Turkey Express Trip Notes

Turkey Express

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: 03 Aug 2016
Turkey Express
Trip code: ERSA
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Savour the highlights of Turkey on this 10 day adventure. Travel to Istanbul and the sobering Gallipoli Peninsula, south to the Aegean Coast and then on to the ancient site of Ephesus and the therapeutic waters of Pamukkale. Discover a culture brimming with mysticism as we peel back the layers of Byzantine, Ottoman and Roman history. Packed with highlights, the Turkey Express offers a superb slice of Turkey. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017: From 1 January 2017 we have reduced the 2 night stay in Ayvalik to 1 night and increased the stay in Selcuk to 2 nights. These changes come as a result of traveller feedback and will allow us to introduce visits to the site of the Ancient Greek city of Pergamon and the impressive Theatre of Pergamon. The additional time in Selcuk will also give passengers the chance to further explore Ephesus and town of Selcuk. This trip will depart on Saturdays only instead of Saturday and Tuesdays The new itinerary is outlined below: 1 Istanbul 2 Istanbul 3 Canakkale 4 Ayvalik 5 Selcuk 6 Selcuk 7 Pamukkale 8 Antalya 9 Antalya 10 Antalya (Departure day) 2017 departures are NOT guaranteed for this reason as yet
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point
ThemesMeals introductionAlternate finish point description
Is this trip right for you?MealsAlternate finish point instructions
Why we love itTransportEmergency contact
MapMoney mattersVisas
ItineraryGroup leaderWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyClimate and seasonal information
Physical ratingJoining pointHealth
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionTravel insurance
Important notesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Group sizeFinish pointResponsible Travel
Your fellow travellersFinish point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
AccommodationFinishing point instructionsFeedback
Style
Original
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- Most travel is on public buses. The aim behind this is two-fold: to give you a taste of local life and a chance to interact with the local community, and to minimise the carbon footprint. In fact, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!
- You will need to carry your own bags to and from hotels, bus stops and train stations. So it's a good idea to travel light if you can.
- You'll need your walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen and a day pack to explore some of the historic sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.
- The temperatures in April and October may be a bit cooler than you expect, especially in the evenings. So be sure to pack something warm to wear.
- The facilities of your family guesthouse stay on Days 4 and 5 vary depending on the season. Sometimes triple-share accommodation is necessary here. There are always plenty of bathrooms for the group to use.
Why we love it
- Istanbul's bustling backstreets can be a maze, but with the insider knowledge of your leader you'll visit the hottest spots
- An action-packed 10-day itinerary covers all the must-see destinations of Western Turkey. This is an ideal trip for travellers short on time
- An included cruise across the blue waters of the Agean offers an idyllic glimpse of seaside Turkey
- Your traditional Turkish pension (guesthouse) in Ayvalik is a great example of family accommodation, bursting with history and character
- The chalky-white travertines Pamukkale are truly a sight to behold. There's nothing else in the world quite like these pure white calcium bathing pools that cascade down the cliffs overlooking the town
- Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive
- Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli, a moving and educational experience regardless of your age or background
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey. This adventures kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. You have the whole day free to explore the capital until a Welcome Meeting at 6pm – make sure you have all your important documents and details for your leader. Double check with the hotel reception or the noticeboard for meeting confirmations. Until then, maybe get out and explore the frenetic streets of Turkey's crown-jewel metropolis. After the meeting, maybe gather together your new friends and seek out some Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early, so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please contact the hotel reception.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Istanbul
This morning you’ll set out on a walking tour of the city with your expert leader. This will take in some of Istanbul's notable cultural and historic sites in Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), but also some lesser-known gems as you venture into the backstreets. The rest of your afternoon is yours to spend as you please. You might visit the jaw-dropping giant church/mosque/museum of the Hagia Sofia, whose stunning construction is said to have changed the history of architecture. Don’t miss the excellent mosaics found inside. Maybe gaze upon the beauty of the cascading domes of the Blue Mosque, so called for the blue tiles found on its interior walls, or stroll the area where chariots used to race in the hippodrome. Choose to dive into the historic Grand Bazaar (closed on Sundays), and do some good-natured haggling with local artisans who man the over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. A boat cruise around the blue waters of the Bosphorus, taking in the sights of the European and the Asian sides, is also recommended. Tonight maybe treat yourself with a relax at a Turkish Hamamm, or take in a hypnotic performance of the Whirling Dervish.
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
    Optional Activities
    • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY40
    • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY20
    • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
    • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
    • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY30
    • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
    • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
    • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Gallipoli Peninsula
      Rise very early this morning as you depart by public bus for Eceabat (approximately 5 hours), your base for visiting Gallipoli. In the afternoon, you will head out with your guide to the Gallipoli Peninsula and pay your respects at a site of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders. It’s a spot of pilgrimage and reverence, and the calm lapping waters belie the murderous campaign that took place here during the First World War. At this now-serene site you’ll get a sobering insight into the plight of the ANZAC, Allied and Turkish forces at the site of one of the most significant military battles in Australia’s history. It’s hard to think that this area was once Anzac Cove and the battlefields of Nek and Lone Pine, and saw such brutal scenes of war. It’s possible to 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. In the museum you can hear stories of heroism and camaraderie that unfolded among the tragedies, and also take the time to read moving inscriptions etched onto a sea of gravestones. Later, consider taking the short ferry ride 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.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 4 Ayvalik
      Drive down the coast by bus to Ayvalik (approximately 4 hours), a town where you can fill up on food and drink, and a place that even takes its name from food (ayva is Turkish for quince). The town is famous for olive oil, but we suggest finding the nearest seaside cafe and ordering Ayvalik toast (like a club sandwich but better), and mezes made with local olive oil and stuffed mussels. You can wander around and discover a town that’s a fascinating mix of Greek and Turkish cultures (in fact the island actually swapped all its Greek residents for Turks in 1923). Check out the cobblestone backstreets, beautiful houses and lively cafes. There's the option to take an excursion out to the ruins of Troy, where you can explore the ancient walls, climb around the 4,500 year-old ruins, check out the Trojan horse statue, and gaze across the Troad (the Plains of Troy) towards the waters of the Dardanelles and the hills of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Back in Ayvalik, the village is set around a harbour and looks out to the Aegean Islands – a wonderful place to escape from it all and enjoy a harbourside drink at sunset.
      Optional Activities
      • Troy Visit - TRY85
        Accommodation
        Pension (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 5 Ayvalik
        Enjoy a leisurely morning in Ayvalik, perhaps spoiling yourself with the food choices on offer, before spending the afternoon on a boat cruise on the Agean. Swim, relax and chat with the locals as everyone takes in the beautiful scenery.

        Notes: The boat cruise can sometimes cancelled due to unsuitable weather. Additionally there is an alternative winter itinerary in the months from October to April inclusive. During winter the town of Ayvalik is closed as far as tourist infrastructure is concerned. On these departures you’ll skip Ayvalik and on Day 4 travel from Eceabat to the town of Bergama where you overnight. Early on the morning of Day 5, take a guided tour of the ancient site of Pergamon. Here there are splendid Roman ruins, from the Asclepion (the medical centre that was the home of one of the fathers of Western medicine), to the magnificent mountainside Acropolis that’s served by a cable car. In the afternoon, you’ll continue on to Selcuk for the nights of Day 5 and 6. On Day 7, overnight in Pamukkale and spend Days 8 and 9 in Antalyla. See the rest of this itinerary for day specific details.
        Included Activities
        • Boat trip
          Accommodation
          Pension (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast, 1 lunch
          Day 6 Selcuk
          Depart early this morning on a public bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk, via Izmir (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. Perhaps explore the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where an array of historic buildings lie – the Isa Bey Mosque and Grand Fortress among them. In the afternoon, enjoy 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, and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved, but it’s the magnificent library that’s going to astound you. Nearby are the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and 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. 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.
          Included Activities
          • Ephesus Archaeological Site
            Optional Activities
            • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
            • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
            • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY25
              Accommodation
              Pension (1 nt)
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Day 7 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. If you’ve got Cleopatra on the mind after yesterday’s stories, then maybe choose to head out to the ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be her old pool – the transparent water-filled pool, sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo, is beautiful (even if you’ll be sharing it with a few more people than she did). 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. During winter departures you’ll stop by Aphrodisias, a city dedicated to the Greek goddess of love and beauty, filled with more great classical ruins.
              Included Activities
              • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                Optional Activities
                • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
                • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Meals
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 8 Antalya
                  Take a bus to Antalya, the largest city on the western Mediterranean coast (approximately 4 hours). 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. After an orientation walk that takes in minarets, old streets, and religious centres, spend some time of your own 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. You can visit ancient Hadrian's Gate and Hıdırlık Tower, or be lured by the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean – stroll down the marina and head for the white sands of the beach.
                  Included Activities
                  • Guided Walk
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 9 Antalya
                    Today you’ll visit the Antalya Museum, one of the largest and best museums in Turkey. This 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 – pottery, coins, mosaics, sculptures, costumes, sarcophagi, and artefacts found in the once-inhabited caves of coastal Turkey. You’ll then enjoy some free time in the afternoon. You can choose to visit 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. Tonight, maybe gather together your newfound travel buddies and enjoy a drink or dinner to celebrate the final night of this Turkey adventure.
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Day 10 Antalya
                    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Itinerary disclaimer
                    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.

                    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                    Physical rating

                    Included activities
                    Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
                    Boat trip
                    Ephesus Archaeological Site
                    Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
                    Guided Walk
                    Important notes
                    A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
                    Days 4-5 Ayvalik
                    This trip runs on an alternative winter itinerary in the months from October to April. Please important notes section of the trip notes for more information.

                    22 APRIL DEPARTURE 2017:
                    The 22 April departure ties in with ANZAC day at Gallipoli and the night of Day 3 will be spent camping in Anzac Cove instead of in Istanbul. Please bring a sleeping bag for this departure

                    Group size
                    Maximum of 12 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.

                    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                    A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your agent for further information. On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
                    - Days 4-5 Ayvalik
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (6 nights), Pension (3 nights)
                    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
                    9 breakfasts, 1 lunch
                    Transport
                    Bus, Dolmus, Gulet

                    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
                    Mia Boutique Hotel
                    Pasa Cami Sok. No:25 Kaleici Antalya 07100
                    Turkey 1860 500 2121
                    Antalya
                    Antalya
                    TURKEY
                    Phone: +90 242 247 1212
                    Finish point description
                    The Mia Boutique Hotel is a small, comfortable hotel in Antalya conveniently located within a 10-minute walk from Marble Beach. The hotel facilities include an on-site restaurant, terrace and bar. All rooms have air-conditioning, LCD TV, wifi and mini bar.
                    Finishing point instructions
                    Antalya Airport is located 15kms from the Mia Boutique Hotel. Taxis can be easily hailed to the airport and cost approx 50TRY.

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

                    If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on +90 212 512 7144.
                    Alternate finish point
                    For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                    02 May 2017 (ERSA170502), 16 May 2017 (ERSA170516), 06 Jun 2017 (ERSA170606), 27 Jun 2017 (ERSA170627), 04 Jul 2017 (ERSA170704), 11 Jul 2017 (ERSA170711), 01 Aug 2017 (ERSA170801), 15 Aug 2017 (ERSA170815), 02 Sep 2017 (ERSA170902), 05 Sep 2017 (ERSA170905), 12 Sep 2017 (ERSA170912), 26 Sep 2017 (ERSA170926), 17 Oct 2017 (ERSA171017)
                    Argos Hotel
                    Tuzcular Mah. Balıkpazarı Sok. No:6
                    Kaleiçi
                    Antalya
                    Antalya
                    07100
                    TURKEY
                    Phone: +90 242 247 20 12
                    Fax: +90 242 241 75 57
                    Alternate finish point description
                    The Argos is a small, boutique hotel in Antalya conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Marble Beach. The hotel facilities include an on-site restaurant, garden, pool and pool bar. All rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV and free wifi.
                    Alternate finish point instructions
                    Antalya Airport is located 15kms from the Argos Hotel. Taxis can be easily hailed to the airport and cost approx 50TRY.

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

                    If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on +90 212 512 7144.
                    Emergency contact
                    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, Intrepid's Istanbul Operations team can be reached on +90 532 641 2822

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

                    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: 90 532 641 2822
                    Visas
                    PASSPORT

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

                    VISAS

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

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


                    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.

                    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.

                    WINTER ITINERARY:
                    We run an alternative winter itinerary in the months from October to April. During the winter the town of Ayvalik is closed as far as tourist infrastructure is concerned, so on these departures we don’t visit Ayvalik. We travel from Eceabat On day 4 to the town of Bergama where we overnight. Early on the morning of Day 5 we take a guided tour of the ancient site of Pergamon. In the afternoon with continue on to Selcuk, where spend the nights of day 5 and 6. On Day 7 we overnight in Pamukkale and day 8 and 9 are spent in Antalyla.
                    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
                    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.

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

                    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
                    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

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

                    http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                    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 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.

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback