Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak Trip Notes

Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak

Last Modified: 03 Feb 2016
Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak
Trip code: ERXT
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Abandon the well-worn route to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep into the historical heart of Turkey. From the minarets of Istanbul experience the real Turkey firsthand - cycle through lush landscapes, hike forgotten trails and kayak over a sunken city. Take up the challenge and be amazed by all that this travel adventure has to offer.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxFinish point instructions
ThemesImportant notesEmergency contact
Why we love itGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
We also recommendMeals introductionHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Physical preparationJoining point A couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsCarbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point Feedback
TippingFinish point description
Style
Original
  • Our Original style trips have a great balance of included activities with your group and free time to explore independently. Where we stay ensures we keep our travellers firmly entrenched in a region’s people and culture, and provides them with unique local experiences that benefits the community too. In most locations we stay in simple tourist-class hotels (i.e. 2-3 stars), plus on many trips you'll also get to experience a night with a local family on a homestay or something a little different like a Bedouin camp in the Sahara. Original style trips come with all manner of transport modes and use a mixture of local and private transport. You might find yourself sailing in a dhow in Zanzibar, jumping on a rickshaw in Sri Lanka or sailing on a yacht through the Galapagos. No matter the mode, it's all about minimising our environmental impact and making getting around part of the adventure.
Themes
Walking & Trekking, Cycling, Explorer
Why we love it
- Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets
- Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli, a moving and educational experience regardless of your age or background
- Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive
- Cycle along the shores of Lake Koycegiz, get down and dirty in the thermal mud baths, take a refreshing lake swim, and enjoy a boat trip to Caunos by the Daylan Channels – all in one day
- A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean
- Antalya is one of Turkey's true coastal jewels, and you'll stay in what is arguably its most charming neighbourhood, the old town of Kaleici
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Istanbul
Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Aya Sofia Museum Optional Entry - TRY40
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY30
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY15
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY60
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY20
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY25
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY120
  • Topkapi Palace - TRY45
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Eceabat
Enjoy free time in the morning to further explore Istanbul. After lunch it's time to head towards Gallipoli, with a bus ride to Canakkale (approximately 5 hours). You will travel past fields of sunflowers and the glorious Sea of Marmara. Spend the evening in Eceabat, perhaps with a fresh fish dinner by the sea.
Day 3 Eceabat
After breakfast this morning you will cross the Dardanelles and arrive at the battlefields of Gallipoli. Make sure you have packed some water and are wearing long pants, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Visit all the major sites on the peninsula as you hike your way up to Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand memorial. You will walk in the trenches, visit cemeteries and sit down to a picnic lunch at Lone Pine, the Australian memorial. This will be a day of mixed feelings, as the raw beauty of this environment lies in contrast with the sobering history of the Great War. Head back to Eceabat as the day draws to a close.
Day 4 Selcuk
Today we travel by bus to Selcuk (approximately 7.5 hours). This town is steeped in many Turkish traditions and has an air of the 'real' Turkey about it. Explore Ayasoluk Hill and its many historical buildings, such as Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this Wonder of the Ancient World is a pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved ruins of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering Library of Celsus. Learn more about its 1,500-year history and how sophisticated it was for its time. When it's over, you will return to Selcuk on foot.
Included Activities
  • Selcuk - Ephesus archaeological site
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY15
  • Selcuk - Ephesus Terrace houses - TRY40
  • Banya - TRY50
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 5 Dalyan
Depart mid-morning for the scenic town of Dalyan (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy some free time on arrival as you prepare for an adventurous day tomorrow. You might like to go for a swim or take a boat tour to the lovely Istuzu Beach, a major breeding ground for loggerhead turtles.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Dalyan
Today is full of fun activities. Cycle through olive groves and along the shore of Lake Koycegiz; visit a hot spring and relax in mud bath; board a ferry with the option to visit the Lycian ruins of Kaunos. Lunch is also included today. After a big day of exploring, head back into the town of Dalyan.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Fethiye
Travel to Fethiye by public bus (approximately 1.5 hours). Spend some time exploring this friendly town and its Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, beautiful coastline and renowned market. An excellent optional day trip is to hike the Kayakoy–Oludeniz walking trail, a 3-hour trip with a cool 'blue lagoon' you can take a dip in.
Optional Activities
  • Kayakoy - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY6
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Faralya
Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadağ looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozağaç and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
Included Activities
  • Lycian Way Hike
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Day 9 Kas
Hike to Kabak for some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire Lycian Way (3 hours, 8 km). Enjoy some lunch and perhaps take a swim at Kabak, which is more like a small nature resort than a village. Then head back Fethiye to collect your bags and take a local bus to Kas (approximately 3 hours). Walk the cobbled streets here and enjoy the charming scenes of whitewashed walls. The best swimming spots are accessible via the waterfront restaurants, where the price of an occasional drink gets you a deck chair, umbrella and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity.
Accommodation
Pension (1 nt)
Day 10 Kas
Take to the water today as you head down the coast to Ucagiz and board a sea kayak, your vehicle for exploring the Byzantine Sunken City (you will paddle for around 2.5 hours or 12 km. No previous experience is required). Drift about the many islands and coves, soaking up the ambience of a village that has thankfully been placed off-limits to developers. Lunch is included today.
Optional Activities
  • Kas - Handicraft market - Free
Accommodation
Pension (1 nt)
Day 11 Antalya
Travel by public bus to the jewel of the Turkish Mediterranean, Antalya (approximately 4 hours). Though it's not a particularly small town, it will feel like a charming little village where you're staying – a family-owned hotel in Kaleici, the old city of cobbled streets and alleys. In the afternoon, take a short trip in a van (38 km) to the ancient city of Termessos, the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, and the one with the highest altitude: 1,000 metres. Spend a few hours exploring the Agora, the theatre and the temples here before returning to Antalya for one last seaside dinner.
Day 12 Antalya
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
If you arrive early there are plenty of things to do and see. We recommend you check out some of our Urban Adventures
http://www.urbanadventures.com
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-C)
  • Bite-size Break Istanbul (ERZI-O)
  • Cappadocia Shortbreak (ERAK-O)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Best of Turkey (ERSI)
  • Turkey Express (ERSA)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.
Culture shock rating

Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Turkey and its eastern neighbours are a fascinating mixture of East and West, as Europe and Asia come together. This can, and often does, mean that you will discover a region which is different to those you have experienced before. There are strong Islamic influences throughout the region, becoming more orthodox the further east you travel. There can be very different attitudes to time-keeping, public cleanliness and service, calls to prayer at 4.30am, lack of hot water and little English spoken. Naturally, this can all test the patience but if you can see this as an exciting new challenge rather than a setback, and if you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by everything that Turkey and the Middle East has to offer.
Physical rating

This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
Physical preparation
We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
There will be treks of up to 8 hours per day in steep terrain. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy your holiday.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
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.
Money Exchange
The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY, although prior to 2005 the currency code was TL).
ATMs are common throughout the main cities and these are a safe and convenient way to withdraw money. Credit cards are also widely accepted. Cash in any of the major currencies (EUR, GBP and USD) is easily changed. Travellers cheques in major currencies (EUR, GBP and USD) can be changed at selected local banks but it can be time consuming and subject to high fees.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest 2-3 euro per person per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however 2-3 euro per person per day is generally appropriate.
Gulet boat trips: If you are travelling through southern Turkey on a gulet boat trip we suggest 2-3 euro per person per day for the boat staff.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 3 euro per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
Departure tax
All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
Important notes
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.
WEATHER:
Please note that the weather in July and August can be very hot. We will endeavour to hike in early mornings and through shaded areas to minimise the suns effect.
AIR-CONDITIONING:
Some hotels charge an extra YTL5 for air-conditioning, however fans can be provided free of charge.
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.
Group size
Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
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.
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nts), Guesthouse (2 nts), Pension (2 nts)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.
CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
HEATING & AIR-CONDITIONING:
Please note that Turkey can have extreme weather. Winter (approx. November to February) can be very cold. Not all of our hotels have heating so consider bringing thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period. Summer (approx. June to August) can be very hot. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. Please consider the seasons when planning your trip.
TRIPLE-SHARE ROOMS:
When we have three single female travellers or three single male travellers on a trip we occasionally make use of triple-share rooms.
Meals introduction
While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
Meals
9 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
EUR 200.00
Breakfast is generally a very simple affair and typically consists of bread, jam, tea / coffee and on occasion tomato, cucumber, and juice (or similar).
Transport
Bus, Dolmus
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.
Group leader
All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
Joining point
Golden Horn Hotel - Istanbul
Hocapasa Mah. Istasyon Arkasi Sk. No:9
Sirkeci
Istanbul
Istanbul
34112
TURKEY
Phone: +90 2125141544
Fax: +90 2125111314
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
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
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.
Finish 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.
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
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
TURKEY (ALL TRIPS):
Please note that many nationalities require a visit to enter Turkey:
Australia: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Belgium: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Canada: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Germany: No - not required
Ireland: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Netherlands: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
USA: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go
Other nationalities should check via your local consulate or embassy.
To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least a few weeks before you go.
The visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.
From 01 January 2015, foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa or residence permit.
A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of most other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to 3 months. All other nationalities please check with your nearest Turkish embassy.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.
Where Intrepid covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.
CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Temperatures are highly variable depending on the time of year and the region you are travelling in. Winters range from freezing in the central and eastern areas, cold in Istanbul and relatively mild on the west coast. Summer (June to August) can be extremely hot all over the country. Spring and autumn tend towards warm days and cooler nights. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential. You will always need a towel.
WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
BEDDING:
Many hotels and pensions in Turkey do not supply a top sheet and there is only a rough, thick throw on the beds. You may wish to bring your own if you think you will be more comfortable, particularly in the hot summer months.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
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:
Responsible Travel projects
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.
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 231.00 kgs per pax.
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.