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Turkey Explored

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highlights
  • Explore the continent-straddling metropolis of Istanbul, and step back in time to when it was Constantinople with the backstreets of the Grand Bazaar, the majestic Blue Mosque, and in the taste of real Turkish Delight.
  • Reflect on battles fought and lives lost with a moving visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a serene stretch of coastline where it's now hard to picture the horrors of war.
  • Hike into the Valley of Love in Cappadocia and be wowed by the fantastical natural sculptures of spires, domes, and pinnacles.
  • Be lured by the sapphire waters of the Mediterranean and laze the days away in Antalya.
The Turkey Explored tour starts and ends in Istanbul. The Turkey Explored is a city sightseeing tour that takes 18 days taking you from Istanbul, Turkey and through other destinations in Europe.

Historically rich with its medieval Ottoman period and chronicle of Gallipoli, and fashionably chic with the cosmopolitan buzz of Istanbul and celebrity getaway of Antalya, Turkey is an unmissable country that overflows with character. It is where Noah’s Ark (allegedly) landed, Santa Claus originated and Hemingway was inspired. It's a place where the yin and yang of old and new complement each other - contemporary galleries stand next to cathedrals, stylish cafes sit alongside bazaars and trendsetting bars float over turquoise waters. Travel from Istanbul through the very best of Turkey - Gallipoli, Fethiye, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia and Mount Nemrut - and discover the people, history, cuisine and landscapes that make this destination such a treasure.
customer reviews
5.0 - Excellent Based on 1 review
Cannot be better
Anonymous From UK At
5 - Excellent
“It was excellent. I was educated about the Turkish culture. I have seen so much and learned so much. It was value for money”
Hosgeldinz! Welcome to Istanbul, a bustling mega-city with a population of over 12 million people, with a rich history and food scene waiting to be explored. If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer, you will find taxis available on arrival at Istanbul Airport. Make sure you agree the price before you set off into town. Your hotel is located within walking distance of all the main sights, so if arriving it's easy to soak up the atmosphere and explore on foot. There are no formal activities planned for today, so you may arrive at any time. If arriving early a visit to the exotic Spice Market and the famous Grand Bazaar is recommended. Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, so it will come as no surprise that this vast metropolis is home to a beguiling mix of different cultures and traditions, blending the influences of both east and west. Originally founded by Greek settlers over 2000 years ago, Istanbul originally went by the name of Byzantium, then Constantinople when the Romans made it the capital of their eastern empire. This evening, meet your leader and fellow travel companions at a welcome meeting at 6pm (details will be posted on the hotel noticeboard). After the meeting, maybe gather together your new friends and seek out some Turkish cuisine in a street-side cafe.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Istanbul - Spice Market - Free -
  • Istanbul - Hagia Sophia - TRY 60
  • Istanbul - Basilica Cistern - TRY 20
  • Bosphorus Boat Cruise (Public Boat) - TRY 25
  • Istanbul - Galata Tower - TRY 25
  • Istanbul - Archaeology Museum - TRY 30
  • Istanbul - Topkapi Palace (Excluding Harem) - TRY 60
  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage) - TRY 120
Meet your local guide early this morning to journey in the footsteps of the city’s most famous ruler and conquer Istanbul in just a day. Head to Sultanahmet (the Old City, formerly Constantinople), where ancient empires based themselves and historical sites intertwine with backstreets filled with hidden gems. Gaze upon the beauty of the cascading domes of the Blue Mosque, so called for the blue tiles found on its interior walls. When not erecting splendid buildings the Byzantine Emperors loved a bit of entertainment, and the hippodrome was their stadium. Inspect some of the decorative statues and obelisks that remain from a time when this now tree-lined land would hold thousands of chariot racing fans. Then get into some good-natured haggling with local artisans in the Grand Bazaar, packed with over 3,000 stalls of handcrafted jewellery, textiles and books. In your free time in the afternoon, maybe visit the jaw-dropping giant church/mosque/museum of the Hagia Sofia, whose stunning construction is said to have changed the history of architecture, or discover the stories of sultans at the Topkapi Palace. There’s plenty of time to relax with a steam, sauna and massage at a traditional Turkish hamam, explore more, or just sit at a cafe and take in the unique atmosphere. Istanbul offers a plethora of great eating spots and lively night venues; your tour leader knows all the best places, so they can recommend some great options.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Head for the shores of Gallipoli (approximately 5.5 hours), a place of immense significance for Australians and New Zealanders, and a spot of pilgrimage and reverence. Gallipoli was the site of the Anzac landings in 1915 and one of the Allies' great disasters in the First World War. Gallipoli was the plan created by Winston Churchill to end the war early by creating a new front that the Central Powers could not cope with. You’ll see the battlefields of Nek and Lone Pine, and be amazed at how this now serene coastline once saw such brutal scenes of war. Look down upon the rough and barren hills and gullies that sadly became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Tour the former battlefields and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Hear stories of the heroism and camaraderie that unfolded among the tragedies, and take the time to read moving inscriptions etched onto a sea of gravestones. There will also be the option to visit the Kabatepe Museum, which includes interactive presentations of the battle, as well as numerous relics from the campaign. Then, take the short ferry ride from Europe to Asia, across the Dardanelles to Canakkale, a charming traditional fishing town that has a great range of dinner and nightlife options, not to mention medieval ruins to explore.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
After breakfast, take a local bus to the traditional farming village of Selcuk (approximately 7 hours). Selcuk will be your base for exploring the nearby ruins of Ephesus, where you’ll walk in the footsteps of Marc Anthony and Cleopatra. Selcuk is culturally rich but relatively undisturbed, so this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. This afternoon take a guided walk of the town and the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where several historical buildings lie. You’ll see the Isa Bey Mosque, a beautiful example of 14th century Seljuk Turkish architecture, and the imposing Byzantine citadel of the Grand Fortress. Just below the fortress are the ruins of the Basilica of St John, built by Justinian I in the 6th century. According to Christian tradition, St John came to Ephesus with the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem, and lived here until his death sometime around AD 100 – and the basilica stands over his believed burial site. Selcuk is also home to one of the ancient world's Seven Wonders – the Temple of Artemis – although, sadly, only a single pylon remains.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Troy - Guided visit
This morning you may wish to discover the ancient city of Ephesus with, your Tour Leader will suggest an optional tour or your can just jump a "dolmus" (local bus) and head out to explore on your own. This is one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman classical cities in the world; founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC, brought to full flower under Roman rule, and always an important religious centre. You will be amazed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, in-house heating, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved, but it’s the magnificent library that’s going to astound you.

You can also choose delve deeper into the area’s fascinating history with the artefacts of the Archaeological Museum, the ruins of the Basilica of St John. 

Later this afternoon you may choose to visit the nearby village of Sirince and taste some locally produced fruit wines. This authentic Greek Ottoman village seems to have been overlooked by modern development and is a photographer's dream.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Ephesus - archaeological site - TRY 60
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY 30
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY 15
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY 25
A train ride inland through mountainous landscapes (approximately 3.5 hours) brings you to one of Turkey's most photographed sites, Pamukkale, which literally translates to “cotton castle”. Here spectacular natural hot springs with high calcium bicarbonate content cascade over the edge of the cliffs, leaving bright white deposit terraces (the ‘cotton’). It's been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC. Though you won't be able to bathe in these travertines, you can take a walk through them (after removing your shoes), and these pools are said to fix up any circulation and digestion problems. Take some time to visit the nearby ancient city of Hierapolis and take a dip in what used to be Celopatras’s old pool – the transparent water-filled pool, sculpted as a gift from Marc to Cleo, is stunning. You can also check out the other ruins of the city – Hierapolis is known for its abundance of temples and religious structures, vast necropolis and strange tombs, and the amphitheatre shouldn’t be missed.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY 50
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park - TRY 50
Head for the coast and take a local bus to Ölüdeniz (approximately 3.5 hours), whose azure lagoon and scythe-shaped beach is described as 'the Eden bestowed by God to the world'. Pack sunnies, sunscreen and swimmers, and spend the day discovering all new shades of blue while taking a dip in this little slice of paradise. There's plenty of time luxuriate at the three-kilometre-long beach, which has the appearance of a natural lagoon with warm lapping water, before transferring to your hotel in the quaint town of Fethiye. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere of Fethiye and treat yourself to some delicious homemade Turkish lemonade. If there’s time, visit nearby Kayakoy. Once a ghost village, its ancient stone houses were abandoned after their Greek inhabitants left Turkey during the great population exchange of the 1920s. This evening, enjoy a walk by the harbour and look up to see massive rock cut tombs, check out the Lycian sarcophagi scattered around the town, try local seafood and join in with the thriving nightlife.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Optional Activities
  • Fethiye - Oludeniz Blue Lagoon - TRY 6
  • Kayakoy- Ghost Village - TRY 8
This morning you’ll take a local bus to Uçagiz (approximately 4 hours), one of the southernmost bit of Turkey. Board a boat for a memorable voyage along the Turquoise Coast, viewing some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world. You’ve got a tough day ahead: you’ll cruise to the sunken cities around Kekova Island, from where remains of mysterious civilisations can be viewed just below the surface of the water. You’ll also take a walk up to nearby Simena Castle, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding bays and islands. There are also numerous Lycian rock tombs to be explored here. Spend your time on the beautiful azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea swimming, relaxing and exploring the natural and historical sites along the way. At night, indulge in unforgettable feasts before being lulled to sleep by sultry Mediterranean breezes.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat
Disembark the boat in Uçagiz this morning after breakfast, then make your way to Antalya, the largest city on the western Mediterranean coast (approximately 2.75 hours). The city will be your base for the next two nights. It’s hard to get a bad photo of Antalya thanks to cobblestone streets, the old city, the marina, and the Taurus Mountains in the distance. Wander the old streets, exploring the town's mix of urban sophistication and old-world charm. You might want to check out Kaleici – the old city area that’s now a historical zone and protected from modern development – and see relics of Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman occupation. With its palm-lined boulevard, internationally-acclaimed marina, old castle, and sapphire waters of the Mediterranean, Antalya is a great place to kick back. Try Antalya’s signature dish, Piyaz, a zesty bean, vegetable and egg salad.
Accommodation
  • Pension
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
With your accommodation located in the wonderfully preserved old city district of Kaleici, this is a great place to start your exploration on this free day – though your leader can give you all manner of tips. The old city wraps around a splendid Roman-era harbour with cliff-top views of hazy-blue mountain silhouettes. Just outside of the central city is one of Turkey's finest museums. The Antalya Museum is a great opportunity to learn more about the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions of Anatolia, with some 5,000 works of art and artefacts on display. The beautifully preserved statues in the Hall of Gods, Heracles now among them, are not to be missed. You can choose to visit the some impressive sites further afield, including the ancient cities of Aspendos and Side. Aspendos is know for it’s beautiful intact Roman theatre – perhaps the best preserved in the world – while Side away from the tourists is awash with colonnaded streets and Hellenistic and Roman ruins. For those after a nature fix, Duden Waterfalls, about 12 kilometres north-east of town, is a lovely spot to relax, and the popular Konyaalti and Lara beach are close by. 38 kilometres from Antalya, the ancient city of Termessos has the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, sitting in the heart of the spectacular Güllük Dağı National Park. Otherwise, stay in Antalya and soak up the charms of this seaside town.
Accommodation
  • Pension
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Aspendos Ancient City
This morning take a local bus away from the coast and move inland to Konya on the plains of the Anatolian steppe (approximately 5.5 hours). While it’s a long day of travel, the diversity of the scenery will keep you entertained as you cross the Toros Mountain range. Konya is the perfect opportunity to sample a traditional Turkish city where mainstream tourism is yet to arrive. The city is closely linked with the Whirling Dervish sect of Islam developed by in the 13th century by Celaleddin Rumi (or Mevlana), considered one of Islam's greatest Sufi mystics. Celaleddin developed a philosophy of spiritual union, captured in his poetic writings, the greatest of which, ‘Mathnawi’, is still revered today. Mevlana (‘our master’) as he came to be known, believed that music and dance represented a means to induce an ecstatic state of universal love and divine union, and devised the whirling sema ritual. In the town you can visit the original Tekke of Mevlana, which holds many dervish religious relics and is also the final resting place for the master himself. Get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader to Aladdin Hill in the centre of Konya. On the side of the hill are the sheltered minimal remains of the palace of the Seljuk Sultans of Rum, while beneath the Alaettin Mosque are artefacts dating back to the Stone Age. Enjoy a refreshing tea in one of the many tea gardens, and later this evening try some central Anatolian cuisine.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Today’s a travel day, but that’s okay – Cappadocia is waiting for you at the end of it as a reward (approximately 3 hours by local bus). This is a long journey but a good chance to re-energize before your exciting time in Cappadocia. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. In the heart of Cappadocia, the town of Goreme lies in a fantastic region of cones, needles and columns, fashioned by nature from the soft volcanic tuff rock. It's honeycombed with caves scooped out to make churches and dwellings that are known as fairy chimneys and castles.In times of peace, the people in this region lived on the land, but in times of war or persecution they took to living underground. When you arrive in Goreme, you can stretch your legs and take an orientation walk with your trip leader. Then grab a beer, or a tea, or perhaps a strong Turkish coffee if you need a pick-me-up (Turkey is the land of beverages, especially the hot variety). Don't forget to pack sturdy, well worn-in walking shoes or boots and a comfortable daypack for exploring the valleys of Cappadocia.


Notes: Without a doubt, one of the most amazing memories of this journey is a hot air balloon ride over the majestic landscape to see this otherworldly scene at sunrise. Those who are interested in this optional extra will have a truly awe-inspiring experience. The cost of this activity varies depending on what type of flight you choose. This activity can only be booked locally. Please speak to your trip leader on Day 1 to organise this.
Accommodation
  • Pension
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Whirling dervish performance
Today is free for you to explore a landscape that needs to be seen to be believed. Cappadocia's main attraction is the World Heritage-listed Goreme Open Air Museum. It’s a monastic complex composed of churches, rectories and dwellings, and one of the earliest centres for religious education. There are at least 10 churches and chapels in the museum area, dating between AD900 and 1200, each one named after a prominent attribute by the local villagers, who were exploring these caves long before there was an entrance fee. The best of the churches are the Chapel of St Basil, Apple Church, Sandal Church, Chapel of St Barbara, the nun's convent and the Buckle Church.

You can also explore the underground cities. Beneath Cappadocia’s rock formations is a network of fascinating subterranean cities, which housed up to 10,000 people each. The largest are almost ten levels deep, with narrow passages connecting the floors like hamster tunnels. If you’re a hiker then choose to walk the valleys of Red, Rose, or Love, where you’ll explore fairy chimneys, deserted rock cut homes, and churches with frescoes.

Otherwise, you may want to take a local dolmus to Avanos and the red river, which for centuries has provided the local residents with clay to make the magnificent earthenware pottery that the region is famous for. Your leader is available to make suggestion and help organise your day excursions. They may even suggest a group tour of the region. Don’t leave town without trying the famous ‘pottery kebab’.
Accommodation
  • Pension
Optional Activities
  • Goreme - Cappadocia Wine and Sunset Tour - USD 55
  • Cappadocia - Goreme - Open Air Museum - TRY 45
  • Cappadocia - Derinkuyu Underground City - TRY 35
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Regular Flight - EUR 195
  • Goreme - Hot Air Balloon, Cappadocia Deluxe Flight - EUR 250
  • Cappadocia -Kaymakli Underground City - TRY 35
Today travel to Darende (approximately 5 hours), taking a walk to the picturesque and tranquil waterfalls of Gunpinar en route. A pleasant riverside eatery is a good spot to sample some local fish. Enjoy a leisurely walk in the surrounds before heading into the town centre of Darende. Here you’ll enjoy an orientation walk of the town and see its 300 year old covered bazaar, where local woman sit working on embroidered quilts and other needlework. There’s also the possibility to sample the Turkish dried apricot (famous in the area) in one of the local shops. This evening, settle in for a relaxing night in Darende.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Head from Darende to Kahta, one of the region’s villages, where you’ll get to experience local living first-hand in a homestay. Spend the afternoon in this small local village playing with the kids, walking in the fields, and experiencing the simple pleasures of village life. It’s possible that you may even get to pick the vegetables for your supper. Learn about the local culture, enjoy a local feast prepared by your friendly hosts, and curl up on a traditional mattress or sleep out under the stars.

Notes: Both men and women are required to dress very conservatively during their stay here, due to the traditional values of our hosts. Females are required to wear a long ankle-length skirt and men must wear long ankle-length trousers. Alcohol will not be available for purchase or consumption.
Accommodation
  • Homestay
Continue east to Mount Nemrut (approximately 3.75 hours). On the way you’ll stop at the Karakus Tumulus, a monumental tomb built for his mother by King Mithradates II of the Commagene civilisation. A handful of colossal columns remain to mark the burial place – the Romans dismantled most, with the limestone blocks used to construct the nearby Cendere Bridge. This is one of the world’s oldest bridges still in use, spanning an impressive 122 metres. Arriving in the afternoon at the village of Khata, make the journey up to the top of Mount Nemrut. See the ruins of Arsameia, a holy burial area built by King Antiochus I in memory of his father almost two and a half thousand years ago. At the top of the mountain, Antiochus I also constructed a tomb-sanctuary for himself and surrounded it with statues of various gods and ancestors. The size and magnitude of the colossal stone heads is stunning, and the views from the summit are sublime, especially as the sun begins to set.

Notes: It is very cold on top of the mountain in all months other than June, July and August, so make sure you pack some warm clothing.
Accommodation
  • Pension
Depart early this morning, travel 1.5 hours to the south-eastern city of Adiyaman, where you’ll board a 2 hour flight back to Istanbul. Arriving back in Istanbul, take the local Metro and tram to the hotel in Sultanahmet. This afternoon, your tour leader will introduce to the lively Taksim district, the beating heart of modern Istanbul. As you walk across the Golden Horn, the Galata Tower dominates the skyline. Originally named the Tower of Christ, the 66-meter-high medieval fortification offers stunning 360-degree views of the city. Board one of the world’s oldest funicular railways, operating since 1875, for the short journey 500 metres steeply up hill to Taksim. Alighting at Istiklal Caddesi, arguably the city’s most popular strolling, shopping and snacking street, take a walk with the people who call this city home. Try an Islak (wet) Burger, and visit a hidden local coffee house. Maybe stay with your travel companions for an optional celebratory dinner, and take advantage of the late night entertainment as your Turkey adventure comes to an end.
Accommodation
  • Hotel
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you would like to stay longer in Istanbul there are plenty more things to see and do.
what’s included
Accommodation
  • Hotel (10 nights), Pension (3 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Boat (1 night)
Meals
  • 17 Breakfast, 2 Dinner
Transport
  • Public Bus , Private Bus , Train , Gulet , Plane
Included Activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Gallipoli - guided visit
  • Kas - Overnight Boat trip
  • Cappadocia - Valley Walk
  • Mt Nemrut - Mt Nemrut guided visit
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 Turkey Explored tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 18 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 16 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Istanbul/ Istanbul
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Turkey Explored
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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 15 September 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Turkey Explored 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 Turkey Explored 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 Turkey Explored 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)

    18 Jul 2019

  • Trip title

    Turkey Explored

  • Trip code

    ERRT

  • Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 01 Nov 2019

  • Introduction

    Historically rich with its medieval Ottoman period and chronicle of Gallipoli, and fashionably chic with the cosmopolitan buzz of Istanbul and celebrity getaway of Antalya, Turkey is an unmissable country that overflows with character. It is where Noah’s Ark (allegedly) landed, Santa Claus originated and Hemingway was inspired. It's a place where the yin and yang of old and new complement each other - contemporary galleries stand next to cathedrals, stylish cafes sit alongside bazaars and trendsetting bars float over turquoise waters. Travel from Istanbul through the very best of Turkey - Gallipoli, Fethiye, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia and Mount Nemrut - and discover the people, history, cuisine and landscapes that make this destination such a treasure.

  • Style

    Basix

  • Themes

    Explorer

  • Transport

    Public Bus,Private Bus,Train,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

  • Finish 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.**

  • Finish point instructions

    Taxis to the New Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport can be easily hailed. If departing from the New Istanbul Airport (IST) you can take the Metro from Sirkeci Station near to the hotel one station to Yenikapi Metro and transfer to one of the HAVAIST express bus services to the airport. If departing from Sahiha Gokcen (SAW) you can take a ferry to Kadikoy and transfer to the HAVATAS express bus service to the airport.

    Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise which of Istanbul's two airports you will be flying from at the time of booking. If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on +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

    This trip includes a night in a homestay with a local family – a great way to enjoy genuine Turkish hospitality. Be prepared to share some space with your fellow travellers, with women and men sleeping in separate rooms.

    The weather can be hot in July and August, but this is also the best time to enjoy the clear water of the Mediterranean – don’t forget your swim gear.

    This trip gives you lots of control over your travels, with some included site visits and lots of choices for your free time. If you want expert local advice and like to get off the beaten track, then this trip is for you.

    This trip is part of our Basix range: local experiences, local guide, local transport and clean comfortable hotels, all with minimum impact and maximum sustainability – the responsible way to travel.

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

    The included Southern Coast Cruising overnight excursion is on board a traditional boat called a 'gulet'. Sleeping arrangements will be multi-share: the group will sleep on the deck of the gulet where you can stargaze and fall asleep to the sounds of the gently lapping Mediterranean. All bedding is provided. The gulet has shared bathroom facilities. You'll perfect the beach-style hairdo, as there is limited fresh water for rinsing off salt water.

  • 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

    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.

  • Feedback

    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

  • 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.

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (10 nights),Pension (3 nights),Guesthouse (2 nights),Homestay (1 night),Boat (1 night)

  • 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: +905326412822

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How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
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