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Best Of Turkey

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highlights
  • Be mesmerised by the hypnotic rituals of the devout Whirling Dervishes in their home of Konya
  • Explore thousands of years of history hidden within the remarkable ruins of Ephesus, and taste Turkey in the local produce of the mountain village of Şirince
  • Paddle through the magical healing hot springs at Pamukkale and uncover the streets of Hierapolis that Cleopatra once walked
  • Discover the atmospheric remains of a Ghost Village and trek along the ancient trail of the Lycian Way to a lagoon of unforgettable turquoise
Starting and ending in Istanbul, the Best Of Turkey trip is a guided city sightseeing trip that takes 15 days. You will travel through Istanbul in Turkey. Best Of Turkey is a small group trip which includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

Explore the mysterious land of the Ottomans Intrepid-style. Marvel at Mehmet Aga's masterpiece, the Blue Mosque, and bargain for trinkets in Istanbul's massive Grand Bazaar. Try delicious Turkish snacks, be mesmerised by the Whirling Dervishes and discover the underwater treasures of the Mediterranean on a relaxing boat cruise. From the laneways of ancient Ephesus to the bizarre landscapes of Cappadocia - take the plunge and discover a unique travel adventure waiting for you in Turkey.


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“Excellent”
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4 - Very Good
“Our intrepid guide Yummet was exceptional at introducing us in the culture and beauty of Cuba. She was also funny and made us comfortable at any time during the trip, very attentive to please the interests of each member of our group.”
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“I really enjoyed this tour, it gives a very good overview of the country, culture, National Parks, everyday life, etc. We used a minibus​ all the way through and it worked very well. The local tour leader was outstanding.”
Welcome to Turkey. This adventures kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have called home. You welcome meeting commences at 1pm.

Please  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.

For Monday departures we recommend you visit the magnificent opulence of Topkapi Palace on Day 1 as it is closed on Tuesday.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY 60
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY 20
  • Istanbul - Whirling Dervish show - TRY 120
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY 60
  • Istanbul - Chora Church - TRY 45
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY 30
  • Istanbul - Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts - TRY 35
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY 120
Depart Istanbul this morning by a fast ferry to the port of Mudanya (approximately 1 hour). Then it’s a local bus to Bursa (approximately 1.5 hours), where you’ll spend the night. Bursa is an old and important city with a rich and varied history. It had a central role in the creation of the Ottoman Empire and from 1326-1402 AD actually served as the Sultan's capital. With elegant mosques, such as the supremely beautiful Yesil Camii, an intriguing covered bazaar, and teahouses filled with locals, Bursa offers a glimpse of traditional Turkish life. Your accommodation tonight is one of the oldest in Bursa and is perfectly centrally located, opposite the Ulu Mosque and next to the historical covered market. This afternoon is spent exploring the fascinating warren of streets and old Ottoman hans (warehouses). Bursa is also home to thermal springs nearby at Cekirge, famously used by Byzantine imperial families. Why not treat yourself to a soak, steam, and scrub Turkish style. The Turkish traditional shadow puppet shows, which were originally created here in Bursa, are a cultural highlight, as is the local kebab – the hearty iskender. Tonight is a real highlight – you’ll be a guest at a Dervish Lodge, see a hypnotic performance of the Sema (the ceremony of the Whirling Dervish) and learn a bit more about their mesmerising culture.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Bursa - City Museum - TRY 5
  • Bursa - Muradiye Complex - Free -
Travel by public bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk (approximately 7 hours). Selcuk will be your base for exploring the nearby ruins of Ephesus, former capital of the East Roman Empire and the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey. Selcuk is culturally rich and retains many Turkish traditions, and its relatively undisturbed nature means this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. On the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill lie several historical buildings – you’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of 14th century Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the 6th century. According to Christian tradition, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem, and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100 – and the basilica stands over his believed burial site. Also just a short distance out of Selcuk is one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single column (of 127 originally) remains. The Temple of Artemis was unfortunately destroyed in AD 401, after being successively damaged by floods, a Greek arsonist seeking notoriety, and the Goths. You’ll arrive in Selcuk with enough time to check in to the guesthouse and then take a leader-led orientation walk of the town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John
This morning, take a private minivan to visit the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus; one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world and Turkey's premier tourist site. Once the capital city of Roman Asia Minor, the city has a fascinating history, which really comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. Considering their age, the ruins are in incredible shape, and it’s not difficult to image them in their full glory 2,000 years ago. You will be awed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but it's perhaps the magnificent library that takes most people's breath away.  Later you will stop for lunch at a family-run restaurant, where you’ll feast on gozleme – the famous and very popular Turkish pancake – made fresh before your eyes. Also not to be missed are the tomb of the Seven Sleepers, Marble Street, and the Church of the Virgin Mary. This afternoon, drive out to the nearby picturesque village of Sirince and taste some locally produced fruit wines. This authentic Greek Ottoman village seems to have been overlooked by modern development and the unique local architecture nestled in the hills make for a photographer's dream. This evening in Selcuk is free for your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Archaeological Museum - TRY 15
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY 30
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY 25
  • Sirince - Wine Tasting - Free -
A train ride inland through mountainous landscapes (approximately 3.5 hours + short bus ride) brings you to one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to “cotton castle”. Here spectacular natural hot springs with high calcium bicarbonate content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving bright white deposit terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes), and these pools are said to fix up any circulation and digestion problems. Take some time to visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be Cleopatras’s old pool – the transparent water-filled pool, sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo, is stunning. You can also check out the other ruins of the city – Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, vast necropolis and strange tombs, and the amphitheatre shouldn’t be missed.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY 7
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY 50
A bus ride south (approximately 4.5 hours) takes you away from the tourists to the small village of Kayakoy. This small village acts as your base for exploring the many attractions of this scenic section of the Mediterranean coast, including the resort town of Fethiye and the famous Blue Lagoon. Kayakoy was once a thriving village and now its considered a ghost village, its ancient stone houses abandoned after their Greek inhabitants left Turkey during the great population exchange of the 1920s. Now protected by the Turkish government, it provides the opportunity to enjoy a quiet, traditional Turkish lifestyle. Open 24 hours, the ghost village has an entrance fee which helps towards the upkeep of the paths and rubbish clearance. One church in the lower area of the village, Kataponagia, is of particular interest due to an interesting room out the back – it was used to collect the bones of the dead. Wander the ruins, enjoy the solitude, or play backgammon and sip tea with the locals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today, set out on a half-day trek along a section of rugged coastline, following part of the ancient walking trail of the Lycian Way to nearby Oludeniz (approximately 6 kilometres), where you can swim in the famous Blue Lagoon. You’ll walk up a steep rocky path up the hillside, make your way through some forest, and then top a hill with fantastic views out across the Mediterranean. At the final descent into Oludeniz, you’ll be greeted with a breath-taking view of an arching peninsula of white sand beach cutting through crystal waters and verdant vegetation, the town’s trademark panorama. The colours of the incredibly picturesque Blue Lagoon, with perfectly still waters and a scenic backdrop of pine-forested hills, are amazing, and you’ll soon realise why this is one of the most photographed beaches in Turkey.

Notes: The trek to Oludeniz is rated ‘moderate to difficult’, and a good level of fitness is required. The terrain under foot is sometimes slippery and uneven and there are periods of ascent and descent. Good walking shoes are certainly required. If you do have a good level of fitness, this will be an extremely enjoyable and rewarding walk. If you are unsure as to your capability to complete this walk, please discuss with your group leader before undertaking, so that other arrangements can be made for this day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon
Make your way the short distance from Kayakoy to Fethiye by dolmus (a Turkish shared taxi). From there, take a public bus to Kas (approximately 2.5 hours), with some spectacular coastal scenery greeting you on the drive. The picturesque village of Kas – whitewashed buildings covered in bougainvillea and cobbled streets – is the southernmost of all the Turkish resorts, and the starting point for your fantastic boat trip. The best places in town to swim are from the waterfront restaurants that have their own private water access. For the price of an occasional drink, you get your own deck chair, umbrella and unbeatable views. When the sun goes down there is the chance to explore the handicraft markets, where you can find beautiful handmade wares with a distinctly Turkish flavour. Once you have checked in, take a leader-led walking tour of the town. 

Notes: Due to varying weather conditions over the season we have a varying itinerary as follows: During the cooler months of March, April, October and November we don't spend a night on the boat and instead stay in a local guest house for two nights in Kas. During the months of May and September our normal itinerary will run with one night on the boat and one night in a local guesthouse in Kas. During the months of June July and August we spend two nights on the boat, and don't spend a night in the guest house.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat or hotel
Today we transfer to the village of Kekova some 50km from Kas here we will board our boat for a real Mediterranean experience. Swim and snorkel in crystal blue waters, feast on fabulous local cuisine, cruise over an ancient sunken city, and explore Lycian tombs. Sleep beneath the stars if you choose or be rocked to sleep in your on board cabin. There are western style toilets and showers on board.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat
There’s a short journey today as you continue your exploration of the Turkish Coast. Travel 3.5 hours to the jewel in the Turkish Mediterranean – Antalya. 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. Arriving in the afternoon, your leader will introduce you to the delights of the old city with an orientation walk. Visit such sites as the clock tower, Hadrian’s gate and the old Roman Harbour. Kaleici – the old city area that’s now a historical zone and protected from modern development – is home to relics of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman occupation. There’s a last opportunity to swim, relax and enjoy stellar views overlooking the crystal blue Mediterranean, or to check out the Antalya Museum, one of the best in the country. Tonight, be sure to try some delicious Antalyian cuisine
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
This morning take a local bus away from the coast and move inland to Konya on the plains of the Anatolian steppe (approximately 5.5 hours). While it’s a long day of travel, the diversity of the scenery will keep you entertained as you cross the Toros Mountain range. Konya is the perfect opportunity to sample a traditional Turkish city where mainstream tourism is yet to arrive. The city is closely linked with the whirling dervish sect of Islam developed in the 13th century by Celaleddin Rumi (or Mevlana), considered one of Islam's greatest Sufi mystics. Celaleddin developed a philosophy of spiritual union, captured in his poetic writings, the greatest of which, ‘Mathnawi’, is still revered today. Mevlana (‘our master’) as he came to be known, believed that music and dance represented a means to induce an ecstatic state of universal love and divine union, and devised the whirling sema ritual. In the town, you can visit the original Tekke of Mevlana, which holds many dervish religious relics and is also the final resting place for the master himself. Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader to Aladdin Hill in the centre of Konya. On the side of the hill are the sheltered minimal remains of the palace of the Seljuk Sultans of Rum, while beneath the Alaettin Mosque are artefacts dating back to the Stone Age. Tonight perhaps enjoy a refreshing tea in one of the many tea gardens and try some central Anatolian cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Konya - Karatay Museum
Leave Konya this morning by bus (approximately 4 hours) and head to the heart of Cappadocia. The town of Goreme lies in a fantastic region of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles. In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your trip leader this evening. Then grab a beer, a tea, or perhaps a strong Turkish coffee if you need a pick-me-up (Turkey is the land of beverages, especially the hot variety). Don't forget to pack sturdy, well worn-in walking shoes or boots and a comfortable daypack for exploring the valleys of Cappadocia.

Notes: Without a doubt, one of the most amazing memories of this journey is a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape to see this otherworldly scene at sunrise. Those who are interested in this optional extra will have a truly awe-inspiring experience. The cost of this activity varies depending on what type of flight you choose. This activity can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
In your free time today, maybe visit the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum. It’s a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings, and one of the earliest centres for religious education. There are at least 10 churches and chapels in the museum area, dating between AD900 and 1200, each one named after a prominent attribute by the local villagers, who were exploring these caves long before there was an entrance fee. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR 250
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR 195
Take a walk through one of the nearby valleys this morning. It could be the Valley of Love where the fairy chimneys, deserted rock cut homes, and churches with frescoes will astound you, or any of the other fantastic scenic routes that our leaders know.  You can also explore the underground cities. Beneath Cappadocia’s rock formations is a network of fascinating subterranean cities, which housed up to 10,000 people each. The largest are almost ten levels deep, with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. Your leader is available to make suggestion and help organise. This evening your leader will offer you the option of enjoying a meal with a local family in their own home. This is a unique experience, enjoying the famous hospitality of a Turkish family and admiring the spectacular views of surrounding landscapes at the same time. Otherwise, why not try the local Testi Kebab, an evening nargile (hookah) in one of the cafes, or a glass of the local wine, overlooking a valley of fairy chimneys. A perfect last night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Underground city - TRY 35
  • Cappadocia - Goreme - Open Air Museum - TRY 45
This morning, we have an early start and wave the fairy chimneys a fond good-bye as we transfer to one of the regions airports for a flight back to Istanbul. Depending on flight times and scheduled changes, expect to arrive back into Istanbul New Airport between 11.30am and 2.30pm. Your incredible Turkey trip will finish on arrival at the airport and your Intrepid Leader is available to assist you with your travel plans. 
For your convenience if you are planning on spending a few more days in the city then a complimentary transfer will be available back to our starting point hotel.

Notes: There is no accommodation included for tonight.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotel (13 nights), Overnight boat (1 night)
Meals
  • 11 Breakfast, 2 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Transport
  • Private Bus , Public Bus , Train , Dolmus , Gulet , Plane
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Bursa - Dervish Lodge Visit
  • Ephesus - archaeological site
  • Selcuk - Gozleme making demonstration and lunch
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
  • Kayakoy- Ghost Village
  • Lycian Way - Hike from Kayakoy to Oludeniz
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
  • Kas - Handicraft market
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Goreme - Valley walk
  • Goreme - Dinner at Cappadoccian Family House
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to/from Istanbul are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Best of Turkey tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Best of Turkey
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Good to know
Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 57 days before departure. For any departures within 18 October 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Best of Turkey tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Best of Turkey tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Best of Turkey tour. You can cancel the tour up to 58 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 57 days of departure.
Trip Details
  • Last modified (date)

    25 Jul 2019

  • Trip title

    Best of Turkey

  • Trip code

    ERSI

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

  • Introduction

    Explore the mysterious land of the Ottomans Intrepid-style. Marvel at Mehmet Aga's masterpiece, the Blue Mosque, and bargain for trinkets in Istanbul's massive Grand Bazaar. Try delicious Turkish snacks, be mesmerised by the Whirling Dervishes and discover the underwater treasures of the Mediterranean on a relaxing boat cruise. From the laneways of ancient Ephesus to the bizarre landscapes of Cappadocia - take the plunge and discover a unique travel adventure waiting for you in Turkey.

  • Style

    Original

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Private Bus,Public Bus,Train,Dolmus,Gulet,Plane

  • Physical Rating

    2

  • Joining point description

    Centrally located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, the Golden Horn Hotel is within walking distance of many of the areas 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

    In 2019 there will be two International Airports servicing Istanbul. Istanbul New Airport (IST) will be operational from the 1st of January 2019 and replaces Ataturk Airport. It is situated 52kms from your starting point hotel. The quickest and easiest way to the hotel is by taxi - there are ranks outside the arrivals terminal. This service should be approximately 125-155 TL. There will be public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVAIST to various locations in the greater Istanbul, please enquire in terminal building for up to date schedule times.

    Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located at Pendik / Kurtköy on the Asian side of Istanbul, 40km from Kadidkoy and 50km from you starting point hotel. Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall this service should cost 135-175 TL. There are public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVATAS to various locations in the greater Istanbul, please enquire in the terminal building for up to date schedule times. We recommend the HAVATAS bus to Kadikoy and the ferry to Karakoy if choosing public transport. Your hotel will be a short walk from the ferry terminal.

    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.

    If you have pre-booked 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

  • Group leader

    All 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. We endeavour 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. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. In Turkey, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a licensed Tour Guide and will not only have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip; but will also have specialised knowledge on the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

  • Is this trip right for you

    We recommend packing light, as you’ll need to carry your own luggage on and off transport and to and from hotels.

    You’ll need your walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack to explore some of historical sites. All site tours are guided, but you can wander at your own pace if you prefer.

    This trip includes a memorable night on a boat cruising the southern coast. Cabins and bathroom facilities are shared and not air-conditioned. Most travellers prefer to grab the mattress, blankets and pillows and sleep on the deck under a bed of Mediterranean stars.

    This is a classic Intrepid Original Tour, featuring the highlights of Turkey along with off the beaten track local experiences. Accommodation is comfortable and locally owned, supporting local economy.

    This trip uses a combination of public and private transport, and all vehicles are modern and have air-conditioning and most are fitted with seat belts. Some journeys can be long in order to maximise the areas visited, but this gives you a chance to interact with the local community and see more of the country. You'll also be pleasantly surprised to find most Turkish buses have Wi-Fi and serve coffee and cake!

    Please note that some meals are included seasonally which is dependant on staying on the boat on in Kas Day 8 & 9

  • 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, we reserve 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.

    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. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

  • Food and dietary requirements

    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.

    Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. 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.

  • Money matters

    The Official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The EUR is also acceptable as is the USD. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency.

    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).

    CURRENCY
    The Official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The EUR is also acceptable as is the USD. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency.

    BANKING
    ATMs are widely available in all major towns and cities throughout 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.

    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.

    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, 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 amount is usually €2-4 per person/per day.

    This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.

    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 of €2-4 per person/per 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. 

    SHOPPING
    There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip, they can be a fantastic memento of your trip, and often these purchases help to support local artisans.
    Your Leader may suggest visits to different stores during your tour.  Rest assured that these vendors have been selected by our team on ground.  They provide good service and good quality products at fair market prices.  It also means that after sales service is available should you get home and have a problem with your purchase.  Some visits may be included as part of your itinerary where we feel the making of the craft is relevant to the destination and interesting for everyone to visit.  If this is the case you are under no obligation to purchase anything, simply enjoy the demonstrations and learning about the local craft.    We do also encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.

    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.

    TRAVELLERS TO TURKEY PLEASE NOTE:
    Turkey is often misjudged when it comes to the cost of goods and services and prices can vary considerably, between regions. Cities like Istanbul and Antalya are very European and as such the standard of restaurants and cafes is very high and the cost equivalent to its European counterparts. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and markets is still inexpensive and lots of fun. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Turkey to be a budget destination.

  • Climate and seasonal

    Turkey is a large country split into seven regions, as a rule of thumb the Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have typical Mediterranean climates with hot summers and mild, wet winters. In the east it is more mountainous with warm summers and very cold, snowy winters. Central Turkey (Cappadocia) ,has low rainfall  and very dry hot summers and cold or very cold winters.
    Istanbul and coastal centres can experience very high humidity.

    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.


    RAMADAN 2019
    In 2019, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 6th  May through until 4th  June, 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's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected

  • A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

    Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

    The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

    By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

    If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

  • Transport notes

    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.

  • 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.

  • Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES:
    Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, 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. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (13 nights),Overnight boat (1 night)

  • Physical preparation

    The walk along the Lycian way is on a rough track and steep in some places but suitable for the majority of our travellers.

  • Finish point instructions

    Istanbul New Airport will replace the current Ataturk Airport, the planned change over to this new airport is early 2019. Currently the new airport is operating limited flights under Airport Code (ISL) however this airport code will change to (IST) when Ataturk closes to commercial aircraft services.

    This tour will finish in 2019 on arrival at the New Istanbul Airport. Depending on flight schedules we plan to finish this trip at Istanbul Airport between 11.30am and 2.30pm. If you are booking an international flight we would recommend not booking any departures prior to 7.00pm from Istanbul Airport (IST). If you are departing from Istanbul’s second airport Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) we would recommend not booking an international flight prior to 8.30pm from this airport. There will be a local scheduled transfer available to purchase between the two airports, private transfers are also available please refer to your booking agent for the private service and check in the terminal building for the local transfers or refer to the airport website.

    For your convenience if you are planning to spend a few more days in the city then a complimentary transfer will be available back to our starting point hotel.Your leader can help to arrange this for you.

    There will be public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVAIST to various locations in the greater Istanbul. Your tour Leader will be able to assist with this.

    Taxis are available and a list of local destinations and indicative prices are below.
    Taksim: 52km 150 TL
    Kadıköy: 65km 180 TL

    We would encourage you to refer to your Essential Trip Information (that's this document) on a regular basis for any important updates.

  • Alternate Joining point description

    The Haze Hotel Istanbul is located in Karaköy, a happening harbourside area where modern cafe's and stylish restaurants mix with small family owned businesses bringing a local comfortable atmosphere to the neighborhood.
    Ottoman-era buildings with a splash of street art, some of the best coffee in the city and just a short 15 min walk to the historical peninsular make for an excellent starting point for your exploration of Istanbul.

    There is good access to public transport by way of the tramway and ferry services.

    Rooms at the Haze offer ADSL internet connection, air conditioning, cable-satellite TV, central heating, and in room coffee making facilities. Breakfast is included.

    The roof top restaurant Mükellef Karakoy is a traditional Meyhane with a modern twist and an initiative of TV chef and restaurateur Arda Türkmen’s . Make sure you book in advance.

  • Emergency contact

    GENERAL 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.

    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:


    Intrepid's Local Operator: 90 532 641 2822

  • Alternate Joining point instructions

    In 2019 there will be two International Airports servicing Istanbul. Istanbul New Airport (IST) will be operational from the March 2019 and replaces Ataturk Airport. It is situated 52kms from your starting point hotel. The quickest and easiest way to the hotel is by taxi - there are ranks outside the arrivals terminal. This service should be approximately 125-155 TL. There will be public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVAIST to various locations in the greater Istanbul, please enquire in terminal building for up to date schedule times.

    Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located at Pendik / Kurtköy on the Asian side of Istanbul, 40km from Kadidkoy and 50km from you starting point hotel. Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall this service should cost 135-175 TL. There are public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVATAS to various locations in the greater Istanbul.

    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.

    If you have pre-booked 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

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