean. All bedding is provided. The gulet has shared bathroom facilities. You'll perfect the beach-style hairdo, as there is limited fresh water for rinsing off salt water.
Why we love it
- Explore the continent-straddling metropolis of Istanbul, and step back in time to when it was Constantinople with the backstreets of the Grand Bazaar, the majestic Blue Mosque, and in the taste of real Turkish Delight.
- Reflect on battles fought and lives lost with a moving visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a serene stretch of coastline where it's now hard to picture the horrors of war.
- Hike into the Valley of Love in Cappadocia and be wowed by the fantastical natural sculptures of spires, domes, and pinnacles.
- Be lured by the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean and laze the days away in Antalya.
- Meet eyes with the ruins of the colossal stone heads that sit atop Mountt Nemrut.
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Istanbul
Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul, a bustling mega-city with a population of over 12 million people, with a rich history and food scene waiting to be explored. 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 it's easy 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 a visit to the exotic Spice Market and the famous Grand Bazaar is recommended. 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. This evening, meet your leader and fellow travel companions at a welcome meeting at 6pm (details will be posted on the hotel noticeboard). After the meeting, maybe gather together your new friends and seek out some Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe.
Included Activities
  • Spice Market
    Optional Activities
    • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
    • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
    • Bosphorus Boat Cruise, Istanbul (Public) - TRY25
    • Galata Tower - TRY18
    • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
    • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
    • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 2 Istanbul
      Meet your local guide early this morning to journey in the footsteps of the city’s most famous ruler and conquer Istanbul in just a day. Head to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where ancient empires based themselves and historical sites intertwine with backstreets filled with hidden gems. Gaze upon the beauty of the cascading domes of the Blue Mosque, so called for the blue tiles found on its interior walls. When not erecting splendid buildings the Byzantine Emperors loved a bit of entertainment, and the hippodrome was their stadium. Inspect some of the decorative statues and obelisks that remain from a time when this now tree-lined land would hold thousands of chariot racing fans. Then get into some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. In your free time in the afternoon, maybe visit the jaw-dropping giant church/mosque/museum of the Hagia Sofia, whose stunning construction is said to have changed the history of architecture, or discover the stories of sultans at the Topkapi Palace. There’s plenty of time to relax with a steam, sauna and massage at a traditional Turkish hamam, explore more, or just sit at a cafe and take in the unique atmosphere. Istanbul offers a plethora of great eating spots and lively night venues; your tour leader knows all the best places, so they can recommend some great options.
      Included Activities
      • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 3 Gallipoli
        Head for the shores of Gallipoli (approximately 5.5 hours), a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders, and a spot of pilgrimage and reverence. 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. You’ll see the battlefields of Nek and Lone Pine, and be amazed at how this now serene coastline once saw such brutal scenes of war. Look down upon the rough and barren hills and gullies that sadly became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Tour the former battlefields and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Hear stories of the heroism and camaraderie that unfolded among the tragedies, and take the time to read moving inscriptions etched onto a sea of gravestones. There will also be the option to visit the Kabatepe Museum, which includes interactive presentations of the battle, as well as numerous relics from the campaign. Then, take the short ferry ride from Europe to Asia, across the Dardanelles to Canakkale, a charming traditional fishing town that has a great range of dinner and nightlife options, not to mention medieval ruins to explore.
        Included Activities
        • Gallipoli Visit
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 Selçuk
          After breakfast, take a local bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk (approximately 4 hours). Selcuk will be your base for exploring the nearby ruins of Ephesus, where you’ll walk in the footsteps of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. Selcuk is culturally rich but relatively undisturbed, so this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. This afternoon take a guided walk of the town and the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where several historical buildings lie. You’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of 14th century Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the 6th century. According to Christian tradition, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem, and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100 – and the basilica stands over his believed burial site. Selcuk is also home to one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single pylon remains.
          Optional Activities
          • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
          • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
          • Ephesus Archaeological Site - TRY40
          • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
          • Troy Visit - TRY85
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 5 Selcuk
            This morning rnjoy an exploration of mighty Ephesus with the aid of a local guide. This is one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world; founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC, brought to full flower under Roman rule, and always an important religious centre. You will be amazed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved, but it’s the magnificent library that’s going to astound you. You can also choose delve deeper into the area’s fascinating history with the artefacts of the Archaeological Museum, the ruins of the Basilica of St John and some impressive Roman Terrace houses. Get your local guide to point out secret messages that ancient Christians carved into the rocks to direct worshippers to their next meeting. Later this afternoon you may choose to visit the nearby village of Sirince and taste some locally produced fruit wines. This authentic Greek Ottoman village seems to have been overlooked by modern development and is a photographer's dream.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 6 Pamukkale
            A train ride inland through mountainous landscapes (approximately 3.5 hours) brings you to one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to “cotton castle”. Here spectacular natural hot springs with high calcium bicarbonate content 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.
            Optional Activities
            • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
            • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park - TRY35
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 7 Fethiye
              Head for the coast and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz (approximately 3.5 hours), whose azure lagoon and scythe-shaped beach is described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'. Pack sunnies, sunscreen and swimmers, and spend the day discovering all new shades of blue while taking a dip in this little slice of paradise. There's plenty of time luxuriate at the three-kilometre-long beach, which has the appearance of a natural lagoon with warm lapping water, before transferring to your hotel in the quaint town of Fethiye. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere of Fethiye and treat yourself to some delicious homemade Turkish lemonade. If there’s 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 1920s. This evening, enjoy a walk by the harbour and look up to see massive rock cut tombs, check out the Lycian sarcophagi scattered around the town, try local seafood and join in with the thriving nightlife.
              Optional Activities
              • Kayakoy - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Meals
                1 breakfast
                Day 8 Southern Coast Cruising
                This morning you’ll take a local bus to Uçagiz (approximately 2 hours), one of the southernmost bit of Turkey. Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast, viewing some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world. You’ve got a tough day ahead: you’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. You’ll also take a 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 here. Spend your time on the beautiful azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea swimming, relaxing and exploring the natural and historical sites along the way. At night, indulge in unforgettable feasts before being lulled to sleep by sultry Mediterranean breezes.
                Included Activities
                • Boat trip 1 Night AllIncl.
                  Accommodation
                  Overnight boat (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                  Day 9 Antalya
                  Disembark the boat in Uçagiz this morning after breakfast, then make your way to Antalya, the largest city on the western Mediterranean coast (approximately 2.75 hours). The city will be your base for the next two nights. 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. Wander the old streets, exploring the town's mix of urban sophistication and old-world charm. You might want to check out Kaleici – the old city area that’s now a historical zone and protected from modern development – and see relics of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman occupation. With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, old castle, and sapphire waters of the Mediterranean, Antalya is a great place to kick back. Try Antalya’s signature dish, Piyaz, a zesty bean, vegetable and egg salad.
                  Optional Activities
                  • Antalya Museum - TRY20
                    Accommodation
                    Pension (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 10 Antalya
                    With your accommodation located in the wonderfully preserved old city district of Kaleici, this is a great place to start your exploration on this free day – though your leader can give you all manner of tips. The old city wraps around a splendid Roman-era harbour with cliff-top views of hazy-blue mountain silhouettes. Just outside of the central city is one of Turkey's finest museums. The Antalya Museum is a great opportunity to learn more about the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions of Anatolia, with some 5,000 works of art and artefacts on display. The beautifully preserved statues in the Hall of Gods, Heracles now among them, are not to be missed. You can choose to visit the some impressive sites further afield, including the ancient cities of Aspendos and Side. Aspendos is know for it’s beautiful intact Roman theatre – perhaps the best preserved in the world – while Side away from the tourists is awash with colonnaded streets and Hellenistic and Roman ruins. For those after a nature fix, Duden Waterfalls, about 12 kilometres north-east of town, is a lovely spot to relax, and the popular Konyaalti and Lara beach are close by. 38 kilometres from Antalya, the ancient city of Termessos has the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, sitting in the heart of the spectacular Güllük Dağı National Park. Otherwise, stay in Antalya and soak up the charms of this seaside town.
                    Accommodation
                    Pension (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 11 Konya
                    This morning take a local bus away from the coast and move inland to Konya on the plains of the Anatolian steppe (approximately 5.5 hours). While it’s a long day of travel, the diversity of the scenery will keep you entertained as you 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 in the 13th century by Celaleddin Rumi (or Mevlana), 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. In the town 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. Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader to Aladdin Hill in the centre of Konya. On the side of the hill are the sheltered minimal remains of the palace of the Seljuk Sultans of Rum, while beneath the Alaettin Mosque are artefacts dating back to the Stone Age. Enjoy a refreshing tea in one of the many tea gardens, and later this evening try some central Anatolian cuisine.
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 12 Cappadocia
                    Today’s a travel day, but that’s okay – Cappadocia is waiting for you at the end of it as a reward (approximately 10 hours by local bus). This is a long journey but a good chance to re-energize before your exciting time in Cappadocia. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. 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. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your trip leader. Then grab a beer, or a tea, or perhaps a strong Turkish coffee if you need a pick-me-up (Turkey is the land of beverages, especially the hot variety). Don't forget to pack sturdy, well worn-in walking shoes or boots and a comfortable daypack for exploring the valleys of Cappadocia.

                    Notes: Without a doubt, one of the most amazing memories of this journey is a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape to see this otherworldly scene at sunrise. Those who are interested in this optional extra will have a truly awe-inspiring experience. The cost of this activity varies depending on what type of flight you choose. This activity can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
                    Included Activities
                    • Valley Walk in Capadoccia
                      Optional Activities
                      • Goreme Open Air Museum - TRY30
                      • Whirling dervish performance - EUR25
                      • Cappadoccia Wine and Sunset Tour - USD55
                      • Hot air balloon Goreme - EUR165
                      • Derinkuyu Underground City - TRY25
                        Accommodation
                        Pension (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 13 Cappadocia
                        Today is free for you to explore a landscape that needs to be seen to be believed. Cappadocia's main attraction is the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum. It’s a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings, and 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, 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. You can also explore the underground cities. Beneath Cappadocia’s rock formations is a network of fascinating subterranean cities, which housed up to 10,000 people each. The largest are almost ten levels deep, with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. If you’re a hiker then choose to walk the valleys of Red, Rose, or Love, where you’ll explore fairy chimneys, deserted rock cut homes, and churches with frescoes. Otherwise, you may want to take a local dolmus to Avanos and the red river, which for centuries has provided the local residents with clay to make the magnificent earthenware pottery that the region is famous for. Your leader is available to make suggestion and help organise your day excursions. They may even suggest a group tour of the region. Don’t leave town without trying the famous ‘pottery kebab’.
                        Accommodation
                        Pension (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 14 Darende
                        Today travel to Darende (approximately 5 hours), taking a walk to the picturesque and tranquil waterfalls of Gunpinar en route. A pleasant riverside eatery is a good spot to sample some local fish. Enjoy a leisurely walk in the surrounds before heading into the town centre of Darende. Here you’ll enjoy an orientation walk of the town and see its 300 year old covered bazaar, where local woman sit working on embroidered quilts and other needlework. There’s also the possibility to sample the Turkish dried apricot (famous in the area) in one of the local shops. This evening, settle in for a relaxing night in Darende.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 15 Kahta Homestay
                        Head from Darende to Kahta, one of the region’s villages, where you’ll get to experience local living first-hand in a homestay. Spend the afternoon in this small local village playing with the kids, walking in the fields, and experiencing the simple pleasures of village life. It’s possible that you may even get to pick the vegetables for your supper. Learn about the local culture, enjoy a local feast prepared by your friendly hosts, and curl up on a traditional mattress or sleep out under the stars.

                        Notes: 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.
                        Accommodation
                        Homestay (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast, 1 dinner
                        Day 16 Nemrut
                        Continue east to Mount Nemrut (approximately 3.75 hours). On the way you’ll stop at the Karakus Tumulus, a monumental tomb built for his mother by King Mithradates II of the Commagene civilisation. A handful of colossal columns remain to mark the burial place – the Romans dismantled most, with the limestone blocks used to construct the nearby Cendere Bridge. This is one of the world’s oldest bridges still in use, spanning an impressive 122 metres. Arriving in the afternoon at the village of Khata, make the journey up to the top of Mount Nemrut. See the ruins of Arsameia, a holy burial area built by King Antiochus I in memory of his father almost two and a half thousand years ago. At the top of the mountain, Antiochus I also constructed a tomb-sanctuary for himself and surrounded it with statues of various gods and ancestors. The size and magnitude of the colossal stone heads is stunning, and the views from the summit are sublime, especially as the sun begins to set.

                        Notes: 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.
                        Accommodation
                        Pension (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 17 Istanbul
                        Depart early this morning, travel 1.5 hours to the south-eastern city of Adiyaman, where you’ll board a 2 hour flight back to Istanbul. Arriving back in Istanbul, take the local Metro and tram to the hotel in Sultanahmet. This afternoon, your tour leader will introduce to the lively Taksim district, the beating heart of modern Istanbul. As you walk across the Golden Horn, the Galata Tower dominates the skyline. Originally named the Tower of Christ, the 66-meter-high medieval fortification offers stunning 360-degree views of the city. Board one of the world’s oldest funicular railways, operating since 1875, for the short journey 500 metres steeply up hill to Taksim. Alighting at Istiklal Caddesi, arguably the city’s most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, take a walk with the people who call this city home. Try an Islak (wet) Burger, and visit a hidden local coffee house. Maybe stay with your travel companions for an optional celebratory dinner, and take advantage of the late night entertainment as your Turkey adventure comes to an end.
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (1 nt)
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        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.
                        Meals
                        1 breakfast
                        Itinerary disclaimer
                        ITINERARY CHANGES 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. 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.
                        Physical rating

                        Included activities
                        Spice Market
                        Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
                        Gallipoli Visit
                        Boat trip 1 Night AllIncl.
                        Valley Walk in Capadoccia
                        Important notes
                        1. A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
                        Day 8 Overnight Boat (1 night)
                        Day 15 Homestay (1 night)
                        2. On Day 17 there is an included internal flight from Adiyaman to Istanbul. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 15kgs per person plus hand luggage.

                        Group size
                        Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                        Your fellow travellers
                        GROUP TRAVEL
                        As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                        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.

                        On the following nights, the single supplement is not available

                        - Day 8 Overnight Boat (1 night)
                        - Day 15 Homestay (1 night)
                        Accommodation
                        Hotel (10 nights), Pension (3 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Boat (1 night)
                        HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING:

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

                        For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
                        Meals
                        17 breakfasts, 2 dinners
                        Transport
                        Gulet, Metro, Plane, Private Bus, Public bus

                        There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

                        Turkey - Public Transport
                        When and where possible we will use public buses to travel between cities on this trip.
                        However due to weather and seasonal bus schedules we may find it necessary to substitute public buses with private transport on some days.

                        Public buses in Turkey don't have toilets on board. Breaks are normally scheduled at rest stops every 2-3 hours.
                        Money matters
                        When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

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


                        MEALS NOT INCLUDED

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

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

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

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

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

                        TIPPING

                        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.
                        Safety
                        Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        SAFETY IN 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 - Istanbul
                        Hocapasa Mah. Istasyon Arkasi Sk. No 9
                        Sirkeci
                        Istanbul
                        Istanbul
                        TURKEY
                        Phone: +90 212 514 15 44
                        Joining point description
                        Centrally located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, the Golden Horn Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cistern.

                        **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-purchased a transfer, please look for your name on the transfer barrier when exiting the customs area. A representative will be there to collect you.
                        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 - Istanbul
                        Hocapasa Mah. Istasyon Arkasi Sk. No 9
                        Sirkeci
                        Istanbul
                        Istanbul
                        TURKEY
                        Phone: +90 212 514 15 44
                        Finish point description
                        Centrally located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, the Golden Horn Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions such as: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cistern.

                        **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 to the airport can easily be hailed 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 +90 212 512 7144.
                        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:

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

                        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.

                        PEAK Istanbul: +905326412822
                        Visas
                        PASSPORT

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

                        VISAS

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

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


                        TURKEY:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

                        BATTERIES/POWER:
                        Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.
                        Climate and seasonal information
                        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.

                        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) 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.

                        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.
                        Health
                        All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

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

                        DRINKING WATER:
                        As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
                        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.

                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                        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
                        http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                        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.

                        The Intrepid Foundation
                        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.

                        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.